Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on timed toilets, stunning supermajorities and the danger of announcing a probe too soon

From the Chinese city of Datong comes a disturbing report of timers being fitted to public lavatories, in the name of “safety.” Above each cubicle is an electronic display showing the minutes and seconds elapsed. Naturally, some users find it embarrassing or annoying.

Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh

I suspect there may also be a danger of unauthorised gambling. The Chinese love a flutter on almost anything and who could resist staking a few dollars on the fat bloke in stall three?

Of course, interactive WC behaviour is nothing new. Some people simply cannot resist sharing their lavatorial experiences with strangers. I'm sure we all recall the ditty allegedly scrawled on the wall of a public loo in Paris: “Here I sit, broken hearted / Paid a franc and only f-----.”