Well, there probably are. I’m too busy making silly videos about Manchester Town Hall Extension’s lighting problem, and working at the Moss Side Community Allotment (and then making reasonably fun videos with the wonderful Hayley Spann) to have actually read them all. Here’s two – both from the Grauniad.
Governments and their Cobra committees may excel at crisis management, but politicians are hopeless at taking wise decisions over geological time, even when natural erosion is quickened by climate change. All around our coast, scenarios drawn up for 2044 have materialised this winter. “Everybody thought this would hit us in 20 or 30 years time, but it’s come now,” says Lohoar. (emphasis added) [Hat-tip to Alice Bell for this one]
and a corker on the consequences of neo-liberalism for the ability of States to do what they shoulda did. (Looks like we’re a real gone kid).
“If David Cameron were serious about the floods, he’d become a socialist”
by Alex Andreou.
Shorter than the previous one, with choice bits –
And it is not just extreme weather that can bring on this sort of conflict. The same effect was observed during the horsemeat scandal – decimate the Food Standards Agency, then be terribly surprised when it all goes wrong. The same was observed during the England riots, as grandee after grandee grudgingly trudged back from their holiday to deal with the plebeians while a city burned. Emergency situations like these make crystal-clear the duality at the core of rightwing politics; people who crave being in power but whose stated aim is that they should have hardly any.
This is a government which has spent its time in office restructuring the Environment Agency and cutting staff levels by a third, taking a butcher’s knife to local authority budgets, slashing the numbers of military personnel…
So when action is required, all that is left is empty posturing. Because, in truth, everything in this government’s behaviour during its almost four years in power has laid the ground for ideologically endorsed inaction. In truth, the battle has been lost before it has even begun. This is simple cause and effect. If I vote for a party on the explicit promise that they will shrink the state, cut taxes and step aside, at the crucial moment when I need help, I will be faced with a state which lacks the size, resources and co-ordination to do anything meaningful, let alone prevent the problem.
All they can do is to look as if they’re doing something. Chair a Cobra meeting. Manage expectations. Play Fruit Ninja. Say they’re doing their very best. Look busy. A flaccid government, pretending to be up to the task.