It's a Game ... innit?
Over the nearly four years we've really wondered - I mean really, really wondered what on earth drives many EA officials to behave they way they do. One of Henry's Inside the EA blog posts has - we feel, given some substance to our suspicions and firmed up the veracity of anecdotal evidence - particularly from the waste management business... but also - we've had input from the hydro power and flood risk community.
Handing out false advice, wait until the victim was naively following said advice - switch the enforcement official and pounce - how charming - and all no doubt orchestrated with the legal department and the "corporate communications"and PR dept. Contriving a situation to mislead and entrap the unwary and then pushing out copy 'n paste PR to an incurious and lazy media? (And bully / coerce any publication / broadcaster that has the temerity to independently (pun intended) review the EA's activities)
This sort of behaviour must be corrosive, infectious and attractive to people of a certain mindset.
So, it would seem that an official or a group of officials can arbitrarily decide that they are going to promote or impede / obstruct an applicant or existing licence holder in a self indulgent, self serving and capricious way - and that sort of activity is tolerated in a public body on what seems like a routine basis? Actually - there's a law against that sort of thing - well... there's several.
Some tactics that Henry hasn't mentioned are the deceitful promulgation of different, tailored versions of "things" to different parties, the misrepresentation of data and the undue influence put onto "independent" consultants to contrive reports which accord with the will of the officials commissioning / doling out lolly for said "independent" reports.
Anyway - 'tis the season for barbecues and we have stocked up on charcoal and woodchips - the EA have been truly generous and unstinting in the provision of marinade.
It would seem that we are in august company when we assert that The Environment Agency doesn't always act honourably - eco icon George Monbiot has been known to grizzle about the doings of the EA....