There is, to the uneducated observer, little evidence of a spitting epidemic in Enfield. On the bustling north London high street, people go about their business without having to avoid hazardous globules of phlegm. No audible hacking can be heard above the sound of the traffic.
But at the end of the month, Enfield could become the first UK borough for 22 years to outlaw spitting, after thousands of residents backed a petition calling for a halt – once and for all – to the unseemly habit.
Despite the lack of any obvious spittle, the people of Enfield seem almost unanimously in favour. “They should be put in prison and given a £500 fine – it’s unsightly, unhygienic and unsocial,” said John White, 60, a gardener.
His wife, Mary, 61, suggested the problem was more widespread in the borough than it appeared to outsiders. “I just saw someone do it, and it made me feel sick,” she said, adding that she thought it was a much greater problem than in the past. “The problem is, these days people have got no manners.”
by The Punjapit Alliance