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A thankless task…

October 14, 2009

If you’ve read my last few posts I guess it would be easy to get the impression that I believe managing an organisation’s global web presence is a thankless task sometimes. True, it has it’s challenges but I remain as passionate as ever about driving forward this type of project and as convinced as ever about its core importance to many organisation’s operations, particularly product manufacturers who have a lot to gain by getting web challenges right.

My train journey to London yesterday illustrated a truly thankless task for which I really would not want to be responsible – namely combating trackside graffiti.

Earlier this year I did the London journey a number of times for work related reasons and was quite encouraged by the fact there was a noticeable absence of graffiti in the usual blackspots such as Wimbledon. What I didn’t realise is that ever year Merton Council, together with Network Rail, has a blitz on trackside graffiti prior to the Tennis Championships. Presumably legions of staff are dispatched with many thousands of litres of that delightful shade of brown paint to cover over the spray-paint scrawls on mile after mile of brickwork and trackside infrastructure.

Judging by yesterday’s trackside display however it seems that all they’ve achieved in this year’s operation is to create a lovely fresh backdrop for an explosion of new tags – with nice brilliant white and silver spray-paint clearly being in vogue.

ugly_graffitiThere is graffiti art that I like and graffiti art (like the Banksy stuff) that is very clever and thought provoking – but what I saw yesterday is mindless, ugly and blatant vandalism. It is an insidious mess that blights the environment that people have to live in and really does raise questions about standards in our society and the way we are creating younger generations, dangerously immersed in gang culture, that see themselves as untouchable and above the law.

I feel for the managers and staff responsible for the annual and regular clean-up operations. It really does seem like a genuinely thankless task for which there seem very few easy answers. It can only really be addressed with wider participation of society, education to undermine gang culture influences and greater efforts by parents in particular to take more responsibility for what their offspring are up to in and around their neighbourhoods.

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