For much of Sunday afternoon, I was mentally preparing myself for a TV interview about the floods while the kids and I cleared up the mess in the garden created by the previous day's vigorous pruning (brought on by the nightmare that took place at Anfield).
There had been some reticence for doing the interview as the crisis in the Levels and elsewhere across the country seemed to becoming increasingly politicised with people desperately looking for someone or something to blame. Yet, we decided that this was exactly the time to encourage a strategic debate about the future of preventing and responding to flooding. This is what I argued in my Farming Today interview last week (here) and in a joint NGO letter to the Observer (here).
In the end, the interview was dropped. Annoying, but these things happen.
But let's not waste all those useful thoughts. Here is how I rehearsed the interview in my mind...
On the question of dredging I am not at all clear what this would actually achieve. As I understand it much of the Levels are at or slightly below sea level, so would dredging actually speed up water flow or would it simply create a deeper river with no increased flow? As I mentioned previously, this is a specialist subject outside the capabilities of the media and politicians.
The issue of putting birds before people is,of course, totally irrelevant. No one, including the birds, wants the wholesale flooding that we currently have. This issue is just one more very large "red herring" generated by the media for their own purposes, which if we are not careful diverts people from the real issues that need to be addressed. These are,how to ensure that the wetland character of the Levels is preserved without the wholesale flooding and damage to people's property that we have at present.
Finally, the blame culture!! Something in which this country specialises, and again, I am sorry to say, is lead by the media. The amounts of rain we have had have simply been unparalleled. No one could really have foreseen this weather. The simple conclusion is that we must learn from it but realised we may not have another event like this for at least 100 years or more.It is quite possible that this time next year there will be more blaming going on, but this time because we are short of water!!
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