GUSWORLD
Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 14/01/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

What a load of garbage

The 70s was a great decade. I was born. ABBA were formed, and had most of their number one hits. The personal computer debuted. The Goodies came, conquered, and went. The Smurfs took off in a big way. Synthesised strings made a big impact on records everywhere. Not quite the 80s, but pretty good nonetheless.

The 70s was also the decade when tidiness campaigns emerged in a big way. Towards the end of the decade, the 'Do The Right Thing' campaign which would endlessly be intoned by small schoolchildren made its first appearance. Even before that, 'Keep Australia Beautiful' was launched, and managed to attract the support of no less important a group of individuals than ABBA. And Britain did its bit too, launching 'Keep Britain Tidy'.

Unfortunately, this last point segues rather neatly into our illustration for the day, a promotional picture for the 'Keep Britain Tidy' campaign from 1971. A worthy cause, but why exactly did they feel the need to promote it with a young woman in a garbage bin? Central Press suggested the following text, which I reproduce unedited and in its entirety:

LARA SAYS KEEP BRITAIN TIDY
HERE'S A GIRL WHO DOESN'T LIKE 'UNSIGHTLY LITTER TO BE LYING AROUND'. 19-YEARS-OLD LARA SHAW, A MEMBER OF THE YOUNG GENERATION DANCE GROUP (WHO APPEAR WITH ROLF HARRIS ON HIS BBC-TV SHOW) STARTS THE KEEP BRITAIN TIDY SUMMER SPECTACULAR IN LONDON TODAY BY PICKING UP THIS PIECE OF LITTER AND PUTTING IT WHERE IT BELONGS . . . IN A LITTER BASKET!
THE SPECTACULAR WAS INTRODUCED BY THE MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT MR PETER WALKER. NATIONAL NO-LITTER WEEK BEGINS NEXT MONDAY.

Despite the parochialism, the Sydney Daily Telegraph saw fit to run this text. Granted, they didn't use the rubbish above, but what they did use (on October 15 1971) was just about as bad:

What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? Trying to promote the idea of keeping Britain tidy, actually. After all, who in their right mind would throw away 19-year old dancer Lara Shaw?

Note the key details: youth, beauty, and total mindlessness. And be grateful the page three girl is now herself virtually on the tip (leaving page3.com out of it for the moment).


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