Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Economy & Currency Fly-Tipping (1970s)

When the pound's value suddenly plummeted in 1972 to its lowest in 170 years and became virtually worthless, people started throwing out all their money. Piles of discarded coins and banknotes littered the streets. Scarfolk's binmen were so overwhelmed that they went on strike, demanding a £4 pay rise.

Despite campaigns to stop currency fly-tipping (see above and below), the government, unable to cope with the mountains of useless sterling, created an ingenious scheme: It advised citizens to hold on to their money and use it instead to trade for basic items such as food and shelter. It even suggested that interim emergency values be attributed to the useless cash. The recommended value for a five pence piece, for example, was five pence.

The only way Britons could earn real money was by making tea and biscuits which were rushed in mass flotillas of little ships to the continent - evoking the evacuation of Dunkirk - where they were sold to Europeans on their tea breaks.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Points-Based Citizenship (1972-)

While politicians debated a points-based system for immigrants in the early 1970s, Scarfolk went a step further and introduced a similar system for existing citizens.

The council didn't see why it should be burdened with unimportant, objectionable people.

Surprisingly, many citizens had never even entertained the idea that their country of birth was purely accidental and that their value to society might be lower than that of a pack of disposable nappies or a plate of tripe*, nevermind better educated, more civilised foreigners.

Between 1972 and 1976 thousands of British citizens were deported to an immense raft which floated five miles off the coast of Blackpool. Realising that they were now the foreigners they had previously denigrated, the deportees hurled racist abuse at themselves and each other and frequently got into fights.

* see Citizen Values for further details.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Foreigner Identification Badges (1974)

From 1974, all foreigners (as well as citizens friendly to foreigners) were required by law to wear identification badges. The image above is just one page from a hefty, six volume guide distributed to local councils and border officials. The glossy guide and badges were so expensive to produce that they were manufactured abroad because the dwindling UK print industry no longer had adequate resources.

Additionally, the first print run of the guide had to be recalled after a typo was discovered: A foreign typesetter had accidently rendered every instance of the word 'British' as 'Brutish'.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Accidents in the Workplace (1971)

In the first half of the 1970s, accidents in the workplace increased one-hundred fold, largely because work equipment and machinery were poorly maintained by employers. In fact, health and safety guidelines were so frequently overlooked by corporations that the government could see no reason why employees shouldn't be able to accurately foresee and schedule the life-changing accidents that would befall them; especially because every major company was obliged to provide its workers, as per union regulations, with the services of a clairvoyant or witch.

In January 1971 the scheduling of accidents became policy. The state would only pay disability benefits and/or sick pay if the time and nature of an employee's workplace accident had been approved in advance by his employer.

Employees who had unplanned accidents as a result of their employer's negligence were accused of unprofessionalism and many were fired for damaging company resources and impeding productivity.

Some enterprises, however, turned the nuisance of careless workers to their advantage: One company that manufactured metal warning and safety signs for Scarfolk Council saw its employees mutilated by volatile machinery so many times that it stopped sign-making and moved into the far more lucrative decorative finger business.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

"Positive Outlook? Look Out!" (1976)

In the hot summer of 1976, people were enjoying the rare sunshine and the opportunity to socialise, sometimes even with foreigners. Scarfolk Council became concerned that its citizens were developing something akin to happiness, which it considered a destabilising threat to its authority.

Government operatives illicitly carried out false-flag acts of terror in an attempt to discourage positivity and regain control, but Scarfolk citizens were undeterred.

Fearing that this pandemic of cheerfulness was a prelude to social breakdown, perhaps even leading to revolution, the government quickly passed a health bill to formally recategorise "psychological states such as contentment, gratification and satisfaction" as mental illnesses "as dangerous in their effects as diseases such as rabies".

The above poster, which played on deep-seated personal doubts, appeared on the walls of cafes and restaurants, leisure centres and in other locations where people might be at risk of enjoying themselves or becoming contaminated by peace-of-mind

Friday, 16 September 2016

Death is Like a Happy Balloon (1973)

Death is Like a Happy Balloon by Dr Cassandra Henge was one in series of books published by Bullyrag Books who specialised in introducing children to alarming topics without alleviating any of their readers' fears. Other books in the series included Totalitarianism is Like a Merry Smile, Slaughterhouses are Like a Paddling Pool and Organ Failure is Like Fudge.

Death is Like a Happy Balloon contained a subliminal trigger word, as is used in hypnosis and psychological conditioning. The idea was that if there were any future social problems - overpopulation, revolution, widespead idiocy, a disproportionate number of old people - the government could use the trigger word and cull a whole generation by activating overwhelming suicidal thoughts.

The state carefully chose the word (a neologism, unrepeatable here for legal reasons), so that it would not trigger an unintended suicide epidemic.

In 1975, however, a UN human rights inspector was sent to the UK to interview alleged victims of state brutality. His foreign name by chance matched the trigger word and thousands took their lives following a television broadcast about his visit.
It was later revealed that the government had specifically requested the inspector by name. Additionally, it had total control over the broadcast's contents and when it was aired to ensure that it reached the maximum number of viewers.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Physics Tax (1975-1979)

In the mid-1970s, the government introduced a series of questionable taxes. One was the Physics Tax, which was announced via leaflets posted to every household.

"As you know, gravity is supplied to you not unlike like gas, electricity or water. Creating, maintaining and distributing the forces of physics is an expensive national undertaking and the cost of running the Gravity Generator Plant in Scarfolk costs millions of pounds annually. Sustaining the right balance of gravity isn't easy and even the smallest error in calculation could leave many people at risk of floating away, perhaps irretrievably. This is why it's important that you pay your Physics Tax on time (including any surcharges), as well as report any illegal immigrants who destabilise the finely-tuned distribution of gravity."

Though countless immigrants (and citizens who made friends with immigrants) were allegedly deported between 1975 and 1979, the sudden disappearance of more than 1200 registered citizens was blamed on their failure to pay the Physics Tax. Without the appropriate levels of gravity to keep them earthbound, they had, according to the government, probably been sucked into outer space. However, by the end of the decade, it became clear that the state had lied about its capability to supply citizens with the forces of physics. Scarfolk's Gravity Generator Plant was revealed to be a facility built specifically for processing political undesirables, immigrants or otherwise, into cheap snacks for visiting tourists.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

"Mr Liver Head" Toy (mid-1970s)

As part of its scheme to recycle human body parts (first outlined in "An End to Starvation?", Pelican Books, 1973), Scarfolk Council insisted that the region's NHS hospitals and police departments bolster their dwindling funds by partnering with commercial businesses. One such enforced collaboration was between Scarfolk Barber Surgeons Clinic, Greater Scarfolk Police and the ScarToys Company.

Surgical waste, such as amputated limbs, damaged internal organs and even excised tumours, was pooled with body parts accumulated by criminal forensics teams from the scenes of violent crimes. These were delivered in large trucks to ScarToys, whose development departments repurposed them into children's playthings with names like Snakes & Bladders, Fun Lung, My Little Kidney, Haunted Heart and the Placenta Playcentre. There were even crayons made from rendered human fat as well as authentic editions of the Operation Game and Girl's World.

But by far the most popular toy was Mr Liver Head, which was based on Mr Potato Head (see above and below). It quickly became so popular that a military curfew had to be imposed on overzealous young fans who would go to any lengths to acquire fresher, more impressive body parts to become the envy of their friends.

More posts about Scarfolk toys: "Pollute", "Mr Smug", "Land Mine", "Surgical Toy Insertions", "Lung Puppy", "Deformed Anonymous Infant Demon", "Ethnic Cleansing Playset", "Vulnerable Sam", "Junior Will & Testament".

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Human Rights Lottery Advertisement (1976)

In 1976, after three years of austerity and drastic cuts, the government admitted that there were no longer enough human rights to go around. Stockpiles diminished at such an alarming rate that only one UK citizen in twenty had access to inalienable human rights and by the end of the decade it would plummet to only one in a hundred.

The populace was dissatisfied with the government's initial solution, which was to mail out IOU letters. In lieu of human rights, these official missives offered a non-legally-binding 'gentlemen's agreement' to provide substitute rights akin to human rights, which were never fully defined and thus remained completely open to interpretation. Indeed, many citizens were not entirely sure that they adequately fulfilled the government's criteria to be considered human.

As a token of goodwill, the government offered an annual Human Rights Lottery (see magazine ad above), but cancelled it after three years because, according to an official press release, "granting human rights to only a few citizens is not in the interest of a fair and equal society".

Thursday, 11 August 2016

'Allclear' Open-Air Nuclear Bunkers

click to enlarge

In 1971 the government's civil defence budget was slashed. Local councils limited their building of conventional nuclear bunkers and focused instead on cheaper alternatives, for the general populace anyway.

From government public information literature:

"Though secure, Britain's existing nuclear bunkers are cramped and do not offer the comforts of home living. Built from drab, uninspiring concrete, they are brazenly unaesthetic and because they lack natural light, occupiers risk becoming fed up during their stay.

"Government officials, royals and the independently wealthy have courteously opted to endure these cheerless conditions so that you don't have to*.

"We think that you and your family deserve more agreeable accommodation when that 4-Minute Warning jingle sounds.

"Enter ALLCLEAR, the government's new post-nuclear solution for YOU. ALLCLEAR Open-Air Bunkers are easily erected in approx. 60 minutes. They are light, airy and available in a choice of fun colours: orange or yellowy-red. They even come with their own FREE
power-string, velcro all-seasons flap and a multipurpose stick [...]

"*Please note that any attempt to secure a place in a traditional concrete bunker (and in doing so compromise the well-intended benevolence of the abovementioned persons) will be rejected with extreme prejudice."

Friday, 5 August 2016

Scarfolk Olympic Games (1976)

In 1976 Scarfolk Council released its own Olympic Official Collectors Edition booklet, which focused on some of the lesser known disciplines. When the Olympic Games were accused of being a hotbed of corruption, bribery, insanitariness and illegal doping, the Olympic Committee simply sanctioned them as official Olympic sports.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

"People Are Dangerous" (1974-1975)

During the People Purges of 1974 and 1975, the many people who peopled Scarfolk were alarmed to learn that they were now the kinds of people that the government categorised as "people".

With no clear definition of what the state meant by "people", the mayor, who had previously declared himself a man of the people, tried to alleviate anxiety among his people by saying he didn't want to drive a wedge between people; he only intended to arrest those kinds of people who he deemed not to be "people people".

He said that he of all people knew that the most effective way to crack down on these people was with "people power": People working together to observe people, being able to tell people apart and then reporting those people to the appropriate people in authority.

On the 13 August 1975, the only people not in prison were six government officials, members of Scarfolk police force and a man called Dennis Peoples who suffered from a rare psychiatric syndrome called Clinical Lycanthropy which led him to believe he was a puffer fish.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Summer Fete Leaflet (1976)

As can be seen from this leaflet advertising a local fete, acts of terror and violent incidents were so frequent in 1970s Scarfolk that many people came to expect them and planned their days around them. Employers and local councils built them into their calendars and children spent more than half their school time memorising and rehearsing emergency drills. Violence was endured like bad weather, inconvenient yet seemingly unavoidable.

Eventually, however, terrorists and murderous loners found it too demanding to keep up with the schedules expected by others and, disheartened by the public's apathetic reaction to their actions, stubbornly refused to commit any more atrocities until they once again inspired the fear they felt they deserved. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Drug Advertisements (1970)

When Scarfolk's Mayor Ritter announced his determination to fight the war on drugs, he meant it. He also knew that if you want to win a war, it has to exist in the first place. Fortunately, Ritter had shares in the Cavalier Pharmaceutical company with whom the council secretly collaborated on a scheme to introduce vast amounts of highly-addictive narcotics into the daily lives of Scarfolk children.

The scheme not only bolstered Cavalier Pharm and other local industries; by the end of the decade it had also attracted increased government funding for the region's police and prison services. Additionally, as many young addicts didn't make it to adulthood, the strain on the NHS and welfare programmes was greatly reduced.

When Ritter was lauded for his services to the town, he said he had only done it for the children who, he declared, "are the future", though it became apparent that he specifically meant his own children who had been conceived during occult rituals, had never been exposed to the drug schemes and now had many more career opportunities than they might have had otherwise.

Above and below are 1970 drug advertisements by Cavalier Pharm. By 1972 barbiturates had been introduced to school milk, and drugs such as heroin were included in the ingredients of Pick 'n' Mix sweet selections.

More Cavalier Pharm related posts: Mindborstal and Children & Hallucinogens: The Future of Discipline.  See also: Lobottymed (Discovering Scarfolk. p.15) and Placebol (Discovering Scarfolk. p.66).

Friday, 15 July 2016

Xenophobic Postcards


In 1972 the University of Scarfolk trialled a new drug that affects the part of the brain that produces racist attitudes.

Researchers observed that the subjects lost control of their bodily functions and had to wear clinical incontinence products. Additionally, many subjects found it difficult to form coherent thoughts, much less verbalise them, and their mental ages registered as those of infants.

The experiment was discontinued, not on ethical grounds, but because the researchers concluded that there were no discernible behavioural and psychological differences between the racists who had taken the drug, and the control group of racists that hadn't.

When the Foreign Secretary read the study's findings, he decided that xenophobia should be extolled as one of Britain's defining virtues and he immediately set out to promote this idea abroad.