Not such a load of old rubbish after all….

2011 has seen those seventies green icons, The Wombles, come back into the limelight. In the clean-up that followed last month’s riots, some participants reveled in the soubriquet of “The Riot Wombles”. Then there was their comeback appearance at this year’s Glastonbury festival which had attendees young and old dancing and singing in unison.

Lest it be forgotten the musical Wombles were actually extremely successful, achieving numerous top twenty hits, and being the most successful pop act of 1974. Songwriter Mike Batt’s clever pastiching (or recycling) of various musical genres meant that they were many cuts above the average novelty act. They were even the interval act at the Eurovision Song contest held in Brighton.

Speculation has abounded as to who was really wearing those Womble costumes on stage. A number of top session musicians did obviously, but some rumours have persisted that pop impresario and Labour peer Lord Levy’s influence might have led to one or two soon to be Labour ministers strutting their stuff on stage disguised as Bungo, Tomsk and Wellington and co…..

Of course in these environmentally aware times it was only a matter of time before Wimbledon’s original eco-warriors would be given their due. Mind you they sorted and reused the rubbish they collected in a simpler time, a time before politicians and lobbyists hijacked the green movement and ensured that, rather than willingly embrace a more sensible way of dealing with their waste, the UK population had to be coerced and threatened into doing so.

As a finance director it has always made a great deal of sense to me to conserve resources and minimise waste. It is an economic and financial no brainer. Businesses that operate in an environmentally considerate way not only gain Corporate Social Responsibility brownie points but also actually save money. However nobody likes being hectored, and the innate suspicion that surrounds anything uttered by politicians has arguably set back the cause of recycling by a number of years.

However change we must, so next time you hear a politician go on about climate change and how we must do this or that to save the planet, don’t switch off. Think Womble. Then you will realise that it is not such a load of old rubbish after all.

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