On my way home on the train I pass the town of Etchingham, East Sussex. Etchingham is lucky enough to share a landscape with the river Rother, which at this time of year (if you’re listening to the podcast*, winter) doesn’t so much as run through said landscape as sprawl across it in a great laky manner. The citizenry and their elected representatives appear to be able to treat this as normal rather than being annually caught by surprise and so at no time have houses and concrete been placed where the river Rother needs to be. Paraphrasing loosely the writings of the great Monbiot, elsewhere in the land less intelligence is applied and in fact farmers are positively encouraged, with subsidies, to funnel all their excess water into dredged-out concrete conduits and tip it into villages further downhill where houses and concrete have been modishly placed for its reception, with hilarious results**.
This is an example of Good Government and Business-Friendly light-touch regulation for hard-working communities, as well as providing occupation for our remaining firemen, soldiers and makers of sandbags, who can sponge up the water instead of sponging off the state.
Sadly for the foresightful semi-aquatic Kevin Costner-evolved people of Etchingham they will not benefit from the attentions of our fatuous Prime Minister, wearing Concerned Face #3 and his second-best wellies. I feel their loss.