Nicola Harley | Daily Telegraph UK | 1 Nov 2014
Secret plans for Britain to cope with the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust included recruiting psychopaths to run the country, according to newly released official documents.
Psychopaths were favoured for positions of power because they were considered intelligent, logical and impervious to the psychological shock that might affect ordinary people, the files suggest.
The documents released by the National Archives contain details of how the Home Office had planned for the rebuilding of the country in the aftermath of a nuclear strike through a programme named Exercise Regenerate.
The 1982 operation trained staff for an attack involving 300 megatons of atom bombs being dropped in a 16-minute exchange, and issued mock wartime guidance for regional councils on how to govern post-strike.
One document written by Jane Hogg, a scientific officer in the Home Office, suggested that psychopaths should be put in charge in the worst-hit areas.
She wrote: “These are people who could be expected to show no psychological effects in the communities which have suffered the severest losses. They are very good in crises, as they have no feelings for others, no moral code and tend to be very intelligent and logical.
“Pre-strike, the only solution for these people is to contain them; post-strike … the formal authorities may well find it advantageous to recruit these people into their organisations as they could prove an exceptionally valuable resource.”
She also suggested bringing back the death penalty in the event of nuclear war.
Her boss did not agree with employing psychopaths, claiming they would have “bad judgment” and lack “humanity”.
A note scribbled next to her ideas read: “I am not at all sure you convince me. I will regard them as dangerous whether or not recruited into post-attack organisations.”
A spokesman for the National Archives said: “It is unbelievable they suggested using psychopaths after an Armageddon.”
The operation focused on Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, and concerned the first six months after a nuclear strike.