Saturday, 21 November 2009

Cumbrian floods - the "kingmaker" of situations

The flood situation in Cumbria, and most evidently in Cockermouth, is absolutely terrible to see for the families and individuals that are having their lives turned upside down. It is reminiscent of the Boscastle flood in 2004, with the added tragic twinge through the death of a member of the emergency services.

No-one wishes for something like this to happen, clearly anyone that did would be immoral by any reasonable standards. But that doesn't stop the timing of the Cumbrian floods as being the single event that may turn the general election next year on it's head. An opportunity or a curse, that will be the view of the ruling Government now that it has happened.

The events in Cumbria will take months to undo, we may see normality not return until April or May. It must be clear at Labour HQ that there is only one option on the table right now with regard to these floods. Do or die.

If Brown and his team take this seriously they have huge gains to make. In a disenfranchised political climate the government has an opportunity to make things right for thousands of people. Brown has already pledged £1mil to the area and I won't be surprised to hear of more money and resources being redirected in to the area. Getting this right, getting people back in to their homes and the local economy back up and running, will pay enormous dividends for Brown.

Only a fool would think that it won't be in his mind the public opinion boost he received when first becoming Prime Minister due to natural disaster and his apparent control over the situation. But similarly to the fall his stock had after the fact this event has the opportunity to kill off the Labour party's election chances completely. Delays in getting people back to normality, stories of people getting shafted by insurance companies, and associated "bad news" will reflect terribly on the current Government.

We'll have to wait and see, but the outcome of this terrible event will have political consequences on a level, as far as I'm concerned, close to that which the expenses scandal has already had.