Thursday, 8 August 2013
The flotilla sails.
The happy smiling faces shine through Portsmouth's drizzle as they troop onto the ship. To be fair entering the ship was more queueing than trooping as, at the head of the gangway, stood a phalanx of checklist wielding officials.
But the faces are smiling for they're leaving behind Sodom, turning their backs on the land where - despite all the lobbying, charity campaigns and portentous media announcements of doom - too many people persist in doing things that aren't right. Things that should be banned.
The breakthrough came when the Home Secretary, Helen Graivey announced the transfer of part of Turkey - Yasaklama - to a new United Nations protectorate. So came about the place were things that should be banned, are banned. And there would be grants for those righteous people who wished to relocate to the new state.
Predictable outrage exploded for a while as Royal Colleges, publicly-funded charity bosses and journalists on the Daily Mail realised that the Government was serious. People who wanted everything banned were being paid to go and live in a place where everything WAS banned - including the Daily Mail.
Elsewhere in the country, pub crawls, smoking festivals and burger-eating competitions were held to raise more money to send people to Yasaklama. Cricket and football were played on the grass, fireworks were let off and street parties were thrown.
There were reports (quickly dismissed) of people known to harbour banning thoughts being herded, crated up and shipped in containers to Turkey. And of whip rounds in offices to pay the passage of especially oppressive managers. The government reached new heights in the opinion polls as it dawned on people that it was the jobsworths, fussbuckets and interfering old goats that they disliked most. Even more than Ed Balls.
And so the day arrives at ports from Oban to Falmouth as thousands of Britain's nannies and worrywarts load themselves into smoke-free, low alcohol and low calorie berths for the trip to Yasaklama. The wharves and harbour walls are thronged with (slightly tipsy) spectators clutching bags of chips, cans of lager and ice-creams. All there to make absolutely free all the lovers of bans leave (the looks of disapproval, tutting and 'that should be stopped' comments from embarking passengers viewing the booze, burgers and cigars on display acting as a reminder of the reason for creating Yasaklama).
A few hours later and ropes are cast, the nation's collective breath is held and...yes...the nannying fussbucket flotilla leaves for the land of the unfree, for ban central, for Yasaklama.
And a cheer, at first hesitant but slowly rising to a massive cathartic crescendo, rent the air. Freedom had returned!