The measures on ‘gas-guzzling’ cars, policing of wheelie bins and surcharges on plastic bags are based on scientific fads and, often, the government’s greed for taxpayers’ money, says Rod Liddle. The Third World won’t pay the price, and nor will big business — but we will
For one weekend each year every beach in this peaceful part of the world is taken over by gypsies, and the locals (and the handful of Western tourists) steer well clear and lock up their possessions, daughters, etc. I wandered along the shoreline of one previously idyllic cove just as the pikeys were packing up to leave on Sunday evening. And I had a brief epiphany; one toothless old hag was scurrying from caravan to caravan picking up every bit of rubbish she could find — until, in the end, she was weighed down with a ton of plastic sheeting, carrier bags, cellophane wrappers, mysterious bits of rusted metal and the like, and made her way to the wheelie skip by the side of the road which the authorities install at this time every summer.
There you are, you bigoted pig, I muttered to myself — how’s that for the explosion of one of your nasty little stereotypes? Gypsies, or some of them, are no less environmentally aware than the best of us, I thought shamefacedly — you have just swallowed gallons of racist propaganda about travellers, so let this be a lesson, etc. And then, as I watched, the hag dragged herself past the skip, crossed the road and with one fantastically athletic heave, deposited her haul of junk in the wildlife conservation area which fringes the beach. Then — and I kid you not — she went back to her caravan and appeared moments later with a large refrigerator which with laborious effort and much grunting she dragged across the road and tipped into the very same place.