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UK on Red Alert as transport chaos, flooding, hurricane winds and political inertia batter Britain

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The relentless storms battering the UK show no sign of abating as whole swathes of the country come under severe threat. Britain has been placed on red alert as hurricane winds savage outlying areas and the water levels continue to rise.

With wind speeds topping 100 miles per hour tens of thousands of homes have been left without power as transport chaos spreads like wildfire. Virgin Trains released a quite extraordinary tweet that was couched in none of the usual language of ‘service disruption’ but rather had the air of total panic about it, reading ‘ALL CUSTOMERS TO ABANDON TRAVEL’. Initial suspicions of it being a hoax were rapidly washed away as wholesale abandonment of lines continued through the day.

Met Office forecaster, Kirk Waite, said: "Red warnings are a very rare thing for us to issue. We only issue them when we do think there is a need to take action to preserve life." At least one death has already been reported.

With the Environment Agency receiving an onslaught of criticism for their inept and understaffed handling of the crisis David Cameron shows no signs of reversing the further 550 job cuts, continuing to toe his own party’s surreal line that job cuts will somehow improve services. Instead the Prime Minister announced a rather flimsy support scheme that included grants of £5,000 for households to improve their own flood protection – further evidence of people being left to their own devices in the Big Society. The proposed measures also included a 3 month suspension of rates fro affected businesses and an aid fund for farmers.

Meanwhile the Conservatives were accused of cynically using the floods to bury inconvenient news and reports that cast doubts over the wisdom of their attitude towards the EU. Oh - and of course – lest we forget - none of this is anything to do with climate change.

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