Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) March 10, 2009 -- Circuses have long been ham-strung as the result of cruelty-to-animals groups. Now bureaucracy has struck once again at the battle weary UK circuses, at a time when laughter is needed more than ever, as the world reels from the worst financial disaster in history. Urgently required professional clowns are left stranded, jobless, in Europe, because of bureaucracy's bungling inefficiency.
United Kingdom's immigration authorities recently set up a new points-based system, in an effort to stop illegal immigrants. Their website says the new rules are seen as being a 'significantly more straightforward and transparent structure'.
Based on their unique skills and ability, foreign professional trapeze artists, acrobats and clowns, have always been able to secure the required number of points, enabling them to gain entry into the United Kingdom. However, ringmasters are left bereft, complaining that there are numbers of problems with the new system. Things like faulty computer software, through to embassy staff who do not have the training to operate the new system. Desperately needed talent, for the new season, which commenced in February for English circuses, are not getting to the big tops.
Owner and ringmaster of the Great British Circus, outspoken Martin Lacey, says, "I've got comedy acrobats stranded in the Ukraine, horse riders who have been refused visas in Ulan Batur, Mongolia and a clown stuck in Mexico". Lacey has been forced to draft last-minute substitutes. "We have a trapeze artist pretending to be a stooge, just to keep everybody out of trouble. It's an absolute mess"!
Circuses have long been a way of helping people get through the tough times. White faces clowns, in oversized shoes, with a particular sense of humour have made people laugh at themselves, no matter how bad the circumstances are.
Clownless circuses comes in the middle of a world economical crisis, when families are desperate to make every cent count and ensure they get value for their money. Humour is serious business, for it helps people to relate to the reality of life and often get a new perspective on it. Clownless circuses are no laughing matter, as people are forced to pay for something they are not getting. All because of bungling bureaucrats.
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