Tag Archives: Flooding

Part-time prime minister Johnson is off on his holibobs again

On his bike: this is an old pic but you can bet Boris Johnson couldn’t wait to run away from all the chaos he has caused.

Do you find it as disturbing as I do that Boris Johnson disappears on holiday whenever the going gets tough for his government?

He ran away when the country faced a huge flooding crisis back in February – can you remember that far back?

He’s away again now, in the middle of the furore over school exam results.

And he even took paternity leave at the height of the Covid-19 crisis, when his ministers were running around like headless chickens, cutting a swathe of death through the UK’s elderly and disabled population – and National Health Service workers.

He said he would go to Scotland for his break, but it would be more appropriate for him to visit in his official capacity – to apologise for, and explain why, his Scottish Conservative leader’s absence from a VJ Day anniversary event to act as a linesman in a football match.

It seems Johnson is not the only part-timer on the Conservatives’ team!

And it might do him some good to have to explain absenteeism by another member of his team.

In fact, if you are a Scottish reader of This Site and you happen upon Johnson in your day-to-day business, why not challenge him over this – and take video of it if you can?

Meanwhile the Twittering classes have been having fun:

Oh… flooding back again, is it? No wonder Johnson has cleared off again, then.

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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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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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