Sunday, July 29, 2007

Floods & Tears 2 - Apres le deluge

It's still raining, and it's still wet. It's also Sunday, so the supps are out, along with the TV round-ups, and this is not quite going away.

I have just returned to my keyboard with the dulcet tones of Hazel Blears, Minister for something, ringing in my ear. I'm not sure, but I don't think she answered a single question, but told us all sorts of stuff we probably already knew about how awful it all was. And how she, personally, had been to see it. It was also interesting how she, personally was going to look at doing at lot, which begs the question as to what she had been doing the last decade.

And again, the thing to remember is that it was/is all unprecedented, and could not have been predicted. When is wasn't, and was.Hmmn. I guess if they say it enough we'll end up accepting it.

I've decided therefore to pop in another staging post of what's out there so far to see what we do know, and can do. Don't hold your breath.

Times - Flood chiefs get big cash bonuses - good start. I am really unclear as to why all our quango heads seem to be on nice little extra earners at all, much less like this. Especially when “The management of flood defences in recent years has been a sorry tale of budget cuts, failure to act on planning policies and inadequate precautionary measures"

Times - Century of neglect means the land can’t take it any more - "All this has happened despite the furrowed brows of the insurance industry and the protestations of the Environment Agency, which until recently was not even a statutory consultee in planning for flood plains." ps: I have Sea Change standing ready to read and review soon.

Times - After the flood, a surge of anger - And no wonder: “Yvette Cooper, the housing minister, might look at these and say, ‘Great! They didn’t flood, so you can build on flood plains!’ But that’s because they raised the level of the ground under the new houses - which meant that our road flooded instead.' That's the ways to a bonus these days, or a boosted career: shunt the problem downstream, preferably long enough to not be held to account by moving job.

'A recently leaked memo from the government’s spending review shows that before Gordon Brown became PM he was planning to cut millions from the EA’s flood defence budget later this year.'

There will be more.

Telegraph - 'I warned ministers of extreme flooding' - So... it couldn't be predicted then?

Telegraph - Why it is ministers who must carry the can - Quite: "Ministers were warned they should have reassessed the risks three years ago. My bet it was them, not the agency, that slept on their watch.'

Express - BROWN'S £1BILLION FLOOD PROFIT - That's an interesting stealth 'income generation scheme': spend 10 years doing sod all, blame God, 'unprecedented' events that have happened before and unpredictable situations which were warned about for whatever happens, pledge a pittance and then rake in the gravy mopping up. No wonder Dear Leader and his merry crew are happy to create ever more departments and bonus-bought-off, crony-headed quangos to keep the wheels of revenue spinning through ineptitude.

Guardian - Up to our necks in hype Plus quite a lot of precedented, predictable and hence avoidable flood water.

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