Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Where You Place the Blame

It was the younger of the two history dons at Brasenose College in the late 80s - the one who wore, if memory serves, corduroy and in his spare time used to dish out fines to undergraduates for such minor misdemeanours as dancing on the roof of the college, letting off fire extinguishers in the library and stapling people to New Quad with croquet hoops.

He it was who had a poster on his wall, which seemed apposite to the jobs both of History tutors and Junior Deans.

"It's not about whether you win or lose. It's where you place the blame."

And at this time of flooding, I can't help reflecting that David Cameron must, at one time or another, have stood in there shelling out 50 quid for doing handstands on the Principal,  or converting the pool table into a beer-pond or whatever, reading those words of wisdom and reflecting that,  at about 4 quid a word, they were cheap at half the price.

When everybody is neck deep in alligators, you deal with alligators. The time to ask who filled the room with alligators is later. For the time being, the issue is not forestry, or dredging (unless there is somewhere it might facilitate drying-out without wrecking a town downstream.  It's not about the EU. It's not who cut what budget. It's not who broke what promise. It's certainly not about Climate Change. It's getting people out of water and protecting property and facilities.

Let's learn the lessons, and take the necessary actions, when energy can be used on that, rather than worrying about the problems directly ahead of us. As Basil Fawlty wisely once said, we can deal with the sackings later.


  1. A wise man learns from history? Not sure who said it, but we've been here so many times in the past and the collective 'we' whether government, local authority or individuals have failed to learn the lessons that the nature has taught us time and time again. :(

    1. You can't deflect the power of nature by flood barriers - water wll always over come such barriers, no matter how big we build them.

    2. If you continue to build on flood plains and to concrete over our environment, than surplus water has nowhere else to go except into any escape route - home, business, farms wherever - it's nature at work.

    3. If we prevaricate and fail to act after a disaster we just store up opportunities for these to recur in the future.

    4. If you don't want to be flooded, move to the top of a hill and hope that the water running down hill, doesn't flow through your home.

    5. Give up and build an ark

  2. Spot on, Eileen, but of course with an election on the horizon, deflecting blame from yourself and your party is the name of the game. If politicians could me made responsible for the long-term effects of their decisions, we'd have a chance, but short-termism rules and will go on doing so.

  3. You know what, there are even some of the flooded people who want to talk about climate change. - How outrageous! What has happened to their sense of priority? http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BgIHI0GIUAAFG0m.jpg


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