Well done, Paul...seriously
While certainly not letting the federal government off the hook, Reynolds does a good job in pointing out the responsibilities of other officials, including the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor, and the questions that they face as well. For example, pointing out an AP photo of tens of flooded out school buses still lined up in their parking lot, Reynolds wonders "how much city transport was actually used" in the evacuation. Of particular note to me was this line, which seemed to me to be a deliberate (and deserved), if mild, swipe at Reynolds' BBC colleague Matt Wells:
There are questions for the mayor, dubbed heroic by some, to answer.Wells, you will recall, is the BBC reporter who breathlessly called the mayor "genuinely heroic" as he scathingly ripped into Bush.
With regard to the charges about Bush having slashed federal funds for flood control in New Orleans, Reynolds presents the charges, but also points out that there were no plans for any strengthening of the levees, and that, just as I noted the other day, any such plan would have taken many years to be implemented, and would not have been in place in any event.
Reynolds concludes that, with regard to the problems made evident by Katrina, "It is a long and complex chain of responsibility." That is the single most sensible and reasonable sentence regarding the disaster that has been written at the BBC yet. Let's hope Reynolds gets through to the rest of his overwrought colleagues at the Beeb.