Jeremy Paxman calls on same social pressure that banned drink driving to stop people littering

“You would have to be walking around with your eyes clamped shut not to be aware that something terrible is happening to Britain,” he wrote

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The Independent Online

Jeremy Paxman is disgusted by the state of British streets and is urging members of the public to unite in his fight against littering.

The former Newsnight presenter dedicated a column in the Daily Mail to nationwide anti-litter campaign Clean Up Britain (CLUB), which, supported by Coca-Cola Enterprises, Wrigley and McDonald’s, aims to bring about a change in attitude to our environments.

“Whose side are you on? Are you content to live on a rubbish dump? Or do you care about the sort of land we all share?” he wrote.

“You would have to be walking around with your eyes clamped shut not to be aware that something terrible is happening to Britain.

“Every year it gets filthier and filthier. Attempts to keep the place clean cannot keep pace, partly because so much of the rubbish is now plastic: it will still be depressing our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Paxman took a step leftfield, however, when he compared the social pressures needed to catalyse such change as akin to that which led to the ban of drink-driving and public smoking.

 

Declaring that he had already written to no less than 31 companies about pledging their support, he stated: “A company’s reputation cannot be spotlessly clean when its branded rubbish is wrecking Britain, and that is why we are inviting the corporate world to help inspire a change in behaviour. Of course, it won’t be easy.

“But social pressure stopped drink-driving being acceptable, and drove smoking out of the workplace and the pub.”

Rubbish, he goes on to claim, costs the British tax payer £1billion every year – money he says should be spent funding the salaries of extra police officers, building schools or hospitals.

His column comes after reports that he has been asked to stand as the Conservative candidate for London mayor by a senior figure in the party.

However, when asked by The Times if he would encourage speculation about a possible political career, Paxman replied: “I shouldn’t bother, if I were you.”

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