Westminster, London, and following their recent success securing all official buildings against terrorist attack (see right), the government’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has announced the extension of the scheme to cover every new structure, domestic or commercial, built in the United Kingdom from “I’m aware that some of you were less than pleased to see security barriers go up outside the House of Commons.” Smith told assembled MPs. “A few honourable members were heard to call them ‘a bloody eyesore’ and complain that the enormous steel roadblocks meant to protect them were actually preventing their vehicles from getting through. But the results speak for themselves. Since these anti-terror safeguards have been in place we've not experienced a single attack from any kind of truck or van-bomb. Not that we did beforehand, but that’s not the point. Similar safeguards will now be rolled out across the country. Soon we hope that every structure in the British Isles will be Al-Qaeda proof, and to hell with the expense. This Labour government’s only got a short time left in it anyway, we might as well blow the billions while we can.” From August all construction companies applying for permission to build homes must include a precis explaining how they intend to nullify the ongoing threat from suicide bombers in their plans submitted to the council. This will mean incorporating protective measures such as concrete blockades and underground panic rooms, while ensuring residential properties are set fifty metres back from the road to guard against car bombs.
Many in the security services welcome these changes in the law as arriving not a moment too soon.
One anonymous MI6 spokesman told Home Defence that, even though we haven’t seen a major atrocity
in a while, this means nothing. Home-grown insurgents are “very definitely” importing techniques learnt
from Afghanistan, Iraq and recent Hollywood movies about The War On Terror. He explained recent
intelligence discoveries hint at an upsurge in roadside IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), possibly
made from fireworks, nails and the occasional sharpened stick. While our source couldn’t confirm
exactly how many terrorist cells were currently operating within the British Isles, all indications
pointed to somewhere between “plenty” and “a lot”.
However, such extreme measures haven’t found favour with everyone. Spokeswoman for the Union of British Architects,
Hermione Buttery-Chunks, had this to say:
“Our members are up in arms about this. They’re creative people and the government shouldn’t be
placing restrictions like this on them. It’s impossible to express yourself when the only approved
design limits you to a couple of storeys, and every building has to incorporate ten-inch thick reinforced
walls that make it look like a nuclear bunker.
“If anti-terrorism had been the main consideration of government down the centuries.” Buttery-Chunks continued. “We wouldn’t have experienced the wonderful and varied styles we see around us today. There would have been no cathedrals, no museums, no ‘shard of glass’ or wonderfully phallic gherkin. I understand the safety of British citizens has to take precedence, but our architects can’t design aesthetically positive schools or pleasantly habitable offices if they aren’t allowed to put windows in.”
Indeed, the threat to the glass industry from these changes to the law is said to be huge, while stone
cladders are likely to face bankruptcy as their classy, colourful exteriors become less of a priority for
families effectively now living in an enormous pillbox. The knock-on effects of today’s announcement
will continue as Phase Two is implemented in 2010. This next stage involves the reinforcement or
tearing down of all existing constructions that fail to meet stringent ‘terror-proofing’ guidelines. A time
which is likely to see the end of all parish churches as well as most listed buildings.
“Of course, this isn’t the ideal state of affairs.” Perpetually beleaguered PM Gordon Brown (left) explained during a recent Prime Minister’s questions. “But what would you rather have? Pretty stained glass to look at, or all danger removed? No one wants to experience flying shards blinding their children in an explosion caused by the enemies of democracy. This is a small price to pay to maintain national security. Our ancestors made do with straw huts, surely we can learn to live without natural But while London nods severely and stockpiles canned goods, the rest of the UK is not so convinced by the suggestions of coming apocalypse. Home Defence spoke to Judas Aswad, a Dorset farmer, who had this to “I put in with the council to extend my bungalow and give the wife a bit more room for her ceramics collection, maybe build another outhouse for the chickens while we’re at it. They said no. Of course I’m concerned about terrorism, but this land belongs to me and I’ve put another padlock on the gate - that ought to be enough to keep them out. Me and the wife live twenty miles from the nearest town. I very much doubt Bin Laden’s going to target my farm, not unless he’s got something against
We asked the increasingly irritable Mr. Aswad if it was all bad news, to which he responded:
“I suppose not. They’ve given me permission to construct a new greenhouse for my tomatoes.
The only thing is, they say I’ve got to build it underground.”