Home Office Once Planned to Put "Psychopaths" in Charge in the Event of Nuclear Attack on Britain

By Gerald Lynch on at

Britain's major cities have been flattened, the countryside is being turned to cinders by firestorms, and fallout is darkening the skies over anywhere that hasn't been instantly incinerated by the nuclear blast. In this hypothetical apocalyptic vision of Britain, who would the Home Office put in charge?

Psychopaths, apparently. Or at least that was one initial suggestion revealed in recently released documents from the National Archives, detailing "Exercise Regenerate", a 1982 plan from the Home Office that examined potential ways of maintaining order in the event of a nuclear attack.

Jane Hogg, a Home Office scientific officer, stated that a psychopath's logic, intelligence and "lack of morals" would make them perfect leaders in a crisis and, with around one per cent of the population exhibiting psychopathic traits, there'd be a good chance there'd be a few to survive the blast and whip the rioting rabble into shape.

It was an idea that was, understandably, dismissed very quickly by other members of the Exercise Regenerate team, but a bizarre suggestion nonetheless. The BBC has a great, lengthy piece on the Home Office files, which makes for perfectly grim reading for Halloween. [BBC]

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