The Environment Agency Chair, Lord Smith, has lied twice when talking about flooding and his agency’s reaction to events.
Once when he claimed the Agency had no policy to deliberately flood the Somerset Levels, and again when he claimed Eric Pickles was wrong when he said the Agency had advised the government wrongly about dredging.
The BBC has ignored the huge inconsistencies in his story and continues to report and support Smith’s line unchallenged.
Today the BBC, in the shape of Chris Mason, has decided to look at the ‘politics’ of the floods….But the last paragraph is the most interesting….it seems not only has history actually been forgotten but has been rewritten.
Hilariously he starts with:
‘….the last few days have been an insight into the raw politics of crisis management.’
The ‘raw politics’ has seen a Labour peer lying and getting away with it…possibly with the collusion of ‘Labour’ supporting BBC journalists….and a distinct lack of interest in Smith’s own ‘raw politics’.
Mason goes on…..
‘The political rewards of getting it right can be huge – as shown when Gordon Brown was judged to have had a good flood in 2007, confounding sceptics with a popularity boom in his first few weeks as prime minister.’
So Gordon Brown had a ‘good flood’ did he? And Labour can stand tall now and criticise the Government for causing the floods because of their budget cuts?
Strange how history hasn’t provided the journalists of the BBC with any perspective at all, perhaps this article from 2007 can help whent here is talk of ‘cuts’ and ‘having a good flood’:
GORDON Brown ordered a freeze in Britain’s flood defence budgets just weeks before the deluge that left huge swathes of the country under water.
Documents shown to the Sunday Express reveal the Environment Agency has been told not to expect any more money for its floods budget the next three years. With the impact of inflation that means the budget is effectively being cut.
The news comes after last year’s flood defence budget was slashed by £15million as the Government tried to claw back £200million in cost overruns elsewhere.
Sources at the Environment Agency, responsible for Britain’s crumbling flood defences, said the Treasury was demanding further budget cuts as recently as a few weeks ago.
Or perhaps this from the Socialist Worker in 2007:
Hilary Benn, the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, said earlier this month, “It is vital that we learn lessons now about how to manage and respond to this type of disaster in the future.”
But this is not the first time the New Labour government has promised to learn lessons. After severe flooding in 2000 the government said the devastation was “a wake up call” and Hull MP John Prescott, then the environment secretary, told parliament, “We must take practical action now.”
There have been 25 reports since then from parliamentary committees and official bodies on how to reduce risks. They have all talked about the need for funding and planning ahead to deal with floods.
But money for flood defences has been systematically cut and vital infrastructure such as transport and water maintenance have been allowed to suffer at the hands of the market.
Last year then chancellor Gordon Brown cut the Environment Agency budget by £14 million, prompting cuts in flood defence plans.
Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, said, “There is a real fear that cuts will hamper the ability of Defra to coordinate future responses to floods and extreme weather conditions.
“We urge Gordon Brown, as part of the promised review into the flooding crisis, to halt the cuts in Defra and ensure that department has the capacity and resources to respond to future floods.”
In Mason’s article you’re led to believe that any criticism of the Environment Agency and Smith was the result of pure spin from his political enemies……
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles apologised for the flooding and caustically observed: “We thought we were dealing with experts.”
While Mr Pickles went further than any other minister in his criticisms of the agency, plenty of others refused to endorse Lord Smith, who is due to stand down in a few months anyway.
But in fact the most anger came from the flood victims themselves who were highly critical of the Environment Agency:
Residents of the flood-hit Somerset Levels have accused Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith of “letting everyone down”, as he visited the area.
Lord Smith said he had “no intention” of resigning in the face of criticism for not doing more to help but resident Jim Winkworth said he was “bloody mad” not to get an apology from the peer.
Farmer Julian Green confronted Lord Smith during his visit and claimed he should resign, telling him: “We’ve had this for too long now. We’ve had this for five weeks.”
And speaking to reporters after meeting Lord Smith, Mr Winkworth said: “He is letting himself down, he is letting his organisation down and he is letting us down.
“He hasn’t come down here to apologise, which is what he should be here for.”
And the discussion on the floods and their causes, apart from climate change, has led onto where houses are built…..such as on flood plains.
Not heard any comment from any BBC presenter that the pressure to build houses is due mainly to the vast increase in population due to immigration…just one more ‘benefit’ to add to the BBC’s list.
What also doesn’t get mentioned now is this from 2007:
There have already been fears that might see incursions into the green belt – now there are more pressing fears that such a massive programme will see homes built in areas liable to flooding.
Meanwhile, minister Yvette Cooper, in charge of the house building plans, suggested that opponents of the building programme were “playing politics” with the floods.
That article was from 2007…interesting to compare it to Mason’s one from today…the 2007 article defends Brown and explains his actions whilst subtly suggesting the opposition are playing politics:
He wants to reassure the public that he has a grip of the issue. But with more flooding expected, and opposition parties questioning the emergency preparations, this crisis seems far from over.
….Whilst Mason’s is critical of the Government’s 2012 approach and their ‘political spin’ he defends the Labour peer Lord smith.
As for climate change…the floods in 2012 in the Somerset Levels…what caused them? The rainfall for November 2012 was heavy but nothing out of the ordinary…there have been 18 years when the rain in November exceeded the 2012 total in the South West…..so what caused the floods?
Was it the Environment Agency’s actions?
The BBC are not investigating too hard….they just accept the ‘climate change’ line and roll from there.