Encouraged by its success in banning incandescent lightbulbs, powerful vacuum cleaners, incorrectly shaped fruit, effective pesticides, minty cigarettes etc, the European Commission decides to ban Euthymol toothpaste, metal detectors, heated handlebars on motorcycles, petrol-driven lawnmowers, Meerschaum pipes, cocktail umbrellas, battery-operated nosehair clippers, shuttlecocks made with real feathers and Extra Strong Mints – not for any particular reason but just because it can. There are protests but not enough to make any difference and soon everyone gets used to this new assault on their freedoms, just like they did with those light bulbs they now have to use that flicker and give you headaches and make it impossible to see where you’re going and are full of mercury so you can’t dispose of them unless you’re wearing a biochem suit.
Abu Hamza Madrassa (formerly St Jude’s C of E Primary School) in Bradford, formerly rated Outstanding by Ofsted, is discovered by inspectors on a new snap inspection to have bomb-making equipment, RPG rocket launchers and two cases of AK47s in its store cupboard. The Guardian and the Independent run outraged editorials arguing that this is exactly the sort of problem that arises when schools aren’t given fair and proper warning about Ofsted inspections. The BBC despatches its top reporters to visit the local Muslim community to see whether they have experienced any Islamophobia as a result of this disgraceful breach of their school’s privacy.
Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasy MP spearhead a campaign to ban men’s public urinals on the grounds that they discriminate against women and represent exactly the kind of phallocentric triumphalism which creates rape culture. Initially the government resists. But then Change.Org launches a petition signed by over 300,000 Caitlin Moran fans, then Twitter joins in and the game is up. From now on, all men will have to sit down when they pee because that’s only fair.
Field researchers in Alaska and Norway establish that the world’s polar population is at least twice as big as previous estimates and growing by the day. To compensate, environmental activists campaign for the polar bear to lose its “Threatened” status on the IUCN ‘Red List’. They now have it recategorised as “Extinct”, so as not to jeopardise its vital symbolic value in the cause of “combatting Climate Change.”
Conservative leader David Cameron laughs off criticisms that he lost his party the General Election by revealing that, all along, he has been a UKIP double agent. “Gay marriage? Greenest government ever? A wind turbine by every quaint English village? Ring-fenced aid-spending for kleptocrat dictators in Bongo-Bongoland? You don’t SERIOUSLY imagine I believed any of that nonsense do you? I went to Eton for heaven’s sake. I used to hunt with the Heythrop. I’m related to the Queen. No. My problem with the Conservative party was that it had been infected by lefty oiks like that dreadful man Ken Clarke. So the only option was to destroy it from within, with a bit of outside help from my pal Nige. (Dulwich College, but not a bad fellow for all that.)”
Islamic State’s Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issues a fatwa forbidding the use of rape as a weapon of war. “I used to think it was a good thing, endorsed by the Koran,” he explains. “But what completely changed my mind was when I read in Vanity Fair that both the beauteous and wise Angelina Jolie and the Britani foreign secretary (he who sounds like a strangled eunuch) were dead set against it. The scales fell from my eyes. Rape as a weapon of war is a barbaric thing and must be haram. From now on, whenever my men capture any whoreish Jezebel bitches, be they Yazidi or Christian or Shia, we shall treat them with respect and put them instantly out of their misery either by crucifixion or beheading.”
A gamekeeper on a Scottish grouse estate is fined £10,000 and given a suspended prison sentence after being found in possession of a hen harrier egg.
On the neighbouring nature reserve, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, three golden eagles, a sea eagle, an osprey and two dozen golden plovers are found decapitated beneath the reserve’s ornamental wind turbine. The RSPB issues a statement blaming the appalling tragedy on “global warming” which, its expert scientists believe, is causing raptors to lose their natural ability to negotiate high velocity whirring obstacles, such as turbine blades.
Diminishing solar activity leads to the worst summer since 1816. Thirty-three US states are buried in six inches of snow. Ice storms freeze Cornwall and Corfu. Crops are devastated. Hungry polar bears leave the Arctic Circle in search of warmth. George Monbiot writes a heartrending article in the Guardian entitled: “If you want to know what global warming means look outside your window.” He is not being ironic.
At the UN climate conference in Paris, Greenpeace activists demonstrate how the city might look as a consequence of rising sea levels and ocean acidification by painting the Eiffel Tower with acid so it dissolves into a puddle of fizzing metal. Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo does his usual trick of flying in to explain that Greenpeace meant no harm, they were just trying to raise awareness etc etc. Meanwhile the activists responsible are released from prison at the behest of the European Court of Human Rights, which points out that while the Eiffel Tower was merely a metal tourist attraction global warming is real and could potentially result in the deaths of billions.
A planned RSC production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew is cancelled after feminist campaigners argue that its portrait of its female lead character as shrill, bossy and intolerant is sexist, misogynistic and tells us nothing whatsoever about women in the 21st century.
“Rev” Al Sharpton leads protests over a planned Hollywood remake of Seventies slave drama Roots with Daniel Craig cast in the lead as Kunta Kinte. Craig defends his own casting by pointing out, slightly petulantly: “If Idris Elba hadn’t been announced as the lead in the next James Bond venture Ace of Spades, then maybe I wouldn’t have been available to play Kunta Kinte.” A threatened blockade outside the Roots studio fails to materialise, however, when Sharpton hears of a more pressing issue in the studio lot next door. As news spreads, the protest is joined by Jay Z and Kanye West. Apparently another 1970s classic Shaft has also been recast, this time with the title role played by adorable pop chanteuse Taylor Swift.
Christmas is cancelled after campaigning by a group called Gay Secularist Friends of Palestine Against Islamophobia, which successfully brings a case before the ECHR arguing that the Festival’s claim to be a “Season of Peace and Goodwill To All Men” is discriminatory against certain religions whose adherents may sometimes prefer to express their own faith through the medium of War and Ill Will To All Men (And Women And Children) Who Do Not Belong To Their Preferred Sect In The Religion Of Peace.