Discussion of the UK Government
By The Red Arrow
Membership Days Posts
Remember Dave putting on his serious face when photo-opping around the floods prior to the last election?

ITN News vids:
Paterson runs away from pissed-off residents in flooded Somerset...

Somerset floods: Full report on Ministerial visit
'He didn't even get his feet wet'.
http://www.itv.com/news/west/update/201 ... ial-visit/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Local MP responds to Environment Secretary's visit.
Utterly shambolic.

http://www.itv.com/news/west/update/201 ... rys-visit/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
Ouch. Rightwing Tory backbencher hammers Owen Paterson and the badger cull.

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/1030" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That this House believes that the pilot badger culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset have decisively failed against the criteria set out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in guidance to Natural England for licensing of the culls, which stipulated that 70 per cent of the badger population should be culled within a six-week period; notes that the costs of policing, additional implementation and monitoring, and the resort to more expensive cage-and-trap over an extended period, have substantially increased the cost of the culls, and strengthened the financial case for vaccination; regrets that the decision to extend the original culls has not been subject to any debate or vote in Parliament; further regrets that the Independent Expert Panel will only assess the humaneness, safety and effectiveness of the original six-week period and not the extended cull period; and urges the Government to halt the existing culls and granting of any further licences, pending development of alternative strategies to eradicate bovine tuberculosis and promote a healthy badger population.
Shame he's not got any signatures, but a good effort.
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
6 weeks to replace that railway line at Dawlish?

Christ. Shame Labour are nowhere in Cornwall. Reckon they should win the second Plymouth seat back though.

Surge in Camborne and Redruth?

The Lib Dems would have been all over this issue if they hadn't cut flood defence spending, that's for sure.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
I see Paterson's being whisked away for emergency surgery on a detached retina. Probably just as well given his performance over the last few weeks.

Don't mean to be snarky, just making an observation - it's really interesting seeing all these businesspeople from the south-west appealing to the government to stump up the cash and get the train line fixed at Dawlish. Yet a lot of these people would no doubt take umbrage at any suggestion that business depends on a capable state.

This is good, by the way.
The grim findings of the IPCC last year reiterated what climatologists have long been telling us: the climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, and we're to blame. Despite the clear scientific consensus, a veritable brigade of self-proclaimed, underinformed armchair experts lurk on comment threads the world over, eager to pour scorn on climate science. Barrages of ad hominem attacks all too often await both the scientists working in climate research and journalists who communicate the research findings.

The nay-sayers insist loudly that they're "climate sceptics", but this is a calculated misnomer – scientific scepticism is the method of investigating whether a particular hypothesis is supported by the evidence. Climate sceptics, by contrast, persist in ignoring empirical evidence that renders their position untenable. This isn't scepticism, it's unadulterated denialism, the very antithesis of critical thought.

Were climate change denialism confined solely to the foaming comment threads of the internet it would be bad enough, but this is not the case – publications such as the Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal and other Murdoch publications give editorial support to this view. Worse still, a depressingly large number of denialists hold office around the world. Australia's Tony Abbot decreed climate change to be "a load of crap", and a sizable chunk of the US Republican Party declare it a fiction. Even in the UK, spending on climate change countermeasures has halved under the environment secretary Owen Paterson, who doubts the reality of anthropogenic climate change, despite the fact the vast majority of scientists say unequivocally that the smoking gun is in our hands.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014 ... -reasoning" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By Messianic Trees
Membership Days Posts
Cnut Cameron indeed:
In an interview on BBC Manchester, the Prime Minister insisted that the government had been "very proactive" in putting its emergency planning procedures into action as soon as the stormy weather hit.

When presenter Mike Sweeney questioned Environment Secretary's Paterson's decision to view flooding in Somerset "dressed for a ball at the Ritz, without his wellies", Cameron responded: "I completely disagree with what you said about Owen Paterson, who knows a lot about rural issues and the countryside. He sits for a rural seat. He is absolutely on top of those flooding issues.

"He went to visit the floods. He was not dressed as if he was going to the Ritz, he was dressed as if he was going to floods. He had a pair of wellies, but because he was harassed as soon as he got out of his car, he didn't have a chance to put them on. He didn't forget.

"Honestly, some of these things that get going on the media have to be challenged, because otherwise a lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on, and that's a rather appropriate expression in these circumstances."

The PM was critical of the Environment Agency's decision to cut back on dredging rivers over the past two decades.

"The fact is, since the Environment Agency was founded in the late 1990s, it took a view - and increasingly other organisations took a view - that dredging wasn't appropriate," he said. "I think that's wrong. I have a constituency that does flood frequently. I pushed for dredging and some dredging has taken place and it does make a difference.

"We've got to make sure that our system is focused on protecting people above all else, so some of the arguments against dredging have to be taken on and we need to start dredging again more systematically. The Environment Agency now accepts that."

He added: "The scale of these weather events and the scale of the flooding has shifted even more something that was beginning to shift anyway. The Environment Agency had taken a very anti-dredging view for many years. That was beginning to change and now it's changing faster, and that's something I welcome."
The Northern Irish thread

Ooof. That's pretty big.

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