There were mixed emotions from the residents of the small suburban district of Carshalton, Sutton in London, when it was announced from the US department of defence they planned to test a small nuclear warhead in the area.
Carshalton, with its population of 44,000 inhabitants, was deemed the ideal test site to uncork their new LGM-212 ICBM. The US secretary of defence stated unreservedly "we believe Carshalton provides tailor-made conditions for our beloved bomb". Our correspondent in Washington had the privilege of interviewing general Dekkor, who concurring with the defence secretary's analysis went on in some detail about the logistics of the operation.
However, this decision has raised some controversy. Several Sutton MP's have been fearful for the cost of so-called damages. MP Robert Blackwood argued quite forcefully "this shows a total disrespect for public property". MP Patricia Helmut was a little more tempered in her judgement: "although I think it would undoubtedly do great things for Carshalton, there is still an issue of public order". Our own minister for defence called for calm and quiet repose on the issue: "Lets not get carried away here folks, we're only talking about a relatively small 20 kiloton warhead".
Yet, what of the word on the streets? Our local correspondent was out in the district ascertaining opinion on the ground and the responses from residents of Carshalton have been somewhat varied. A few dozen members of the Carshalton political society were out in peaceful demonstrations handing out leaflets outlining their disapproval of these latest measures. Old aged pensioner Mrs Creswell stated, "I think it's a bloody disgrace that we haven't been consulted on this issue, we built this community". Not all shared her view, Dave Roberts of the citizens advice Bureau just smiled and uttered "this will be fantastic not only for Carshalton but for greater London". A passing student was simply overjoyed "I for one welcome this atomic miracle with all its beloved acid rain".
It has been speculated by several experts that these latest developments would bring a new lease of life to Carshalton and even galvanise her faltering tourist trade.