Sunday, January 25, 2015

Once Upon a Time Councils Were Less Lazy

TonyN here. Something I never got my head around was the disjointed way each council approaches dealing with SEVs, seeing recently the situation in Scotland where you would question the way they put their message out and how some peoples points of view were conveniently edited so it looks like everyone really wants nil policies. Certainly given the report by Julie Bindel that was done for Glasgow Council back in 2004 you would say certain sections of the political spectrum were busy justifying their approach to dealing with clubs even though any sane person would at least question the report's methodology and we certainly did here and here.

Normally I don't discuss the issues that crop up when dealing with councillors but I think the very brief "discussion" I had with Councillor Nevins of Southend highlights that the way a Councillor thinks is made up long before logic, reason and empirical evidence come into play. Once the original thoughts had been shown to be a misconception it is easier to ignore any future questions.

This sort of highlights the issues we have when dealing with "elected members" they don't have to explain what they think on every subject they may have to vote on. So green reflected a lot of things on how I view the world but some have very strong religious beliefs and this they bring to the table when discussing SEVs even though moral objections should be ignored. So why are we now having all the confusion about what is right and what is wrong. I have at the time of writing this had no reply from Nevins about if she had even bothered to read the links I sent her. The first was Lilith and the second was the crime figures from 2011 for England and Wales which would show that her electorate should have no issues with clubs (except probably in their minds.

So we have a complete mess in that no council has an even handed procedure, the approach of each council is such that they operate on complete random structures and worse no one knows who is being fair and who is judging on a moral basis. We know that crime is less likely around SEVs from my study in 2011, we know that there is no link to rape so we know there is no empirical data that would cause councillors to feel they can judge what clubs are like without even looking at proposals. We have seen how some councillors have pushed and manipulated situations like Rebecca Charlwood in Leeds and her "working Group" that had all but one of it's members against clubs and no input from clubs or dancers (and customers don't count).

So what am I asking for? A standard approach to how councils deal with club renewals, a standard approach to how councils deal with new applications. The concept of nil policy abandoned and each case judged on its merits, if there are issues then there should be no reason a council cannot turn down a club. This has been shown in Birmingham that a council can say we feel the club would be inappropriate. So why is it necessary for a council to say they have a nil policy? Basically that says the licensing committee don't want to have to think and that they are judging that the venues are linked to crime in their heads. The number of renewals that I have heard of where the police have no issues because there are no problems is massive and yet we have this situation where councils are fixed on issues that don't actually exist. Yes we know that certain organisations are happy to scaremonger as they try to take the livelihood away from dancers which is obviously an aspect of feminism I never understood that making women who are exercising free choice lose that free choice.

I want to see license fees fixed so clubs know what they are paying and can't use a massive license as an excuse to justify high house fees. If a club doesn't tow the line and breaks the rules then fines/restrictions/loss of license on a sliding scale. One thing that does annoy me is that when you have a population of 200,000 you find 8 or 9 people with complaints (usually based on the fictions trotted out and debunked in the past) and that should not be enough to have an effect. The number of times I have read that the populace is up in arms in an online local "newspaper" only to find that it is a tiny handful just shouting very loudly and giving the press a chance to put up stock photos with scaremongering headlines. There is no trafficking, there are no links to rape and no link to violent crime around venues. We know this, it is time the press and the councils stopped putting their heads in the sand and living in their little fantasies of what they think. Maybe a bit of mandatory research would stop discussions and me needing to e-mail/tweet councillors with the facts they have not discovered. I will mail councillors and/or tweet them from now on if I see the issue of zombie stats or tiny minorities. And I need my readers to point them out to me.

TonyN (

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Like A Horror Story that has Too Many Sequels

TonyN here and I was going to write about the ways I feel that going to SEVs has helped me become more respectful towards women and the positive aspects as well as how certain types of men struggle with the clubs. However after noticing an article on a local online paper for Southend with one guy trying to stop a club opening and being pointed at another piece where the gentleman's wife was busy I have decided to for the what feel's like the millionth time look at the arguments they used and why councils will need to check their facts.

The corner stone to a petition to not allow a new club to get a license is(was) Lilith, I mean how many times can a dead set of statistics come back to life? We know that the facts show that Lilith was a failed piece of result with no control, very limited data and not analysed based on Camden's population (a reminder of what we said is here). I find it hard to believe that people still think that Lilith is valid, after all even Object has removed the link from their pages after a few months delay. We saw the time line in my last piece.

On top of Lilith there was a reference to Newquay and the genius that was Inspector Drummond. I mean Chasmal wrote about this back in August 2012 so to see the issue dragged up again is incredible. A reminder if what we said back in 2012 is here. The arguments start reading like anti club campaign for dummies. I do wonder just what research some people do? Is it a just hop on to google, grab any article that backs up the point of view and then trot it out without even checking if the argument is still valid?

Something that is still out there and is used in arguments is the book by Jennifer Hayashi Danns and Sandrine Leveque. As I have stated before this book is highly questionable as the co-writer was employed by Object at the time of publishing. Now if we had a book that said smoking caused no harm that was co-authored by an employee of the tobacco lobby I would expect just about everyone to question it. Yet when a book is written by a dancer and a lobbyist it is seen as okay, in fact it is almost like the lobby group and their input into the book just disappeared. All of the resources that tend to be quoted from Object's page were reviewed back in December 2012 here. A few have disappeared like Lilith but no real hard hitting research from the UK has come out.

So we still see the same tired arguments trotted out by someone who could not be bothered to check the facts. In fact since 2012 we have had all of the the arguments put to bed and yet like the zombie stats they are they rise from the dead and haunt us. I was expecting new research from somewhere to come out with an outrageous claim as the rape claims have fallen by the roadside, the claims about trafficking have been seen to hold no water after Pentameter I and II but don't let facts stop people from scaremongering using zombie arguments. I had hoped that we could move on. It has been over 2 years since the arguments died why can't they be left to rest in piece?

If people spot "News Stories" in the press using the zombies please target them here and mail me. Nothing I enjoy more that going to the table with the figures and information to debate idiocy

TonyN (

Saturday, January 3, 2015

From the Trolls Under The Bridge

TonyN here and Happy New Year to all the readers hope you all enjoyed the holiday period and yes we had a bit of time off. This should have probably come out before Christmas but when you realise just how childish the name calling is to try and excuse their behaviour well you can guess we spent the last few weeks laughing too hard..

So recently we have seen Object trying to recreate some level of credibility, however they have been making more and more a fool of themselves. So when we found Twit Longer statement from Object it came as a bit of a surprise and then you realise they are really, really unhappy with a few people.

So firstly we see object claiming that they do not misuse statistics nor do they respond to Trolls informing them of the errors. So lets clear up what we think the issue is with Statistics, I am afraid we are probably referring to the long dead Lilith report, which we have attempted to inform Object Lilith was removed from the EAVES website, however as we are obviously trolls for daring to tell the truth. So lets clarify the time line.

2011 Dr Brooke Magnanti rips the statistic for Lilith apart.
2012 This blog wrote about the issues with Lilith
02/08/2013 This blog reported on the fact Lilith had been removed from the Eaves website and we know that Object have read this blog.
05/03/2014 The feminist board on Mumsnet had a question raised about the Lilith report still being linked from the Object references.
07/03/2014 The link to Lilith on the Eaves website was deleted.

So obviously trying to stop Object looking stupid by trying to tell them that the link is dead is definitely trolling it seems. Of course we see this when people dare have a different opinion that they can actually back up with empirical data then they are obviously trolls because.... well just because. Time wasting is a lovely way of saying we knew there was a problem but we didn't want to fix it as Lilith was key to the strategy for trying to close clubs. So you can see that we time wasted and we obviously trolled Object it seems. Only when brought up on a feminist bulletin board (mumsnet) do they take any action. When you consider how long it was from Eaves removing the report from their website you can see why everyone assumed they were misusing the stat rather than either being lazy and unprofessional or really and I mean really ill informed.

The issue of spitting was reported to a member of the press and as such I cannot validate it at a personal level. However I have heard many people including several dancers mention the incident so I would not dismiss it out of hand it is certainly plausible given the behaviour and attitude of some Object members. Given the racial bigotry of Mrs Clown when we had the wildcats in Harrogate discussion which got me banned from Mumsnet we have see the vitriol that some Object members spit out.

The stalking aspect well reporting on the lead up to a failed protest would not be an issue if it was a newspaper just they really are struggling with their public image and the photographs and video really make Object look like idiots who are full of hate.  What Object has forgotten is the definition of Citizen Journalism... and as we have used the blog to bring to public attention the behaviour and attitude of Object perhaps they should remember a publicly discussed meeting point on social media means we would see that as the start of the protest and therefore news worthy.

Hope everyone has a prosperous New Year

TonyN (