Commons drowning in a sea of hyperbole

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The south of England is underwater, and our politicians are frantic.

Minister after Minister, party leader after party leader is leaping into action, for nothing like this has ever happened before.

Okay, so there might have been the odd little flood up in Yorkshire over the years (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, say) - but that’s all very far away, isn’t it? I mean, even Somerset was underwater for several weeks before anyone noticed.

But now the Thames has burst its banks as well, and Ministers are waddling around on our TV screens in their wellies like it’s the worst Glastonbury festival ever.

David Cameron has officially Taken Control of the Government response; chairing meetings, jetting up and down to the South West, and even gracing us with the first Downing Street press conference in almost a year.

Indeed, such is Mr Cameron’s new ‘all-action’ persona that it would have been no surprise to see him squelch into the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions in wellington boots and sou’wester, a sandbag under one arm and a newly-rescued child over his shoulder.

“Whatever can be done, will be done,” he told the House. “Money is no object. We will spend what is necessary.”

This may come as a shock to anyone who’s heard the PM speak previously about the state of public finances, but hey ho. Now the South is underwater there are suddenly grants for flooded farmers, tax breaks for flooded businesses, defence schemes for flooded homes.

But still the South West remains unhappy, with the collapse of its rail line leaving some areas practically cut off.

The message from the PM, however, was clear - don’t cancel your holidays just yet.

“Tourism businesses in Cornwall and Devon want people to know the peninsula is open for business,” he told MPs, a little optimistically.

Hmm. I’m not too sure anyone watching the news will be planning a winter break in the South West this week. Let’s face it, the flood of soggy politicians seeking photo opportunities would be enough to put anyone off.