Northernheckler's Blog

A Yorkshireman's adventures in the big Smoke

We are the boys who will make you think again !

In a blogger’s life there sometimes comes a moment when no matter how much you want to blog, there just doesn’t seem to be anything that gets your goat enough to make you blog. So what does one do ? Well a good idea for me is to visit The Mail’s Online website – because I can usually guarantee that I’ll be fuming with indignation within seconds, & ready to Blog for Britain.

Today is no exception – I visited the site and quickly found this little piece Dad’s Army board game banned from eBay for ‘inciting racial hatred’ which set my BS Radar bleeping at full power.

It seems someone has decided to sell his Dad’s Army board game – which he’s had since the 70’s and has been asked to take it down because the picture displayed a swastika – symbol of the German war-time Nazi regime.

The article quotes the man himself talking about the e-mail he received (although not actually showing us it), and Jenny Thomas a spokesperson for eBay explaining that “eBay will remove listings that bear the marks of organisations that promote hatred and racial intolerance and we are strict and unapologetic in adhering to this policy.”

Can’t be much clearer than that.

eBay are of course a commercial concern – it’s up to them what they sell and what they don’t sell, and nothing to do with Governments or law enforcement agencies. Providing of course their activities are within the law.

Which of course brings us to the probable reason for their nervousness around swastikas : It’s illegal to display it in many of the countries that their website appears in.

(Sources below are from Wikipedia – I believe them to be largely accurate)

Most notably in Germany where :

“The German (and Austrian) postwar criminal code makes the public showing of the Hakenkreuz (the swastika) and other Nazi symbols illegal and punishable, except for scholarly reasons. It is even censored from the lithographs on boxes of model kits, and the decals that come in the box. Some modellers would prefer to stencil on the swastika, or perhaps buy separate decals if possible. It is also censored from the reprints of 1930s railway timetables published by the Reichsbahn. The eagle remains, but appears to be holding a solid black circle between its talons”

In Hungary, it is a criminal misdemeanour to publicly display “totalitarian symbols”, including the swastika.

In Poland public display of Nazi symbols, including the Nazi swastika, is a criminal offence punishable by up to eight years of imprisonment

And in Brazil, The use of the swastika or any Nazi symbol, their manufacture, distribution or broadcasting, with the intent to propagate Nazism is a crime. The penalty is a two to five years prison term and a fine.

So you can hardly blame eBay for being cautious.

They’re not however wholly unreasonable in their caution as Peter Oteng, chief executive of the Worcestershire Racial Equality Council said in The Mail’s article,

” a compromise could have been to advertise the board game without showing the swastika image”

– and sure enough if you search on eBay for the board game “Escape from Colditz” – it pops up straight away – and is clearly for sale – there is however no trace of a swastika in the image that accompanies the ad.

So eBay aren’t refusing to sell such items, they are merely asking sellers to avoid using swastikas in their pictures – because it can get them into trouble in some countries.

So it’s not a story really is it ? Not “news”  – the stuff that newspapers are supposed to carry. Just yet another attempt to paint a picture of “political correctness gone mad”

It’s a picture that does not represent reality or truth.


January 28, 2010 - Posted by | blogs, idle banter, news | , , , , ,


  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by northernheckler: The Mail’s been winding me up again :

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  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by nilsinela boray, nilsinela boray, nilsinela boray, Thomas Byrne, Hugo Collingridge and others. Hugo Collingridge said: (rt@northernheckler The Mail's been winding me up again : Nasty bigoted homophobic rag. […]

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