Seeing the bigger picture

If the chief executive of the New Swindon Company is to be believed, Swindon being the home of one of nine BBC Big Screens will have a miraculous effect on the town’s standing.

Hosting the only screen in the South will propel Swindon’s image to a national level. This new development will start to create that lively bustle that has been absent for so long.

Really? I wasn’t aware of the locations of the eight existing screens. (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Rotherham and Derby, according to the press release — it seems the New Swindon Company cannot count.) I don’t recall any of those towns having their image propelled anywhere by the presence of am oversized TV. And in what way does people gawping at a big screen create ‘bustle’? Some of the other claims are just as far-fetched.

Wharf Green will also provide Swindon with a focal point for 2012 lead up activities, and events, that are planned once London takes over the mantle of Olympic City

I thought the intention was to use the Olympics to encourage people to participate in sport. It seems the aim in Swindon will be to create a community of full-on couch potatoes.