Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Drowning By Numbers

Dredger Miliband, now Leader of the Opposition and before then the Green Giant of the former Labour Government, may be so called because he likes to dredge up events from the past to demand apologies from the Conservatives and others on matters he disagrees with.

In the matter of the severe flooding of the Somerset Levels leading to a range of personal, business and other disasters he is nowhere to be seen.  Perhaps it might be that there are no seats to be won for Labour.  Probably, it might be that he bears a major responsibility in the matter and does not wish to be reminded.

Richard North in his web site EU Referendum is a man for detail.  A theme in his posts is the spectacular ignorance and failure of understanding of our media and nearly all the politicians in relation to how the EU works or what exactly is going on.

His post on why the Levels are flooding is a choice example, not too long and needing close attention.  During the crucial period when our masters decided to let them be flooded Miliband was the main man and the one with final responsibility.  He might point to the EU and the Environmental Agency but the buck ended with him.   

Lord Smith the present Labour chief of the Environmental Agency may talk about hard choices, but the people who live and work in the Levels were not given any choice or indeed warning of what was being done to them.  For the Levels there was no question of major urban areas down river, it was the simple one of drain or let flood.

For centuries around Britain there had been low lying areas of wetlands, some extensive, which had been drained and then cultivated and in turn supported a range of communities.  

Then quite suddenly Labour at Westminster and in the Agency decided to destroy them, for reasons of  "environment" at the urging of a cabal of lobbying lefties.  There was no apology, no provision or support for those affected and no intention of taking responsibility for the outcomes.

John Redwood, in his blog, has looked at the Agency budget and found that for over a billion pounds of cost the sums spent on improving or repairing were minimal at about one to three per cent.  The staffing costs were immense and there are a great many highly paid employees.  Most of these are Labour people.

I smell a rat and not a drowned river one. This particular rodent lives in a black hole called pensions fund deficit, big and getting very much bigger.  

Is it possible that the minimal spending on improvements and the decision to stop dredging and running the pumping stations has more to do with creative accounting and over the top salaries with consequences for pension liabilities?

There is little or no chance of any Dredger Miliband apology from up on the heights of Hampstead.  But if he is looking to really do something for ecology and carbon emissions he could promise to protect all the upriver areas of the Thames Valley.  At some point down river, large scale flooding might be beneficial.

Say east of Battersea Bridge in London down to the estuary.

1 comment:

  1. "people who live and work in the Levels were not given any choice or indeed warning of what was being done to them"

    EA staff knew though - including those living in Somerset. It was discussed quite openly at the time but as far as I recall, only within the EA.