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Floods in England, and elsewhere


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My deepest sympathies go out to all those who have been flooded out this Christmas. Having no power for days and your home swamped with dirty water including probably the contents of the sewers must be absolutely no joke at all, and the weather shows no signs of giving much improvement. Even worse must be the situation for the people of Yalding who were seemingly flooded deliberately by the Environment Agency opening sluice gates at Tonbridge ‘to save the shops and industrial bits’ but allowed a mass of water to move rapidly downstream to Yalding, giving the residents little time to escape. I suspect a lot of compensation claims will ensue, but that is no real answer to the residents. Our glorious Prime Minister was on hand to offer sympathy and the usual mantra that ‘lessons will be learned’. I believe that is Whitehall speak for ‘I haven’t a clue but can someone get my limousine to take me away from here’. Now if he had stated that he was diverting some of the vast sums his Government splurges out each year on overseas aid and instead was giving it to support his own countrymen in distress, he may have won a lot of support. He also mentioned getting support from the local Councils, who were conspicuous by their absence as they had all shut down for a 2 week holiday. Nice one if you can get it. I also suspect anybody who was ‘trapped’ in the North Terminal at Gatwick has very poignant memories of their experience. Thousands of people and only 1 loo working must have been a real barrel of laughs. Then to be told that there were fewer flights available as the airline staff were ‘on holiday’ must have been a rib cracker. The American owners have yet to make any comment, probably due to them being still on holiday as well. Could we possibly try doing a ‘BP’ on them and fine them billions of dollars for any claim we can think of?? After all they do not have to be genuine, as the Yanks have shown us.


Much has been made by the information that this was all due ‘extreme weather’ and therefore nobody is really to blame. This is of course total nonsense. The weather has always had ‘extreme’ periods and just because we have had a few very dry summers does not mean that will always be the case, after all England was not named ‘a green and pleasant land’ for nothing. Rain has always been a part of life in these islands. even if the BBC will keep bleating on about global warming and how we must all return to horses and carts, except them of course. No, the true reasons are much closer to home.


Firstly there is always a direct link between demand and supply and if you keep pouring people into a relatively small space then you create problems. This has been a particular problem for London where massive influxes of people have led to many of the indigenous citizens moving further afield. This in turn creates demand in outer areas for more housing stock. This has been noticeable in the Counties surrounding London. Building over large parts of the green belt to satisfy this demand merely removes natural flood plains and means the water has to find the next best exit, usually through the houses downstream. It also removes areas where the rain can soak into the ground naturally. Eventually when you run out of green belt you are left with a major problem.


The second factor is the desire by far too many people to buy houses and then promptly concrete the front garden to park their various cars. They frequently convert the garage, when one is present, to another room, that they really do not need, and then dump 2 cars or more on a big piece of concrete in the front. This again removes natural drainage especially when you consider the numbers of homes involved, so again rainwater does not soak in to the ground but will flow into the drains which flow into.....the river so adding more volume. Building even more houses will just make it even worse so if I lived within a mile of any river I think I would be getting out. Of course insurance will now be impossible or very expensive and the homes difficult to resell. Flood barriers will keep getting built at great expense but it will soon come to pass that all rivers will be bounded by walls 10-15 feet high, which will make them look more like the concrete run offs one sees in American cities, not the attractive things they once were.


Although we have always had localised ‘disasters’ due to weather the frequency, and severity has increased more recently. Again, despite what the Beeb has to say about it all being due to man made global warming I believe an alternative explanation can be given for the problems here in the UK. This can be attributed to Blair and his henchmen who opened the ‘floodgates’ in the early 2000’s and allowed a massive increase in the population in the south east, mainly because they hated the old Britain that had given them so much benefit, that they wished to destroy it, and have in many respects succeeded. Unfortunately subsequent Governments have never had the bottle to try to do anything about the issue either but merely bleat about the ‘EU Rules etc’. I have doubts that even UKIP could do very much if they were elected as by now the problem is endemic and natural birthrates amongst the incomers will make the problem exponentially worse in coming years. That does not even take into account the extra incomers that are forecast to arrive next year. More houses will be required, more land will be concreted and more floods will occur. Of course the opposite will apply in the summer when lack of rain and increased demand means water shortages.


Never mind 2014 will be better, I hope and certainly hope so for the citizens currently trying to dry out their homes.


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Very well put Dave................the 'lessons will be learned' bullsh1t really get's under my skin.  There have been so many lessons 'learned' over the past few years but nothing ever seems to be done to implement them. 


It's my opinion that the country, from central Government through all the 'agencies' (NHS, Judicial, Police etc), local/regional Councils and infrastructure operators are all run by incompetent people with only two things on their minds.........how much money can I make and how to best cover my ass when (note I say when not if) things go wrong.  It's the poor bloody under paid/over worked minions that bear the brunt of their 'bosses' incompetence and the populace suffers for it.


There's too much 'planning' and H&S considerations these days instead of just getting on with things and actually achieving something in reality.


Rant over............Happy New Year   :-)


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And who will be teaching the lesson's? The same bu**er's who taught the lesson's in the first place.


£30billion...oh! sorry...it went up to £50 billion (and not a sod dug) didn't it within a couple of years for the HS2 just to get a few people half an hour quicker to Birmingham, 40 odd minutes to Manchester plus all the billions on overseas aid.


I believe the policy not to build sea defences of large parts of the East Coast against erosion, is because its too expensive.


Doesn't seem right does it somehow?





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Yes - very well put Dave. As for lessons? Well planning and drainage could be a place to start.


Where we live the authorities allowed the drainage ditches and culverts to decay and at the same time allow concrete to be used rather than hedgerows and verges.


The result was sadly predictable.


And that result required £m's to be paid out for new flood defences.


Defences that as local historians awkwardly pointed out, were actually already there! - they had just failed to be maintained.


No doubt the ridiculous and false predictions that Global Warming was going to have us all sun bathing in December and dying of heat-stroke in July/August via "BBQ Summers" had something to do with the decision making process - just like the "No more snow in winter" bollox from the Met Office allowed such stupendous Winter planning for our roads and airports by the Authorities over the past years.





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It's the visiting politicians that offend me, everything stops whilst they impose their photo opportunity. I am reminded of the post card pinned to the wall of a colleague, it said:-


" When you,are up to your arse in alligators, it is sometimes difficult to remember that your primary function is to drain the swamp."


Happy New Year to you all,stay safe. AGD

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