Our new wall decal

It’s not often that you spend money on something that you really, really don’t need, especially in Delib. Did we need to spend money on a custom wall decal? Absolutely not. Do we stand by the decision? Certainly. Especially since it ties in quite well with the accidental office theme of indoor jungle.

In normal circumstances, spending cash in a tech company on an indulgence is a sure sign that it’s just about to go the wall (pun intended), probably with someone else’s money, and certainly with a now deserted and utterly tragic ping pong table. I digress.

Rather than just being an impulse purchase because it looked cool, ‘beware of the leopard’ does actually have some significance to Delib. For those of you who have seen/read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you may recognise the phrase. For those who haven’t or need reminding: Arthur Dent wakes up one morning to find a demolition crew outside his house, which is due to be flattened to make way for a bypass. He did not agree to his house being flattened for obvious reasons.

Tumblr post displaying a section from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 
Image reads:
Mr Prosser: But, Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.
Arthur: Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.
Mr Prosser: But the plans were on display…
Arthur: On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.
Mr Prosser: That’s the display department.
Arthur: With a torch.
Mr Prosser: The lights had probably gone out.
Arthur: So had the stairs.
Mr Prosser: But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?
Arthur: Yes yes I did. It was on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.

So ‘beware of the leopard’ does actually have a wider significance to Delib than just a cool pop culture reference. It’s a phrase and apocryphal tale that’s become synonymous with the work we do, and for very good reason, as it neatly summarises most of the basic problems we’re trying to solve.

We believe public access to democratic decision-making shouldn’t need to involve a climbing harness and head torch. You should be told you can share your views before the bulldozer turns up at your door.

Delib has been using technology for nearly 20 years to try and tackle some of the problems presented by ‘beware of the leopard’ – namely by helping to make consultations more timely, inclusive, and easier – which in turn ensures decisions are legitimate.

After Beware of the Leopard, generic stock wall art was my second choice.

So rather than a spurious waste of money, our painfully trendy wall decal is actually a statement of all the good we’re doing in the world. Fixing Democracy and that. We have, however, cancelled the order for a ping pong table. It’s never good to tempt fate.