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Flooding: the EU propaganda machine

2014-02-20 05:54:12

000a EU-019 Restore.jpg

Although it may be drifting out of the front page headlines, the flooding issue is very far from over. In fact, politically, it is just getting interesting. Typically, though, it is precisely at that stage that the legacy media gets bored with it, and the caravan moves on. 

They are simply not capable of any detailed, or sensible analysis, as evidenced by this frankly silly piece from Daniel Hannan.

It's thus left to Peter to do a careful analytical piece. "What is wrong with the Environment Agency", he concludes, "is the same thing that is wrong with every other ministry or quango; government operating to a foreign agenda without transparency, accountability or democratic consent".

"THAT is your culprit", he writes, "and if we don't get serious about that, then everything else is just waffle".

Talking of a "foreign agenda", it is precisely that tune to which the Environment Agency is dancing and, as we see from this, it is even earning a little pocket money for so doing. It is lead agency in the EU-funded RESTORE project, with a total budget of 1,794,567 and an EU contribution of 872,753.

This is about restoring rivers and deals with such issues as ensuring that "water levels are managed carefully to maintain, protect, and if possible, enhance natural habitats".

The Environment Agency was chosen because it is the largest environmental regulator in Europe and is responsible for the protection of the freshwater and marine environment.

It also leads on flood risk and management of water resources in England and Wales and is the UK competent authority for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and is responsible for the delivery of river basin management plans.

The aim of river restoration, says the EU blurb, is to re-establish self-sustaining environments and to restore complete ecosystems. Furthermore, applying sustainable river restoration serves both the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive at several levels.

Not least, we are told, it plays "a crucial role in developing best practice approaches for flood risk management, especially through flood storage, serving the interests of the EU Floods Risks Directive".

Once again, Barroso is called out as a liar, denying that floods had "anything to do with European regulations or responsibilities at all", this time by an EU website.

The overall river restoration effort is hindered, however, "not by a lack of expertise at the local level but by a lack of opportunities for sharing best practice and knowledge. Addressing this gap in knowledge transfer is the main aim of the RESTORE project". Thus do we see the Environment Agency as a paid propagandist for the EU.

Furthermore, this is not the only organisation taking the EU shilling. Up to its eyebrows in EU money is Somerset County Council, part of the 11 million WAVE project (Water Adaptation is Valuable for Everybody), part of the Interreg IVB programme.

Tying Somerset County into the EU propaganda machine, it has Stephen Dury, project co-ordinator applauding the contribution "to a new way of thinking about how we can make catchment areas in Somerset more climate adaptable".

The whole thing is about is to creating conditions "for a sustainable, regional development in which the different (land use) functions are approached in an integrated manner and opportunities are used in such a way that the region is equipped to set off the consequences of climate change".

Look now to the previous government's water strategy for England, published in February 2008, through which the EU is writ large, specifically the Water Framework Directive. 

With the government in its pocket, the Environment Agency and Somerset County Council, all it needed, after the UKIP denials, was for the good and faithful servant Hannan also to turn a blind eye. With him on-side, and the legacy media drifting away, EU propagandists never had it so easy.

Finally, I have to thank the anonymous donor who has sent me a copy of "Soil structural degradation in SW England and its impact on surface-water runoff generation", the paper on which George Monbiot relies for his recent claims. I will be reviewing it in more detail later today.