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Spirited away

New legislation may make mediums rare

Tea leaves in a fortune teller’s cup

The stars say you’re likely to have a very dull week

Consternation was widespread last week as the government repealed the 1951 Fraudulent Mediums Act and replaced it with generic consumer legislation which would see mediums, psychics, quacks and idiots more heavily regulated. Following a last-minute appeal, however, the bill was changed to exclude mortgage providers from the new regulations.

Any services rendered by a medium, psychic or fortune-teller will now either have to be proved to Trading Standards, or riddled with enough disclaimers to make a Claims Direct advert blush. Professional tarot readers, water diviners and alternative healers are concerned that vindictive or dissatisfied clients will now take practitioners to court, in spite of accepting the limitations of the paranormal bullshit at the time of the services.

‘If you buy a watch and it breaks a week after you’ve had it, you wouldn’t take it back to the shop, would you?’ babbled psychic Marvello Wilcox, ‘So why, if I make a prediction that, a week later, turns out to not have been vague enough to encompass what actually happened, do people get all uptight about it?’

Not everyone was unhappy with the law change, though. One furious punter rang KTAB specifically to rejoice at the downfall of unregulated psychics: ‘They charged me ninety quid and promised that no-one would uncover the five children thing immediately prior to the mayoral election! I might as well have just donated it straight to Boris’s campaign fund.’

‘I predict mediums either will or won’t be affected by this new legislation,’ explained unusually precise astrologer Clairvoyo Timkins, ‘Trouble is, you can’t prove clairvoyance; it’s like God, consciousness or the ever-present threat of terrorism.

‘I suppose the difference is that God doesn’t charge £25 for a half-hour reading.’

A spokesman for the Spiritual Workers’ Association, a union formed to support spiritualists threatened with lawsuits, said ‘This is unfair on genuine spiritualists.’ None were available for comment.


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