Skip to main content

Up to ankles in water does PM no good.

It appears from the opinion polls that the prime minister has misjudged the handling of the floods. All that donning of Wellington boots wading around and looking serious has done little to assuage the mood that too little has been done too late.

I usually find it silly that politicians have to be 'seen to be doing something'. This is why they end up paddling in water and 'coming to see' for themselves the enormity of it all when in truth it provides little they couldn't already understand. Being 'seen' in a crisis is all important. Being 'seen' to be indifferent to people's suffering is highly damaging.

Curiously Miliband's paddling and being 'seen' has been more effective than Cameron's. Voter's minds tend to be made rather early and Cameron was fighting a losing battle with public perception. He just looked like a man out of his depth.

All this is probably distinctly unfair. But it is the nature of politics. I  am sure the Prime Minister handles things with skill when he chairs Cobra meetings.

Chairing cobra meetings has also become a feature of being 'seen' to do something. Taking charge. Politicians have to be  'seen to take charge' or as it is so often said 'get a grip'. It is a euphemism that is most often used when politicians have little 'grip' to grip with. Events take more control than any politician could do.

Politicians are slaves to events, and the biggest 'event' is environmental change and certainly the weather. I would put my money on the weather winning. Politicians cannot control the rain and wind - at least not yet. Maybe some bright spark in a Cobra meeting is suggesting this be done.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods.  Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects?  A new report now provides some of the answers. New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism. Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases cau

Therapeutic animal stress

Interacting with animals is known to be therapeutic,  particularly in reducing stress.  But do we consider sufficiently the effects this may have on the animals involved?   We might assume that because it is calming for us, then it must be so for the therapeutic animals, but is this so?  New research suggests that it isn't always without stress for the animals involved.  Positive human-animal interaction relates to changes in physiological variables both in humans and other animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain.  It also reduces the 'stress' hormone, cortisol. Indeed, these biological responses have measurable clinical benefits.  Oxytocin has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behaviour and social affiliation behaviours and in promoting a sense of well-being .  So far, so good.  We humans often turn to animals for stress relief, companionship, and even therapy.  We kno