Discussion of the UK Government
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
Needs his own thread.

Has got a bit of a kicking from the DEFRA Select Committee re flood defences. As an aside, does anyone yet know what its chair, Anne McIntosh, has done to deserve another deselection battle?

George Eustice argues cuts aren't cuts if you factor in spending in 8 years time.
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Posts
John Prescott: Government's lack of response to floods proves these Tories are all washed up
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.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jo ... ck-2988898" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
Definitely one of the stranger appointments to a senior frontbench job. Can only surmise that Cameron was running short of halfway competent loons to placate the swivel-eyed Tory backwoodsmen. Paterson has been consistently appalling.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 62698.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mr Paterson’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said that a problem with data recording meant that the number of herds infected with TB had been “overstated” since September 2011, and that “it can be expected that this data series will be revised significantly downwards for 2012 and 2013”.
Wonder if they needed to revise the costs significantly upwards?
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Posts
In praise of … euphemisms
The claim by environment secretary Owen Paterson that government spending
on flood protection had increased was 'subject to minor discrepancies'
The claim by environment secretary Owen Paterson that government spending on flood protection had increased was false, as his junior minister Dan Rogerson has now admitted. But instead of frankly confirming "we got it wrong", he merely said the figures were "subject to minor discrepancies", thus adding one more to the hallowed treasury of political euphemisms. When Japan surrendered, the emperor Hirohito told his people that the war had "developed in a way not necessarily to Japan's advantage". Churchill once charged an opponent with "terminological inexactitude". Elsewhere, a particularly potent formula was used by a US police chief when the actor Jayne Mansfield first made then retracted a charge that her husband had hit her. Had she lied? No, she had "redimensioned the truth a little". We commend this approach to the next parliamentary understrapper who has to rescue his boss from some Patersonian blunder.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... euphemisms" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
Not sure we had this up from Paterson from June.

Looks like a stream of consciousness climate denial performance.

http://stevehynd.com/2013/06/12/owen-pa ... questions/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“Well I’m sitting like a rose between two thorns here and I have to take practical decisions – erm - the climate’s always been changing - er – Peter mentioned the Arctic and I think in the Holocene the Arctic melted completelyand you can see there were beaches there – when Greenland was occupied, you know, people growing crops - we then had a little ice age, we had a middle age warming - the climate’s been going up and down - but the real question which I think everyone’s trying to address is – is this influenced by manmade activity in recent years and James is actually correct - the climatehas not changed - the temperature has not changed in the last seventeen years and what I think we’ve got to be careful of is that there is almost certainly – bound to be – some influence by manmade activity but I think we’ve just got to be rational (audience laughter) – rational people – and make sure the measures that we take to counter it don’t actually cause more damage - and I think we’re about to get -”
Climate not changed in the last 17 years!
By Andy McDandy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
I don't envy any environment minister. You're walking a tightrope between listening to scientific experts on the one side, and rich people who won't stand for that hippy nonsense on the other. And they do do such good lunches and pheasant shoots. Much more fun than reading that evidence shit.
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