This is unreal.
Bureaucracy gone mad.
An English couple, the Histeds, have a million-pound house that suffered flood damage some months ago. They repaired the damage, to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds.
Last week, with the repairs almost complete, a blocked drainage ditch - not on the couple's property, but part of a motorway drainage system - caused their house to flood again. They now have to re-do much of the repair work.
They duly approached the Highways Agency to ask permission to unblock the ditch, so that they wouldn't get flooded again.
Would you believe it? The Highways Agency refused permission for them to drain the ditch - because it might (I emphasize might) contain Great Crested Newts (a protected species). They don't know for sure if they're there, so the Highways Agency will have to undertake a survey, sifting the water and mud by hand to see if they find any. That will take - wait for it - until autumn this year.
Meanwhile, the Histeds daren't waste any more money on repairs in case they're flooded out again: and they're forced to live in a travel trailer rather than in their house.
The mind boggles.
Y'know, I think there's a fair, rational, reasonable solution to this problem. The Government agency(ies?) responsible for protecting the Great Crested Newt should pay the Histeds the value of their house - a million pounds, and tax-free at that. The Histeds could then buy themselves a home wherever they pleased (probably as far away as possible from the nearest newts) and the Government agency(ies?) could use the nicely flooded house to breed as many Great Crested Newts as their dear bureaucratic hearts could desire.
To victimize the Histeds for damage to their home that's caused by a blocked State drainage system, and then add insult to injury by making them put up with all this crap . . . all I can say is, if it happened in my part of the world it'd be cause to get out the tar and feathers for those responsible for this insanity.
The arrogant, uncaring, domineering bureaucracy now running England never ceases to find new ways to astonish me. I think it's time to rewrite the chorus to the famous "Rule, Britannia!" anthem.
But your bureaucrats have made you into slaves!