Friday, April 6, 2012

The Super Secret Object Campaign Structure

Object are a small organisation, with in the region of 250 members/activists. Clearly if their localised campaigns are to succeed, they need to leverage beyond their immediate activist group.
During the Hackney campaign, Object posted on Mumsnet to encourage people to write/email the Licensing Department with their objections. The campaign failed and it would appear that since this time, Object have changed their strategy.

If an activist states an opinion, people usually react with caution because activists are clearly committed to their cause and their message may well be tainted with misinformation. If a non partisan member of the public states a position, other people are more likely to listen and act.
I can prove that Object activists are posting on message boards as concerned members of the public and are witholding their affiliation to the group, my posting on the activities of Mrs Clown provides further details...

Initially, lets look at their general campaign structure and methods in more detail.  Object communicate to their activists via two main channels, their website and the private Yahoo Message Board. Their website has a page dedicated to encouraging campaigns against specific clubs.

 How Object are so well informed is unclear. It could by notification from local activists or a Google Alert set to search for phrases such as ‘Nil Policy’ ‘Lapdancing Club’ and ‘License Application’.

The on-line editions of local newspapers are clearly seen as useful channels for influencing members of the public. The Hackney Citizen ran a number of articles about the ‘Nil Policy’. This caught the eye of Object as we can see from this frame grab from their Yahhoo Message Board. 

The poster requests activists to comment on the various message threads and lo and behold we saw as a reponse to the article mentioned in the above frame grab....

Bjorn declares his affiliation to Object by linking to their website and his use of language.

Chloe G joins in and states her support for dancers that are compelled to do work in clubs by her view that she all be made redundant. I note that Chloe is not prepared to take any responsibility for the futures of those that would have been made unemployed, that's because she doesn't care...

Bjorn was back again shortly and seems to know a lot about clubs and insults the dancers when he compares them to animals in a zoo.

Its not the media that portrays women as a single stringed instrument, its Object actually that seem to be doing that...

An Object activist quotes the Lillith Report and its utterly mistaken view about incidences of rape in Camden. Read more about Lillith here and doubt the intellect of Sarah. And note Sarah condemns dancers as being back alley prostitutes. Haters just keep hating...

This is an awful story and I hate to read things like this. But there is no link between clubs and cases of sexual assault and no one buys or sells women in clubs.

Once again, how do clubs encourage wider discrimination in society? The only thing that is totally clear is the hate filled viewpoint of the contributor.

Object clearly understand that to campaign openly puts them at a disadvantage. Therefore they campaign by stealth, make as many unsubstantiated accusations as they can without being too specific in order to avoid legal action and then hope for the best.

Any club owner that values their business should be looking at Mumsnet and the online editions of any local newspapers to search for signs of Object activity, in order to counter the potential for reputational damage and loss of their trading licence.

This has never been about local democracy, it has been about something else. My best guess is that the thousands of emails and letters sent to Licensing departments throughout the country, all come from the same group of people – Object activists.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I discovered this blog and would like to contribute.
    I see you oppose the group Object for their lobbying against stripping clubs. Your argument is that we live in a liberal country where individuals should be free to do what they want. Isn't?
    But tell me, who is the woman happy to see her male partner surrounded by naked women? Should we be surprised to see that women do not like these places? That's common sense. However, women's argument is weak in that certain problems cannot be solved by the state (or at least solely by the state). If I was a woman, I would have tackled my issues with these clubs by simply ending the relationship with my partner straight away if he wanted to go. Certainly I would have not invoked help from the council.
    However I am a man, and men are supposed to love the business. The point is that for some reason someone does not. Personally, I prefer to admire the naked body of my ladyfriends in the quite and privacy of my home and do not find appropriate that someone makes money on this. Further, I'm not sure at all that these places are so harmless and do not think that the this is just a feminist issue. What does it happen if you do not want to go (for instance because you would be embarrassed, or have religious beliefs, or just do not want to become turned on in front of others, or do not want to put a strain on a relationship, etc) and your friends or even worse your boss arrange a party in these places? You end up going against your preferences and will because you do not want to loose your face with others (not to mention the issues in the workplace). Sure, we live in a liberal country and so you can say "no, thanks", but in this case your masculinity is questioned, and my personal experience suggests that this is not nice at all. You pay a very high price for your choice (I did, but I have no regrets).
    I would be cautious to talk about morality. The licensing of these places is itself surrounded by moral standpoints. The state is telling us that a certain approach to sex is acceptable, or even desirable, within the rules set by them. It gives a moral message and inevitably this legitimates the others to stigmatize us when we say "no, thanks" as I did, because after all we are refusing to do something which is regulated and licensed by the state, and cannot therefore be "bad".
    I consider myself a really liberal person, but to me being liberal does not mean to passively accept what happens in my community. Indeed I think that this is exactly what we are asked to do .... we have the illusion of having choice, but are asked to comply with norms and values imposed by the business (in this case the sex industry) to which the state promptly gives legitimation through the law.
    And please don't tell me that there are women who would loose their jobs without these places. There are a lot of unemployed out there, and I don't see so much interest in the condition of other workers. If we have to accept strip clubs only to allow the employees to make money, then please remove any restriction to gambling, drug dealing and similar and give people opportunities to make money. After all, no one is forced to consume drugs or get involved with gambling. We live in a liberal country, isn't?