Leading article: A river runs through it

They say a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Well a committee (Transport for London) tried to get its hands on Harry Beck's classic and elegant design for the London Underground map and almost turned it into something similarly ungraceful. Thankfully, the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, quashed TFL's bizarre proposal to erase the representation of the River Thames from the design. But the inclination of officials to meddle with things that clearly do not require modification is nevertheless alarming. TFL says the intention was to reduce "clutter". But users of the Tube find it rather useful to know which side of Churchill's "silver thread" they are travelling to.

The list of needless desecrations of famous brands and images – from Snickers, to Consignia – is a sad one. The price of bureaucracy, like freedom, is constant vigilance. This latest silly idea hit the buffers. But others in future might slip through. We all need to mind the gap.