Why Farage’s call for a flooding public inquiry is senseless

Why won’t anyone look at me?

In the previous post we again questioned what could be achieved through a public inquiry into the extent of flooding.  We contend that such an inquiry would be a whitewash waiting to happen.  It just needs an on-message Chairman appointed to move the roller.

We know this because we don’t have to look back far to see the results of the last flooding inquiry, that concering the floods in the summer of 2007, by Sir Michael Pitt.  In the nearly 500 pages his report covers, EU directives are mentioned a mere 13 times, and not even in respect of causation.

The Water Framework Directive is not mentioned at all and the Habitats Directive gets one mention, in a ‘box out’ that explains dredging – in almost entirely negative terms!

The EU is mentioned a number of times, but almost exclusively in terms of funding and claiming money from the Solidarity Fund – which would have the effect of reducing the amount of rebate the UK would have for its EU contributions in the financial year.

Given that concerns about the impact of EU laws on flood protection were already at the fore in 2007, why on earth does anyone believe another inquiry or review into flooding now would produce a different outcome to Pitt?

What is Farage’s game?  He can’t influence the terms of reference, witnesses or the Chairman of an inquiry, so what does he think will be achieved?  The EU elephant will be in the room but everyone standing around it will continue to avert their eyes and pretend it isn’t there.  The eventual outcome will just be held up as vindication of the existing approach and couched in purely domestic terms.

4 Responses to “Why Farage’s call for a flooding public inquiry is senseless”

  1. 1 cosmic 21/02/2014 at 2:17 pm

    Just about any public inquiry seems to follow the same pattern;

    1) Decide on the answer it’s to come up with and it obviously won’t be one you’d find untoward.

    2) Frame the terms of reference to come up with the answer you want and avoid delving into irrelevancies – that is addressing the important question which people are interested in.

    3) Select someone to head the inquiry who knows what he’s expected to do and can be relied upon to do it.

    Mr. Farage would hardly be likely to be involved in any if this. Public inquiries are a device politicians use to avoid answering a difficult question without refusing to answer it, by coming up with an answer to a different question and spinning things out until the fuss has died down.

    In this case we have a mess made by a poisonous cocktail of interest groups, QUANGOs, government departments, Westminster, and at the top of it the EU, with links between all these, and they form the establishment.

    So an accurate inquiry would be asking the establishment to find that it was a poisonous cocktail, as above, with no one in control of it, and certainly not our elected government.

  2. 2 Richard North 21/02/2014 at 3:16 pm

    What is more likely to happen is a court case with the victims suing for damages …


  3. 3 tallbloke 23/02/2014 at 4:15 pm

    A class action in a court alongside a public inquiry would concentrate the minds of those framing the terms of reference. Petition for inquiry here:

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 23/02/2014 at 4:27 pm

    You clearly have not taken in a single word about why a public inquiry will prove useless. Was the outcome of the Pitt review not enough of an example for you?

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