In the October 2 edition of the County Times, Roger Arthur of UKIP wrote an article calling for a renewed ‘bonfire of the quangos’. In it, he singled out the Environment Agency as an example of the sort of thing we can manage without, particularly the work at Warnham Mill Pond which is currently underway.
He states that this work is unnecessary, and that the risk could instead have been ‘covered by an incremental insurance premium’. It amazes me that he suggests this when not even 12 months ago, large areas of the country were flooded, causing untold hardship to those affected.
His suggestion to simply leave it to the market is short-sighted; insurance may cover the financial cost, but the human and social cost of flooding is much higher. There is no insurance for losing the place you call home, your family photographs, and everything else you’ve built over the years. Money isn’t everything.
Besides which, homes in areas at risk of flooding are finding it ever harder to find insurance in the first place, so this really doesn’t work.
More telling is the fact that these works are required because of the largest market failure ever; increasing future rainfall because of climate change.
Of course, UKIP deny the scientific facts there, so perhaps it’s not surprising that they see this money as wasted. However, the aforementioned insurers are busily preparing for a future (not so far away) where climate change affects us all, so perhaps Mr Arthur should listen to them on that matter.
The market cannot fix everything, and if it is UKIP’s only approach to the hard questions we face, then they show their true colours not as an alternative, but as a continuation of the same old neoliberal status quo.
2015 Parliamentary Candidate for Something New for Horsham, Greenfinch Way, Horsham