Some time last year the Minister for Transport, whoever that was and what ever the department is now called, rejected the Mayor of London’s request that more suburban rail services be added to the Overground network and no longer be run as private franchises. The Minister rejected the application on the grounds that it would just be moving the deckchairs. More and more the language of politics seems to be made up of cartoon metaphors. Knee jerk reaction is a favourite. (I like to think in metaphors but they have to be my own.) I thought about some of the reasons why it might be a good thing to move the deckchairs.
a) the tide is coming in
b) it’s raining
c) aggressive teenagers are playing football, they seem to think that your deckchair is a goal post.
d) your dad’s snoring
e) the children are fighting
f) it’s very hot and you’ve got a headache
g) if you move a little bit to the left you’ll keep the breeze off your grandmother
h) you’ve decided to steal the deckchair.
I have this vision of a great grey barnacled chaos of carriages and cable and track stretching away into the dark at the bottom of the Atlantic. Powerful stuff, metaphor.