Thursday, 27 August 2015

"No" (1973-1975)

In 1973 Scarfolk Council released the above poster all over town. On the same day it also stopped responding to applications for welfare benefits, in fact it stopped responding to all enquiries from the public.

Those who called the council telephone number were answered by a distant, echoing voice which relentlessly repeated the word 'No'. It wasn't a recorded message and callers could sometimes hear faint whimpering in the background.

Some families received letters from the council which contained a single instance of the word, while others received multi-page letters with 'No' printed many hundreds of times. The longest 'No' letter received by a citizen contained 178,121 pages and was delivered by an articulated lorry, whose number plate also simply read 'No'.

Hoping for a 'No' answer, numerous residents tried to take advantage of the council by asking if they were required to pay their taxes or respect the law. Such people were visited by an impeccably dressed man called Mr. Custard who had rows of paper clips and occult symbols tattooed on his face. He would whisper briefly in the residents' ears before leaving. All were found dead within days of Mr Custard's visit, having slit their own wrists and daubed the word 'No' in their own blood on the walls of their homes.

In 1975 the 'No' era suddenly stopped. The council apologised and claimed that it had simply been the result of a clerical error.

For the 'Stop!' campaign see "Discovering Scarfolk" (page 154). For the 'Don't' campaign go HERE.

Friday, 21 August 2015

NHS Health Warning Poster (1978)

In 1978 the Notional Health Service was struggling to cope with its lack of funds. Overspending was unavoidable and the threat of closure was ever present. However, Scarfolk Council's department for health and knitting hit upon a simple method to radically reduce spending.

Firstly, taking its lead from a household insurance policy, the council recategorised many serious (thus expensive) illnesses as ineligible for treatment. Cases were dismissed due to "general wear and tear" or "acts of god", and the council even went as far as to recommend that patients with serious physical ailments "contact the manufacturer for further assistance". Secondly, the spread of disease in hospitals was cut by 90% by removing and prohibiting sick patients.

Patients with cheaper, non-threatening conditions were admitted to NHS hospitals, but only if they understood that they might share a bed with up to 9 other patients and/or a startup business that had rented the bed as office space. Patients were also subjected to virtually costless placebo trials. In fact, all treatments in 1979 were placebos consisting of either sherbert infusions (the town mayor was a major stakeholder in a Scarfolk confectionery factory) or daily rituals conducted by a coven of witches, who chanted in hospital car parks around an effigy of a nature deity made from balloons.

The cost-cutting scheme was successful and other regions adopted the same model. Not treating people was the only way to keep the NHS a viable, going concern, permitting it to continue what it has always done best: treat people.

Friday, 14 August 2015

"Thought Policy" Leaflet (1976)

Below is a leaflet published by the Scarfolk council department that was set up in 1973 to deal with citizen thought detection and control.

In addition to the thought-detector vans which prowled Scarfolk's streets (see HERE for more information), citizens were expected to undergo regular thought inspections.

At the time, thought terrorism was rife and most major public buildings and spaces had security checkpoints. Citizens were expected to read, understand and answer the questions put to them in the leaflet before being scanned by an IDS (Idea Detection Scanner). Initially, IDSs were just ex-policemen who had failed psychiatric empathy tests after sustaining severe head injuries. The practice of using such policemen was stopped when it was discovered that the method they used to extract thoughts from citizens' heads involved the use of a big, sharp stick and an ice-cream scoop. More accurate IDS machines eventually replaced the policemen, drastically reducing human error, though the stick and ice-cream scoop were retained.

Friday, 7 August 2015

The "Infant Liberation Front" Colouring Book

1972 saw the birth of the ILF (Infant Liberation Front), a terrorist organisation for the under-10s. The anarchic underground group was slow to make an impact because many of its younger members had not yet developed the literacy skills required to understand the group's manifesto.

The breakthrough came in 1973 when the ILF published a more accessible colouring book. It outlined the group's aims and depicted recommended acts of terror which could be easily carried out before bedtime. The book was an instant hit and widely distributed in school playgrounds.

The ILF's goal was to create a paedocracy, but not only; it also wanted "the freedom to eradicate all grownups (without having to get their permission first)". To this end the group would go to any lengths. Hordes of children roamed the streets (after they had completed their homework) hunting stray adults, and in 1976 alone 250 grownups disappeared or met their fates.

In 1978 the ILF disbanded when Arthur Grubbe, a 50 year old investigative journalist, infiltrated the group by posing as a 3 year old girl. Grubbe revealed that the ILF was secretly funded by local government who intended to groom sociopaths for positions in the civil service once they reached the age of majority.

Grubbe became something of a celebrity and Arthur was the most popular baby girl name of 1979.

Below, an ILF leaflet. ILF members regularly held dirty protests, especially those under the age of one. They doggedly maintained around-the-clock demonstrations which were only interrupted by feeding time and naps.

You can learn more about infant civil disobedience HERE and HERE and HERE.