A video has been circulating of a farmer using a forklift truck to ram a van being used by flytippers. This is how the incident has been written up in the Thurrock Gazette: Shocking video shows farmer ramming fly tippers’ van with forklift truck. Reading through the below the line comments, the vast majority of readers are supportive of the action. There is some speculation that the video may have been staged and then circulated in a bid to deter flytippers. Mind you, if it was staged, one trashed white van is a heck of an expensive prop to make a point!

‘Rough justice’, vigilantism’, ‘totally justified’ – there will inevitably be a range of opinions about the use of force to deter flytippers. Regardless of whether this video was of a real incident or was indeed staged, if it makes flytippers think twice before going down a country lane and dumping their shit without any regard to the impact it will have on the environment, the majority of folk out here in Essex will think it’s a job well done. That’s because we care about our environment and are sick to the back teeth of the anti-social minority who insist on trashing it.

Flytipping has been an endemic problem in the south of Essex for decades. Thurrock seems to be one of the worst hit areas with rural and urban flytipping. This is on top of decade after decade of environmental degradation as a result of chalk quarrying, gravel extraction and the backfilling of these pits and surrounding land with refuse. When local authorities have been seen to be too accommodating to the landfill operators and ineffectual in dealing with anti-social flytippers, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that a growing number of folk have reached the end of their tether and feel they have no option but to take the law into their own hands.

As we’ve written a few times previously, we see anti-social flytippers as the ‘renegades within’. Basically, a lumpen element who have no concept of what community means, let alone any sense of responsibility towards it. An element who’ll look after their own interests, and those close to them, by any means necessary regardless of the wider impact on their neighbourhood. The end product of decades of neo-liberalism that is fracturing our communities as people become more atomised and as a consequence, more selfish.

As grim as this sounds, there are still enough people who care and who are willing to stand up and be counted. The way they do this may not always be to everyone’s taste but, this is Essex and people tend to look to the result regardless of the methods used to achieve it!