Bashing the bishop
I re-published Tuesday’s piece on censorship over at the Orphanage, where Woman on a Raft left this pertinent update in the comments:
Popcorn. It turns out that the group who were supposed to have complained did not, and have said so huffily. Apparently one of their number complained in a personal capacity about a separate advert in a magazine.
It is not at all clear what is going on at the ASA but they are supposed to have a competent lawyer in charge of their complaints division, instead of which it looks like they can’t even collate a complaint, read their own code or write a letter without misrepresenting their status.
Checking the Archbishop Cranmer blog it turned out that the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group had quickly announced that while one of their members had been in touch with the ASA it was in a private capacity and not on behalf of the JGLG, though they note on their website that calling for an investigation is not the same as calling for censorship. That may be true in a technical sense but if the motive is a belief that what was said should not have been said because it offended and the complaint is made to a body with the legal power to censor then censorship can easily be the end result. This is possible only because free speech, despite any claims to the contrary, does not really exist in most nominally free nations, the UK very much included.
In the meantime, the moral guardians of ASA have apparently got back in touch with His Grace:
Can’t say I’m honestly surprised by any of that apart from the fact they responded as quickly as they did. It’s speculation until His Grace’s next post but I’m expecting a lot of waffle, bullshit and intimidating references to obscure legislation that according to them gives them power over what can be put on a web page by a UK blogger.
I wonder if WoaR has got any of that popcorn left.