I am not me

Why we should give up any pretence at being logical

I sometimes wonder if, as human beings, we are not destined eternally to be doing two contradictory things at once.

For example, I know (given that I run the Admiral storage facility in the West Midlands) that people do like to store things.  All sorts of things.  Indeed I have mentioned quite a few of them in my series of notes on this site.

But I also know that people are forever looking to “de-clutter” their homes, getting rid of things that they do not want.

Or at least getting rid of them up to a point.  Many is the person I have seen who is getting rid of stuff from his/her house, but can’t quite make the full journey to throwing it all away, and so instead puts it in storage with Admiral.

That’s fair enough; I’ve no complaints.  I’m here to perform a service.

But my thinking was taken a little further when driving along the M1 and M6 motorways from London to the West Midlands and I noticed just how many cameras there now are, tracking my car and my journey.

I’ve got used to the fact that the government can know exactly where I am, what I am doing, and indeed what I am writing, all day every day, should they want to.  My protection from this prying is that my life is so ordinary, and by and large so solidly within the confines of what counts as legal, that the state has little interest in me.

However, as I drove, or rather as I parked in the long strip of roadworks that passes for a motorway in this part of the kingdom (at the moment it’s where one approaches the intersection of the M1 and M6), I was suddenly struck by a thought.

All the way along the motorway there are cameras and speed traps.  Indeed the Bedfordshire police authority recently announced it was so desperate for cash it was contemplating turning on all the cameras on the M1 all the time, in order to maximise the number of fines it could pull in.

That resulted in a huge number of people complaining about being spied on by the police – and I guess that is something most of us find a little disturbing.  We want the police to be there when we need them, but we don’t really want them watching us and listening in all the rest of the time.  Especially when we creep over 70mph.

So all that is quite clear – we like privacy.

Except that some people go out of their way to remove their privacy by having personalised number plates.

That has always bemused me a bit – I suppose it might be amusing to have your name as a number plate, but these things cost a bit of money to buy and I am not sure what they are for.  However, each to his own.

So there we have two groups – one group wants utter privacy from spying authorities, and the other wants to say, “hey look at me – you can see who or what I am from my number plate.”

OK, so there are two different groups.  The private and the public.  But…

One of my customers at the Admiral Storage Facility showed me a set of photos he had of personalised number plates.   Paul Daniels, now sadly very ill, owns MAG 1C.  Jimmy Tarbuck went down similar lines owning COM 1C

Actress Linda Lusardi had to be a bit more inventive but got hold of LU54 RDI.  Nicky Clarke the celebrity hairdresser had H41 RDO.  Amir Kahn the boxer put BOX 111G on his vehicle.

Which is all fine, but my customer told me that several times he had been approached with some vigour and anger by car owners as he had taken a photo of their car’s rear number plate.  Two had apparently demanded that he should delete the picture at once as taking the photo of the number plate was (they said) an invasion of their privacy.

Not wishing to be caught up in any nastiness my customer agreed (although in truth I think that on many cameras even when one has deleted a picture it can be resurrected.  I’ve just found you can do this when deleting the wrong film from one’s Sky box – and very handy the “undelete” button is too.)

But I digress – for my main point is: why should one draw attention to oneself by having a personalised number plate, and then get worked up when people are sufficiently interested to take a picture of it?

It is a point that I think I shall leave you to ponder.   At least until someone gives me an answer.

You can find more information about our facilities on our website at www.archive-document-storage.co.uk.   Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 810 1125.

Admiral Document Storage
Bloxwich Lane
Tel: 0800 810 1125

Email: info@archive-document-storage.co.uk


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