Mobile phone shops are an unhappy sign of the times

IT really is a great relief to see that people in this part of the world are starting to notice a link between the unnecessary homogenisation of high streets and the ubiquitous surge of mobile phone shop (Mobile phone shops are killing our high streets, H

IT really is a great relief to see that people in this part of the world are starting to notice a link between the unnecessary homogenisation of high streets and the ubiquitous surge of mobile phone shop (Mobile phone shops are killing our high streets, H&H November 23, & Battle for soul of the high streets, H&H letters December 7).

Add this to the wonderful work the industry is doing to help that cause (what was it - the environment?) which we occasionally have a go at minding about.

We might be forgiven for thinking that the bizarre rise of these little commodities has more to do with capitalism, in both its commercial and self-serving senses, than with any genuine need to fill a crucial void, either in our own lives or the wider world (which, it goes without saying, must be benefiting from this great civilising stride).

A quick comparison with the early years of British Telecom - a public service until relatively recently - typified by national standard-issue telephones and visible presence on the high street in the form of 'public' boxes which we were painfully forced to share, tells us all we need to know about this private revolution which, in truth, has much more in common with the commercially motivated and now embarrassingly remembered heyday of the tobacco industry (of course there's no peer pressure this time, is there?).


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Even if diversity and community does have to be mercilessly wiped out before we put two and two together, what a joy it will be when we finally wake up to the tragically hilarious superfluity of our personal communications centres.

Michael Solomon Williams

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Elgin Road, N22

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