Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The blame game and rain drops

click photo to enlarge
Am I cynical in thinking that our prime minister's exhortation to stop playing the "blame game" concerning the responsibility for, and handling of, the current flooding in England, is simply to prevent people examining the degree to which his government's policies are responsible for the extent of the flooding and the poverty of the response to it? Has he really forgotten that he was only recently blaming the flooding on the previous government's deficiencies. Moreover, I seem to recall him telling us, when he was first elected, that his would be a government that eschewed "Punch and Judy politics", that abandoned the usual name-calling and knock about; that he would usher in a new, responsible approach that raised the standard of political discourse. How soon all that was forgotten. How quickly did business as usual assert itself as U-turns, ministerial resignations, botched policies, missed targets and political embarrassments mounted. Unattributed briefings, back-biting, smears, statistical manipulation - the whole range of dark political arts - was deployed in double quick time, and very soon we were exactly where we have always been, with the public rating politicians among the lowest of the low, somewhere alongside journalists. Now, having said that he has no choice but to make deep cuts in public spending, exhorting us to tighten our belts and chopping services with a relish that borders on the fanatical, he suddenly announces "money is no object" in dealing with the flooding. Worse yet, instead of letting the responsible minister and the professionals who know how to deal with flooding get on with their jobs he announces that he is taking charge. I don't know whether to feel blessed that we are led by this Renaissance man or to despair that we (though not me!) have elected someone so prone to knee-jerk reactions, someone whose every action seems driven by whether or not it plays well in the media and to voters.

That despairing note was prompted by the confluence of the political news and the continuing rain, some of which I noticed on a window as the light started to fail. With my naked eye I could just make out colours in some of the drops on the glass. So, with the aim of revealing it, I mounted my 100mm macro lens on the camera and took this angled shot. I made sure the point of focus was off the left edge of the frame so that all the reflected highlights were out of focus to a greater or lesser degree. Recently I was speaking of how the camera often sees what the eye doesn't. That's especially true when you use a macro lens as some of the patterns in the highlights above show.

* The piece above was written on 11 February 2014
From The New Statesman, 12 February 2014: "After the session (Prime Minister's Questions) had ended, No. 10 briefed that there would be no new money made available and that any extra funding would come from contigency budgets, a clear reversal of Cameron's pledge yesterday."

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon 5DMk2
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm Macro
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On