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Park garbage
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After one day of sun London’s parks are covered in garbage. Shame!

This is why we can’t have the proverbial ‘nice things’

By Joe Mackertich
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Some of you haven’t heard this song in a while and it shows.

As you may have heard, the sun came out for a bit yesterday and people inevitably lost their minds. London’s legendary parks became seas of (mostly socially distanced) sunbathers and picnickers. All very nice and uplifting apart from the bit where some people went home, leaving horrific piles of garbage strewn all over the place.

Did you go to the park yesterday? Did you leave loads of litter where you’d been sitting, like a squalid human nest consisting of Kronenbourg cans, cigarette buts and cheese string wrappers? If you did, I want you to walk over to the mirror right now, look yourself dead in the eye and say ‘I am human scum. I do not deserve London. I will do better.’ Now punch yourself in the stomach (medium strength).

Social media this morning was rife with concerned park-goers who had discovered that their favourite green spaces covered with party detritus. Some were disappointed or saddened. Others (like the one below) threatened the litterbugs with actual death. Harsh? Maybe.

Alexandra Palace, Highbury Fields, Clapham Common and Primrose Hill were all looking worse-for-wear this morning. Imagine if you came to work and discovered this. Shocking stuff. 

Interestingly, the phenomenon of people littering more during lockdown was recognised last year in a Metro article. A psychologist pointed out that when societal norms go out the window (as is the case at the moment), we ‘forget’ to be civic-minded. People become more comfortable being selfish, basically. 

Can we please all follow the example set by the Japanese fans who attended the 2018 World Cup in Russia. After watching their team upset Colombia 2-1, the fans went about picking up all the litter that had accumulated in the stands. Not for the first time in my life I am asking the people of London to be a little more Japanese in their thinking.

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