- McLibel -

Re: So who are the real winners?

Posted by: erskine on June 20, 1997 at 15:24:29:

In Reply to: Re: So who are the real winners? posted by PAUL NICHOLLS on June 20, 1997 at 14:09:12:

: -ah yes, but, Erskine the kids keep coming back don't they?

this isn't a quantum leap here or anything - but the reason why they DO keep coming back is that they are initially and then continually bombarded with carefully manipulated imagery, promotions etc - cue ronald et al. The judge found in favour of this, McD exploit children, McD MAKE kids pester their parents to go to McD's. It's not that astounding a statemetn really - we have advertising watchdogs (we wouldn't have these if there wasn't some chance that adverts can and do manipulate) and people are to some degree or another aware that advertising is re: selling, manipulating people (or if you prefer - markets) in their clients favour - of course the watchdogs are there a) to salve the publics worries ('somethign should be done re: this kind of thing') b) to legitimise the advertising that does exist ('well if it's ok by that authority then it must be ok') and c) to sell more (often when they do actually exert influence in the publics interest it is to protect the advertising market from making errors NOT to protect we the people). Also they have vested interests (like any institution) and so if for example an anti-fur ad was put before them and a traditional and heavy lobby group like say the meat and livestock industry took obvious offence to it then they (the meaty group) could and would exert a lot of pressure to have the anti-fur ad pulled / banned .... this of course is just an example ...

: Mc Donalds, with respect did say they wouldn't bother pursuing them for Judgment but will certainly make any other person think twice (as you would expect) at looking to promote their ideas in a way that is a civil wrong. 'Helen and Dave' say "can't pay won't pay" - so teaching kids to act in an uncivil and frankly unlawful way is right?

taken at face value (AGAIN) then yes this is uncivil - but facts: helen and dave were refused legal aid, helen and dave were denied a jury (too complex - by this argument we shouldn't even be communicating now - the subject being too much for us to discuss), helen and dave live off very very limited resources. taken together there are two points - firstly: they were denied the ability to fight this case on an equal and fair footing with McD - therefore why should they pay - secondly:
they have not the resources to pay (but dave does have a dependant apparently - I'm sure they would really appreciate having the bailiffs around to rob them of all their belongings).

: To ignore the authority of the Court is something you put your stamp to is it?

ignoring the authority of the court in this case damages no person - it does not inflict pain or cause any emotive stress - the judge said in his summary that multinationals do not feel or have any emotions (might sound obvious) - this action of won't pay - can't pay - is therefore a justified stance. It is greater than the opinion of one man (ie this is a judgemnt not from any of our peers but from someone who very few of us could relate to directly or indirectly), sitting unelected to hear a case.

: : No but they sure as hell care that they have lost the sections that have lost.

: I accept that they were concerned and good luck to the concerns - hopefully the public at large will be protected then, at least it shows the Court thought the Judgment through carefully, and, with respect Erskine coming second in a two horse race isn't that good is it?!?

back to those simple figures again - how about these ones instead:

3million leaflets handed out as oppposed to some few thousand before the case?

incalculable bad press for McD as opposed to very little at all?

the promise of round two (European Courts) and not the final chapter?

the existence of this website as opposed to not at all?

: I adopt your argument, where have the protests of the last X years got them? Nowhere, if you argue that then answer the simple question as to why McD's can be found in virtually every city in the world and continue to grow. For goodness sake don't fight my corner!

where has this last X years got who? - helen and dave? - seeing as how they appear to be people not too interested in personal fortunes this is not really relevant. where has it got the protest against multinaitonals as epitomised by McD? well, just look at the campaign section on McSpotlight - protests in scores of countries, more and more information being disseminated and high profile coverage of the case (and therefore despite the best efforts of the media) coverage of the issues - how many people do you think you could meet that would say that they thought McD food to be healthy? that working at McD was beneficial to personal ambitions and desires? that McD did not contribute to some sort of environmental impact that could involve damaging ecosystems beyond repair? I don't think that many. This case has not caused this limited awareness on its own - but equally this awareness was not created within a vacuum - it has affected public opinion and it has shown what ordinary people and campaigners can do if they stand up to the onslaught of MNC's.

: I can see your biased views now, you're a vegetarian!
perceptive? - well maybe maybe not - the point being, anyone would come to the same conclusions. Parents do affect what their kids eat etc- therefore the movement away from meat will continue - of course the meat and dairy lobby are doing themselves no favours and governments either - with BSE, e.coli and other food poisoning on the increase they have adopted the stance that the public must not know - they are running scared - the result being people do not trust them and why should they conditions within abbatiors have been appalign for years but poeple didn't and weren't let to be told ('don't want to worry the people').

: I frankly couldn't give monkeys about the case but I think it has interesting angles, I'm not biased just an educated cynic.

well, educated cynic - perhaps looking around for the doorway to another experience would make more use of your abilities rather than sitting and observing (apologies if you feel this to be out of place - perhaps you are but haven't said so).

: Happy in the knowledge they don't have to walk around having to declare to all credit agencies that they have one hell of a Judgment hanging over them for life.

let's just wait and see how this Judgement hanging over them for life works out.

here's one last simple figure:

no. of people, firms, organisations, unions, papers, institutions, systems, in fact any manifestation that has been threatened and / or taken to court by McD - loads (known ones amount to some 30 cases)

no. of the above that have ever got anything out of it - 0.3

helen and dave have done something that Channel 4 couldn't, the BBC wouldn't and what all of them probably really wanted to do - show McD to be what they really are - exploitative of workers, animal and kids, and promoting an unhealthy diet that will in all probability lead to a diminished state of health and possibly death.

: Good to chat to someone who's thought it through.

"Every positive action is worth 10,000 words about action."

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