Flooding and Finger-Pointing

Daisy Waugh

It only sort of “hit home” when they said there were floods in Windsor, or wherever. That’s just so close! Especially if you live in Putney. Which quite a lot of people do. If you know what I mean . . .My cleaner’s son lives in Feltham.Oh, yes?He’s been flooded out.No! Crikey. That’s awful.At least I think so. It’s hard to understand a word his mother says . . . I’ve more or less stopped trying.It gets irritating, doesn’t it? It’s not their fault.Yes it is! Turns out half these immigrants, aka “students”, have been faking their English tests. It’s a great big scam. Which leaves you and me nodding like idiots at whatever our cleaning ladies tell us, because we’re too embarrassed to admit we can’t understand . . . It does my head in, Soph. One chat with my cleaner and I tell you I’m begging for Nigel Farage as PM. I’ve had enough.. . . So your cleaner’s daughter’s been flooded out?Well I think so. Christ knows. She was probably telling me the washing machine was broken. I was just commenting on the floods, really — on the sense of threat. Like Doctor Who or something . . . Every time we switch on the radio there’s another appalling bulletin about floods coming our way . . . “Danger of Death”.Ha! That’s right! On the Somerset Lowlands. Flatlands. Whatever. You only want to go out for a pint of milk, and according to the Environment Agency it’s “danger of death”!Well I must admit, it looks pretty dire in the pictures . . .Yes, but “Danger of Death”? It’s typical, isn’t it? It’s the same mentality that leaves you with undredged rivers . . . They only like the glamour and the drama. Not the boring bits. It’s all very well, them telling us we’re going to die . . . They might have thought of that before they left the rivers to overflow, and invested all their money in bird sanctuaries.Thirty million pounds, I read.I’d like to hear what Mr Nigel Farage, who we’re all supposed to hate, has to say about bird sanctuaries. Wouldn’t you? Something tells me we might just be singing from the same hymn sheet.But it was a UKIP chap who said the floods were punishment for gay marriage . . .What’s that?You must have read about it!Of course I did. What’s that got to do with the price of onions?I’m just saying, UKIP’s not — Every party has a few crackpots. For goodness sake. And no, I am not suggesting floods are the fault of thegaycommunity . . . Although thegaycommunity does tend to take a lot of long-haul winter sun holidays, which, frankly, those of us who’ve gone to the trouble of having kids can’t afford to do . . .So what do you think: is it weather or is it climate?I’ve never quite worked out the difference between the two.Well basically one’s about global warming and the other — I’ll tell you who’s to blame. And no, it’s not UKIP! And it’s not thegaycommunity (even if they do consume more than their share of fossil fuels). I mean basically-we all know: it’s the Chinese. They don’t insulate — apparently. And of course there are so many of them. And now they can all afford cars — we’re in a sort of no-turning-back, end-of-polar-bear situation. Tragically. And the fact is, the Chinese are so materialistic, it’s pointless trying to educate them. Might as well be talking Greek. Exactly. Or Mandarin! Well, no — because unlike anyone else, they actually understand Mandarin. Well you say that — but does anyone actually know? If they understand what they’re saying to each other? What? Never mind. Just a question. Meanwhile your poor cleaning lady’s daughter . . .Never mind the Chinese. There’s nothing to be done about them. It’s these people who won’t recycle their plastic bags I can’t stand. And frankly I should think a fair number of them live in Somerset lowlands. Wetlands. Whatever. And Feltham. Perhaps these floods might encourage them to think again. In the meantime — thank God — we’re taking the kids to Italy for a week’s skiing . . . and I’m just praying it’ll have stopped raining by the time we get back.

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