Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vague on solving problems. Vague of the causes of problems.

A committee of MPs not only thought the Iran 'M/marine' affair was mishandled, but seemed unable to locate anyone who was to blame for decisions made all the way up the chain.

This is what I switched on Breakfast TV to find out. No one is to blame any more. And it's 'wholly unsatisfactory'. That'll have all of 'em quaking.

Moving on to a more immediate, and topical issue. Flooding.

Baroness Young of the Environment Agency is wheeled on to explain why a bunch of folk are sitting on their roofs, either not protected or not assisted in good order.

What struck me first was the reasons. There have not been floods like this 'in 200 years'. And a lot of it was down to significant 'run'off'. Hmmn.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but have we not had a bunch of officials banging on for a wee while about climate change, with vast amounts of time and energy being 'invested' in campaigns to get us to 'think' about such huge issues as plastic bags. So they were/are aware that some stinky stuff was/is going to happen. Yet the main thing I seem to be hearing is that it is all 'unprecedented'.

Well, at least since 200 years ago, when climate change was what happened four times a year and you just made sure the crops got rotated properly to cope. As opposed to sticking a supermarket carpark on top of them. You'd think they'd have figured it was not only going to happen again, but be even more serious - As Mr. Brown has said: '[they] have to learn lessons for the future'. Like so much else, it all is such a big surprise after the last 10 years being the number 2 in cabinet, I suppose.

Today, I shall be mostly figuring out how to protect my home from the possibility that no one will be responsible/accountable for the fact that the Wye (or more likely run-off from the hills surrounding it) may do what it has done over the millenia (note to EA and my insurers: despite your warning letter, my house has never been flooded before).

You know what? Instead of flood defences, I think we need another really useful, award-winning campaign. All supported by a bloated system of over-staffed, contradictory agencies to ensure that whatever happens (or doesn't), it's no one's fault.

I just watched Peter Sissons take apart a Labour apologist on her attempt to excuse it all away as an 'Act of God'.... well, done!

As I close, our new Environment Minister is due to explain. Can't wait.


Watching now. He doesn't accept that anything was bungled. Asked a direct question, he didn't answer as to who was in charge. A trend at play here. But we get a nonsense appeal to big up the 'moppers uppers' in the emergency services. These are guys at the sharp end. Maybe the guys at the fat end need to explain why they, and those they were deployed to aid, were put at risk in the first place. And fudges on whether the £15M cut from the budget last year was from capital or elsewhere is just a weasel. Note that amount... to cope with flooding infrastructure for the UK. And weight it against the budget for several different 'awareness ' campaigns'.

On the point of building on flood plains, it seems that now they will take it into account. Only... now?

Telegraph - Flood failures: Ministers 'mishandled crisis'
Telegraph - Prevention, not cure
BBC - One family's M5 nightmare - 4x4's.... cause or coping tool? Can a Prius float?
BBC - Benn defends response to flooding - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has defended the government's response to the floods, although he accepted there were "lessons to be learned" - As well??? Is it a government of parrots?
Times - Families to foot bill for £2.5bn floods - Well, you wouldn't expect the clowns repsonsible to, would you?