Joseph Conrad - Benjamin Franklin - Anonymous - The Godfather III 1990 - Proverbs - James Thurber - Penn & Teller TV - James Baldwin - Mark Thomas TV - Game of Thrones TV - A Most Wanted Man 2014 - When Cruises Go Horribly Wrong & Other Travel Nightmares TV - Boeing’s Killer Plane: What Went Wrong? TV - Tonight TV - George Carlin - Adam Curtis TV - James Nesbitt: Disasters that Changed Britain TV - The Good Shepherd 2006 - The Fires that Foretold Grenfell TV - How Corporate Greed Destroyed East Palestine TV - Dispatches TV -
Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings. Joseph Conrad
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin, 1759
Three children sliding on the ice,
Upon a summer’s day,
As it fell out, they fell in,
The rest they ran away.
Now had these children been at home,
Or sliding on dry ground,
Ten thousand pounds to a penny
They had not all been drowned.
You parents all the children have,
And you that have got none,
If you would have them safe abroad,
Pray keep them safe at home. Anonymous, Thee Children c.1630
I will go through hell to keep you safe. The Godfather III 1990 starring Al Pacino & Andy Garcia & Diane Keaton & Talia Shire & Sofia Coppola & George Hamilton & Bridget Fonda & Joe Mantegna & Richard Bright & Raf Vallone & Franc d’Ambrosio et al, director Francis Ford Coppola, Michael to daughter
Better be safe than sorry. Mid-19th century proverb
There is safety in numbers. Late 17th century proverb
There is no safety in numbers or in anything else. James Thurber, US author & cartoonist & humorist
Americans are obsessed with safety. That’s why we spend billions of dollars every year on products that claim to make us safer. Penn & Teller, Bullshit! s2e2: Safety Hysteria, Showtime 2004
Why are we so scared? ibid.
In the 1920s a Seattle dentist patented the perfect medical solution: the paper toilet seat cover ... These goddamn things are everywhere. ibid.
Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. James Baldwin, interview 1961
No, rubbish! Maps of Britain? Yeah, come on! Mark Thomas Comedy Product: Secret Map of Britain, rozzer, Channel 4 2002
This is where Britain assembles its nuclear weapons. ibid.
‘Two to three thousand sites across the whole country that are not on the maps. There’s also many other sites that are not named.’ ibid.
The biggest American arms dump in Europe. ibid.
Here at Greenham in the ’50s occurred a ‘dispersal of uranium’. ibid.
In whose interest does secrecy work? ibid.
Safety is never a permanent state of affairs. Game of Thrones s7e5, Jorah, HBO 2017
To make the world a safer place: isn’t that enough? A Most Wanted Man 2014 starring Philip Seymour Hoffman & Rachel McAdams & Willem Dafoe & Robin Wright & Grigoriy Dobrygin & Derya Alabora & Daniel Bruhl & Nina Hoss et al, director Anton Corbijn
The average person in the UK travels just under 16,000 miles a year most of the time with relative ease. But sometimes things go badly wrong. And now we’re catching the horrors on camera like never before. When Cruises Go Horribly Wrong & Other Travel Nightmares aka Terrifying Travel Nightmares, Channel 5 2019
Everyday people have been forced to journey into hell and back. ibid.
A luxury trip on the ocean turns into a catastrophic cruise fights for his life to escape an earthquake … The storm gathered pace with waves twenty-six-feet high crashing into the ship … On the Viking Sky all four of them [engine] had shut down, which meant no power and no stabilisers … They were hoisted off the ship … Dozens of passengers requiring hospital treatment. ibid.
A student on an island adventure fights for his life to escape an earthquake … Josh and his sister found themselves in a [Indonesian] disaster zone. ibid.
A young family gets stuck deep beneath the English channel, battle their way through service tunnels and endure horrific conditions. ibid.
A train full of frozen commuters fear or their lives … The conditions on the train became dire … and made their way on foot. ibid.
‘An airliner with 118 passengers on board has crashed.’ ibid. BBC News
Punch-ups at 36,000 feet. ibid.
Travel insurance companies however are reported to have paid out £70,000,000 in relation to the ash cloud chaos. ibid.
This is Kelly. Killed with her two young daughters in March last year. She was 40. This is Ibida, found dead at home in Leeds in September. She was 39. They are just 2 of the 118 women who were killed over the past 18 months where men have been charged or convicted. Then last month another woman was found dead. She was called Sarah. Tonight: what can be done to stop this becoming someone else’s story? Tonight: How Safe Are We? ITV 201
Who rules Britain’s roads? Will changes to the Highway Code make road users safer? And we find a considerable lack of knowledge around the updated guidance. Tonight: Who Rules Britain’s Roads? ITV 2022
The safest place to be during an earthquake would be in a stationary store. George Carlin, Brain Droppings
Then in October 1957 there was a major accident in Britain. The core of the [Calder Hall] reactor caught fire and spewed high levels of radioactivity across north-west England. The radioactivity released was far worse than the public was told. Adam Curtis, Pandora’s Box VI: A is for Atom, BBC 1992
The idyllic picture of a nuclear Eden masked a [Soviet] reality in which safety was barely even considered. The reactors were built at great speed to cut costs and to fulfil the Soviet plan. Some had no protective containment at all despite the higher pressures of steam. ibid.
In America the enormous nuclear plants ordered in the sixties were nearing completion. The engineers in charge were beginning to discover the trap they had set themselves by failing to redesign the containment. If a molten core could not be contained then the emergency systems to prevent a meltdown would have to work whatever happened. ibid.
On March 28th 1979 a series of human and mechanical errors at the Three-Mile Island plant exposed the core. It reacted with steam and produced hydrogen which exploded. None of the emergency teams could understand what was going on inside the reactor. ibid.
There were protests against nuclear power throughout the world. In the public’s imagination it was transformed from something good to something bad. Much of the anger was turned on the nuclear scientists. It emerged they had deliberately concealed many of the risks and uncertainties they had discovered. ibid.
A disaster doesn’t just happen in one moment. Or on one day. They are the result of years of missed warnings. Missed or ignored. James Nesbitt: Disasters that Changed Britain I: Paddington Rail Crash, History 2018
The Paddington train crash – one of Britain’s deadliest rail accidents since the war. ibid.
On the morning of October 5th 1999 just outside London’s Paddington station two trains packed with commuters collided head-on. The ferocious impact and deadly fire left over 400 injured and 31 dead. ibid.
Southall crash: 130 people were injured and 7 were killed. ibid.
SN109: the signal was difficult to see in normal conditions; and today had the low autumn sun shining directly upon it. ibid.
SN109 had just had its ninth SPAD. ibid.