Saturday, February 18, 2012
Airline forced to scrap controversial 'sexist' ads
The U.K's budget airline Ryanair has been forced to scrap a controversial advertising campaign featuring scantily-clad models for being "sexist".
Sky New reports that the promotion, which ran last November in British newspapers with the slogan "Red Hot Fares & Crew", was yanked by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)--U.K.'s independent advertising consumer watchdog -- after it sparked widespread complaints.
The ASA said one image, entitled "Ornella February", which showed a model pulling down the top of her pants with a thumb, was particularly "sexually suggestive".
Ryanair said the promotion, which took images from its 2012 cabin crew charity calendar, and says the pictures were not sexist because staff had volunteered to produce the images. It said the ad was to help "promote" the charity calendar and that it did not consider the pictures to "unsuitable for public display."
The ASA didn't agree, saying that "most readers would interpret these images, in conjunction with the text "Red Hot Fares & Crew!!!" and the names of the women, as linking female cabin crew with sexually suggestive behavior," says Sky.
Complaints included some from the airline's staff . One person named Ghada reportedly started an online campaign to ban the ads, promoting thousands of complaints in the U.K.. In November when she launched the campaign she wrote: "My work colleagues, many of whom are male, work hard with me to ensure the safety of our passengers. Safety is our number-one priority, not the brand of our underwear."
The advertisement have now been banned by the ASA.
The Church is under-appreciated says the Queen
The Queen has delivered a staunch and strongly-worded defence of the Church and religion in the face of a growing divide between faith and secularism.
In a timely address to leaders of Britain's nine main religions at Lambeth Palace, London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, she highlighted the importance of faith in society and the "critical guidance" it offered in life.
"The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated," she said. "Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country."
The monarch, speaking at the first public event to mark her Diamond Jubilee, said that Church was "woven into the fabric of this country" and had helped to build a better society. It has "created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely", she added.
The Queen's words were considered a rare intervention in the war of words between critics of the Church and faith communities.
It follows a warning issued by Baroness Warsi, chairman of the Conservative Party, who said yesterday that British society was under threat from a rising tide of "militant secularisation" reminiscent of "totalitarian regimes".
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, the Cabinet Office minister said that to create a “more just society” Britons must “feel stronger in their religious identities”.
Last week, the High Court ruled that local councils could not hold prayers during meetings. There have also been recent cases of public sector workers being banned from displaying Christian symbols at work.
The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, had earlier met leaders of the eight non-Christian religions; the Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Jewish, Muslim, and Zoroastrian; who each presented her with a treasured object important to their faith.
In an address in the palace's Guard Room, she said: "Our religions provide critical guidance for the way we live our lives and for the way in which we treat each other. "Here at Lambeth Palace we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation's life."
She said the occasion marked an opportunity to reflect on the importance of faith in "creating and sustaining communities" across Britain. "Faith plays a key role in the identity of many millions of people, providing not only a system of belief but also a sense of belonging," she added.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, paid tribute to the Queen's "personal commitment" to her office as a call from God which he said was "at the heart of her understanding of her role".
She has effectively shown that "being religious is not eccentric or abnormal", he said.
"The personal faith to which you have so regularly alluded entails the conviction of a calling from God to do what you do and to be what you are; it also means a full understanding of what makes communities work," he said.
A report conducted for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (UK) suggested that almost three quarters (74 per cent) of Christians polled agreed that religion should not influence public policy, while only about one in eight (12 per cent) thought it should.
No hiding the number of knees under British government desks
Thatcher’s privatisations certainly reduced the size of the state payroll, in terms of car workers, coal miners and steel-makers. But she failed to get to grips with the growing recruitment drive in local government and the rise of the quangocracy, which began in the early-to-mid-Eighties.
I was reminded of this yesterday, when the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced that, thanks to a successful programme of economies, the Civil Service is now at its smallest since World War II.
That’s great news, on the face of it. But it depends what you mean by ‘civil service’. Maude was referring to those directly working for the government departments we collectively call Whitehall.
The reality is that there are now more people than ever on the public payroll, not including the six million or so on assorted out-of-work benefits, which is twice the number of the headline unemployment rate in the ‘heartless’ 1980s.
At least all those car workers, steel workers and coal miners actually produced something, when they weren’t on strike, even if it was uneconomic. Too many of today’s ‘public service’ staff produce absolutely nothing of any value.
They are variously engaged in utterly superfluous out-reaching, monitoring, regulating, co-ordinating, box-ticking, witch-hunting, inspecting, consulting, licensing, twinning, punishing, celebrating diversity and generally interfering in every aspect of our daily lives.
Yet at the same time genuine basic services like emptying dustbins and teaching children to read and write have deteriorated hideously.
Labour spectacularly reversed Thatcher’s efforts to shrink the State and left behind a massive debt and deficit. Public spending now accounts for almost half of everything we earn as a country — up over the past 30 years from £128 billion a year to a projected £722 billion in 2013. Even allowing for inflation, that is a grotesque increase.
Today, we don’t have a nationalised steel industry, but Gordon Brown did nationalise the banks. Network Rail, as it likes to be called these days, is back in public ownership and subsidies to the railways are far higher than they ever were in the bad old days of British Rail.
I don’t know about the Civil Service, but we’ve certainly got the smallest armed forces since World War II.
And the public sector still seems to be run with all the incompetence, inefficiency and flagrant contempt for taxpayers’ money which was the hallmark of British Steel under Sir Charles English Hyde Villiers MC, aka Mr Pastry.
Deliberate Muslim propaganda at Australian public broadcaster
by Senator Helen Kroger
Senator Helen Kroger has today asked questions of Mr Michael Ebeid, Managing Director of the Special Broadcast Service (SBS) in Senate Estimates about the controversial screening of the documentary The Promise.
As a result of questions by Senator Kroger, Mr Ebeid revealed that SBS entered into a pre-sale arrangement with the producers of The Promise in full knowledge that the subject matter was going to be controversial.
Questions by Senator Kroger also revealed that when SBS received a series of complaints about the documentary, an internal investigation was initiated to determine if the documentary would be aired. A decision was taken by the review board, which included Mr Ebeid, that SBS would go ahead with the screening.
“What is most concerning about the decision to air The Promise is that SBS appears to have put a business decision ahead of independent assessments which determined that it was offensive to the Jewish community,” Senator Kroger said. “Equally concerning was Mr Ebeid‟s assertion that, with hindsight, he would make the same decision to put the program to air.”
“This documentary was portrayed as fact and any suggestion that it is merely fiction is even more offensive and is an overt slap in the face to the Jewish community.”
“Any suggestion that the Jewish community is "manipulative‟ and "self interested‟, as portrayed in The Promise, is shameful. This documentary fails to portray the continuing valuable and constructive contribution that the Jewish community makes in Australia.”
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 INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.