Friday, May 18, 2012

ASA Chairman is also Vice President of a ‘highly political’ campaign


It is a question of impartiality, which matters profoundly in political processes where force and influence compete with manipulation and facts: if an organisation with quasi-judicial authority professes to be objective in its investigations, then its senior staff and officers must not only be impartial, they must also be seen to be impartial. There cannot be even the merest hint of a political agenda subverting that professed neutrality or corrupting the overriding commitment to fairness and justice.

But former Labour MP Chris Smith, now Baron Smith of Finsbury PC, is not only Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority; he is also Vice President of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Mr Smith is widely credited with being Britain's first openly gay MP, and doubtless he has helped to inspire a generation of people to be open and honest about their sexuality. And doubtless also he has facilitated beneficial changes in the state’s laws and society’s views which mitigate or eradicate some of the worst discriminations suffered by homosexual people, who are made equally in the image of God and loved just as much by Him as any sinner, despite some appalling sermons to the contrary preached from the worst of church pulpits.

But Lord Smith’s courage is not merely historical: he continues to advance his cause. And he does so by exercising an authority which it doesn't actually possess. He became Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority in 2006, and Vice President of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality in 2009. He ought to have been wiser and more discerning, for the Campaign for Homosexual Equality is a ‘direct descendant’ of the ‘highly political’ Homosexual Law Reform Society. And they make no secret about it.

If one is a direct descendent, one inherits certain characteristics and retains a distinct pattern of DNA. That Lord Smith is Vice President of a ‘highly political’ campaign is in no doubt: the objective remains that of advocating for ‘gay rights’ and agitating aggressively for favourable legislation, regardless of the extent to which each incremental change impinges upon the rights and liberties of others. The more militaristic homosexuals – often termed ‘gayers’ or ‘homosexualists’ – are now responsible for spreading the very sorts of oppression, persecution and alienation historically suffered by their co-sexualists.

It is, of course, entirely possible that the decision of the ASA to investigate a perfectly innocuous advertisement promoting traditional marriage had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Chairman of the ASA also happens to be Vice President of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality. But consider, if you will, what might have come to pass if the Chairman of the ASA had been Lord Carey, who happens also to be involved in a highly political campaign to defend the historic definition of marriage as a union of complementary genders. What if just 10 Christians had complained to the ASA under his chairmanship that the website Pink News was carrying an advertisement showing happy gay couples contracting in civil partnerships, and that the complainants considered this to be ‘offensive' and 'Christianophobic’. Absurd? Quite possibly. But that is the very vein of the allegation made by 10 homosexuals against His Grace: no rationale, no reasoning; just the ‘feeling’ of offence caused.

And then consider what the response of the militant homosexuals would doubtless have been if Lord Carey had sent a demand to Pink News, requiring them to justify themselves within seven days, and doing so with threats of punitive action against them. What hordes of aggressive homosexualists would have descended upon the ASA offices? What vile hatred would have been spouted in the gay blogosphere and on Twitter about the nasty, bigoted, right-wing, intolerant, homophobic Lord Carey? What campaign of intimidation would have been waged against His Lordship and his ASA minions as they laboriously fended off the left-liberal media and coped with tens of thousands of hate-emails?

The ASA would, of course, have backed down immediately, and apologised profusely.

And now ask yourself what subtle influences Lord Smith of Finsbury might be bringing to the ASA which would cause his staff to be ever-so-slightly more sensitive to their chairman’s personal preferences and political proclivities. After all, employees tend to seek favourable acknowledgement and advancement and reward from their superiors. The decision to escalate vexatious and frivolous complaints of ‘homophobia’ to the level of ‘formal investigation’, and monitoring compliance with proactive checks to ensure that ‘homophobic’ publishers are harassed and ‘offensive’ advertisements swiftly eradicated, will do members of the ASA’s Investigations Executive no harm at all under a chairman whose primary political objective is to eradicate 'homophobia'.

The ASA is not a statutory body, but a self-selected élite originally convened to ensure that a product does what it says on the tin. Under Lord Smith, the organisation has gradually extended its remit, now seeking to threaten, bully, intimidate and censor even moderate expressions of moral opinion which are fully protected by Article 10 of the ECHR. The process of being investigated or of being ‘required’ to justify oneself is itself the punishment. The ASA cares increasingly less about what is in the tin, but seeks now to ensure that all logos, designs and small-print on the tin conform to the liberal-fascist neo-Marxist school of social theory.

Lord Smith is clearly conflicted, and the mere appearance of compromised impartiality and questionable objectivity is bringing the ASA into disrepute. The decision to investigate the Campaign for Marriage advertisement would not have been taken had Lord Carey been its chairman, and that decision would have been subject to unremitting scrutiny. A man cannot serve two masters. Either Lord Smith must resign his chairmanship of the ASA or his vice-presidency of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality. For as long as the latter advances a ‘highly political’ cause which may affect the decisions and judgments of the former, the conflict of interests is manifest to all fair and right-minded people, whatever their religion or sexuality.

102 Comments:

Blogger James Reade said...

Broken record?

Just make your complaint to the ASA and stop throwing your toys out of the pram, making personal attacks on all and sundry and generally sulking in the corner.

18 May 2012 at 09:42  
Blogger Utar Efson said...

Personal attacks, James, given the highly personal focus of your own post?

Tsk, tsk. The absence of self awareness of young people these days...

UE

18 May 2012 at 09:46  
Blogger Pam said...

that is the very vein of the allegation made by 10 homosexuals against His Grace

Confused here.

I thought the complaints were about the advert not the Archbishop Cranmer blog and that the author of the Archbishop Cranmer blog was contacted, along with others, to ask what relevance the ad had to their readers?

I'm also puzzled about what course of action you think the ASA should take when people lodge a complaint? Make a ruling withput investigating, perhaps?

18 May 2012 at 09:47  
Blogger Jimbo said...

The Gaystapo strikes again.

18 May 2012 at 09:53  
Blogger GGAANN said...

What has so upset Mr James Reade? You must address the points in the post, if you have a view that we should hear then make it.

I do not think the suggestion that there is a potential conflict of interest within the leadership of the ASA, furthermore that it might express itself through the over enthusiastic and perhaps unthinking actions of the rank and file is not without merit when one considers the details of this case.

Undoubtedly the ASA has a valuable role to fill but it must not lose the trust of the "customers" it serves

18 May 2012 at 09:56  
Blogger DaveR said...

"Make a ruling withput investigating, perhaps?"

When it falls outside their remit, yes. The whole episode is made ridiculous not by the attempt at censorship, which is bad enough, but by the fact that a mere Advertising Standards Agency is trying to do it.

Again, reference needs to be made to the original communication, which the ASA has subsequently misrepresented. Personally, if I were Cranmer I would focus on that aspect - the ASA were trying to use their authority illicitly, and now they've been caught are lying about it. Some accountability needs to be urgently introduced.

18 May 2012 at 09:59  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

I believe that the complaints were about the advert, as found on the blog, rather than the adverts in a general sense. As such, it is clearly targeting His Grace just as much as the advert.
As to the appropriate action, I believe His Grace has already suggested alternatives, like checking if those that claimed to speak for the Jewish gay group (I forget their name) actually did and also try to find out if the complaints had any specific reason that they felt offended. After all, as has been said by many others elsewhere, if I were to take offence to anything and complain about it any sane society would expect me to have an at least vaguely logical reason for that offence that led me to complain about it.
Oh, and also the fact that it is not His Grace's advert would suggest that the sensible action would be to speak to C4M about the complaints, rather than a random blog that happens to promote it.

And as for James, the only thing I can add to what Utar has already said is thus:
If you don't like it, don't read it!

18 May 2012 at 10:00  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Quite right, Your Grace, a clear conflict of interest.
Smithy must go!

18 May 2012 at 10:00  
Blogger Alan Douglas said...

LDHT or LGHT - does Lord Smith know the difference ?

PS LDHT - legal, decent, honest and truthful, the ASA slogan. At the very least, their 2nd email explaining is far less that truthful, and their original demands are cloaked in a legal authority it simply does not have.

Alan Douglas

18 May 2012 at 10:05  
Blogger GGAANN said...

Pam, suggest you invest a little time reading the earlier blog posts. Will reduce confusion - promise. Your point about what the ASA should do is a good one. My suspicion is that the processes that have been developed to deal with media businesses will not be suitable for individual bloggers, whose ashes are sensitive, overworked,and without funds.

I think this spat will confirm that individuals will be intimidated and free speech will be impaired unless the ASA changes its approach.

I think the potential conflict of interest that also has had light on it should be answered by the chairman directly

18 May 2012 at 10:05  
Blogger Hereward said...

His Grace is the real target. He was singled out for attention by those inciting their sympathisers in authority to close him down.

18 May 2012 at 10:19  
Blogger Pam said...

I've read the previous posts.

I've also read some comment which doesn't take everything the Archbishop Cranmer blog says at face value, eg David Rattigan here:

http://davidlrattigan.com/archbishop-cranmer-versus-advertising-standards/

18 May 2012 at 10:23  
Blogger Pam said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 May 2012 at 10:28  
Blogger Pam said...

His Grace is the real target. He was singled out for attention by those inciting their sympathisers in authority to close him down

If that's the case, launching a personal attack on the integrity of an individual - rather than the ASA as a body - seems unlikely to help.

18 May 2012 at 10:30  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

The ASA has no power within its self to force anyone to do anything. Their aggressive stance is therefore out of proportion. Perhaps that is why they pretend to be so important in order to frighten advertisers into action.

Their principal power is to publish findings on their website to embarrass the advertiser. Since the majority of complaints are not pursued, why this inoffensive one. Surely anyone with a modicum of sense would consider the C4M advert as justifiable and inoffensive?

On the ASA website it states; Ultimately, the ASA can refer non-broadcast advertisers who persistently break the Codes to the Office of Fair Trading for legal action under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.

Without co-operation the ASA is virtually powerless, so transparency in operation, without agenda, politeness and truthfulness are essential for this independent organisation to exist.

18 May 2012 at 10:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, it is imperative that the Minister responsible for the tax-payer funded ASA investigate its recent actions. For a consumer protection quango to be running a cyber-Star Chamber on a blogger not related to the target advert is outrageous. From the actions of the ASA one would think the C4M advertisement was His Grace's creation, and it is not.

Taxpayers are entitled to transparency in the actions of their government and its agencies. One can imagine that Lord Smith may, at some point in the progress of his progressive career, have been an ardent supporter of the drive for freedom of information. Sadly the agency that Lord Smith now heads seems more interested in Eastern-bloc style secrecy.

It is quite extraordinary that the ASA can disclose the name of an entity whose complaint was unauthorised but is unable to give the names of apparently authorised complainants. School children play at 'reverse' days and so it seems does the ASA.

However there is nothing childish in what appears to be the ASA's intent - to silence His Grace's blog for all time by tying the blogger up in endless quasi-judicial procedures.

18 May 2012 at 10:44  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

The conflict of interest doesn’t end there. Lord Smith of Finsbury is also the Chairman of the Environment Agency.

The Advertising Standards Authority under Lord Smith has ruled that that 98% of ads with shady environmental claims were compliant. However, outside of the UK most of the claims by the likes of Greenpeace FoE and WWF have been proved not to be so.

It's fracking scandal

18 May 2012 at 10:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Clear evidence of current Left wing bias within the ASA. 1 being overtly pro Hamas/Fatah propaganda from the PSD; 2 Left wing trademark lack of a sense of humour.

1
In July 2009 the ASA banned an Israeli tourism poster following complaints. Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and 442 members of the public complained about how the map on the poster displayed the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights as part of Israel.

2
In February 2012, the ASA ruled that the local Northampton furniture store Sofa King could not use a tagline stating that their prices were "Sofa King low" because it would be considered "likely to cause serious and widespread offense"


wiki.

18 May 2012 at 10:51  
Blogger Hereward said...

If that's the case, launching a personal attack on the integrity of an individual - rather than the ASA as a body - seems unlikely to help.

There are important issues of conflict of interest that need to be aired and resolved. His Grace gave credit where it was due:

And doubtless also he has facilitated beneficial changes in the state’s laws and society’s views which mitigate or eradicate some of the worst discriminations suffered by homosexual people, who are made equally in the image of God and loved just as much by Him as any sinner, despite some appalling sermons to the contrary preached from the worst of church pulpits.

18 May 2012 at 10:52  
Blogger William said...

Pam

His Grace has attempted to tackle the body and received a ton of whitewash in reply (or should that be tin?). It's time to address the head is it not? Standard complaining procedure I'd have thought.

18 May 2012 at 10:53  
Blogger William said...

Dreadnaught @10:51

Still chuckling at that! Made my morning. Have 5 recommends on me!

18 May 2012 at 10:56  
Blogger Prodicus said...

The ASA's 'process punishment' of Cranmer in this case is ultra vires.

C4M is a 'cause'. Advertisements for 'causes' and 'political activity' lie outside the remit of the ASA which has no locus standii in such matters, as its gay-activist chairman must (surely?) know and should instruct his lamentably incompetent staff, without further delay.

The ASA should write to Cranmer forthwith nullifying all its previous remarks to him, with appropriate apologies for having caused him distress and expense. Being a Christian, he may well choose to turn the other cheek and let the matter rest. Personally, and speaking as a Christian, I would sue the bastards to remind them to do their homework before throwing their weight around in future.

Á propos, imagine the uproar if they had picked on a commentator from some other, more aggressive religion instead of a Christian. As if.

18 May 2012 at 11:00  
Blogger graham wood said...

Pam said:
"If that's the case, launching a personal attack on the integrity of an individual - rather than the ASA as a body - seems unlikely to help."

But Pam, you seem to have an odd 'kink in your think' about the whole disreputable incident. It is not Cranmer who is launching an "attack" but rather the reverse for all the reasons Cranmer has so eloquently elucidated. It is the ASA!.
Cranmer rightly points out the strange inconsistency in the official positions of Chris Smith.
That is not a "personal attack".
Some would even argue that these positions held by Smith are mutually exclusive. I believe so, and Cranny is right to call for Smith's resignation from one, or the other.
Re your earlier reference to "along with others" (who have displayed the C4M ad on their blogs).
But it was precisely the point made by Cranmer that his blog alone had been singled out for attention. To my knowledge, this has not been the case for others?
But to get back to the original issue at stake here, so few of the rather pernickity critics of the ad, displaying happy smiling faces of married couples on their most important day, appear to be able to say how such photos are remotely "homophobic" ? (many of us don't actually recognise this vacuous word, but let that pass).
"Homphobic" in your book or not, Pam? If so, why?

18 May 2012 at 11:03  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Dear Miss/Mrs/Ms Pam,

As His Grace has explained at some length to Mr Rattigan, you are free to believe, disbelieve or doubt as much as you wish. His Grace has nothing to hide on this matter: your post with that link remains upon this blog to affirm the fact (His Grace usually summarily deletes hyperlinks, which this is not).

David Rattigan is clearly pursuing his own agenda to make hay and boost his own profile. Just pause and consider for one minute: if any of his scurrilous innuendo and aspersion-casting had any validity, ask yourself why the ASA has not responded using any of his pathetic reasoning. The fisked response is the fullness of the ASA riposte to His Grace's assertions. If, as the Rattigan thesis proposes, His Grace were misleading or misinforming or being duplicitous, why have the ASA not said so in their reply? They could easily have said: 'We clearly wrote "..."' or referred to specific sections of the correspondence to effectively rebut His Grace's questions with 'Did you not read "..."'. But they didn't because they couldn't.

His Grace has no objection in principle to publishing all the pages of the 'bundle' attachments sent to him by the ASA, but in totality it is very large, marked 'confidential', and identifies sundry others who may not wish it to be publicly known that they are being investigated or are part of the investigation. His Grace is limited in the extent to which he can quote from the material, and is acting under legal advice. If David Rattigan wishes to place in writing in a legally-enforceable contract that he is prepared to meet all His Grace's legal costs which may arise from any aggrieved parties as a result of total disclosure, His Grace will publish it all. He is not prepared to be irresponsible, and is certainly not going to dedicate hours of his time to a vexatious demand from one person to redact and blank out 'sensitive' details in order to satisfy idle curiosity. This, in any case, would still leave 'gaps', which clearly are unacceptable to David Rattigan.

18 May 2012 at 11:12  
Blogger Pam said...

David Rattigan is clearly pursuing his own agenda to make hay and boost his own profile

Good heavens, imagine anyone using a blog to do that! *shocked face*

18 May 2012 at 11:16  
Blogger graham wood said...

Prodicus. Absolutely right when you say:
"The ASA's 'process punishment' of Cranmer in this case is ultra vires. C4M is a 'cause'. Advertisements for 'causes' and 'political activity' lie outside the remit of the ASA"

The Vicar of Ugley whose site also displays the ad, made the same point a couple of days ago, with the slight addition of the word "ideas" - to quote from the ASA's site:
"Journalistic and editorial comment related to causes and ideas are excluded"

Say no more!

18 May 2012 at 11:21  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Dear Rev'd Pam (His Grace did not omit your ecclesial title on purpose; he merely forgot and apologises),

If that is the reasoned sum total of your response to His Grace's paragraphs, then shame on you. You have been very keen to draw attention to and propagate scurrilous slander and speculative innuendo upon his blog, which is his space. Please either respond to His Grace's substantive points, or eschew your association with Rattigan.

18 May 2012 at 11:24  
Blogger Pam said...

LOL :D

18 May 2012 at 11:36  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

In the spirit of Nigel "I don't mean to be rude" Farage , I say this bloke looks like a cross between Michael Caine and a frog.

18 May 2012 at 11:39  
Blogger Kiwi said...

Seems to me that Gramsci's "long march through the institutions" has now become reality, no matter how obscure the institution.

18 May 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

Revd. Pam, thanks for the link to Rattigan's website.

There seems to be some kind of imagination failure in Mr Rattgan's comments on the ASA vs Cranmer case. Firstly, His Grace is clearly pressed for time given the ASA demands on him. So why add to his burden? Secondly, making self-indulgent and not very constructive points from the side-lines does nothing for the central issue, protecting the right to freedom of speech.

Curiously, although His Grace has received messages of support from traditional enemies such as the National Secular Society, who are able to recognise the threat to bloggers, there seems no generosity of spirit or support in Mr Rattigan's blog comments. More schadenfreude than sympathy, but then Mr Rattigan does support the introduction of same-sex marriage.

18 May 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

Archbishop, I've been more than fair to you in what I've written, and I've given you plenty of opportunity to respond reasonably to questions and requests. In return, you simply accuse me of slandering you, casting aspersions, making innuendos and using pathetic reasoning. It makes me wonder whether you actual read what I wrote or simply skimmed it for anything that reflected less than favourably on you.

I've also been more than clear about the conclusions I've reached: That the ASA is dishonest and you overreacted. If you want to blow that up into an evil pro-gay, anti-Cranmer agenda, the facts are not on your side.

18 May 2012 at 12:08  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

David Rattigan,

"It makes me wonder whether you actual read what I wrote or simply skimmed it for anything that reflected less than favourably on you."

Ditto. You appear obsessed with pursuing a fantasy.

The invitation is clearly made above and in the public domian: His Grace is acting under legal advice and is adhering to that counsel. Please provide a contract drawn up by your lawyers to absolve His Grace of any potential financial costs relating to any harm or injury (perceived or actual) caused to any party in the disclosure of the documents you request. Publication will then swiftly follow (in medium to be instructed) - no problem, no quibbling, no hesitation at all.

Over to you.

18 May 2012 at 12:19  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

Bluedog, have you read what I've written? I won't link, lest the Archbishop accuses me of trying simply to boost my own profile, but I have supported Cranmer's freedom of speech all along. As soon as this whole thing blew up, I blogged in his support.

18 May 2012 at 12:20  
Blogger bluedog said...

David Rattigan @ 12.20 asks 'have you read what I've written?'

Yes.

18 May 2012 at 12:24  
Blogger Owl said...

Mr. Rattigan,
"That the ASA is dishonest and you overreacted. If you want to blow that up into an evil pro-gay, anti-Cranmer agenda, the facts are not on your side."


er, what! have I missed something?

What facts?

18 May 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

Archbishop, there is no fantasy. The facts are that the most frightening stuff you quoted is from material addressed to third parties. Without being able to see everything in its full context, we have only your word that this was direct persecution, intimidation, harrassment, threatening, etc, of you. The only thing we know for sure was addressed directly to you is that very short email.

If it were a legal issue, why didn't you say that from the start? As soon as I asked if we could see everything in full, the reason you gave was "it's too big."

Re lawyers, etc, I don't have the means or the desire to do that. I've made reasonable inferences from what evidence is available. If you want to produce evidence to satisfy it one way or the other, that's your responsibility. Until then, I'll call it as I see it: The ASA was ham-fisted and dishonest, and you overreacted.

18 May 2012 at 12:34  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 May 2012 at 12:38  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

Bluedog, then how can you call it "curious" that the NSS defended Cranmer's freedom of speech while I didn't? A blog post defending Cranmer's freedom of speech and decrying the complainants was the first thing I wrote about this -- and that was before the NSS said anything.

OWL, sorry if I was unclear. "Pro-gay, anti-Cranmer agenda" was a reference to His Grace's claim that *I* am just pushing an agenda. I've made some balanced criticisms of Cranmer (while defending his free speech and criticizing the ASA), and he thinks I'm slandering him.

18 May 2012 at 12:38  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

Oh dear, It would appear the Lord Smith has failed to declare his Vice Presidency of ‘The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’ in the Parliamentary Register of Interests. This being in contravention of the House of Lords code of conduct.

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-interests/register-of-lords-interests/?letter=S

18 May 2012 at 12:41  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Blue dog said @10:44
the Minister responsible for the tax-payer funded ASA

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the ASA claims not to receive a penny from the tax payer. It receives its funding from the advertising industry on a voluntary basis.

Quite which Government Minister should be responsible seems somewhat of a mystery.

18 May 2012 at 12:41  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Recognising the emphasis by Mr Rattigan on the 'mysterious' third party I get the impression that the said Mr Rattingan is engaging in an attempt to 'Out' the current reincarnated persona of the bold Cranny Mk1 and thereby piss in the font.

Mr R does write rather well though.

18 May 2012 at 12:46  
Blogger Pam said...

[PEDANTIC SIDE NOTE]

There's no need for anyone to address me as 'Rev Pam', any more than they need to address me as 'Mrs/Miss/Ms Pam'.

AFAIK, Technichally a clergy person is the Rev'd Fred Blogs, Mr Blogs or Fred.

'Reverend' isn't part of my name, it's an honorific connected with my role in the church.

I'm posting here as a private individual expressing my own views, so not only is calling me 'Pam' fine but I personally feel think it's more appropriate in this context.

[/PEDANTIC SIDE NOTE]

18 May 2012 at 12:48  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

By Cranny Mk1, you mean His Grace? I know who he is, and I have no desire to "out" him or anyone else involved in this. Perhaps if this were an attempt to feather my own nest and attack Cranmer, as he thinks it is, I would, but that isn't and never has been my aim.

18 May 2012 at 12:50  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

David Rattigan,

You really are obtuse. His Grace has explained AT LEAST TWICE that he was OBLIGED TO INFER from the material addressed to other parties PRECICELY WHAT the ASA demanded OF HIM. Ergo that which was addressed to other parties was clearly intended to instruct and guide him, for there was no other way of gleaning their precise demands.

The ASA (unhelpfully) made absolutely no clarifying request in the email they sent to him (which he defines as the email *message* addressed directly to him personally; not the multiple attached documents, which you insist must constitute the term 'email' [which His Grace calls 'attchments' or 'bundle']).

His Grace's objections to your vexatious demands were all legitimate, and developed as you grew persistent: his initial thought was simply that the whole 'bundle' is just too big for a blog format, being 10 pages long. When you pestered further, he began to consider the consequences of full disclosure to named third parties. And now, having taken legal advice solely as a result of your scurrilous campaign against him, he offers to publish it all, but the risk must be borne by you.

It is curious, though not remotely surprising, that you refuse to take responsibility for this. But doubtless you will simply now add 'legal reasons' to your list of 'evasive excuses'.

18 May 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger graham wood said...

Pam, Thank you for your clarification.

Having cleared the etiquette of nomenclature, perhaps you could now address one or two of the points raised by posters with you, and which you appear not to have noticed thus far.
E.G. the comment raised by 'Prodicus', and which I quoted as follows-

"The ASA's 'process punishment' of Cranmer in this case is ultra vires. C4M is a 'cause'. Advertisements for 'causes' and 'political activity' lie outside the remit of the ASA"

(GW reply)
"The Vicar of Ugley whose site also displays the ad, made the same point a couple of days ago, with the slight addition of the word "ideas" - to quote from the ASA's site:
"Journalistic and editorial comment related to causes and ideas are excluded"
Quite an important point I think. It appears then that the ASA has been barking up the wrong tree.
Do you agree?

18 May 2012 at 13:05  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Further to Anoneumouse saying that Lord Smith had not declared his interest as 'Vice President of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality'. I have searched and can find no reference to this post. I can't remember who made the comment but I trust they were right.

18 May 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger Unknown said...

Does it state anywhere in the bundle of documents that a response is not legally required?

18 May 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

Perhaps a definition of the term 'Vexatious' is required to clarify the concerns of Mr Rattyguy and Rev Pammie (Dawn French did it soooo much better?!).

1. Causing or creating vexation; annoying.
2. Full of annoyance or distress; harassed.
3. Solely intended to vex or annoy.

Some Synonyms: abrasive, aggravating, bothersome, carking, chafing, disturbing, exasperating, frustrating, galling, irksome, irritating, maddening, nettlesome, nettling, peeving, pesky, pestiferous, pestilent, pestilential, pesty, plaguey (also plaguy), rankling, rebarbative, riling, annoying, vexing!

MR D R says "Without being able to see everything in its full context, we have only your word that this was direct persecution, intimidation, harrassment, threatening, etc, of you. The only thing we know for sure was addressed directly to you is that very short email."

Ernst takes it as a 'given' you are therefore a very experienced QC and one who has dealt in these types of matters, that can differentiate correctly once all information is published on what you see before you and can pronounce accordingly?? Or are you both just being annoying bloggers that want to satisfy their own morbid curiosity despite the potential for breaches of legality by others?

As Goldmember said to Austin Powers, 'Well then, there really is no pleasing you!'

Perhaps you both getting some sort of life rather than pursuing or trying to create your own desired 'cause célèbre' might be a better use of your time and putting whatever brain cells you can both muster towards some useful pursuits would be fantastic for us to know and most profitable for you both.

Do keep us informed.

E S Blofeld

18 May 2012 at 13:10  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mr Rattigan
Pleased I am that I misjudged your intentions - I apologise unreservedly.

18 May 2012 at 13:12  
Blogger Pam said...

Graham Wood

My view is, and always has been, that if the ASA received complaints then they would have to investigate them to decide whether they were justified. This would include deciding whether an advert came within their remit.

Regardless of who chairs the ASA, it is their job to investigate complaints about adverts.

As someone has pointed out above, it's fairly toothless - what usually happens is that long after a campaign has run its course the ASA comes out with an adjudication about it.

Whether this amounts to 'persecution' is of course open to interpretation. However I can't help wondering what the real Archbishop Cranmer - who was imprisoned and executed for his faith - would think of the word 'persecution' being applied to this situation.

18 May 2012 at 13:18  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Silly post - I very much doubt that Lord Smith was involved in the decision to pursue this silly objection in the first place and there is no evidence produced that he was. Also even if he was, I suspect that it would be very difficult for any member of the ASA Council not to have some conflict with the some of the many complaints received by the ASA. Would his Grace seriously suggest that members of any Church should be disbarred from membership of the ASA Council because it considers complaints from many church groups and members about Stonewall and abortion clinics.

If you look at some of the adjudications made by the ASA on abortion clinics (which have gone either way) you will see that the ASA received 1000s of complaints the grounds for which were often just as flimsy as in the complaint against the marriage advert. The problem really is that the ASA having entertained the complaints of one set of vexatious idiots now feel duty bound to do the same to others with opposing views - when any sensible management would have just consigned the whole lot to the bin.

18 May 2012 at 13:18  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

Yes, Archbishop, you have said that you were "obliged to infer." That doesn't make your inferences right. It just makes the ASA unclear and incompetent. Being forced to jump to conclusions doesn't automatically make those conclusions valid.

I thought we'd passed the "email v bundle" argument several days ago, when I politely conceded there'd just been crossed wires on that. I've used the term appropriately ever since, so I'm not sure why you're bringing that up now.

The situation is this, Your Grace: You made inferences/jumped to conclusions; I demonstrated that you had made conclusions that couldn't be proved by the evidence available; you interpreted the documents to apply directly to you, and as we can't see the whole things for ourselves, we have to take your word for it; now you're a tad displeased that I won't do that. Making the documents available is not my responsibility.

18 May 2012 at 13:23  
Blogger David L Rattigan said...

No worries, Dreadnaught, and thank-you for being so gentlemanly.

18 May 2012 at 13:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Obtuse

"Whether this amounts to 'persecution' is of course open to interpretation.(INDEED my e Vicar. Indeed! How very fair and balanced) However I can't help wondering what the real Archbishop Cranmer - who was imprisoned and executed for his faith - would think of the word 'persecution' being applied to this situation."(Ah..and then you go and define/interpret it for us?!

We always see two groups of people who are standing against our Lord, the political leaders and religious leaders. There is an old saying that certain groups of people make ‘strange bedfellows.’Seems you and Mr Rattigan give a curious example of these types.
Well, I would have to say that politicians, atheists and religious leaders make strange bedfellows. So why would these two groups of people, politicians, and religious, be against our Lord and His teachings, not only in Jesus’ day but today as well?
Why is in that Jesus is so often rejected and His teachings opposed by humankind. Why is it that even today the true followers of the Lord are ridiculed and abused (a definition of persecution, yes?). And in certain parts of the world, they are persecuted and put to death (the final proof of malicious intent).

Matt. 13:21 Jesus said “ … When trouble or PERSECUTION comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” We are not to be like that but stand firm.

What did Jesus say??
32 “…Go ye, and tell that fox…” What is Jesus doing, He is identify His persecutor. He is calling him out and he is calling him by name.
He knew His enemy was cunning, crafty and sly. He wanted His enemy to know that He was not taking Him by surprise and neither should we be.

Jesus wanted Herod to know that He would not or could not intimidate Him, because Jesus knew his mode of operation. When you are being persecuted, in whatever form it may show up, we need to be able to identify WHO your enemy is.

Persecution will indeed come in many forms and in different places, but we have to have made up our mind that we are going to stand!

We must be willing to stand up for Christ and His teaching whatever may come.

E S Blofeld

18 May 2012 at 13:43  
Blogger Mat Morrisroe said...

Erm.

Firstly, talk about playing the man. This blog is very accusing the ASA of being unprofessional and at the whim of Chris Smith, rather than of some people who made a complaint.

Secondly, I'm not sure how anyone can think this is outside of their remit. It's an advert. All advertising is their remit. Let's all say it very slowly and very clearly. Free speech doesn't apply to advertising. People who refer to themselves in the first or third person are perfectly at liberty to express their views. The moment it becomes advertising it falls under CAP and/or BCAP. I'm really unsure as to the faculties of anyone who is finding this difficult to understand.

Finally, to the person who posted 'gaystapo'. You're clearly thinking about homosexuality a lot, either seek help of seek the Joiners Arms.

18 May 2012 at 13:59  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Come off it, Cranmer. It would only be a conflict of interest if somebody on the right was doing it. It's not really wrong when the left/liberals do it, is it?

18 May 2012 at 14:00  
Blogger francis said...

Mat Morrisroe: "I'm not sure how anyone can think this is outside of their remit. It's an advert. All advertising is their remit."

Numerous areas of advertising, including "causes and ideas" and "political activity" is outside their remit. This has been explained many times. Take a look at their website if you don't believe me.

18 May 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Matt Morrisroe

"People who refer to themselves in the first or third person are perfectly at liberty to express their views.(God Bless, lad. Didn't think Ernst needed your 'OK' to express anything but TA.)

The moment it becomes advertising it falls under CAP and/or BCAP.(So what..all advertising is not immediately deemed as investigateable, now is it?)
I'm really unsure as to the faculties of anyone who is finding this difficult to understand."

Word in your shell-like old fruit. Its called discernment and they do it every bleed'n day else they would be 'investigating' all and sundry!
The first thing anybody in authority or has power over a process does is say 'Is this complaint motivated vexatiously by malicious cause or frivolous intent?. Even some legal scholars argue that for the system to work efficiently, it must deter the filing of unmeritorious claims and complaints brought for improper reasons, both of which clog the system.

These quangos have access to legal counsel should the officer who has received or been given the complaint not have the legal know how to ascertain clearly if it is meritorious and therefore able to proceed to examine the defined claims of offense and if it falls within their legal remit to take further.
You have further forgotten there is also the cost to private individuals who must defend against these frivolous actions but the complainers can easily hide behind the coat-tails of the body they have complained to. Bit cowardly, what!.

It appears you fail to comprehend any of this before launching head first into a diatribe,

Ernst Blofeld

18 May 2012 at 15:10  
Blogger Thomas Gibbon said...

It's clear that the ASA has expanded its remit to include the review of political speech, and possibly its censorship. That needs to be stopped.

Here's a suggested response to throw into the mix - my experience is with the US legal system, so it may be a little abrasive...

'Your treatment of me has been mendacious, oppressive, and partisan.

It is mendacious because you know that your one identified complainant, the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group, did not register a complaint against me. You chose not to validate that claim and so your lie is deliberate. Your claims of other unnamed complainants are thus tainted. You recent claim that you were seeking my voluntary assistance is not supported by the facts.

It is oppressive because you claim the authority of the British Government, Office of Fair Trading, and Courts to demand my reasons for supporting the English laws regulating marriage. You select me for this intimidation and not larger entities running the same advertisement. You demand that I justify an opinion poll when you could do so with a single phone call to the agency that produced it.

It is partisan because, through your invented complaint and your unlawful threats, you seek to punish my support of one of the nation’s most ancient laws. Your Agency is charged with ensuring truth in advertising, not with advancing a political agenda by suppressing the free debate that underpins our democracy.

You are a disgrace to the nation.

You have wasted the time and money of tens of thousands of people.

You can proceed in two ways:
1. You can publicly withdraw your threats and apologize in full and pay me <> in compensation for my time.

2. Or you can explain to Parliament and your financial sponsors why they should continue to support and finance your predatory organization.'

18 May 2012 at 15:11  
Blogger graham wood said...

Pam said:
"The problem really is that the ASA having entertained the complaints of one set of vexatious idiots now feel duty bound to do the same to others with opposing views - when any sensible management would have just consigned the whole lot to the bin."

Well yes. A reasonable summary and one which the majority of bloggers on this site reached about a couple of hundred comments ago!
I take it then that you agree with these. The ad was not "homophobic" after all, and that the ASA should not have pursued Cranmer for its replication at all?

18 May 2012 at 15:22  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Dear Mr Gibbon,

His Grace thanks you for your input: it is not a million miles from the response he is preparing (deadline Monday). Indeed, His Grace rather likes your turn of phrase and prefers it to that which is in draft.

18 May 2012 at 15:22  
Blogger martin sewell said...

His Grace refers to the complainants as themselves being homosexual. Is that actually a " known known"? It would not surprise me if the whole issue were not got up by self righteous busybodies of the progressive persuasion. I am sure many of my gay friends and acquaintances are far too sensible to have complained in this way.

To his great credit Peter Tatchell has emerged as a champion of free speech for those with whom he disagrees, on the issue of " insulting" being a crime. It is good when we can find common cause with those whom we disagree on other subjects.

18 May 2012 at 15:22  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Just to try and set things straight on whether to take His Grace at face value on his quotes from the various documents sent to him by the ASA:

1 - I have yet to hear of His Grace misleading his readership before.

2 - I see no proof that he is doing so now. Indeed, as has been pointed out the ASA could have done so, in their response to His Grace's reply to the initial communique, but have failed to do so.

3 - Why should we take Rattigan at face value if he calls for us not to do the same to His Grace?

I realise that the Archbishop has no need for any of us to defend his honour like this, given his ability with quill and parchment, but these 3 things seem to be conveniently overlooked by some.

18 May 2012 at 15:34  
Blogger Pam said...

Graham Wood

I didn't say that. Someone else did I think.

18 May 2012 at 15:38  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Graham Wood

The quote was mine not Pam's - and I don't find the ad at all homophobic and I am more than capable of handling any offence that it may cause without the involvement of the ASA.

The real point is that the ASA needs to have a considerably higher threshold as to what is considered sufficiently offensive to warrant any effort on its part. I would argue that this should have applied to the orchestrated campaign by religous groups against Marie Stopes just as much as it did against Cranmer - do you??

18 May 2012 at 15:41  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

We have a problem that is neither new or easily solvable, however it is getting worse and has become more of a problem then in the past for mainly technological reasons.

WHO WATCHES THE WATCHERS.

In an age when technology has made monitoring and therefore controlling the behavior of the masses relative child's play, it is the public which must become the watchers of the watchers because we can not therefore must not trust our own governments whatever party political they claim to represent.

It is good to see that this is precisely what Your Grace is now doing.

This kind of frisking must become the norm, not the exception and it must do so ASAP, before it is even more far too late then it already clearly is.

We long since became complacent. We trusted our leaders, and now they are turning on ALL of us. Ultimately they will turn on homosexuals, as these kinds of sick psychopaths have done in the past, but only after they have brought the gay community into direct conflict with the majority.(see 1940's Germany)

Please be reminded that divide and rule is the very stuff of oligarchical or all other forms of murderous dictatorship, without it our owners would have been strung up by the masses thousands of years ago.

However revolutions never did the ordinary people any good, indeed revolutions have only ever lead to more poverty and/or slavery for the masses.

Truth is the only answer. The people do not need any kind of political manifesto full of empty rhetoric and damn right lies, they simply need to know THE TRUTH, and the rest of their apparent problems will all but vanish over night.

While their minds remain trapped in utterly contrived party politics they will not only remain enslaved , they will fully deserve to do so.

18 May 2012 at 15:51  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

People appear to forget that this sort of nonsensical behaviour costs society at large.

It has been stated that frivolous lawsuits via the courts or complaints to regulatory bodies/Quangos also contributes to the public outrage expressed against the judicial system and the legal profession
in general and regulatory bodies that it cannot define correctly during their duties .

One “major reason” for the general public’s negative perception of the legal profession and any associated bodies with powers to formulate laws or determine 'legality' is the frivolous conduct engaged in by some litigants or complainers and their part in encouraging it.

If not handled correctly, this leads to creating more incentives for frivolous litigation or complaints, as we are witnessing.

E S Blofeld

18 May 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger graham wood said...

Pam : "Graham Wood, I didn't say that. Someone else did I think."

Sorry to have misquoted you - the comment was Tory Boy's..

To return to my former question relating to the ad itself, I take it therefore that you do not find it in any way offensive, or "homohobic"?

18 May 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger Pam said...

I think your question illustrates what I really find difficult about this - which is that the issue keeps slipping around to wherever people feel they can 'win' the argument.

As I understood it - and yes I have read all the blogs and comments - the original concern was that 'Cranmer' was being held responsible for the ad, which had already been adjudged to be homophobic, and Cranmer was therefore subject to unspecified penalties from the ASA. He also felt he was being compelled by the ASA to submit comments.

Now I know it's frightening when people threaten you with legal action when you haven't knowingly done anything wrong, so I don't blame 'Cranmer' for reacting the way he did. (Although if he dislikes being threatened so much I think he should maybe look at his own tone towards people who disagree with him, which can come across as somewhat hectoring.)

Since then, though, as I read it, it has been established that the complaints were against the ad and not against 'Cranmer', that no adjudication had been made, that any 'penalties' that might be incurred should anyone be seen in breach of the code were fairly meaningless, and 'Cranmer' was not actually compelled to do anything.

So now we've moved to another set of questions around whether the ASA *should* be investigating the ad because various people don't think there is a case to answer.

Surely the whole point of the ASA's initial enquiry was to give 'Cranmer' an opportunity to say what he - and his regular readers - thought about the ad and so to feed into the decision making procedure. Instead of this he has launched an attack on the ASA which seems fairly pointless.

18 May 2012 at 16:30  
Blogger graham wood said...

Pam. I understand what you are saying, but I think you are entirely missing the real point, which is whether the ad met the ASA's requirements of being "legal,decent, honest, and truthful", and was not therefore offensive in any way.

You come back to me with what a previous blogger humourously described as "a load of whitewash" - i.e. rather off the point comment to put it kindly.

What then do you think Pam, is the advert "homophobic"? or not?
That is the central issue and claim of the complainants to the ASA. Simple enough to express your view, one way or another.

18 May 2012 at 16:42  
Blogger William said...

Pam, you have more flim-flam than a pan full of flan.

Dr Seuss eat you heart out.

18 May 2012 at 16:44  
Blogger Pam said...

Pam, you have more flim-flam than a pan full of flan.

Dr Seuss eat you heart out


I'm crushed by the eloquence of your rhetoric.

18 May 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

tbngu: "The real point is that the ASA needs to have a considerably higher threshold as to what is considered sufficiently offensive to warrant any effort on its part."

Indeedy.

18 May 2012 at 16:49  
Blogger William said...

Pam

"I'm crushed by the eloquence of your rhetoric."

I know. The rhyming was pretty good too, don't you think?

Anyway, enough about me. I believe that Mr Wood has a question for you.

18 May 2012 at 16:58  
Blogger Mat Morrisroe said...

Actually Ernst Blofeld, I was threatened with legal action about this very debacle last week by ComRes for expressing the view that the research in the ad is a tissue of nonsense. I'm looking forward to our blogger host condemning that action and defending my right to freedom of speech.

I mention this because I know fully well what it means to be an individual threatened by a large organisation.

However, advertising, yes ALL advertising is subject to CAP and BCAP. In this instance the blogger is not an individual, but a media channel generating revenue through advertising.

If our blogger doesn't want to be asked to help an investigation by the ASA, or be subject to CAP then there is a very simple solution, don't carry advertising. You may note that the blog has not been shut down or silenced. Indeed, he hasn't even received a threat of action. The reason for this is clear. He isn't being persecuted and he, and any other homophobe, is perfectly entitled to express their opinion within the bounds of the law.

18 May 2012 at 17:07  
Blogger Pam said...

I can't see the advert now - to be honest as a Christian I do find it insulting to have one particular set of views presented as 'the Christian view' but I wouldn't necessarily complain to the ASA about it.

I'm not clear what 'homophobic' means, is this the term that's used in the ASA code or is it something more precise like 'discriminatory'? As far as I can remember it wasn't as overtly hostile towards homosexuality as a lot of things I've seen on Christian sites, but then it is an advert so I guess the question is whether it breaches guidelines for advertisers.

I have no problem with anyone being allowed to advertise their point of view, but I do think it's important to have advertising standards and for these to be enforced.

I also think it's important that, if complaints are made, the issue is investigated rather than a decision being made out of hand.

18 May 2012 at 17:20  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Matt Morrisroe

"Actually Ernst Blofeld, I was threatened with legal action about this very debacle last week by ComRes for expressing the view that the research in the ad is a tissue of nonsense." How so?

"I'm looking forward to our blogger host condemning that action and defending my right to freedom of speech." This is how nonsense, however phrased, begets nonsense..except some people's nonsense is deemed more worthy of 'investigation' than others, a priori?!

"However, advertising, yes ALL advertising is subject to CAP and BCAP. In this instance the blogger is not an individual, but a media channel generating revenue through advertising.
" The old boy here has run adverts for Lab?Lib Dems also as well as Tory but look around you at his blog..He is not either way inclined or bigoted towards other political expressions because he does so. It's called freedom of speech and expression and an individual to act, like a grown up. and choose themselves the strength of an argument..

"If our blogger doesn't want to be asked to help an investigation by the ASA, or be subject to CAP then there is a very simple solution, don't carry advertising. " You are therefore a fool!

"homophobe, " Define how you create fear for our very life's here by being a homosexual or can you not take a contrary opinion without tar brushing all childishly because you choose a lifestyle some disagree with.

Ernst S Blofeld

18 May 2012 at 17:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Some have commented on a conflict of interests affecting certain individuals as inevitable. Absolute rot. A man cannot serve more than one master, without his very integrity being at state. And it should be pointed out to him, not ignored. Poor standards in public office are deplorable !

18 May 2012 at 17:41  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

If anyone were to bother to read some of the ASA'a adjudications I think they will see that the complaint against the advert in question has practically no chance of being accepted. I would hope the ASA Council ask some question as to why the management of the ASA have allowed any time to spent on yet another flimsy complaint.

18 May 2012 at 18:06  
Blogger Flossie said...

Pam, you have expended a lot of words, but you seem to have missed the main point.

The ASA had absolutely no business sending His Grace what can only be described as threatening material. The ad was not his, he was merely carrying it on his blog.

Besides which, it was not trying to sell anybody a product with false promises of making them richer/more popular with the opposite sex/more beautiful. It has already been established that it is outside the ASA's remit as being 'material related to causes and ideas'. So even the owners of the ad, C4M, are perfectly at liberty to place the ad, especially as marriage can hardly be considered to be offensive except by a few nutjobs.

If this had not caused His Grace such a lot of time, energy, distress and expenditure, I would consider it to be laughable.

The ASA should butt out. But I am glad His Grace has taken this up, on behalf of all the little people with no voice who are intimidated by bullies such as these, and expose them to the cold light of day for what they are.

18 May 2012 at 18:40  
Blogger Oswin said...

James Reade @ 09:42:

You again. Was Roger Backhouse on research leave, when you were appointed?

Haven't you learned yet, not to accuse, in the self-same manner that you appear to object to so strongly, in others?

Do you imagine the world really needs yet another self-opinionated, fat-faced oik? Stick to your multitude of self-congratulatory web-sites, is my advice.

18 May 2012 at 19:09  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

@Matt M

"he, and any other homophobe"...etc

Congratulations MM - you have illustrated the essence of the whole issue.

You throw about with trendy gay abandon, the word 'homophobe' without measure or justification.

Where has Cranmer or C4M for that matter, expressed anything approaching homophobia? (as in - an irrational fear of homosexuality?- get over yourself).

Cranmer ran an e-poster with which he has an affinity of opinion. An excercise in freedom of speech expressing support for maintenance of a status quo. They could have come up with something like 'God Hates Fags' a la the US Westbro Baptist Church, but I'm sure HG would not have been so inclined to lend his good offices to such crudity. Even so, had C4M done as much, the Tobacco Industry would have had more cause to complain than the alone the sadster who invoked the name of the JGLG without authority, knowing full well that the ASA would be compelled, by their own standards, to investigate a complaint from a recognised group.

Holding, expressing or giving open support to an opinion contrary to ones own, simply does not afford validity to such accusations of homophobia or entitle one to make libelous or derogatory comments with impunity - you simply demean your self.

This nation has, through stealth and complacency, become accustomed now, to over-protecting a multitude of 'minorities' issues, by pandering to their sensitivities to such a degree that is now eroding the most basic of democratic principles. This is what is at the heart of the matter and not a crass excercise in bigotry, as you would have imply.

You Sir, appear to be unaware of the progress made in society from an age in which homosexuals were cowed, abused and criminalised until the late 1960s. Times when 'Queer Bashing' was largely trivialised to the level of nothing more than a casual urban blood sport, to which the public and the police tended to turn a blind eye and the victims were too scared to complain.

We have rightly come a long way since then, and before you jump to erroneous conclusions, I am niether gay nor have I ever engaged in the said blood sport.

18 May 2012 at 19:26  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dreadnaught: bravo!

18 May 2012 at 19:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good show Dreadnaught. One of your finest. We’ll forget about our differences just now and congratulate you on your reasoned argument...

18 May 2012 at 19:36  
Blogger William said...

Top comment from the Dreadnaught. Have another 5 recommends on me!

18 May 2012 at 19:54  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Gentlemen I am humbled by your approbations ;-)

18 May 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger Oatcake said...

This whole travesty makes me glad to be kissing the home of my fathers goodby.

18 May 2012 at 20:38  
Blogger C.Brian Ross said...

I have tried to add the sister "offensive" advert re Scotland for Marriage to my Facebook page, and would wish to add both to my blog (www.crazyrev.blogspot.com), but have not yet managed to do so!

Any practical advice would be appreciated - from His Grace, or anyone else!

If enough of us were to do so, would not that clog up the works of the ASA?

18 May 2012 at 20:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dreadnaught: "Times when 'Queer Bashing' was largely trivialised to the level of nothing more than a casual urban blood sport, to which the public and the police tended to turn a blind eye and the victims were too scared to complain."

It's only been in the last decade that the police have taken such things seriously as an institution.

18 May 2012 at 21:26  
Blogger Unknown said...

Pam said...
"This would include deciding whether an advert came within their remit."
Indeed, so why any mail/ email as it's clearly outside remit?

Seems to be a case of "Thou shalt not offend" which as far as I know isn't in any constitution except as far as minority species are concerned.

Incidentally, when did you give up on Christianity? Homosexuality is as far as I'm aware, expressly forbidden in the scriptures!

18 May 2012 at 21:28  
Blogger Unknown said...

I complained once to the ASA about sugar in yoghurts and again about baby milk advertising.... they are obviously bored by such trivia so take to persecuting Christians instead - more fun.

18 May 2012 at 21:55  
Blogger Thomas Gibbon said...

Dear Archbishop

I'm so pleased you're not going to let these people walk away behind a smokescreen of untruths. They deliberately inflict pain on innocent people, and will continue do so until they are stopped.

Thomas G

18 May 2012 at 23:12  
Blogger David B said...

Let us not forget that, when they are not exceeding their authority, the ASA has a valuable role.

There needs to be some authority that can prevent, say, practitioners of fringe medicine claiming that waving their hands over people can cure cancer, and bilking the most vulnerable and frightened people into both paying them, and not undergoing the best treatment available on the NHS as a result.

Freedom of speech is one thing, but exploiting the vulnerable is something else.

Drawing the line is difficult, and I would not for a moment want campaigning against changing the law on marriage prevented, even if I would personally prefer to campaign for it.

Does freedom of speech mean that people should be allowed to advertise cancer cures based on Reiki or prayer at the expense of the best available treatment?

I think not, on balance, though, as I say, where to draw the line is a fuzzy.

David B

David

19 May 2012 at 00:04  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Just a thought, re Matt M's comments on legal action by a large organisation. You do realise that by saying that their research was rubbish that you were actually defaming them. As such they have every right to bring legal action as you have besmirched the their professional reputation.
Cranmer, however, did nothing other than put an advert that is in favour of the current law of the land on his blog. There is nothing illegal about this, so should not have had any action taken by the ASA over it.

19 May 2012 at 07:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"You do realise that by saying that their research was rubbish that you were actually defaming them."

I suppose it depends on what he said. The organisation presumably provides a sample set and presents the question or questions the commissioner wants. The set of questions, and the wording of particular questions, undoubtedly influence the answers. Hence the validity of what one draws from the results may well be questionable even if the process was exemplary. The organisation offers consultancy and expertise on question design, according to their website, but that's somewhat different to a commissioner saying "tell us what the general public think about same-sex marriage in whatever way you think best".

19 May 2012 at 08:43  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Dear AiB

Of course I want all people of all Nations to be saved as per the Great Commission. Our sole duty in life is to love God and keep his commandments (which includes loving our neighbour as well of course).

To be saved one needs to believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, REPENT and be baptised. I don't see much evidence of repentance on the part of the homosexual community indeed rather I see the reverse.

My reading of the situation is that ROM 1:32 applies

"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

19 May 2012 at 10:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I don't know the judgement of god and I don't think my loving relationship is morally wrong. I know what you claim is the judgement of your god on me, and I know what Muslims claim is the judgement of their god on both you and me. Hence, I think I have to go on my natural instincts about right and wrong, and about the nature of our reality. Those instincts tell me quite clearly that you are wrong, and moreover are doing wrong too.

19 May 2012 at 10:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

'To be saved one needs to believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, REPENT and be baptised. I don't see much evidence of repentance on the part of the homosexual community indeed rather I see the reverse'.

I don't see any EVIDENCE let alone much of it for your beleifs Naomi.

19 May 2012 at 11:01  
Blogger Naomi King said...

DanJ0 as I said on a previous post nobody hates you but God laments at your foolishness

PROV 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

PROV 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

20 May 2012 at 09:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 May 2012 at 11:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi, I'm an atheist. Of what use is your scripture to me? You might as well be quoting the Qur'an or the Book of Mormon. You're trying to use it as a weapon and to my mind that demonstrates your true nature: self-righteous but empty. Demonstrate your beliefs through your actions as Matthew 5:14 suggests and some unbelievers might just take note.

20 May 2012 at 11:48  

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