- McSpotlight -

a moderator replies.....

Posted by: Jill ( McSpotlight ) on December 06, 1998 at 20:20:47:

In Reply to: My Review of this website. posted by Rowelentless on December 04, 1998 at 01:14:06:

: I found this page like many others...by surfing and after really reading all this stuff , including the stuff on that waste of time trial. My question is why? Now I know that you'd like to have your voices heard , but most of this stuff is absurd. Trust me on this.

Is there any particular reason why we should all 'trust you on this'?

: Nutrition.

: You constantly tell us that Mc D's food is unhealthy. NO DUH!!
: Mc D's only says that about their low fat items. Now if they were saying a big mac was nutrtious that is another story. Keep your ears open about what Mc D's actually says before barking at them.

I'm glad you realise that their food is unhealthy. However, some people don't. Bearing in mind that McDonald's often promote their food as healthy and nutritious (not just the 'low fat' items), it's not surprising that some people have been misled into thinking that the food is good for them. This is an exact quote from a McDonald's brochure 'Every time you eat at McDonald's you will be eating good, nutritious food.' Note how it says every, and that it doesn't say that this only applies to their 'low fat items', many of which aren't that low in fat anyway. This is just one example, they have misled people plenty of times. Perhaps you should keep your eyes open to what McDonald's actually say before barking to their defence and criticising us.

: Advertising

: You shouldn't critize how the company markets their product. Like any other good company (Yes, good company) You have a right to post your veggie crap in the "underground" and other places as long as you have the money. You shouldn't have people deface signs or put dead cows in front of drive thrus. That is just plain stupid. There are other ways to show your voice. (Such as this ludicrious website)

Why shouldn't we and other people criticise how McDonald's market their products if we don't agree with it? Are you suggesting that McDonald's are above criticism? On the other point, firstly we are not a company and we don't sell 'veggie crap' or veggie anything. Secondly, whether or not others can advertise is irrelevant to the right to criticise advertising by companies such as McDonald's who exploit children with their advertising and run deceptive adverts, and that's on top of the fact that they're encouraging people to eat more of products which are unhealthy, and produced in a manner which is detrimental to the environment. Funnily enough, this is one of the issues that McDonald's sued over, trying to prevent people from criticising their advertising on these grounds. And what happened? It backfired on them, when the Judge in McLibel ruled that their advertising does exploit children, and that they do deceptively promote their food as nutritious.

Finally on this subject, McSpotlight doesn't 'have' people do anything, this website is just a library of information about McDonald's & the McLibel trial, multinationals and the alternatives. If you don't like people defacing signs perhaps you should think a little about why they do it. Firstly because they feel strongly about those issues, and secondly because 'graffiti' and 'flyposts' are often the only methods that ordinary people have of 'advertising' their views. What's the difference between a McDonald's advert on a bus shelter, and an anti-McDonald's flypost? The only difference is that McDonald's were rich enough to pay for their poster to be there. But why should only those with lots of money be able to put over their views to the public?

: Employment

: I am happy to be an employee of my local McD's. I won't be there for life, but at least I will have a good experience.

: As for the low wages/and hours in BRITAIN. FIX PARLIMENT NOW!! You guys in the UK NEED a min. wage like we do in the US and some CLEAR child labor laws. Then it won't seem like "slave" conditions.

: I read the testimony in the trial from the ex employees. I ask WHY come in on your off day when you know you don't have to! I swear some people in the UK can be pretty naive.

: In the US there are good and bad McD's. Most are good. So don't see a few stores (mostly in the UK) as the whole chain.

Good luck with your job at McDonald's, I hope you don't have any bad experiences there, but somehow I doubt it.

Some people have some choice about whether they work at McDonald's, other people don't. Some people depend on their job to feed their families, others are for example students earning top up money who are largely supported by their families because they still live at home. McDonald's pays low wages everywhere around the world. For those who only rely on McDonald's for kind of 'pocket money', perhaps the wages can seem ok to them. But for anyone who tries to support a family or run their own home, it's virtually impossible to do on McDonald's wages. And the reality is for all McDonald's workers that the company is paying you far less than it's making from your labour - it's ripping you off.

If you think that working for McDonald's is so great, then why aren't you staying there for life?

As for minimum wages, well even when countries do have them they're not usually set that high, because the wants [not needs] of big business are always taken into account. The minimum wage in the USA is nothing to shout about, and the proposed minimum wage in the UK is not much better than useless. And as for child labour laws, well the UK had at least some labour laws relating to the hours young people could work, but McDonald's chose to break them anyway, and got taken to court for it on some occasions. But, there were plenty more times when it didn't come to light.

Perhaps literally people can't be forced to come in on their day off, but the reality is that they're virtually blackmailed into doing so by threats to cut hours, or knowing that if they don't 'co-operate' they'll be given all the dirty jobs or not given the hours that they want or that fit in with their schedule. That's hardly a free choice.

: Enviroment
: I should give you earth nuts credit for solving the styrofoam dilemma we had in the US about 10 years ago. But don't blame McD's for litter!
: Dumb people do that. What about those worthless leaflets you guys send out on the UK streets. (I bet many throw them out and walk to eat a big mac.) Are THOSE made of recylced paper?

Firstly the vast majority of campaigning groups do use recycled paper for their leaflets, but in any event, the paper used by them is absolute peanuts when compared to the amount used by industry, and at least it's being used to encourage action to be taken to improve the situation, rather than just a means of making more profits. Why shouldn't McDonald's be blamed for litter. They chose to promote the use of disposable packaging which is going to be disposed of within minutes, rather than using re-usables.

It's very generous of you to give environmentalists the credit for 'solving the styrofoam dilemna'. Perhaps you didn't even realise there was a problem until environmentalists raised the issue. And perhaps you should try listening to what environmentalists are saying now, about the current problems we face, rather than writing them off as 'earth nuts'.

: Animals.
: Oh please, what you do want farmers to do to yummy cows and chickens. Give them a luxury high rise with free cable? Hell no! They are treated better than those on death row! And stop trying to convert meat eaters to become veggie freaks. It is just plain dumb!

The idea behind the campaign is to let people know how cattle, chickens and pigs are reared in cruel conditions, and that people don't have to eat meat to live. So why not stop breeding animals to live a life of suffering and then premature death by slaughter?

: Free Speech
: If the so called "Mc Libel2" didn't say things about McD's then they wouldn't be in this mess. And why are the wasting their time with an APPEAL! A total waste of british tax pounds (dollars) you might add.

Do you believe in free speech or not? The McLibel 2 did not actually write the leaflet that they were sued over. They were sued as supporters of London Greenpeace, the organisation which produced the leaflet. They are appealing because they believe it is important to uphold the right of members of the public to criticise rich and powerful corporations which have so much influence over society and our lives. Much of the Judgment went in their favour, but because of the way libel laws are framed in the UK, they lost some parts basically because the Judge accepted McDonald's extreme interpretation of what the leaflet meant (not what it actually said).

As for the cost to the British taxpayer, well perhaps you should address that question to McDonald's, since they were the ones that chose to bring the case in order to attempt to silence their critics. And perhaps you should criticise the British Government too, for allowing multinational companies to sue campaigners in this way.

You seem to suggest that people don't have a right to fight cases that are brought against them, that they should just lay down and let themselves be walked all over by whichever company chooses to sue them. What kind of world are you looking for? One where nobody questions anything?

: And WHY Dave brought him and his son to "Mc Donald's fun day" at his day care center? If you knew that Ronald and "Team Corporate" were coming why didn't he take him to a movie or something instead?
: Just plain dumb and Naive those two.

The fun day at Dave's son's play centre was organised by the parents and carers involved with the centre, for the kids that attended. So why shouldn't Dave go along with his son. It was not a 'McDonald's fun day' and was not organised in any way by McDonald's, all they did was donate a paltry sum and get a whole load of free advertising. Why should McDonald's, who did no more than hijack the event, be able to prevent a local parent from taking his child to an event at his own play centre?

: Expansion.
: If you try to prevent a new store, or close an existing one, Mcd's will just laugh at you. It won't really bother them. Go and plant some trees instead.

There have actually been several campaigns which have succeeded in preventing McDonald's from opening in new localities. I expect that all of them bothered McDonald's, but I don't expect they would admit that.

: Capitalism
: Plain and simple. You can't stop it. If you don't like then move to a commie nation. They might chop your hand off for sending out a flyer on ANYTHING! Oh, there is no McD's in Iran, Cuba, or Iraq. Love captilalism. That's why we almost beat Sadamm's a#$.

No-one oppposing capitalism underestimates what a huge battle we have on our hands, when faced with the fact that at present the capitalists control just about everything, from land and resources to the media, and to a very large extent, our lives. The vast majority of the population do not benefit from capitalism, and are not really that happy with the way things are - if they were, why would lotteries be so popular? People want change, but at the same time they are afraid that the process of bringing about change might involve suffering, or going short, or even injury or death, and on top of that there is the fear of the unknown. What if we succeed in creating change - what then? If you've been told all your life that capitalism is the best possible way of doing things, and that there is no real alternative, well, you're bound to feel just a little worried that things might not work out. This is the biggest difficulty we face, in trying to convince people to overcome their fear and fight for change, and that we can create a better world based on freedom, sharing and mutual aid, and with respect for all life.

Throughout history, all movements fighting for change have faced huge battles, that have often seemed insurmountable. And there have always been the pessimists who have said that things will never change. Undoubtedly change does take time, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth fighting for. If people hadn't fought and died for change in the past then black people would still be slaves, and women would still be stuck at home and kept quiet. At the start of the Civil Rights Movement it was a minority of black people taking action and speaking out - saying that they'd had enough (giving voice to what a lot of others felt), that got the whole thing rolling. No doubt many others felt that it was too dangerous to fight, that as did happen, some people would get imprisoned, injured or killed. But as the movement grew and ideas spread, people became convinced that change was possible, that is was worth taking the risk, and so the movement grew so big it became pretty much unstoppable and change was inevitable. This is almost always the way change happens.

And why should people who oppose the way a minority (the capitalists) make their profits at the expense of the rest of us, have to move away from our homes and communities? I doubt we'd be left in peace even if we did. After all there are plenty of indigenous tribes around the world keeping themselves to themselves and yet still getting trashed by capitalism.

: So there you have it. I told ya why this site is a waste of space. My advice to Dave and Helen. Just quit. You should have taken the $$ instead, and Helen? Is beer WORSE than McD's?? Just a thought.

You're entitled to your thoughts, but neither we nor the McLibel 2 are about to quit. We feel it is important that there is a space for alternative views to counter those continually promoted by McDonald's with their $2 billion a year worldwide advertising and promotions budget. And perhaps you agree since in your piece under advertising you said that people should post their views on this site rather than on street signs. As for taking the $$, there are things in life a lot more important than money. Like freedom of speech and the right to criticise powerful corporations, like ending exploitation and oppression of people and animals, and like stopping endless environmental damage.

As for the beer question, McSpotlight and the McLibel campaign are not criticising individual workers who work for companies like McDonald's, nor the customers who eat there. We recognise that because of the way society is currently run, people have limited choices to make in terms of work and survival, and huge influences on eating habits because of both advertising and the current pace of life. The criticism is of the company, and other multinationals like them, who are making their profits at the expense of the rest of us and to the detriment of the whole planet.

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