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Have you prepared your household emergency plan yet? Me neither, and I have no intentions of doing so, no matter how hard HM government tries to spook us with menacing scenarios of plague, pestilence, and war.

Lockdowns created more problems than they solved. Having been put through that malarkey repeatedly I, and many others, will militantly resist any attempt to confine us in our homes so that we can be kept on the edge of hysteria by government gaslighting.

Deputy PM Oliver Dowden is one of those people who sidle up and whisper that they don’t mean to frighten you, when that’s precisely what they’re trying to do. Mental health has nose-dived in this country, thanks to such fear ‘nudging’. Enough already.

Sensibly, supermarkets didn’t hop aboard Dowden’s ‘Prepare’ bandwagon. They know it will be their problem when stockpilers are battering on their doors at 8am. And as the British Retail Consortium pointed out, most households already have sufficient non-perishable food in the cupboard.

My household is one of the 40% in the UK that fails Dowden’s three-day emergency pack guidelines. If we ate some odd combinations, we’d be fine for food, but I calculate we’d need 15 bottles of water for two of us. Try fitting that in a bedsit, Messrs Dowden and Sunak.

Note the government’s ‘Prepare’ website states: “This site will not be updated with live information during an emergency.” How comforting to know that ordinary citizens will need to rely on their own resourcefulness when the cabinet has locked down in its protective digital bunker.

What is the government playing at? Is it priming us for World War III with Russia? Seeing the negative reaction to its mandatory National Service policy, any such jingoistic drumbeat will meet with massive opposition.

This Prepare initiative echoes the now ridiculed government Protect and Survive campaign between 1974 and 1980, which told the population to store enough provisions for 14 days.

Like talking up the threat of war, might Protect be designed to play well with older, apathetic voters who like the sound of a firm hand?

Hypothetical crises are often a desperate attempt by failing politicians to stay in power. Protect and survive? More like protest and survive.