Thursday, 29 November 2012


Less than a week to go before I give up my current London-based job. 

An end to commuting will be a huge relief. On the other hand, there are a few aspects of travelling into the capital that I shall miss.

At the end of the journey, for instance, I walk past the front of Selfridges with its flamboyant and (as I’ve remarked before) sometimes startling window displays. So it was quite fun this morning to see the window-displayers making a display of themselves while a colleague waited with a camera outside to record the.

It was a wonderful case of exhibitors exhibiting themselves, what I’d like to call self-exposure, though not perhaps in the sense usually meant.

I liked the staff’s air of joy, of celebration. Why, they even had bottles though, by the look of them, sadly empty. Nine o’clock may be a little early for a drink but I’m of the school of Dorothy Parker: ‘three be the things I shall never attain, envy, contentment and sufficient champagne.’

Display staff self-displaying

The sight that struck me most this morning, however, came at the beginning of the journey. 

Anyone who expects rigorous respect for the truth at all times had better be ready for disappointment. The most you can generally hope for is to have the more egregious lies exposed from time to time. Say, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s contributions to the feminist cause or Tony Blair and Dubya’s irrefutable intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

So it’s lovely to see a lie – well, OK, an untruth – displayed with its own refutation right underneath it. Not for the first time, the platform display at Luton station provided a wonderfully revelatory sight today.

The deceiver exposes the deception
The 8:15 running on time, it told us. And just below, even more prominently, it declared the time to be just short of 8:18. Tell me thats not another glorious example of self-exposure.

Wouldn’t it be great if politicians came equipped with similar displays?

‘When I say protecting essential services I actually mean all services except the ones I’m cutting and on which you depend.’

‘When I say I’m willing to seek a compromise with the President, I mean a compromise that he makes to me.’

‘When I say I want to guarantee peace and prosperity, I mean I want to wage war in poor countries.’

Wouldn’t that be useful? Perhaps the people who run Luton station could help them choose the right devices.

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