Friday, 19 September 2014

Two Dead Quangos

What bloody use are the Advertising Standards Authority and its stupid twin brother Ofcom? I ask because there have been a series of ridiculous judgements by these two organisation, who are quite obviously scratching around for reasons to exist.

The Advertising Standards Authority has recently banned a Jaguar TV commercial which shows two F-Type convertible sport cars driving down a closed road. It took the view that two racing cars .... well, er, 'Glorified Speed'.

And Ofcom, well they are once again having a go at the Top Gear TV show .... because the show featured Jeremy Clarkson et al, looking at a bridge they had built on the River Kwai as a local man walked across it. Clarkson remarked: "That is a proud moment. But there's a slope on it." ....  to which co-star Richard Hammond replied: "You're right. It's definitely higher on that side." .... however innocent this may seem, this it appears was both a truth, and a racial insult. Although I had to have the racial insult explained, apparently, 'a slope', can refer to Asians with slanted eyes.

Quangos Burning

Now I am not here to defend either Jaguar or Top Gear - although it seems that the BBC is trying to destroy its most popular younger male orientated TV show .... no doubt to be replaced with more episodes of EastEnders ... That'll bring in more women at least.

No, it was the basis of these actions that makes me sure that these two organisations are both past their useful life. Top Gear has a UK viewing figure of around Five Million while the Jag advert, if shown during a popular sports game, could well be seen by at least 8 to 10 million.

The number of complaints against Top Gear was two, I'll repeat that, just 2 complaints out of 5 million viewers .... so 0.000004 of the viewers complained. Statistically, that means that no one was offended.

Similarly, the number of complaints against the Jaguar Advert was was two, and I'll repeat that as well, just 2 complaints out of 5 million .... so again the best justification was 0.000004 of the viewers complained. Again, statistically, that means that no one was offended.

So effectively, what we can watch, what we can say or do is circumscribed by just two people (or maybe four, but I suspect that they may be the same two people). Now surely to trigger any actions, these two organisations must get a statistically significant number of complaints before they can act?

How can they act so harshly when just two complaints come in? To put this in perspective, the most complained about TV show in the UK this year was 'Big Brother' with 965 complaints, but incredibly popular, so ....? Its still on air, and no action taken. Even the drama 'Ripper St' attracted 88 complaints, but remained on air untouched by action. The Tom Cruise movie 'Jack Reacher' had 26 complaints .... but nothing. So why do two complaints cause warnings and removals for other programmes?

If their modus of action, is that any complaint is sufficient to act, then they are nothing more than censors, acting arbitrarily. As far as I can tell, there is no way to complain about their decisions, or the fact that they are acting unreasonably, in responding to single figure complaints.

In other words, just another couple of Quangos, who are acting like unelected governments, and who are now just laws unto themselves.     


  1. The tragedy is that more people don't complain about Top Gear in general. Apart from that I agree; there should be a minimum number of complaints before action can be taken, and those complaints should have substance, which these ones do not. Someone is really trying hard to find offence with the word 'slope' !

    1. There seems to be a small group who create issues that don't exist. This same group are very active in 'race' and 'immigration' matters


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