Lead 'em and weep

On the outskirts of Valladolid, a medieval Spanish city up in the north west of the country there's a street called - rather magnificently - Calle Me Falta Un Tornillo ('I'm Missing A Screw Street'). What makes this funny is the fact that it's where the local branch of IKEA is located. About ten years ago, the Swedish multinational was foolish enough - as owners of the land - to ask the locals which street name they thought would be best for its location, presumably believing that names like 'The Garden Of Sweden' and 'Swede Child O' Mine' would be forthcoming. Unfortunately, they were ignoring a basic tenet of human existence - offering power to the masses inevitably ends in disaster.

This week we'll be celebrating our fifth anniversary down at The Shakespeare. Last year I had the bright idea of asking each of our regular customers to suggest three songs to be played during the evening of our party. Dear Lord, it was a disaster. Everyone complained about everyone else's choices and the whole event was marred by all of us having to listen to song after song that nobody liked except for one person in the room dancing embarrassingly in a forced and false manner even when it was a Leonard Cohen number.

In the United Kingdom, the RRS Sir David Attenborough is the lead boat of the Autosub Long-Range class of autonomous underwater vehicles. All well and good. Except that it isn't because the very same vessel was originally called Boaty McBoatface following a public vote on the issue in 2016. This is simultaneously utterly hilarious and very scary. It's quite clear that we, the masses, can't be trusted with anything vaguely serious. That's why, through our taxes, we employ a bunch of half-witted politicians to lead us nowhere fast. We know they're pretty useless, they know they're pretty useless and they know that we know they're pretty useless but it all works ok because we need the illusion of leadership.

As the US elections hove into view, and every Tom, Dick and Harry expresses an opinion on the outcome, we must remember that we're only able to offer such glib perspectives because our system works that way.

We need our leaders, not to lead necessarily - although that would be nice - but rather just to look the part so that we don't have to.