Are we the kind of guests about whom the host says — before our arrival — ‘God save the Queen (in our case Republic) and hide the silver?’ Yes, indeed that is so and don’t think we are ashamed of our track record. Few things are immune from our light-fingered touch. In this context, it was really too much to expect that we would saunter by and not cast our covetous eyes on the uber posh fittings that are slated for the Commonwealth Games. We do believe in the common wealth which explains why the Capital’s gentle citizens have made off with fancy tiles, railings, lights, odourless toilets and waterless urinals.
Our need is as great if not greater than some athlete who’s going to stop by for a few days. Now don’t get us wrong, we have not developed these propensities just to spite the Games organisers. Nicking stuff is a calling with us. Don’t we nip around lickety-split and cart off marble street nameplates? Are enormous manhole covers too downmarket for us, not to mention railings around parks? No, anything that can be melted down or hawked to supplement the dwindling kitty is a gift horse whose mouth we don’t look into. But before you rush to judge us, let us make it clear that our loot is small potatoes compared to that in other countries. Just the other day, some shyster nipped across to a museum in Paris and made off with at least 500 million euros worth of paintings, including a Picasso.
So, come on, put a lid on it. Why should a tile or two rile people so much? We are true believers in a system that’s for the people. As things which we borrow keep being replaced, the authorities had better steel themselves or it will be the usual ‘now you see them, now you don’t’ game all over again.