Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Open Thread

Use this thread to talk about anything you want. How is the government handling the floods crisis? Several people have complained on the Sunday thread that the Conservatives are saying nothing. Complete crap. If I can find out what they are saying in Rwanda people aren't listening very hard. David Cameron has been quite specific in his criticism and hasn't pulled his punches. Just look at the BBC website if you don't believe me.

Just to remind you, I have switched off the ability comment anonymously. I have to say that the threads have been much more readable since I did that. If you wish to comment you now have to set up a Google account at the time of posting, if you don't already have one. You do not have to give your real name, but you do get your own unique identity.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

The diary continues to be fascinating, and it is beyond my understanding that anybody can be cynical about your journey.

It will have a tendency to make all our domestic worries seem trivial.

I do, however, think that for the sake of decency, Cameron should adopt a low media profile. The Trip is not a photo-opportunity, nor is it one for looking concerned/emotional/statesmanlike.

Wrinkled Weasel said...


William Rees-Mogg has written a compelling piece in today's Times which implies that DC should certainly not lose his nerve.

Ted Foan said...

I am sorry to report that the country continues to be run very badly Iain. I would like to say that it's because you are not here to provide your steadying hand on the tiller but it would not be true.

It's that Brown bloke, you see. He's been crap for ten years and now he's pretending he was was not involved.

Just today he was saying that all this rain and stuff was because Tony gave all the money he had robbed from the pension funds and through all the other stealth taxes to build flood barriers and better drainage and sewage systems had been squandered on legal advice over the "Loans for Peerages" project and paying £500 million in fines to the EU for DEFRA's incompetence on payments to farmers.

What are we to do? Vote Conservative springs to mind!

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Is the Conservative Party's run of "bad luck" over the past 15 odd years due to the fact that CCHQ has been infiltrated by a high level Labour Party spy?

Too many coincidences of small embarrassments turned into large ones
eg Tony Lit photographed with Blair just weeks before running.

This is more than incompetence, there is either infiltration, bugs or careless pillow talk.


Jaz said...

DC was at on BBC news at 10 talking abou the flooding.

Anonymous said...

Is the flooding really that bad?

Everything seems 24x worse on 24 hour news...

Unknown said...

Iheard on the grapevines
Cameron’s had floods both in his constituency and in N. Kensington –the rain water tank there has over flowed into his basement.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I am looking for a party of the right. A party that believes in less government interfearing in people lives. Lower tax so I decide what to spend my money on. Much lower imigration so we dont have to build 3 mil. houses on the flood plains. A commonn sense NHS and education policy. A Home Office that locks up criminals and punishes first then rehabilitates.

A party that will give us a referendum on the EU.

As the Conservatives are now a party of the centre just like Labour and the Lib/Dems. Where do we go ? .

Windsor Tripehound said...

Ed Miliband gives an interview saying "stop knocking the young" and it gets reported in a reasonably sane manner.

Funny thing; David Cameron said exactly the same thing in a speech a few months ago and that got derided as "hug a hoody" - words he didn't actually utter, of course.

Could there just possibly be the slightest touch of bias in our press?

Bob said...

There has been almost zero news time on the Tories, and I watched about 12 hours of news over the weekend.

Have we claimed off the EU natural siasters fund yet?

Unknown said...

Adam Boulton interviewed Dave on Sunday but even Adam couldn't inject any life into this "limp lettuce"
Poor Dave he missed out really early on by not being photographed
Playing football,Tennis or pitching up at Lords real men always have a sport!!
Andy Coulson is doing no favours so far *Hugging a Hoodie* or a "tree" just does not have the same impact.

Sackerson said...

Thanks for the invitation to discuss matters of general importance.

From my blog, "Bearwatch", today:

I have sent the following email to George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor:

"Please find attached a document from the US Treasury website, detailing major foreign holdings of US Treasury securities (web address top left of document). I emailed this document to the Daily Mail newsdesk yesterday, in the fervent hope that somebody might take an interest.

Between June 2006 and May 2007, the UK has leapt from being the 10th largest foreign holder of American debt to 3rd place (behind Japan and China, both of whom, although increasing in dollar terms, have actually reduced their overall share of foreign commitment to the US).

We have contributed an extra $112.1 billion, i.e. around 55% of the $205 billion total increase in investment by foreigners over that 12 month period. To put it another way, 10 countries have reduced their holdings in dollar terms, by a combined total of $72 billion; we have covered these withdrawals and added another $40 bn.

For comparison purposes, the UK's increase in US Treasury securities is equivalent to some 50% of the £104 billion budget for the NHS for next year (

The effect for the UK has been to more than triple its exposure to US Treasury instruments, at a time when the dollar is dropping - and some predict it will fall much further. The potential loss of our national wealth easily matches (and will quite possibly dwarf) that from the sale by Gordon Brown of much of our gold reserves some years ago."

Tony said...

Not Quite Hayek said...
Is the flooding really that bad?

Yes it is. Villages and towns cut off. Sewage leaking into the streets. Homes rendered uninhabitable for months. Now clean water risks being contaminated so bottled water is needed.

Flooding may look benign but it is one of the most damaging and dangerous disasters you can experience.

Madasafish said...

I watched Baroness Young of the Environment Agency explaining on TV why the flood protection teams did not get through in time to erect defences.

"We were stuck in traffic due to the floods and despite police cars could not get through in time"
"Even if we had got the equipment through, the skilled manpower needed to erect it would not have got through due to the flooding"
"Even if we had got through, it is probable the defences we would have erected would have failed due to the height of the water"

"Helicopter airlift would be difficultdue to the weight off the equipment".

In summary: During floods where the raods are effected we have no effective plans .


And these are the people in charge of flood planning and emergencies..

Our system of emergency planning only works.. when there is no emergency.

P45s in great numbers required and alot of backsides kicked.

Hughes Views said...

DC should talk to WH - the latter lost many votes in Gloucestershire (and probably at least one parliamentary seat) when he visited during the F&M crisis in 2001 and appeared to be trying to make blatant political capital out of the situation.

DC is about as good at politics as I was at his age at cricket – in my mind I was better than Botham, in reality I couldn’t hit a slow-moving football with an ironing board...

Man in a Shed said...

Iain - the flooding is a prime example of government failure. Failure to listen to the warnings months in advance, failure to listen to the warning a few days out, failure to learn the lessons of the first floods (too busy crowning Gordon Brown) to help with the second wave.

The problem is we just seem to have Hillary Benn on TV misleading the public with his Capital part of the budget ploy. What is needed is a Conservative spokesman straight afterwards putting this right. Right now it only seems to be John Redwood who is getting his message across in the media.

Politically the goal is open right now - Labour have failed thousands of people who will spend the next year in misery (relative of course to what you've seen in Africa.)

I wish you well on your Journey - but David Cameron should get home quickly.

Todays First Post has the headline "New Labour's Hurricane Katrina". But the Labour spin cycle is in full flight right now - just seen a message that the BBC is happy to pass on about Gordon Brown re announcing more money for flood defences.

Its a massive government failure - and I just don't hear the official Conservative party ( less a few MPs) on TV and radio making the point - maybe the BBC have something to do with that.

I'm sorry to say this. I'm even more sorry for the people without drinking water or power right now.

W.W. said...

I would like to read the small print on Browns offer of 100% relief for local councils, Knowing him there will be some catch, ie- 100% for everything under a tenner, or some such get out.
He gave hull just over £2 Million, sounds a lot, until you know one school alone is going to cost £1 Million.
Mark my words read the small print.


Liberal Republican said...

If the Tories are criticizing the government over the floods, why is DC in Rwanda when Whitney is under water?

That's the question the media is asking.

At least Brown hasn't gone on a PR stunt, like Cameron.

SPAM ALERT said...

"DC is about as good at politics as I was at his age at cricket – in my mind I was better than Botham, in reality I couldn’t hit a slow-moving football with an ironing board..."

Ah but not so long ago that would probably have still got you into the England side, so there's hope for young Cameron yet

Johnny Norfolk said...

Your forgetting Dave does not want yah boo politics. So he has left the country for Africa so you can see were his priorities are.

The Tories need to FIGHT labour not pussy foot around, oh sorry I forgot they are now on the middle ground with Labour and the Lib/Dems so they have nothing to say. I think Dave needs a wake up call as Ealing did not appear to make him think.

Dr.Doom said...

This could be fun


Madasafish said...

>William Wilberfarce
What Hull did not say was the Council (Labour) decided to self insure and set aside £9Million for possible repairs. They are facing council repair bills of £200M...

You don't hear that from the Conservative Party.

Frankly the Conservative Shadow Cabinet appear a bunch of lazy bastards who like the job and trappings and do no effective opposition.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Yes but if you have timid leadership no one wants to stick their neck out in case Dave does not like it. It may be to strong for him and upset the muddle sorry middle ground for him. Weak, weak ,weak.

Man in a Shed said...

Johnny - at least that would imply they care what the leadership thinks. Which is more than could be said for the Lib Dems ....

Newmania said...

The Telegraph is starting to say what I think everyone else has been saying for a long time that the shadow cabinet are not pulling their weight.
I have noticed with more or less horror how "deepening the message " has become , for the Labour Party ,standing for entirely contradictory things , like British jobs for the British and not controlling our own borders.

In foreign Policy ,despite the swift retractions ,statements have emerged signalling a distance forn the US with plausible deniability from Brown (and Milliband )
Where are the shadow cabinet they don`t even seem to want to put the effort in ?They should be the ones chasing down the strays wandering UKIP way or into disillusion. WE seem to have to have one thing to say when Labour are allowed several.

For all this ,the extent to which Brown and Milliband have been given an easy time by the Beeb is almost beyond my ability to digest.
They must realise that their number is up the next time a Conservative gets in. What on earth does this situation do for our democracy ?

Ralph said...

Cameron can't win here, if he cancelled the trip he would be accused of opportunism, and insulting the people of Rwanda.

The media is doing a very poor job of tackling Labour on their DEFRA budget cuts, and lies on not being warned.

the joker said...

I hope Boris is nominated to do a fun run for the Tories in London.


dr spyn said...

A clearer response to the spin and deceit from NU Lab and Al-Beeb on the flooding would help. Baroness Young mutters about one off event etc etc, but have the flood defences been properly maintained over the years and was the flood defence capital budget cut or not? Climate change is trundled out, again and again as an smokescreen for failings by HMG.

McStalin's mantra is currently spending was £300m in 1997, and now look its £600m 10 years on. Nothing on how small this amount of spending is relative to the damage to businesses and homes in Gloucs, Worcs, Yorks etc. Nice sound bite figures but are they challenged or checked over? Lets face it we are all going to end up with either higher taxes or insurance bills to pay for the mess which Nu Lab have partially created. Spending on captial projects on drains and flood defences doesn't have the same kudos as pouring money into the London Olympics.

Five helicopters are being used to help evacuate homes, great for those in need but isn't this a result of McStalin's defence cuts and current UK overstretch?

BBC News 24 running uncolaborated stories of fights over water in supermarkets, £5 for bottled water or 4 pints of milk. Where is the evidence this has happened? Gossip and hearsay seem to drive their news stories; the editorial cross checking on News 24 does seem to be rather loose. Then they wonder why there is a fuss over coverups over phone line scams and 'editioral bias'. Al Beeb's reporters still don't seem to grasp that water companies not nationalised water boards supply the water in England.

DC could be in trouble - but silly sound bites like no return to the confort zone do him and his team no favours. Does he offer enough of an alternative to the big government and high tax and spend policies of McStalin Broon?

Chris Paul said...

If Hull assume no repetition for the next 31 years (the last floods this bad were 1947) then they will have the 20% needed to go with the govt 80% even if all the £200 m costs is uninsured losses.

When Iain says DC has been straight to it issuing statements etc he presumably means straight to either fibbery or very badly briefed claims of cuts.

Capital budget is twice what it was in 1997 and has not been cut this year.

Cost Benefit Analysis in the low tax economy we all enjoy would suggest that protecting from 25 year flooding incidents is a reasonable aim while being bomb proof against the 60 or 100 year flood is not good VFM.

These have been the sort of decisions under countless governments for the last 100 years. As I said above spend has doubled since 1997.

PS DC is drowing not waving ...

samizdatchik said...

Wrinkled weasel: "William Rees-Mogg has written a compelling piece in today's Times which implies that DC should certainly not lose his nerve"

Brilliant piece of rhetorical throat clearing from Mr Rees-Mogg in that article. To paraphrase: "Everyone knows you can't use by-election results to predict general election results. Here is my prediction of the general election result based on extrapolations from the by-election results."

Schoolboy epistemological error from an old timer there.

Old BE said...

the low tax economy we all enjoy


Anonymous said...

DC has taken the 'limited-confrontational politics' line just too far. Hence the opposition is too timid and ineffective.

The other difficulty is that the electorate grew to hate Tony Blair and the DC image is still too much like Blair v2.0, whilst Brown is different - hence bad ratings for DC.

Accuse me of over-simplification if you wish, but I really do believe it is this straightforward.

Dr.Doom said...

I hope Boris runs too.


Man in a Shed said...

Lunch time news is wall to wall Gordon Brown. Gordon flies to flood area, Gordon in meeting with emergency services, Gordon promises more money (re-announces in fact but the BBC have given up pointing that out ), the Cheif constable tells us how helpful Gordon has been and stands attentively listening to him address the cameras - even Gordon Brown says handling these sort of events is what he likes about be PM.

Our local vicar was a missionary in Rwanda until the genocide. I can only briefly begin to imagine the impact of all your seeing.

But the party is being outmanoeuvred and Gordon Brown is digging in. The media is full of him right now.

I have just watched half an hour of BBC news 24 coverage and its only Gordon Brown and the flood - no Conservative spokesperson in evidence at all. 350,000 people are losing power and water - and not a sign of our party.

This cartoon in today's Telegraph sums it up here. Events were what was meant to trip Gordon Brown up - and he didn't respond well to start with - but thats changing.

Newmania said...

in the low tax economy we all enjoy

What country does Chris Paul live in ? Low tax compared to Sweden but that’s about it . Germany used to be the Lefts foreign heaven but we have actually overtaken them in the states proportion of expenditure now. Scary stuff I see the New Statesman ran a piece on how we should be looking at the Swedish model next. Why not we have their weather? I shall of course be emigrating along with the rest of the mass of young qualified people who cannot stand it here any more. The emigration figures are now equally as worrying s the immigration figures with no suggestion of any stop to this flood . The “Miracle of immigration “ I think our Labour supprting loon called it despite the fact his Party seems increasingly determined to present itself as against foreigners ...( British Jobs for the British ?) empty rhetoric thy name is Broon

In fact many people have been saying for a long time that whole the government has poured plenty of money into having Milliband prattle on about the environment in Brussels it has been indifferent to the only real danger climate change poses that is flooding and coastal erosion. The administrative shake ups have worked as well as the rest of them ensuring that the protection and sustaining of river banks is late and mis conceived .This is not wise after the event , I can point to many warnings that have been made over the past years at least usually in the context of where environmental resources should go.

Ass for Hull Council electing to self Insure a Catastrophic exposure the incompetence is almost beyond belief. That is not what you self insure , you self Insure the attritional running costs Winter repairs that sort of thing . You do not ever leave your self open to rare events . That is exactly what the insurance market does wel.

I `m not sure I understand the bit about assuming they don’t have another catastrophe for a convenient length of time . That’s like saying that if I reasonably assume my house will only burn down on average once every two hundred years I should self Insure and start a fund into which I will later have the ready money .
How do I repair the house in the meantime? Who are they borrowing it form ?How much does it cost?Daresay we can all make educated guesses about that

The cover was easily available in the market and if they think they cans self insure for this I don1t know why they bother with Insurance at all . They were out off by the £250,000 excess I gather so the thinking was nothing along the lines suggested. Pure baloney I would guess another Labour cock up at local level over a which a blanket of strange figures is being thrown.
( They can save up for 30 years ...what ?)

kinglear said...

Should DC be going to Rwanda when there are the problems with the flooding in his constituency? Or are they not too bad?

strapworld said...

Iain, I am surprised that you have joined the big brother society by not allowing anonymous comments...surely you are cutting off a good supply of stories?

Anyway I am sure Cameron is warmer in Africa than here.

strapworld said...


What I meant to point out something that you as a Euro supporter should be pushing and, indeed, Cameroon. WHY has this government NOT asked the EU for assistance? Surely this the golden opportunity for the EU to show just how good they are??

BlueTulipRoseRead said...

The flooding really is that bad. My house in Oxford is now a foot underwater. I blame the Tories.

Newmania said...

OF COURSE THE BBC IS GOING TO BACK BROWN...They know they cannot afford to have a right of centre government it would be the end for them.
This brazen propoganda is worse than anything see yet and only the knowledge they are fighting for their jobs explains it. Are they seriously going to give Broon statesmanlike-calm-in-the-face-of-tragedy scripts when this is the logistically chaotic Brownist state all over , helped by his local incompetents .

Complaints have to be made . The BBC cannot use their position to persuade us of their poltical views with our own money .

Paul Hurst said...

Your Rwanda diary posts are very thought provoking and moving.

Tapestry said...

The public are more aware that the BBC is a (somewhat confused) propaganda machine, than they used to be.

Watched Wright Stuff this morning. Wright assumed it was old Far Righters angry about modernisation who were pushing for Cameron's dismissal. He either has no idea it's the europhiles trying their luck, angry that Cameron's standing frm against the Constitution, or he's pretending he knows it's not them.

Funny thing is, it's quite good for Cameron if his detractors are being portrayed as out of date Tories, and not europhiles.

The BBC are still running with their original narrative that Conservative and Cameron are not one and the same. They are kind of itching to attack Cameron as well, but their earlier pro-Cameron narrative stands in their way!! They really don't know which part of Cameron to attack!

It's a case of liars having to pretend they beieve their own lies!
No wonder BBC political reports are getting so confusing to watch.

Apart from Gordon the God Brown, of course. That narrative even the juniors can cope with.

Dr.Doom said...

How much medicines and consumables does the NHS throw away each day due to their use by dates?
Should this be diverted to Rwanda as a good cause?


Ralph said...

'I have just watched half an hour of BBC news 24 coverage and its only Gordon Brown and the flood - no Conservative spokesperson in evidence at all.'

The BBC is reporting Brown's stage managed walkabout but are ignoring and Tories they come across.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

dr spyn said
"BBC News 24 running uncolaborated stories of fights over water in supermarkets, £5 for bottled water or 4 pints of milk. Where is the evidence this has happened? Gossip and hearsay seem to drive their news stories; the editorial cross checking on News 24 does seem to be rather loose"

-a BBC news 24 reporter: "we have heard reports that people are selling bottled water from the road side AT A PROFIT"

meanwhile the entire BBC news team has decided to report the flood news and not get paid?

I rather pay £4 a bottle than die of thirst waiting for the BBC's favoured public sector to pull its finger out.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...
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The Military Wing Of The BBC said...
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The Military Wing Of The BBC said...
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Sir-C4' said...

The rank-and-file membership of the Conservatives are lions being led by the donkeys at CCHQ and Cameron is the biggest ass of the lot.

Anonymous said...

Windsor Tripehound said...

Ed Miliband gives an interview saying "stop knocking the young" and it gets reported in a reasonably sane manner.

Funny thing; David Cameron said exactly the same thing in a speech a few months ago and that got derided as "hug a hoody" - words he didn't actually utter, of course.

Could there just possibly be the slightest touch of bias in our press?

Too true! It was this speech by DC that got me interested in him again - but he was pilloried by the right wing Labour supporting press who want young people killed or locked in prison for ever.. or something

SPAM ALERT said...

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Monday he would not rule out military action against Iran, but believed a policy of sanctions could still persuade Tehran to drop its disputed nuclear programme.

Since our armed forces are down to the bare bones (according to reports yesterday) I suppose the response from tehran might be "yeh, you and who's army?" frightening.

Windsor Tripehound said...

All the slagging-off of DC conveniently ignores the outstanding council results in May. Here in Windsor we (Conservatives) kicked out the LibDems, unseating the council leader and several other long-serving (and useless) cabinet members in the process.

Funnily enough that didn't seem to make its way to the BBC or the national press; not in any significant way at least.

The rationale in this thread seems to be: if something good happens, it's all down to us activists; if it's bad, it's all down to poor old Dave.


Windsor Tripehound said...

Mutleythedog said

Too true! It was this speech by DC that got me interested in him again - but he was pilloried by the right wing Labour supporting press who want young people killed or locked in prison for ever.. or something

Interesting that with this speech, as with Lady T's interview containing the "no such thing as society" remark, the spin put on it by our unbiased press gives it the completely opposite meaning to that which you will discover within it if you actually bother to read it.

The key point made by DC (and by Dr Tony Marlow if you can be bothered to search out his excellent articles) is that what these young people need is both love AND discipline

Newmania said...

I`m not sure that the Thatcher remark about Society was so as to mean its opposite . I am aware of the full quote .
The people who turned on DC for his wish to look at the young with optimism were mostly the right wing Press.
Quite a few people have expressed their support for David Cameron and frustration with those who seem determined to hand the country to a terrifying Brown period of ethnic and idelogical cleansing.

Perhaps these people should be making their voiced better heard.

AnyoneButBrown said...

At least most of the BBC's coverage under DC is "mostly neutral". But idiots writing letters to Spicer demanding something to be done about DC just warm up the "Tory Splits" stories.
What puzzles me most, is why do many people her and at Conhome viscerally hate DC. Is it not just a narrative to move to the right? Er, we have tried that three times previously and frankly the results were not great. Are you hoping for forth time lucky? Perhaps the electorate has given a hint?

Tapestry said...

artwell, have you never experienced the difference between giving your family money, and asking for financial help from them when you need it?

Try it some time. You will understand the relationship with the EU much better after that.

Haribo said...

Enjoy watching Freddie next season. Consider this payment for beating sperz on that wonderful day 14 months ago.

Tapestry said...

anyonebutbrown - half of them are labour trolls. The other half? - well if you're all happy and contented with your life, would you spend hours writing in long boring political threads that few will ever read.

That's a point. I must get out more.

AnyoneButBrown said...

By jove Tapestry you are right! There's a beer in Leadenhall Market with my name on it. I'm off!

isitworthit said...

Why are long-term Conservative voters finding themselves dispirited? Many of us can recall feeling the same way in the 1960s and seventies. Sensing that we would like to pack up and go and live somewhere else if only we could. Observing that quality of thought has been abandoned. Tired of the never-ending support for the lowest common denominator.

Thankfully we are now spared the un-elected dogmatic voices of Jack Jones and Clive Jenkins (remember him?) But we still have to listen to Harriet Harman.

I’m sure our spirits would be lifted if someone of substance in the Conservative Party had the brazen guts to tell us how it is. But I wonder if anyone up there is sufficiently hungry for power? We need a rotweiller or two – in the under 55 age range – who really want to win. Who are prepared, night and day, to remind the country that this so-called new set-up in Downing Street is the same as the old set-up. That these new ministerial appointments all voted holus-bolus for the past ten years’ woolly laws and crazy nostrums. That the country can’t be successful when, in the quest for maintaining power, support for second best provides a deceptive and dangerous figment.

The Conservative Party leaders won’t succeed by waiting for the other side to make mistakes. The other side appears hungrier for power – that’s the problem. The Labour Party lives, breathes and eats the political agenda. It’s in the nature of socialism. Tories will argue the cause just so far – but then find that there are things other than politics which will take up their interest. This attitude will make them more rounded figures, sure, but it won’t get them into government.

Where’s the belief guys? Where’s the cry telling me that I’m not a wicked person just because I’m prepared to help my family to achieve things: in education, in work, in life, rather than expect government to achieve on my behalf. Where’s the call telling me that there are better ways for my tax money to be spent, rather than making things easier in other parts of the UK than my own. Who’s asking if the aid money set aside for other nations might not be better spent here, at home, helping the accidental sufferers of our own monsoon.

All three parties want to achieve the same basic principles; they come to those principles from different approaches. The Tory Party’s is the best because it truly believes in the highest common denominator. But for goodness sake you guys, start saying so.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Isn't Chamberlain leaving an open goal going on a "how many good courses can I bag" Safari in Rwanda?

Is leaving flooded Tory seats in the hands of River Authority officials and Broown twiddling with sluice gates and deciding which areas should flood a good idea?

Betya Oxford won't flood - its too marginal.

Have a word Iain - the Murdoch press/Mail are going to make mincemeat of a "crisis what crisis?" situation.

Sir Dando Tweakshafte said...

According to my friend Vanessa at the Grauniad, while we naturally don't condone flooding, it is nevertheless important to understand that the rain has been alienated by British foreign policy towards Iraq.

FutureOnce said...

When was the Rwandan trip scheduled? Presumably if Cameron had known the date of the by-elections at the time, he wouldn't have decided to go...

On a general note, for someone whose PR credentials get mentioned so often, it seems strange that DC seems not to have realised that, fairly or not, politicians in general - and OE politicans in particular - will always look foolish doing something like this. As that noted thinker Jarvis Cocker told us, everybody hates a tourist.

fr said...

Chinese commentators would undoubtedly conclude that the floods indicate that the gods have withdrawn the mandate of heaven from our government.

boanerges said...

Watching all the news coverage of the floods I couldnt help noticing something was missing and then it occured to me. In days not so long ago a natural crisis such as this would have resulted in the armed forces being mobilised in great numbers to provide much need support to our overstretched emergency services. Sadly our brave soldiers are currently risking and sacrificing their lives on a fools errand in Iraq.
The damage caused by this weather will be much worse because there are not enough resources available to mount a realistic defence of our communities.

Geezer said...

Pro-Labour/anti-Conservative media bias, is letting Labour off the hook, over this, and many other cock-ups in the last ten years. The BBC only repeats Labour party propaganda on all domestic issues, they will not, under any circumstances, blame Brown for anything. The Tory's have got used to criticisms of Labour either, being ignored, or back-firing on them.
Without any real MSM support, it is very difficult to get their message heard.
That is why Blair used to be known (before Iraq anyway) as Teflon Tony. His media allies made sure that sh** was seldom thrown in his-direction. We will have non-stick Brown as well, for the same reason. The floating voters in the electorate, will not be well informed enough to understand what is going wrong and why it went wrong. Any negative perceptions of a Brown government will be kept to a minimum, even if the country is falling down around our ears.

Newmania said...

A lot of people like to attack the loaf of white bread quality that Cameron has .I think partly its because its easier to write adversarialy. Hefferlupmp and Janet Daley get great mileage out of this sort of thing as does most of the Daily Mail . I enjoy it myself and it works on comments in blogs as a “ Dash of Sauce”
The thing is , a dash of Worcester is yummy but a whole plateful is nauseating. Cameron has to work over time with a consistent and moderate approach . I wonder of a lot of the mud pies he gets is only because its fun to throw mud pies. It will be less fun to pay the towering levels of taxation, required to build a Monument to Brown straddling the Thames like new Colossus.

( Thanks Croydonian )

Liberal Republican said...

from reading through here, it's amazing to read the countless comments from those who are trying to find someone to blame. it's sad that members of my country are playing politics over a national emergency.

no one has died today, yet you are attacking like the world is ending. this was an "act of god". two months of rainfall fell in one day. It has nothing to do with Brown.

plus, i cannot help but smile at those who feel the BBC has a conspiracy by supporting the labour party. paranoia is a dangerous thing.

Madasafish said...

The BBC don't need to be anti Conservative.
When the party field Duncan on Newsnight - sneering, (had he drunk too much?)- with spokesmen like him, it's like giving an open goal to the Opposition.

And the performances of others are no better. They are abysmal....

And what about Iraq? Where is the detailed criticism of the shambles?

Opposition? The LibDems make the Conservatives look like a watered down version of the WI..
(More tea vicar?)

It's pathetic.. If they were in business they'd be fired for non performance...

Liberal Republican said...

*sighs* I just learned something that I think we should think about.

New Orleans hasn't been rebuilt, citizens haven't received no aid from the US federal government. Nothing at all.

whatever our political differences are, atleast our administration is doing something.

Geezer said...

That's it Liberal Republican, Chris Paul is a bit quiet, so this blog needs someone to fill the "useful idiot" hole.

Yes, Labour do no wrong and the their is no left-wing bias at the Beeb.

Keep up the good work and keep reminding people why they shouldn't vote Labour

Liberal Republican said...

I'm not going to lower myself to your standards. I never said Labour was perfect, so please don't put words in my mouth.

Sadly, the press have ignored the work of the red cross.

dr spyn said...

The response of the government has everything to do with Brown imprinted all over it. For ten years, Brown was in charge of the nation's finances and set the budget priorites. He agreed to cuts in the armed forces, helicopters, soldiers, ships, guns, et al. He is responsible for funding and maintaining the flood defences. Using climate change and 'one' off floods is disinenguous to say the least. What was spendt on the flood defences was Broon's responisbilty. He is the man who seems to think that a strong centralised system works. He is responsible for some of the failings in the government's shambolic response.

If the civil authorities - police and fire brigades couldn't cope the military were expected to provide assistance. It isn't rocket science to work out that military equipment might have to be used for civil emergencies. There is a base at Ashchurch near Cheltenham with bridging equipment and perhaps boats, will this be used in Gloucs? Broon has proscided over reductions in the armed services' numbers and equipent. He and his cronies have chosen not to maintain flood defences. To govern is to choose, and governments cannot absolve themselves from responsibilty.

Broon might reveal that in 1997 £300m was set aside for flood defences [applause], then announce that £600m is available in 2007 [applause - all stand], but are his soundbite figures adjusted for inflation, and in any case are they accurate?

Holding political office is about taking and facing responsibility for decisions, Broon cannot escape blame for the floods in Gloucs. He and Blair set the government's spending priorites over the last ten years. Broon hasn't suddenly been released from some secure off shore prison, he has been a major player in British politics for the last 10 years and cannot expect us not to ask questions about his spending decisions, nor can he expect us to uncritically accept his avoidance of blame.

Perhaps the where's Gordon map needs to be dusted down.

TONY @oakroyd said...

Some interesting reminiscences from people who have been in Iraq.

W.W. said...

Liberal Republican - 'whatever our political differences are, atleast our administration is doing something'

What are they doing exactly, shutting the stable door when the horse is half way up the M6.

Promising money, mmm well as I said yesterday I would like to see it before I believe it.
Dealing with Gordon Brown and money is very much like dealing with an insurance company, READ THE SMALL PRINT, very, very carefully.

At least George W. didn't send his troops to war with flak jackets, and with six bullets each.
He may be stupid, but not even he is that stupid

The Hitch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Hitch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trubes said...

liberal Republican : Why don`t you just return to the Bogs from whence you came! If you don`t like England go live your life in a country that shares your ideals !

The Hitch said...

an "open thread" ?
I get deleted despite not swearing

just for pointing ou the fact that you are engaged in a publicity stunt.

John Trenchard said...

well, newsnight tonight got their dig in -the "Cameron is off in Rwanda while Oxfordshire is flooded" meme.

Not a mention of course of Macavity the Cat and his government's woeful handling of the issue. all softly softly. as per usual with the leftist Beeboids.

The contrast between their hysterical coverage of Bush's handling of Katrina versus our flood disaster is eye popping.

Liberal Republican said...

"If you don`t like England go live your life in a country that shares your ideals !"

Can I point out, England hasn't been a country since 1707. our country is called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Secondly, have you guys seen the front of the mail for tomorrow? It's not good for Cameron

Iain Dale said...

Hitch, you swore in both posts, as well you know, so don't come the innocent party with me. I'm getting fed up with your tiresome swearing.

Newmania said...


plus, i cannot help but smile at those who feel the BBC has a conspiracy by supporting the labour party. paranoia is a dangerous thing.

Really LR ...Lance Price , Martin Sixsmith , Tom Kelly , Ed Richards , Bill Bush, Catherine Rimmer, John Birt, Don Brind , Sarah Hunter, Joy Johnson , Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant , Celia Barlow , James Purnell , Ken Mcintosh,...they all worked directly for the government as well as at strategic positions in politics and current affairs at the BBC..
Andrew Marr`s Book Ruling Britannia sets out Liberal left agenda and he has a lifetime of left leaning commitment and yet he conducted the key interviews with Gordon brown and Mazola millipede and appallingly easy going they were. Perhaps the appointment of Polly Toynbee as BBC Social affairs Editor might wake you up a bit . Andrew Rawnsley , James Naughtie ( Scotsman and Guardian), Will Hutton News Nights economics editor ? Are we thinking yet ?
Find me the list of right leaning journalists to match that and if you cannot , which you cannot (because it does not exist) then why don’t you find something out about the subject in hand before expressing your fatuous gnat brained opinions . Are you smiling now ?

On the “ oh so terribly partisan “ reaction to flood defences, you have missed the point , Defra , the NHS ,Iraq`s exit startegy , Every single computer contract , Home Office Records , Border control and so on ad infinitum have all been delivered with intergalactic incompetence . This is just another example of the Governments uncanny ability to get nothing right . They get nothing right because they will not listen to the civil service or parliament and see questions and opposition.
There have been many warnings about the poor state of flood defences they have cropped up in the Press under two headings ,. The danger of building 3,000,000 new homes in the South East (1,000,000 of which are for immigrants who have not even arrived yet )and set against he wastefulness of fake environmental posturing courtesy of smarmy wonk Milliband

Just one example Paul Ecclestone in the Daily Telegraph some time ago

“ FEWER THAN HALF THE COUNTRIES DEFENCES IN HIGH RISK AREAS ARE AT THE REQUIRED LEVEL “ according to the national audit office. The environment agency has failed in its stated objectives and was called on by an all Party commons committee to explain..
The committee referred to its last warning in 2001 and noted that it had been ignored. The money has been there but the reorganisation of the environmental Agency taking over what Local Authorities had done seems to have bogged down delivery.
...and there is plenty more

So yes the Government have been delivering misery and now they are trying ,as usual to slide out from their responsibility for the poor people whose lives are wrecked . Then …on top of that the cretins-re -us Labour Council decided to self insure for flood . For Flood ? !!! Did they think it was only likely to flood one or two houses at once ..,.unbelievable . This has all the hallmarks of the corrosively inept statist governing style of the Brown Blair period , their botched administrative fiddling is directly responsible for worsening the chaos and destruction in this area as it has been in so many others .

Where do they get them from ? Please someone tell me

Newmania said...

Does he mean Richard Littlejohn ? The comic writer ?

John Trenchard said...

"The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias",

Andrew Marr.


sorry "liberal republican" - it's not "paranoia" , its reality. its you who lives in a bubble of unreality when it comes to your hobby horse of the BC.

Newmania said...

JT- Marr only admitted that when he was scuttling for cover . He is freelance now and say whatever he likes but he was repositioning. His interview with Brown was one socilaist Scot congratulating another though

John Trenchard said...

may i add. i say "BC" because the BBC lost the use of the first "B" a long time ago.

right now it is actively anti-british.

and i say that , not as a monarchist or conservative - i'm actually a social liberal and a republican. I recognise a "lord haw haw" when i see one - and you have it in spades with the "BC".

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Liberal Republican
-so you read "National Geographic" do you?

Its not really a scientific journal you know that don't you?

Photo's are good but the anti-British bias/dumbing down makes its a suitable read for a second rate dentist's waiting room - not a first rate political blog.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Liberal Republican said...

New Orleans hasn't been rebuilt, citizens haven't received no
[sic] aid from the US federal government. Nothing at all.

Putting to one side the failure of the Democratic state government to help its citizens as well, in fact New Orleans is recovering, largely due to the work of voluntary organisations and churches etc.

This is genuine "Toryism" at work.