Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at isn't working

Luvvies versus anglers

From The Evening Standard 1 June 2011:

Comedian Lee Hurst and Dame Helen Mirren received letters from Thames Water after they spoke out against plans for London’s £3.6 billion super-sewer. They were warned by the utility giant not to listen to the “local rumour mill” after East End-born Hurst branded the project “a dreadful idea”.

The 20-mile Thames Tunnel broadly follows the river and will collect sewage discharge triggered by rainfall. Thames Water says 39 million tonnes of untreated waste flow into the river every year…

From The Evening Standard 11 June 2011:

Anglers warned today that a flood of sewage which caused the death of thousands of fish in the Thames could become a regular occurrence if urgent action is not taken.

Around 450,000 tons of untreated water was released into the river in west London last weekend after heavy rain swamped the capital’s sewage system. People in the worst-affected areas described seeing “thousands upon thousands of small fish gasping for air”.

The death toll on the seven-mile stretch between Kew and Albert Bridge is thought to have reached 20,000, the biggest loss since August 2004 when a similar overflow killed around 100,000 fish.

If we take fish as a proxy for the efficacy of our sewer system and the overall health of The River Thames, which are of huge importance for public health (in the narrow sense), then what’s it to be? Pandering to the NIMBY-luvvie-lobby – who presumably never use the toilet, surely they wouldn’t be so hypocritical as to assume that their wee and poo disappears by magic – or saving the fish?

And if this massive investment in a new sewer happens to keep the anglers happy, then that’s a welcome bonus.


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