Why People Who Stand In Their Flooded Kitchens And Smile Are Failing Themselves (And The Rest Of Us)

Vernon Coleman

I am enraged when I see good, generous-hearted citizens explaining, with forced smiles, how well they are coping during the floods. Time and time again I turn on the television news and find myself watching while people display their English stoicism with simple pride.

`Our house is full of four feet of water and there is sewage everywhere. We have no drinking water and no likelihood of any for a fortnight. But we will get through it. We're all pulling together and cleaning our teeth in water from the goldfish tank.' `We are collecting rainwater in cups and we're all eating lots of stodgy food so that we won't need to use the lavatory for No 2s.'

`The neighbours have been marvellous and we've got a war time spirit going. We all stand in our living room and sing Vera Lynn songs until the water rises too high and spills into our wellington boots. Then we go upstairs. We're eating cold beans out of a tin and we haven't been able to drink, wash or go to the loo for 72 hours but we'll get through it together.'

Why aren't these people angry?

Why aren't they shouting and screaming abuse at the people responsible for their plight?

There are a lot of questions which need answering.

Why were there no flood defences in place?

Why did the Water Company not do more to protect its supplies?

Why has the Government cut its spending on flood defences? They know the weather is changing and they're quick enough to charge us extra taxes and fine us when we don't separate our yoghurt cartons from our cola cans. Why can't they spend some of the money they're raising on protecting us from problems they must know are coming?

Why do they continue to give planning permission for builders to erect new housing estates on flood plains?

Why is the Water Company going to take a fortnight to restore water supplies?

Why is the Water Company allowed to take a fortnight to restore supplies?

Why are the authorities failing to provide us with emergency supplies of clean water? This is England in 2007. We're not living in some third world, fly-ridden backwater. We pay massive taxes for the Government to look after us. Why has it failed so miserably?

The British Government's response to floods in Hull and Gloucestershire has been every bit as feeble as the American Government's response to flooding in New Orleans.

We live in a complex, industrial society where we all depend totally on one another. We rely on the services that society is supposed to provide.

How dare they fail us so miserably?

If the floods had occurred in London or Scotland would the Government have allowed things to get so bad?

Why do people living in the provinces always get ignored? That's what people should be shouting.


The stiff upper lip is all very well.

But while people put up with the problems caused by incompetent and uncaring politicians then we will continue to face the same problems again and again.

Gordon Brown is a miserable failure. It may not have been his fault that it's been raining. (Though, as a leading politician for a decade, he must take some of the blame for global warming.) But it's his fault that the crisis has not been dealt with more effectively.

Gordon is, as expected, a pathetic, useless failure.

Just like the lying bastard who preceded him.

Copyright Vernon Coleman July 25th 2007