December 2005 Archives

Evening_Standard_15th_December_2005.jpg
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This astonishingly evil advertisment appeared on the back page of the Evening Standard newspaper, underneath the Quick Crossword and Sudoku puzzles on Thursday 15tth December 2005.

At the bottom left is the www.sheperdneame.co.uk website URL. On the right is a graphic of a beer pump with a Spitfire badge. All well and good so far.

Just to left of the beer pump badge is the slogan "A bottle of Britain", an obvious pun on the the "Battle of Britain" and "Spitfire" references which have been a theme in the advertising of this beer for several years, in a spurious attempt to cash in on the heroism of others.

However, in the middle of the advert, presumably to tie in with the crossword puzzle direcly above is a fake "crossword clue":

"_ _ SS"
"German lager (4)

Incredibly, the "SS" is not even in roman characters, but uses the double lighting bolt symbol of the Nazi SS - the Schutz Staffel, who were Hitler's bodyguards and who went on to run the Nazi extermination camps and commit other warcrimes and genocide !

This is utterly unnacceptable as an advert -

  1. The use of unambiguously Nazi genocide symbols to advertise a mediocre British beer, is insulting to the victims of the SS and to present day Germans.

    Shepherd Neame, their advertising agency and the Evening Standard are to blame for this disgrace, and they should all apologise in public.

    Ideally they should donate some money towards a Holocaust education charity, and send the "creatives" and management responsible on a Holocaust awareness training course.

  2. It casts an unwarranted aspersion on German lager, which, despite Shepherd Neame's claims is regulated by the Reinheitsgebot German Beer Purity Law of 1516 i.e. hops, malt, yeast and water and nothing else.

    Even if Nazi SS symbols had not been used, and a normal double S had been used instead, the distasteful implication is still that "German lager" equates to PISS i.e. urine.

  3. It belittles the memory of the Battle of Britain pilots, aircrew and Spitfire aeroplane manufacturing workers - what has a 21st century beer (which only has a "history" back to 1990) got to do with them anyway ?

The Advertising Standards Agency must issue some advice to the UK Advertising industry and to the media, that , with the World Cup finals to be played in Germany next year, this sort of Nazi Germany / Genocide advertising is utterly wrong.

The ASA's record on censuring previous Shepherd Neame adverts using the word "nazi" is abysmal., According to their 2003 annual report (.pdf), despite 98 complaints, they did not even bother to investigate.

There should be some humour about World War 2, but this advert is not funny.

Given the current row involving the Evening Standard and Ken Livingstone over his "concentration camp guard" (i.e. the Nazi SS) insults against one of their Jewish reporters, one would have expected the Evening Standard newspaper to have exercised some common sense and to have rejected this stupid and evil advert.

The Metropolitan Police Authority seems to be holding a conference called "Together Against terror ?" this Monday 12th December 2005 at theCentral Westminster Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster SW1H 9NH.

Only the most dedicated fans of the MPA website could have known about this conference, as the Press Release was only issued on Friday 9th December 2005 !

On 12 December 2005 the Metropolitan Police Authority will be will be holding a one-day conference, ‘Together Against Terror?’, with the aim of widening the London and national debate on how our society should respond to the terrorist threat.

Surely they cannot be serious in thinking that this one day conference with a hand picked audience, coupled with an unscientific and insecure online opinion poll, is actually a genuine "public consultation" ?

This exercise needs to be repeated many more times than just this one day conference. There should be at least one of these conferences in each of the 34 London Boroughs !


Conference Themes and Speakers:

David Miliband, the NuLabour Minister of Communities and Local Government cuckoo lurking inside John Prescott's Office of the Deputy Prime Minister empire, has issued a consultation paper which proposes some changes in the the powers of the Mayor of London and of the Greater London Assembly.

Apart from giving a glimpse into the incredibly complicated bureaucracy and multiple overlapping and conflicting layers of Government and supposedly independent or "politically accountable" oversight of various London wide services, there are some questions which the consultation paper asks, which are important enough for the General Public to make their views known, not just the so called "stakeholder" organisations / vested interests. e.g. What exactly has the Government Office for London ? Who can actually name the Minister for London ?

The Consultation paper (88 page .pdf) can be downloaded from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website::

The Greater London Authority: The Government's proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly

Audience: Londoners, London borough councils, English county councils, national organisations and those with an interest in London issues

Consultation period: 30 November 2005 to 22 February 2006

The proposal to give the Greater London Assembly the ability scrutinise and to delay if necessary, the Mayor's stategic plans is welcome, but the proposal for a two thirds majority, rather than a simple majority, smacks of politiical manipulation.

Similarly the proposal to make the Mayor "take into account" the results of public consultations, something which Ken Livingstone has so blatantly ignored over say the Congestion Charge, may be welcome, but the exact weasel words need to be studied with care.

No doubt the media will latch on to the proposal to make the Mayor become the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, which is supposed to scrutinise the polices and budgets of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Will this really make policing in London better or will it just further politicise the Metropolitan Police Service, and allow the Mayor to meddle in an inappropriate way ?

We will post some more thoughts on this Consultation document, when we have deciphered the jargon.

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Links

Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

Wikipedia article on the London Assembly

The Evening Standard newspaper - fulfills its role by scrutinising the Mayor and the GLA etc. rather more effectively than the politicians and bureaucrats do.

Mayor of London press releases

London Assembly press releases

MayorWatch - commercial news site about the Mayor of London etc.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID - opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to NuLabour's plans for Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

asboconcern logo
ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
Encrypted MI5 web response form NuLabour's "Climate of Fear" is not the same as the real fight against terror.

gamesmonitor_logo_150.gif Games Monitor - "Games Monitor is a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes. We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of the Olympic industry. We seek to deconstruct the 'fantastic' hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the 'urban elites' in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional 'community stakeholders'. "

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area resticting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Act

Ken Livingstone Links

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