Godless Baby-Eating Heathens
The UK government may soon face a terrible clash of Silly New Laws: not only has it vowed to protect witches from discrimination, it has also vowed to clamp down on witches. The Wiccans are apparently following in the footsteps of their historical predecessors in seeking to slaughter children, although gingerbread houses appear not to be involved this time round.Of course, it almost certainly isn't really happening--it's the oldest urban legend in western civilization--but you never can be too careful when children are involved. Read the whole thing at The Sharpener.
This clash should be fairly easy to resolve in reality: we'll come to some kind of compromise. The government will issue empty statements and impose scary new laws as part of its War On Baby Eating, which will make a large proportion of the Wiccan community believe that we fear them and want to burn them at the stake. However, to make sure they don't lose the Wiccan vote, the government will also issue empty statements that most witches are perfectly OK, and impose scary new laws that make it illegal for anyone to suggest that witches eat babies. Nobody will be prosecuted under any of them, but at least satirists won't be left short of material.
However, we should be worried about the Metropolitan Police's clampdown on witchcraft for reasons that go well beyond lame analogies with the War on Terror. The story, according to the Met, is that young boys are being smuggled into the UK from Africa in order to be slaughtered as part of the spell-performing ritual at some of London's black (as in African, rather than Satanic) churches. I think we can probably agree that this would be pretty awful, if it were happening.
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Jason Kuznicki - 6/26/2005
The police did commission the report mentioned in the article. Whether it contains any useful information is something quite unclear to me, however--We're thoroughly into urban-legend territory here, and it's best to tread carefully.
Mark Brady - 6/26/2005
"The story, according to the Met, is that young boys are being smuggled into the UK from Africa in order to be slaughtered as part of the spell-performing ritual at some of London's black (as in African, rather than Satanic) churches."
From what I have read on the Internet, the Met (Metropolitan Police) are not asserting what this article claims.