Britain currently has the rare
pleasure of weather really worth talking about, and the enticing possibility of
blaming someone for it. It’s a wonder anyone’s talking about anything else.
course, in reality the floods were caused by the highest level of sustained
rainfall for centuries, probably caused by spiralling global carbon emissions,
according to the Met
Office and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. But that would kind of
make us all partly responsible, and no-one wants to scapegoat themselves, so
let’s review our options for who we can pin the flooding on.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for
Communities and Local Government
Currently in charge of the unfolding
disaster, he presents an easy target. I personally blame him for all sorts of
things, and find it immensely satisfying.
He was only appointed to the flooding
job last week. Shame. Pickles blames…
Baron Chris Smith of Finsbury,
Chairman of the Environment Agency
A natural target as head of the
Environment Agency for several years, the body with overall responsibility for
flood defences, including dredging. Blamed by pretty much every minister to
comment on the issue, so there’s already a pitchfork-wielding mob to join.
claim that dredging the local rivers wouldn’t really have helped much, and
Smith claims that he spent as much on them as he was allowed to by the Treasury
which cut his budget. So he blames…
George Osborne, Chancellor of the
Always a popular choice. Not only is
his department allegedly responsible for imposing limits on the Environment
Agency’s spending, with cuts to both flood defences and the overall budget, but
he is generally regarded as the driving force in getting climate deniers
appointed to the cabinet.
We can’t blame Osborne for
everything, can we? Surely the man nominally in charge must carry some
responsibility? I think we need to give fair due to…
David Cameron, Prime Minister
The man who told us he’d run the
‘greenest government ever’, and then promptly appointed climate deniers to the
departments for Energy and the Environment. Oh yes he did. And he took six
weeks to get down to Somerset, for all of about ten minutes. Hug a husky my submersible arse.
There wasn’t much he, Smith or any other politician could do on the ground,
partly because they aren’t trained in disaster relief, and partly because there
isn’t much ground left. Very little was achieved when the Environment Secretary
visited, and it might be argued that Cameron’s biggest blunder was appointing…
Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for
the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The man who told us climate change
would have positive impacts and ‘is something we can
adapt to over time and we are very good as a race at adapting’. Also the man
the budget for climate adaptation. According to an anonymous source
who worked with him in DEFRA – “Adapting to climate change in itself is
not a priority for Owen Paterson. He doesn't believe that floods have anything
to do with climate change, so he calls the biggest aspect of adaptation 'flood
management'. When you talk to him, you don't use words like 'adaptation'.”
He’s only been in post for two years,
and whilst he’s been doing his utmost to destroy as much of the environment as
possible during that time, he, um. Actually, I’m pretty OK with blaming Paterson,
and the aquatic badgers of Somerset (from the French ‘Sett sur le Mer
Sud-Ouest’) totally back me on this.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a
winner. Wade forward Mr Owen Paterson!
Of course, there is such a thing as Cabinet
Collective Responsibility, and so,
constitutionally speaking, the entire cabinet are incompetent anti-science
buffoons until Cameron sacks him.