Do not panic, citizen

The government’s po-faced Preparing For Emergencies website was almost immediately lampooned by a site which the civil service, displaying its usual lack of any sense of humour (a lack shared by most customs officers: a tip for you there) immediately tried to shut down. To show moral support, the MediaGuardian website published excerpts from the satirical site. If it were to get blocked in the future, at least there’d be some record of what the government, for reasons of its own (embarrassment) doesn’t want you to read.

So where does this leave John O’Farrell’s usual dose of knockaboutery? If his own paper is printing the same story, covered in the same way, by an unpaid freelancer, why bother printing the columnist’s copy? Well, O’Farrell’s just ahead of the game on two counts: one, he knows such abstruse grammar as when to apostrophize “its”; two, he can always be relied upon for this kind of gem:

And I don’t want to be alarmist or anything, but what if al-Qaida breaks into the warehouse where all the leaflets are stored and contaminates them with ricin before they’re individually delivered to every home in the country?

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