Don't get me wrong: There's nothing funny about cruel, powertripping schoolchildren terrorizing other kids, a.k.a. bullying. But a gifted satirist — Stephen Fry, perhaps, or Chris Buckley — could surely spin sidesplitting stuff out of the travails of the British anti-bullying lobby.
First came the wonderfully kooky initiative to get people, including pupils who were picked on by bullies, to wear blue wristbands as a sign of their support for an anti-bullying campaign. That this was tantamount to wearing a 'Kick Me' sign doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone. Astonishment set in when the inevitable happened.
>> Julie Oakley, the founder of Bullywatch, which supports families of the victims of bullying, said: "Kids who wear the wristbands have become natural targets." <<
Oakley, it seems, is not quite as adept at gauging human nature as 13-year-old Shona from Norfolk, who told the Guardian newspaper:
>> I didn't even know it was anti-bullying week last week, and neither did the bullies at my school. <<
I had barely stopped wiping the tears of mirth from my eyes when more news came in from the bully-busters front just this morning. It turns out that Her Majesty's government recently set up an umbrella organization called the Anti-Bullying Alliance. The ABA, flush with more than a million dollars in taxpayer money, is ordering its members to sign a promise that they won't "speak, write or brief against the alliance or any other member organization." One Member of Parliament, not without reason, called the gag order a fine example of — yep — bullying.
If I were a British comedy writer, I'd be having a field day.