To aid or not to aid

  namtas 16:26 11 Feb 2014
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The Daily Mail has today launched a petition requesting that the UK government divert more of its £11 billion foreign Aid budget towards emergency use her in the UK.

I agree, and whilst not knowing the full story behind the need or use all of the aid sent overseas, I feel that quite often we appear to be more wiling to help others before our own.

  spuds 11:40 12 Feb 2014

"guestimate for the cost of our flood damage."

Looks like £Billions, with cost rising every day, as flooding and damage gets worse!.

I wonder how the Victorian sewer networks are coping, and already there appears to be news of 'sink-holes' appearing, possibly due to the weather and saturated ground conditions?.

  bumpkin 12:32 12 Feb 2014

"Almost impossible" I have to agree with that. The more one thinks about it and the knock on events the worse it gets.

  oresome 12:52 12 Feb 2014

FM

Never consider a career in the news industry.

  namtas 13:35 12 Feb 2014

**FM "Of course, that would be a positive story and that's not what the news business is about"**

Unfortunately true, but fact is that it is the bad news that sells newspapers, so it is not the fault of the papers but a fault of the public who prefer reporting in this way.

  Forum Editor 14:33 12 Feb 2014

I'm watching and waiting for the Daily Mail's 'Our military heroes are saving the day for flooded Britain' storyline to crank into action.

Flood protection today is a huge improvement on what was available back in 1953, when what was described as the biggest disaster to hit peace-time Britain occurred. In one night 326 people lost their lives as the sea inundated 16000 acres of land due to a North sea storm surge. In all some 32,000 people had to leave their homes, and damage was estimated at £1.2 billion in today's prices.

What's happening in Southern England at the moment is very serious, there's no doubt about that, but it will not result in the loss of life that happened 60 years ago. Property can be restored, it's simply a question of money, and large amounts of it.

In terms of scale we are experiencing nothing like the natural disasters that occur elsewhere in the world at frequent intervals. Saying we should stop our foreign aid and spend the money to help flood victims is a ridiculous misunderstanding of the situation.

  Al94 15:44 12 Feb 2014

As a slight aside, one thing puzzles me. The Thames Barrier I understand exists to protect the city from flooding from the sea. If it is raised, as reported, does that not restrict the flow of the river thus potentially making the flooding in the upper reaches worse?

  Flak999 16:14 12 Feb 2014

Al94

The barrier is raised at low tide, allowing for a reservoir of water to build up. It is then released to flow down stream when the water on the downstream side of the barrier equalises during the next tidal cycle see here.

  Blackhat 16:15 12 Feb 2014

A194

Saw this the other day

How the barrier works

  john bunyan 16:21 12 Feb 2014

I will admit to being a paper Daily Mail Reader (blame my wife) but I totally disagree , very often , with some of their silly campaigning headlines and features. I am proud of the fact that this country strives to allocate 0.7% of GNP to foreign aid. I do, however, believe that this aid should be much more closely monitored to ensure it goes to desperate people on the ground. Until now , far too much has been skimmed off by corrupt government officials.

On the flooding issue, this is an event that is so rare it is hard to allocate blame at this stage. The Dutch, who have far more "below sea level" land than us, spend double our amount on flood defence, with less than half our population. Whether we have the political will to follow their methods on a greater scale will no doubt be debated in the aftermath of the present situation.

  Al94 16:41 12 Feb 2014

Good links - thanks

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