Boris Johnson may have thrown away the Conservative Party’s chances in the North of England after he said major flooding that has already killed one woman was “not a national emergency”.
Way to win over those Labour heartlands, BoJob!
Boris Johnson has said major flooding across swathes of northern England is not a “national emergency”, during a visit to an affected area.
The prime minister made the comments in Matlock, Derbyshire, near where a woman died after being swept away after a river breached its banks.
Mr Johnson said the government had set aside billions for flood defences and preparations due to an increase in serious flooding “perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change”.
“You’ve got to face the reality that places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it,” the prime minister said.
However, he said the recent bout of floods “is not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency”.
At the time of his words, the Environment Agency had made no less than seven “danger to life” severe flood warnings along the River Don in Yorkshire.
According to The Independent, the North and the Midlands have all seen torrential rain and flooding over the past few days, with some areas seeing a month’s rainfall in just 24 hours.
“Around 35 home were evacuated in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, after a collapsed quarry triggered a mudslide. People were seen leaving their homes in boats in one Doncaster street.
“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had rescued more than 100 stranded people on Thursday night.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been visiting the North.
— Fire Brigades Union (@fbunational) November 9, 2019
He seems to have taken the matter more seriously: “This is what a climate and environment emergency looks like.
“Every year we don’t act means higher flood waters, more homes ruined and more lives at risk.
“Flooding isn’t a natural disaster – it’s human-made. Not only are the government’s plans to tackle the climate emergency weak, they’ve failed to prepare communities by investing in flood prevention and Tory cuts have stretched emergency services to breaking point.”
What a contrast.
Boris Johnson – still the prime minister, remember – says “places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it,” while Jeremy Corbyn points out that it was a Tory government that cut funding for flood prevention – as he said during a previous flooding crisis.
It is a subject on which he has much to say:
JC today: “The consequences of not doing flood prevention are enormous. There is the social cost of people’s lives disrupted but there is also the loss of businesses, jobs and work that goes with it."https://t.co/f1rxf4YXr3
— For The Many (@ForTheMany2020) November 9, 2019
Here’s another question, posed by a commenter to This Site. They write: “I was wondering what happened to the army over the last couple of days. There’s supposedly thousands of troops on standby to prevent riots and looting if and when Brexit ever happens, but nowhere to be seen when sandbags needed to be distributed, river banks needed shoring up, people needed rescuing or evacuating, whilst much of Yorkshire and Derbyshire was deluged. And who turns up? Boris with a mop.”
Last word goes to Ash Sarkar on Twitter (apologies for the free use of language):
If the floods up North had been in London, I guaran-fucking-tee you that Boris Johnson would be declaring it a national emergency.
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) November 9, 2019
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