Somerset floods: The fingerpointing begins

Posted: February 10, 2014 by tallbloke in Accountability, alarmism, Big Brother, general circulation, humour, Politics, weather, wind
Is he praying he keeps his job?

‘Dear God, please don’t get me sacked’

We made a mistake, there’s no doubt about that and we perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency’s advice.
I’ll apologise. I’ll apologise unreservedly.
I am really sorry that we took the advice … we thought we were dealing with experts.
Communities Minister Eric Pickles BBC Andrew Marr Show 9-2-2014

Ouch!

'Dear God, please stop pissing on my parade'

‘Dear God, please stop pissing on my parade’

No matter how many mistakes the EA makes it is not up to ministers to criticise.
Environment Agency Chief Lord Chris Smith BBC R4 ‘today’ 10-2-2014

.
.

Blimey! The mandarin speaks. Paraphrase ‘Suck it up and spit it in a bucket peasants’

Anyone going to mention the E.U. directives which caused this fiasco? Will the finger get pointed at Von Rumpy next?

'It's no good praying to me you idiots, pas de lieu Rhone que nous!'

‘It’s no good praying to me you idiots, pas de lieu Rhone que nous!’

Nigel Farage Wades into the debate:

'I hope you're not going to try brewing with this slop'

‘I hope you’re not going to try brewing with this slop’

Charity should begin at home. Would it not be a good gesture if we had a British government that put its own people first? We have got sea walls that need maintaining. It is going to need more than the paltry money has been offered so far.

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The Pickled Egg bites back:

Is he praying he keeps his job?

‘Dear God I hope the thread my position is suspended by isn’t as slender as this argument’

We will be able to do all this without having to touch he aid budget. And if it is truly global warming, and our aid is sustainable aid, then aid that we are offering in other parts of the world will have an effect in terms of the things that happen in this country.

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Cameron gets the final word

'Garage 'as got my gloody gottle of geer in 'is cocket'

‘That gastard Garage ‘as got my gluddy gottle of geer in ‘is cocket’

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    Ah, THAT von Rumpy…

    ‘UK MEP Nigel Farage told Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the EU, he had “all the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk” in the European parliament.’

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/feb/25/nigel-farage-herman-van-rompuy-damp-rag

    Plus Lord Smug – what could possibly go wrong?

  2. Ken Hall says:

    No the cause of the floods MUST be climate change. The establishment depends on it. The EU and Agenda 21 must never be blamed. even as the now fatally contaminated farms are bought cheap and turned over to frackers, so they can be blamed for the contamination, more people will be moving from the Country into the cities.

    In 10 years, Climate change and Fracking will be blamed for the destroyed and contaminated farms. When it is an EU/Agenda21 plan all along.

  3. tallbloke says:

    “Pickles chastised the chairman of the EA, Lord Smith, saying he would not be wearing a “save Chris Smith” T-shirt if the peer decided to quit.”

    Oh dear, stay classy Eric

    He did redeem himself a little though:

    “Pickles showed little interest in whether the flooding had been caused by climate change, as suggested by the Met Office at the weekend. Pickles said the Met was merely suggesting that climate change might be responsible. Pickles said: “It does not matter if it is climate change or a fluctuation in weather patterns,” adding that he was not qualified to comment on the ultimate cause.”

    Dame Slingo of Metland won’t appreciate that.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Ken H: I fear your cynicism is not misplaced. But don’t worry, we appreciate cynics around here, so welcome.

  5. Stephen Richards says:

    Classic again from the EU today. The justice ministeress from some lowly communist country said that the suisse should / could be excluded from the EU market. Every time a country does something the dictators hate they make al sorts of threats. Scum the lot of them. This will only stop when the EU is broken. That will take a popular revolution, sadly. This scavengers will not give up their life of luxury without a serious threat.

  6. Stephen Richards says:

    ‘UK MEP Nigel Farage told Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the EU, he had “all the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk” in the European parliament.’

    This was why the commisioners chose him and the dim baroness. No threat from these dickheads.

  7. Gotta love Lord Smith’s Taxpayer funded double chin. Gotta love Pickles’ slapdown of the EA (tho’ bollocks to his climate change crap)

    Smith was our local councillor when I lived in Oxford in the early 80s. Had dealings with him regarding dog shit in the local park. He did sort it. Local councillor is, I think, about his level of competence. And now he lives high on the hog, with thousands of other unaccountable Quangocrats, on the public purse.

    Why do we need SO MUCH government, when clearly it doesn’t work?

  8. tallbloke says:

    Guido has the dirt on the E.A. budget:
    £600,000,000 on salaries
    £20,000,000 on rivers

    http://guyfawk.es/1iFpuLG

  9. colliemum says:

    While it is entertaining to hear the assorted politicians blame each other, be in no doubt that very soon they and the BBC will hone in on us, the plebs. It’s our fault for wanting cheap food, for wanting big cars, for building houses we like and, gosh, for not wanting to hand over ever more of the money we earn. After all, how can the quangocraty function without more and more money!

    Looking after the environment? Only if the EU allows it. Never forget that birds and voles are more important than people. A pity then that the voles have all drowned because of preventable flooding …

  10. PeterMG says:

    TB It is very disappointing that Nigel Farage has not made more of the EU dimension on this disaster in Somerset. He has an open goal, others have done all the research for him, it’s in the public domain, they want him to use it, and yet it’s been a damp squib. It’s been an ideal opportunity to stick it to all the main parties who share in equal amounts the blame for this yet nothing. What is wrong with the man? You just don’t get many opportunities such as this to drive home the EU dimension and they must not be wasted. There is a ready audience out there willing to listen, but to come out with “charity begins at home” is not the way forward. He may be correct on charity but we expect the leader of a political party that say they are dedicated to leaving the EU to use these golden opportunities, and in this instance to demonstrate that the Environment Agency was doing the dirty work of the EU with decision making taking no account of local people. This is not democracy, but it is in a nutshell what our politics has become. It demonstrates just how our Westminster claque has hived off responsibility for any decision making to unelected quangos, many of whom take their orders direct from Brussels. Seldom though do they get caught out so spectacularly.

    We expect Nigel Farage to demonstrate that he is informed and understands how the EU is ruining Europe, not just tell us it is so. We can work that out for ourselves. We need Nigel to start going for the jugular and to stop pulling hairs out. By the way he needs to get over himself over those have criticised him for inaction, swallow his pride and put country first. That is if he is truly serious.

  11. PeterMG says:

    colliemum all it takes to shut the BBC up is for everyone in Somerset to write a letter of complaint to the BBC with a copy to their MP. That would do the trick. They just wouldn’t be able to ignore the sheer volume.

  12. oldbrew says:

    @ PeterMG

    I’m no political expert, but Farage may be waiting for local people’s pain over the flooding to subside (could be a while) before stirring things up politically. Opportunism looks bad sometimes.

  13. tallbloke says:

    Peter: I see your frustration, butI think the time for that sort of analysis is after the emotion has receded with the water. If Farage were to start spouting complex arguments about obscure E.U. directives just now, there would be a general rolling of eyeballs to the sky from the majority of people.

    “He’s off on one about the bloody E.U. again, what about the 3 feet of water in my home NOW!”

    Better to keep UKIP’s powder dry until we see the whites of their eyes in May. The priority right now is to shame the govt into helping these people with a simple clear message everyone can get behind.

    Edit to add: I see OB beat me to it. 🙂

  14. Ian Wilson says:

    OT: Wasn’t the Met Office handing out pamphlets two years ago telling people how to drought proof their village because of global warming!

  15. tallbloke says:

    Hi Ian: drought and climate gets 203 results on the MET-O website. Happy hunting
    http://search.metoffice.gov.uk/kb5/metoffice/metoffice/results.page?qt=drought+climate

  16. AlecM says:

    The scientifically-challenged led by Lord Krebs, a zoologist, are in full propaganda flow as well.

  17. tallbloke says:

    AlecM: Linky to juicy quotes please

  18. ren says:

    Tallbloke cause rainfall in the UK is stuck in shifted polar vortex, which turns north and pulls the jet stream. This is clearly seen in the animation.
    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/70hPa/orthographic=23.77,82.83,482

  19. A C Osborn says:

    Smith just lied and lied on the TV this morning, it is time for him and his management team to go.

  20. ren says:

    I showed that the polar vortex is displaced from October, little changed. If this is the effect of the solar magnetic field situation may be repeated in subsequent years.

  21. AlecM says:

    @Tallbloke: Krebs was on BBC News 24; no quotes because it’s not yet available on iPlayer.

  22. ren says:

    Severe snowfalls occur in the United States. Moist air from the Pacific will meet cold current from Siberia.

  23. p.g.sharrow says:

    The quality of output from bureaucrats is inversely proportional to their funding. A FAT bureaucracy means a poor populace. Starvation diet for them is the only way for us. Give them control and the pigs take over as their appetites are insatiable. They need us, we don’t need them. I have been in this argument for 50 years. People of government claim that THEY can solve any problem if the citizens give them enough money and power. They enrich themselves and their friends and impoverish the citizens and the work quality degrades as they get fatter and demand more resources. Starve the bureaucracy. A thin hungry bureaucracy works for the citizens , A large fat bureaucracy works the citizens. WE Don’t Need Them! pg

  24. c777 says:

    Its dropping, the next EU orchestrated disaster should do the trick, and its becoming inevitable.
    This one might do it.

    http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/analysis/general-analysis/123863-uk%5Cs-biofuel-drive-will-cost-motorists-13bn-by-2020,-report-claims.html

    If not completely, then the next bloody disaster they have in store for us.

  25. tallbloke says:

    Sneak preview of tomorrow’s Brookes Times cartoon

  26. Zeke says:

    Nigel Farage was stiffly fined for his heated comment about Herman Van Rompuy. He has also given his heartfelt apologies to bank clerks everywhere.

  27. PeterMG says:
    February 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm
    ===============================

    I made a complaint to the BBC noting that neither on the radio or on their website did they mention they EU’s part in the flooding. Here follows their reply

    ———————————————
    Dear Mr Poynton

    Reference CAS-2552925-YZCJLZ

    Thank you for contacting us.

    We understand that you feel our reporting on the flooding that has effected vast areas of the South of England have neglected to highlight what you feel have been important details regarding EU directives surrounding wetland areas.

    Throughout our coverage of the flooding, we have endeavoured to provide viewers with extensive and informed reporting from all the affected areas. We do understand however, that you feel strongly that the reason that wetland areas are suffering so much is down to EU directives and that we have failed to highlight this aspect in our coverage.

    With regards to your comments about our reporting stating that the current storms are directly linked to climate change, it’s hard for us to comment on this without having specific examples of these references. If you could provide us with some examples then we would be more than happy to look into this again for you.

    In the meantime, I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your concerns on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.

    The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

    Thank you once again for taking the trouble to share your views with us.

    Kind Regards

    Richard Carey

    BBC Complaints
    ——————————————–

    Note the neat sidestep

    “We do understand however, that you feel strongly that the reason that wetland areas are suffering so much is down to EU directives and that we have failed to highlight this aspect in our coverage.”

    It’s not that they didn’t highlight it – they didn’t even mention it. I also noted that if they won’t give us the full story, then one can only suspect that there is a reason for this.

    A letter to the Trust will follow.

  28. tallbloke says:

    Keep us informed Jeremy. Get specific with the instances, and stick to the point.

  29. AJB says:
    February 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm
    Speaks for itself …
    http://www.insidetheenvironmentagency.co.uk

    OMG. And I thought corruption in Hungary was a serious issue. Then No results found for “environment agency” site:transparency.org.uk.

    Environment Agency Political Hypocrisy

    Or how about the £395 million spent on staff (£592 million including pensions) vs £219 million on capital projects, and just £20 million on maintaining rivers.

    “My team leader has told everyone during a team meeting that anyone posting negative comments on public forums or to media will face disciplinary action for bringing the EA into disrepute. You’ve been warned.”

    Trouble is after the collapse of the Soviet Union we were told grass was pretty in England because it was mown for centuries. Apparently not.

  30. suricat says:

    Here’s an interesting TV programme;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03v3gwd/Inside_Out_West_10_02_2014/

    now that Dutch contractors are involved with flood reduction in the SW of the UK and are ‘gagged’ by their contractees from talking to ‘the press’.

    This ‘remedy’ seems ‘workable’ if the Local Community is ‘sponsored’ by central government, but if ‘no dialogue’ ensues, who can say?

    NB. There’s an ‘either/or’ caveat! A ‘proposed’ tidal barrier that generates electric power from the River Severn.

    If the ‘barrier’ is constructed, it’s unlikely that any ‘remedial’ action would need to be taken for flood prevention. However, if the barrier ‘isn’t’ constructed, the ‘flood-plane area’ mentioned early in the programme ‘will exist’. Thus, ‘remedial action’ would be required for ‘flood protection’.

    That’s the most sense I can make of this local catastrophe at the moment. 😦

    Best regards, Ray.

  31. Truthseeker says:

    Bureaucrats will never solve a problem. Why? Well because their job is the problem. If they solve the problem, they no longer have a job. In fact their funding and status relies on the size of the problem so the problem will always get bigger.

    Bureaucrats can perform regular tasks well. Things like land titles recording and other maintenance functions where a process is required to be performed reliably and consistently. They are good at that. We need to stop relying on government to solve problems. People solve problems when they have an incentive to do so. Keep the taxpayer funding bureaucrats out of the problem solving process and the problems will be solved.

  32. tallbloke says:

    Richard North has a new post up about the E.A. : Flooding: the trouble with policy
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84699

    Here’s a previous one on dredging: EU policy: “just add water”
    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84689

    His previous article

  33. tallbloke says:

    A contrite Pickles, put in charge of the government’s flood response last week, appeared at the Commons to lavish praise on the Environment Agency, the day after he had claimed the government’s only mistake had been to believe it housed experts on flood defence.

    He insisted: “It is entirely wrong to suggest for one moment that I have issued even the slightest criticism of the Environment Agency’s marvellous work force. My admiration for the Environment Agency exceeds no one, and I believe it is time for us all to start to work together, not to make silly party political points”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/10/uk-floods-cameron-ministers-flooding

    “Pickles also sought to mend fences with Paterson by saying: “We are two peas in a pod. We are brothers from another mother.”

    Paterson had been so infuriated on Sunday that he rang Downing Street to complain about what one former minister described as “the simplistic nonsense” being spouted by Pickles.”

    The communities secretary defended his performance by saying: “I believe that the things I say in public should be those that I believe in private.”

    There was undisguised anger in the Environment Agency and at the Department for Environment at the way in which Pickles had belittled their expertise and asserted both bodies had rejected the need to dredge rivers in Somerset.

    The former environment minister responsible for flooding Richard Benyon, who was the indirect target of Pickles’s weekend criticism, told the Guardian: “A lot of people are becoming very fed up with the way in which this debate is being reduced to a binary choice about whether rivers should be dredged or not. I have to point out floods are caused by rain not silt.”

    LMAO! 🙂 🙂

  34. tallbloke says:

    More from the graun article

    The previously patient Smith cracked on Monday morning when he conducted a round of broadcast interviews to hit back at Pickles, saying his staff know “100 times more” than any politician about flooding.

    An internal Environment Agency memo to staff issued yesterday said: “We are deeply concerned that previously high morale is being undermined by media and public attacks, directing blame for problems outside the agency’s control at our chairman, our managers and our staff. Those who are helping to protect lives, homes and businesses need support, not constant and corrosive criticism. And they need it now. There will be time to consider what lessons can be learned, and the implications for future flood defences, when it stops raining.”

    Smith also blamed Treasury funding rules for the failure to dredge rivers, saying his agency had offered money for dredging, but matching funding had not come from local government, or other local bodies.
    ===========================================

    I call bullshit on all that – read Richard Norths articles for why.

  35. Richard111 says:

    Today’s Daily Mail quotes Lord Smith, “Anyone who builds in a flood plain, anyone who buys a property in a flood plain, needs to think about the flood risk.”

    Does this mean London will be closed down?

  36. tallbloke says:

    Richard: Chris Smith needs to think about how those flood victims are going to react to that statement when they find out the agency he runs has deliberately run down the measures that had been in place for 200 years to mitigate flooding.

  37. Stephen Richards says:

    That is a really wierd picture of smith.

  38. Stephen Richards says:

    The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

    And we keep them in a round utilitairian container by the lift shafts where everyone can see them.

  39. oldbrew says:

    Lord Smith says “Anyone who builds in a flood plain, anyone who buys a property in a flood plain, needs to think about the flood risk.”

    Check it out on the EA’s own website which says:
    ‘Are you at risk of flooding? Enter your postcode or placename to find out now…’

    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/37837.aspx

    Leave the default of ‘London’ in and see where the Houses of Parliament lie 😉

  40. Richard111 says:

    Thanks oldbrew. 🙂

  41. Richard111 says:

    Hmm… tube stations near Canary Wharf could be at risk. Then where will the water go? Pumps ain’t going to help much. Oh, well, sure to get a hosepipe ban fairly soon.

  42. oldbrew says:

    Remember also that the Thames flooding is *with* the benefit of the Thames Barrier system.

    If they ever had an unusually high tide during this type of flooding things could possibly get tricky, i.e. too much water both sides of the barrier.

  43. Bitter&Twisted says:

    [mod: Keep it polite please.]
    Shoot the fat, lying b*****d.

  44. Brian H says:

    Would have been somewhat entertaining to be a fly on the wall when Pickles got read the riot act. Sounds a bit chastened and contrite, what?