I was intrigued by a recent headline in the Telegraph. “Michael Gove: Let homeowners take home reusable rubbish found at council dumps” (7 OCTOBER 2018).
Currently, many local authorities in England ban people from taking away anything from their tips. However, the Environment secretary, Michael Gove, has put forward a proposal to allow homeowners to scavenge for items such as old televisions, furniture and appliances at dumps so they can reuse them.
The Telegraph quotes one Ian Palmer, (no relation of Len Palmer, the fictional hero of my e-books – The Len Palmer Mysteries, available from Amazon) who visits the Farthinghoe tip in South Northamptonshire, “I found a digital radio, nearly new, and a big round mirror.”
There are a number of regulations that need to be addressed before rubbish dumps can be thrown open to the public. A waste carrier permit is required to take items from reuse sites. Many hidden dangers await the unwary in council rubbish tips and health and safety rules must be followed. The council must protect scavengers against an old television that might drop on their foot or getting their hand caught in a broken food processor.
It is not clear if the opening of rubbish dumps is a sign of the deteriorating economic climate in Britain, or a noble attempt to save the planet. But this interesting concept gave me an idea: could we get in to the rubbish dump of Britain’s foreign policies? Perhaps we could find something worth reusing.
It took some time. Britain’s foreign policy dump has many rules and regulations. Health and Safety has identified some of the dangers that face visitors: a lot of broken promises, the pin that the Peel commission said would not fit in an over-crowded Palestine, some embargoed tanks – sold but not delivered. But, after waving my copy of the Telegraph, and a little British understated shouting and screaming, I was in.
In a remote corner I struck gold, figuratively speaking, of course. Covered with dust, neglected if not abandoned, was a copy of the Balfour Declaration. I took the old document, faded and crumbling but still readable – “The government views with favor the establishment of Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.”
Well, this should certainly be reused. It may not save the planet, but it could well save Israel from the many countries trying to negate our claim to our own homeland. Perhaps Britain could be reminded of its pledge and stop trying to drive us out of most of our country. They might remember creating the state of Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. It was supposed to be only on the East bank of the Jordan River (that’s where the ‘Trans’ came from) but it was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1949 after it captured the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Israel corrected the situation in 1967, an act of self-defense for which Britain has never forgiven us.
On another shelf I found the papers for the founding of the Palestine Football Association, as submitted to the British Mandatory Authority. The British had introduced football to Palestine during its occupation in World War I.
Many people have forgotten, or have never known, that the ‘Palestinians’ in British-occupied Palestine were the Jews. After the war (that’s WWI – there are so many wars it’s easy to get confused), the Jews continued to develop the sport and in 1928, founded the Palestine Football Association. At the time, the Arab population refused to have anything to do with football due to their resistance to ‘Western cultural institutions’. There were, of course, no Arab ‘Palestinians’; they had not yet been invented.
With the founding of the State of Israel, the Palestine Football Association became the Israel Football Association, and the Jewish Palestinians became Israelis.
But these are dangerous times. Perhaps we would all be better off if rubbish were allowed to stay where it belongs – in the rubbish bin.