Monday, 27 May 2013

So what shall we ban today then? (A guide for the ambitious nannying fussbucket)


There is almost nothing - nothing I say - that we couldn't find grounds for controlling, directing and, if you don't behave properly, banning. However, in order to direct your plans for bans here are some helpful hints.

1. Authorities are more open to bans, restrictions or regulations when the thing in question is pleasurable. Indeed, the ban that today's authorities most wish to introduce is a ban on hedonism, on enjoying something just because it's enjoyable

2. If you've found your target for a ban - let's say it's Kendal Mint Cake - you need to find some sort of vague, probably spurious connection to a problem in society (health and crime are the best bets). You don't need evidence just the bold assertion of your case - 'Mint Cake is sold as a healthy product for the outdoors but is really just pure sugar which causes obesity, rotten teeth and hyperactive children'

3. It's better still if you can claim that the product is addictive and still more wonderful if you've an example of the evil effect - "Twenty-four stone teenager Kylie Spottiswood is hooked on the sugar hit of Mint Cake and eats twelve bars a day." You can add to the misery level with quotes from people about how Kylie was an outgoing, vivacious girl until she ate her first Mint Cake - just one and she was hooked on the sugar and mint combination (even better with the chocolate coating)

4. Some expert endorsement is helpful too - there are thousands of quacks and charlatans out there (not to mention some serious ban-fans who actually have medical degrees) so you'll find one to suit, I'm sure. And the newspapers - even the Daily Mail, famed for the rigour of its investigative journalism - seldom check the credentials of experts. A couple of vanity articles in an "open access" journal published from above a laundry in Calcutta doesn't look any different to the average journalist from being published in the New England Journal of Medicine

5. Set up a foundation, petition or even just a website - look official! "The Cumbrian Sugar Sweet Trust - campaigning to protect our children" or some such line (all shiny and pretty on a nice modern Wordpress site) will work wonders. And sign up a few worthies - a couple of local councillors, a retired doctor, a dentist. But remember it's the enraged parents - the mums and dads - who didn't know about the dangers of Mint Cake that are your real target.

6. Tell a story - it doesn't matter how fast and loose you are with actual facts - about the pain and anguish that this evil sugar confectionery has brought on you and you family. And send this story to everyone - MPs, vicars, bishops, government officials, journalists, Nicky Campbell, the Queen, some more journalists, George Monbiot, assorted charities, more journalists. Someone will pick it up and run with it.

And then you've achieved your aim. Not the ban but a temporary and spurious fame (and a chance for an earner or two). Now, whenever the scandal of sugar confections crops up your phone will ring - media appearance (kerching!), you'll get to write heartfelt pieces in national newspapers (kerching!) and maybe, just maybe, there'll be the magazine feature about Kylie and her efforts to return to a normal life (kerching, kerching!!).

Either that or Kendal Mint Cake will sue the pants off you!


1 comment:

asquith said...

Kylie deserves to die if she's daft enough to think it's better with chocolate coating... or will the police give me the Richard Chambers treatment for saying that?

(I actually used to eat more of it than was good for me, but I stopped of my own accord. The brown kind was my favourite).