A WHOLE new approach on how to hold an electoral hustings presented itself this week as it emerged Wycombe MP Steve Baker had enlisted the help of a cage finder to help show the importance of self-defence.

The demonstration, which he posted online, basically consisted of him being trounced, in slightly bizarre scenes, by someone a bit bigger than him (see page 11).

You can only imagine how frustrated Wycombe’s Labour Party must have been not to witness such scenes firsthand.

Normally the build up to election time consists of the various candidates standing at Q&A events at locations throughout their constituency. Think how much more fun it would be if they went to self-defence camp instead. It would certainly generate a bit more of that all-too precious interest among the electorate. Apathy would be a thing of the past.

And, in these days of the main parties moving toward the centre and becoming harder to distinguish from one another, ‘last man standing’ after a few rounds of prospective-MP-bashing would give us a nicely clear-cut way of settling on a winner.

Still, probably not quite democracy as we know it.

EVERYONE knows getting rid of rubbish is a bit of a pain. General waste, plastics, card electrical goods, textiles, white goods – it used to be that you only had to be careful not to put asbestos in your bin. Nowadays it is almost everything.

But, not to be too preachy, with waste coming out of our ears in the form of packaging, unused food and all sorts of other products we have run out of use for, that is surely the way it should be.

And in the Wycombe area we are pretty lucky to have decent, well-organised, well-managed waste recycling centre in the form of High Heavens, as a slow-paced but ongoing clear-out of our house has proved to me, time after time after time.

And there is no shortage of recycling bins and skips across various car parks in the district.

So quite why anyone needs to get saddled with a fine for hundreds, even thousands, of pounds for dumping rubbish on the street these days is beyond me.

It is, of course appallingly anti-social – whether you put your unwanted fridge on a roadside or in a field (taking the door off so children can’t get trapped is not quite enough to make it a socially conscious act, it is still causing an unwanted and unnecessary eyesore in our environment that the taxpayer will foot the bill for anyway.

Added to that, it is just a bit silly too. After all, in this age of CCTV and mobile phone cameras, you never know quite who might have caught you in the act.

We have regular updates on such prosecutions, both in our court listing carried weekly and through Bucks County Council, which is always quick to flag up their successful legal actions against fly-tippers.

So, added to the hefty fine, there is a dedicated effort to name and shame those too lazy to take a trip to the dump – all, sometimes, for the sake of a few bags of waste.

At the risk of sounding obvious, that just seems like a rubbish plan.