We live in a fairly forcibly fear fuelled society of people with not a lot to do. A story that has any remote possibility of having the capability to effect our every day lives is suddenly front page news. It’s a shame really because we have the potential to be able to live in a perfectly civilised society.
The news these days tends to centralise around making mountains out of molehills and big mountains at that too! Take for example, the Daily Mail today (Wednesday, June 8, 2005):
The headline reads: “MARCH OF THE LITTER POLICE”, the subtitle is “A TOUGH drive to clean up Britain got under way yesterday.” Which, when you ignore the internal rhyming (“under way yesterday”) sounds pretty serious just like the “hoodie ban” invention did. It sounded to me like there was going to be something of significance in this article maybe telling me that I’m going to get sent to jail for five years for dropping my chewing gum on the floor. So, being a self professed gum chewing addict I read the whole thing just in case.
Well, as it turns out I would have been better off reading Heat magazine for anything of actual substance. This is all too often an incident I find repeating itself; big headlines with very little of a story to back it up. Where were they when children were spewing their shit out of their mouths from such horrifically bad malnutrition from school food before Jamie Oliver drove along their merry way?
To summarise the article to anything of any possible relevance the fine for littering has gone up by £25 (to £75) and is now covering fags and gum. But then again, when you think about it, who the hell do you know that’s ever been fined for littering anyway? There is no mention of litter police to back up this new fine in case you were wondering; its all talk and no action. Do our local councils really expect this to make a big impact on the way we distribute out litter?
Perhaps instead of having such a visible tiny trail of thought as to look to how to immediately cut off a problem with the easiest immediately available answer, the government should invest some actual time and money into issues that they believe should be dealt with and take it from there. Media hype is a tradition within the British press; everyone loves a bit of scandal, but when will Britain learn to back up what she implies? If, like the government is suggesting by imposing larger fines on littering, it is that littering is in fact a problem of such great significance that it can make the front page news then surely the government would put in a bit of elbow grease? Or at the very least, a couple of extra bins for chewing gum and the like.