Ever since David Attenborough’s excellent TV series “Blue Planet”, there has been a rage of concern about plastic. Plastic bags have been almost outlawed, or at least charged for. You almost get arrested if you throw away any plastic litter. Refuse disposal now requires you to separate all your rubbish into separate bins, including one for plastic recycling. Plastic seems to be on the tip of everybody’s tongue these days.
In the last few weeks, the Daily Mail has been championing its own campaign to clean up plastic litter and they started it with a headline “the river of plastic that shames Britain” (Monday, 7th May 2018). It seems like the Daily Mail’s editors either have short memories or a limited number of headlines they can use. It was only a few years ago that it was neglect of the elderly that shames Britain, and the Daily Mail championed that cause under the banner of “Dignity for the Elderly”. That issue concerned the poor care of elderly people in the NHS and pointed out the high levels of dehydration and malnutrition of older people on hospital wards. That was 8 years ago (you can see my earlier posts on this subject by clicking on “Dignity for Elderly” and “Neglect Shames Britain” in the TAG CLOUD).
Sad to say, in spite of the Daily Mail’s year-long campaign, nothing much seems to have changed, other than that the subject has disappeared from the headlines. It seems that concern about older people’s welfare is now rather less important than “keeping Britain tidy”. Maybe we will be throwing older people on the rubbish tip next!
It’s a poor indictment of our nation’s sense of priorities and says little of the effectiveness of newspaper campaigns to change things.