Do 70% of people think marriage should be left as it is: one of each sex?
A ComRes poll said so, and that's what the Coalition For Marriage (C4M) are quoting.
This took approximately five minutes to find out, but rather than exercise their fingers and brains the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have written pompously to Archbishop Cranmer demanding that he explains it all to them as they are far too fick to bother to to check out a complaint about whether that figure could be substantiated. It's not secret - the source is listed on the advert.
This, they think, shows them doing a good job. I think it shows people whose jobs can be cheerfully cut. Luckily, it looks like the public aren't paying for once, so it's up to the advertising industry if they want to keep funding these idlers to provide free copy for bloggers.
As His Grace politely points out, it isn't up to him to evaluate the original research. If the ASA want to challenge that, they must go to ComRes and C4M. But we all know it isn't really about the opinion poll. Rather, it's an attempt to control what can be said politically in the context of an advert.
In this case, it is a Christian-led resistance to the re-definition of marriage which some people find objectionable. They roped a trade-body in as arbiters of what can and cannot be said publicly.
I don't like C4M and Andrea Rose Minichiello Williams. I don't approve of the way the groups to which she is connected allow ordinary people - such as Mr and Mrs Bull of the Chymorvah Private Hotel - to get in to fights where the law is already weighted against them. There are civilians and combatants, and you should be wary of encouraging the former to become the latter. Luckily the ASA have picked on someone their own size in Archbishop Cranmer, who knows what he has signed up for.
This illustrates the point which Christian groups and Cranmer have previously claimed: that when a Christian expresses a view, not only can they expect that view to be challenged rightly in debate but that law, or quasi-law such as trade bodies claiming 'codes', will try to stop them expressing a view at all.
Checking the ASA's own code, it appears they don't have any remit to deal with editorial content so the following is run in the context of editorial material to further inform public debate about what it is attempting to suppress as offensive.
No permission has been sought from the originators nor has payment been received.
I 'ad that Barbara Streisand in the back of the cab once.
Update: Linkage -
Ministry of Truth - best formal analysis (as ever)
Dr Jim West
Max Farquar - best graphic
Orphans of Liberty