The peers who started the stench of raw sewage deserve our thanks – Tom Richmond
After all, it is the unelected British peers, an anachronism for many in the 21st century, whose collective response is forcing the government to revise its environmental bill.
As a result of his intervention, there will be a new legal obligation for water companies to âtake all reasonable measuresâ to prevent wastewater discharges and âensure a gradual reductionâ of their impact on the environment.
For this, the country owes a debt to the current Duke of Wellington – a hereditary peer – who led the charge by claiming that “this revolting practice” is unacceptable “in a civilized society of the 21st century”.
“Especially in a country hosting the climate summit next week and trying to lead the world in high environmental standards,” he added for good measure.
He was supported by the former naval chief Lord West of Spithead, who said: âI have sailed and swam in British waters for six decades. I was constantly appalled at the amount of raw sewage that I found in this water and it got worse.
And then the conservative peer Ros Altmann, a former Minister of Pensions, entered the scene.
Noting the importance of private water services to many pension funds and institutional portfolios, she added, âI think they have neglected their sewage overflow issues for years.
“It’s time to legislate to force them to spend large sums to make up for past underuse and blatant behavior, rather than relying on new promises that leave us horribly polluted waters. “
Strong words, they contrasted with the obscurity of Environment Secretary George Eustice and his Lords Minister Zac Goldsmith – two pro-Brexit ministers reluctant to “take back control” of this issue. Goldsmith, a friend of the Prime Minister and of great physical stature, behaved like a little jerk to the Lords with his antics.
Now the Lords may be flawed – and I accept the case for a proportion of peers to be elected on a regional basis in the future – but Britain, for now, should be grateful for the position that its members take care of the pollution of the rivers on our behalf.
EVEN by his own standards, Gordon Brown was incredibly serious in the latest episode of Blair & Brown: The New Labor Revolution, when he felt he was held in the honor, as Chancellor, to support the Prime Minister during of the invasion of Iraq.
Yet, previously, he had complained that Blair’s office had rejected his requests to let him study the – ultimately flawed – evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of mass destruction that could be activated in 45 minutes, another false claim.
This remains, arguably, the greatest betrayal of political and public trust since the appeasement of Adolf Hitler by Neville Chamberlain. Yet why did Brown not raise his suspicions and speak at the time on the so-called “questionable case”? It is an explanation he owes to the nation he once ruled if he is to continue to harass the country.
SIR Lindsay Hoyle feared he had made a Freudian mistake when he introduced Cabinet Minister Michael Gove for the first round of “leveling” questions in Parliament.
âWe have questions for the Secretary of State for Upgrading, Housing and Communications – I mean communities, not communications! Said the President rather sheepishly.
I do not. I thought Hoyle was rather prescient given that the government’s definition of “leveling up” and political goals have become a Macavity-type mystery.
LIKE most Cabinet members, Michael Gove is coy about the status of the east branch of HS2 in Leeds.
Asked about the letter sent to him by the leaders of Leeds City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, who said the upgrade “would fall at the first hurdle” if this part of the HS2 did not fit in its entirety, and with new rail infrastructure, Gove obscured.
“I will not prejudge what the Chancellor might say later this week,” he said. The problem is, Rishi Sunak had nothing to budget on this – or on the Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Bad omen and who makes the final decision – the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Upgrade Secretary or the Transportation Secretary (Grant Shapps) who went to the ground?
It is said that Rishi Sunak’s budget was in line with the ABCs of economics – Austerity, Brexit and Covid. What is D? Decarbonization and green taxes followed, I guess, the energy crisis and fuel prices. Can anyone go further during COP26?
GOOD to see Olympic swimming champion Adam Peaty defending the pools following plans to close a leisure center in Derby – the city where he started his career. âSwimming facilities must remain open if we are to produce more Olympic swimmers in the next generations,â he said. A little more enthusiasm – like the one he’s apparently showing on Strictly Come Dancing – would have been welcome.
A nice anecdote in jockey Frankie Dettori’s new memoir Leap of Faith about his months of training in England, bullying by stable guys and how two executioners – Colin Rate and Andy Keates – became good friends.
He confides to them: âMy English is improving and I understand Andy perfectly, but with Colin I still can’t make out a single word. âAh,â Andy said. ” There is a reason for this “. ‘What is that?’ ‘He’s from Sunderland’.
Support the Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us continue to bring quality information to Yorkshires. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on the site, get free access to our app, receive exclusive member-only offers, and get access to all premium content and columns. Click here to subscribe.