A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Burning Bush

George Bush has declared California a major disaster area after four days of relentless wildfires which has seen the biggest US evacuation since Hurricane Katrina. The estimated cost is so far set at $1 billion. 1500 homes have literally gone up in smoke. One wonders how much more the American people can take. One week it's a natural disaster, the next it's a man-made gun-crazed disaster. All the while, the tax dollars are whirring around, some going to the needy, quite a lot going to the "experts" and "consultants".

It's a long time since I was in California, but the image we get of the place today is one of tinderdry conditions. Just a broken piece of glass in the sun can be potentially lethal. The current arid landscape may or may not be down to global warming, but it all adds up to governments trying to do something well after the proverbial horse has bolted. I never thought, when wandering around Sacramento, that the heavily-accented Austrian who was a feature of UK talk shows and had far-fetched films to his credits, would end up as Governor of California. If he had told Michael Parkinson that "I vont to be ze governor of California and help ze ozone layer, ze people and ze planet" I would have been as incredulous as the next person. But Arnold Schwarzenegger is proving to be a popular proponent of the green agenda conservatism that British Tory leader David Cameron espouses.

Maybe when George Bush visits California tomorrow he may well see how the lives of most Americans today are really affected by such disasters. The costs incurred, in lost homes, jobs, and businesses, could in part be alleviated by the billions of dollars now going towards the almost futile involvement in exporting democracy to Iraq.


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