back to article Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

Rubbish activists have reportedly put anti-littering signs up in the West Midlands calling trash bandits "fools" whose parents still tidy up after them. The taunting signs have been reported springing up in the village of Ansley by BBC radio Coventry and Warwickshire. 3 mystery signs have appeared in Ansley to tackle …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Technological approach:

    The face and number plate of a McDonald's Drive-Thru customers are printed on the burger packaging at times of purchase. If said customer doesn't dispose of their rubbish responsibly they'll be easy to hunt down.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      The face and number plate of a McDonald's Drive-Thru customers are printed on the burger packaging at times of purchase. If said customer doesn't dispose of their rubbish responsibly they'll be easy to hunt down.

      Also for any takeaway place.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The flaw in this, and I'm surprised at you lot but this is a Friday, is that the identifying marks are still on the wrappers even after you've disposed of them properly. Should the bin get knocked over, escape whilst being moved from recepticle to transport, fly away in the wind at the recycling plant/tip etc, you would still be fingered for it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No, the real flaw is I will no longer have plausible deniability for the macdonalds wrappers in the back of my car... 'We had a team lunch' won't wash anymore...

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Should the bin get knocked over, escape whilst being moved from recepticle to transport, fly away in the wind at the recycling plant/tip etc, you would still be fingered for it.

          Well, yes, but it would still be MY rubbish. As it'd only be a proportionate fine and an extremely rare occurrance, I think I could live with it. The window of opportunity for a bin incident is small, if we round up to 1% of disposals result in a bin problem, I'd have to eat drive thru McDs on average twice a week to get fined once per year.

    2. m0rt Silver badge

      @Dave126

      That is, quite literally, brilliant.

      Even a barcode that is tracable to the franchise and try to at least putting in a traceable path of accountability .

      Have a small fine for every piece of litter linked to that franchise that encourages them to push back to customers to encourage more social behaviour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Dave126

        "Even a barcode that is tracable to the franchise and try to at least putting in a traceable path of accountability"

        A great deal of stuff in the UK foodchain (and probably elsewhere) is now marked at the 'manufacturers' with something that is to all intents and purposes a "serial number" specific to that that box, that batch, that bottle, whatever. In the right circumstances the serial number presumably could also be used to record which wholesalers, retailers, etc were involved in handling a particular set of boxes, bottles, etc.

        Apply that information for a slightly different purpose and follow it through the supply chain and in principle you can work out which retailers are repeatedly facilitating anti-social behaviour (or worse).

        Apparently not a particularly new idea:

        https://www.scotsman.com/news/tag-every-bottle-of-alcohol-to-trace-adults-who-supply-child-drinkers-1-1523300 (2010)

      2. tfb Silver badge

        Re: @Dave126

        Put a unique ID on the packaging, take a picture of the person doing the transaction for that packaging (CCTV in the store does this bit almost for free).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Dave126

        That is, quite literally, brilliant.

        Right, so you propose an end to privacy for burger munchers, and a national database that will in practical terms identify their eating habits, movements, all added to the existing CCTV surveillance, just to address the problem of littering? All very well saying that this only goes back to the burger outlet, you know that's bollocks. Although I'm all in favour of vendors taking responsibility for the subsequent actions of their customers - my car dealer should have to pay any speeding, parking or other motoring fines I get.

        Meanwhile, over in today's "GCHQ want to spy on us all" thread, numerous people are complaining that GCHQ's and police desires to track the conversation of suspected terrorists and serious criminals threatens the general public's liberties. And likewise, when councils use surveillance powers to catch the owners who don't clear up their dogshit, there's an outcry.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: @Dave126

          Big Brother is watching and reaching out more and more. All in all, it's just another brick in the wall isn't it.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: @Dave126

          Right, so you propose an end to privacy for burger munchers, and a national database that will in practical terms identify their eating habits, movements, all added to the existing CCTV surveillance, just to address the problem of littering?

          Between ANPR, your mobile phone, and your VISA history, they already have that data. There is literally no new data added in the mix, save potentially what you ordered, and I presume McDs know that already.

          There's no new privacy invasion here - you already freely give that data to the state now. Of course, if you walk there without your phone and pay by cash you might have a point, but you'll still be able to do that with the face printing anyway. Just take your rubbish home and burn it - no DNA, fingerprints, or facial images left behind.

      4. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: @Dave126

        Have a small fine for every piece of litter linked to that franchise that encourages them to push back to customers to encourage more social behaviour.

        Good idea - fine both the customer and the vendor. That way the vendors will eventually bar irresponsible customers, so even if the fines go unpaid (don't they all when on welfare), there's still an incentive not to be untidy scum.

    3. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Isn't this the kind of use-case we're all told Blockchain will shine in?

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Coat

        Around here...

        The farmers already use Block Chain technology to stop fly tipping on their land. Driveways are protected by big blocks of concrete and big chains.

        Mines the one with sweet wrappers, tissues and receipts that go in the bin when I get home/see one on the street!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Around here...

          "[...] that go in the bin when I get home/see one on the street!"

          that go in the bin when I get home/see one not already overflowing on the street!

          FTFY

    4. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      @Dave 126,

      I'd suggest that, rather than try to track the individual customer, that the fast-food places be obligated to prove (by whatever means they like) that X% of their sales transactions have the packaging disposed of properly. Obviously, 100% would be an impossibly high target, but even a relatively low figure (say, 30%) would, I feel, force businesses to be proactive about rubbish collection so they could point at all the stuff they've collected as part of their target! Plus it would encourage the businesses to offer reusable serving materials, because those would be sales-without-packaging, so a "free" point on the scale.

      And then you could slowly ramp the target up, and possibly use local council licensing to maintain a range of targets depending on location, so that black spots for litter would have higher standards until they're cleaned up.

      A side benefit is that it would likely result in the fast food chains employing people to pick up trash, so they could meet their rubbish-collection targets as well as their profit targets.

      Enforcement could be via local taxes: exceeding the target demonstrates social responsibility, so naturally that business is more valuable to the community and deserves to pay lower taxes, while missed targets label the company as a drain on society, deserving of higher taxes.

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        @AC

        "Right, so you propose an end to privacy for burger munchers, and a national database that will in practical terms identify their eating habits, movements, all added to the existing CCTV surveillance, just to address the problem of littering?"

        No.

        This is why I modded it to have a barcode that linked it back to the franchise. But the principle is about accountability.

        We don't need car dealerships paying speeding fines because - guess what? Cars have an identifying mark known as a registration plate, linking them to the owner so therefore no need to fine dealerships.

        This was a sensible discussion. Keep it such and keep the hyperbolic outrage down a little.

        Kthnxbai!

    5. The Nazz Silver badge

      re Dave 126

      Yep, brilliant idea.

      Now all we need are Police forces who care a toss.

      "Can i report some littering, McDonalds wrappers thrown, by a fat bird, out of a moving vehicle by a fat lass, of which i took a note of the the registration plate?"

      "Hmmm, a fat bird you say, you're nicked sonny jim."

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        The problem with tracing dumped rubbish is that the dumpers know about the tracing and will steal personal details from the correctly disposed rubbish of others to include in their dumping. This diverts the simplistic investigation that might be done. Wastes times, throws people off.

        Even if you are disposing properly in your collected rubbish, make sure there is no ID on anything.

        Now, I will go and get my McDonalds takeaway, complete with personalised packaging, remove the identifying parts of the packaging and chuck the rest down the street.

        Next.

    6. LucreLout Silver badge

      The face and number plate of a McDonald's Drive-Thru customers are printed on the burger packaging at times of purchase.

      That, Sir, is absolute genius. Even the most hard of thinking chav will preumably recognise their own mugshot on the wrapper.

      Perhaps this could be linked to a publicly available and uptodate register of addresses, and also print their address onto the wrapper. That way if it turns up in your garden, you may return it to them.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        That, Sir, is absolute genius. Even the most hard of thinking chav will preumably recognise their own mugshot on the wrapper.

        Even the thickest chav is capable of removing the identifying parts of the packaging before chucking the rest over your garden fence. It's not much of an idea when thought through.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          It's not much of an idea when thought through.

          true its over thought technical solution. What proportion of litter are mcdonalds responsible for? youd have to tag all packing and everything in the packaging!

          Better to make it more socially outrageous than it is now - like the sign in the article.

          1. MonsieurTM

            Re: It's not much of an idea when thought through.

            Agreed: I think (despite the poor spelling) that the sign is a great idea! Shame, even if we cannot name...

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    But with the scourge of fly-tipping being what it is, it's probably worth a go. Perhaps someone in Doncaster, Southampton or Sunderland will put one up with the added option of "I am a lily-livered landlubber" to address their problems with dumped boats on the roads.

    Excellent!

    1. The Nazz Silver badge

      I'm looking forward to the signs they use in Scunthorpe.

  3. m0rt Silver badge

    "But with the scourge of fly-tipping being what it is"

    Not just about fly tipping. It is general litter which is a massive problem in the UK. I live on the edges of a very picturesque part of Wales. One particular cycle to Bala I remember being struck by the sheer amount of litter in the verges for, quite literally, miles.

    Another episode, whilst motorcycling through Snowdonia, a complete cock throwing his empty sandwich box out of his white BMW in a known beauty spot.

    And I guess we are fairly familiar with the pile of McDonalds litter that seems some people are too good to have sitting in their car until they go to a bin.

    Do we collectively have so little regard, not just for the land we live on, but ourselves, to think that this is any way to act?

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Do we collectively have so little regard, not just for the land we live on, but ourselves, to think that this is any way to act?

      "Me first and don't give a fuck about anything else" is trendy nowadays. The consumer culture led to egotism being the norm... "because I deserve it"

      1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        Do we collectively have so little regard, not just for the land we live on, but ourselves, to think that this is any way to act?

        "Me first and don't give a fuck about anything else" is trendy nowadays. The consumer culture led to egotism being the norm... "because I deserve it"

        **********

        How else can we explain Brexit?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          It's less than 10% of people that make 95% of litter. If you've ever tried talking to a person who throws litters down in the street, they really don't get what the problem is. They don't see it like the rest of us at all, to them it's a trivial thing and someone else will pick it up and that gives them a job.

          But, if the 90% of clean people picked up and binned 2 items of litter on every trip out, litter would be hugely reduced. I do it.

          I've just returned from a month in Germany and I had to look hard to find litter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Partly and a bit of parents not instilling in their kids to not litter. It's not difficult, you either leave it in your car till you go to the supermarket or home (there are plenty of bins especially the one directly outside supermarkets) and anything else can go in your pocket or a bag till you get home or pass a bin (nearly every bus stop and outside a shop has a bin). Maybe they should also teach it in schools if they don't anymore.

      The McDonalds problem is partly down to overflowing bins outside but what incentive do the staff have to empty the bins when they are targeted on sales though this is no excuse for those littering.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A little bit of nature.

        I do blame it a little bit on companies moving from paper/string/paties as food wrapping, and using plastic and foil and glass. These things don't biodegrade. However, even the stuff that does don't need throwing at me/you/our gardens/the path we walk on!

    3. tfb Silver badge

      This is not the worst of it. People who drop litter obviously just are not thinking about anything but themselves. But there are worse people: people who dutifuly pick up and bag their dog's shit and then throw the bags into hedges or the road later, leaving people like me who pick up litter to get a really lovely surprise. People who do that are not just being careless: they're being consciously evil.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "People who drop litter obviously just are not thinking about anything but themselves."

        FTFY

  4. Herring`

    I seem to remember

    that the characteristically blunt Aussies had a public information campaign against littering with the slogan "don't be a tosser". This, I like.

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I seem to remember

      Yep. I went to the (old) MCG once and saw the Richmond Tigers. They were sponsored by the Australian anti-drink&drive campaign. The players shirts had 'Drink Drive Bloody Idiot' on the back. Sadly, I think the sponsorship ended when a bloody idiot player got pissed up on booze and crashed his vehicle. A bit like Alastair Burnett and his 'Police, camera, action' road safety TV shows. He was subsequently banned from driving for 23 months and fined £3000 after being arrested, charged and convicted of drink driving because he crashed into a hedge and telegraph pole while 3 times over the drink drive limit.

  5. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    If you're going to put up a sign...

    ...do what this outstanding young lad did:

    I had a commute that took me through the kind of community that has a very low speed limit in the middle and derives a large portion of its municipal revenue using radar guns. One beautiful morning there was a young teen with a hand-painted sign "DANGER! ROOKIE COP WITH RADAR 1/2 MILE".

    Eventually he put out a tip jar. I paid handsomely, one must reward good enterprise and all that.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: If you're going to put up a sign...

      Or, you know, drive under the speed limit.

      Still, I expect you had some mcDonald's wrappers you needed to chuck out of your window.

      1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

        Re: If you're going to put up a sign...

        Nahh, I never eat and drive. It interferes with my drinking.

        Real litter problem around here are massive 18-wheeler garbage haulers shipping waste from the paradise of New York City into my fly-over county for dumping. The law says these loads must be covered and of course they are not, and they leave a vast swath of filth in their path. Those of us who care and try to keep our community clean cannot possibly keep up.

        Coppers cannot be bothered to do a damn thing about it. Can see the patrol cars speeding along - doing 20 over - and ignoring a rolling fountain of crap in front of them.

        But drive 5 over just after the speed limit drops from 55 to 25 ... you know, right after the hidden sign ... and you've got a court summons. F$cking pathetic wankers.

    2. Andytug

      Re: If you're going to put up a sign...

      In the UK that would probably earn the lad a fine for interfering with police in the cause of their duties, or some such. Same has happened to people flashing their lights at other motorists to warn of imminent speed traps.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: If you're going to put up a sign...

        What’s a ‘speed trap’?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mommy

    Mom is a West Midlandsism.

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: Mommy

      Ar.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mommy

      You can always tell a Brummie.... (but you can't tell 'im much)

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Mommy

      Mom is a West Midlandsism.

      Brummie maybe, not all of the West Midlands. I grew up in the West Midlands and said "Mum". Mind you, my mother was from the Home Counties.

    4. Glen 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Mommy

      When I were a lad:

      If you used the word "Mum" around these parts, you've just outed yourself as not from around here.

      You possibly did Latin at school. Best mates with Mr Cholmondley Warner etc.

      All would be forgivable (although the target of much merriment), as long as you didn't admit to being a Tory. Labour heartland and all that.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Mommy

        Paaah. We use "Mater", or "mother, dearest" when being informal!

        1. PhilBuk

          Re: Mommy

          In the bit of Midlands that I grew up in - it was Mam.

          Phil.

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Another design approach:

    Many cars have cup holders, but none have an integrated rubbish bin. The absence of such a bin ( I'm imagining a compartment by the passenger footwell that pulls out in the same fashion as a glovebox) is absolutely no excuse for littering, but it can't hurt to design a car to make good behaviour more convenient.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Another design approach:

      Good idea, but wouldn't help some people. Ever browsed reddit.com/r/carbage? Some people are just slobs.

      I was driving up the A41 towards Whitchurch some years ago, following a Land Cruiser. The knobheads in it were throwing out a piece of trash about every 50 yards. Cups, crisp packets, cigarettes... disgusting. Hanging's definitely too good for morons like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another design approach:

        The knobheads in it were throwing out a piece of trash about every 50 yards.

        Mindless fools. They should have saved it all for when overtaking a bunch of cyclists.

        1. MonsieurTM

          Re: Another design approach:

          That made me laugh!

    2. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Another design approach:

      I made one of those in my first car (a Citroen GSA estate if you want to know). I screwed the lid of an ice cream tub to the side of the centre console in the passenger footwell, snapped the tub into place, made a rubbish sized hole in the top et voila, my own bin. Tended to be full of fag packets and crisp bags.

    3. Chris 125

      Re: Another design approach:

      My employer gives me a car so small that the rear seats are pretty much useless if you have adults in the front. Hence any litter is dealt with by flinging it over your shoulder. Twice a year I simply open both back doors and push all the rubbish front one side into a bag tucked under the seat the other side.

    4. saxicola

      Re: Another design approach:

      Passenger footwell. Chuck everything in there 'till it's full then grab a bin bag and clean it out. However, I have no friends so this may not work for everyone.

    5. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Another design approach:

      I once watched the human in the car in front of me eat a whole tub of Nutella with his hand (yes scoping it out like Winnie-the-Pooh does with honey) and then throw the empty tub out the window.

      I doubt a integrated rubbish bin would help.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Another design approach:

      "I'm imagining a compartment by the passenger footwell that pulls out in the same fashion as a glovebox"

      Does that not answer your question? I suppose it depends on the size of individual items and the number you want store in the bin/glovebox.

    7. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Another design approach:

      But a rubbish bin will get emptied on the streets, like some do with ashtrays....

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Another design approach:

        Yep, cars used to have ashtrays and there used to be tell tale piles of butts and ash by the side of the road where they were dumped by selfish wankers.

    8. Duffy Moon

      Re: Another design approach:

      I foolishly believed that, by this time our cars would be powered by MrFusion devices, which would be fuelled by pretty much anything.

  8. Ochib

    Even Dr Who used this in the episodes "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances"

    Are you my mummy?

  9. sandman

    Mommy/Mummy - how common, Nanny cleans up after one.

    Jacob Please-Mugg

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      ITT: Remonars will moan on, and on....

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Stop

          The country is heading for disaster and you're spending your time thinking of clever names for each other.

          Grow up.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            The country is heading for disaster and you're spending your time thinking of clever names for each other.

            Well, there's not a lot else we can do until we get a Poeple's Vote is there?

            Also, in typical school playground style, "they started it". Quite frankly, anyone still standing up for Rees-Mogg after all he has done to push this country down that road to disaster deserves a little push-back against their nonsense slogans. After all, they won, so they should get over it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              What disaster?

              Bombard public for ages with negative stories.

              Get a deal that doesn't work.

              Reject deal.

              New referendum/government.

              Vote to stay in out of three choices splitting the vote, No deal, Current Deal, Stay in EU. I'm just surprised people don't realise this has been the plan from the start. Nothing to worry about really.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @a/c above

                a 3 choice referendum would result in a minority 'win' and far smellier fans.

                1. davenewman

                  Re: @a/c above

                  Not if we had to rank the options, then add up points in a de Borda preferendum (www.deborda.org)

            2. Wellyboot Silver badge

              ye gods.

              Littering article leading to more bl**dy brexit twaddle

              2.5 years of the losers wanting to overturn a democratic fair vote and some desperate wonk came up with 'peoples vote' - Every vote is a 'Peoples Vote' it's the whole point of voting.

              We had 6 months of 'sunlit uplands' v 'end of civilization' BS before 33+ million votes were cast giving a clear result. How many MP's have been binned over the years by a handful of votes, are they all endlessly demanding another go and throwing insults at the very electorate they want to vote for them?

              If voting is rendered pointless as a decision making tool then the alternatives we are left with are far worse.

              @Potemkine! Is right about the 'me' attitude, it covers far more than just litter.

              Up/Down vote away it won't change any opinions. /rant (#sick-of-the-argument-retreads)

              Up voting the tracked cartons idea, there’s no impact on privacy but it may make a big difference if getting collared becomes likely.

              As for mum/mom, go a bit further north you'll find mam.

              1. james_smith

                Re: ye gods.

                Wellyboot - the vote was a referendum, which has as much legal significance as an opinion poll. Parliament is sovereign in this country, partly to save the unwashed masses from populist stupidity. the current governments attempt to avoid a "meaningful" vote on any Brexit plan is unlikely to stand up in court since there's several centuries of precedent ...

                1. Ledswinger Silver badge

                  Re: ye gods.

                  Parliament is sovereign in this country, partly to save the unwashed masses from populist stupidity

                  You actually, really believe that utter fucking shite? The reason we're in this mess is because the majority of voters, for a whole range of different reasons, voted against elitist politicians who'd been busy "knowing best" for the past thirty plus years. And they'd been very active signing treaties and accepting unfavourable agreements without checking what the public at large actually wanted. If the useless fuckers had listened, and shown a whole lot more spine and national interest in dealings with the EU, then I suspect the population wouldn't have been so anti-EU.

                  That's the curious thing about real democracy. It doesn't always produce the outcomes that middle ground liberals think of as "democracy". The sooner we have more populist stupidity in Parliament, and less of the Oxbridge humanities graduates choosing their preferred outcome the better.

                  1. tfb Silver badge

                    Re: ye gods.

                    Populism: easy, but wrong, answers to hard questions.

              2. tfb Silver badge

                Re: ye gods.

                The question isn't overturning a vote: it's finding out if the people who voted for brexit are happy with either of the two options we're now presented with now we know what the options actually are. If they are, well, fine.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Quite frankly, anyone still standing up for Rees-Mogg after all he has done to push this country down that road to disaster deserves a little push-back against their nonsense slogans."

              Vermin like Rees-Mogg- and far moreso Boris Johnson- have benefitted from the endless tolerance of the English for the foibles of "their" upper-classes, their underlying extremism viewed through the lens of "amusing eccentricity", which has allowed them to worm their way relatively unchecked into positions where they now have the power to do real damage.

              They're the types who can afford to indulge their destructive, self-serving, power-grabbing Brexit fantasies knowing that they'll be able to brush off any fall out, regardless of what happens to the rest of the population.

              They deserve to be attacked far, *far* more harshly than with arbitrary but ultimately meaningless playground-level insults that do nothing but reduce the other side of the argument to the same level as people who say things like "remoaner".

              1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
                Facepalm

                In case the brexiters were puzzled as to why Rees Mogg has moved his firm to Ireland in anticipation of us leaving the EU (yeah, right, as if the brainless morons know anything that's not put in the dailymail) [ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-jacob-rees-mogg-scm-ireland-city-move-eu-withdrawal-dublin-a8398041.html ], you'd think the Bank of England announcement, followed by the government themselves admitting we aill be worse off under all scenarios would finally give them a taste of a clue.

                But no. How people without a vested interest can *still* support brexit is beyond me.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "[...] In case the brexiters were puzzled as to why Rees Mogg"

                  Brexiter Nigel Lawson lives in France. He recently applied for resident status to make sure he can continue living there.

                  Sir Jim Ratcliffe - the UK's richest man (£21bn) - supported Brexit saying Britain would thrive afterwards. He is now moving to Monaco.

                  1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

                    Downvoters can't handle the truth, anon!

            4. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

              I'm fully in agreement with Mr Rees-Mogg. As he wisely said on October 24th, 2011:

              Jacob Rees-Mogg --

              It is amazing how united the Conservative party has been so far today. We had a Eurosceptic statement from the Prime Minister and then a Eurosceptic speech from the Foreign Secretary, so it can only be the Liberal Democrats who are inveigling us down the path of unrighteousness and taking us away from supporting the motion. The Foreign Secretary made six points that must have been written for him by the Liberal Democrats, because he is ​far too clever a man to have thought of them for himself, because they do not really add up. I shall go through them.

              The Foreign Secretary made two points that were essentially trivial—too trivial for a man of his standing. They were, first, that there was no manifesto commitment for a referendum. However, manifestos can deal only with what is known at the time; they cannot deal with things that have not yet arisen. The crisis in the eurozone and the changes that could come from it were not known with clarity at that point, so it is now right to think beyond the manifesto to what the next steps are. That point can therefore be discarded.

              The Foreign Secretary then said that we had passed an Act of Parliament to deal with when we could have referendums, and so we did; but again, this House knows many things, but it is not omniscient. It cannot take care of every occasion that may arise when a referendum may be a good idea or every occasion when the British people—whom we should trust—may want one. So, those two points go.

              The other two points that do not add up to much were, first, that a three-way referendum is confusing. However, that is not a problem because the motion calls for a Bill in the next Session, which can deal with any confusion. We can, in our wisdom, work out how to phrase a referendum—or series of referendums, if necessary —that will be understandable.

              Martin Horwood --

              I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way and we always enjoy his speeches, but will he clear up some confusion about the proposed three-way referendum? Will it use the alternative vote system or first past the post? The motion is not entirely clear.

              Jacob Rees-Mogg --

              I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me an extra minute—it is kind of Gloucestershire to give something to Somerset for once. That issue can be dealt with in the legislation. Indeed, we could have two referendums. As it happens, it might make more sense to have the second referendum after the renegotiation is completed.

              [ From https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2011-10-24/debates/1110247000001/NationalReferendumOnTheEuropeanUnion ]

              Sensible, rational proposals: a three-way referendum, and then a second referendum after the renegotiation is complete. Without that second referendum, we have the word of politicians that the "deal" they negotiated matches the will of the people, and we know that politicians are not always 100% aligned with their constituencies, although of course they try their hardest to honestly represent the people who elected them (or some other people who they like better, obviously; it's important to encourage free will!)

              Let's roll!

    2. sandman
      Devil

      I'm so glad that my lightly "humorous" post managed to excite such ire. My day's work is done and done well! Bwah, ha, ha!

  10. chivo243 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Lately

    I've been thinking a lot about littering\pollution, and how it's worse now than back in the 70's. Anybody remember the crying Native American when someone in a car tosses trash at his at his feet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Suu84khNGY

    I think it's time to hold manufacturers accountable. I've also been thinking about how we can get away from disposable plastic packaging. Could making these packing receptacles be made to be reusable? Like beer bottles in a crate? I know there are some niche organic stores that are exploring the possibility of reuse-able containers for stuff like flour or sugar, or wash liquid.

    Make the consumer responsible for reusing or returning the receptacle with a monetary deposit just like beer bottles...

    In the end, rich board members or C or D levels don't give a shit about the environment, only how fat their bank books are. If the change doesn't start at the top, we're doomed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lately

      No being American... so now I get the reference: https://youtu.be/zvJ4_sa4gno

  11. Skier Boris

    I've noticed that many service stations in France now have huge bins as you leave to rejoin motorway i.e. big enough you can throw rubbish from car window. Would like to see a few of these at motorway junctions in UK which just seem to be knee deep in litter.

    The 5p charge in bags does seem to have had a positive impact, so a similar tax on takeaway wrappers may be an option, although sadly I suspect the cash would never get back to the Local Authority who was responsible for picking it all up.

    Looking on the brightside, I recall litter being a lot worse back in the mid-70s

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Starbucks/costa/coffee places?

      Some are now charging for cups.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " I recall litter being a lot worse back in the mid-70s"

      Dog fouling on pavements etc has become less of a problem in my part of England. Cats in other people's gardens not so. Ditto horses on cycle/pedestrian paths.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Would like to see a few of these at motorway junctions in UK which just seem to be knee deep in litter."

      Worst one I'm aware of is the slip road off the southbound M1 for Chesterfield. At pretty much any time of the day, the traffic always has to stop and queue, even when there's only 2 or 3 vehicles so it seems many people take the opportunity to chuck their rubbish at that spot. One or a couple of large mouth bins there might help.

      Being part of the motorway network, I doubt a "tiny little problem" like that will be dealt with in sensible way by Highways England. Maybe in a year or three a sign will be put up saying "picking your litter risks the lives of workers" rather than actually dealing with the problem.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge
  12. Gothmog

    Mommy?

    I always said 'Mom', and indeed to still do to my...er, Mom; and yes, I was brought up in the West Midlands. I was always a little bit confused as to why all these weirdoes down in the South East said Mum, rather than the obviously far superior nomenclature Mom. And now I find out that it's actually a 'thing', and related to being originally from Brum. Why so?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mommy?

      I grew up in the west midlands, and call my mum "mum".

      Then again, my friends did accuse me of being "posh". I could never get the hang of asking if a friend was going to the supermarket by saying "Am yow goin' down the Asda?"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    McDonalds, it's food Jim but not as we know it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're all wrong

    Neither the brummies or the soft southerners can spell correctly, it's mam!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: They're all wrong

      No, that's what American GIs call people in black & white war films.

  15. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Boffin

    More litter bins

    ^ You never know; more litter bins and having them emptied regularly may actually encourage people to use them. It at least provides 'no excuse for littering'.

    Though I will usually take my litter home with me there are times where that isn't convenient and I want rid of it more immediately.

    When councils won't use their tax revenues to cover people's refuse disposal needs littering and fly-tipping are an inevitable and predictable consequence. Just like closing public toilets leads to people pissing in gardens and alleyways, building on sports fields and parks leads to an unhealthy population and a rise in related illnesses, closing recreation centres leads to gangs of kids roaming the streets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More litter bins

      One UK council fined people for putting their addressed junk mail in a litter bin en route to the station in the morning.

      Our council issued home recycling bins often lose their lids in a strong wind. Then the refuse lorry runs over them - so only a heavy brick might keep them in place next time. Anything identifiable - even package labels - only goes into my recycle bin after shredding.

  16. Mage Silver badge

    Privatisation

    Here in Ireland the abolishing of "free" Council operated waste collection has resulted in:

    1) Massive increase in Fly-tipping

    2) Multiple (up to 6 in some areas) waste trucks visiting the street.

    3) Massive bins and smells as collection is at BEST once a fortnight instead of weekly, and sometimes they "miss" and you have a month!

    4) Tipped & stolen bins because of the (illegal in some areas) insistence that Bins must be left out the night before.

    -

    Also in my youth all bottles were returnable glass and all take out packaging was paper or card. Few shop sold foods had plastic packaging.

    Put a BIG tax on plastic (because it's cheaper than card / paper), a big tax on ALL oil / gas / coal / briquettes, not just retail fuel. Ban single use plastic packaging that can't be easily recycled.

    Incentive to use returnable & reusable packages.

    Partly Thacherism/Reaganomics are to blame. Some things should be privatised, but not things best as a single entity. The solution is independent regulation, not privatisation, for rail, refuse, water, electriciy network, phone / mobile / data networks etc.

    Also abolish "road tax" and especially Tolls (inefficient), simply increase the fuel duty, then the less efficient & higher users pay more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privatisation

      "Partly Thacherism/Reaganomics are to blame."

      In the Thatcher era - BBC TV had a one-off play that extrapolated the privatisation of the UK.

      Every house had to contract with numerable one-person companies for basic services like policing or refuse collection. A memorable scene was a refuse collecting man who touted for business by having a blizzard of leaflets dropped from a helicopter.

      When it came to education and jobs for the common people - the teenage daughter of the representative household was offered a job to be a surrogate mother for rich people.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re:Also in my youth all bottles were returnable glass and all take out packaging was paper or card.

      And in my youth too. The difference between us is that when the returnable and re-usable glass went out of fashion for plastic, I asked why and paid attention to the answer.

      The machine tools used to clean and fill the glass bottles would often need to be shut down because, contrary to popular belief, the glass bottles had a limited lifetime and would shatter after a few trips through the machinery. The machines would have to be stopped and cleaned of dangerous debris before the operation could be restarted.

      Not only that, there was a chance of glass shards finding their way into other bottles, to end up being discovered (or not) by unlucky thirsty customers, who were getting more litigious.

      The machines themselves were wonders of mechanical invention, and were therefore of necessity very complex with lots of moving parts. Moving parts always wear out (though in most cases the MTBF of machine tools of this type was impressively long), bringing the operation to a halt again.

      And there were tougher laws on health and safety in the workplace being enacted, and tougher consumer protection laws being enacted, all making the plant owners very nervous indeed.

      So there is a bit more practicality to the switch from glass to plastic than mentioned in your own analysis.

      Getting rid of the re-use part of the business meant less money spent on maintenance, smaller business footprint (or more footprint on bottling product) and less exposure to litigation and censure from the government oversight bodies.

      Win-win-win-win from where I'm sitting, from the viewpoint of someone not yet familiar with the downsides of plastics.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recently a passing busybody on a crusade against the menace of dirty dogs decided to highlight a doggie-do by ringing it with white aerosol spray... except it wasn't! They had just tarmacked the road and one of the navvies must have been leaning on his spade and left a small pile of dirt on the pavement. Like the busybody, the dirt has now gone, but the white rings remain

    1. james_smith

      We have a neighbour who does that (the circling thing, not laying dog eggs) but at least it's done with chalk.

  18. MJI Silver badge

    I hate fly tipping

    Drove along a nice lane (BOAT) about 1/2 a mile, through the really rough bits and....

    About 50m from the other end a 2m high pile of fly tipped rubbish.

    Too high to drive over even.

    Had to reverse out.

    IF I see a fly tipper I will rip the limbs off the tipper using a Land Rover in low range, strop around ankles and pull.

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Good to see the linguistic jingoism my father used so effectively to disband the Rolling Stones for using "It's a gas, gas, gas" is still in wide use in the old homeland.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They try, they try, then inflation kills the incentive

    They try and try to get people to clean up, here in the US of A. 5 cents a bottle, people will scour the roads to get the refund, they said. Then inflation kicked in. What that 5 cents once bought now costs about a quarter. So now the roadsides are littered with bottles. Another story: When I moved to my local county in upstate New Yawk the woods were littered, not with flies, but with large appliances - washers, dryers, stoves, computers, car parts, you name it. Turns out there was no legal way to dispose of bulky waste. Once the local fat cat Republican politician was sent to jail (and a few of his henchmen ended up there also or floating down the Hudson River) things improved, bulky waste was collected by the towns again, and the woods began to clear out.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: They try, they try, then inflation kills the incentive

      Yes, I used to take bottles back to shops for the deposit refund decades ago. Used the money to play Space Invaders. Paying people to recycle is common in Europe.

      I recall a can crusher in Sweden that gave out discount shopping vouchers.

  21. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Speaking of Americanisms....

    ...has anyone else noticed Motorway Services are now sometimes signed as "Rest Area"?

    1. John McCallum

      Re: Speaking of Americanisms....

      That is because that is all that there is you may find a toilet and filling station but that is it. There is one at the start of the A74(M).

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I spend an hour or two some Saturdays clearing litter from along my daily cycle commute. A lack of bins doesn't help, but they would never be close enough for some litter tossers and just give more for the council to look after.

    I see a lot of pizza boxes dropped, often near schools - maybe shops should offer pizza slices in a paper bag if it's for a bunch of kids just hanging out - reduce the inevitable waste? Or teach the kids not to drop them in the first place of course, or force the school to litter pick their local area as part of evironmental studies.

    A lot of plasitc bottles of course - hopefully the impending deposit return scheme will help. If 5p can cut bag waste so must, maybe 5p back on a bottle will do the same.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] but they would never be close enough for some litter tossers {...]"

      For some unknown reason the council put a wooden bench at the end of our street***. Can't think of any other street that has one. They even replaced it after it was steadily vandalised until it became of no use.

      By the end of the bench is a large litter bin (150mm gap) - with an enclosed top to prevent the wind redistributing its contents.

      Regularly I pick up drink cans and fast food containers from the grass round the bench. It would have taken more energy to throw them there than it would have to drop them in the litter bin.

      ***Many years ago the council put a bench outside some shops. There were many complaints from the independent shopkeepers that the apparently disreputable regular bench occupants were affecting their footfall. One morning the bench was found to be neatly taken apart in a tidy pile. There were suspicions but nothing that could be proved. Many years later the culprits were posthumously identified as a group of the shopkeepers.

  23. TheRealRoland

    i see and hear this part of the conversation more and more often: "I'm already paying taxes to own a dog. Part of that money can go to staff someone to pick up the poo". Probably the same with "paying taxes" in general, and saying to hire somebody to clean up the mess.

    Selfish bastards.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      My local council removed all dog shit bins from all its parks. People are expected to take their dog shit home with them but I can understand why they don't or won't, why some people think 'if you won't entertain my desires I won't entertain yours', 'if you want to make my life inconvenient then I will make things inconvenient for the council' leaving everyone to become collateral along the way.

      We never had a dog shit problem until the council decide it could save a small amount of money. While squandering millions on vanity and pet projects.

      Selfishness begets selfishness.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        So when the leaves drop in winter, the hedges reveal all the dog-baubles that have been hurled in there.

  24. Snorlax Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Technically...

    Technically, vigilante sign-erecting is littering too.

  25. the Jim bloke Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    Grammar error totally discredits entire campaign

    Why tick "all of the above" AND have all of the above boxes ticked anyway?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >some Midlands folk do say "mom" and "mommy"

    Finally! People I can get behind.

  27. Carl Pearson

    The Forgotten Checkmark...

    ... is the way I conceptualize all litterbugs: "I Am Not Potty-Trained."

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