It’s the Queen’s 90th birthday this year and what do you get the woman who has everything?
Well, this year Her Majesty would like a litter-free country — or at least that’s what new campaign Clean for The Queen is suggesting. And, um, it isn’t going down too well with just about the entire country.
“Clean for The Queen is an anti-litter campaign to clean up the UK in time for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday,” states the campaign’s Twitter page. “Join us! Make where you live more beautiful.”
It’s not actually the Queen’s birthday until April 21 (and her “official” birthday is in June) but Clean for The Queen want us all to start picking up litter right this minute. Even New Year’s Day wasn’t a time for slacking off, as implied by this tweet: “We wish you a #HappyNewYear! Now, let’s make getting things #CleanForTheQueen a priority for #2016!”
This response pretty much sums up how lots of people reacted to the order request:
Many people pointed out that our energy could be put to better use elsewhere:
.@cleanforqueen Or we could get our priorities straight and clean for the communities *just drowned in sewer water*.
— Cat 'Nazi Tweets Sod Off' Vincent (@catvincent) January 2, 2016
The point was also made that perhaps the royals themselves could get the ball rolling:
@cleanforqueen certainly not, why not get some of her idle kids to set a example
— John Irving #FBPE (@irvingje90) January 3, 2016
Or even Her Maj herself:
@cleanforqueen you cannot be serious, send her a mop and bucket instead
— Pete Rossetti #GTTO (@RossettiPete) January 4, 2016
While more than one person wondered if this was actually a viable job opportunity:
I assume @cleanforqueen will be offering the London Living Wage of £9.15 an hour….
— A Lady Bear (@bear_faced_lady) January 2, 2016
We’re not sure what the people behind #CleanForTheQueen expected from people being urged to work for free for a monarch who received a £40 million Sovereign Grant from the Government in 2015.
Perhaps the focus should be on not dropping litter in the first place, which has an added incentive — Communities minister Marcus Jones announced that he was planning to fine people who drop litter between £100 and £150.
Currently the fine is set by individual councils at between £50 and £80 but the proposed change to hit “litter louts” in the pocket will double this.
“Dropping litter is the kind of anti-social behaviour that really gets people’s backs up, and rightly so,” said Jones. “It’s thoughtless, selfish and ruins shared spaces for everyone. Not only that, litter clearance and disposal costs hundreds of millions of pounds for councils every year — money that could be going on vital services.”
It’s unlikely anyone will disagree that littering is completely thoughtless and anti-social and that those who continue to drop their litter should be slapped with a hefty fine. But it looks like those responsible for #CleanForTheQueen may need to go back to the drawing board.