Friday, February 27, 2009

Brace, brace, brace !

Many years ago I undertook a shortened version of the North Sea offshore survival training, the most pertinent part of which was the helicopter survival training.

We all knew that flying to and from the platform was the highest risk thing we were going to have to do. Helicopter more often than not crash hard and sink fast and you are trained to handle suddenly finding yourself upside down in a cabin filling with freezing water and escaping through the windows. ( The key point here is you have a short period of time to exit a sinking craft before the depth makes escape to the suffice difficult, so if your sitting next to a fat bloke who is next to the window you may never get out. Needless to say everyone rushes for the window seats first and its not to enjoy the view. )

They play a video at the training, and before the flight, which is watched in respectful silence / boredom / and not a little horror by those making infrequent trips.

The key part is when you are warned to prepare for a hard landing with either the hurried words "Brace, brace, brace" or as the video helpful points when it become clear of the need to do so. By the nature of helicopter operations the warning is most likely to be just before the incident, if at all. The idea is that your training kicks in and you do the things you where trained to do without thinking and of course panicking.

Now I have the suspicion that the European economies, including ours could be in for a hard landing that may develop suddenly ( over a weekend is the best amount of warning anyone is likely to get ).

You might get the central bank giving the equivalent of the pilots "Brace, brace, brace" warning, but the first things you notice may be the water moving towards your window at very high speed.

Fanciful ? Well remember the government nearly suspended banking in the UK last year , and was a few hours from doing so. Perhaps some of the surprises ( all nasty ) in the UK are starting to be exposed, but that's not true in some parts of the Euro zone or more apocalyptically Russia and Eastern Europe. The serious press is full of articles pointing this out right now - just look anywhere .

Perhaps all will be well, but some form of wider collapse cannot now be ruled out. Now is perhaps the time to go through in your mind what to do if it does, as when you hear the warning it will already be too late.


Unknown said...

Excellent post. Personally I don't trust the current shower in power not to do an "Argentina" and seize control of all our bank accounts. After all, they've been assiduously laying the foundations of a Police State from the moment they got into office.

Man in a Shed said...

Thanks. The extension of the police state really is starting to worry me. Its being constructed with one excuse, but once its created it can be used for other forms of suppression.

It seems to me this sudden interest in monitoring people's internet usage, could be a move in preparation for greater trouble.

It would now, or at least soon, be possible to move to a form of internment in a national emergency. Which is now not that difficult to imagine.

In the medium to long term (ie after the current crisis) we need to reorder the state to build in checks and balances of the type the US have.