Saturday, November 29, 2014

OBJECT at Spearmint Rhino 2 - Dancing With Myself.

So this is how it started...

We all saw that Object were planning Round 2 at Spearmint Rhino, with another demo planned for the Paul Raymond Awards on 24th November and Tony and Brute and I started to swap e-mails about the possibilities presented.

I took the view that the evening would be a good opportunity to grab our own footage of Object going crazy and our interest was piqued by the posting below from one of their supporters on their Facebook page...

This was an indication that Object planned to be really stupid and try force entry to the awards and throw stink bombs around. The Facebook page for the event indicated 27 Objectors had signed up for the protest with others indicating that they be might attending.

So Brute and I decided to meet and film the protest and our preparations were underway. I downloaded Windows MovieMaker so as to edit the footage and get it on the blog as quickly as possible. My I-phone was fully charged, Brute brought along his handcam and we agreed to meet at 6.30 and find a great vantage point.

Its been a long time since I was in Tottenham Court Road and I had a distant memory of a pub next door to Spearmint Rhino that I thought would make a great place to film from. Except that I discovered that it didn't exist anymore and had been replaced by a branch of 'Japanese Canteen'. But never mind, I learned of a pub across the road (The Court) and Brute agreed that it would be perfect to mix in with the regular drinkers and watch proceedings from across the road...

I arrived early and walked down Tottenham Court Road to see what was going on. It was a busy night, with lots of people and as I walked past Spearmint I noticed that the organisers of the Paul Raymond Awards had been doing their homework - crowd control barriers were placed on the pavement ready for deployment. So I crossed the road and went inside The Court to wait for Brute.

I had hoped that the pub would be full of Object supporters waiting to start their protest, but amazingly I was wrong. It was actually full of people from the porn industry waiting to go across the road for the awards. Immediately I was concerned, I started to wonder what would happen if the hordes of screaming Object protesters found the pub and its customers and started their protest early. My plan was to film Objects activities, not be the subject of them...

So Brute arrived on time and we started to wait for Object. I noted that Spearmint had opened its doors and that there was a large queue waiting to get inside the venue. I also noticed the police in attendance as well. It seemed that everyone was there, apart from Object. At just past 7pm, when there was still no Object, Brute and decided to go and look for them. We walked around a bit, confident that we couldn't miss the hordes with their placards descending on the venue.

We saw nothing and then it occurred to us - what if the demo instructions on the Object Facebook page were in fact misinformation? Brute and I hurried up to the protest meeting point at Warren Street Tube, bearing mind that it was almost 7.15 at this point. Did Object plan to arrive from another direction or from multiple directions, maybe in small groups so as to frustrate the security arrangements put in place by the event organisers?

"There they are!" cried Brute.

I looked around expecting to see at last 30 placard and banner bearing Object members outside Warren Street Tube.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I saw Roz Hardie and 6 supporters. If you look really hard, you can kind of see them in the middle of the above photo. Kind of... So at this point we were unsure how to proceed so we crossed the road and waited by a large Christmas tree to ponder the issues.

"They're following us", Brute muttered. "Look behind you".

I turned and saw that the Magnificent 7 had decided that no one else was going to show and had decided to cross the road and walk down to the venue. It was then I got a glimpse of a somewhat disappointed looking Roz Hardie, I can say she was disappointed because she walked within 3 foot of me. In our plans, we imagined following behind a horde of protesters, filming them as they screached obscenities, but they all seemed very downcast

"Back to the Pub?" I ventured and Brute agreed.

It was almost 7.30 at this point and by the time we had a drink and wandered outside to see what was going on, the Object protest was in full swing...

As you can see the reality of the protest failed to meet our expectations. Brute and I then wondered if more protesters were going to arrive and decided to go back inside to the warm of The Court. Most of the porn people had left at this time, so apart from chatting about this and that, there wasn't a lot we could do.

We gave it another half hour and went outside again. It was at this point that Object tried to start one of their famous chants and a somewhat desultory "Object! Not Sex Objects!" was heard but only for about 15 seconds before they decided to keep quiet. I have to say that Brute and I decided to give it a miss and went to Shoreditch and The White Horse, there was however time for another photo...

So this is the new reality of Object protests. Kept two shop widths away from the entrance of the venue, crowd control barriers at the ready (not that they were needed) and the police. Lets summarise...

The above is a frame grab taken from the Object protest Facebook page.

'28 went' - No I think about 12 people went at the most.

'.....the council who want the club not to have a renewed licence....'. Really Roz and how do you know that? I do understand that you have lots of links with public sector employees, but if what you are saying is correct, then Camden Council have already decided the outcome of the next Licence application. Is that the case Roz?

For Object the Paul Raymond protest was in many ways a failure, but for the rest of us, it was a quite a result.

As hardly anyone from Object turned up, no one was subject to abuse like they were at the XBIZ EU event. If you want to see what Object can be like when they are fighting the patriachy, then please follow this link. Actually you see some nice photos as well of Object making vile and unfounded allegations with their placards at the same event here.

Clearly the management of Spearmint Rhino and the organisers of the Paul Raymond Awards felt it was time to manage the risk presented by Object, hence the presence of the police. But I wonder if Roz Object felt the same way, because at XBIXZ, Object were out of control. At Paul Raymond a few weeks later, well, the approach was very different...

Ultimately, Object are now seen as a potential risk to public order and that is a reputation that they richly deserve and before I sign off, I want to make another point. Object are desperately hoping that they footage of their mini riot at XBIZ goes away. Certainly they don't want to talk about it and would rather no one else saw it. Well. I have decided to make sure that as many people as I can find out about what happened and I will be doing it on this blog throughout December.

To help hold Object to account, please visit the article at the blog here. Its an excellent article about the XBIZ protest and has good great photos. The excellent Sex and Censorship blog also covered the protest and please link to it from here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Designer Feminist Monthly - Object

I thought it was about time that 'Designer Feminist Monthly' caught up with Object....

OBJECT at Spearmint Rhino 1 - Mama Weer All Crazee Now....

It's Chasmal here, back for my first posting for absolute ages and this time I will not be going away again. My retirement is well and truly over. So without delay, let's get to business...

So, as we all know, Object decided to protest outside the XBIZEU Conference in September and better still decided to try and disrupt the event that the organisers held later at Spearmint Rhino. This would have been one of the first major field exercises ran by Objects' new CEO Roz Hardie and much fun was had by all. That said, the most fun was probably had by the person that filmed the protesters and released the footage on YouTube...

Object have always categorically denied that they are or indeed have ever been abusive to their targets. Well, this video proves what we have always known, that Object are essentially a bunch of abusive thugs with a frightening 'gang' mentality.

The abuse that you will see and hear was aimed at men and women who entering Spearmint Rhino to attend the XBIZEU event that evening and I must admit I would not have liked to been subject to the attention of these thuggish supporters of Object. What was truly amazing though was the various photos that started to appear on Object members Twitter feeds, one of which I have copied below...

I am unsure if this photo was taken before or after the protest, but from my viewing of the video it seems likely that it was before...

Although I haven't been blogging, I have been keeping in touch with what Object have been up to and I have started wonder if the group has started to change, both in terms of its people and attitude to protest. It seems to me that there is an increasing element of those that favour more direct action, those that are happy to push the boundaries of acceptable behaviour in public. This means that someone, sometime is going to get hurt...

Something that struck me is that in the past, Object have campaigned to have clubs closed down because children might at some point walk past the club and be corrupted. The behaviour of the protesters at Spearmint Rhino protest makes hypocrites of them all, because if there were any children in the area of the protest or in the residential flats above the venue, they would have heard and seen and group of 'human rights' activists screaming 'You're a Fucking Wanker' to members of the public as they tried to enter a club.

Earlier this year, I met with one of the dancers that was subject to campaign of abuse by Object. She told me in very clear terms about the anonymous phone calls and threats made and I need you to understand that my dancer friend without any doubt, linked the abuse campaign to a member of Object. Roz Hardie and her gang may scoff about this claim in the same way they tried to deny that the events portrayed in the video actually ever took place, but now the truth is really out there for all to judge.

Watch the video and then tell everyone you know about it, because it more than anything represents the truth that lies at the core of Object.

Finally, I want to say that Tony and I are sharing the blog and we of course welcome contributions from interested third parties with something to say...

See you soon...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Object and the Continued Hate

Normally I don't put out short pieces but wait till I have more to say but today.....

So we all know Object are busy hating on people but now we have video proof of their behaviour (here). What is important here is this message has been shouted at dancers in the past and if not for the protection of stigmatised dancers we would have had more reports of the abuse that Object hurl at those they dislike. Wonder what they would say to me in a wheelchair as I am sure I must be a rapist and a loser!

TonyN (

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Have the Fireworks Finished yet? A mid November Round Up

So this is a bit of a round up of things over the last couple of weeks and of course my wit and observations, only without the wit.

Firstly I want to pick up with the recent ruling in Halifax where it seems striptease is a lot more tease and a not quite so much strip. The club had asked that a condition of it's license be waived and that dancers be allowed to remove their G Strings when performing private dances. Now there are clubs within 20 miles of including Leeds where there are more clubs without the restriction you will find in Halifax. Now given this you would think if you are going to allow a business to operate you would allow them to compete on an even footing with other business in the locality. But of course this would not be the UK world of striptease without different conditions on clubs based of the sensibilities of the local council. This is one of the reasons the dance industry has so many detracters because there is now standard practice and no accepted best practice. So dancers will get totally different experiences in different clubs and this will reflect on how they deal with customers.

Bournemouth Coucil and in particular Councillor David Smith gets our attention next. Seems a guy got drunk before going into Spearmint Rhino, waved 3 credit cards around and ran up a £7,500 experience. Now this was a while back and wehave had one license renewal without this being mentioned but now it seems as the councillor can't find anything else to use to try and shut the club he is using something that is old hat to try and lever something out of the club. The guy actually signed agreements that he was not being coerced into spending this money and one sort of wonders if the gentleman concerned was having a hard time explaining his expenditure to his girlfriend. Crazy that when someone does something stupid with their credit cards no one worries normally but the moment a guy sign consent forms and authorises his credit card in a club it is grounds to close it down???? There seems to be something very smelly here as the club went through it's license renewal last year without any issues but now this has been dug out of the archives to try and stop a renewal over a year after the event.

Now we saw police raids on the strip industry in Scotland a few months ago where the biggest issue was men working illegally, a dancer with an offensive weapon and one worker with some canabis, no dancers or female staff had any employment issues so everything went quiet. And now we have had clubs raided and closed again, dancers have been interviewed and fingerprinted in Aberdeen and other raids taken place. Now I don't know Steve MacDonald who owns several clubs but the police do seem to be targetting him which is strange when you consider he is the chair of the Association of Adult Entertainment Venues which represent clubs in Scotland. Actually not that strange that he is targetted but the claims that his clubs have been financed by crime. Now the police are claiming as the venues are licensed they have the right to "inspect" venues but not sure teams of 50 officers are really needed unless they are expecting vicious attacks from howling mobs of dancers? Seriously what is going on up there? Now I may be a little paranoid but that doesn't mean the police aren't trying to intimidate the clubs. I would love to see where all the crime information has come from as I am sure Mr MacDonald would. However the Scottish Government do seem to have a coordinated plan to scaremonger the clubs out of existence.

Now we can go TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex for my non UK Readers), as it seems a lot is going on. Foresters which has been an old fashion strip pub for years is finally going to go with redevelopment plans for that part of Southend, however an application for a venue in Southend Town Centre has been put in, the period for support or objections has passed and given the expected closure of Foresters one could expect the license to be granted but that would just be to easy. Also an application for a venue in Benfleet has been sent in to Castle Point Council for a venue on Manor Trading Estate. Objectors to this have cited a dance school as a reason to not grant a license but realistically most people would agree a trading estate would be a non central propostion and I would think the dance shool could tout for business to teach dancers at the club. So it seems that Essex is getting a little hot under the collar at the moment.

Next readers of the blog will have seen in the comments of my last piece Object intend to protest the after party for the Paul Raymond Awards which will be held on 24 November at Spearmint Rhink in London. Object are particular upset because a website called fake taxi is up for an award as the word fake is something they don't understand it seems. However nothing like a little rabble rousing by Object as they don't get column inches anymore. This time we hope the police will arrest and charge anyone who is protesting without notifying the police as long with anyone who attempts to force entry or use stink bombs (as suggested by one prospective attendee). It is coming up to Christmas perhaps I should buy Roz a dictionary and highlight the word fake? We look forward to pictures and videos of the event.

And finally I wish the ELSC and Sexual Freedom Awards all the best as they are holding events that I would have loved to attend but my health is not what it should be and I am really limited at the moment with the amount of time I can spend out.

TonyN (
twitter @StriptheIllusio

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Not Enough Even At Two Decimal Places

So we are tending to see less about clubs as more and more councils have made their decisions about if the new regulations should be applied so I will be a little quieter than in the past until such time as something is worth reporting. Typing to boost my own ego is not something that I want to do but when the need occurs then obviously I will respond.

So Birmingham, a city of over 1 million people has decided that a limit of 8 at the present time is what they should have with councillor Sam Burden wanted to reduce the number more but they have taken note of the issues in Leeds in trying to reduce the number of clubs and have taken some advice from their legal services about grandfather rights. Now the consultation for this massive and diverse population had a total of 52 responses, this including from "stakeholders" who still seem to think that after all the work and results of Pentameter I and II that clubs are havens of trafficking. If only stupidity could be used to rule out responses rather than the council just answering the issues in the report.

So the 52 response had a comment field and apart from the reference to trafficking  which the council pointed out the police had no issues with we also saw the tired claim that clubs promote sexual violence and I want to put here in the blog the council response "West Midlands Police have been included in this consultation and have, as yet not provided any evidence to suggest SEV premises contribute to the number of sexual assaults." Bit of an OMG moment that the police having seen the death of Lilith and no doubt with the ability for people to ask for FoIs have decided honesty is the best policy. So 52 people responded and yet only 23 comments were made. Interesting to note the Violence Against Women and Children Steering Group have offered to help gather information and evidence to prove that clubs are bad it seems.

Having read the documents associated with the meeting which was broadcast on the council website (thanks to SEV Licensing for the link here) I have to say there are some very "moralistic" statements being made in the comments fields along with some awful attempts to make claims of things that have no foundation in the real world. If a club is shown to be causing problems then this blog is not here to cover up issues but to encourage best practice. But when the stupid and the misinformed can influence decisions based on"facts" which have no value then the consultation process seems just a little flawed. I did find it amusing that the consultation has not been closed by the council so you have to wonder just how accurate the data was given how few people responded.

Something you see the blog regularly comment on is the fact that so few people actually complain, the response of 52 to the consultation including three people elected to represent the people of Birmingham yet the people of Birmingham seem to not be bothered to limit clubs. The opposite position could also be held to be true but with the Stigma of responding and being required to enter your name in that response the worry of being "outed" as a supporter of clubs would weigh heavily, perhaps a disclaimer that no names would every be disclosed would have garnered more responses. Certainly a response of 0.005% of the population can hardly be considered an opinion, it is little more than a blip on a deviation curve.

Finally readers of this blog would have seem on the last blog piece a link in the comment field to pictures of Object campaigning against XBiz. Now remember the challenge to them to stop people misusing the term rape, the pictures (here) do show that rhetoric, hate speech and misjudged abuse are the tools of people whose arguments hold no value. Still be and shouty with no regard for the law is I guess one of the best things we can now expect from Object as they are disorganised and desperate to raise their profile to the heady heights of being called a hate group.

TonyN (