Friday, April 23, 2004

Coca cola can pick it up

The Coke can leapt from the passenger window, into the middle of the steet in queuing traffic in broad daylight. A £12,000 car, maybe more, with two men in their late twenties. You would expect them to know better. I had just been thinking to myself how Newham was looking so tidy and cleaned up. (Although I know it is just because we are at the beginning of a new accounting year, and they are afraid we're going to revolt over the expensive council tax rises).

So it's the beginning of the season to do battle with yobs and louts. Social equality being what it has become, you cannot assume that they were English yahoos, and indeed they weren't. Suppose the Coke can lands on the street and nobody around them says anything. Should we expect some 60 year old man (who's fallen by the wayside of the new British gravy train) to come along with his dustcart and broom? For £6.00 an hour or less he is supposed to silently and thanklessly scoop up this piece of litter. Or perhaps instead of him, we should need to import an immigrant to do this rewarding and noble job? This is the modern British economy? Productive, necessary, and self-sustaining.... hey, that's clever!

The trouble with being Libertarian by ideal is that it is an impracticable ideal. Should someone have the freedom to act so antisocially? Should they have no reprimanding eyes about them to limit their selfishness? Would zero-tolerance of littering perhaps save us from having to endure a future where the same offender becomes the chief executive of Enron, Arthur Anderson, Marconi, or Parmelat?

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