UKIP Daily has received a phone call from an ex-employee of the NHS, informing us that a case of cholera has been identified in Devon following the prolonged flooding there. We must stress that this report has not been confirmed by any official source, but the fact that these rumours are circulating the NHS is worrying in itself.
Although cholera kills about 100,000 – 120,000 people worldwide each year, there has not been a case originating within England since 1893 thanks to improvements in sanitation and water treatment. But our civilisation is a fragile thing. Large quantities of water have been standing across Somerset and Devon for weeks now. Animals that couldn’t be rescued from fields have been left to rot in them, and sewage is mixing with the water flowing through peoples’ houses. Under those conditions, disease is surely not far away.
Water tested in Moorlands, Somerset, at the beginning of the month was found to be carrying 60 times the safe levels of bacteria. People have been told that it will take up to two months for the danger from toxic water in their homes to diminish. As the flooding started in December, some people are looking at being out of their homes for six months at the very least.
So how did this happen? Well, the people of Somerset are very clear: the Environment Agency failed to dredge the rivers. Although parts of levels have been drained since medieval times, much of the levels were marshland until the 1700s, when they were drained and turned into useful agricultural land. Like almost all of Britain, they require constant maintenance through dredging and the use of pumping stations to allow humans and nature to live in harmony. Before the Environment Agency came along, this had been done very competently by Local Drainage Boards, staffed by people who understood the area well.
Things began to go wrong in 1996 when the Environment Agency took on responsibility for the dredging. Local people immediately noticed a sharp decline in the amount of work actually being done to clear the rivers which are such an integral part of keeping the levels dry. Where it was done, the drainage boards, which remained in place to undertake but not oversee the work, were severely hampered by the Environmental Agency’s zealous enforcement of a flurry of new EU waste regulations. At the same time, the pumping stations which carry water to the rivers started to be neglected.
Then in 2002 the situation went from bad to worse when Baroness Young of Old Scone, a Labour Peeress took to the helm of the EA. Baroness Young is an avid environmentalist. Prior to her appointment at the EA she ran the RSPB and Natural England; she stayed on as a Vice President of the RSPB even after her appointment to the EA. It was immediately clear that birds and wildlife, not humans and environmental management, were her priority.
Dredging virtually stopped and the rivers began to silt up. Young was heard to say that she wanted to place “a limpet mine on every pumping station”. And EU policies on habitats and birds, coupled with the 2007 Directive on flooding, gave her the perfect excuse to impose her anti-human agenda.
Article 14 of that Directive states:
“Flood risk management plans should focus on prevention, protection and preparedness. With a view to giving rivers more space, they should consider where possible the maintenance and/or restoration of floodplains, as well as measures to prevent and reduce damage to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity.”
As the farmers of Somerset know, creating new habitats can be very expensive. Whilst they were denied the £4m needed to dredge, £31m was being spent on a new bird sanctuary. Yet Young displayed a passion of sorts for keeping costs down. By far the cheapest way to create new habitats, she explained in 2008, was to simply stop managing the flood plains and let nature take it’s course. As she put it in an evidence session to the Lords: “for instant wildlife, just add water”.
By March 2008 her Environment Agency had drawn up a 275 page policy document detailing what it planned to do in various areas. The Parrett Catchment Flood Management Plan details a series of policies for the nine major areas or ‘units’ in the Parrett catchment, from the Upper Yeo to Bridgwater. For Unit 8, which covers the farms of the Somerset levels and moors, the policy reads:
“Take action to increase the frequency of flooding to delivery benefits locally or elsewhere, which may constitute an overall flood risk reduction.”
Despite the denials by the current chairman of the EA, the farmers of Somerset were right all along: their homes, their livelihoods, and their health were all being sacrificed for the benefit of more populated areas, and for wading birds, fish and newts.
For those of you who enjoy irony, this is the text from the inside cover of the Parrett Catchment Flood Management Plan:
We are the Environment Agency. It’s our job to look after your environment and make it a better place – for you, and for future generations.
Your environment is the air you breathe, the water you drink and the ground you walk on. Working with business, Government and society as a whole, we are making your environment cleaner and healthier.
The Environment Agency. Out there, making your environment a better place.
Readers of Orwell will recognise this as yet more of the doublespeak that has become commonplace in European governance.
Now, I’m no conspiracy theorist. I think that the trails left behind by planes as they power across the sky are totally harmless, and I’m certain that muslim terrorists crashed those planes into the twin towers. I tend to dislike the ‘EUSSR’ moniker that is sometimes used to illustrate how anti-democratic the EU is because I think it makes the people who use it sound a little hysterical. But when directives imposed by the EU are fervently translated into damaging policy by unelected, ideologically environmentalist quangocrats like Baroness Young without impunity, comparisons with the USSR become unavoidable. Hysteria is the only logical response.
The threat of deadly diseases and loss of livelihood currently sweeping across the West Country is not the only example. The 30,000 excess winter deaths thanks to directives that keep our energy bills high are another. The riots in Greece over austerity; youth unemployment in Spain hitting 56.1%; German towns struggling to cope with waves of immigrants, all have their roots in the great European Union project. All ruin lives and sometimes even take it, just as the misguided policies of the Bolsheviks did in Communist Russia nearly 100 years ago.
With the EU’s economy falling behind other parts of the world, and with no sign that those in charge of the EU are even awake to the problems that the EU is causing, let alone willing to rectify them, it is clear that UKIP must renew our efforts to highlight the menace that the EU poses to the very lives of Europeans.
Too many people in this country still list the economy and unemployment at the top of thier list of concerns, while placing ‘Europe’ somewhere near the bottom. And when it comes to these floods, too many will blame our current Government without understanding the long road through the halls of Brussels we have taken to get to this point.
None of the other parties are willing to spell out the destructive nature of the European Project, because they, or at least their leaders, want to remain part of it. UKIP has set itself apart as the radical newcomer to British politics; a party willing to tell it like it is. It has a golden opportunity to wake the British people up to the European menace. Let’s not squander that opportunity in a bid to chase votes in the short term.
UPDATE: This interview about the EU’s involvement in the Somerset floods is highly informative.