The Corner

An Englishman in New Orleans

A college contemporary of mine whose home is in New Orleans has a few observations, and in this case the language is, I feel, warranted:

The city is f***ed. Some of the looters are people stealing necessaries (which is fair enough and which I understand) but there are a lot nicking jewellery and electronics, including police officers. The latter should all be f***ing shot, in my view…

As you may have noticed from the coverage, the only people left in the city are emergency workers and very poor black people. Of particular concern, is that the latter group generally do not know how to swim.

It never ceases to amaze me though how excellent the US is at dealing with disasters like this. I commend particularly to you Steyn’s piece in the Telegraph yesterday on this point…

The real kicker for folks like me, is that our house (which is uptown) would probably have been OK until yesterday when the 17th Street Canal levy broke sending 9 feet of water into uptown and the Tulane area.

I don’t know how much coverage the mayor of New Orleans is getting but the guy is awesome. Cool, realistic and reassuring. So too are Bob Riley and Haley Barbour. But Governor Blanco… words fail me. It strikes me that if you are governor of a state that has just been hit by disaster you should not burst into tears during a press conference and have a little Princess Di moment. Kudos to the others though.

Precisely. There’s a lot to be said for resiliency at moments like this, and that’s a quality the US possesses in spades.

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