David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and the majority of his Cabinet were educated at private schools. Apparently the Old Etonians call Osbourne the Oik because he only attended St Paul’s School. I call him an oik for other reasons. Collectively, the fees their parents paid would probably keep a small country afloat for quite a while. So you would hope, especially given Michael Gove’s desire to make state schools to be indistinguishable from fee-paying ones, that this education would have resulted in a batch of people ready to helm us through our climate change caused disasters.
Do they look the problem in the eye, acknowledge past mistakes, respond with quick and decisive action?
They look for a scapegoat.
The Environment Agency has become the fall guy. With its budgets slashed for years, and flood defence plans abandoned it is now being comprehensively blamed for half the country disappearing under the waves. Britannia needs more than water wings to get out of this one.
The idea that if the rivers had been dredged the flooding would not have happened is as ludicrous as saying that by not using plastic bags we can avert climate change.
Meanwhile, Ed Milliband, who doesn’t seem to have noticed that the flooding is turning into a national disaster on a scale hitherto unseen, puts out a statement saying Labour would give parents the power to oust headteachers. Does that include the headteachers of Eton and Harrow? Somehow I guess not.
Personally, I should like my leaders to show a bit more, make that much more, integrity, to put aside party politics, and look at the long term interests of everyone and the environment, rather than the short term interests of big business,and their own chances of re-election so that they can continue to ignore difficult truths, and instead do everything they can to prevent further destruction of the planet.
Because have you heard Cameron say anything about rethinking fracking after seeing the floods? Any hint of humility in any of the Cabinet about not pushing harder, or at all, for responsible environment management? I haven’t.
As the badgers were culled for political rather than environmental reasons, rivers will be dredged so that the government can say It Is Doing Something. More creatures who have never driven a 4×4, cut down a rain forest or even thought about drilling for oil or gas in the Arctic, will have their habitats destroyed, and the rain will still not go away.
If this is what private school education achieves, god help us.