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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

No longer “Marx et Coca-Cola”

Sitting here in London, I am horrified at the decision by Coca-Cola to remove its brand logo from drinks dispensers (which sell Coca-Cola) in English schools, afraid of being branded (!) exploitative.

It must therefore be all right – according to les bien-pensants – to prohibit freedom of commercial expression in England and Wales, but it is not all right to keep religious bigotry and bullying out of school in France?

Let us be clear, if wearing a scarf were no more than a style preference or an expression of belief, it could only be objected to on grounds of taste, which is something that bureaucrats and politicians collectively, are not known for having. However, the scarf is too often the product of beatings, threatened rape, and patriarchal oppression, with state schools juggling the demands of children’s rights versus political correctness.

If Coca-Cola were truly capable of using the illuminated front of a drinks-dispenser to brainwash children into switching from Pepsi, vodka and crack cocaine, then there could be a case for the school’s prohibition of the display. It is rather strange to assume that children would naturally rather drink soy milk. I would find it odd to go to a school where girls were beaten by Islamic bullies with impunity for not wearing modest clothing and where children were harangued by teachers about the evils of Coca Cola.

The next time that I hear French Imams condemn the use of compulsion against girls who dress according to Western norms, I shall withdraw my support for the headscarf ban. In the meantime, in protest against spineless Coca-Cola, I shall make a point of ordering Pepsi.

9 comments to No longer “Marx et Coca-Cola”

  • But Coca-Cola is a nicer drink.

  • Kai

    At least its not Pepsi. Ohhh….pepsi…my only love.

    Everything else can go, but you can still goto the gas station and get a six-pack of pepsi and feel strangely satisfied.

  • luisalegria

    But here in San Francisco, the do-gooders have banned all soda from schools.

    And more districts are going that way, in the name of fighting obesity.

  • Guy Herbert

    But didn’t Coke voluntarily withdraw the promotions from schools–as a commercial decision about their image? There has been a low-level fuss about vending machines in schools for a while, and the company has decided that it no longer wants to be in a position to be damaged by that fuss. This doesn’t compare either with the mullahs demanding the veil or the state banning it.

    We have to accept the expression of consumer preference and open lobbying– however irrational–in commercial decisions or we become part of the problem of only permitting “correct” thought, speech, and action. We can counter-boycott and protest. (Though you need to make sure Coke knows you are protesting.) We can challenge the received wisdom, _argue_ for human freedom and ignore oppressive law.

    The enemies of freedom aren’t so limited in their armouries, unfortunately.

  • lucklucky

    Disaster!! 1984 is approaching…

    Libertarians must buy a couple of Islands and start a new civilisation.

  • Peter

    I took a picture of this “Green Coca Cola” vending machine at the Eden Project ( http://www.edenproject.com/ ) in Cornwall recently:
    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~pf2/EdenCola.JPG

    :)

  • Peter

    I mean this picture.

  • Simon Jester

    This might prompt you to rethink a decision to order Pepsi instead of Coke.

  • limberwulf

    Im with ya lucky, lets do it.