... let us roll back a few months to build-up to the 2015 general election. The political consensus was the exact opposite of the one that forms now in response to floods. The key test for the parties was how little they would spend if elected. Imagine if Ed Miliband had pledged to invest significantly more in flood defences as he sought to prove he was a responsible leader in the early months of this year. All hell would have broken loose, in a political rather than climate sense.
George Osborne would have popped up to declare that once again a Labour government planned to spend recklessly. Most newspapers would have screamed that Miliband was an irresponsible spender. Newsnight would have staged a debate between two pundits agreeing that the pledge on flood defences showed Labour had still not learned from past spending sins and would never win an election until it did.