Collaborative vanities

I was enjoying a meal out in London last Thursday night when – at a discrete distance from each other – the separate motorcades of three G20 leaders drove past .

The police manage these operations well. First, a pair motorcycle outriders hold up the traffic in a  choroegraphed relay race, then two other ‘black rats’ (as they are known) head-up a fast moving cavalcade of darkened glass, souped-up entourage carries. In the midst of this ‘blues and twos, don’t mess with us, drive past a serene chauffeur driven limousine bore the lone figure of a particular head of state.

“Who was that,” I asked. “One of the Vanities,” someone from another table replied. The remark rang true. Isolated and protected from the rest of us, those making the decisions that effect our lives look increasily like characters from the Greek Myths with all the frailties and strengths, desires and jealousies of those who dare to be gods. ‘Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.’

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