The water laps at the patio of our Eton waterfront house. Our next door neighbour has requested help as he is old and the water is at his door. We are the lucky ones, 40o yards down stream, past Romney weir, the floodwaters have taken over and half a mile further is Datchet, now the habitat of every camera crew south of Media City Salford (from where I write).
Datchet and Wraysbury are the villages directly below the Jubilee relief river, which has .luckily for us, saved Windsor and Eton from the worst of the flooding. It was the bright idea of Eton College and though the work was paid for by Berkshire council tax=payers, it’s the college that’s among the major beneficiaries. The lucky Eton College oarsman get their water from the relief river too and they are about the only ones who can row on safe water!
So when Prime Minister Cameron, Eton old boy and former pupil of said next door neighbour tells us that money is no object- he has previous!
The money to provide flood defences for our million pound houses has to be found somewhere and no prizes for working out what the political priority is. One Wraysbury resident was candid “I’ll give my vote to whoever sorts this out”.
Which all seems a little unfair on Somerset ,Gloucestershire and Worcester where the problems are chronic rather than acute, but voters rather less vociferous (and well-heeled). Yeovil , which sits on the edge of the Somerset levels, is a town well-known to me each winter as we make the 230 mile round trip from Eton to watch the Glovers.
Unluckily for those who live in that part of Somerset, they seem to be derided as voters as they are as football fans , while lucky Berkshites like me are assured that “money is no object”, as soon as the wellies are donned, the Levellers are dismissed as “carrot-crunchers”.
The social inequality between Eton , Datchet and Wraysbury are one thing, but the craven pandering to the Bershite vote displayed by national politicians is something again.
Rather good to see all the backtracking taking place today the – there is apparently no new money. If there was they would not be dodging questions on that on Radio4 – they would be shouting it from the rooftops – or should that be to the rooftops as that appears to be where most of these people will finish up.
Apparently there is a plan to prevent flooding on the Lower Thameswhich could deliver by 2026. Sadly there is no money for it. Your point precisely Con