Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
"We've heard France is nice at all times of the year."
At the end of 2013, "transitional curbs" on the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who can live and work in the European Union will be lifted.
But Britain is looking ahead. Ministers are brainstorming a "negative advertising campaign" in those countries -- targeting Britain. The Guardian reports that one man behind the report seeks to "correct the impression that the streets are paved with gold."
While the government ponders ways to smear itself abroad, Guardian readers have jumped right ahead in a poster contest sponsored by the newspaper. One shows England sinking beneath rising sea levels. Several attest to the famously bad weather. Here are some suggested slogans:
- "UK? YUK!"
- "IT'S BETTER WHERE YOU ARE. FANCY HANGING ON THE BEACH WITH DAVID CAMERON AND OBSERVING DEAD SEAGULLS? NEITHER DO WE. BRITAIN IS SHIT."
- "Britain -- we only haven't left ourselves because the public transport isn't running."
- "Don't come to Britain: It's full... of alcopops, asbestos, bad housing, bishops, the British, chavs, Closer magazine, corrupt politicians, cuts, the Daily Mail, dodgy scientists, dogging, drugs with stupid names, drunks, dying bees, dying trees, the EDL, England, fascists, fat-necked imbeciles..." And so on.
Our favorite? A poster of David Cameron with the text, "Government Isn't Great. Britain. We're ashamed of him. Romanians and Bulgarians welcome."
Check out the full collection of posters on their site.
Top image: Flickr user Wally Grom.