The terror level in the UK has now been set to...SEVERE! At first I freely admit I was a little confused. I mean, isn't terror pretty severe anyway? Was it like a weather forecast and would some attractive young lady appear on the television in front of a map predicting sever terror in the South with light, scattered angry shouting in the North West and the possibility of a blustery fatwah in Yorkshire? Apparently not, it seems the government are jolly serious about their terror levels so I went to investigate further. After an exhausting 12 seconds on Google I had my answers and all was clear so I present to you the UK terror levels and their actual meanings.
TERROR LEVEL - LOW.
What the government say: "an attack unlikely".
What they actually mean: Yes, it's unlikely because there's nothing going on but seeing as we're not totally sure maybe you could keep your eyes open looking for any swarthy chaps with back packs. It never does to relax after all.
TERROR LEVEL - MODERATE.
What the government say: "attack possible but not likely"
What they actually mean: We've got no clue if anything's going to happen or not but something's going on, we can feel it in our water. Perhaps you should be scared just in case. Avoid any public transport, use a chauffeur driven Jag instead.
TERROR LEVEL - SUBSTANTIAL.
What the government say: "attack a strong possibility"
What they actually mean: Blimey, they're all getting explody out there in the middle east and we're sure we just heard someone with an Irish accent. Best you're mildly terrified just to be on the safe side. Perhaps a side order of rampant paranoia as provided by the mainstream media would be useful. Remember, it could be you!
TERROR LEVEL - SEVERE.
What the government say: "attack highly likely"
What they actually mean: We've been snooping on e-mails and social media networks and to be honest those videos on Youtube are getting worse. It's probably only a matter of time so you really should shit yourself. We'll tell you to 'carry on as normal' but we highly recommend you become immediately suspicious of everything and report any Muslim you see shopping at B&Q because they just might be buying something to build a WMD with.
TERROR LEVEL - CRITICAL.
What the government say: "attack expected imminently"
What they actually mean: Well bugger me, someone went and blew something up. Those utter bastards! There'll probably be another one, best we get everyone quite literally pissing themselves with fear just to ensure the terrorists have actually won something. Don't worry though, we'll censor the internet a bit more next year, that should help.
Okay, I'm being a little facetious here but honestly, take a look for yourself. Those words used to explain the terror levels really on go from 'maybe' to 'probably'. The last time we had a 'severe' terror level some blokes drove a car into an empty area of an airport in Scotland before setting themselves alight (one, who was on fire from the waist down, was promptly knocked unconscious by a plucky Glaswegian) and later on a car was found with a bomb in it which utterly failed to go off. Personally, I'd have set the level to severe for that rather than critical but I'm not an anti-terror expert or an intelligence agency constantly pushing to remove any permission needed to snoop into our private lives so what do I know?
We have a horrible fear culture building in this country and I for one don't like it. You're still far more likely to be killed by lightning than a terrorist and I don't see any lightning warnings, well apart from those 'severe weather warnings' which usually mean it'll be a bit blowy and some town down South built on a flood plain will see an explosion in their sand bag industry.
I do except there is a very real threat of the radicalised Muslim folks returning from Syria / Iraq with bad mojo on their mind but the answer there is probably quite simple, don't let them back in. Our prime minister has promised that there is new legislation on the way to make it easier to remove passports from those who travel to join IS and indulge in all those wholesome, godly hobbies they enjoy out there. You know, rape, murder, torture, mutilation and the like. That's wonderful news Mr Cameron, it's almost a shame you and your crowd of leaches didn't consider something like that a couple of years ago when people - including people in the Muslim community - were warning you this was going to happen. Ineffective, two days late and a border security policy short. It's what makes Britain great.