I would rather swim in sewage than Clean for the Queen

Keep Britain Tidy’s ambition is a worthwhile one, but I won’t be told what to do by the likes of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson. ‘He looks a frightful twerp.’
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson. ‘He looks a frightful twerp.’

What a bizarre campaign Clean for the Queen is. This week, we’re to be encouraged to scurry about, voluntarily tidying up the country for her 90th birthday. But does she approve or even know it’s going on? Will she even notice? Because our monarch doesn’t often go out in your average street, let alone the grubbier ones.

There will be “litter-picking events in your constituency”, and Michael Gove andBoris Johnson have been posing in purple, clutching litter-picking equipment, to publicise events. They do look frightful twerps.

Not that I disapprove of tidying up our filthy, stinking streets, and I sympathise with this latest effort to do so by Keep Britain Tidy, but even though litter hasincreased 500% since the 60s, I would stoically wade forever through streets knee-deep in dreck, rather than do as I’m told by those two pompous turncoats.

This has been the trouble with our tidy-up efforts all along – the calibre of the creatures asking us to do it. We have a history of ghastly boss-pots heading these campaigns: Thatcher, Richard Branson and Lady Porter, who also cleaned up Westminster by cleansing away council housing and the homeless, and several millions of pounds, which she tidied into her own pocket. I would rather swim in sewage than obey any of them.

Poor Keep Britain Tidy, for theirs is a worthwhile ambition – to make the slobboes of the nation clear up after themselves. It’s a hard and thankless task. I know, I’ve tried it: I’ve had a go at the dog-shit droppers, picnickers and footballers showering the local park and pitch with plastic detritus, the school kiddies carpeting the pavements with their chicken bones, pizza, crisp packets, condoms, gobbings and gum, but all I have achieved is a near punch in the chops or the usual vile verbal abuse. Because the worst offenders are “young, urban males”.

But there is hope. There are better methods, but they’ll cost money: a coordinated national strategy, better design of public spaces, consistent educational campaigns and penalties, more paid staff, more bins. Not just a cheapskate plan with Gove and Boris in rubbish outfits.

[Source:- Thr Gurdian]