Monday, 7 June 2010

The polluter must not only pay but must be seen to have paid

With all eyes on BP and its valiant effort to make the eco-system of the Gulf of Mexico more fragrant, perhaps it is now time to turn the spotlight on one or two other ‘polluters’. These are the ones that by and large go under the radar because they've become part of the fabric of everyday life. They cut across a range of categories – culture, media, law and sport... to name but a few:-

Legislative Pollution – No prizes for guessing the guilty party here: A bunch of politicians and apparatchiks that swamped the political and legislative process with thousands of new laws that were unenforceable – and that were in many cases never really intended to be. Their key purpose? To create a climate of fear and submissiveness

Information Pollution – Global internet companies, online marketers etc... Organisations that can now go where they hadn't previously gone - at least before the days of the World Wide Web: Peoples' homes, their privacy, their inner space.

Events Pollution (cf. Information pollution) – The World Cup, the Olympics are big events and therefore worthy of extended coverage no doubt. But do we really need to be burdened with the particulars of the football captain’s groin strain? Or even his groin, for that matter?

‘Reality’ Television – No single group of men and women has done more to lower the tone than UK broadcasters and producers. Programmes like Ready Steady Crap, Pollution, Pollution Pollution, I’m a Soulless Cretin Get Me out of Here, and ZZZZZZ-Factor have left even the 'chattering classes' vacant, listless and lost for anything interesting to say (beyond their work). Only question is: Should these wretched programmes actually be labelled pollution, or are they more the new opiate of the people?

Product Placement Pollution – The BBC should be taken to task for contaminating those Reithian values with massive plugs for millionaire Impresarios, fashion designers, shop keepers, who are given entire series to show how wonderful they are. If only Reith knew what had become of his organisation he would be turning in his grave... But then Alan Yentob would probably come along and turn the whole event into something crass called I’m a deceased Director-General, get me out of here.

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