It was a slow weekend, not much sleep and there was enough going on to murder sleep anyway. So first of all there was the PM talking fulsomely about what he had accomplished re the EECSECURITY-EEC-HOME-IMPROVEMENTS-2 – which was then rubbished as not very much by those who had read the small print.

Small print readers are a breed. d875ced642875c9f13c9ab342dcbd1bcNot every grown up reads the small print, not every grown up can, in either sight or sense, and even if you’re are a sensible type, it doesn’t follow that you will understand what you read, the manuals of domestic appliances, insurance documents and anything to do with conveyancing being constructed to make things less clear rather than more.

What is clear is that large sections of the British Isles are covered with litter. There is an initiative promoted by Adrian Evans called Clean for the Queen which aims to enrol a million volunteers to pick up rubbish at 12 well known “grot spots “ in anticipation of HM’s 90th birthday.   Why does this depress me ?

Because this news is followed 24 hours later by much weightier and more frightening research from the British Geological Society among others that many of Britain’s landfill sites Landfill-382150are not secure and their location puts them at risk from flooding and coastal erosion.   There are just over 21,000 British landfill sites, many predating tougher EU regulations brought in in the 1990s. We were known as “the dirty man of Europe” and if the cap fits, I am afraid we have to wear it. Ever watched a dog scuffing grass over defecation ?   That’s us – ugh nasty, get rid of it, and if you’re a dog and you can’t see it, you may presume it’s gone away.   Too many humans want somebody else deal with it, as far away as possible so we don’t have to think about it.   But we do.

Mobilising large numbers of volunteers – something that in itself is more and more difficult to do – is admirable

Multiethnic raised hands and writing volunteer

Multiethnic raised hands and writing volunteer

but actually we need something closer to a national movement to pull together all sorts of skills and uses for the greater benefit of our overstuffed little country.     There is always a harsh division between those think and want to help out and those who don’t.   And the rationalisations of why they don’t are endless – too busy and “isn’t that what we pay the council for? “being among the most common.   “Don’t care” is an illness all on its own.

But who’d be a policeman, download (4)an occupation which personifies “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”? For, the same week as the Metropolitan Commissioner is given a reduced contract in light (it is suggested) of who the next Mayor of London will be (the appointment not quite in his or her gift but certainly under his or her influence) and asked to apologise to the widow of a public figure whom he investigated, it is announced that millions of pounds of public money will be spent searching through the archive of former Prime Minister Edward Heath on the hunt for alleged abuse of small boys.

I hate the abuse of children. There are stories that will stay with me forever.      But at what point does the investigation of historic abuse (ie that which took place some time ago) become inappropriate ?   As time goes on it is harder and harder to prove.   Nothing can give you back what has been taken.   To prove in law what has happened is one problem, to make a case out of it is something else.

I am not an apologist for the police.   Like everybody else, when they are good, they are and when they are bad, they’re horrid.   But we have just cut their budgets and for every ordinary person, the police are the thin blue line, the first port of call when something goes wrong.

In or out of Europe, we need them to amass information about terrorism, we need them to research and act against child abuse which has spread perniciously through the internet and we need them to function in the maintenance of relative domestic welfare. And we lose sight of that last responsibility at our peril, because it is related to everything else that follows. on.war-bomb

2 responses to ““Overcast”

  1. This is dismal news from my beloved England. Litter and waste piling up. Why doesn’t some group of bright innovative scientists look at litter and waste as a resource. It could be done. Abuse of children is far too much tolerated and ignored. Modern communications have made it too easy for wicked people to act out their fantasies. There are far more decent people. Why has not moral outrage taken root in social consciousness? Over here in America police are under attack, I read in England they are underfunded. Political correctness is assaulting common sense. It seems as if society is on a negative self destructive path, war looming on the periphery of the future. In the meantime sterling has been steadily losing value against the dollar. Fourteen per cent over the last year, seven percent in the last four months. The American people have lost confidence in the government. Trump and Sanders are talking of radical changes. And now I’ll soon be 72 and my CPU is acting up, needing a 16 mile drive to get it dusted out. Sigh. I’m starting to think I’ve lived through the best years to have a life and horrid years are ahead. I hope not. More and more I’m glad I retired to my remote rural Appalachian community, far from the maddening crowd, tending my perennial garden, watching the world from afar, wondering why people seem so set on their path. I keep thinking of Robert Owen and his oft repeated statement: …any general character, from the best to the worst, from the most ignorant, to the most enlightened…….at the command and under the control of those who have influence over the affairs of men. Are those who have influence leading us to the worst and the most ignorant? . .

  2. What a well written and thought provoking article. Most people live their lives as if there’s no consequences and it’s let somebody else deal with it. Some people do a great job, some volunteer tirelessly and help others but it’s always the same people who do all the work while most sit back apathetically. For the ones that do, there’s only so much they can do but are expected to do more and more. Some then get fed up and disillusioned. We need to learn and do things differently. If most of us looked out for each other more and had closer communities, the authorities would be less overstretched.

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