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

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cameron says Brown 'looks phoney'

Conservative leader David Cameron has said Gordon Brown looks like "a phoney" as they went head-to-head in their first Commons battle since July. I watched, and thought Brown looked very uneasy at the jibes, but he did fight back, so he's not a total "feartie from Fife" as Alex Salmond would say.

However, he is still trying to give the impression that he has somehow come good over the summer floods and the foot-and-mouth outbreak. On both issues he is sadly misinformed on what is going on. Yes, £800 million is on its way for flood prevention, but are we confident it will be spent wisely and can the various agencies deliver? Up until now the answer has to be NO!

Today the insurance companies are saying that flood insurance may become difficult to obtain or impossible. With the farmers they cannot get insurance against foot-and-mouth. So they have to cope on what the government dishes out by way of compensation.

This is a nice piece from Hansard. Lord Rooker was effectively saying that the Pirbright institution caused the outbreak. But it was this from the Countess of Mar that shows how well the Government has handled it all - with a complacency of stratospheric proportions!

The Countess of Mar: My Lords, the Minister has just mentioned making decisions based on science. Could he explain why Pirbright itself was not made the first infected premises? We knew that no animals were leaving Pirbright and that therefore it would depend on humans and vehicle movements. If Pirbright had been treated as the first IP, the protection and surveillance zone boundaries would have been different and we would not have had the second outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Lord Rooker: My Lords, I cannot answer precisely the initial question asked by the noble Countess with regard to Pirbright and the control zone, but I assure her that when I was telephoned on Friday—and I was not in the country at the time—I was informed that the location of that first outbreak was incredibly close to Pirbright. In other words, the connection had been made virtually as the analysis was being done. Even then, that may well have been locking the stable door. I have not previously referred to this, but when the foot and mouth disease came back again in a third, fourth and fifth outbreak, it is clear from all the evidence that we have that the fifth was not in fact the fifth but at least the third—and it may have been earlier than that. The disease was not reported and the lesions were up to four weeks old in some cases. The chronology is still being worked on by epidemiologists.

Well, well, all very vague. I hope the noble Countess keeps on with her good work! We need to know how long these epidemiologists are going to take. It can't be that difficult to ascertain the last ONE PERCENT of evidence needed to conclude that it was DEFRA wot did it!

Full report in Hansard on Foot and Mouth Disease and Bluetongue.


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