Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tears Are Not Enough...

I've posted a temporary tribute page for Gary Biddles for those of us old enough to remember

HP Sauce

If anyone is unaware of the need to prevent abuse of the libel system by corporations, here is a letter I received from HP's solicitors in 1995 following a gag printed in issue 16 of Up The Arse!

Dear Sir

Our Client: Hewlett-Packard Ltd

Our above client has instructed us in connection with the enclosed spoof advertisement, which appeared in issue 16 of your publication.

Our client objects most strongly to this "advertisement". It ridicules our client and its products and thus amount to a serious libel. It also slanders our client's goods by its slurs on the qualities and performance of Hewlett Packard products and infringes our client's copyright by reproducing a photograph of a Hewlett-Packard computer without our client's authority.

Furthermore, by printing three of our client's registered trade marks the "advertisement" constitutes a flagrant trade mark infringement. The trade marks in question are as follows:

MarkRegistration Number
HEWLETT - PACKARD1076830 779296
HP1229537
"hp roundel"1076832

We have advised our client of the legal remedies which would be available to it should it become necessary to pursue these matters. These would include substantial damages and costs. We have advised also that the trade mark infringements constitute criminal offences, in respect of which a criminal prosecution of your editor would be well founded.

Having said this, it may be that you were not aware of the "advertisement's" legal implications and although we must reserve our client's rights, this possibility will be taken into account in considering whether further action is warranted. Such action definitely will be taken, however, if there is any repetition of this item or anything like it.

Yours

LEWIS SILKIN





The joke we published didn't I believe pass the "moron in a hurry" test!


Nostalgia fans will not need reminding that 32Mb was 4 times the average PC memory size in 1995.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Maggie Maggie Maggie OUT! OUT! OUT!

As it seems obligatory to post one's personal Thatcher memories at the moment, here goes:

I don't have one!

Despite having nailed my colours to the Liberal mast from the age of 11, the nearest I got to politics before 2008 was running the PA for the Student Union's General Meetings.

As to be expected, a callow youth from the Socialist Workers' Party (ironically neither a socialist or a worker) got up to speak in favour of a motion in support of the miners' strike. He had a habit of finishing sentences of polemic with a barked 'Thatcher' so on this occasion I fed the mike into the delay unit and waited.

On cue he finished with a particularly bile filled "Thatcher" which for some reason appeared to echo around the Ents Hall bouncing from speaker to speaker to the amusement of all.

Er, that's it.

To be fair, twenty years ago this would undoubtedly have been a completely different commentary and without a visceral dislike of 'Thatcherism' engendered in me at the time I'd probably have a completely different outlook on politics. In that respect the whole UK for better or worse has been shaped by one woman, which if we're telling home truths undoubtedly is what upset so many men.

However, it's amusing to see the most right wing Labour party since their formation passing around twenty three year old campfire stories of the great She-wolf in an effort to scare the children. It's almost as if Labour's 13 years in power with a large Parliamentary majority and the ability to reverse all that they supposedly hated about Thatcherism had never happened.

I'm not the first to say it but New Labour are the true standard bearers of Maggie's legacy. Don't forget it.