A current campaign in the U.K. is giving its residents the opportunity to work together, and the chance to exercise their snark. “Clean For The Queen” is a government campaign to encourage all residents to pitch in and clean up the United Kingdom for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebration in June. They say that when the queen took the throne, litter was not a problem; but, now, everyone must chip in to clean every square inch of common property. After all, the “commoners” should all chip in since it is the chance for everyone to show their gratitude to her majesty.
One can imagine that this has given many the chance to put in their two pence, as it were, and tell the government what they really think. Vanity Fair is reporting that calling all residents to clean up, and do it for the royal family, has taken a funny turn.
“When she came to the throne litter was not the problem that it is today,” reads the “About” section of the official Clean For The Queen website. “Food packaging, plastic bottles, takeaway meals and cigarette butts have all contributed to a growing menace that affects our wildlife, streets, countryside and sense of pride. What better way could we show our gratitude to Her Majesty than to clean up our country?”
Adrian Evans, the Chief Executive of Clean For the Queen, took it a step further by suggesting that people should “turn in litter louts.”
“It can be quite a scary thing because you are pointing a finger of blame, you are casting aspersion on the character of the person who has chucked the litter,” says Evans. “But the way I have done it in the past is to treat it as though they have made a mistake and something has inadvertently fallen out of their bag or pocket. Sort of ‘oh no, did you mean to drop that’ that sort of thing as a way of not challenging and being an aggressive person in that exchange. ‘Did you mean that? Oh really. Here it is.’ Rather than a ‘Oi mate, you have dropped something, pick it up.’ “
However, the hashtag, #CleanfortheQueen has been used by more people who aim to poke fun than those who want to out litter louts. A few of the funnier ones? “Couldn’t possibly #CleanfortheQueen, as I’m busy swallowing rusty razorblades.” Then there was another who said he would rather defecate on her majesty’s doorstep. Such responses are not likely what the campaign had in mind.
SheKnows revealed that reading some of the posts on Twitter is beyond amusing.
“Does she want the litter delivered to the palace, or should we post it for her?”
“Why don’t we get some of her idle kids to do it for her?”
“You cannot be serious, can’t we just send her a mop and bucket?’
While nobody is arguing that cleaning up is vital, one poster suggested that the government offer a living wage for those who take to the streets to clean.
Her.ie is suggesting that #CleanfortheQueen is trending but for all the wrong reasons, and the British have gotten quite creative.
“Get outside my minions and #CleanForTheQueen I want those streets sparkling so I can ride my Golden Carriage.”
And more hashtags have found their way to trending on Twitter.
One can imagine that memes are also going a long way for a laugh, including a photo of Queen Elizabeth with an ominous background that reads, “Get along serfs, and take pride in your slavery!”
There seems to be no end in sight for the comic relief.
Do you think the British government could have handled this better?
[Photo courtesy of Getty Images Photo Pool]