Hundreds of people in the UK are currently living in towns, cities and villages that are underwater, whether a small amount or what could be classed as a river, it is something that has ruined people’s homes, businesses, livelihoods as well as parts of this wonderful country. I’m extremely lucky to be in a part of the country that has not been flooded but after seeing week upon week of news coverage from the flood hit areas it never fails to shock me and surprise me with the lack of Government resources but also with the strength of communities in this terrible time.
Some houses were first flooded before Christmas and nearly 2 months on nothing has changed, it has just got worse and more areas are being added to the flooded/flood risk zones. With so much talk of climate change, the fact that we are a small island in a big sea and the huge amount of rivers running through the country you would think that flood defences and protecting our country and population would be high up the agenda for any Government of the UK. However, it seems not with budget cuts to the Environmental Agency and flood defence budget over recent years.
To make matters worse politicians are now spending all their time fighting over whose fault it is that this has happened. They are acting like 5 year olds in a playground caught doing something they shouldn’t and using the whole ‘he started it… no he started it’ routine to the teacher who caught them. Quite frankly it’s pathetic that the leaders of this country would act in such a way at a time like this. Yes, people want to know who is responsible for defences not being maintained and rivers not being dredged but right now do you think people whose homes and businesses have been flooded for weeks on end really care about that? No, they don’t!
All they care about is getting help to get rid of the water and get themselves back on their feet again. This is going to be a long clean-up process and at the moment things are taking even longer with this childish behaviour from our elected leaders. It’s not just helping people after the event though; it should also have been prevented as much as possible. Dredging rivers, clearing drains, handing out sandbags, maintaining flood defences, it’s all obvious stuff that should have been done but wasn’t. I don’t even live in a flood risk area but the amount of times it rains here and the drains can’t take it causing huge puddles that practically flood roads is ridiculous and that sort of neglect in flood risk areas is just a stupid risk the Government is taking.
It’s alright for Communities Minister, Eric Pickles, to go on the Andrew Marr Show and publicly talk about how bad the Environment Agency supposedly is but with a lack of funding how much could they do in this situation? I also notice that Mr Pickles has quickly changed his opinion of the Agency with a day later claiming just how good a job they were doing.
The Environment Agency, charities, emergency services and even the Army along with the people of these communities are doing the best they can. But it’s times like this that you realise just how much this country is clearly not prepared for natural disasters, I dread to think what will happen to this country over the next few years if things do not start to change and be improved upon now.
Climate change is clearly happening and we have to take it seriously, we have to protect our country and the people in it as much as we possibly can especially when we surely have the money to do so. The politicians need to stop hiding behind each other and pointing the fingers at other departments and get on with doing something useful. David Cameron or Nick Clegg standing in the middle of a street in Somerset or Devon declaring how bad the situation is doesn’t help. The whole thing has turned into some sort of political ‘look at how good I am and how bad he is’ game in order to gain votes for the upcoming election next year and it’s disgusting to watch when there is people in genuine distress.
The Government has lost a lot of people’s respect and confidence in them and they need to realise that protecting this country and its inhabitants should be one of their biggest concerns. Things should never have got this bad and now the main focus should be on the huge clean-up operation and to sort out protection for the UK from the water that surrounds us.