Swine Flu pandemic and the Civil Contingencies Act

LONDON - APRIL 29:  Secretary of State for Hea...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

We are hearing much about a potential Flu Pandemic, but nothing about the ramifications of this to the UK. I am not looking here at health concerns specifically, but at the potential to enforce the civil contingencies act.

The DoH statement made by Alan Johnson on 27th April refers to meetings with opposition shadows.

This always raises the question of the truth behind the bland statement and the potential ramifications, in addition to meeting with the civil contingencies committee.

On turning to the Cabinet Office pages there is a specific section regarding the flu scare.

This document finishes with:

'....However well developed, plans are unlikely to be successful without the active support of individuals and communities. Therefore, a key part of the response will be to encourage the public to follow government advice and adopt basic hygiene measures to manage or reduce their own risk of catching or spreading the virus. Ensuring that all of us are fully aware of the necessary precautionary and response measures, are prepared to cooperate actively with them and accept responsibility for helping themselves and others must therefore be an integral part of our overall preparedness strategy.....' (My bold)

As someone who is a little cynical and bearing in mind that opposition shadows have already been met, I doubt very much the meeting Alan Johnson had with the Secretariat, was to discuss the current DoH guidelines, on washing your hands and throwing away tissues.

I am trying to ascertain as to whether as part of the planning for a declaration by the WHO that this is a Flu Pandemic, the Government are considering activating the Civil Contingencies Act plus attached sections, which since the 2004 revisions provide for considerable powers to Police and Military on a region by region basis.

As the Labour party are always looking to deprive civil liberties and need a big story to cover up their failings, I would not be at all surprised were the plans not to include triggering the Act.

If a Flu pandemic is declared by the WHO on a Global basis, whilst there may be a global pandemic, that of and by itself, does not mean that the UK is hit hard by the Flu.

If the CCA does form part of the strategy to deal with the pandemic, at what level of infection in the UK are the Government intending to enforce this Act?

I have sent off the questions and am waiting for responses.


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