Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flood risk alamists

This is another story that has got the great and the good of Radio 4 bleating again this morning (you can tell I'm stuck in the car for 90 minutes!):

Hundreds of thousands of homes could be uninsurable and uninhabitable unless stricter planning controls are introduced, insurers have warned.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) said a third of the three million new homes the government wants to see by 2020 will be built on flood plains.

OK, so we are going to build on a flood plain, nothing new there London is a flood plain and we have been building on it for over 1000 years. But that's not the point I want to raise, it is the way that it is being reported:
He said: "Insurers want to continue to provide flood cover, but poor planning decisions will lead to more homes becoming unsaleable, uninsurable and uninhabitable."

There's 2 points here, the first being that this looks like another company trying to get the Government to take on its risk. The second is the words used. Taking them out of order:

Uninsurable - As far as I am aware this is a commercial undertaking based on the levels of risk. I'll bet insurance would be available, whether the price makes it worth taking is another point

Unsaleable - Everything can be sold. Maybe the builders and/or owners won't make the killing they expected, but that is a different discussion

Uninhabitable - I'll bet those living in the slums of our cities would beg to differ.

I do wish the so called serious press would keep a sense of proportion!


Mark Wadsworth said...

Totally agreed. You've been pretty prolific these past few days!

The Great Simpleton said...

Not really. Its just that having to drive in and out of London I've been listening to too much Radio, especially Today. Their sloppy reporting winds me up so I need a cathartic release otherwise I would have been back on the midweek booze, which I have foresworn this year until I get my weight back under control!

MarkC said...

I gave up the two hour commute each way in and out of London 14 years ago, and can only imagine it's become immeasurably more difficult. How much worse, then, to have to listen to the arrogant, sloppy, ignorant reportage on Today - and then again at the other end of the working day, with Eddie Mair - for much of that time.

I sympathise entirely. My commute these days is a mere 20 minutes, and that's enough of them for me. The first 10 minutes in the office is devoted to coffee and calming down, after listening to their drivel. Or the drivel of yet another hopeless Government minister with an "inishertive" to announce.

Being middle-aged and angry is a terrible burden. Why did I ever give up smoking? :-)