There’s been quite a lot of coverage on other blogs and some in the mainstream media already about the news that Sainsbury’s and Woolworths have both withdrawn the Jerry Springer opera DVD from sale after lobbying from a small Christian movement. (See The Independent for example).
Sainsbury’s say they decided to do this after receiving just 10 (yes ten!) complaints. Well – I know that toleration of other people’s religious views is important, but bowing to such a small number of people on what is after all a freedom of speech issue (the DVD is legal, it has a proper classification etc.) is really poor. I’m sure that the vast majority of Christians – as well as people of no religion or other religions – know that freedom of speech is something to be cherished and involves letting other people say or do things that you might not agree with or like.
So – I’ll be writing to the Chief Exec of both Sainsbury’s and Woolworths asking them to change their minds – hope you do too. Emailing their customer services is good idea (as quite a few people are suggesting) but I suspect any such email will be answered by someone relatively junior – I’m under no illusion that the Chief Exec of either company reads all the letters addressed to him, but they are likely to be read by someone closer to the real seat of power. Especially if the letter comes from an MP … I hope!
(And whether you live in my or not constituency – why not lobby your MP too? You can do so very easily at www.writetothem.com).
The Chief Execs are: Justin King, Sainsbury’s, 35 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT
and Trevor Bish-Jones, Woolworths PLC, Woolworths House, 242-246 Marylebone Road, NW1 6JL.
A final whimsical thought: if Sainsbury’s takes the DVD off sale after ten complaints, perhaps 20 of us should write demanding they stop the sale of bread … ?
UPDATE: See my subsequent blog post.