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The bottom line on Africa's wind of change

By Robert McNeill

Published 04/02/2011

We've had upheavals in Tunisia and Egyptshire. Malawi could well be next.

For its government has taken repression to a new low: forbidding the bottoms of men from blowing raspberries.

Dr Bingu O'Blenkinsop's administration wants to outlaw breaking wind.

Talk about a breach of human rights.

Citizens in the controversial African country could be punished for "fouling the air".

Opposition campaigners expressed bewilderment.

One said: "I do not know how fouling the air should take priority over regulating Chinese investments." My point exactly.

Another thought the move impractical: "Children will openly deny having passed bad air and point at an elder." In this country, one of these intellectuals who leave comments online said: "Well, I'm gonna try imposing a similar rule in our bedroom every morning between the hours of 6am and 8am. You wouldn't believe what I am subjected to."

She added: "And, believe me, there is never any doubt about who is responsible - the one chuckling proudly to himself whilst wafting the evil whiff in my direction."

I feel your pain, madam. However, it's inhuman to stop a man backfiring. In many marriage beds, it's the only fun he gets.

Sir Harold Macmillan once spoke of a "wind of change" blowing through Africa, but I can't think this is what he meant.

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