Press the panic button

At 3pm on Sunday, phones across the UK will suddenly burst into life, emitting a siren-like racket and vibrating for 10 seconds, displaying a text message about it being a drill for a previously untested public safety alert which will only disappear by clicking or swiping the screen of your smartphone or tablet.

Putting your phone on silent won’t make any difference, this alert is going to override it, which is all a bit too Big Brother-ish for my liking.

Now we don’t get many natural disasters around these parts and if Putin launches his nukes, nothing is going to make any difference to the end result so a public emergency message on a mobile is as much use as painting yourself with white emulsion and hiding under the dining room table with your hands over your ears and a couple of sandbags for company.

There’s the risk of alien invasion, which is slightly more likely than a giant tsunami washing Southend away, but still one hell of an an outside bet.

What this drill will do, however, is increase the risk of traffic accidents as drivers suddenly reach to swipe their screens, give the elderly the fright of their life, potentially send people with autism into a panic episode and alert abusive husbands or partners of the hidden phone their poor victim has been hiding away for emergencies.

Warnings have gone out, of course, but this has really not been properly thought out at all.

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I lost interest in watching snooker sometime around the late 1980s, but as far as I can remember it doesn’t present a threat to the environment and although they are bashed with a wooden stick, no balls are actually harmed during a tournament.

So why some rebel without a clue should decide to open a family sized bag of Quavers over Table No 1 at the Crucible on Monday evening is beyond me.

And there’s more to come as different groups of campaigners plan to collaborate for a new level of disruptive behaviour.

But hey, as long as it gets millions of people engaging in conversation, apparently it doesn’t matter that what we’re actually talking about is what a bunch of silly attention seeking brats these self appointed eco warriors are.

Beats working for a living I suppose.

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Highlight of the week has to be Paul Gascoigne’s hilarious Margaret Thatcher story from Sunday (which I dare not repeat here so check it out on catch up) on the new Channel 4 reality show Scared of the Dark, not only for the welcome glimpse it gave us of the old Gazza from before he became the mentally fragile, broken guy we see now, but also for the horrified reaction of self appointed arbiter of moral values, Chris Eubank, who seems to have been booked on the show purely as an extra form of torture for the others.

Happily he walked on day four.

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Well at least now we can be pretty sure about why former SNP leader and Scotland First Minister Jimmy Krankie hit the eject button.

Her husband Peter Murrell quit as SNP cief executive after misleading the media about membership numbers and was then arrested while police investigating the party’s finances searched the family home and garden.

Now the treasurer Colin Beattie has stepped down after spending 12 hours being questioned under arrest as part of the same investigation.

What an absolute mess this lot are in. Definitely not fandabidozi.

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What was all that about governing with integrity again Rishi? I forget.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

Tipping Point

Q: In 2005 Camilla Parker Bowles married which member of the Royal Family?

A: Prince William

Edward Case

Columnist