Cameron: money no object (for mopping up)
On the A3 out of London on the way to Chertsey there were some stretches of the road that looked like the causeway to Holy Island or the road to the Florida Keys.
At Chertsey fire station we bumped into Philip Hammond as he toured his water-logged constituency. The army – Gurkhas from Folkestone – were here, police water search vans pulling dinghies, a fire engine from Nottinghamshire. But you still find residents of homes under water nearby who say they haven’t had a single visit from anyone in authority since flooding first happened here on 7 January. Now it’s back with a vengeance and threatening to get worse soon.
Philip Hammond disputed the suggestion that he’d been at the sceptical end of the market on climate change. He may have declared the war on the motorist over when he took up position as transport secretary but that was not incompatible with his position on climate change. What is that position? He believes there is a “human component” to climate change but other factors like “natural rhythms and solar rhythms” contribute too.
Just round the corner, Nigel Farage was talking to flood victims. I asked him if he still believed, with water lapping round his feet, that “we may have made one of the biggest, stupidest, collective mistakes in history by getting so worried about global warming”. He said he had no idea whatsoever whether climate change was responsible for the current floods. .
David Cameron’s top-line message for his press conference after two days visiting flood damage and victims was “money’s no object.” If you listened carefully you heard he said that was “money’s no object” for mopping up. When it comes to preventative stuff, money is very much an object.
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