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Photo Shopping

By chance I caught a BBC Radio 4 programme that I'd never heard of called "You and Yours" yesterday (listen here) and it covered the most extraordinary story. The seaside town of Whitley Bay, Northumbria, has a blighted town-centre typical of the area in which 49 shops are currently derelict. However an enterprising estate agent there had the brilliant idea of pasting a life-sized photograph of a luxury delicatessen over one of the shop windows, and it's been so well received that others will soon follow. People say it makes the place less depressing, and it may even slow the crumbling of property prices.

You could hardly make this story up - the "Society of the Spectacle" reveals its actuality, and completely without embarassment. Perhaps we should carry on further down this road, pasting photographs of palaces and hospitals onto derelict warehouse, and all of us going around in smiling Johnny Depp masks. Modern digital photo technologies should keep such a scheme within even the tight public expenditure budgets hinted at by Cameron and Osborne.

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