Event Organisers Update September 2021 ISSUE 202 - an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).
Event Organisers Update
The newsletter for organisers of events.
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.
CLAMP DOWN ON DISHONEST INFLUENCERS
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.
Cragg Bitter - 4.2%
Radical Roots - 4.0%
Stage Winner - 3.5%
Cherry Saison – 4.5%
Moor Ale – 5.5%
Withens Pale - 4.2%
Tod’s Blonde - 5.0%
Hebden’s Wheat - 4.5%
Stoodley Stout – 4.8%
Dark Vale (Porter) - 4.5%
Python IPA - 6.0%
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)
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!"
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?
SLAVERY IN FILMS
Some well-regarded films where slavery is the central theme follow.
THE RIGHT TO SPEAK FREELY
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.
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT FREE SPEECH
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
MAIN LIMITATIONS TO FREE SPEECH
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?
SOME FILMS ABOUT FREE SPEECH
WEA Biggleswade Discussion Group, Thursday April 29
Notes on Cyberbullying. (Most will find this upsetting)
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)
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.
SOMETHING WE SHOULD ALL SEE?
HERE'S SOME QUESTIONS FOR OUR DISCUSSION.
HERE'S SOME TERMINOLOGY
Newsletter distributed by SG7.biz for Society of Event Organisers