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Buy candles to be ready for disaster, top Tory says

BUY candles and torches because dark days could be coming, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has told the British public. 

During a visit to Britain’s military laboratory at Porton Down, he also recommended that people acquire emergency supplies of first aid kits and battery-powered radios.

A likely future of pandemics, cyber-warfare and natural disasters make such precautions vital, said Mr Dowden, who is the minister responsible for preparing for disasters — other than those of the government’s own making.

Adolescents are among the risks the Deputy Prime Minister is seeking to mitigate. 

“The proverbial teenage kid in their bedroom with the application of AI is going to be a much better hacker than they were previously,” he warned.

Mr Dowden announced the launch of a national “resilience academy” to help society survive such calamities, which he said could thrust society back to the “analogue age.”

The academy “will provide a range of learning and training opportunities for the whole of society … [including] a centre for excellence for exercising,” he said.

Businesses will be offered help  to counter threats to critical national infrastructure and cyber attacks, while for individuals, there will be a website offering “practical advice on how households can prepare” and raising “awareness of the simple steps individuals can take to raise their resilience.”

Labour MP Pat McFadden attacked the government for rowing back on climate change commitments and for leaving physical infrastructure, such as schools, in a run-down condition due to capital spending cuts.

For teenagers in their bedrooms, as for much else, Labour offered no alternative, however.

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