The gambling industry has diverted scrutiny and criticism of itself for years by trumpeting the claim that it funds support for gambling harm.
We need a statutory levy that raises substantial amounts of money and is allocated independently of the industry. The industry that is responsible for the damage cannot be independently responsible for the financing of the education, rehabilitation and support that is increasingly required.
Whether it was Jacques Cousteau teaching us all about marine conservation from the deck of the sailing boat Calypso, David Attenborough’s amazing documentaries or Greta Thunberg, young and brave campaigning to highlight climate change, surely we are all now aware that the clock is ticking and we must do something radical to slow, then repair the damage we have done to this vulnerable little blue planet spinning in a vast black universe that we call home.
The destructions of forests and habitat, the plastic polluting our rivers and oceans, the damage to the ozone layer, the burning of fossil fuels, the super trawlers in marine conservation areas, the pesticides killing bees, these things can’t have been missed, can they? Or do we acknowledge them and then pass responsibility on to others. Do we shrug our shoulders and think there is nothing we can do because the problem is so vast? But that plastic bottle floating amongst a million others came from somebody. All the rubbish and litter was discarded carelessly by someone. I am not asking you to single-handedly mend the hole in the ozone layer. Governments have to facilitate the opportunity, and energy companies have to develop viable and affordable technology. But you can do something, and it isn’t hard, and it won’t cost you a penny. Take responsibility for your own litter. That’s it. That may sound trivial amongst the environmental problems the planet faces but it’s something you can do. Don’t go to the beach and leave the tide to take away your trash. Don’t drop juice bottles when you are walking the cut. Don’t throw the detritus out of your pristine car into the hedgerow. Then together we can start mending the ozone layer.