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Sunday, September 13, 2020

SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND: A Load Of Rubbish, by Wiggia

I mentioned in an earlier piece how despite all that was going on the climate fraud has continued to be promoted, this time on the back of the Coronavirus; it has become a tidal wave of statements, articles, tweets etc. from the ‘woke’ climate activists and all those celebrities that believe they know what is good for the rest of us.

We also have had the first results of the ‘Citizens' Assembly’ - 108 people from all walks of life selected to give their insight into how we should tackle climate change. It was said when they set this assembly up that it would represent us and the results prove it is just a seal of approval for what the ‘experts’ wanted in the first plac:, the only people who put themselves forward were the woke.

It comes in various forms, either collective - 'the world has to change', the clarion call of the Greens and XR (the latter have another agenda, though) - or individual initiatives, some well meaning, some naive and some downright stupid.

Yet all will agree with one another regardless of political undercurrents because it is the right thing to do and from this they never deviate in their pronouncements as to the way forward.

I have never disagreed with the obvious intentions about cleaning up the planet and our own back yard, that should be a given in anyone's book, but the zeal in which even our eating habits for example are attacked takes for me away any suggestion I could ever get behind any of the movements that wish to change our lifestyles simply because ‘they’ believe we should all follow their diktat.

I came across this little video the other day in which there is nothing said that is not true or you could sanely disagree with….

When you look around these days you conclude that anyone who claims they wish to save the planet should really get on with cleaning up our own back yard.

I remember when I first started to venture abroad in the mid-Sixties finding places on continental Europe that resembled rubbish tips by the roadside and not believing what I saw (especially in Italy where local mafia ran rubbish collecting and had turned it into an art form in moving people's waste to beauty spots where it became, err people's waste) and thinking, 'thank God we are not like that.'

But times change and as the video describes other factors have come into play, not the least immigration and different cultures who don’t see rubbish as any sort as a problem and I include in those groups ‘travellers’ who do as they like where they like, something that has never ever been stamped on despite words being uttered in Parliament.

In this case at least there was a sense of justified retribution, a rare event.

I recall visiting my old mum a few years ago in north London. Because of traffic problems I came in  to town via Cricklewood, never an inspiring area but typical suburbia. I had not been to that part for several years before that but the change was not one anyone would want: every house it seemed had piles of plastic rubbish bags outside, many split open and the contents strewn across the walk way. Whole streets were like this. Why, I asked myself, and the answer was there before me: the whole area was now like somewhere in the Third World - no sense of communal responsibility.

I originally lived in Essex not far from the notorious - or is it infamous? - Dale Farm camp site, near enough to see and hear what went on but fortunately not near enough to be affected. I also lived near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk where the travelling ‘community' twice trashed the purpose built site provided for them and then complained of not enough official sites and that is why they camped where they did!

Going briefly off topic I see that an advert had been placed in the local paper advertising static caravans at Dale Farm for rent; you really couldn’t make it up.

That is in the past but they as a group like the other groups or cultures have grown since then by significant amounts. The area round where I live now has ongoing battles with illegal camp sites or  invasions of private property, yet they never result in criminal charges, for reasons we have all become inured to.

A recent trip down the nearby A47 a couple of days ago saw at one end of a field caravans that had not for the first time come straight off the dual carriageway through an entrance for tractors and harvesters and just set up camp as they do; but at the other end by pure coincidence there was an enormous pile of waste including white goods and everything else that must have been 12 feet high and forty feet long.

It is common knowledge that a mile of the same stretch of road is regularly strewn with rubbish, some in bags, some loose, and it is always on a Monday morning that you see it. This is not crisp packets thrown out of a car, it is wholesale dumping of rubbish and yet nobody has ever been caught, even on this major A road.

The rate of prosecutions is very low nationwide, around 0.3% against the number of reported incidents of fly tipping, so it is still easy money for those involved, and those who don’t care have little need to worry about getting caught, another of those laws that are sensible on paper but almost impossible to enforce.

Various reasons are put up for the rise in dumping rubbish. Council tip charges are one, and it is a valid point for many of the councils most affected by this blight are those that have the highest charges; the same councils will spend a lot more than the lost charges clearing up the illegal waste, but fail to see the connection.

My own council were very good in taking rubbish from our homes. Anything that could go in a bin was accepted and very reasonable token charges were made for items left at the gate to be picked up, things that many people would find impossible to get to the recycling centre because of the size; but that changed, and there are queues at the tip now and you have to book a slot in advance, are only allowed a certain amount of items and cannot return within two weeks. In a society where immediacy is the norm that is a very short-sighted approach to the problem, but it is normal for councils now in the majority of areas they run.

Though mine is nowhere near the worst of councils, ‘austerity’ means they now charge more, meaning people can’t be bothered and dump, so the cycle of fly-tipping, clearing-up and recycling continues and increases, for which we pay through our taxes.

The dumping of commercial waste is a whole different ball game, yet you can see by the prosecution figures above they are no more likely to get caught than the casual disposer of waste.

None of the above excuses the appalling amount of general waste just left on the pavement, thrown out of car windows or left on footpaths and country lanes. The recent return to normality showed we really had returned with this example of the state of the beach at Brighton, ironically the home of the Greens, when the crowds went home:

Why anyone would want to stay on a beach like that is beyond me. Rightly, much is made of the amount of plastic dumped, much of which sadly gets washed into the sea, a worldwide problem. I suppose the only difference from years ago is that it was broken bottles then, not plastic, that would slice through your foot if you trod on one hidden in the sand, so one small advantage today.

So in reality it is still human beings who are the problem. We have become lazy and the don’t care attitude to so many things today manifests itself in the rubbish that is discarded. There used to be a Keep Britain Tidy campaign in an effort to make us dispose of rubbish respectfully; was it a success? It seems not.

An example of the sheer laziness now prevalent was after the recent storm. I had a fence panel partially blow out on a side of my property that has a footpath alongside. We have a gate onto the footpath and I went out to do the repair. I am not going to exaggerate and claim I was knee deep in detritus but there were about ten items discarded in that stretch from the gate to where the the fence problem was: crisp packets, coffee cups, plastic tops and sweet wrappers. Why? There is a rubbish bin at the entrance to the footpath twenty feet away that is regularly emptied.

Even attempts to cut back on plastic bags usage, by selling 'bags for life', has foundered as anyone spending a weekly shop of say £100 soon got used to an extra 10p and treated bags for life in the same way as the free ones. Again in the past I remember being sent to the grocer's with a wicker carrier and all the veg and fruit going into the same bag; no one died!

Same with wine carriers, now abandoned as no one ever used them more than once - did they ever think anyone would. The only good thing some supermarkets have done in that area is let you use the empty wine boxes, which at least means they have been used twice.

We live in a throw away society. Much of this problem is blamed on rampant consumerism and our contempt for the landscape etc. Not really; that may be a small part for sure, but the major issue is we have just become a nation of people who to large extent don’t give a monkey's about throwing rubbish anywhere, that is the real problem.

As with so many issues today, apathy wins.

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