“That’s great they’re doing that,” said Tracy, with which I agreed. “But why 2 trucks?” I asked. Then the penny dropped. Six men and two trucks, what does that cost? What are they actually doing? Collecting rubbish that the inconsiderate had thrown out of their cars at about 50mph! I don’t know when it was last done but there was quite a lot of litter and I guess this team travel around Dorset doing the same thing every day. Again, at what cost? Or, put another way, how many doctors, nurses or teacher could’ve been employed if this clean up wasn’t needed and the funding for it was redirected to a different budget? I’ll have a side bet that the very people who throw rubbish out of their cars are at the head of the queue when complaining that the mystical “they” should do this and do that, and will be amongst those shouting loudest about needing more doctors, nurses and teachers.
How did we get here? As a post-war kid when the streets were not as smart as they are today, I got hell from my parents and punished if I dropped anything in the street. I did the same to my kids (even though we were much better off by then) and I know they do the same to theirs. As a lovely lady in her fifties, who worked for me for 9 years and as a divorced mother had bought her Council house and had the tidiest house and garden in her road, said once, when discussing how other members of staff behaved, “They’ve got no pride.” So how do we change it? It’s nothing to do with social status, nothing to do with affluence. It is everything about decency and respect.