Monday, August 29, 2022

A failed state

People being told to drink sewage sounds like a headline from the early nineteenth century, before the public health revolution, or from a failed state, where it has collapsed. But its actually from modern England:

British people need to be “less squeamish” about drinking water derived from sewage, the boss of the Environment Agency has said.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Sir James Bevan outlined measures the government, water companies and ordinary people should be taking to avoid severe droughts.

He said: “Part of the solution will be to reprocess the water that results from sewage treatment and turn it back into drinking water – perfectly safe and healthy, but not something many people fancy.”

Bevan admitted the move would be “unpopular” and reactions on social media have been mixed but he said there was a need to “change how we think about water”.

The reason they're being told to do this is that decades of failed privatisation has seen a quarter of England's drinking water leak away, while privatised water companies dump untreated sewage into lakes, rivers, and the ocean. But rather than order the polluters to fix these entirely avoidable problems, the government is protecting their profits by telling people to just drink shit. Its a perfect example of how privatisation and deregulation erode the state, and ultimately lead to collapse.