Following closely on the heels of a newly passed Scottish law outlawing “offensive behavior” at soccer matches, the government of the United Kingdom today officially approved legislation making it illegal for fans of the sport (known in the U.K. as “football”) to think bad thoughts about opposing teams or fans.
“We are all concerned about individual privacy rights,” said U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, “but football-related violence is one of our country’s greatest shames, and violent actions spring from violent thoughts. Therefore, we must combat this issue at its source: Our traitorous, disloyal minds.”
The new law, dubbed the Mental Boorishness Prevention Act, shall be enforced by a new department, the Ministry of Civility, with the use of a sophisticated device known as a cerebrometer. Cerebrometers, which scan brain waves in order to detect sectarianism, hostility or “general aggro-ness,” are to be placed prominently in soccer stadiums, pubs and the homes of particularly troublesome individuals. Any fan whose disposition is determined to be insufficiently positive will be subject to re-education or, in extreme cases, a mysterious rehabilitative procedure known as the Ludovico Technique.
Reactions to the legislation were mixed. When asked their opinion on the subject, spectators at the Old Trafford stadium, home of the famed Manchester United club, would only smile nervously and voice their support for their own team, then hurriedly emphasize that that support in no way implied any antipathy towards opposing teams, then run away.
On the other hand, This Is the Sports contributor and U.K. native Archie Walkenshire was strongly critical, saying, “Are you taking the piss out of me? The bloody Lords must be barmy! ‘Tisn’t real football if I can’t fink the other team’s a pile of bloomin’ prats! And tell ’em so to their grotty faces, for ‘at matter, and leave ’em wiv a Chelsea Smile for their trouble! Blimey, somefing must be done!” Walkenshire then donned a Guy Fawkes mask and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
However, the new law does seem to have had a pacifying effect on Manchester fans. After the start of today’s match, the crowd would often break into repetitive chants of “LET’S JUST ALL HAVE FUN,” and by the game’s conclusion, a record low of only seven knife fights had broken out in the stands.