“Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it, let’s do it!” Let’s pee for free!
I know, I know. Not the most profound or tasteful topic. Bit basic, Alan! But isn’t that the point? This lockdown craziness has only exacerbated a problem that we’ve had for decades in the UK: there are hardly any public loos and most of them aren’t free.
The British Toilet Association (who think the UK stops at Newcastle, apparently) had this to say in November 2019:
“According to a BBC report in 2016, local council cuts caused one in seven public toilets to be closed between 2010-13, the UK situation being described as “deserts of inconvenience” from “Wandsworth to Newcastle”. The report identified ten areas in England and Wales with no council-run public toilets at all. In a further BBC report in 2018, this loo absence had increased to 37 areas of the UK. This should come as no surprise given four out of five councils cut spending on public toilets between 2011 and 2016, a trend that shows no sign of reversing. While the few public toilets available do tend to be found more frequently in tourist areas, the shortage of ‘places to go’ for large groups has become a major concern for tourism, now a major income generator for the UK. Workers ‘on the move’, such as tourist guides, drivers of lorries or buses and postal workers, have often complained in vain of the lack of facilities.”
They ran a survey the year before:
“In September 2018 a questionnaire survey was conducted for RSPH on what the public think about the decline in toilets, as well as ideas for how toilets could be funded, health implications, and access implications for women. Conducted by Populus, the survey included 2,089 UK adults aged 18 or over, with a standardised data base to represent factors such as income, gender, age and region.”
Lots of opinions about how bad the situation is, and this:
“When people in the survey could not find a public toilet, supermarkets were a popular option (70%), followed by cafés or restaurants (63%). A smaller proportion resorted to pubs, petrol stations and betting shops, but of greater concern was the 16% who use a back alley or bush, this percentage being higher for men and for those with a frequent need for a toilet (Figure 6). Seventy-one percent of women reported that they never did this, compared with 41% of the men. Nearly a third of all areas combined (29%) reported that street urination was a problem in their town; 45% reported this for the London area.”
I can’t see Figure 6 (bad layout? old computer?) but it’s clear that, mostly, women and girls hold it in, men and boys pee behind a tree or up an alley – and those who can’t or won’t do that and are not prepared to risk committing public exposure pay to pee in commercial premises.
We’ve got used to businesses holding us to ransom: we either pay up or we suffer discomfort or indignity.
Right now, of course, it’s the government who are holding us to ransom by reinforcing this extended house arrest we’re under by what the BTA calls “the loo leash”. The reason that even The Guardian has stepped away from ID politics for a second to ask the public “what is happening with public toilets across the UK?” – as if this situation is extraordinary for everyone.
It’s not. For people without the money to nip into cafés every time they have the urge to spend [a tenner] the current shutdown only highlights how inconvenient the public provision of public conveniences is and has been for years.
We have simply let local councils, devolved and UK government get away with providing for a universal human need and a universal human right.
Meanwhile, there is a movement (sorry!) to make going to the toilet – when you actually can – uncomfortable. The slanted toilet. To keep us more productive.
Or rather less. Because, apparently, our toilet seats should be slanting up not down – or at least our thighs should – because that’s nature’s way. (Told you this was basic!)
Right now, all around the world, our sovereignty as global citizens over our own bodies is being eroded:
- From March 2021 in my wee country of Scotland, our bodies will belong to the state after death unless we specifically tell them to keep their hands off us and bury us intact. I support organ donation. I don’t support state body snatching.
- In England and Wales from 15th June 2020 masks (already proved useless before the WHO turnaround perhaps under pressure from the Gates-funded GAVI) will become mandatory on public transport with few exceptions.
- Meanwhile Brazilians can look forward to a vaccine for this non-existent virus being tested on them (because they couldn’t get volunteers in the UK and anyway, even the Big Pharma CEO in cahoots with Oxford Uni admits it’s declining).
- And we all know already (don’t we?) about the microchipping, sorry, quantum dot tattooing, or every human being on the planet? Cos that’s the plan. Have you not read the script?
What can we do?
It’s time to stop holding it in and stop paying to let it out. Demand that humans (like other animals) should pee for free!
And then, let’s stop Dystopia before it goes any further.
Thanks to Peter Griffin for releasing his image You Know into the Public Domain.