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“Everyone, – escape the first snow of your English winter and come to Sydney Australia!

6, December 2012

So said, a wag answering a Times editorial, about the English people’s poor response to an inch or two of snow in December.

I said…

‘everyone’ … Will we all get visas and accommodation and occupation to give us an income?

This really is not a joking matter. It is something we in the UK all share responsibility for.

I was recently reading an oral history of someone who grew up in a local village here in Essex a hundred years ago. There were about 6 cars locally the bus ran to town twice a week. She went to school in Chelmsford about an hour and a half’s journey by two trains. Her mother, a Londoner, missed pavements and regularly walked to Kelvedon for that experience. When her brother was born it was a five mile walk to fetch the doctor, but the infant was delivered by a neighbour by the time the doctor arrived by horse drawn transport.

We then spread further from the metropolitan and urban centres, reduced the railway lines, arranged employment so all had to travel, but did not provide either a sufficient public transport infrastructure or the means to keep the roads passable.

Then to compound matters our planning laws allowed employment and retail to move to ‘out of town’ locations but did not provide omnibuses to get there or to the rail heads.

Then we diminished public services so that County Councillors are seemingly people with limited ability or interest and their employees are comparatively lowly paid and undervalued, so that we do not get a top class service – it is beyond them.

Then it snows.

About 18 hours before the snow, I had an email warning from the Meteorological Office warning of below freezing temperatures at exactly the time it froze and snowed. The warning was repeated in early evening local TV news broadcasts.

24 hours later the lead highways councillor was on local radio saying they monitored the situation but had not expected snow and when it came it took several hours to get the Gritters going by which time the roads were clogged with sliding cars and they could not get through, teachers could not get to school and we apologise.

We have got what we deserve, with at its head a Prime Minister who would accept the Leveson report unless it is bonkers who shortly after rejects the main findings but cannot say what bit is ‘bonkers’ in the report. He appointed the rest of the cabinet; however they are made up of MPs we elected. Maybe we should start paying them the going rate.

Peanuts and Monkeys come to mind.

Yet, we live in one of the most affluent countries in the world; meanwhile others starve or die for lack of effective administration, sanitation and basic medical facilities. All this is before Climate Change overwhelms our successors and/or the oil runs out and the population of the world increases beyond the food that can be produced. Meanwhile we blog about it in between playing computer games and planning our next foreign holiday etc., etc.!

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