Thursday, February 20, 2014

EU rattles its sabres

The evil empire of the European Union is creating a confrontation with Russia over the Ukraine.
Step back and look at it from an historical perspective and you will see this is just another stage in the endless conflict between Germany and France on the one hand and Russia on the other.
Napoleon and Hitler tried to conquer Russia with force. Now their natural successor, the EU, is trying to do the same with economic power and crowd-pleasing diplomacy.
The Ukraine has never really been an independent, self-governing state and it does represent Russia’s bulwark against aggression from Western Europe.
No wonder it is suspicious of the EU’s intentions.
The protestors in the Ukraine are being used as pawns in an historic power-struggle. The EU is adopting its traditional approach to the struggle with the Russian bear, rattling its sanctions sabre and marshalling the big battalions of self-righteous “democracy”.
As if the EU knew anything about democracy and the will of the people - just look at Italy which has just installed its third unelected Prime Minister since Brussels decided trampling on the rights of the citizens was justifiable if it meant saving the Euro.
The EU should avoid any further involvement in Ukraine’s internal difficulties and give its people no cause to believe they would be happier or better off run from Brussels instead of Moscow.
It’s hard to imagine that 100 years on we could be heading for the kind of confrontation we thought had gone out of fashion after the demise of Kaiser Bill and the Tsar.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Tap turns on the water see the money flow

Just got this egregious little note from our Glorious Leader David Cameron and there are a few questions I’d ask if I had the chance. They include
·         As the people of Sunthorpe pointed out on Question Time, how come nobody noticed the floods until they affected the Home Counties?
·         Why is it only now that £5,000 repair grants have been made available? What’s so special about the Home Counties? Why not offer grants to everyone who has been flooded in the past 100 years?
·         Why are sandbags considered a solution? They are more or less useless under all circumstances.
·         Why are there more cuts on the way for the Environment Agency and why is Chris Smith still in charge of it?
·         And when things dry out a bit will all these promises about spending “whatever it takes” be forgotten – just as they were when we were flooded in 2007?

This is Dave’s missive, for what it’s worth:

This has been a tough week for Britain.

The wettest winter in two and a half centuries, some of the worst flooding in decades, and more severe weather on the way this weekend.

We're doing everything we can to help:

  • Delivering extra pumps and sandbags
  • Deploying the military wherever needed
  • Providing additional support for local emergency services

We will do what is necessary to help families and communities get through this very difficult time - more information is available on the Environment Agency website if you are affected.

We will also help people rebuild their lives and get back on their feet after the flooding, with repair grants of up to £5,000 for homeowners and businesses affected by the floods, and further support for businesses and farms that have suffered.

Amidst all of this, as is so often the case, in the toughest of times we are seeing the best of Britain.

Visiting the affected areas this week, I saw the incredible hard work and dedication of our emergency services, the Environment Agency, local authority workers, councils and armed forces.

I also saw the most inspiring community spirit amongst the many volunteers who are rolling up their sleeves and helping out those in need.

Everyone involved in the relief effort deserves our heartfelt thanks. Please join me by leaving a message of support on Facebook.

It will take time, but together we will deal with these floods, get our country back on its feet and build a more resilient country for the future.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Nere is the newts: Sink or swim, you're on your own

In 2007 the Environment Agency pledged swift action to reduce the risk of further flood damage in the area of Broadway, Worcestershire, after that summer’s inundation.
They even held a road show and made glorious promises of all the money and effort they would be putting into their scheme.
Seven years later, they have done next to nothing. Their website promises a scheme in March this year. That, we can reasonably assume, will bring further consultations and risk assessments about the potential damage to local flora and fauna.
The EA couldn’t even drain bathwater safely. So I am not surprised people in Somerset and elsewhere are beside themselves with fury at the agency’s ineptitude.

PS Since writing this I have looked at various EA reports on flood alleviation in this area.

The good news is that several 'tailored ecology surveys' have been carried out into the habitat for otters, water voles and white-clawed crayfish.
And even better is the news that 'an amphibian survey is also being carried out to identify the presence of great crested newts'.
The bad news is that the money earmarked actually to carry out a flood alleviation scheme in the area has now disappeared, dried up, gone down the plug-hole and otherwise evaporated. Unlike the water.