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Years ago, I told friends that, blessed with a computer incorporating a good sound system, a decent Internet connection and everything I'd need for survival, (food, water, shelter, health etc.) I'd happily live alone on a sunny desert island for a year. Swap the desert island for Southeast England and over the past year-and-a-bit, these things have largely been the focus of my life - and, I'm sure, the lives of millions around the world, since many of us have been confined to our homes. I've done OK but it's blindingly clear that I'd be speaking very differently had I been without the Internet. The ability to connect with others around the globe, to discover new music ignored by our national and local radio stations, share experiences and viewpoints and be able to read/watch news and engage in comment via outlets other than our own country's newspapers, has made a huge difference to how many of us view the world as well as how we behave. It's a real blessing, don't you agree?
One occasional guilty pleasure is watching Parliament in action (often to background music transmitted from Paradise in California - no adverts and a choice to support through donation)! Indulging yesterday, my ears pricked up on hearing Gareth Davies MP, ask Prime Minister Boris Johnson, if the Government was doing all it could to tackle littering - bearing in mind that there are now so many fed-up members of the public out collecting litter. If you're a long-time reader of my leaders, you may recall my first mention of Boris Johnson a good decade ago when he'd had to dodge an apple core thrown from a car he was cycling behind, and how he'd scooped it up and thrown it back into the car, (I'm assuming he then cycled away rapidly, unknowingly shrouded by the admiration of all those who witnessed the drama). Yesterday, Boris made it clear he's still angered by litter and that as well as an increase in on-the-spot fines, money's being spent on new bins as well as awareness campaigns. His suggestion though that we should "tick off" those we see littering and instruct them to pick up what they've dropped, is way out of touch. Yes - most of us would love to do that, but the potential repercussions are too frightening!
If you're reading this from one of the 160-plus non-UK destinations in which Cleanzine's received, please tell me: Is there a litter problem where you live and if so, how is it tackled?
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15th April 2021