British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in the midst of a major scandal about government corruption and cronyism, has attempted to divert the agenda away from his sleaze, to a people-friendly topic, that of littering. It’ll get people talking about the state of their parks and their streets, instead of the state of their corrupt government. Clever, eh? Well, the tragedy is, it’ll work. It’s worked before. People are far more outraged by crisp packets on the ground in Slough, than by criminal activity in Westmister. This little gem will likely keep the public jaws wagging at least until a certain roylal bereavement has passed.
The Prime Minister urges the public to confront and “tick off” anyone spotted dropping litter on the ground.
Let me say up front that I hate litter. I hate people dropping rubbish on the ground, or flicking cigarette ends out of their car window. No normal person in their right mind would approve of littering. Even most people in their wrong mind don’t approve of littering. The Prime Minister knows this, but he also knows it is a topic that winds people up and makes them angry about something other than his government.
All that said, the prime minister’s advice here is deeply stupid.
First of all, he’s urging people to confront people who throw litter. Seriously, can he not see how dumb that is? The type of person who doesn’t respect civil decency, is not the type of person you should “tick off”, or “confront”. You are likely to get phsically (or at least verbally) intimidated or even assaulted if you follow Johnson’s advice.
Second issue is, this isn’t the business of the Prime Minister to insruct us how to behave in regards to this.
Litter is the busines of local authorities. If anyone has a problem with litter in their local area they should raise it with their local authority. They shouldn’t look to the Prime Fucking Minister for advice!
A few years ago I was annoyed by a huge amount of rubbish being left at my bus stop. I wrote to the council and they quickly installed a bin at the bus stop. Problem solved. Litter gone. Easy. The Prime Minister’s role here, at most, is to enable local councils to spend more on the issue. He should not be telling the public to “tick off” litter louts. It’s really, honestly, beyond stupid for any Prime Minister to say these things.
But remember why he’s doing it: It’s not because he care about litter on your streets. It’s because he wants you to talk about something besides his current scandal. (The latest of many). He’s diverting you.
Littering is selfish, wasteful and uncaring behaviour, a poor behaviour exhibited at the bottom level, at ground level (literally). But one must look to the top for an example to follow. People at the top, who are selfish, wasteful and uncaring will not be looked upon as examples to follow, by those at the bottom.
Yes, it’s right to be outraged by litter. But moreover, be outraged by the behaviours that drive it; selfishness, disrespect, laziness, and the willingness to leave a huge mess for somebody else to clean up. Sound familiar?