John Prescott: Government's lack of response to floods proves these Tories are all washed up
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jo ... ck-2988898
If anything typifies this inept Cabinet’s casual attitude to governance it’s the pathetic response to the recent bad weather and floods.
Thousands lost power over Christmas and many had to cope with surging water ruining their homes. So you can imagine the people of Yalding’s joy when the Prime Minister strolled into the flood-hit Kent village wearing loafers, camera teams and reporters by his side. But his nice PR photocall immediately backfired when the locals gave him a piece of their mind about the lack of support from councils, the electricity suppliers and his government. He put on that serious face he does for the cameras and pontificated that there was “a lot more to do” and “lessons had to be learnt”.
Well, let me give you a lesson son!
On Boxing Day 2004 I was at home in Hull when I received a call from Downing Street staff. A terrible earthquake in the Indian Ocean had created a devastating tsunami. I worked the phones liaising with the Foreign Office then, within the hour, headed straight back to London and convened a meeting of COBRA, our emergency response committee, with other members of the Cabinet. I did the same thing when floods hit Carlisle in January 2005, affecting 1,800 homes, killing two people and injuring 70.
So where was the Government?
The Chancellor, George Osborne, was in Venice (a flooded city, just not a British one). Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker was out with a bloody fox hunt. And what about the man who’s supposed to be in charge of flooding – Environment Secretary Owen Paterson? All AWOL. Not one member of the Cabinet even bothered to turn up at the first COBRA meeting. But when Paterson finally emerged on December 30 he suggested energy companies should limit holidays for their staff.
You couldn’t make it up.
It was the same with the summer riots in 2011. Cameron, Clegg, Theresa May and Boris Johnson were all out of the country. They only came back when they realised rioting had spread to Tory constituencies such as Enfield. It’s as if Government is too much of a struggle for these people. I spent 18 years in opposition in the Thatcher and Major years. So when we got in, I loved and relished every minute of serving my country. It’s also exposed the scandalous failings of privatised utilities and the insurance industry to serve the public at the greatest moment of need.
On Friday, Britain was hit by more gales and storms. The same day it was revealed up to 1,500 jobs are going at the Environment Agency – the body that monitors and prevents flooding.
Cameron and his loafer government have got to get their act together to stop thousands more people suffering. But they haven’t got the will to lift a finger, let alone a sandbag. Mark my words, any more incompetence like this and we’ll see this Government washed away at the next election.
And that’s one flood I’ll be cheering.
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