Once again covering a whole page in today’s Telegraph, the regular column by serial fraud Christopher Booker takes his previous assertion that the floods on the Somerset Levels were a result of the EU somehow ordering it to happen, and begins to target the Blair and Brown administrations specifically. In doing so, he asserts that his account is “the truth”, but the reality is that it is not.
Booker once again asserts that restoration of floodplains in the Levels – ten discrete areas – has made the flooding worse. He singles out Southlake Moor, which this blog mentioned the other day, and asserts that the Environment Agency (EA) deliberately flooded the area in November in anticipation of a dry winter. No citation is given by his source Richard North. None could be found online.
Again, readers are told that rivers have been allowed to silt up, and that this too is the fault of EU directives. But the EA carried out de-silting on both the Parrett and Tone rivers between October and November last year at “pinch points”, the work enabling a better flow of water. Nor does Booker mention the sheer volume of rainfall this winter – or that the EA has made matters better, not worse.
The latest floods covered 65 square kilometres of land, and no-one is suggesting that this is in any way a good thing – but back in 1919, with no flood management and a similarly significant deluge, a whole 280 square kilometres of land were inundated. The lowest lying area of Somerset covers 635 square kilometres. Booker does not mention recent cutbacks to flood defence spending in the area.
Booker suggests that a new pumping station at Dunball, at the sea end of the King’s Sedgemoor Drain, would have been the solution. But the pumps brought in to take flood water away have been working full time since December and have not prevented the rise in water levels earlier this month. Nor does Booker appear to understand the role of the floodplains in storing floodwaters.
Such is the confidence of he and North that they assert the “flooding was deliberately engineered ... in blatant disregard for the rights of all those who live and work there. The evidence is now so strong that they should seriously consider suing the Government for compensation for the damage they have suffered, which could well amount to hundreds of millions of pounds”.
From what I have discovered since Booker’s column was published yesterday evening on the Telegraph’s website, I’d go further: let he and North present themselves as expert witnesses to such an action. Let them show before the law that their analysis is correct, and that they are indeed bringing us the truth. But this will not happen. Because Booker’s armchair fraud would swiftly unravel.
His is a false hope, a cruel hoax on the people of Somerset. He should be ashamed.