A few days later we read with sadness the national news report that a disabled man in his forties in a wheelchair had seemingly got stuck trying to go along a riverside street on Osney Island and couldn't find a way out or back, so that his wheelchair slipped off the treacherously muddy bank into the swollen river and he drowned.
We have had a severe sou'wester rain, wind, sleet and hail storms blowing in off the Atlantic about twice a week ever since. Sometimes they have coincided with high tides, to calamitous effect, as in poor Aberystwyth and Dawlish. The people who live in the Somerset Levels have been in despair for weeks.
And yet only NOW, when it hits the Thames on the affluent suburban outskirts of London, is the flooding such a major issue that BBC News 24 today mentions virtually nothing else except the Winter Olympics. And the cabinet has woken up from its Westminster Dream, the dream where it thinks it has the will and support of the UK people for this hastily-hatched and cobbled together Coalition Government behind it
If he plays it right, this could be Ed Miliband's finest hour, setting the opposition up nicely for the next General Election. It's an ill wind...
...if we just get shut of the jelly-jowelled, disdainful pomposity of Eric Pickles it'd be a start. Perhaps these quotes, all from Eric Pickles over the last week, will help explain my present feelings of personal animosity for the man. Check this lot out for slippery-slimy;
on World at One, BBC Radio 4
“The Environment Agency has got a lot of stick but I think you have to see the other side of the coin that right the way through from the beginning just before Christmas, that big tidal surge, the Environment Agency has been remarkably good in giving good, accurate information to people and remarkably good I think in terms of preventing more flooding damage than might otherwise have been the case."06/02/14
on BBC News Channel
"I'm trying to get [in touch with] the Environment Agency to give them some credit for what they've done in the rest of the country and elsewhere. Actually, there will come a time where we may want to apportion blame, we may want to say it was a mistake by the Labour government."09/02/14
on Andrew Marr
“We made a mistake, there’s no doubt about that, we perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency’s advice. I’ll apologise, I apologise unreservedly and I’m really sorry we took the advice of what we thought we were dealing with experts,"
He needs to eat some raw sewage, with a side order of humble pie, and then resign.