February 10th, 2014

Staff Cuts are Not the Problem at the Environment Agency
Whistleblower: “Management Just Want to Expand Kingdom”

With slithering Chris Smith fighting for his job, the gloves are off and the cuts are being blamed for the fact that the Environment Agency is an over-staffed, badly managed graveyard for Labour figures of little note. 10% of the Environment Agency’s staff were cut, but that still leaves them with 11,200 pen pushers. Equivalent quangos in the rest of the world are much smaller, the Environment Agency for England alone has more staff than the Canadian, Danish, French, German, Swedish and Austrian equivalents. Combined. Only the US Environmental Protection Agency has more staff, (15,913 versus 11,200) hardly surprising given the US is some eighty times larger than the UK with six times the population. Last year this billion pound lefty-fest spent £395 million on staff (£592 million including pensions) compared to £219 million on capital projects, and just £20 million on maintaining rivers. More was spent on PR last year than on dredging – £2.7 million.

So what are the bosses up to? Well most of the board manage less than half-a-dozen days a month for their filthy lucre. Usually non-execs on boards have grey hairs and relevant knowledge and/or experience, yet this rule clearly does not apply to the EA. What is it that makes former Culture Secretary Chris Smith a suitable boss? When he’s not in charge of rivers and forests he’s a part time lecturer on the creative industries. Perhaps he could commission a play or a poetry reading to cheer up the people of Somerset. When he’s not wasting taxpayers money at the EA, he’s meddling over at the Advertising Standards Agency. Token Tory Peter Ainsworth was not a very good Shadow Defra minister and seems to be loitering around here while he holds out for that coveted Peerage. And what in Larry Whitty’s experience at the General Municipal Boilermakers & Allied Trade Union or as a former General Secretary of the Labour that qualified him for his seat on the board?

What exactly do all these staff do? One whistle-blower claims:

“it doesn’t help that 99% of the staff, mostly Environment and Flood Officers, refuse to do standby or volunteer to assist with flooding emergencies. This is despite it being in their contract. It leaves us undermanned and ill prepared, but managers won’t do anything about but claim they need to employ more staff. Really, management just want to expand their kingdoms”

As the Speccie leader this week says:

“Steadily, the Environment Agency has become a law unto itself. The idea behind its creation was to allow it to operate free from political interference. They now form a deeply politicised government in exile, with an incompetent but self-revering hierarchy that voters cannot dislodge. Nothing has more vividly conveyed the failure of the Environment Agency during this crisis than the lamentable public performances of its current chairman, the former Labour culture secretary Lord (Chris) Smith. His weak, half-shifty, half-arrogant interviews have shown him up to be a man wholly out of touch with the reality of the havoc his agency’s policies have wreaked. His blatherings about a choice between protecting ‘front rooms or farmland’ sums up his failure to understand the countryside, and the fact that most people have looked after both for generations. He is due to step down shortly, which is a shame: he ought to be fired for rank incompetence. But the reckoning should not stop there. It is now clear that the Environment Agency has become a threat to the countryside it was set up to serve. It ought to be dismantled, and its responsibilities shared out among smaller bodies which are much more obviously fit for purpose.”

It’s the drip, drip, drip that will get him.


251 Comments

  1. 1
    Blowing Donkey Whistles says:

    What would the fall out be if Camermong were to sack the useless fat faced sack of sh!te Smith?

  2. 2
    seriously? says:

    The EA is no more or less a ‘Government in exile’ than the NHS or education or the Scottish Parliament (although that back-fired early and spectacularly).

    All public bodies have been set up or infiltrated en masse by Labour with the express purpose of keeping tens/hundreds of thousands/millions of like-minded people on the public pay-roll and available to mobilise ‘spontaneously’ at the beck and call of Labour politicians.

  3. 3
    seriously? says:

    Labour shrieking about ‘scape-goating’ and how due process hadn’t been followed and how the useless, incompetent Labour political appointee had been fired illegally. It’d be like Balls firing that Shoesmith woman. Good for a soundbite. Good to make you look decisive but she’s the one who walked with a million quid.

  4. 4
    Tardkiller says:

    don’t forget the equipment sales to scrap value of a lot of near-new long arm dredgers

  5. 5
    RomaBob.... Beeeeg Issue! says:

    Unfit for purpose? Labour would, if in Gov’t, be telling us that they have 24 hours to save the EA …….

  6. 6
    Caradog says:

    It’s time Lord Water Parsnip was shown the door!

  7. 7
    M­a­­­­q­bo­­ul says:

    Local management for local people. We don’t want no trouble ‘ere.

  8. 8
    Sack quisling Dave says:

    This all stinks of Common Purpose yet again.

    They are the enemy within.

  9. 9
    The BBC says:

    It’s climate change stupid!

  10. 10
    C.O.Jones says:

    How else would they find work? The useless arts degree state employment seekers! Degrees unfit for their roles! Just jobs for Labour boys and girls.

  11. 11
    Sally says:

    Talking of drip drip, that’s what John is like when he reaches climax. Rather pitiful. I prefer a virile man who shoots a massive load out of his BBC.

  12. 12
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    It is time that these agencies were disbanded the were only set up to protect the Government from public scrutiny ,having sprung up in the hundreds since EU membership.
    Things like the dredging of rivers were the responsibility of ,of bodies like The Ministry of Public Building and Works and directly accountable to parliament on a daily basis.
    Although far from perfect there was far fewer layers of buck passing and obfuscation that we are seeing with the ongoing flooding problems.
    These agencies have been packed with Labour placemen and apparachniks over the years ,now the taxpayers are paying the price of this deliberate negligence.

  13. 13
    Sally says:

    I told John I was going out to get a facial. The naive fool thought I meant the kind of facial you get at a beauty salon.

  14. 14
    The EU says:

    Common purpose operatives may not terminate other useful idiots.

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Criminal prosecutions for willful damages at least.

  16. 16
    Truthteller says:

    There’s some sh!t being spouted by all and sundry. Climate change, global warning, austerity etc.. All wanting there pound of flesh, and the fools keep voting for the same old sh!t.

  17. 17
    william says:

    Abolish the EA. Give the money,ringfenced, to the county councils. Use local contractors. Shut every EA office. Dismiss all their staff.

  18. 18
    Sally says:

    I love my husband. *genuine face* I did nothing wrong. *innocent face* I just like having fun. *winks* All I did was kiss a mate. *innocent face* It was perfectly innocent. And tonight I’m going to see another mate. *pulls down skirt, bends over dustbin in alleyway and opens legs*

  19. 19
    spitting image of a trougher says:

    Smith wants the Somerset levels to have a dirty watermark boundary that is an image of his face as would be seen on google satellite maps.

  20. 20
    Ron Barras says:

    Start with “Lord” Smith. Then sack the whole agency.

  21. 21
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    It’s high time for that bonfire of the quangos!

  22. 22
    Everhard Lord Smith's very private secretary says:

    Lord Smith cannot deal with this at the moment he is very busy on a fact finding tour of gents public toilets on Hampstead Heath, in case they are about to flood, he started this vital inspection on Friday night and hasn’t been seen since.

  23. 23
    Lord Bumboy says:

    This is really most unfair on my poor chum Lord Smith, who had to miss the opening of a friend’s gallery and an enthusiastic rimming from his boyfriend just to go to the distant provinces to sympathise with these oiks. If he can’t have three jobs then how can he afford the house in Islington? Or the rough trade from strappingly well-hung male escorts?

  24. 24
    Sally says:

    John says I’ve made him a cuckold. I told him he was already a cock who’s old.

  25. 25
    Jasmin Beckett says:

    Floods make me cry. I want all rivers dead.

  26. 26
    Mitch says:

    To be fair, we do have a bit more coastline than Austria.

  27. 27
    Rob Ford says:

    How does a Canadian get a job for life with the EA?

    Seems to me that crack use is no problem at all there.

  28. 28
    Tosser Dave says:

    We need to keep Smith to take the flak.

    It’s no good blaming Liebour. I’ve been in “power” now for 4 years and I’ve done absolutely fuck all to sort out the Environment Agency and all the other quangos.

    I repeat. I am a total failure. Excuse me while I commit hara-kiri.

  29. 29
    Ed Miliband says:

    The flooding just proves the cost of living crisis and the need for a 50p top rate of tax to avoid a double dip of the cost of bedroom tax living top rate crisis dip.

  30. 30
    Just 30 minutes from the Somerset Levels. The EA spent £10 million on...Themselves says:

    A new Bristol office block has been named Britain’s greenest building

    The Environment Agency’s £10-million headquarters in Deanery Road, behind the Council House, has achieved the highest score ever awarded by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) for its environmental credentials.

    The building replaces the boarded-up Cabot House, which had been empty since the early 1990s.

    Developer Westmark said it used the latest technologies, innovative design and stringent site management to ensure a high level of environmental performance in both the construction and use of the building.

    http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/New-Bristol-office-block-greenest-Britain/story-11247134-detail/story.html

  31. 31
    Sally 2 says:

    P.S. Have you got wood again yet Clinton? I can’t wait much longer.

  32. 32
    too late for decency says:

    Police raid on EA offices, with BBC live, no commentary from BBC or their buddies. Commentary from Guido Fawkes. No lunch today you have work to do.

  33. 33
    C.O.Jones says:

    Actually lets keep it criminal. Like those Italian seismologists

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/23/jailing-italian-seismologists-scientific-community

  34. 34
    Proftastic says:

    Living in the north I know one or two lay abouts who work for the EA despite poor qualifications. Always wondered just how they obtained their employment.
    Thanks Guido, its all very clear to me now.

  35. 35
    M­a­­­­q­bo­­ul says:

    It’s like the MOD, bloated with management and clerical staff. When there’s cuts required the managers protect their own little positions and sack those on the front line actually doing the work.

    Nothing wrong with a national body – not every issue is local – but you get the feeling the EA is fat and self serving. (In that respect Pickles would have been well advised to have kept out of this one).

  36. 36
    Mother Nature says:

    Ha Fucking Ha — floods inside the M25 — apocalypse time — I’ll get you LibLabConners, just see if I don’t.

  37. 37

    Reblogged this on Gavin Maclure's Musings and commented:
    I couldn’t put it better myself. The EA is a quango pure and simple, set up and managed by New Labour to pay the mortgages of Blairites who have no understanding of the countryside as they don’t represent them.

    Send the Army in. Scrap the EA and devolve it’s powers and resources to the regions.

  38. 38
    Sally Bercow says:

    Pissing myself.

  39. 39
    Wendi Deng says:

    Arse-Oh, Sarry.
    “Brairs Butt, Cock”
    and me rike his shining brue eyes and his shining pratimum visa

  40. 40
    Pickles McDonut says:

    Yeah its not like catchment areas or rivers run across multiple county and council borders. I’m sure they would be able to work better than a single agency with overall oversight. Definitely.

  41. 41
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    Labour have never really been out of power ,the government agencies are full of their placemen eagerly obeying every damaging EU diktat .

  42. 42
    Proftastic says:

    So many problems to fix the EA was understandably well down the priority list.
    Economy, Iraq, Afghaistan, NHS, Education. Labour left so little money and such a mess, much of that mess protected with legislation, it’s rather difficult to fix.

  43. 43
    SNAFU says:

    just heard on the radio parts of Londistan is now flooded, so all the labour luvvies will be running around squealing and having a fit of the vapours.

  44. 44
    At a cinema near you says:

    ROBOCOCK, the epic tale of a thickie plod with a 70s porn moustache who claimed to witness a shockingly scandalous incident of a minister calling another cop a pleb but who it later turns out was lying through his yellow teeth and had never been there.

    Starring the guy who played Tucker in Grange Hill who bears a striking resemblance to the copper, and co-starring Ed Miliband as a tosspot who stood up in the House and smeared the minister before an investigation had even taken place.

    ROBOCOCK. Rated 5 for Ed’s IQ.

  45. 45
    Smiffy says:

    You can’t sack me — I’m an obese gayer

  46. 46
    Pickles McDonut says:

    Now Dave we know that’s not true. You and George have slashed their budget, and I have made it easier to develop on flood plains. Meanwhile good old “Badger” Paterson has decided that farmers will get subsidies to keep hillsides clear of pesky vegetation and trees.

  47. 47
    Bleakly hilarious Hugo Rifkind says:

  48. 48
    Wendi Deng says:

    Ancient Zhōngguó medecin for young face make happy old man with much money.
    Love juice of himalaya tiger dong, or wanki-wanki-splash from nice butt nice leg man over face. rub in good.

  49. 49
    SNAFU says:

    Come to think of it if Londistan has been hit by the floods they are well within their rights to use the foreign aid budget.

  50. 50
    Pickles McDonut says:

    So the EA is renting a modern, energy efficient building from a developer?

    STOP THE FUCKING PRESS.

  51. 51
    C.O.Jones says:

    Somerset should not complain, at least now its badger free.

  52. 52
    Blackpole says:

    Give us a shag you old slapper

  53. 53
    Oh dear! says:

  54. 54
    Sod Londistan says:

    Leave the Tube flood doors open — that will get rid of a good few thousand cubic metres — might even drown a few politicians as well with a bit of luck

  55. 55
    Lizzie Robards says:

    UKIP warned of a flood of Romanians but got that wrong. Seems the climate change warnings were right all along.

  56. 56
    EA? says:

    They make video games, don’t they?

  57. 57
    seriously? says:

    It’d be easier to issue a map showing areas with no risk of flooding.

  58. 58
    Mitch says:

    The country has dozens of flood Hot-Spots – how does he want it to be portrayed? There aren’t hundreds of massive triangle signs stuck in fields for real, Hugo.

  59. 59
    Somerseteer says:

    Alas not posing politician free though — we need to stick a few of their heads on pitchforks.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    The Bastard Environment agency says:

    This is what the bastards did to an area of land in Cornwall used by the public since the war. They certainly have no shortage of money, travel in the best 4x4s money can buy and always go in groups. This fence must have cost a fortune and it is totally undemocratic and anti public.

    Fence makes park like ‘PoW camp’

    http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Fence-makes-park-like-PoW-camp/story-15364332-detail/story.html#axzz2svNX0dTz

  62. 62
    Very single fucking useless LibLabCon politician says:

    I hope the wind turbines are turning so that those affected by the floods can feel reassured that all is ok and we are on their side.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    David Cameron, aka, fucking moron says:

    Can Cameron actually sack Chris Smith ?

  65. 65
    Tosser Dave says:

    Yes. And I had to commit so much time and energy to get the Bum Sex Marriage legislation through.

    After all, it was so important that it wasn’t in my 2010 Tory Manifesto.

    Toodle Pip. Kiss Kiss to all my gay supporters.

  66. 66
    Christ almighty says:

    Just smash the fucking fence down and be done with it.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Pickles McDonut says:

    We should dredge the entire country, as clearly its dredging to blame. Especially for coastal flooding.

    Dredge. And then dump the dredge in the floodplain. That’ll teach it. then lets dredge the cliffs and the beaches. Bastards.

  69. 69
    Gay Mafia says:

    No. He’s one of us.

  70. 70
    The EA: River Dredging and Flood Defence, to Dredge or Not to Dredge says:

    https://twitter.com/spygun/status/432786417672912896

  71. 71
    Sir Dando Tweakeshafte says:

    There is, one gathers, some relief in the West Country that his Lordship hasn’t announced that he stands behind the Somerset farmer…

  72. 72
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    I do hope someone (i.e. Lynton Crosby) is telling Dave that fluffy animals don’t vote but angry farmers and residents do and that motorists vastly outnumber cyclists and that electricity and gas bill payers vastly outnumber eco-loons in Islington.

  73. 73
    David Cameroń says:

    Dang, that’s where I’ve heard of them. They make some of my favourite games.

    Thanks for telling me, it’s been driving me nuts this last week with all the media coverage.

    They must have a pretty good simulation coming out with all the hype.

  74. 74
    The Public says:

    If you think spending £10 million on a green temple so that its staff can rule in luxury while the people below suffer floods in their homes because of their “politicised” eco decisions, is best use of public money. Then you either have a warpeped sense of humour or you are a Lefty Loon.

  75. 75
    Red Ed says:

    Itsth a cotht of dwedging cwithith.

  76. 76
    Pickles McDonut says:

    What sort of PoW camps have those retards been to? Ones for fat dwarves that cant climb a 4 ft wooden fence. An undemocratic anti dwarf fence?

  77. 77
    Common Purpose says:

    …and one of us!

  78. 78
    Association of mosses, liverworts and hornworts says:

    The fuckimng birds got us anyway :(

  79. 79
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Burn a few eco-loons (Moonbat and Prince Charles) like they did in the Wicca Man :-)

  80. 80
    Greenie Env bod says:

    But what about the birds and the bees and the flowers? They must be protected at ALL cost. OK, maybe not at the cost of PR or the hard working senior executive and quango boards salaries and pay offs. Priorities please. The flooded people can swim or walk but what about the piggies? ….No, I don’t mean Smith and co.

  81. 81
    Owen Jones says:

    Lady with trolley at M&S would bring medal glory to Team GB if passive-aggressive supermarket slalom were an Olympic event.

  82. 82
    Judge Dredge says:

    I AM THE LAW

  83. 83
    Truthteller says:

    +100

  84. 84
    Hoddy says:

    Well after Dave says he fully supports the agency during another visit to flood hit areas I think his palatial arse is quite safe

  85. 85
    Pickles McDonut says:

    Your “Common Sense”, your “Reseach” and your “Science” has no place in this house of unevidenced, headline grabbing, anecdotal bollox.

    Now has anyone got any biscuits?

  86. 86
    What sort of meat does he 'eat'? says:

  87. 87
    Pickles McDonut says:

    I can float.

  88. 88
    cheche says:

    Of course the politicians dont want to blame each other, but it doesnt apply when it comes to blaming bank managers

  89. 89
    Anonymous says:

    NOTHING about the floods on Red Ed twitter feed. Does he know or even care?

  90. 90
    Wendi Deng says:

    How velly interesting.
    You pratinum visa card man?

  91. 91
    Want to go downhill fast -the Man Utd sled is the best says:

    That’s a bit like the Glazer Bros saying they have every confidence in Chris Moyes.

  92. 92
    Truthteller says:

    Fingers crossed.

  93. 93
    Pickles McDonut says:

    RENTING in a building which cost £10 million to build. And has lots of other offices which private companies rent.

    I may have piggy eyes but at least I can read.

  94. 94
    Ed Balls says says:

    I think if we fix the cost of domestic energy prices that will help with the floods

  95. 95
    Cinna says:

    £30000 to protect some “moss”? Don’t they know this is “austerity Britain”?

  96. 96
    Brimstone says:

    All watercourses were under the control of local boards (the Thames Conservancy Board as an example) manned by local people who knew the area. John Major’s government nationalised them in to the “Environment Agency” so that EU diktats could be imposed.

    DEFRA is imposing EU diktats by paying farmers to dig up trees and hedgerows which causes water to run off rather than soak in to the ground.

    I’m not great fan of his, but George Monbiot sets out the situation of one government department conflicting with another as they both follow EU rules.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2541773/Drowned-EU-millions-Thought-extreme-weather-blame-floods-Wrong-The-real-culprit-European-subsidies-pay-UK-farmers-destroy-trees-soak-storm.html

  97. 97
    Cardinal Biggles says:

    But not as much as Canada.

  98. 98
    Hoddy says:

    That will be a map of Scotland then !

  99. 99
    Sally Bercow says:

    DLT Found not guilty!

    Get in there Rolf !

  100. 100
    The British Public says:

    Boooo.

    We are not happy.

  101. 101
    Cinna says:

    Come to think of it, I can’t get rid of the bloody stuff on my lawn. Can I apply for a grant to protect it?

  102. 102
    Ed Millionaireband says:

    Look, mummy. I know a gansta rapper!

  103. 103
    Truthteller says:

    Napalm the entire country and start again.

  104. 104
    prosecute please says:

    Any change of policy must have surveys, reports, qualified opinion consulted etc. If not, in this case, prosecute. Until these highly remunerated people, who live off the public hit, are prosecuted for their decisions based on no more than a whim, we will suffer and their toughing bandwagon show goes on.

  105. 105
    Cinna says:

    There’s 20 odd turbines I can see from where I am now sitting. None appear to be turning. Wrong sort of wind?

  106. 106
    Proftastic says:

    Just used that twitter pic to frighten the children.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Hoddy says:

    Yes yes no problem ……………….. I will get your phone number to Sally but please keep it quiet from John ………. theres a good chap

  109. 109
    Zoylander says:

    Lord Smith is as hated in Somerset as was Judge Jeffries,
    people have long memories….

  110. 110
    Cinna says:

    Or that he’s bending over backwards to help him all he can.

  111. 111
    Soaked Beaver says says:

    Terrifying

  112. 112
    The Residents point of view says:

    Except the Somerset levels are not natural floodplain and river. The land was reclaimed from the sea centuries ago and the only way to keep the sea from reclaiming them is to drain the man made waterways of the silt that is washed down from the surrounding hills.

    Also an intrinsic part of the engineering is to spread the dredged silt in the land as both a fertilisers and land level enhancer.

    It seems the EU has decided to class the silt as environmental waste so if now spread over the land as it has been for hundreds of years it would be taxed.

    The EA is applying floodplain whimsical thought as a solution to reclaimed land engineering. And sinisterly it appears that they had decided that the levels should be reverted to marsh anyway, without telling or asking anyone. They even financed a sanctuary for wading birds to this end.

  113. 113
    wellies in the office says:

    Unfit for purpose? LibDem would, if fully in Gov’t, be telling us that they have 24 hours to save the EU …….

  114. 114
    Lefty mafia says:

    And one of us!

  115. 115
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    fuck off mod.

  116. 116
    Bristol Council says:

    The EA designed and financed that Green Building.

  117. 117
    The Truth says:

    Welcome to ‘How utterly interesting’, population – you.

  118. 118
    No cuts, Abolish says:

    Save a billion or two annually.

  119. 119
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Has Miliband been embalmed?

  120. 120
    Badger with Scuba gear who builds set on higher ground says:

    That’s what you think. ;-)

  121. 121
    Proftastic says:

    It took no time or effort at all. The other parties didn’t oppose it?

  122. 122
    EU and their court says:

    We will protect him for the next 1000 years.

  123. 123
    Complete C*nts Association says:

    and one of us.

  124. 124
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    The evil Angela Eagles was on the Daily Politics. Someone should kick her in her balls.

  125. 125
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP

  126. 126
    M­a­­­­q­bo­­ul says:

    So the shiny pantsed carpet dwellers get a spanking new office in Brissol.

  127. 127
    Old Grumpy says:

    Much of the flooding now being experienced cannot be laid at the door of the EA. We do have to realise that nature is showing her teeth somewhat this winter.

    HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!!

    Areas like the Somerset Levels, Sussex and the IOW, to quote just a few are the result of either gross incompetence or due to the dead hand of the RSPB! We shouldn’t ignore the power of this POLITICAL ORGANISATION, which masquerades as a charity.

    The EA has, since 2008, given them some £33.5m, most of it to flood the Levels!

    You might ask why and wonder about it, as I have. Well you don’t have to look too far. Smiff’s deputy, one Dr Brown, is also a member of the RSPB Council.

    Make of that what you will.

  128. 128
    Anonymous says:

    Seems EA staff are being warned not to comment on public forums in face of disciplinary action under bringing the organisation into disrepute. So much for openness.

  129. 129
    It's the cistern that's wrong says:

    Flush him out NOW!

  130. 130
    i don't n eed no doctor says:

    Why is the UK media so pathetic. What happened to good journalism?

  131. 131
    Bluto says:

    Deja vu – exactly the same with Mid Staffs when he defended Nicholson. “Now is not the time to change personnel” etc.

    This Common Purpose idiot is just protecting his Common Purpose alumni.

  132. 132
    Prayer to the Rain God says:

    Please let Witney flood – please please please please please…

  133. 133
    Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation says:

    So it costs nearly £400 million in salaries FOR ONE YEAR???

  134. 134
    M­a­­­­q­bo­­ul says:

    Hilarious that Britain has loads of rivers?

  135. 135
    Taxpayer says:

    Chris Smith is the Reverend Flowers of the Environment

    Parachuted into a job for which he is patently unsuitable on a grossly overpaid part time basis

    And lifting shirts during the rest of the time

    They are taking the piss on an unheard of scale

  136. 136
    C.O.Jones says:

    If the EA has classed the silt as environmental waste then it is subject to landfill tax. Now get the calculator out!

  137. 137
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    And it’s not even Halloween *shudder*

    Just use that as an election poster with the words “be afraid, be very afraid” and the Tories will win a landslide :-)

  138. 138
    The BBC says:

    BBC meat.

  139. 139
    It's madness says:

    The moss was just an afterthought they came up with when the locals complained.

    Given that the area was always used by locals for horse riding, walking, dog exercise etc and there was always moss, then any sensible person would conclude that these activities were good for the moss.

  140. 140
    Engineer says:

    Powerpoint environment protection!

  141. 141
    Fish says:

    I liked the way that Slippery Smith when confronted by the criticism of his leadership, indignantly responded by say that that was unfair on the EA staff who had been working their sock off.

    Smiffy, it was YOU who the finger was been pointed at. Don’t use your staff as a human shield

    It was also interesting to hear him disown the policy of returning the Levels to nature – he said this morning that he hadn’t seen the paper setting out the 2008 EA strategy

    And he has now changed his position 3 times on dredging. Before Xmas they were clear that dredging was NOT required, then last week it wasn’t the only answer, now it is needed (and the Government won’t give them the money for the dredging that they said wasn’t needed).

  142. 142
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Was he ever alive in the first place?

  143. 143
    BBC says:

    …and he’s one of us

  144. 144
    Tyroll says:

    Austria has more mountains, if we are going down the fairness route.

  145. 145
    Waterworld says:

  146. 146
    Greychatter says:

    The trouble is the building still gets wet when it rains!!

  147. 147
    Thinking of Sochi says:

    On the bright side, if we get a cold snap, perhaps the Winter Para-Olympics could be moved to Somerset.

  148. 148
    Cinna says:

    “At least 21 insurgents have been killed in central Iraq after a car bomb was detonated by accident, reports say.

    They were filming a propaganda video of the would-be suicide attacker when the blast occurred, the head of the local Sunni pro-government militia in Jilam told the AFP news agency”.

    Nuff said.

  149. 149
  150. 150
    Consign Gays to the Closet says:

    It was completely unnecessary — the gayers already had Civil Partnerships — however, it does have one major advantage in that it will be a significant factor in eroding the Tory core vote in 2015, which will help get Dave out.

  151. 151
    Fish says:

    Suspiciously quiet on the flooding is our ED.

    Would it have to do with him being Climate Change Minister around 2008 when the EA decided to flood the Levels

  152. 152
    I'll get me wellies says:

  153. 153
    Greychatter says:

    Take the money out of the EA’s 500 million pension pot!!

  154. 154
    Selfies of the world unite says:

    We couldn’t give a flying fuck

  155. 155
    The Dredge Report says:

    Kill all eco-loons and lynch Chris Smith!

  156. 156
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    They all piss in the same pot

  157. 157
    Environ says:

    Tis dem fackin tesco trolleys in rivers and streams causin the problem.

  158. 158
    Fish says:

    Allahu Akbar

  159. 159
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    And her ugly brother !

  160. 160
    Selfies of the world unite says:

    Chipping Norton would be even better

  161. 161
    Environ says:

    Ur too far upsteam…

  162. 162
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Better start building that ark :-)

  163. 163
    Proftastic says:

    Not sure. Appears to be suffering from fanatical index finger though. If the condition hasn’t improved by end of PMQs on Wednesday, I will have to advise he applies some ointment to it.

  164. 164
    DCL says:

    Do they still qualify for those 72 virgins?

  165. 165
    Jack says:

    Where is Engineer when we need him?

    It seems to me that by closihg the Thames Barrage or whatever they call it, they have succeeded in floogingbthe whole of the Thames Valley

    Bloody funny if yiu dont live there

    There will be a Stockbrokers Revolt

  166. 166
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    Apparently the midwife who delivered them is still in rehab :-)

  167. 167
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    If lived on the levels I’d take a shotgun to as many of the ecoloonies precious birds as I could

  168. 168
    Kevin Bollox says:

    Smithy is a stupid fucking wank head. He should tell his cute black boyfriend to take his 12″ cock out of his tight white arse so that he can concentrate on the day job.

  169. 169
    Cinna says:

    You need to exercise your pelvic floor muscles, dear.

  170. 170
    Fuck the LibLabCon says:

    “NOTHING about the floods on Red Ed twitter feed. Does he know or even care?”

    He’s partly responsible.

  171. 171
    Jack says:

    I was looking for you Engineer

    Good day Sir

    Is it true that closing the Thames Barrier has caused the whole Thames Valley to flood?

  172. 172
    Cinna says:

    Is John partial to cream pies?

  173. 173
    Black Jack Dromey says:

    **interested face** does said robot come in a dusky finish?

  174. 174
    The Critic says:

    Check the budget. The EA gets 700 million from govt plus 500 million in charges. They don’t need more money.

  175. 175
    Pickles McDonut says:

    How did they dredge the rivers in the 1600’s?

  176. 176
    Jack says:

    Who are the PR conmen ripping us off for £2 million?

  177. 177
    Proftastic says:

    I have been trying to find where journalism ends and activism begins, they appear to have some sort of open border policy in effect.

  178. 178
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    It would be fun to hold an exhibition of Milimong photos !

  179. 179
    Stating the obvious says:

    Somerset Levels:
    1. Large area of peat-based alluvial flood plain.
    2. Peak tide level is about 4.5m (13 feet) ABOVE mean elevation.
    3. It hasn’t stopped raaaining for a bazillion weeks.
    4. Last time I checked, politicians can’t stop it raining.
    5. People build houses on flood plain. (What could possibly go wrong.)
    6. Sooner or later, Nature does its thing.

    People with wet houses want someone (else) to pay.

  180. 180
    Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Absolutely. None of these so-called charities should be allowed to use the name ‘charity’ to describe themselves any more. Look at the RSPCA. Look at Oxfam. They are nothing more than left-wing political pressure groups. Why do they get millions and millions from central government?

    The worst thing is the general public don’t realise what has happened.

  181. 181
    Jack Ketch says:

    No, the wind is going TOO FAST. Those con-job wind turbines are designed to stall when windspeeds exceed 130MPH. As a gale of 80mph will often exceed the survival speed of wind turbines in gusts, they are rigged to stall at much lower speeds. Or in the case of your observation, the recent gales may just have broken them anyway.

  182. 182
    Blind Pew says:

    All they need is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

  183. 183
    Tony Blackarse says:

    Yes Chums, our old mate DLT is fighting for his career, and I think we ought
    to be aware of the implications if this great British pop-picker gets sent down.

  184. 184
    thostids says:

    I seem to recall that it was Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition who got Cameron’s Cattemites’ Charter through. It might be another reason why UKIP are upsetting Labour as well as the Tories.
    Of all the unlovely Policies the Westminster crack-heads have foisted on the general Public, this is the one that has really angered the Public and motivated them to give the crack-heads such a kick in the Chris Smiths that they go into orbit with their very own moons.

  185. 185
    Lord Smith of Finsbury Park Public Conveniences says:

    You can’t sack me-I’m indispensable.

  186. 186
    Shergar says:

    Cameron should summarily dismiss Smith for incompetence,the man,Smith is a total prick,typical of the left political classes.

  187. 187
    Mother Nature says:

    Vote UKIP

  188. 188
    German Honeymoon Horse says:

    They are suffering floods because they live on a flood plain that is below peak tide level, and because it has rained for about fucking forever.

    I am amazed that the EA work from offices though. They should be eviscerated immediately. At the very least.

  189. 189
    Mother nature always wins says:

    Mother nature getting her own back on the lieing b,stards in the house of corruption blaming her and lieing to the people and taxing people on the lies.

  190. 190
    Jack Ketch says:

    It occurs to me that having a nancy-boy expert on ballet as Chairman of an agency that requires specifically commercial acumen and some understanding of technical matters is a pretty stupid idea. As it is a part-time job, I am surprised that the DoE does not actively seek proven “turn-around” artists who have retired from the business sector. There are plenty of gentlemen with real weight who would love to get out of the house for a couple of days a week who have real skills.
    If being a player for the “other team” is a sine qua non, Lord Browne, former head of BP is unemployed at present.

  191. 191
    Sick of Green says:

    Don’t bother, the bat mincing, subsidy mining windmills will shred all the birds.

  192. 192
    Weak little pussy manboy says:

    Do you think Ed Milliband could lift a sandbag?
    I don’t.

  193. 193
    The DG says:

    We call it forced pork.

  194. 194
    Libertie(s) says:

    Its just homophobia

  195. 195
    Julian the Wonderhorse says:

    Another Crystal Methodist, no experience or knowledge of the industry, just a nice little earner for labour insiders. No doubt when they asked Lord Smith about the Somerset Levels he thought it was a poem by Wordsworth

  196. 196
    Parson Demand says:

    The levels are below sea level for 8 ish hours a day and behind gates but for the other 14 hours they are designed to be drained of the fresh water flowing in.

    The EA decided off their own back that this land claimed from the sea centuries ago should be returned to the sea and thus decided (off their own back again) to stop clearing those vital drains of silt.

    Result is that the normal winter floods that did not reach elevated houses are now high enough to swamp all the houses.

    Whether the levels should be given back to the sea or not is a different debate and it certainly should NOT be the EA’s decision.

    Worth noting though that there is no “natural” land in the UK. All of it is managed in some way or another.

  197. 197
    Anonymous says:

    Fuck it – give the £1.2 B to the Royal Engineers and get them on the job – this country will be watertight within the week.

  198. 198
    Wake up & vote UKIP says:

    I’d like to see him stuffed into one.

  199. 199
    Smith is a Scumbag says:

    Yes I noticed that. No one had accused the staff of anything, except having him as a very bad leader. He twisted his reply. SCUMBAG

  200. 200
    Teacher says:

    Same way this still do it in parts of SE Asia. A raft is poled downriver or drawn by animal power. Wooden buckets are dragged along the river bed and spoil is dumped on the raft for transfer to the river banks periodically. In shallow areas a chain of people with shovels and buckets to the job.
    The Romans were dredging rivers, canals and harbours a lot earlier than that although they had plenty of workers on minimum wage (ie. nothing).

  201. 201
    Jack Ketch says:

    Did you mean handbag?

  202. 202
    John Bellingham says:

    The US uses the Army Corps of Engineers for flood defences and it has been considered a failure.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/jun/05/flooding-us-defence

  203. 203
    Penfold says:

    If he was sacked, his contract probably contains a clause that he gets a huge pay off. And likely these contracts probably do not contain a failure to perform clause which obviates pay offs and claws back pension payments etc.

    We are seeing the impact of the politicisation of Quangoes and Agencies, with the imposition of useless ex-politico’s as heads.
    Additionally we are now having to deal with the reckoning caused by policies imposed by the EU and slavishly enforced by UK bodies.

    Dave promised a bonfire of the quangoes, we are still waiting, he needs to get a grip. He should ignore the whinging from the left, and sack incompetent and useless agency heads and bring in competent experts who will take direction from local bodies and government. No more jobs for party hacks with a common purpose.

    C’mon Dave, or are your matches still damp from there outing down the Somerset Levels?

  204. 204
    Col. Stok says:

    Think laterally. Set the useless smith up with some tempting (to him) rent boy with the appropriate contraband for his use. Then let the press have the lot unless he resigns. Our security services used to do this sort of thing all the time.
    Or better still just pop him in a hold all for a long weekend and leave in the bathroom.

  205. 205
    Truth Teller says:

    Stating the obvious:
    Not true though for the Datchet and Old Windsor areas where the new, artificially created flood plain was designed in the 1980s so that the area would be sacrificed to protect areas downstream. Pity the householders there…

  206. 206
    Anonymous says:

    But the British Army – and subsequently Royal Engineers – are the best in the world :D

  207. 207
    Penfold says:

    His predecessor, Baroness Young (Lab) (2000-2008), was ex head of RSPB and English Nature.
    Also involved with the Care Quality Commission, ’nuff said.

  208. 208
    CFD trader says:

    “responded by say that that was unfair on the EA staff who had been working their sock off.”

    Redirect and obfuscate. Its what they do.

  209. 209
    (Rarely) Dangerous Brian says:

    Priceless on the Andrew Marr show moaning about the way anonymous internet contributors can say what they want.
    Mr Jones, I will come out from behind my pseudonym and debate with you on any topic.
    Unfortunately I know I cannot win before we start, as jumped up leftie hypocrites are never worng.

  210. 210
    (Rarely) Dangerous Brian says:

    Pimping for Mr Dromey now, how low can he go?

  211. 211
    (Rarely) Dangerous Brian says:

    Each?
    Thats 1512 virgins, they wont be easy to find, even in Iraq.

  212. 212
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  213. 213
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  214. 214
    Pickles McDonut says:

    So its the Poors fault?

    I fucking knew it. IDS – fire up the DWP and get some sanctions out!

  215. 215
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  216. 216
    We KNOW liblabcon are liars.. we can hope UKIP less so. says:

    http://www.north-mill-avoncliff.co.uk/the-short-story

    ” 500 million in charges”

    Ah! I think I see a problem. …

    Water extraction licence <£200 (from the EA for allowing water to PASS THROUGH a generating device)

    Currently costs surpassing £1.5 million at ONE PROJECTalone..

    See link above.
    Most definitely a shadow government. They even ignore Judges!

  217. 217
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  218. 218
    Stating the obvious says:

    Of course I feel sorry for them, but it doesn’t change the fact that the houses shouldn’t have been built there, and people shouldn’t have bought them.

    I’ve no soft spot for either the EA or Cameron’s bunch, but they really aren’t responsible for severe weather conditions or the fact that all departments (and the whole country in general) are skint thanks to the last bunch of tossers that spent all the money (and then some).

  219. 219
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  220. 220
    Owen's mum says:

    Owen you’re not allowed to watch scary stuff.
    You know it gives you nightmares.

  221. 221
    Nemesis says:

    Even worse than Lord Smith is the opposition Environment woman Angela Eagle. What a prevaricating Hunt she is. Typical of Labour always quick to complain but have no answers. She says dredging would not have prevented the floods. We are all well aware of that you stupid woman, what dredging would have achieved is massively alleviate the situation. It’s tree huggers like Eagle that have caused much of this mess by worrying more about fucking voles than people. Oh, and now all the voles are dead under flood water.

  222. 222
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  223. 223
    Fog says:

    Evan Davis asked Baroness Young this morning on ‘Today’ wasn’t it true that when she was at the Environment agency, a report which advised ‘More water more wildlife’ was implemented as policy. She reluctantly replied something about taking the advice of the ‘experts’

  224. 224
    I want to know says:

    Exactly what was Miliband responsible for as Climate Change Minister?
    How much money did he waste on ridiculous eco schemes, rather than
    strengthening coast and flood defences to protect tax-payers?

  225. 225
    SarumSea says:

    Sadly so.
    The bill will have to be paid.

  226. 226
    SarumSea says:

    E.U.

  227. 227
    Truthteller says:

    People in Egham want the Army sent in, but what do they get? Duck Tours, London’s Amazing Amphibious Adventure.

  228. 228
    Blowing Donkey Whistles says:

    This is rapidly turning into Daves Hurricane Katrina moment. How the funk can this flooding of the Thames come as a shock to people and WTF weren’t the EA warning people days ago? It’s not difficult you mongtarded EA fukwits.

  229. 229
    Anonymous says:

    Surely if it has been used that long and by the public, there is a precedent to continue its free, unrestricted use?

  230. 230
  231. 231
    Tom Catesby says:

    The environment agency is drowning in staff.

  232. 232
    CARBON FOOTPRINT says:

    Whats this Mother nature shit, just get dredging and pumping

  233. 233
    Blowing Donkey Whistles says:

    Abusing cracks has got the fat EA fcuker in trouble before.

  234. 234
    Tom Catesby says:

    South of England fucked and under water then.

  235. 235
    Hugh Jend says:

    Fook them…come independence can we have the weather maps with that shit hole deleted…just like Eire was and still should be!

  236. 236
    Karl Marx says:

    Lame Blabour! Tories have been in power for almost 4 years if these people are so incompetent why didn’t they remove them? They need to stop acting like they have only been the job a few weeks and take some responsibility.

  237. 237
    (Rarely) Dangerous Brian says:

    Well said sir.

  238. 238
    Marsh Warbler says:

    If the EA has decided that reclaimed land should be returned to the sea, then half of Eastern England needs to watch out.

  239. 239
  240. 240
    Ohthisbloodypc says:

    This is the wettest Environment Agency since records began

    There has been a massive downpour of public cash, and there aren’t enough luvvies to soak it all up.

    We need to start planting more quangos.

  241. 241
    The Usual.... says:

    Hmmmmmm…………………… looks a very silly piece now!

  242. 242
    The Usual.... says:

    Not at all.

    Pickles referred ironically to ‘experts’ at the EA. Lord Smith is in a management role and so clearly as dependent on expert advice as the Government generally.

  243. 243
    ron says:

    Guido, the USA is not 80 times larger than the UK.

    It is 40 times larger.

  244. 244
    Anonymous says:

    Isnt the real root that there are too many people in the UK? They need to be housed somewhere. Its overpopulation, not climate change that is the problem. Globally too.

  245. 245
    freddy says:

    Lord Smith goes in 3 months he is at present sorting out his massive pay off i have this on good authority check out Avoncliff Mill blog £1.5 million sanctioned on £150 licence to cover up unlawful activities £650.000 since they were beat at Judicial Revue maliciously David Jordan is the sanctioner

  246. 246
    Jes says:

    Sad state of affairs when the powers that be spend so much on PR. Here’s a suggestion: cancel your PR spend and use it instead to help the environment and those whose lives have been impacted by the floods. Just a thought. ..

  247. 247
    Shock Horror - how could you say such a thing says:

    Just a snapshot view on the subject of expenditure and manpower, but I am surprised at the sheer quantity of clothing and gagetry worn and carried by the people we see on our TV screens, mostly the yellow covered ones. I don’t know who is who but a lot of money has been spent here for sure. Many of them seem rather over-dressed and over equipped. I know I know, ‘elfnsafety’ can’t take risks with their lives etc. etc., but I suspect it’s been spent here because its easier to do this than spend money on more difficult projects and it sounds good in reports that all this has been done. And then there is manpower, they seem to collect in large groups, strikes me there’s overmanning going on, another ‘elnsafety’ justification no doubt. That is, the ‘elfnsafety’ of the employees of these quangoes rather than health and safety of the lives and property of the people they are truly meant to protect. They could get to more people who need helping if they spread their staff out a bit thinner.

  248. 248
    we have a right to knoe says says:

    guido,

    Smith has 11 jobs……what are they…..are they all public sector…..what is his total salary and for how many days a week?

  249. 249
    stushie says:

    The quicker WATERSHED management boards are set up the better.
    The E A has been an unmitigated disaster with NO accountability anywhere.

  250. 250
    b jones says:

    or better still sack the useless really fat sack of shite Pickles!

  251. 251
    Dessert Rat says:

    Fucking lazy twats


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