UK government tests carbon paper copy – media – RT World News

Whitehall is reportedly considering old-school technique in view of potential winter blackouts

The carbon paper copy has been “stress proof” by staff in Whitehall as Britain prepares for possible power cuts this winter, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing three officials familiar with the matter.

The old-fashioned copying technique can be used for internal government correspondence and has already been tested in recent emergency drills.

“The idea is that you would have people running around Whitehall distributing carbon copies of documents to colleagues in other departments or agencies, to keep people in touch,” one of the officials told the newspaper.

This is to address concerns about how to maintain communication between government in a crisis.

The carbon paper was one of the elements of exercises carried out in certain departments to test how the government could continue to function in the event of a major crisis such as a widespread blackout or nuclear war, the newspaper explained.

The emergency drills were carried out under an intergovernmental program called Yarrow, established in 2021 “to improve the planning and resilience of central and local government and industry to deal with a national power outage”, according to the officials, who insisted it was not directly linked to the energy crisis resulting from the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“This program predates these events”, said one of the officials.

It was not immediately clear from the report whether Whitehall had dusted off mechanical typewriters for use with carbon paper or opted to switch to handwritten correspondence. Invented in the early 19th century, carbon paper was the primary means of multiplying documents for more than a century before the emergence of photocopying technology and the subsequent introduction of electronic document flow.

Britain’s leaders have so far sent mixed signals about the prospect of blackouts and energy rationing this winter. This week outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to get new kettles to save energy.

“If you have an old kettle that takes years to boil it might cost you £20 to replace it, but if you buy a new one you’ll save £10 a year on your electricity bill.” Johnson said Thursday in his final policy speech.

While favorite to become the next Conservative leader and prime minister, Liz Truss, has ruled out winter energy rationing, her rival, Rishi Sunak, was less optimistic. “Many European countries are looking at how we can all optimize our energy consumption, it’s a sensible thing for us to do as a country,” he said this week.

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