Category Archives: Flood Defence

Leaked report warns of Covid-Brexit “horror show” – remember THIS IS WHAT BORIS JOHNSON WANTS

Two-fingered salute: the UK might fall into lawlessness and chaos because of Boris Johnson but he doesn’t care, as long as he gets what he wants.

A Cabinet Office “reasonable worst-case” report on the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit combining with another wave of Covid-19 has laid out exactly what Boris Johnson wanted for the UK when he became PM.

Johnson, you’ll remember, did not want any trade deals with the European Union after the UK leaves that bloc.

It was widely believed that this is because the hedge fund managers who supported his bid to be Tory leader have bet heavily on the UK going into recession, with many big-name firms going out of business. The claim was that they could make £8 billion out of it.

Of course, none of these multi-billionaires care a fig about the rest of us. If the country falls into chaos they’ll be off to their holiday homes in the sun, with their cash safely stowed in a tax haven.

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, you will be left to deal with food, fuel and power shortages, illness and deaths caused by flood, flu and Covid-19, and incursions into the country from outside such as EU boats coming into our fishing waters.

And, as may reasonably be expected from his government’s failures so far on Covid-19 – the school reopening furore, school meals, exam results, care home deaths, PPE procurement, face mask procurement, test and trace, contract nepotism… the list goes on and on – on flooding (remember that?) and on any other subject you care to mention, the Johnson government has not planned any response to this at all.

The article goes on to state:

  • One in 20 Town Halls could go bust in a second Covid wave, sparking social care chaos.
  • The economic impact of the virus and Brexit could cause public disorder, shortages and price hikes.
  • Troops may have to be drafted on to the streets to help the police in the worst-case scenario — 1,500 are already on stand by.
  • Social distancing measures and masks will have to continue until 2021 regardless.
  • Supplies of food and fuel are all under threat this Christmas if Dover becomes blocked.

The planners warned that “pandemic influenza, severe flooding, a Covid second wave and an unruly exit from the EU transition period could cause a systemic economic crisis with major impact on ­disposable incomes, unemployment, business activity, international trade and market stability.”

It could be combined with likely “coordinated industrial action” as well as shortages risking public disorder and a mental health crisis that will hit the poorest hardest.

Nobody in a Tory government is going to worry about a mental health crisis that harms poor people, of course.

And the attitude by leading Tories to this frankly terrifying report seems to be that if they ignore it, it will go away.

Michael Gove is quoted as babbling: “We got Brexit done with a great deal in January.

“A brighter future awaits as we forge our own path.”

A government spokesperson did add that this was a “reasonable worst case” scenario.

But on the Johnson ministry’s record so far, it is stretching the facts to breaking point to suggest that the government is “ensuring we are ready for all eventualities”.

That simply is not going to happen. On the evidence of the last 12 months, it would be irresponsible to believe anything Johnson, his ministers or his spokespeople say about it.

But there’s one more matter to remember:

If this disaster happens, then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, other than to prepare as well as you can (because the Tories simply won’t).

I anticipate another stockpiling splurge, worse than the rush for toilet roll in March, at the very least.

Obviously the worst-case will be social unrest and violence – and I’m not ruling that out, either.

Whatever happens, if we end up with no deal and any of the feared outcomes are triggered, you must remember (because he’ll lie about it):

It is what Boris Johnson wanted all along.

Source: Leaked document reveals Cabinet’s emergency plans for perfect storm of No Deal Brexit and coronavirus second wave

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Part-time PM Johnson booed as ‘traitor’ in flood-hit town after voting down thanks for emergency workers

The only job he’s good for: what a shame Boris Johnson was pictured mopping out flood-hit buildings in November, while he was after general election votes, and not in February, when he didn’t need them. He doesn’t care about your hardship.

What did he expect?

Boris Johnson went AWOL during the February floods, hiding away in a stately home while thousands of others saw their homes submerged – in stark contrast to his behaviour on the campaign trail last November, when he saw a chance to grab a few votes by pretending to care.

We know he doesn’t care, because he and his Tories voted down a motion of thanks for all the emergency workers, Environment Agency staff, council workers and volunteers who actually did turn up to help those affected by the severe weather.

That motion also included a call for an independent inquiry into the floods, looking at the level of funding for flood defences and an examination of lessons to be learned.

But rather than launch such a review, which is likely to be damaging to him and his government, Johnson’s new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has simply announced that he will double the amount of funding to be spent on flood defences over the next few years.

Johnson himself tried to fob off critics, saying that he had been “directing operations” and “working round the clock on various things”.

But to those who who called him a “traitor” during a long-delayed visit to flood-hit Bewdley on the banks of the River Severn, he admitted that any such interference would only get in the way.

He was referring to personal visits but what does he know about flood defence operations?

Nothing.

So any claim to be “directing operations” is nonsense.

Indeed, it seems Johnson has to be prompted by public embarrassment before he’ll agree to do anything.

His government has announced £500 council tax breaks for people affected by flooding, alongside other hardship relief measures – but this was only after one council – Derbyshire – accused him of hypocrisy after saying he would support local government and then turning his back.

So – again – it is impossible to believe a word Johnson says.

He hoped to ignore the millions of pounds worth of harm done to UK citizens while it was happening, and then lie that he had been working hard. The people who held him to account should be congratulated.

Source: ‘Traitor’: Boris Johnson is heckled as he visits town devastated by flooding | The Independent

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Flooding and coronavirus crises reveal Johnson’s ‘Jekyll and Hide’ behaviour

Johnson: the coronavirus is his top priority because it has caused a fall in the stock markets. Ask what he’ll do about the flooding that has damaged uncounted homes and he runs away and hides.

Boris Johnson seems to have a split personality when dealing with the major crises facing the UK at the moment.

But be assured I haven’t made a spelling mistake in the headline: while his attitude to the coronavirus may not qualify him to be a doctor – Jekyll or any other, his flight from responsibility over the floods certainly allows us to dub him Mr Hide.

And his attitude tells us everything you need to know about his priorities.

When the floods hit the homes of thousands of ordinary people across the UK, causing damage costing who-knows-how-much money, he never lifted a finger to help. Because your plight doesn’t count and you don’t matter.

But when the coronavirus triggered the worst week on the stock market since the financial crisis of 2007/8, suddenly he crops up, trumpeting that it is “the government’s top priority”. Because his financier friends’ fortunes are under threat. They matter more than you.

Do you think that’s any reasonable way for a prime minister to behave?

If you agree with me that it isn’t, you can at least take comfort for the fact that Johnson’s first official meeting about the coronavirus won’t take place until Monday. Because he’s still an incompetent halfwit.

Source: Boris Johnson calls emergency coronavirus meeting – for three days time | The Independent

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While Britain sinks, Boris Johnson hides

Builth Wells: This mid-Powys town stands at a relatively high altitude – and under a considerable amount of water. But the floods will be on their way into Herefordshire, where they’ll probably cause considerably more harm.

This Site has found two Tweets that clearly describe the state of the United Kingdom on February 18, 2020.

Here’s the first:

And the second:

It isn’t funny, though.

And where is Boris Johnson?

It seems the prime minister has taken a leave of absence from his duties.

Having had the option of visiting the scenes of flooding across the UK, we find that Mr Johnson has instead taken up residence at Chevening, a grace-and-favour 115-room lakeside mansion in Kent.

It is not known what work Johnson is doing, what with Parliament being in recess.

This Writer reckons he has his work cut out just trying to avoid the recriminations over the employment of Andrew Sabisky, and the fact the nobody is willing to deny that Johnson holds the same racist, sexist, eugenicist and Nazi views.

He could have called an emergency meeting to discuss how to deal with the floods.

But has hasn’t.

He did before the general election, when he needed our votes.

But he doesn’t need them now, so he’s doing nothing.

We do have a comment, though – not from him, nor from his official spokesman, but from his deputy official spokesman. That’s how heavily this matter is weighing on Johnson’s mind.

His deputy official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister will continue to receive updates on the ongoing flooding situation. For anyone affected, flooding is terrible.”

Is that so?

I’m sure we’re all glad the deputy official spokesman is there to tell us these things!

Of course, there’s a lot of talk that this is the result of global warming.

But Johnson isn’t allowed to speak of such things. One of his many bosses, Donald Trump, has apparently forbidden him from acknowledging it, on pain of forfeiting a trade deal that will be vital to Johnson’s I mean the UK’s prosperity in a post-Brexit world.

I wonder how prosperous the rest of us will be, with our fields and factories under water.

Oh, and let’s not forget that we wouldn’t all be in this mess…

If another Tory prime minister, David Cameron, hadn’t cut funding for flood defences nearly 10 years ago.

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As the UK braces for more flooding, watch this firefighter’s plea (VIDEO)

Riccardo: “The claim that Boris Johnson is a friend of workers is laughable.”

After a month of flooding in northern England, the UK is bracing itself for more severe weather, with Devon now facing flooding.

There are currently 77 flood alerts across England and Wales and nine severe flood warnings across England.

Firefighters like Riccardo have been run ragged, trying to cope with the scale of a disaster that could have been reduced if the Conservatives had not cut funding for flood defences.

Watch him explain why, for him and many in his profession, Labour is the only choice in the December 2019 general election:

If you are affected by the next wave of flooding – or were affected by the last – the choice Riccardo presents is clear.

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Johnson finally calls emergency meeting on flooding – after Corbyn tells him to

Mop-head: Next time, Boris Johnson should be the worker following the decision-makers with a mop – not a decision-maker himself.

At last we’re seeing some decisive action over the flood disaster that has hit northern England – because Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded it.

Boris Johnson – our so-called prime minister – was not going to help at all. He said last weekend that the floods, which have already killed one person, were not a national emergency.

Then this happened:

And then this happened:

The ITV article states: “Downing Street’s announcement of the meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, came after Jeremy Corbyn sent a letter to Boris Johnson calling on him to hold a Cobra meeting and “take personal charge” of the Government’s response.

“The Labour leader said he disagreed with the Prime Minister’s assessment at the weekend that the flooding was “not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency”.

“Mr Corbyn said that if the flooding had occurred in Surrey, rather than Yorkshire or the East Midlands, it would be “far more likely” that a national emergency would have been declared.”

Was Mr Johnson trying to stop himself losing ground to Mr Corbyn? If so, that’s just too bad:

What a wet letdown.

It’s a good thing we have Jeremy Corbyn to tell him what to do. Let’s vote Mr Corbyn into Downing Street so he doesn’t have to go through a proxy next time – we’ll get results a lot quicker.

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‘No flooding emergency in the North,’ says Johnson in epic campaigning blunder

“Much of Yorkshire and Derbyshire was deluged. And who turns up? Boris with a mop.” If he’d taken the “Free eye test” advertised next to him, he might have been able to recognise a national emergency. But it seems doubtful.

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!

Consider:

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.

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:

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):

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Years of Tory cuts led to the collapse of this Derbyshire dam

Skwawkbox has it right: The Toddbrook Reservoir dam only collapsed because Conservative governments of the past nine years have starved flood defence spending.

Click over to that blog for the details.

A Derbyshire town is undergoing emergency evacuation after parts of the wall of a nearby reservoir collapsed in floods.

Toddbrook Reservoir dam was damaged after heavy rains and police have told 6,500 Whaley Bridge residents to gather at a local school ready for evacuation after a severe flood warning was issued, meaning there is a threat to life:

The collapse comes after years of a Tory austerity programme that saw significant cuts to spending on flood defences in almost all parts of the country:

Source: Breaking; Derbyshire town evacuated as dam wall collapses in floods following years of Tory flood-defence cuts | The SKWAWKBOX

MPs want flood defence reforms – but ignore the best examples

The effect of recent flooding in Cornwall.

The effect of recent flooding in Cornwall.

Conservative policy on flood defence has been an unmitigated disaster.

First, they voted for a year-on-year cut in the amount of money available for flood defences. Then, when the inevitable disasters started happening, they refused to take money from a European Union fund specifically created to help with such matters, into which the UK has contributed for decades.

And the flood defences that Tory policy offers are not effective in any case.

It’s true that the Environment Agency is next to useless, also. The last This Writer heard, it was advising better waterproofing of homes and improved warning systems. Great. It encouraged one Twitter user to suggest the following:

“HOW TO DEAL WITH THE FLOODS

“1. Lay a large bet that the Conservative Government will allow your house to flood again.

“2. Collect your winnings.

“3. Move house.”

The best advice on flood defence is provided by the example of a place called Pickering, in North Yorkshire, whose citizens worked with nature – not against it.

They reasoned that the best plan would be to slow the flow of water from the hills, so they built 167 leaky dams of logs and branches – which let normal flows through but restrict and slow down high ones – in the becks above the town; added 187 lesser obstructions, made of bales of heather and fulfilling the same purpose, in smaller drains and gullies; and planted 29 hectares of woodland. And, after much bureaucratic tangling, they built a bund, to store up to 120,000 cubic metres of floodwater, releasing it slowly through a culvert.

Problem solved.

Alas – as you can see from the excerpt below – this example has been ignored by the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee.

But you never know.

If they do manage to establish a floods commissioner, perhaps that person will have the intelligence needed to do what works.

Britain’s flood defences need a radical overhaul to protect communities at risk, with the current ‘fragmented and inefficient’ policy ‘unlikely to deliver sufficient protection in future decades’.

That’s the view of MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, who today called for the creation of a national floods commissioner for England and a new English Rivers and Coastal Authority to take over from the Environment Agency.

They also said water could be stored on farmland to reduce the risk of flooding with incentives for farmers, and developers who flout planning should be forced to pay for the costs of flood damage.

Other suggestions were grants for small businesses who can’t afford insurance and simpler flood risk warnings.

Source: MPs say reform ‘ineffective’ flood defences that leave five million at risk | Left Foot Forward

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Ending badger culls will save the next Labour Government more than £120 million

Stop the cull - vote them out: Bill Oddie shows his support for the end of the badger cull (and also the end of Conservative-led government). This image was taken from Brian May's Twitter feed.

Stop the cull – vote them out: Bill Oddie shows his support for the end of the badger cull (and also the end of Conservative-led government). This image was taken from Brian May’s Twitter feed.

A Labour government would save £192 million from the environment, food and rural affairs budget – mostly by ending the costly and pointless badger culls, the party has revealed.

Labour would save an estimated £24.5 million a year – £122.5 million in the next parliament by ending the Government’s inhumane and ineffective badger culls.

The party would establish strategies to increase the income of arms-length bodies like Natural England, including moves towards fuller cost recovery there, which could save £40 million in the next parliament.

It would improve water quality by supporting best practice in the farming and water industries and saving £4 million a year and £20 million in the next parliament in environmental protection spending. This involves freeing up £150 million for spending on environmental protection and rural development in 2018-20 by re-allocating payments made under the Common Agricultural Policy.

Labour would increase – by £2 million a year – income from environmental protection and abstraction charges, bringing in £10 million in the next parliament, and review the cost of other DEFRA agencies – to get a better deal for taxpayers and raise the proportion of regulatory costs that are recovered from the industries under supervision.

The report on DEFRA also highlights a series of wasteful and short-sighted measures under this government, including its failure on flooding and climate change: Failing to maintain to the appropriate standard three-quarters of existing flood defences, triggering an increase in emergency spending and storing up further costs for the future, and cutting the number of departmental officials working on climate change adaptation from 38 to just six.

“This Tory-led Government never should have pressed ahead with these ineffective and inhumane badger culls when they knew from the start that this policy had the potential to make the problem of bovine TB worse,” said Maria Eagle, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs.

“Instead of ignoring the overwhelming evidence the Government must work with scientists, wildlife groups and farmers to develop an alternative strategy to get the problem of Bovine TB under control.”

zBadgerCull

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