Tim Minns – columnist of the year

The award-winning columnist who knows things better than anyone

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I don’t know about you, but for me Frozen Britain has shown up everything that is wrong with this country. Schools closed, factories closed, gas supplies critically low, no snow ploughs and a lack of grit in more ways than one. Why this country came to an economic standstill over a few inches of snow, I’ll never know. But I do know one thing better than anyone – it CANNOT be allowed to happen again.

I myself know better than anyone how important it is for local councils to clear roads quickly and efficiently so that Britain’s workforce can function at full capacity. Indeed, I myself actually suffered from our council’s incompetence as I was forced to wait indoors for SEVERAL HOURS – missing an important meeting in the process – before our road was eventually made safe enough to drive on. Had I been in charge of the operation I would have made sure that salt and grit stocks were ADEQUATE enough to cope with this adverse weather, and I would have made sure several gritter lorries were ready to go AS SOON AS this weather was forecast. It seems simple when you take a minute or two to think about the logistics, and it doesn’t take a genius to highlight these shortcomings in hindsight.

Airports in chaos, rail networks ground to a halt (because of “iced up lines”, apparently. No, me neither.) – how on earth could all this be allowed to happen after – and let’s be honest here – a light sprinkling of snow? Countries such as Finland and Sweden have far worse winters than this EVERY YEAR, and they make DAMN SURE they’re adequately prepared. Britain gets a winter like this once every 30 years and the whole nation goes into tailspin. We are a laughing stock among our European counterparts, and for good reason. This country is a joke, and one that is no longer funny.

Another tragic thing about this weather, aside from the deaths, is how it has thrown up the kind of slackers who love nothing more than skiving at home in front of Jeremy Kyle rather than getting to work. Although there are no actual examples of this, you can pretty much fill in any blanks – and whilst I don’t have access to the audience figures for the last two weeks of that show, I wouldn’t mind betting they doubled over that period. Coincidence? You decide. I know better than anyone about the sort of households who love nothing more than to let the country work for them and how this weather has provided them with the perfect excuse for a lie-in and some daytime TV. I would guess that at least half of those off work COULD HAVE got to their workplace had they REALLY wanted to. It doesn’t take much to work that out…

The laziness of the average British citizen is topped only by the stupidity of the government and local authorities, who are only too happy to tell us all to do our bit to combat global warming – all the while COMPLETELY UNAWARE that the implications actually mean COLDER winters for Britain. Where has the preparation been for THAT? I know better than anyone the importance of adequate preparation for adverse weather having seen for myself countless news items showing the devastating effects of this, day in, day out. To me, it seems that the authorities are more concerned with ploughing taxpayers money into dodgy Icelandic banks rather than into essential services and equipment which would almost certainly have prevented the widespread devastation witnessed across all sections of the media over the last 2 weeks. Although I myself am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of council budgeting, what I do know better than anyone is that taxpayers money should definitely NOT be frivolously gambled overseas by the kind of workshy idiots who probably make up the majority of people mentioned in my previous paragraph.

Apparently now we’re being warned of floods due to all the snow and ice melting in the warmer weather. Surely the authorities could see THIS coming? I mean, it doesn’t take much to work out that ice melts in warmer temperatures before turning to water – a fact which clearly eludes our government. What next? A Shortage of sandbags? Overflowing drains due to essential maintenance budgets being frittered away on recycling boxes? It just doesn’t bear thinking about.

Clearly, the real danger lies in the frozen thinking and melting minds of this Labour government, who, like the weather, this country will be only too glad to see the back of.

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