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I'm a child of the nineties. By the time I was born, the age of great peril had been forgotten. There was no major aggressor, extremist Islam hadn't really happened yet and the Cold War was effectively over. Of course, we know that the relative calm wouldn't last long, but the threat of World War was largely over. In that same sense, I find it intriguing to imagine that in 1983 the Government took part in War Games, modelling responses for Nuclear Warfare - even down to possible newspaper headlines. It's almost a novelty for me in a way.
Nuclear War isn't something that my generation has had to worry about. My Mum tells me that during her childhood she was quite regularly scared to death about the fact that a major nuclear strike could be imminent. That's something I never had to deal with. My generation were the ones who grew up imbued with suspicion of Muslims, suspicion of people rooting around in backpacks on buses, suspicion of people who didn't deserve it and were doing nothing wrong - the only thing I knew as a child about Russia was that that was where t.A.T.u. were from.
The release of files by the National Archive under the twenty year rule is a revelation for me. These files allow us to get a real snapshot of the work of Government at a particular time. For people like me, whose only experience was New Labour, it's a whole new perspective.