Thursday, 3 September 2015

"Welcome Refugees" Poster (1970)


In 1970 Scarfolk Council faced a humanitarian crisis and was asked to take in refugees. Councillors warned that an influx of too many migrants could make Scarfolk susceptible to earthquakes, foreign food and other natural disasters, and that the town may even "become unbalanced, tip over and crash into a neighbouring town".

The mayor in particular expressed concern that a sudden population increase could affect the chances of him getting his favourite parking spot at Scarfolk Visitors' Welcome Centre and that the building of new housing to accommodate refugees may seriously impact the schedule of his builder who had already delayed the building of his kitchen extension twice that year.

Councillors also argued that Scarfolk didn't have the space for refugees and quickly redesignated vast regions of post-industrial wasteland as 'protected areas of outstanding natural beauty'. Despite this, the council was forced take in 1.3 refugees for every 20 citizens. The council promised to observe these requirements to the letter and even hired surgeons to ensure a precise quota.

When refugees finally arrived in Scarfolk, they were met by the poster above, which was clearly intended to deter them even before they passed through customs and immigration.

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.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Roy, The Telekinetic Child-Owl (1973-1979)

Scarfolk Council was no stranger to invading the privacy of ordinary families. Back in December we introduced you to the council Christmas Boy (see HERE) who strictly monitored the contentment of families during the festive season. We've since received letters asking how the council kept households in check during the rest of the year.


In 1973 the council engineered a genetically modified creature called Roy. He was the result of cross-breeding barn owls with surplus human infants raised by prying, judgemental, lower-middle-class parents. Roy was cloned and delivered to every family in Scarfolk. His job was to oversee domestic affairs, and, if any family member deviated from officially sanctioned activity, Roy was to berate them by tutting and shaking his head.

Unfortunately, there had been a clinical oversight. Volatile poltergeist DNA had accidentally contaminated Roy's genes when a careless scientist left open a lab window which looked out onto a supernatural-energy processing plant. Instead of the envisioned tutting and head-shaking, Roy flew into violent rages, triggering major telekinetic events. There were reports of Roys decimating entire families and, in one case, allegedly annihilating an entire housing estate.

The council was under pressure to recall the defective owls, but because there had been a sudden drop in the numbers of families claiming benefits, it announced instead that Roy was a resounding success and millions more of the human-owl hybrid were commissioned by the police and social services.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Cub Scout "Bob-a-Body" Week (1977)

The annual boy scout Bob-a-Job week was an institution. However, from 1975 the jobs that scouts were expected to undertake moved away from the mundane - the washing of cars, sweeping of leaves and mowing of lawns - and became much more demanding.

Below is a scout leaflet from 1977 which was the first year that Bob-a-Job week officially changed its name.


During Bob-a-Body week, hundreds of cub scouts roamed Scarfolk helping members of the community with their assisted suicide needs. The old, sick and formally shunned most frequently employed the services of the scouts, though the council's Oxygen Resource Board allegedly sent lists of reluctant residents to scout groups in advance, along with illicitly duplicated front door keys and gallon jars of a toxic nerve agent.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Poverty & 1970s Pelican Books

Poor, uneducated people have always been obstinate in their selfish desire to ruin the contentment of those from more important social classes.

Below are several Pelican books from the 1970s which deal with the decade's poverty, austerity and the blight of these self-centered people who relish being destitute.

For example, The Poor and Other Invertebrates, published in 1974, made the following claims about the nation's impoverished:

"[They] reproduce prolifically in 3 months rather than the conventional 9 months of properly evolved humans".

"They intentionally contract diseases by manufacturing their own bacteria at home, which they smear onto their cheap linoleum floors  [...] then roll around in it".

"They burgle respectable citizen's homes, then play Bingo".

In 1976, Scarfolk council dealt with the needy by taking away their autonomy and making them property of the state. Thousands of people below the breadline were requisitioned to be used as civic equipment such as street bollards and even sandbags in the case of flooding or terrorist bombings.







Thursday, 2 July 2015

"Mindborstal" Psychological Detention Drug


Following the publication of Children and Hallucinogens: The Future of Discipline in 1971, several products were developed by Cavalier Pharm, Scarfolk's largest pharmaceutical company.

In addition to Panopticon, a truth serum designed for minors (see Discovering Scarfolk p.65 for further details), Cavalier Pharm also manufactured a drug called Mindborstal which, as the advertisement above indicates, induced children into a mental state that functioned as a psychological prison.

The detention hallucinations produced by the drug were so potent that they were indistinguishable from reality and children under its influence sat motionless for days and even weeks, locked in delirious trances. They were convinced that they were incarcerated within physical spaces policed by intimidating entities tailored to their own personal fears.

Yet for all of the drug's obvious benefits, it was ultimately recalled when several children were reported to have escaped on imagined giraffes, which their subconscious psyches had somehow conjured into existence. At least, that was the official explanation. Sceptics weren't convinced, even when hundreds of dead giraffes conveniently washed up on Scarfolk beach. Recently leaked documents suggest that the real reason for the recall was a desperate attempt by the council to cover up its covert plan to have the drug renamed and introduced to the town's water supply.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Children's Nuclear Warning Poster (1979)


In the late 1970s the nuclear arms race was almost as popular as squash. 

On the face of it, Scarfolk council wanted to prepare children for the probability of a nuclear strike by Russia, China or the Shetland Islands without unduly frightening them with words and phrases such as 'apocalypse' and 'modicum of extinction'. 

In 1979 the council produced a poster campaign which substituted negative words for more pleasant, child-friendly ones. 'Flopsy Bunny', for example, became a euphemism for 'the complete annihilation of the known world'.

However, the government's true motive for the campaign became clear later that year when it adopted a cute, long-eared rabbit as its mascot in civic literature and public information films. It also vigorously promoted a soft-toy 'Flopsy Bunny', as well as a fluffy, nuclear mushroom cloud called Arthur. 

In the run up to Christmas children begged their parents and Santa Claus for the aforementioned playthings and there were even riots in Scarfolk toy shops.

This bait-and-switch permitted the council to take the population's desire for 'Flopsy Bunny' (or total annihilation depending on one's interpretation) as consent to proceed with its plans to build a nuclear missile silo cum leisure centre below Scarfolk primary school. The Parent-Teacher Association at first protested the project but withdrew when they were given free sauna passes.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Possessed Birthday Cards (1978)

Bubbles, the clown who appeared in the BBC TV testcard, was very popular in the 1970s. He even had his own animated public information series and range of merchandising including toys, T-shirts, mugs, greetings cards and surgical instruments.

However, in 1978, parents became alarmed when they discovered that many of the products were possessed by the spirit of an embittered ex-TV presenter, Simon Gomorrah, who had hosted a daytime programme called 'Housewife versus Anaconda!', before it was suddenly cancelled without warning. It wasn't until several months after Gomorrah's suicide that Bubbles merchandising began displaying supernatural activity.


For example, the Bubbles birthday greetings card, as pictured above, appeared to be perfectly normal when it was sold in the shops. But, once it had been given to a child, Bubbles would transform during the night into a demonic, lascivious entity that shouted out vulgar profanities and urinated at anyone who came within shot.


Gomorrah's body was eventually exhumed and his feet were fitted with oversized, concrete-filled clown shoes so that his spirit could no longer wander the earthly plane.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

"Natal Truancy" Leaflet (1974)


A 1974 study by the NCC (Natal Crime Commission) in Scarfolk discovered that 2 out of 5 pregnant women were not turning up for the birth of their own child. 

Doctors rejected the hypothesis that backstreet, occult practitioners might be responsible, but failed to solve how babies were bypassing the traditional medium of a biological mother and delivering themselves into the world.

When some of the absentee mothers were tracked down they couldn't account for their lack of attendance, though eye-witnesses placed the women in various locations at the time that they should have been giving birth: at cocktail parties, playing Bingo, watching the radio, reading grimoires in the coven library and communing naked with a black-pelted half-man, half-goat in supermarket car parks.

Children born as a result of maternal misdemeanours tended not to get along with other children, particularly because they levitated uncontrollably. Many schools were forced to enclose their grounds inside large nets or perspex domes to catch the drifting minors.

Friday, 5 June 2015

"Sense a Presence?" Public Information (1970)



In 1970 a council public information campaign warned citizens that they should be afraid, though it didn't clarify exactly what it was they were supposed to be afraid of. Inevitably, this lead to widespread panic. Police, council and coven telephone helplines were inundated with calls by distressed citizens of Scarfolk who had been previously unaware of the danger they were in.

In an attempt to define what the campaign's 'presence' might refer to, the Daily Ail newspaper printed what it believed everyone should fear. What began as a ten-point list quickly grew into a publication as thick as a telephone directory and included: Foreigners; magic gypsies; diseases with a foreign origin or name, e.g, Asian Squid Flu; asylum-seeking succubi and other demons that haunt Britain without the appropriate paperwork; 'other foreigners' not included in the first mention of foreigners; and the threat of rabies from migrating continental bats which refuse to make any attempt to learn the English language.

By the mid-70s Scarfolk was in a frenzy and adults and children alike were accusing all and sundry of being invisible, malevolent presences. Eventually, to allay the fear of its citizens, the council allocated a handful of social workers to each household. Every evening, these workers (actually, mentally-ill criminals sentenced to community service) would conceal themselves beneath beds, in wardrobes, in cellars and attics to ensure that sinister entities had no place to lurk.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Expiration Cards (1970s)

"Have you ever worried about how and when you might pass away? With an Expiration Card you needn't worry ever again..." (From a 1971 Scarfolk information booklet).


As of 1970 all residents of Scarfolk were issued with Expiration Cards. A dedicated council department, run by someone known only as Tod XIII, calculated when each citizen was most likely to become an 'unreasonable imposition' on society, then set an official date and method of demise. Sometimes, the date was brought forward if the citizen's circumstances changed: for example, if a person had become undeservedly depressed or poorly and was unlikely to ever again be gainfully employed by any self-respecting organisation.

Each cardholder was expected to make the relevant preparations according to their allocated death event and to pay for it. Costs were taken directly out of citizens' income along with tax and costs incurred by governmental weekend breaks abroad. Unemployed cardholders had their assets and/or family members seized and auctioned off. 

If a cardholder inconveniently died before their scheduled date and time, their card (and a hefty admin fee) was inherited by the next of kin who could either swap the card with their own - if the death event was preferred - or donate it to Scarfolk's Expiration Charity, which brought together poverty-stricken people to perish in the same event so that they may share costs. Charity expirations often took the form of driving a decommissioned double-decker bus off a pier into the sea while a brass band played. These expirations were televised on SBC TV's 'Beneviolence' programme, particularly if they featured once-popular celebrities who had fallen on hard times.

Note: Personalised Expiration Cards may be available for purchase in the future.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

"Unlearn...Privacy" Cards (1970s)


During the 1970s, the Scarfolk Education Publishing company produced packs of cards which taught children about society and its expectations. In particular, the cards focused on eradicating any false notions that children may have picked up from prohibited books, unauthorised wise people and illegal time immigrants (a flood of which materialised in 1979 to stockpile cake following a devastating pudding famine in the future).

In addition to the 1979 'Unlearn Privacy' pack, examples from which can be seen below, other series included 'Unlearn Altrusim', 'Unlearn Democracy' and 'Unlearn Contentment'.


The aforementioned time immigrants claimed that, by the year 2017, surveillance and the invasion of privacy become so ubiquitous that citizens' brains are connected to a central network. No thought, conscious or otherwise, is permitted expression unless it has been approved by a state computer programme nicknamed 'Brain O'Brien'. However, a backlog quickly accumulates, and many people go without a thought of their own for months, if not years at a time.

Fortunately, the government predicted such an emergency and prepared in advance a series of standardised thoughts, ideas and opinions which it inputs directly into citizens' minds. No doubt it is this considerate civic gesture which leads to the overwhelming majority vote for the incumbent party in many subsequent elections.


The bonus card above comes from an earlier pack, 'Unlearn Compassion', which was published in 1971.