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  1. Politics
27 October 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:10am

Top 10 absurd things they tried to ban

In honour of the Italian seaside town that recently banned miniskirts, here is our pick of the best

By Rob Higson

The Italian seaside town of Castellammare di Stabia recently announced its intention to ban miniskirts. Mayor Luigi Bobbio said the regulations would help “restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil coexistence”.

In honour of Italian puritanos, here is a sneak peek at our pick of the best banned items.

1. October 2010 – Miniskirts

Castellammare di Stabia bans miniskirts and other revealing clothing.

2. September 2010 – Vuvuzelas

Uefa bans blowing of vuvuzelas at European football matches.

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3. May 2010 – Beards

Japanese bureaucrats in Isesaki are instructed to shave.

4. September 2007 – Water

The New Zealand MP Jacqui Dean falls for a hoax calling for a ban on “dihydrogren monoxide”.

5. February 2005 – Low-slung trousers

A “droopy drawers bill” is passed in Virginia state house to outlaw trousers worn so low that underwear is visible.

6. August 2004 – Smiling

Open-mouthed smiling banned in UK passport photos.

7. April 2004 – Gold teeth

The president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, bans oral bling.

8. March 1990 – Broccoli

President George H W Bush bans broccoli from the White House and Air Force One.

9. June 1940 – Ice cream

Benito Mussolini halts sales of ice cream across Italy, describing it as being “too American”.

10. 1989* – Scrabble

Nicolae Ceauşescu, president of Romania, bans the board game, deeming it “too intellectual”.

* – Struggling to source the exact date of this. Do any Staggers followers out there know more about the Great Romanian Scrabble Ban?

 

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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