Event Organisers Update September 2021 ISSUE 202 - an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).

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Event Organisers Update

The newsletter for organisers of events.

Dear Readers

Due to ongoing illness this is the final issue of Event Organisers Update. We would like to thank our readership for their encouragement over the past 17 years, as well as colleagues, friends and family for their unwavering support, without which we would never have published over 200 issues.

We hope that whether you’re organising events, reflecting on topical issues, watching a diverse range of films, or appreciating great food and drink, you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thanks for reading.

Peter Cotterell


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is clamping down hard on influencers who publish positive posts about their client's products without revealing and often concealing that they have been paid to do so. It is thought that this strategy has the favour of both the influencer and their paying client, neither of whom would want to be seen as making money from dishonest and misleading advertising.

Meanwhile the ASA has named and shamed five participants from Love Island who it says have been guilty of the dishonesty - Francesca Allen, Eve Gale, Jess Gale, Belle Hassan and Anna Vakili.

In our August issue we ran the story of the exposure of Australian influencer and convicted scammer Belle Gibson who claimed to have recovered from a brain cancer she never had in order to sell a cookery book, published by Penguin.


West Yorkshire’s Little Valley Brewery recently came top of Ethical Consumer’s list of most ethically produced beers (May/June 2021). We reviewed 11 of their chilled beers to see if a clearer conscience could be associated with an enjoyable pint. The scores are out of ten, based on the preference of the reviewers.

Cragg Bitter - 4.2%
This full-flavoured bitter was savoured from first sip to last! Advertised as “bold and malty”, this certainly lives up to its billing, and then some! A beautiful bitter that in my view epitomises everything that a great beer should be. The biggest compliment I can give it is how disappointed I felt when the bottle was empty and I was left wanting more - a lot more.

Radical Roots - 4.0%
This pale ale packs a real ginger punch, but not one that overwhelms. There are also notes of dried fruit and citrus as advertised, but it’s good old Ginger who’s the showstopper and dances her way across your palette. As a one-off - I loved it - but it also left me looking forward to my next pale ale that doesn’t remind me of cans of pop on the way home from school.

Stage Winner - 3.5%
Citrusy, light and easy drinking, while being cloudier than your average pale ale. Lovely when well-chilled but must be drunk very cold to be enjoyed this much.

Cherry Saison – 4.5%
Like cherry cola just grew up and turned in to a beer. The label describes it as tart and tangy which it certainly was, but equally packed with flavour. A really enjoyable drink.

Moor Ale – 5.5%
A red-brown ale that’s rich and full-bodied. One to savour slowly in front of an open fire on a cold winter’s afternoon.

Withens Pale - 4.2%
A beautifully light and refreshing pale ale when served chilled - but chilled is an absolute must. Light and lager-like, but without the gas. Would work beautifully on a hot summer’s day.

Tod’s Blonde - 5.0%
A full-bodied beer that I enjoyed, despite not being a blonde lover ordinarily. It was refreshing with some fairly complex notes. Quite enjoyed this one and would buy it again.

Hebden’s Wheat - 4.5%
Described as a “fruity and hazy” this full-bodied beer does exactly what it says on the er, bottle. Speaking of the bottle, I’d totally missed the quote specific ‘To enjoy Hebden’s Wheat…’ pouring instructions - but enjoy it I did!

Stoodley Stout – 4.8%
I’m not a stout drinker but I went in open minded. I needn’t have worried. This was a delightful dark beer that delivered refreshment and taste in equal measures.

Dark Vale (Porter) - 4.5%
A relatively smooth and light Porter this, with subtle, but definitely present notes of vanilla and liquorice. Enjoyed it more than I anticipated I would - just the one mind - it’s still Porter after all.

Python IPA - 6.0%
A strong aftertaste that you would expect from a 6% IPA! Not for me I’m afraid!


The Process

Four of our gin tasters, Hazel, Maggie, Jack and David, agreed to taste 11 gins and rate them in order, with a score out of ten, based on what they enjoyed most. They had no information about the price, brand, etc., and therefore their reviews were based purely on taste. Gins were tasted with and without tonic.

In order of preference (maximum score: 40)

  1. GREYSONS (ALDI) 37.5% ABV £14.19/litre
    Score with tonic: 29. Score without tonic: 29.
    Comments: Strong juniper smell. Grassy, fresh, summery. Pine needles. Smooth and rounded. Pleasant with tonic.
  2. FISHERS SMOKED (Aldburgh Online) 44% ABV £80/litre
    Significant Botanical: Baby Bog Myrtle from Suffolk, plus smoke.
    Score with tonic: 26. Score without tonic: 24.
    Comments: Smokey smell, cinnamon and bonfire! Slightly tropical. Complex but not spicy. Fresh nose/aromatic. Pleasant with tonic.
  3. ROCK ROSE GIN, SUMMER EDITION (Dunnet Bay Distilleries Online) 41.5% ABV £53.60/litre
    Score with tonic: 26. Score without tonic: 23.
    Comments: Slightly sweet with a fennel/aniseed scent. Spicy, but lacking complexity. Not complex. Very drinkable with tonic.
  4. ISLE OF HARRIS GIN (Online) 45% ABV £57/litre
    Significant Botanical: Sugar Kelp from Outer Hebrides.
    Score with tonic: 25. Score without tonic: 21.
    Comments: Hot. Celery, juniper, pepper. Floral, possibly lavender. Fiery start then slightly sweet fruity scent. Strong and ‘oily’ neat, very pleasant with tonic.
  5. FISHERS ORIGINAL (Aldburgh Online) 44% £57/litre
    Significant Botanical: Baby Bog Myrtle from Suffolk.
    Score with tonic: 22. Score without tonic: 24.
    Comments: String juniper scent with an aniseed or cinnamon taste. Grassy, liquorice, bittersweet, tropical and citrussy.
    Score with tonic: 22. Score without tonic: 21.
    Comments: Rounded and warming spices. Tropical, but not sweet. Strong pineapple scent and taste. A bit disappointing neat, but improved with tonic.
  7. FISHERS FIFTY (Aldburgh Online) 50% ABV £80/litre
    Significant Botanical: Baby Bog Myrtle from Suffolk.
    Score with tonic: 22. Score without tonic: 21.
    Comments: Strong aniseed flavour. Fennel, liquorice, anise and celery. Summery. Pleasant with tonic.
  8. TOPAZ BLUE PREMIUM GIN (ALDI) 40% ABV £20/litre
    Score with tonic: 22. Score without tonic: 17.
    Comments: Strong and sharp when neat. Spicey nose. Grassy, fresh white pepper and juniper. Clean and refreshing. Lemon/citrus.
  9. HAYSMITHS CUCUMBER AND LIME (ALDI) 40% ABV £21/litre Score with tonic: 20.
    Score without tonic: 19.
    Comments: Sweet and fruity with a slight peppery finish. Fresh, grassy scent. Sweet, creamy background, slight taste of orange peel.
  10. RED DOOR HIGHLAND GIN (Online) 45%ABV £43/litre
    Significant Botanicals: rowan berries, bitter orange, heather.
    Score with tonic: 20. Score without tonic: 17.
    Comments: Smoot, but surprisingly strong neat, improved with tonic. Chemical. Faint smokiness like whiskey. Lacks complexity. Pleasant with tonic. Fruity, juniper scent.
    Score with tonic: 9. Score without tonic: 10.
    Comments: Fruity smell, vanilla yoghurt. Very sweet, like banana medicine! Weak, insipid. Improved with tonic. Very smooth when neat.


During 2020 and 2021 we wrote some background notes for three discussions staged by our local branch of the educational charity, the Workers Educational Association (WEA). These featured the slave trade in August 2020, free speech in January 2021 and cyberbullying in April 2021.

These are offered to readers on the basis that they might stimulate some further discussion on some important and topical subjects.


"Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!"
From "Man Was Made to Mourn: a Dirge". Robert Burns 1784


As colleagues will know the controversial statue of 17th century slave trader, and latterly philanthropist, Edward Colston was desecrated and torn down from its plinth on College Green in Bristol in June and rolled into Bristol's harbour.

The vandalism by a few dozen took place at the peaceful 10,000-strong Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on June 7, one of many across the world sparked by the appalling killing on May 25 by white police of George Floyd, a 46 year old black American man in Minneapolis, USA. Floyd was suspected of passing counterfeit money and during his arrest white police officer Dereck Chauvin, helped by three other police officers knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes, cutting off his breathing and causing his tragic death.

There is a view that under these circumstances the tearing down of a statue of a slave trader as a protest against the past treatment of black people by white people nearly 200 years ago is entirely justified, and since the Colston incident other statues of slave traders, and slave owners have been torn down, with threats of many more to follow. The police in Bristol however are treating the action as criminal damage and have already identified a number of the perpetrators from newsreel shot at the time. Our politicians have described the incident as "thuggery" and as "undermining the Black Lives Matter cause".

Undoubtedly the enslaving of an estimated 12.5 million black Africans, and their transportation to work till death on plantations in the Americas is a dark stain on the history of Great Britain, which was responsible for more than 3 million. It is known that 1.5 million enslaved died on the forced march to the coast, and when crammed in on the slave ships. These sailed the "Triangular Route" carrying British goods, often shoddily made guns, to Africa as payment for slaves that they collected for the "Middle Passage" to the Americas where they were exchanged for rum and sugar to take back and sell in the UK. This turned a substantial profit for slave traders like Colston, who also had buildings and streets named in his honour, while up in Liverpool both today's foodie destination of Bold Street and Penny Lane were named after prominent slavers. Around 90% of black slaves were sold to white European slave traders by black slave traders in Africa, both showing that black lives only mattered if you could make a profit selling them, or exploiting them as very cheap labour.

The British House of Commons passed a bill for the abolition of slavery in 1805, but this was rejected by the House of Lords, although slave trading was abolished in 1807. Slavery in the UK was abolished in 1833 by the Slavery Abolition Act. This came into effect on August 1 1834, at which time the British Government compensated slave owners across the UK for the loss of their slaves, to the tune of £20 million, equivalent to more than £6 billion today. The slaves got nothing. Careful records were kept of who the money was paid out to, and for how many slaves, and these records are searchable online for those who might want to know if any their ancestors were slave owners. (Warning. The author put one of his family names into the Slave Owners Database and turned up 48 men and women with the surname who owned in total more than 2,000 slaves. They were awarded the equivalent of £13 million for their loss.)

In the USA, where slavery was finally abolished in 1863, nearly 30 years after the UK, twelve US presidents had owned slaves. These included George Washington, America's first, who served from 1789 to 1797, laid the foundations of democracy and owned 317 slaves, and Thomas Jefferson, America's third, who served from 1801 to 1809, drafted the Declaration of Independence and owned more than 600 slaves, despite being against the institution of slavery. Both Washington and Jefferson have their 60 foot high faces carved into the rock at Mount Rushmore, along with Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909 America's 26th) and Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865 America's 16th) whose firm conviction that America should not break up on the basis of slavery led to its final abolition.

Others who made money from the inhuman business of slavery include King Leopold II of the Belgians, whose personal rule in the Congo from 1885-1908 was marked by atrocities against men, women and children forced to work collecting natural rubber. When Leopold died in 1909 many Belgians booed at his funeral, and it was only in June this year that the Belgian government, represented by King Phillipe, "expressed regret" for the atrocities committed in its former colony. This year numerous statues of Leopold II have been vandalised, and some taken down. During the 1940's the Nazis in Germany enslaved millions of men, women and children of Jewish, Polish and Roma descent, along with homosexuals and others they deemed "undesirable" killing those who couldn't work and working to death those who could.

Today, sadly, slavery is still with us, though not at these levels. However 300 - 400 potential victims of human trafficking or modern slavery were identified by police in Bedfordshire last year. Man is still inhumane to man. Question is, what can any of us do about it?


Films that feature slavery in the storyline include D. W. Griffith's epic and racist The Birth of a Nation (1915) and his Abraham Lincoln (1930), Gone With the Wind (1939), The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Gladiator (2000)

Some well-regarded films where slavery is the central theme follow.

  • Burn! 1970 (Marlon Brando)
  • Mandingo 1875
  • Roots 1977 (TV Miniseries)
  • Glory 1989
  • Amistad 1997
  • Amazing Grace 2006
  • Lincoln 2012
  • Django Unchained 2012
  • 12 Years a Slave 2
  • Belle 2013
  • Birth of a Nation 2016 (Same title as Griffith's 1915 film)


The principle of free speech, and freedom of expression, is a human right. It is recognised under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, which states that everyone should be able to hold opinions without interference. And they should be able to express their opinions, and ideas, without fear of censorship, retaliation or legal sanction. This can be done in any form, in speech, in writing, in print, in art or in any other media.



o "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Evelyn Beatrice-Hall, writer. Also credited to Voltaire.

o "I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so" Barack Oboma 44th US President.

o "Some people only speak of freedom of speech when they are out of power. Once they're in power they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others" Barack Obama 44th US President.

o "Goebbels was in favour of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you are really in favour of free speech then you're in favour of free speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise you're not in favour of free speech" Noam Chomsky, American philosopher.

o "It is easy to believe in freedom of speech for those with whom we agree" Leo McKern, Actor.

o "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech" Benjamin Franklin, British American Founding Father, USA.

o "I think freedom of speech is important, but coupled with responsibility" Brandon Boyd, American singer.

o "Too many people - some of them judges - seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from the consequences for what you have said" Thomas Sowell, American social theorist.

o "We have freedom of speech, but you got to watch what you say" Viola Spolin, American theatre academic.

o "I'm for the freedom of expression, given that it will be under strict control" Alan Bennett, British actor and author.

o "We should silence anyone who opposes the right to freedom of speech" Boyle Roche, Irish politician.

o "Being offended by freedom of speech should never be regarded as a justification for violence" Alan Dershowitz, American lawyer.

o "There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech" Idi Amin, murderous Ugandan President.

o "If a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking" Woodrow Wilson, 28th US President.

o "We're going to walk down to the Capitol" "Because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong" Donald Trump, businessman and 45th US President.

o "The only purpose for which power can be exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others" John Stuart Mill, English philosopher


In order to prevent physical or mental harm, or loss, to others there are a number of curbs on free speech.

Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of the state INSURRECTION is the act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion or resistance against a civil authority or established government. TREASON is the crime of acting to overthrow one's government, or harm or kill its sovereign.

Spoken or written words intended to incite hatred or violence in others. A HATE SPEECH is a public one that expresses hate and/or encourages violence towards a person or group based on aspects such as race, religion, national origin, colour, sexual orientation, gender and disability. In the USA most hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, but there is no such protection in the UK.

Portrayal of sexual subject matter for exclusive purposes of sexual arousal. OBSCENITY Statements or public actions that tend to deprave and corrupt or strongly offend according to the prevalent morality of the time.

Usually a false statement about a living person that unjustly harms their reputation - "lowers them in the esteem of right-thinking members of society" LIBEL is usually the written, or broadcast, word. SLANDER is the spoken word.

There are also curbs on revealing classified information or trade secrets, violation of copyright, violation of the rights to privacy, dignity and to be forgotten, breaching non-disclosure agreements made, and in some countries, blasphemy.



o The estimated 70 members of hate group Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) have a reputation in the USA for organising hate speech against Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Mormons, America and numerous Christian organisations, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Despite its name it is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination and it is especially active in picketing military funerals with placards stating "THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS" and "GOD HATES FAGS" at funerals for those in the gay community.

In August 2008 Canadian officials barred the hate group from entering the country after they discovered that their plan was to use the funeral of a 22 year old man, Tim McClean, who was horrifically killed, beheaded and cannibalised by a mentally ill attacker on a Greyhound bus, for protests against Canadian laws permitting homosexuality, abortion, divorce and remarriage.

In February 2009 the UK Home Office banned the hate group from entering the UK to picket a performance of The Laramie Project, a play about the horrific killing of a 21 year old gay student at the University of Wyoming, Matthew Shepard. They were banned on the basis of their hate speech that targetted the LGBT community.

Question. Should this antipathy to hate groups change in countries outside the USA? Or should America modify its First Amendment and change?


Star ratings from Radio Times and Guardian reviews, and out of five.

  • Nineteen Eighty-four (1984) 4* John Hurt and Richard Burton star in this nightmare vision of the future.
  • The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) 4* Biopic of pornography publisher of Hustler magazine. Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love star.
  • The Fifth Estate (2013) 4* Benedict Cumberbatch plays founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange.
  • Citizenfour (2014) 4* Documentary on former CIA systems analyst Edward Snowden and the NASA/GCHQ spying scandal.
  • The Post (2017) 4* Drama about the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star.

Internet sources
Peter Cotterell for WEA 2021


WEA Biggleswade Discussion Group, Thursday April 29

Notes on Cyberbullying. (Most will find this upsetting)

On October 10, 2012, a 15 year old Canadian student took her own life after (foolishly) exposing her breasts on the internet to an anonymous flatterer and then becoming a victim of brutal cyberbullying for more.

Before her death Amanda Todd posted a video on YouTube, telling her story of how she was ordered to expose herself again. When she didn't the original image of her was circulated, causing her to be insulted and bullied by school classmates. The bullying turned especially physical after she reportedly had ill-advised sex with an older man at his house while his girlfriend was away, and Todd had to face the wrath of the returned girlfriend, and a dozen helpers, who beat her and left her in a ditch.

She recounted some of her experiences with a series of 20 flashcards. As of February 2021 her video has been viewed more than 14 million times. The texts she wrote on the flashcards follow below. (verbatim)

  1. I got a msg on Facebook
  2. From him.....Don't know how he knew me....
  3. It said....If you don't put on a show for me I will send ur boobs
  4. He knew my address, school, relatives, friends, family names,
  5. Knock at my door at 4am....
  6. It was the police....my photo was sent to everyone
  7. I can never get that photo back....
  8. It's out there forever....
  9. So I moved schools again....
  10. Everything was better, even though I sat still alone
  11. 1 week later I get a text. Get out of your school.....
  12. So she did....She threw me to the ground a punched me several times
  13. Kids filmed it. I was all alone and left on the ground....
  14. I wanted to die so bad.... When he brought me home I drank bleach....
  15. It killed me inside and I thought I was gonna actully die.
  16. Ambulence came and took me to the hospital and flushed me.
  17. 6 months has gone by....people are posting pics of bleach, Clorex and ditches
  18. tagging me....I was doing a lot better too....They said....
  19. She should try a different bleach. I hope she dies this time and isn't so stupid.
  20. Everyday I think why am I still here?

Amanda Todd is one of a selection of 66 people across the world who have taken their own lives as a result of bullying, with the relatively new cyberbullying being involved in 20 of the cases. Of these 20 one victim was just ten years old, four were twelve years old, three were thirteen, two were fourteen, four were fifteen, two were sixteen, one was seventeen, and three were eighteen. Some were bullied because they were LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer/Questioning). Many hanged themselves, some shot themselves and some jumped to their deaths.

A 2018 Pew Research Study (USA) found that 59% of teenagers had experienced some form of cyberbullying, with offensive name-calling topping the list at 42%, followed by spreading of false rumours (32%), receiving explicit images they hadn't asked for (25%), constant asking of who they are, what they're doing and who they're with by someone other than a parent (21%), physical threats (16%), and having explicit images of them shared without their consent. A UK study by anti-bullying organisation Ditch the Label found that 42% of surveyed young adults experienced bullying on Instagram, 37% on Facebook, 31% on Snapchat and 9% on Twitter. Mobile telephones used by nearly all teenagers make them easy to reach.

In October this year a Dutch man, Aydin Coban, 42, will be tried by jury in a Canadian court charged with five offences in relation to Amanda Todd. Coban was sentenced in 2017 to 10 years and 243 days in prison for multiple offences of online fraud and blackmail in relation to the abuse of 34 young women and men. In many cases Coban's victims were young girls who he chatted to online, gaining their trust and sometimes posing as a young boy or girl. He persuaded them to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam, and then threatened to circulate the images if they didn't do more, threats he carried out in some cases. Coban has been extradited from the Netherlands to face the five charges in Canada, and will return to the Netherlands to finish his current sentence, plus any others that might be imposed.

In the UK 2009 was a key year for cyberbullying. In July Megan Gillan, 15, of Macclesfield Cheshire took a fatal overdose of painkillers, following extreme cyberbullying from classmates on Bebo. In August the very first conviction for bullying on the internet was handed down to 18 year old Kelly Houghton for her bullying and cyberbullying of classmate Emily Moore, over a four year period. Houghton was sentenced to three months in a young offenders institution after pleading guilty to harassment. And in September 15 year old Holly Grogan, who had been targetted for online abuse by classmates at her school in Cheltenham, leapt off a road bridge, fell 30 feet onto a busy dual carriageway in Gloucestershire and was hit by passing traffic.


Meanwhile a 2015 TV film The Cyberbully is available free on YouTube and has a documentary feel to the story of a young, but perhaps not so innocent, girl, beautifully played by Masie Williams, who is targetted by a vicious, anonymous, cyberbully who takes over her computer. What makes the film particularly good is that it is all based on real life experiences, enhanced by the acting quality of Williams in the lead role of Casey Jacobs as well as that of Haruka Abe, a Japanese English actress who plays the heartbreakingly naive Jennifer Li, who webcams herself telling her tragic story with flashcards before she takes her own life. As one reviewer opines: "It should be part of the school curriculum".



  1. What can our young relatives do to protect themselves and not become victims?
  2. What advice can we as parents/grandparents give?
  3. What can teachers do?
  4. What can our lawmakers do?



Blue Whale
A sick internet "game" encouraging troubled teens to commit increasingly dangerous acts of self-harm, culminating in suicide. Other versions are called A Silent House, A Sea of Whales, F57 and Momo. Schoolgirl Molly Russell, 14, from Harrow took her own life in November 2017 after viewing self-harm and suicide content on Instagram, owned by Facebook.

Publishing another's personal information.

Revenge Porn
Erotic images of victims originally sent by victims to partners, who then distribute them when the relationship turns sour or ends.

Sending menacing or upsetting messages with the intention to hurt.


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