Man-made floods 3

Somerset apple farmer Julian Temperley in his flooded home

In America we have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruining lives and making homo sapiens an endangered species.

In Britain they have the Environment Agency doing the same thing.

Much of Britain is flooded.

Go here to read about it and see dramatic pictures.

Some lefties, notably Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, are blaming global warming.

But Christopher Booker blames the Left, with good reason. He writes at the Telegraph:

As I stood on the Somerset Levels on Thursday, watching one of the most spectacular sights known to nature – the aerobatic display of half a million starlings preparing to roost in the reeds – there was no clue that a few miles to the west a disaster was taking place: the flooding of 26 square miles of the Levels with water up to 6ft deep, marooning whole villages and likely to block the main A361 road across the county for weeks to come.

What is truly shocking about this “major incident”, as it has now been officially declared – costing, it is estimated, well over £50 million to clear up – is that it is not just largely man-made but it results from a deliberate decision by a Government agency out of control.

Talk to the locals, and to the experts of the Royal Bath & West agricultural society, representing hundreds of farmers – the Levels comprise a fifth of all Somerset’s farmland – and they are in no doubt as to why these floods are the most devastating in memory: it is because, since it took over prime responsibility in 1995 for keeping this vast area drained, the Environment Agency has deliberately abandoned the long-standing policy of dredging its rivers.

Thanks to the agency, the four main rivers have become so clogged with silt that there is no way for floodwaters to escape. The farmers and the local drainage boards that used to keep the pumping stations in working order are only too keen to play their part in clearing the maze of drainage ditches. But the agency’s officials have decreed that, as soon as silt is lifted on to the banks, it cannot be spread on nearby fields without being classified as “controlled waste”, making it so difficult to move that much of it just slides back into the water.

Last Wednesday in Westminster Hall, the four MPs for the area, one Tory and three Lib Dems, were at one in blaming this disaster squarely on the Environment Agency, calling one after another for the resumption of dredging. Leading the debate, Bridgwater’s Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger pointed out that, while the agency says it doesn’t have the £3 million needed to dredge the rivers, it is happy to see £31 million spent on dismantling flood defences on the nearby coast to provide a wildlife habitat.

The Levels farmers pay hefty rates to their drainage boards, only to see £560,000 a year of it going to the Environment Agency – to be spent, as they see it, on little more than providing its officials with shiny new 4x4s to drive around in announcing “flood alerts”, and to provide warnings on local television of yet more inundations that they did nothing to avert.

What the tens of thousands of people who live and work on the Levels want to see is our Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, taking a grip on this disaster, by forcing the Environment Agency to spend a fraction of its £1.2 billion a year income on a job it was set up to do.

The flooded town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire

  • liz

    Everything these idiots take charge of ends in disaster.

    • donl

      Rush hour…collapsing bridges…people have to stop believing the lies that there are things only government can do.

  • REALBEING

    The Labour Party leaders will no doubt take a lesson from the Socialist Obama ‘Clique’ on this baby….

    First step, deny….second step, re-direct blame, third step, mislead and mis-quote, fourth step, destroy all paper trails with precise redaction. When those steps fail….fifth step, change the subject!

    The Alinsky “blanket” covers any and all who choose to use it!