Thursday, 11 September 2003

Why are we so dirty?

The Scotsman is running a series of articles on Scotland's tourist industry. In today's issue we can read this article telling us how things are done in Austria. Not only were the rooms at the basic level accommodation spotless but the rest of the town too:
The whole town was clean and well presented. They cleaned the streets. If there was litter, whoever saw it picked it up. The whole community was making an effort, and everywhere was spotlessly clean.
Here in Scotland the amount of litter is a national disgrace. I recognise that the Edinburgh City Council makes a brave attempt to keep the streets clean but it is an uphill struggle. In much of the country the litter and graffiti has taken over. Why is this problem so much worse here than elsewhere in the western world? I believe that there are two explanations.

First, Scotland is dominated by socialism, both in politics and the media. This means that there is a lack of respect for private property. After all, "property is theft," isn't it? As we saw in the communist world this doesn't mean that people will respect "public" property instead. Environmental degradation was far worse in eastern block countries than in the capitalist world. When people either don't own property or are brainwashed into thinking that ownership is evil they will treat the country like a rubbish dump. That was my first theory and I stand by it. What, though, of the fact that high-tax Scandinavia and other parts of Europe don't seem to be populated by litterlouts?

My second theory goes like this: the British government is the only one in Europe that is actively seeking to destroy the traditions and history of its own country. We may (rightly) object to French economic dirigisme or inflexible German labour laws and we can't help but note that the EU's Corpus Juris will destroy our legal traditions. But for the continental countries the development of the Euro-project is a continuation of their normal way of doing things. For Britain, though, our whole tradition based on individual liberty and the rule of law is being destroyed by our own government. Blair & Co continuously make it clear that they hate everything that Britain ever stood for. I believe that, despite the attempts of their teachers, young people today are vaguely aware that something nasty is happening to their homeland. They are right, although they don't quite understand what is happening. Actions have consequences and I believe that the outcome is rowdiness in Greek holiday resorts, rioting at England football matches and - our speciality - a litter and graffiti defiled Scotland.