Now we’ve left the EU, firms are free from outside interference and able to dispose of sewage by simply slinging it in the sea, in shades of Tudor England, argues Mark Steel
Image: Cambridge News)
British business is free of interference at last. For so long our companies were held back by petty regulations, often from Europe, but now that’s in the past and they’re allowed to pour human sewage into the sea.
Instead of going through the palaver of disposing of our waste in complicated ways, it was revealed this week that water companies have been flinging it into the seaside.
And the government voted to let them carry on! So our children can enjoy watching pretty shapes float about while they’re paddling.
In Tudor times, we were encouraged to chuck our waste into the street. But do-gooding boffins brought in one rule after another, and before long we weren’t even allowed to poke our bums out of our own windows and defecate on to the pavement!
That was the trouble with the 16th century, it was full of health and safety gone mad.
But now the government has voted to allow our water companies to pump our great British turds into the water to boost our seaside towns.
Imagine the joy as parents call out to their kids: “Grab your bucket and spade, we’re going to Scarborough to make some poo castles.”
The water companies wouldn’t have been allowed to act like this if we were still tied to the EU.
In 2018, Michael Gove promised a “Green Brexit”, and he’s been true to his word, because lots of the jolly sewage must be a very deep shade of green.
Ministers reassured us that an amendment to the law will “reverse adverse impacts”, but let’s hope they can keep all the positive impacts of human effluence plopping in front of us while we’re swimming.
Maybe one measure they could look at is that if our beaches are to become toilets, we should divide them into gents and ladies beaches, with Torquay and Bournemouth being mixed so as not to discriminate against the trans community.
I expect the water companies will say they’ve taken responsibility for the smell by chucking a couple of little blue things you get in public urinals into the North Sea.
That should clear it up.
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The reason this is all possible is the priority of the water companies is not the outdated miserable business of providing water. Instead, they concentrate on the more exciting task of providing a profit for their shareholders.
Since they were privatised, they’ve paid out £57billion in profits, so with all that to think about, you can’t blame them for not having the time to stop poo bouncing into the sea.
So we should be thrilled our water is in such safe hands. Because from the earliest of times, the planet has depended on one commodity above all else, which is shareholders’ dividends.
And these companies are working selflessly, day and night, to keep this precious resource fresh and plentiful.
Water, on the other hand, doesn’t matter very much, so we might as well stick a million tons of poo into it and sling it into the sea.