Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Locals in flood areas in England are getting really fed up with Westminster 'flood tourists': welly-wearing politicians jostling for the best photo opportunities, disaster happens and it is time to crack out the country gentleman gear and sympathy

Dear All

Politicians like to be seen as caring, even if they aren’t.

In England there has been flooding, this has led to the rise of the ‘Westminsiter Flood Tourist’.

The invasion of senior politicians into flood-hit areas has started to backfire with local communities getting really hacked off.

So, what can a flood tourist do?

Well apparently not a lot, but the aim isn’t to help but grab that all important photo op.

In a verbal barney Labour leader Ed Miliband was confronted by Tory MP Alok Sharma, who accused him of failing to do his homework before donning his willies.

Next to cop a packet was Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was berated live on TV by angry volunteers demanding to know why troops had not been sent in to help flood communities.

Good point from the volunteers, in a situation like this, troops should have been make immediately available to help.

A local newspaper has accused politicians of using flood-hit families as 'extras' in promotional films designed to 'inflate their own egos'.

So, we have the co-ordinated photo ops with senior politicians with willies doing tours, David Cameron in the South West, Deputy PM Nick Clegg in Somerset yesterday and Eric Pickles visited Croydon.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage also got in on the act, and pulled on a set of waders for a photo shoot in Chertsey, 48 hours after standing waste deep in water in Somerset.

The Western Morning News, a regional newspaper covering Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, demanded to know what the point of the visits was.

In fact the paper is so upset that in a stinging leader article, the paper said local people were 'getting a little bit fed up' with the flood tourism.

It added:

'The farmers of the Somerset Levels, watching their fields, their barns and their homes fill up with fetid water do not want parts as extras in any kind of promotional electioneering film design to show how ‘caring’ Mr Clegg or Mr Cameron might be. 'They want action. All politicians are, of course, welcome in our region but not to inflate their own egos. It is time to start asking them: “What is the purpose of your visit?”'
In the Miliband episode, while posing for cameras in Purley, Ed was confronted by Reading West Tory MP Mr Sharma who accused him of being a 'Westminster flood tourist'.

Sharma said:

'The issue is Mr Miliband: why are you actually here?'

Sharma added:

'What I am hearing from local residents is they are not actually interested in people just coming for a photo opportunity talking about local issues when they don't know what is going on locally. I wish you had done a bit of homework before you turned up here.'

One person who hasn’t appeared with a Saltire is Alex Salmond, presumably the SNP couldn’t find a Scottish angle or a 5 star hotel to suit his Presidential style.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow

No comments: