The Null Device

Potemkin shops in Northern Ireland

As the G8 prepare to meet in economically depressed Northern Ireland, the UK government hosts have been touching up the area, by covering the windows of the area's many empty shops with large photographic stickers of thriving businesses:
One set of stickers have been fixed to a former butchers in Belcoo, on the border between the province and the Republic. They show the shop – which traded as Flanagan’s until it went out of business about a year ago – still fully stocked with a selection of fresh meat on display. A sticker pasted on a closed door even shows an open door and an apparently well-adorned interior. Another set of stickers have been put up in the windows of a former pharmacy in the village, to give the vacant site the appearance of an office supply stores.
Perhaps if the Soviet Union and its satellites had had large-format photographic sticker technology, the Berlin Wall would never have fallen, and Marxism-Leninism would still be shambling on, joyless but just about alive, much like George Osborne's austerity plan is.

Meanwhile, the US Secret Service has reportedly deployed agents disguised as Irish farmers; they purchased a fleet of shiny new tractors, but apparently neglected to make them look less conspicuously new:

However, locals told the paper the agents would “stick out like sore thumbs” in Fermanagh, as their tractors are all brand new. It’s “like something out of Father Ted”, one resident said.
Surely there'd be someone in the US Secret Service who could apply convincing amounts of dirt, rust and general wear to tractors to not compromise the whole point of having bought them in the first place?

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