Wednesday, 9 December 2009

I'm going to twin my house with the White House

Exciting news for Swindon. It seems that we are to be twinned with Walt Disney World in Florida. No, really.

The whole concept of town twinning a bizarre one. As far as I can see the only purposes of town twinning, are a) so you can put up a sign with the names of the towns you are twinned with and b) so town/city officials can have jollies where they go off on official visits of the other place. If you live in a city of world renown like Bath, you get to twin with somewhere exciting and well known. Swindon is currently twinned with Salzgitter in Germany, Ocotal in Nicaragua and Torun in Poland.

You might think that the Disney people have slightly lost the plot. Surely a more appropriate place to twin with would be somewhere with a fairy tale castle, like Windsor? (Or even better Neuschwandstein in Germany.) But no - apparently we were chosen because someone won it as a prize in a competition. This should have meant that there was no sense of local pride out of it. It was a competition, guys. Nothing to do with the place. But this hasn't put competition winner Rebecca Warren off. She has commented (with no hint of irony, as far as I can tell): I think there are a lot of similarities between Swindon and Walt Disney World – the friendly atmosphere, the fact that there is always something new and exciting in the town and all the famous people we have coming to gig here. Ah, right. I can see it now.

Apparently we are going to have a twinning sign on the Magic Roundabout. Where else, really? And now all those Swindon Council people are going to have slog over to Florida for twinning meetings. What a drag. But I suppose somebody has to do it.

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