Richard North, 02/05/2012  
 

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The idiot Caroline Spelman - a woman famed for her stupidity - is now telling us that, even after the wettest April for more than 100 years, if the country "endured" another dry winter the desperate measure would be "more likely" next year.

In suggesting this, she quietly glosses over the fact that official climate change projections are for "little change in the amount of precipitation" but that "it is likely that more of it will fall in the winter, with drier summers, for much of the UK". The warmists have got their projections completely wrong. The rainfall pattern is the opposite of that predicted.

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The water companies, however, have not been entirely wrong in their projections. Hence, in 2006 Thames Water was saying that customer demand was also expected to rocket over the next three decades, on top of a predicted population increase of 800,000 for London. A new reservoir was needed or customers would "face an increased risk in hosepipe bans and water restrictions", it said.

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Needless to say, the plan was rejected by the egregious Caroline Spelman who decided that there was "no immediate need" for such a site - largely based on the idea that people would respond to her nagging and reduce per capita water consumption. Thus, her way of dealing with storage shortfalls is simply to instruct us to use less water.

What all this conceals – and is intended to conceal – is a massive failure in strategic planning, on a par with the failure to ensure adequate energy supplies. In two recent government publications, one the White Paper on water supply and the other a Treasury report on infrastructure, there is no recognition whatsoever of the need for more storage capacity. 

Instead, we see the focus on "water efficiency", with Spelman in the White Paper, entitled "Water for Life", lecturing us on how our "attittudes" to water must change.

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In the infrastructure report, we see the statement that "increases in population will put more pressure on our water supplies", although nothing is said of the population having already increased by eleven percent since privatisation, with no increase in storage capacity.

"Britain's infrastructure will be made fit for the 21st century", said the preposterous George Osborne at the time, in signing the report. Instead, as the water infrastructure fails, we are now told to save water.  It is all our fault, the government would have us believe, dumping the responsibility for its failures on our lap.

Yet, while the media are just beginning to realise what is going on, the bulk of the politico-media establishment is still obsessed with the Murdoch soap opera and sundry irrelevancies. It needs to start focusing on the more important issues, bringing an executive to book for multiple failures that go back decades.

As it stands, we are looking at a government which is presiding over the lights going out and the taps running dry. Murdoch may or may not be fit to run a television station but of far more importance is the increasing evidence that government is not fit to run a whelk stall.

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