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Anorak | Life imitates Scarfolk: Civil Service tells parents to shoot rabid children

Life imitates Scarfolk: Civil Service tells parents to shoot rabid children

by | 21st, July 2018

“Wow! This has made my week,” says Richard Littler. “This is from the government’s *own* publication about the history of government communications. They mistakenly included a Scarfolk poster which encourages the killing of children. Clearly, nobody thought it was too extreme.”

 

government scarfolk

The original Government pamphlet

 

rabiesshoot scarfolk government

UK Government says ‘shoot yer kids’

 

“You can download your own copy of this Scarfolk/UK government ‘collaboration’ from the government’s own site: quarterly.blog.gov.uk/download-a-pdf… (Hurry before they realise!).” They did realise that the fictional town of Scarfolk created by Richard as “a dystopian satire of the 1970s that somehow leaks into and reflects on current affairs” had become Government approved. And chances are whoever compiled the collection realised, too. The image has now been removed.

 

scarfolk shoot children cabinet office

 

The advice to shoot your children appears in the July edition of Civil Service Quarterly. Produced by the Cabinet Office ‘A century of government communications’ , the publication tells us that top-down communiqués have “helped to shape modern Britain and have themselves been shaped by the changing media landscape and changes in society”.

We are warned:

In an era when the spread of social media and the proliferation of digital information sources makes us question the very nature of news and what constitutes a ‘fact’, it is worth remembering two things. First, we have been here before: communications can, often deliberately, distort and mislead. A royal proclamation in 1688 specifically referred to tackling the spread of ‘false news’ (echoing the ‘fake news’ of today). And, second, at their best – honest, open, informative and effective – communications can help to shape, improve and even save lives.

Adding:

As we continue to listen, we are more likely to act appropriately on what people are telling us about what they need – and earn their trust – if we understand the public we serve. The Civil Service’s ambition to be the most diverse and inclusive employer in the UK by 2020 supports this aspiration.

Excellent communication that people trust is essential to a properly functioning democracy. That trust, built on the dialogue between public and state, is the touchstone of modern government communications.

It’s all about trust.

 

Detail from James II's 1688 proclamation "to restrain the spreading of false news"

Detail from James II’s 1688 proclamation “to restrain the spreading of false news”

 

“I have never seen the government move so quickly in my life (and certainly not because of me)!” says Richard. ‘From my announcement of their error to them deleting and editing the documents was about 5 mins.”

Richard adds: “On the last page of Discovering Scarfolk (2014), I warned about the dangers of a Scarfolk-based, apocalyptic cult infiltrating the civil service… You’re welcome.”

 

government scarfolk

The original Government pamphlet

 

rabiesshoot scarfolk government

Discovering Scarfolk – 2014

 

To prevent unnecessary bloodshed, Scarfolk Council has issued the following cease and desist letter to HM Government:

 

scarfolk shoot children

 

 

“The Government has tried replacing the Scarfolk poster with something patriotic. Is this some kind of photoshop challenge?”

 

scarfolk government

Now updated – don’t shoot yer kids; shoot Germans instead

 

But it’s not gone. You can download the original pamphlet here.

 



Posted: 21st, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True Comment | TrackBack | Permalink