“If anyone dies while you are kept in your fallout room, move the body to another room in the house. Label the body with name and address and cover it as tightly as possible in polythene, paper, sheets or blankets. Tie a second card to the covering. The radio will advise you what to do about taking the body away for burial. If however you have had a body in the house for more than five days, and if it is safe to go outside, then you should bury the body for the time being in a trench, or cover it with earth, and mark the spot of the burial. ”
On the other hand, the campaign was criticised for being a waste of taxpayers money and misleading, even deluding the public into a false sense of security. As by following those instructions, the public assume they'll be safe. The booklet was never distributed and the series of films were never shown, hence comedians such as Ben Elton ridiculed it in shows like The Young Ones as useless and a waste of money.
While somewhat fatalistic, it suggested that surviving a nuclear attack was possible and desirable. This was lambasted by British radical communist historian, E.P Thompson, who wrote Protest and Survive in response.
The film was created by Richard Taylor cartoons (the same company that made the legendary Charley Says series) and was narrated by the Shakesperian actor, Patrick Allen. It consisted of Voice-over narration, stills photographs and simple (if somewhat kitsch) animation. It was very simple to follow and very clearly laid out, which made it more chilling to watch. However, Allen does have the comically patronising line:
"Oh, don't forget your tin opener and bottle opener."
The Patronising nature of the film, as well as its fatalistic tone and grim content was wide open for ridicule. Especially with it being at odds with the kitsch animation style. The Harcore punk band, Discharge, wrote a song of the name name, criticising the campaign. Comedians also ridiculed the leaflet and PIFs, attacking the percieved hypocrisy of the government creating the conditions for nuclear war, yet trying to placate the public and the critics of the propaganda campaign that a war won't escalate if the government has a nuclear arsenal (Mutually assured destruction's not mad enough?). HM government was effectively accused of fudging the issue , as the Bomb Episode in The Young ones illustrates:
Neil discovers the bomb
RICK: What are you doing?
Neil is reading his survival manual while painting himself white with a paintbrush
NEIL: Oh, painting myself white to deflect the blast!
RICK: That's great, isn't it, Racial discrimination, even in death! What are these? indicates a few lunchbags on the table
Rick's arrival after making his demands to Maggie Thatcher]
NEIL: Oh, sandbags!
The table now has a drape over it saying, 'KEEP OUT, FALLOUT'. Mike enters carrying food in both hands
MIKE: Neil, where's the table?
NEIL: Oh, good. You got the provisions.
NEIL: No, not on the roof man!, put it in the food zone! Anyway, it's got to be tinned if it's going to survive ten years of fallout!
Excerpts of The Young Ones episode, Bomb