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Arlo Pilof’s plan Apr 01

My favourite of today’s April Fools Day news stories comes from The Scotsman, not least for the headline, the two anagrams, and the final line (although I’m not sure how amused the Isle of Man will be at being placed in England).

Black day as EU fools with place names


EUROPEAN bureaucrats will push forward legislation today to force the Scottish Executive to change place-names that offend or discriminate on the grounds of race and gender.

In a move the Nationalists described as the “ultimate madness in political correctness”, it has taken only a quorum of four Euro commissioners from Italy, Germany, France and Spain to redraw Scotland’s map.

The German commissioner, Arlo Pilof, the architect of the 2006 Race and Gender Equality Imposition Code (conformity), an amendment to existing rules, said: “We believe many names do not conform, and we started with Scotland because it is the worst of the culprits with offensive names such as Skinflats, near Grangemouth.”

Under European rules going back to 1986, a quorum of four member state commissioners have the right to table what is known as a “L.I.L Proof A”, a prelude to any legislation which proposes to amend or remove a name or description “relating to a city, town or centre of habitation with more than eight people of voting age”.

The Scottish Executive had sought to win exemptions for places beginning with “Black”, but the bureaucrats were adamant they were racist.

“We could hardly have places like Colouredford or the Coloured Isle, the Coloured Cuillins,” said a spokesman.

However, the Executive has come up with an alternative, to revert to the Gaelic rendition of black – dubh – which it believes will be acceptable.

The spokesman added: “They won’t know the difference, hopefully. And Burndubh and Dubhford don’t sound too bad.”

Mr Pilof revealed that England would be next on the agenda, citing the Isle of Man as particularly worthy of change.

A Manx spokesman said yesterday: “I hope this is a long way off. We are two-time losers, what with the island’s name and Douglas as the capital. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

“It’s as if these people sat there all day and made up this stuff.”

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