Tuesday 16 February 2010

What HAVE We Done to Deserve This?

Recognising the Divine is unpopular in today's so-called secular society; indeed a UKIP councillor, David Silvester ...
... was sacked for linking weeks of unprecedented bad weather to the nation's lemming**-like determination to abandon God-given morality. Other public figures have been similarly treated.

About 3000 years ago, an unknown author recorded long-remembered words, attributed to God himself, in his advice to Moses as the Jewish tribes approached their Promised Land.

But if you disobey and refuse to listen, and are led away to worship other gods, you will be destroyed - I warn you here and now. You will not live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy. I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God's blessing and God's curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. Love the Lord your God, obey him and be faithful to him, and then you and your descendants will live long in the land. [from Deuteronomy Chapter 30 in the Bible]

Plus ├ža change!

First Great Western [FGW] may have cause to ponder. This was the stark message on their web site yesterday.
This was Penzance Station on Friday, before the latest onslaught.
That is floodwater where the trains should park!

And this was the list of FGW services that were subject to major disruption at 0800 yesterday!
Things had improved a little (just a little little!) by yesterday evening.

Who would want to run a railway company? We all know about the Somerset Levels ...
... but below are a few extracts from an FGW report (issued Friday last) on progress at Maidenhead.

At Waltham, near Maidenhead, the water table has risen significantly through the chalk underneath the railway. This is causing ground water flooding which has affected our signalling equipment, despite sandbags being in place in advance.

Consequently services out of Paddington have been reduced to around 20% of their normal levels and are taking around 20-25 minutes longer than usual.

Over the weekend Network Rail will have engineers and signal experts out on the track making the necessary changes. This isn't a simple operation owing to the flooding. We are developing a number of parallel measures at Maidenhead, some of which are 'UK firsts'. This group has also been looking at raising the height of the track to make sure we can still run trains through the area once these changes have taken place. One of the lines was raised last night and we will be reviewing how this has worked today.

A second joint team is exploring options for what we can do together in the longer term, should Environment Agency estimates for the groundwater to reduce prove correct. We expect this team to report its recommendations soon.

Then there's Datchet (SouthWest Trains) ...
... and also anywhere else on the FGW network. Horrific.

SouthWest Trains Managing Director ...

... has written personally (?) to fbb restating his company's commitment to "doing everything possible."

Thanks, Tim, for taking the trouble.

Insignificant it may be compared with others, but Seaton Esplanade suffered a repeat of high tide horrors on Friday night.

A small boat washed onto Harbour Road and parked. Ditto ladder.
Esplanade walkway obliterated - AGAIN!
Not just flowers crushed, but flower beds.
But, despite the onslaught, life continues; and amidst the destruction, our gardener-contractor's daffs are ready to bloom.
The joy, the hope, of new life!

Michael Nazir-Ali ...
... retired Bish of Rochester, has called on the nation to confess its individual and corporate sins; then ask for God's forgiveness. Here is his suggested prayer.

We confess our foolishness and wickedness
for building our lives and our society without you as our foundation.
We confess we have forgotten you,
our Creator, sustainer and judge.
We confess we have rejected your Son,
our Saviour and Redeemer.
And have sought to fashion our lives
without love for you and our neighbour,
and without caring for your world.

We come to you, Father Creator, Jesus our Saviour,
And ask for your forgiveness.
We turn to you, in our deepest need.
We repent of our sin in turning away from you
And ask that you will bring us back into
the safety of your presence and the comfort of
building our lives in your eternal purpose
upon the rock who is Christ the Lord.

Worth considering?

The title of today's blog was uttered by a man in the queue at the butcher's, here in Seaton. The answer, of course, is "a very great deal indeed"

**Lemmings : fbb is, of course, aware that lemmings do not commit mass suicide and never have done. But the erroneous myth sticks; and remains an appropriate image for our nation.
Of course, son, the whole lemming thing is a myth.
However, as for politcians ...
 "Humming Birds and Cigarette Lighters [2] ..." will appear tomorrow.
 Next bus blog (from France) : Monday 17th Feb 


  1. I always enjoy your blog FBB. What's more, I'm one of those who agree with the Bishop!

    Whilst not necessarily agreeing with Silvester's politics, I do agree with his comments on the nation's "lemming**-like determination to abandon God-given morality".

    The situation is certainly the same, if not worse, here in the USA.

  2. Thanks, Mick I hope many will actively consider the problem and the solution!

  3. FBB - I have read and enjoyed your transport blog with interest for many years. I don't always agree with the content as life is never quite as simple as you sometimes try to make out as regards 'corporate' policy or behaviour. However, I have accepted that there is an alternative view to most arguments. Enjoyed until today that is. The politics and views of Silvester and his party are abhorrent. To relate the current extremes of weather to anything other than nature and negative long term man-made pollution interventions is pure drivel . Despite your occasional references of a religious nature, I didn't have you down as one of those Daily Mail/Express climate change unbelievers. I'm afraid that now you have aligned yourself with those accurately described by David Cameron as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists..." you have lost a blog follower.

  4. Anonymous. We all appreciate your comments but, many obviously disagree with your conclusion. It is sad that anyone with an "unpopular" view is condemned is a "fruitcake". They all thought Noah was potty! The unpopular view, however, is supported by 3000 years of practical and spiritual experience. It may be wrong but history suggests not. As the Victorian preachers were oft to declaim, "We have been warned!" I am sure fbb will be weeping himself to sleep at the loss of one reader! And where did "nature" come from anyway.

  5. Both views have been expressed. This particular correspondence is now closed!

  6. I'm sure this comment will get deleted as others have done (nothing like a bit of sensorship eh?) but here goes...

    Silvester comments showed him up as a nasty little zealous bigot, I am frankly shocked that anyone can try siding with his comments and certainly isn't particularly Christian. Whilst gay marriage is certainly a difficult subject for the church to come to grips with I'm sure given time it will get there, remember the church supported drowning people suspected of witchcraft once upon a time, thankfully civilisation and the church have moved on.

    As for UKIP, nasty little racists, the 'respectable' face of fascism in the UK as the BNP are never going to win an election with their collection of knuckle draggers. Remember, National Socialism once seemed respectable across the channel in the 1930's and look what happened there to anyone who didn't fit their narrow minded view of the world...