I had a look back at my past few posts, getting a bit philosophical and distracted by the footy, time to get back to business, the business of ranting. I know a lady who lives somewhere between here and Portsmouth who also feels strongly about this, so this is for her. Everyone should feel strongly about it though. My post today is about something we sometimes mutter about but actually we should be much more indignant. I am going to look at the bigger picture also
If you read my blog, you will know I travel about quite a bit on business. I cover many miles around southern England each week. The other day I noticed someone had finished their lunch, they were in the car in front of me. How do I know they had finished their lunch? (You know where this is going don’t you Sandra?) Why they flung the McDonald’s bag out of the window as they drove along of course. As one does. Every single day I see rubbish being tossed out of a car window and you know what? It is invariably a cheap, old car. I have lived on this earth for 46 years. I have spent the last 20 years in Britain. I have followed many, many smart, expensive cars and I have never seen rubbish ejected from the window of one. I drive up and down the roads of England pretty much every day, the road side is a constant vision of discarded stuff. Lunch wrappers, drinks bottles and cans, crisp packets, newspapers, yes newspapers. Who reads the paper and then flings it out the window of a moving vehicle when they have finished? They can’t have been driving while reading it so seriously how does that work?
(This picture was taken outside my house this morning. The nearest McDonald’s is 15 miles away!)
There must be a punishment for littering, I haven’t looked it up. Clearly it is not being enforced and is not strong enough. Despoiling the beauty of your country should be up there with treason maybe?
Back to my point about litter coming from cheap cars, extrapolating on this point at the risk of sounding un PC. Why is it the poor who are more given to lack of care about their country. It is almost always the poor. Go to any poor neighbourhood, it’s a toilet mostly. Covered in discarded crap, shopping trolleys upturned, rusting car wrecks, broken bikes and the like litter the streets. Can anyone advise me what the income level is where you cross the threshold of care about your surroundings? Walk down any somewhat wealthy street and it is invariably pristine. The better off don’t have a constant employee wandering about picking up stuff after them, I will wager they don’t discard their lunch wrappings in the street behind them instead. Why is that? There has to be a cut off point of social standing where one becomes aware that littering is not the done thing. Where is that point and who decides it, or how does one suddenly become aware that ruining your countryside is actually a bad idea?
We were in the highlands of Scotland recently, most will agree the most stunning part of Great Britain. We were at a Loch an hour and a half from the nearest main road. The scenery was spectacular. Beside the loch, some people had been camping. I knew this because they had left everything there, discarded wrappers, bottles, cans, plastic bags (they could have used to take the rubbish home in) and even a deflated double airbed. It took 3 of us fully 5 minutes to clean up the mess, from one visit, by someone who should be put in stocks and pelted with fruit in my view. Who are these people? how come they are allowed to walk the streets without supervision? They are probably also allowed to vote, but I guess we can console ourselves that they wouldn’t bother, or know how to.
What relevance is the heading you might wonder. Again, extrapolating. I have played an awful lot of sport, as have most members of my family. I have been to and played in a lot of rugby and cricket matches. Sports seen as being somewhat more upmarket than soccer. I have never spat on a sports field. You will rarely see a rugby or cricket player spitting on the soil they are playing on. Why do soccer players do it constantly? Anytime there is a pause in play and the camera pans around the players, they are spitting, always spitting. Unless there is some secret code we don’t know about that lets them know the camera is on them and it’s time for a gob, we must conclude they are also doing it when the camera isn’t on them. That is an astonishing amount of spitting, who has so much phlegm? Footballers and the poor apparently.
I walk around Britain and I see people in poor quality clothing and cheap tracksuits, no doubt the people who chuck their lunch out of the car window, gobbing on the footpath, without a shred of embarrassment or shame. Why? Has no-one ever said to them that it is disgusting? I would place a small wager that should you find yourself walking about the campus of a smart University, you will see no spitting on the footpath at all. Again, is there an income level or education threshold where you discover that spitting in public is revolting? Why don’t the people who run the big soccer clubs say to their players. “Look fellows, you are setting a very poor example for the young and the ignorant by gobbing on the pitch all the time, how about not doing it for a change.” Sadly that is never going to happen. Let me just say then. Littering is unacceptable and should be punished severely and consistently and spitting in public is just disgusting.
The headline is a phrase I once heard the great Terry Wogan use. He commented about a game of soccer at a weekend and said “I don’t know who won the football but I know who won the spitting.” That appealed to me.
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