Sunday, April 06, 2008

Do As You Would Have Done to Yourself. Or Not.

October 2007: DEFRA spend thousands shorting up sea defences protecting Environment Secretary Hilary Benn's ancestral home on the Essex Coast.

April 2008: Hilary Benn tells North Norfolk residents his department won't spend any more money to replace decaying sea defences.

New Labour, No Britain.


David Boothroyd said...

What would Hilary Benn be doing commenting on sea defences in East Anglia in April 2007, when he was Secretary of State for International Development? Or are you making it up?

Where is your evidence that any work on Essex sea defences was done at the instruction of the Secretary of State personally?

Anonymous said...

I just wish I was rich enough to be able to afford to be a proper socialist.

Iain Dale said...

David, Sorry - have corrected to April 2008 - quoted from Radio 5 Live in the EDP.

I don't doubt it wasn't at his personal instruction. I regard him as one of the more honourable Labour politicians. My point is, why is a Secretary of State's house on the Essex Coast more important than an ordinary person's house on the North Norfolk coast?

Anonymous said...

"New Labour, No Britain": that's pretty good. Yours?

Anonymous said...

The sea defences front onto the Benn estate but beyond that are several hundred properties which would be flooded if the defences were breached.

The work carried out was just routine maintenance involving the replacement of some tiles/blocks and cost a few thousand pounds.

People further up the coast who were up in arms about it were demanding work in their locality which would have cost tens of millions of pounds.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Queen Anne is dead, too.

This story has been kicked around since last February, to my certain knowledge.

Meanwhile, compare and contrast:

[1] The Environment Agency replaced 100 concrete blocks on the sea wall on the Stansgate peninsula which were ripped off by the tide and said that this was "standard practice".

[2] The Environment Agency says holding the line of defence against the sea in the Blyth estuary is uneconomic because it will cost £42.7 million and protect only six properties from flooding.

Doubtless the conspiracy theorists would find even more evidence in the Lords Debate of the Coast Protection Bill on 27 January 1949. Perhaps they could then blame the East Coast Floods of 1953 on the Benn family too.

Anonymous said...

Amazing they can't spare the odd million or two for vital work, but just happen to have £100 billion lying in a drawer somewhere for a busted building society.

Anonymous said...

See, this is just the kind of facile cynicism that is destroying people's faith in democracy.

Know anything about the circumstances? No? Me neither. You just assume that somewhere along the line it's a conspiracy. Me, I prefer to believe there's some reasoning about it.

You want to be an MP, Iain? Well, if you ever become one, people will hate you. They will despise you. They despise all MPs as a class. And you will be bewildered, because you'll probably have tried to be a good MP.

Well, do you know why they all hate MPs so? It's because of cynical unresearched "journalism" like this.

If you ever become an MP, you will deserve everything you get. Unfortunately, the damage you and people like you do actually puts off good people from trying to enter politics. You even say Hilary Benn is probably honourable - but you smear him anyway.

This kind of reporting is a cancer on government. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Unsworth said...

Interesting relationship that the Wedgwood Benns seem to have with the East Anglian coastline. What about Wedgwoog Benn Sr's farm and the (apparently non-existent) coastal path?

Yes indeed.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in flooding. It's all a myth concocted by socialists to make us pay more tax.

As a "libertarian", I have no workable answers to the real world's problems and have never grown up.

Isn't Jeremy Clarkson mint?