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Best-selling author and former glamour model Katie Price has announced her distaste of the censorship of her work in the communist states of China and North Korea.
This week, Katie Price launched a campaign to get her books published, her music released and her website listed in China and North Korea. Both countries have for years banned media that is in anyway offensive or contains anti-communism messages. Despite this being a blanket ban, Katie seems to take it personally, feeling that her early work as a glamour model must be the reason and launching an online petition to get the censorship laws in these countries changed. The Daily Skid wanted to find out more about what Katie had planned and sent our entertainment correspondent, Phil Woods, to meet with her for a chat.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Katie. Firstly, what triggered this campaign?
It’s simple really, these countries think they can get away with anything. Why should they ban my books? I’ve worked very hard on them and won awards. I don’t particularly like Egg Foo Young but you don’t see me banning it from Chinese restaurants do you. I think it’s selfish and I am taking a stand.
Why do you think they censored your work in the first place?
That Kim lady president in North Korea is just jealous, I have to put up with a lot of jealousy from people. I can picture the phone call between her and the prime minister in China, they probably sat there laughing at how annoyed I would get. They are denying the people of China and Korea of such an important piece of literature. At least their friends in the south of Korea can read it.
You do know it’s probably nothing personal against you and that all books from the west are banned?
But I’m not from the west, I’m from the south. Is this to do with that holiday in Torquay? That was years ago, I can’t believe they’re holding that against me.
I don’t think you understand. They have banned many books, it really isn’t just you.
I know they have banned many books, I’ve written 39 of them, and that is many. Perhaps if I reissue my books with dog recipes in them, the North Korean government would like them more.
You say the internet in China is a problem. What is the problem in particular?
Well, I was in China recently and went to an internet cafe, like the ones we have in Britain but without loads of books for rent. When I was there I decided to search for my own name, as you do, I was shocked to find a come up with a ’38FF Error’ code. It seems that they won’t allow people to search for me anywhere in China. What have I ever done to hurt them?
Probably nothing, Katie. Do you think you’ll achieve your goal of freeing up censorship in the East?
There isn’t a problem in Newcastle.
We meant the Orient, the eastern part of the world.
Oh! Like China and stuff? Yes, I will, I am determined and will ensure that everyone in those countries has access to my books, photos, perfume and clothing ranges, just like they deserve to.
What will you do to celebrate if you achieve what David Cameron, Barack Obama and other world leaders have failed to do?
I will treat both China and North of Korea to a book signing tour. I did one in England recently and lots of people came. The only one I am disappointed with is one I did at Borders, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. A couple of unknown comedy authors went there and sold more books than me in their signing. Still, you don’t hear of them these days, do you?
No Katie, you don’t. Thank you for your time and good luck in your venture.
One of Katie Price’s books was nominated for children’s book of the year in 2008 and she has won many awards, including ‘Celebrity Mum of the Year’. We did try to explain the basics of communism and censorship but sadly it didn’t sink in. We do, however, wish her the best of luck in everything she does in the future.
(Editor: Are you not going to tell her who the authors were that she mentioned in her final answer? Phil Woods: Best not, but click here for a clue!)
The infamous Chinese law known as the ‘Family Planning Policy’, which limits many families in China to having just one child, is about to be relaxed in an unprecedented move by the communist state.
Since 1979, many people in China have been restricted to having just one child. The law was originally brought in to curb the growth of the world’s largest population. The government cited social, economic and environmental reasons for the original law, however it has been widely criticised for causing an increase in abortion. A few years ago the law was relaxed when it was announced that parents could try for a second child if their first was a female or disabled. Now, in a welcome move, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has announced that the one-child rule will be increased to allow 1.4 children per family.
In a speech to the NPC (National People’s Congress) last week, Xi Jinping explained, “We have to move into the new century, we have to do this whilst being constant to Communist beliefs. We have therefore decided that couples can now increase their child-bearing aspirations by almost half. This move will allow people to have much more choice and yet still gives the government control over everyone. Everybody wins.”
When he was asked how people are expected to have 0.4 of a child, he responded with, “That’s a silly question, of course someone can’t have 0.4 of a child, how ridiculous would that be. People can share. Every five couples can share two children, it’s simple maths.”
Human Rights activist Won Long Mone was not convinced, “Here they go again, telling people what to do. Anyone listening would think this is a communist state! I’ve never heard so much rubbish. That Ping bloke, or whatever he is called, needs his head seeing to, he’s a disgrace. I bet you this whole law was created to help contraception companies increase their profits. Obsessed with nonsense that Chinese lot. If I want nine children, I will have nine children, even if I have to hide them in the cellar.”
William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, told The Daily Skid, “We have opened trade talks with China and they’ll be sending us lots of business, so we don’t think it’s right for us to comment on this matter. If they want to restrict how many children their subjects should have, who are we to interfere. In any case, we aren’t in China, so what are you worried about?”
Kim Jong-un, Leader of another communist state, North Korea, liked the idea, “I love the idea of restricting the amount of children people are allowed to give birth to. Especially in my family, imagine what a baby of mine would look like, the hair would be completely daft. What we could do is take a leaf out of Herod’s book, remember him? The guy who killed all those babies just to find baby Jesus. Well, we’d have found Jesus too, we like to do things properly!”
The new law is likely to come into force on 31st January, just in time for the Chinese New Year. The new year will be the Chinese Year of the Horse and is seen as the main reason a lot of British supermarkets have opened branches in Beijing.
The government has bowed to pressure from social action groups and charities and agreed that from 2014 the month after October should be renamed Yesvember.
Say No, No, No To Negativity, the social action group that has led the campaign, is thrilled at the news. Its spokeswoman Posy Jungle said, “Britain has become a very negative country. Many years ago we were constantly told ‘We can do it’, ‘Make do and mend’ and ‘Say it with flowers’. That third slogan is irrelevant and I don’t know why I mentioned it. These days we keep hearing ‘Don’t park there’, ‘Stop or I’ll shoot’ and ‘If you say that one more time I’ll insert this garden gnome in your rectum’. It’s disheartening. This news will change the face of Britain next year, quite literally as people will smile every time they see and hear ‘Yesvember’.”
Howard Plinth, Director of pressure group A Change Is As Good As A Pest seemed to disagree. “Poppycock! Why does everything have to change? It’s not even true that Britain is negative. Only last week a stranger smiled at me in the centre of London, of all places. I think she was Japanese or something. Anyway, what about perpetual calendars, computer software and children’s educational toys that all have ‘November’ on them? It won’t be a positive day when they all become worthless.”
Harry Vermin of the charity Positive Thinking For A Better Britain felt that the people of Britain need to properly engage with the change in order for it to work. “I’m sick of all the negativity around the change to Yesvember. People keep saying it won’t work, it’s so demoralising. If people don’t change their attitude I may as well give up. I can’t see it working out. We’re all doomed.”
Some of the great thinkers of our time, including Edward de Bono and Stephen Pinker, last night attended an event to celebrate the government’s decision. It was announced during the event that Positive Thinking For A Better Britain is hoping to garner support for its idea to change words such as noble, noise and nod. Vermin told us, “Nodding and talking about nobility are very positive things to do but those words contain the word ‘no’. And noise generally has negative connotations, ignoring that it can be a wonderful thing. If these anomalies aren’t resolved to make Britain a better place I’ll resign and some other sucker can waste their time.”
Naturally, Plinth disagreed. “He would say that, he doesn’t understand that language has changed enough, thank you very much. I hope he doesn’t want to change the word ‘abnormal’ even though it contains ‘no’. We need a word to describe him.”
Vermin replied with a convincing retort. “Consider this”, he said. “When I was a lad taking photographs I had to have ‘negatives’ developed and it took ages to see the photos I’d taken. People didn’t take many photos because of all the waiting involved and all the negative talk. Suddenly people stopped needing ‘negatives’, and the less negative language has resulted in an increase in the number of photographs taken, spreading joy throughout the communities of Britain. I believe even some mobile telephones now have a camera in them. That’s the power of positive language.”
There are also moves afoot to broaden the horizons of this positivity. Jungle added, “Here at Say No, No, No To Negativity we want to get other countries involved too. There are a few countries with ‘no’ in their name and this is having a negative effect. It’s no coincidence that North Korea is a dictatorship, Norway is so dark, things aren’t going well in Lebanon and San Marino is so small. They all need to lighten up and have positive names.”
Like it or not, it looks like Yesvember is here to stay – for 30 days anyway – and it may be spreading.
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