An eighth of England is currently still under water – this coming just a month after a different eighth of it had been temporarily transformed into a boating lake by similar “freak” weather.
Yesterday I heard two different views on the Government’s role in all this:
Watching BBC News 24 (imagine a more laid back CNN, with plummy accents and less cheese) an irate woman went into a live tirade about the lack of preparation made; the fact that the local council had recently dismantled flood prevention barriers, that she and her daughter’s business would take months to recover. I was quite sympathetic until she chose to finish with “…and what does the government spend all it’s money on? All these foreigners coming for “asylum” or whatever. They should think about the people that live here first”… The report switched quickly back to the studio…
Later I was waiting for a train. A chatty Eastern European chap started talking to Parsley and I, showing us a copy of the Metro, a free paper distributed at bus and train stations. The front page picture showed the town of Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire under water. Funnily enough, he said a similar thing to the woman on TV – but with a crucial twist;
“This is a country where it rains,” he said “The government should fix what’s wrong here first, before it goes spending all its money invading Afganistan and Iraq”.
Both of those exchanges, in their own way, seemed very British to me. Even in a state of emergency, people still cling to their pet bête noires – blaming them for the situation we’re in.