Sunday, July 15, 2012

Britain's Conservative Deluge

Conservatives have become a one-trick pony.   They're all about austerity; code for cutting spending and lowering taxes (for some).   And Conservatives are very, very good at distancing their austerity campaigns from the usually undesirable consequences that result.

Britain's Cameron Conservative government has been gung-ho on austerity, especially austerity for the poor and working classes.   The government has also taken an axe to infrastructure programmes.  Among the programmes defunded in the name of austerity were some 300-flood defence projects shelved over the past year.

Now the British people are paying the price of David Cameron's piper as flood waters inundate great swathes of the countryside.

Thousands of homes have flooded in recent weeks, causing hundreds of millions of pounds of damage. But in some of places overwhelmed by the deluge, flood defences that might have protected against rising waters and were in line for funding in 2010 were never begun, including at Croston in Lancashire and Kendal in Cumbria.

"The government is wringing its hands while the waters rise," said Charles Tucker, chairman of the National Flood Forum, which represents 150 community flood action groups. "The fact is that spending has decreased while flooding has increased." 


Kev said...

I remain terribly frustrated at the inability and perhaps in many cases the unwillingness of so many to make the connection between austerity and the stark realities facing society

The Mound of Sound said...

Kev, I think it's part of a larger scale disconnect today on the part of our political classes who focus on one or two pet items, tinker with several more and simply ignore even more yet. Maybe it's the result of pursuing narrow ideologies that contain no means for approaching some difficult concerns.

I think that is how, in North America, global warming came to be an energy issue. In the result, other aspects of climate change, such as adaptation, have been largely shelved, kicked down the road.

Owen Gray said...

I wonder if there is any chance that this could be Cameron's "Katrina Moment?"

The Mound of Sound said...

Cameron is sailing a sea of shoals but, with Labour set to make a comeback and with the Lib-Dems facing a greater rout even than the Cons, it seems a safe bet Cameron's coalition won't fold - yet. He might, however, face an internal threat.