Only a week into Ecuador’s worldwide ban on the export of panama hats, the sanctions are beginning to bite. President Rafael Correa has said sanctions will remain in place until the British Government guarantees that it will grant Julian Assange safe passage to Quito.
Hardest hit have been TV documentaries based in hot countries. BBC executives were left speechless today as Diarmaid MacCulloch unleashed a tirade of obscenities and stormed out of a planning meeting for his new series, ‘Christianity: My Meal Ticket’. Although the panama hat will last a lifetime, MacCulloch is known to insist on a brand new hat for each day’s filming.
Croquet clubs have been badly affected. The lack of essential headwear has meant that Team GB’s planned clean sweep of the medals at Rio in 2016 is already in doubt as the start of their intensive preparation has been delayed indefinitely. Croquet is just one of many sports introduced to fill the gaps left after the swimming and cycling schedules were drastically reduced following the discovery that most of the events were pretty much the same.
The lack of suitable ‘Englishman abroad’ apparel has also slowed the exodus of top bankers to centres such as Singapore and Dubai to a trickle, pleasing the Exchequer but pissing off the rest of the country and increasing the risk of riots.
In a late development, Assange has decided a panama would be perfect for his image and has threatened to walk out of the Ecuadorian Embassy and divulge all their secrets unless he gets one. Unfortunately none of the staff has a spare that is sufficiently large. Foreign Secretary William Hague has established a hat-free zone around the embassy and a standoff has developed.