The heading isn’t a misprint. I don’t hate mice, but I do hate “nice”.

It is such a mealy-mouthed little word. It hides a multitude of sins. Nice is a platitude that means nothing, it is the word you chose to use when you can’t think of anything…well, nicer to say.

Which is one of the reasons I have a problem with the Niceties Tokens launched by a Londoner fed up with the rudeness and ignorance that is part and parcel of everyday life in England’s blessed capital city.

The tokens are supposed to reward random acts of kindness, according to their inventor and regular commuter Liz Akers (

I certainly empathise and sympathise with her. The rudeness that characterises London life is creeping around the rest of the country and some of the commuters from hell she encounters are just as evident in Birmingham.

Her intentions appear to be well-placed ( But I can’t help thinking this scheme is, as the name suggests, tokenism.

We shouldn’t reward what should come naturally to us all. All it really achieves is highlight just how awful we’ve become.

It is a nice try by a nice person. But it really is just too damn nice to be effective.

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