Unthinkable? Global job-swap day | Editorial

What if we could all take on someone else’s role, for just one day at least?

Mark Carney swaps the calm of Wellington Street, Ottawa, for the turbulence of the Bank of England’s Threadneedle Street. Freddie Flintoff takes off the cricket pads and puts on the boxing gloves. This has been the week of the busman’s holiday (in the case of the Canadian central banker), the career change (and what a change, if Flintoff really has laid off the booze for four months): the job swap. But what if we could all take on someone else’s role, for just one day at least? Having built up such an extensive knowledge of the newspaper industry, Brian Leveson could try editing one: the Sun’s coverage of I’m a Celebrity would doubtless benefit from having the judge donning the green visor. Comprehensive teachers must surely long for Michael Gove to stop making disobliging comments about them and to try handling a classroom. Andrew Mitchell obviously needs to try being a policeman; Eric Pickles to go to work for a local council (or as a trapeze artist, whichever is easier). This could be a carnival for all: imagine Barack Obama and Xi Jinping trading places for a day; Washington and Beijing might learn a lot more about each other. Bo Xilai might like to swap the machine politics of Chongqing for City Hall in Chicago (who knows? Things might not be so different). Start this game, and the possibilities are endless. Korean popstar Psy should stop doing that bouncy-horsey dance and do a bit of actual jockeying. Nadine Dorries might try to be an MP for a while. Now that would be a turn up.

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