Milford Puts Perspective on the Storms
Posted on February 17, 2014
The boys and I stayed down at my Dad’s in Milford on Sea at the weekend, seeing first hand the damage caused by Friday night’s storm that put the village on the map in a kind of unwanted way.
When I say kind of unwanted, this is because, generally, if I go for a walk on Milford sea front in February, I could count the amount of fellow walkers on one, at a push, two hands, though there is always five or six cars with pensioners in, partaking in the hobby of staring out to sea until their lunch is ready; it is a lovely view across the channel to the Isle of Wight and the Needles.
Yesterday however, the beach front and the surrounding cafes and public houses were as busy as they would be on a sunny July afternoon. Everywhere you went there were people milling around inspecting the timber and concrete blocks that had been obliterated by the wind and waves of Friday night.
There has been plenty of ranting recently by the “Charity begins at home” brigade but yesterday was a classic example of the chasm of difference between Britain’s storms and those experienced in Eastern countries such as Bangladesh and the Philippines.
If we look back at the storms that blasted through the Philippines a few months back, the people of that country were also roaming around the damage in their thousands but in their case, it was not a curious afternoon walk with their kids, trying out their new digital cameras whilst bedecked in expensive North Face winter clothing.
In the Phillipines, people were roaming because they had nowhere to go, no food, no clean water and the hideous threat of typhoid, cholera and any number of life ending diseases casting a huge shadow over their shattered lives. With that in mind, I do wish that the hysterical British media would stop calling these storms “Biblical” or “Cameron’s New Orleans.”
The Stark Comparison Between Milford on Sea and The Phillipines
It is a personal opinion of course and everyone has a right to what they say and believe, but I think the Daily Mail campaign to abandon foreign aid was opportunist, spiteful journalism, which thankfully, has been largely ignored by the government.
This is not to say that I don’t pity the victims of these floods, it can’t be a lot of fun having your downstairs flooded, your power going on and off on a weekly basis and your chosen profession hampered by transport disruption; It must be a right pain in the neck.
However, all the areas and business I have seen affected by the storms are what I would personally regard as “At Risk.” If you are a farmer in Somerset, a fisherman in Cornwall, or a millionaire with a house sat on the banks of the River Thames, it doesn’t take an environmentalist to work out that you are faced with the potential of having major issues in extreme weather.
Anyone in these areas that is uninsured, is either naive or plain stupid.
There seemed to be a few locals in Milford who were a bit narked about the storm damage tourists invading their town yesterday but in a classic case of every cloud been lined with silver, local traders must have had their best February day for decades.
Over 5,000 people died in the Phillipines and 673,000 were displaced and as bad as the UK storms have been, the headline “One Dead as Storms Batter Britain” doesn’t really stand up in comparison and hardly justifies terminating aid to countries who are vital current and future trading partners in a global economy.
When I saw the middle class British storm tourists buying tea and cake at Milford on Sea yesterday, feeding themselves and the local economy, it made me realise one thing is for certain.
This has has all been a bit of a storm in a tea cup!