In the face of mounting public criticism, the government has rushed out a new property initiative to complement the popular 'Help to Buy' scheme, with particular emphasis on first-time flood victims.
Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary proudly announced, 'We will undertake to supply EVERY affected homeowner with high-quality waterproof For Sale boards mounted atop mould-resistant plastic poles long enough to be seen above the waters, thus maximising the chances of sale to eager buyers. The government will ensure that there will be no compromise on quality of the subsidised estate agent billboards, and that the environment agency will assist in the education of those affected by providing a sellers pack explaining where not to buy their next property.'
A handy laminated 'Splash' Homeseekers Guide is being published for those who struggle to comprehend Ordinance Survey maps or interpret symbols such as blue wiggly lines, tufty 'marsh' symbols, and those brown things called contours. The booklet mitigates the risk of making the 'same mistake again', with clues for the literate provided in the names of conurbations. Places to avoid include any names containing the words: mud, marsh, pool(e), puddle, soak(e), ford and flood. Examples of 'double-whammy' place names include Mudford ('mud-ford', e.g. Somerset). Other indicators of risk include the prefixes 'Lower', 'Under' and 'New'.
Initialy Splash booklets will only be distributed residents selling affected properties under the 'Help to Sell' initiative. 'We wouldn't want to deter new voters from getting on the property ladder', stated Paterson. Home insurance providers are being asked to show some sensitivity under the initiative, and abstain from using provocative phoneline 'hold music', such as whale song, Richard Marx 'Hazard', and the Beatles 'Yellow Submarine'. Harold Simms, BStard (Hons), an assessor explained 'Policies may have to be a little more exclusive in future. While we do have enormous sympathy for all the people whose properties have been affected, we are as devastated as they are that the government let houses be built in silly places.'
Verity Snippety-Hoag, of Fulflood in Winchester, waved her kayak paddle angrily in the face of a BBC weather reporter in a dingy, when asked her opinion. 'Bloody apalling', she ranted, 'Tamsin's pony hasn't been able to leave the paddock all week and some bastard has stolen the snorkel off the Range Rover exhaust, and now they are saying we don't qualify for any bloody thing because we have been flooded before'.