Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Let it snow, let it snow...

Wow, that does look properly cold, and once again Britain comes out of it covered in something less than glory, though on the upside at least it's warm when fresh. And there seems to be plenty of it:
Nine people have died and millions face Christmas travel chaos as Britain endures freezing temperatures colder than Alaska.
Really? All of Alaska? It's a pretty big place and a decent chunk of it is inside the Arctic Circle, but I suppose there could be freak conditions that made parts of Britain temporarily colder than anywhere in Alaska, just as the Met Orifice predicted months ago er, never mind. Anyhow, you can be reasonably sure that over the course of the whole winter things are going to be much tougher and shittier in Alaska than in Britain, though the Alaskans will have mostly prepared for it. This is something Britain seems to have forgotten how to do. I don't just mean the six days of grit thing - I mean the way the parts of Europe that deal with much tougher winters year in year out chuckle at the chaos in Britain because so few people seem to understand how to get from A to B in snow. Jesus Christ, people, Melbourne's probably never seen snow in living memory but I've seen sets of tyre chains at a car care shop not half an hour from here, just in case I want to go up into what pass for mountains here during wintertime*.

So what's the answer? Well, if the Mainly Fail and the Tories are to be believed it's the fucking government in the shape of the amusingly named Lord Adonis, who's gone to Austria in search of even more snow so he can strap planks to his feet and slide around on it.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis is on a skiing holiday in Austria whilst Britain's travel networks are crippled by snow, it emerged last night.
Outraged travellers called for him to return immediately and tackle the worst crisis to face him during his time in the post.
Lord Adonis, 46, has gone to a luxury Austrian resort with his family and left his deputy Sadiq Khan to face the mounting fury over the failure to grit roads and miserable response to iced-up railways.
Shadow local government minister Bob Neill said: 'With snow causing chaos across Britain it is alarming that the Secretary of State is on holiday abroad.
'He should be putting the problems of people in Britain's communities first and head home to help resolve the crisis.'
How? Make it warm up is the responsibility of the coal and oil industry, isn't it? What's Adonis going to do? Has he got a shovel fifty miles wide or are you just wanting him to tell you to buy some tyre chains and stick a shovel, warm clothing and some food and water in the boot before going out? Do you really need him to tell you that? Yes, obviously he's responsible if ultimately his department fucked up, though surely it's a collective fuck up on the part of multiple departments and numerous local authorities. Adonis can do little now except learn to plan ahead for next year, preferably taking any Met Orifice predictions of a mild winter with whatever the country has left in the way of salt. This, of course, he will probably fail to do. So really he might as well stay on his holiday where at least he's currently out of harm's way.

Unfortunately I don't think everyone will be persuaded:
One driver caught in the chaos said last night: 'He didn't need to go abroad to go skiing, he could have gone to Basingstoke.'
Sure. There's never a queue for the ski lifts and the passes are very cheap. You might want to think about why that is.

Look, Britain. Stop demanding the fucking government to come and help you. At best they will be hideously expensive, and at worst they will be hopelessly useless as well as hideously expensive. My advice is this: pick up the phone and start calling random people in Sweden, Norway or Finland until you get an English speaker, and then ask them how they manage in winter. This year might be too late both for the state and individuals, but next year you could be ready. It's not a big step forward so much as a step backwards to a time, perhaps only thirty years or so ago, when a wafer thin layer of snow couldn't stop the UK from getting on with things.

* Admittedly it's not unknown for nanny police to be on the main routes up there to stop people who haven't got chains fitted and turn them back.


JuliaM said...

Whilst Basingstoke did indeed have a lot of snow, it was remarkably devoid of those other things you need for skiing. What are they called again?

Oh, yes. Mountains.

microdave said...

The only problem with your suggestion is that the Swedes, Finns, Danes etc know they are going to get shed loads of snow, and that it will last for weeks or months. So they are prepared. We haven't had more than a few days of light snow for years - I have to find photo albums from the 70's to show a real winter...

I always carry a tow rope, shovel and have a set of winter tyres, but I am probably in a minority of one in this area!

We now have several generations who simply can't cope with something out of their normal expectations.

In years gone by I still got to work (and even the pub) on a motorcycle despite snow covered roads. Now millions will just pick up the phone and make excuses....

It's too risky to offer help to others now, thanks to the "Compensayshun" culture.

Oh well, Merry Christmas - I'll be thinking of you chucking another steak on the "barbie".

Related Posts with Thumbnails