ISSUE 38
SUMMER 2002
Peace Matters index
 

 

 

   

Hard Rock or Hard Luck
- memories are made of this

 
 


ONLINE contents

-  silence and memory
-  special agents
-  international courts
-  hard rock or hard luck
-  national identity in conflict



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Twenty years ago this month at the height of the Cold war the government was keen to signal Britains readiness to contemplate the use of its nuclear weapons through demonstrating national will to bear a retaliatory nuclear strike. The Home Office lead the preparation of a National Civil Defence Exercise 'Hard Rock'. Local governments were to put their civil defence plans, then almost exclusively aimed at nuclear survival, through their paces.

Hard Rock was planed as the biggest civil defence exercise since the 60s involving all the County Council and the Sub Regional HQ. In the event it turned out to be a public relations disaster and on the 14 July was cancelled by the Home Secretary because there was not sufficient local government support to make it 'national' or credible.

This was the heyday of campaigns against all things nuclear, of Nuclear Free Zone through which some 150 local governments representing the interest of 60% of the people in England, Scotland and Wales all of who conspired to turn Hard Rock into Hard Luck. Ten years later there was little left of the post apocalypse infrastructure; bunkers fell into disrepute or converted into tourist attractions and Cruise Missiles, the cause of so much angst and activity, were packed off home to America.

 
     

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