Archive for December, 2005

Springer questions asked in Parliament

Lib Dem MP for Bath, Don Foster, has tabled an early day motion deploring the decision by Sainsbury and Woolworths to remove the JS:TO DVD from their shelves. He calls on the Government “to ensure that freedom of expression remains a central principle of our society”.

The motion complains

that vociferous minority pressure groups now increasingly target works of art with the outcome that the majority are sometimes denied the choice to judge works for themselves.

And it

calls on the Government to ensure that freedom of expression remains a central principle of our society, and so protect the ability of individuals to explore comprehensively and lawfully all aspects of our culture.

Can you hear that metallic noise? That’s the sound of Satan rattling his cage, that is. No, really.

(From UTV)

UPDATE: The full text of the Early Day Motion can be found here. (Thanks, Tim)

Prince Edward and Almighty God

Stephen “Tiny Fringe” Green has called for the resignation of Prince Edward as patron of His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen. His Majesty’s Theatre, already the scene of bad behaviour from fundamentalist activists, is showing Jerry Springer: The Opera for a week in March.


God is not mocked – and by associating with ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’ Prince Edward will bring shame and judgment on our Royal Family.

We don’t want that. It’s time for Prince Edward to stand up for Jesus Christ.

The CV site gives information on how to contact HRH It doesn’t give an email, unfortunately.

Will the Earl of Wessex heed the call of the Almighty? Or will he simply ignore the pleas of the man recently branded an “irrelevant runt”? We’ll keep you posted.


Via Harry’s Place:

jesus and mo

More at Jesus and Mo.

BNP jump on Springer bandwagon

The British National Party may be trying to muscle in on some Springer action down in Plymouth. The show is scheduled to begin its national tour at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal for two weeks in Jan/Feb ’06. A meeting by a group of “over 100” concerned Christians met to discuss possible plans of action. Among them was Stephen Green, who advocated letter writing and leafleting, and confirmed that Christian Voice were responsible for Sainsbury’s withdrawing the DVD.

A representative from the local BNP was also in attendance, but he didn’t say anything. He just wrote the report. (Holds nose, pastes link).

They keep good company, these Springer protestors, don’t they?

Stephen Green amused by “impotent” bloggers

Christian Voice director Stephen Green has broken his silence and replied to an email enquiry from MWW. In it he modestly declines to take credit for the Woolies/Sainsbury Springer DVD ban:

I rather think we have to give Almighty God the credit, don’t you?

Given that, in the mental landscape inhabited by Stephen Green, the aims and desires of “Almighty God” correspond remarkably with his own, this is probably the closest thing we’ll get to a confession.

Commenting on the furore that has arisen since last Sunday’s report, Stephen says:

…and what a spectacle is the impotent rage of the bloggers. As the advertisement says: “Priceless.”

When it was pointed out that the ban was giving the DVD a lot of the free publicity, and likely boosting its sales figures, he replied “it needs it”.

Stephen Green and Almighty God – that pair really do work in mysterious ways, don’t they?

Christian Institute puts its oar in

Homophobic fundamentalists The Christian Institute have added their voice to the anti-Springer crowd. This from their mail shot:

We are absolutely delighted that Sainsbury’s has withdrawn from sale the DVD of Jerry Springer The Opera.

Woolworths says it has withdrawn the DVD from its stores because it has not been commercially popular. However, the DVD is available to buy from its website.

The DVD is also being sold by ASDA, Tesco and WHSmith. Can you imagine these stores selling a DVD of a racist hate show, or an anti-Muslim video? Yet it seems to be OK to sell a DVD of an anti-Christian hate show.

If you would like to object to these stores offensive decision to sell the DVD in the run up to Christmas, please see:

Our website also provides more information about why this show is so deeply offensive and blasphemous.

Their dedicated Springer page provides contact details to Tesco, Asda, and WHSmith – very useful for sending messages of support. Thanks, CI.

So, if you are going to buy the DVD this Xmas, it might be a good idea to get it from one of those shops – and congratulate them on not being spineless appeasers.

Equity joins the Springer fight

The actors’ union Equity has entered the Springer DVD fray. The recently-elected first-ever female General Secretary, Christine Payne, has issued the following statement:

Equity is opposed to the action which Woolworths and Sainsbury’s have taken on two grounds. Firstly, Equity strongly supports artistic freedom and equally strong opposes censorship in all its forms, however offended any individual may feel themselves to be by a particular piece of dramatic art.

Secondly, Equity members derive income from the sales of recorded material, including DVDs, and so stand to lose income from actions such as these.

Equity is inviting all of its members to make their views known to Sainsbury’s and Woolworths about these acts of censorship.

(From comments at bloggerheads)

UPDATE: The BBC report on this says that Equity has received about 200 emails in support of its protest from actors including Rowan Atkinson and Miriam Margoyles.

Springer supermarket campaign roundup

The campaign to get Jerry Springer: The Opera back onto the shelves of Woolies and Sainsbury has really gained some momentum since the news broke last Sunday. Here’s a roundup of what you can do to get involved.

– to the customer relations departments of Woolworths and Sainsbury. You’ll get a stock response, but your complaint will be logged. Also try and
UPDATE: more Sainsbury addresses: (CEO) but his emails are handled by a Contact Centre (Chairman) (Director of Customer Marketing) (Head of General Merchandising i.e. non-food) (Director of Trading) (Head of Customer Service)
(via zefrog)

– to the directors of those stores:

Justin King,
35 Holborn,


Trevor Bish-Jones,
Woolworths PLC,
Woolworths House,
242-246 Marylebone Road,

– to your local MP
– to your local store manager
– to your local newspaper
– to stores which are stocking the DVD, and complimenting them

– their customer service lines
Woolworths: 020 7262 1222
Sainsburies: 0800 636262

There are currently two active pledges at Pledgebank
– the 6 month boycott pledge
– the tell the store manager what you think pledge
Both of these are pledges to…

– boycotting both Sainsbury and Woolworths is fine, as long as they know you’re doing it
– asking for the DVD in store, asking why it is not available, talking to the manager about it
– some are suggesting enclosing a cut-up Nectar card with your letter to Sainsbury
– other suggest trying to get other “offensive” items off the shelves, with the list of nasties ranging from The Daily Mail to brussels sprouts.

It is still not certain that Christian Voice are behind this. It seems likely the reason they are keeping quiet is that they are afraid of a backlash. The extra publicity this has generated for the DVD could boost its sales significantly, thus rendering the threats of the would-be censors counter productive. Stephen Green isn’t a complete idiot – he knows that sales would go stratospheric if he started crowing about his “success” on the CV website.

The best way to make Christian Voice rue their actions is obvious: buy the DVD.

But not from Woolies or Sainsbury – even though it is still available on both their websites.

UN to intervene in Mohammed cartoon furore reports that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louse Arbour, is set to investigate the Jylands-Posten Mohammed cartoons controversy.

But don’t get too excited. She doesn’t seem too concerned about defending the human right to freedom of expression. In her response to the complaint from The Organisation of Islamic Conferences, Arbour said:

I would like to emphasise that I deplore any statement or act showing a lack of respect towards other people’s religion.

She has appointed UN experts in the areas of religious freedom and racism to investigate the matter, and says that she is “confident that they will take action in an adequate manner.”

Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Per Stig Møller, remains adamant that this is not an issue in which the government should intervene.

BBC on Springer supermarket campaign

Alan Connor at the BBC magazine charts the blog outrage against the Woolies/Sainsbury Springer ban.