Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Regulation-mad Britain

Even Mussolini was more permissive than this

A baker has been forced to rename her novelty pig tarts - because they don't contain any pork. Val Temple, who runs Sgt Bun Bakery, Weymouth, says officers from Dorset's trading standards department also told her she must swap the name of robin tarts as they are not made from robins. And she claims she was instructed to rename her paradise slice because ... it's not from paradise.

Mrs Temple has made the novelty cakes in the shape of pigs and robins as a treat for her customers for years. She said: "It's a joke. "The officers came in and said they had had a complaint [From a Muslim?] and I must change the names because they didn't contain pork, robin or paradise. "It's an insult to the public. Of course they don't contain pig, robin or paradise.

"The trading standards officers have been coming into this shop for 26 years and now the name has been picked up. "It's absolutely ridiculous. Are they going to start banning Christmas cake because it doesn't have Jesus in it? "You could apply it to everything. It's so silly. "And as for the paradise slice, that recipe is 120 years old and it's always been known as Paradise Slice. "They said they were going to come back in and check, so I've changed the names now. "But people are still coming in and calling them by their proper names." Mrs Temple said she had swapped the name of her animal-inspired tarts to novelty tarts with jam and fondant and the paradise slice to almond, fruit and nut slice.

Ivan Hancock, the county's trading standards manager, said: "The fact is that piece of food needs to be properly described so that the consumer can tell what it is. "There's nothing wrong with using other names but it must be accompanied by the true name of the food. "Consumers have the right to know what is in food."

But Mrs Temple, who runs the bakers with her husband Ian, denied she was told this. She said: "The way they came in and said the names had to be changed didn't give me the impression you could keep the names. "I'm sure other places haven't been told they should list all the ingredients. It's ridiculous having a long list of ingredients - of course customers are not going to think I put robin and pork in a cake."


Update on the campaign against anti-male advertising

By Glenn Sacks

The advertising industry has reacted to our recent protest of Arnold Worldwide's TV commercials with great hostility. Our campaign seeks to convince Volvo to reject Arnold's bid for its pending $150 million advertising contract. We oppose Arnold because of its track record of denigrating men and fathers, particularly in its recent Fidelity TV commercials. The industry has protested loudly, but the industry doth protest too much.

In 2004, we organized a similar campaign against a Verizon ad which featured a father being humiliated in front of his daughter. Over 2,000 protesters contacted Verizon, the story made 300 newspapers, and the ad stopped running a few weeks later.

During both protests, many in the advertising industry accused me of being a humorless zealot with no appreciation for their clever ads. But if these advertising professionals really believe that it's all just a harmless joke, shouldn't they allow women to join in on all the fun? And when we can turn on the TV and see women routinely being portrayed as lousy, irresponsible mothers, will it still be funny? Will we still be laughing when commercials tell us that women aren't as smart as men? Or aren't as mature? Will it still be funny when women are always wrong and their husbands must continually correct them?

There is a justifiable consensus in our society that it's harmful to depict African-Americans as being mostly either criminals, drug addicts or ne'er-do-wells. We agree that it's harmful to portray women as being incapable of being scientists or mathematicians. Yet these same principles are not applied to men, the last politically acceptable group to portray in an unfavorable light.

Advertising professionals tell me that this is as it should be, since men are privileged and make up the majority of CEOs, politicians and powerbrokers. Yet when we say men are "privileged," we are only looking up. If we look at the bottom of our society--the homeless, the imprisoned, the suicide victims, those who die young, the school dropouts--most there are male, too. While some critics have told me to "stop whining" and to "be a man," I've rarely heard the phrase "be a man" connected to anything that was in a man's best interests.

We certainly don't seek to cut out all ads which poke fun at men-what we want instead is balance. Everybody should get a roll in the barrel. The industry assures us that there's no problem with current practices, but if this is true, why have several thousand men and women joined our protests? And while critics try to dismiss us as a male backlash, many of our biggest and most articulate supporters are women, particularly the mothers of boys. One protester, a mother of two boys, dismissed the ad industry's ludicrous pretense that these ads have no effect on how our society views men, telling Volvo: "What kind of world are we creating for our boys when all they see on TV are irresponsible, immature men incapable of being good husbands or good fathers?"

When protesters write me, they often tell me of their pet peeve ad. Like the "humorous" new Sprint commercial where two men play a friendly joke on their female boss, who then assaults both, sending them to the hospital with head wounds. Or the Emerald Nuts commercial which aired during the 2005 Super Bowl, where a dad lies to his little daughter rather than give her some nuts, and is scolded for his years of deceptions. Or the Shaw's supermarket commercial where a woman tackles and kicks a man who apparently took her lunch from the office cafeteria.

When we did the Verizon campaign, critics said it was unfair to target Verizon because it was McGarrybowen, their ad agency, who created the ads. Now Arnold CEO Fran Kelly criticizes our campaign and many of Arnold's defenders insist that it's wrong to blame the agencies, since we should instead be blaming Fidelity. In the advertising industry, apparently the buck stops nowhere.

Upton Sinclair once said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." The ad industry has a problem. If industry executives develop a plan to solve it, we'll applaud them. But until the industry learns to regulate itself, we'll continue to pressure it to do the right thing. And Mr. Kelly, if your agency does happen to lose out on that $150 million Volvo contract, remember-take it like a man.


Italian Politician misrepresents Catholic view of homosexuals

Italy's Giusto Catania launched an attack on the Catholic Church from the floor of the European Parliament Wednesday. Catania, a Member of the European Parliament, joined in a debate on homophobia to say that the European governing body must stop intolerance.

"We cannot allow these signs of intolerance," said Catania, "we cannot allow such statements to be made as made by the Polish Minister." Those statements he referred to were those of Polish Education Minister Roman Giertych, who has proposed legislation to forbid promotion of homosexuality in schools. "One must limit homosexual propaganda so that children won't have an improper view of family," said Giertych.

Catania said that the necessity to stop such intolerance "is true for politics but also for the Clergy and the Church."

Despite the fact that the Catholic Church officially teaches it sinful to hate anyone, enemy or friend, sinner or saint, Catania claimed the Church hates homosexuals. Catania said the Clergy and the Church, "never miss an opportunity to express their hatred of homosexuals and they harass these people and regard them as sinners."



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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