As well as the greed, venality and serious under-investment following the privatisation of the water companies outlined by Mike in this great article, other policies of successive Tory and Labour administrations have contributed to the floods. The Conservatives set up a supervisory body to regulate the water and sewage service industries, then proceeds to do their utmost to reduce their powers and effectiveness. I can well remember reading a number of articles about this in Private Eye during John Major’s tenure of 10 Downing Street. This was achieved partly by the appointment to the relevant regulatory boards senior directors of the companies they were supposed to be regulating, as occurred elsewhere with the electricity companies and most recently the banks. And look how wonderfully successful the latter proved to be!
As for the present floods, the Tories claim to have spent more on flood defences, but in fact a recent BBC news report stated that expenditure had been cut, thus confirming what was already obvious: the Conservative prefer lying to the public than actually spending money.
– This is a song by a local musician, here in Mid Wales, written during the last serious flooding. I make no apologies for opportunistically linking to it as it says a few choice words about the situation and the government.
“And the rains came down, and the floods came up” – The Wise Man and the Foolish Man (Southern Folk Song).
Some of you may have noticed we’ve had a few spots of wet weather recently. This is nothing new to our island nation.
The trouble is, having fallen on us all, the water hasn’t had the decency to clear off and drain away. Instead, it has built up and up and caused a huge amount of flood damage to land and houses that were not built in a safe place, as in the song lyric quoted above, but in flood plains.
This is a result of bad planning…
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