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Harvey    [30461.   Posted 31-Oct-2014 Fri 04:15]
  phantom,

I can see why you are struggling.

You point out, quite reasonably, that there is uncertainty about which images are caught by s.63. It`s not a controversial statement. You could make similar statements about the uncertainty of what degree of force is "reasonable" in the context of self-defence or which acts are "dangerous" in the context of causing death by dangerous driving. Actually, I think you would be hard pressed to find an example of a law where there was no uncertainty.

Now you would say, and have said, that because there is uncertainty, the law is unworkable. That if you cannot be sure whether some specific aspect of driving is dangerous, the only way of staying on the right side of the RTA, is to not drive at all. That blatantly misses an important point, which is that there may be some aspects of driving which you can be certain are not dangerous.

So, the first mistake you may make is one of extrapolation. You may say that because there is some uncertainty, there can be no certainty. That because there is uncertainty about whether particular images are caught by s.63, there can be no certainty that any image will not be caught by it. That`s just a logic fail. And it remains a logic fail even where you consider sub-sets of images such as piercing or bondage or role play, or whatever.

So, if we can get past that potential mistake and agree that on the grey scales of "dangerous", "reasonable" and "extreme", any particular event, act or image can always be put into one of three classes, namely; those which certainly fail to pass the threshold, those which certainly pass the threshold, and those about which there is uncertainty.

What legal certainty requires is that laws must be written so that this is the case. It does not require that there is certainty in respect of every particular image, rather that the bounds of uncertainty are defined so that any particular image can be put into one of the three classes.

The bounds of uncertainty would not be defined if s.63 had been written so as to include possession of images prior to its enactment. Being retro-active would fail the test of legal certainty. Similarly if the definition of "excluded image" in s.64 was dependent on a BBFC certification granted *after* the image was possessed, that too would fail the test of legal certainty.

Do not confuse "legal certainty" with any other kind of certainty. If you do, you will end up seeing every law as unworkable, because it employs grey scale concepts such as "reasonable", "dangerous", etc.

So, before we go any further, do you think s.63 passes the test of "legal certainty"?

phantom    [30460.   Posted 30-Oct-2014 Thu 15:37]
  Harvey {30459}

"No. In respect of whether the law is clear enough, the key is whether we can decide that a particular image is not "pornographic" and "extreme", or is an "excluded image" and therefore, legal to possess."

"It is specifically *not* about whether, apart from those images, there are some other images about which there is a degree of uncertainty. Those may or may not be illegal to possess, but you can regulate your conduct to stay the right side of the law by not possessing them."

Ok, Harvey, You`ve stumped me. Really, you have.
I`ll readily admit that I don`t get this point right now.
Trust me, it`s not that I`m being deliberately obtuse because I see my view contradicted. It really is that I do not understand.

Here`s my problem:

1. "...whether we can decide that a particular image is not "pornographic" and "extreme", or is an "excluded image" and therefore, legal to possess."

2. "It is specifically *not* about whether, apart from those images, there are some other images about which there is a degree of uncertainty...."

These two points are in response to:
a) "...we... cannot know an illegal image from a legal one."

Now point 2 refers to there being other images, which may or may not be illegal.

But I`m referring to `an image`. Frankly, any image. I mentioned various bdsm acts earlier. Be it piercing, needle play, whipping, bondage, or even role play providing context. Take an image depicting any one (or several) of those categories and tell me that you can, with any degree of certainty, "decide that a - particular image - is not "pornographic" and "extreme", or is an "excluded image" and therefore, legal to possess."

I honestly don`t see how you can. I know I can`t.
But that is what you need to be able to do under this law if you are interested in sexual fetish imagery. On pain of imprisonment.

I don`t quite see how that means I`m referring to `some other imagery` that might exist.

I swear I`m not being argumentative for the sake of it. Right now, I really do just not `get it`.

In point 1 you refer to `a particular image`.
In point 2 you refer to `some other images`.
In short the particular image matters. The other images do not.

But, forgive me, how does one know whether the`particular image` is not one of those `other images`?

I know I`m missing something. I just don`t quite know what it is. :)

--

I just know that from my own understanding there seems to be a very wide area of obscurity.

The text of the law as I understand in itself leaves millions of bdsm afficionados scratching their heads.
And that is merely the uncertainty created within the definitions themselves.

A yet greater area than that surrounds the DPP interpretation.
With the DPP even prosecuting men in tiger suits, the possibility of prosecution is not that easily avoided.
For I would not know anyone who would have thought a man in a tiger suit could ever get you in trouble, according to the text of the law.
But that is where we currently stand, a man in a tiger suit - or an equivalent - can get you processed through the justice system.

Thus, as the area of uncertainty - as regards the DPP - begins at Tony the Tiger and - as regards the text of the statute - begins at someone doing something unconventional of which someone else - might - disapprove, surely the law is not sufficiently clear.

The individual must be able to reach a decision, one way or another.

I readily concede an individual can most likely separate cases at the extremes of the spectrum, given the text of the statute.
(Albeit that not even that protects you from being hauled over the coals for a man in a tiger suit.)

But I cannot see how being able to identify the legality of the extremes of the spectrum means the law is clear.

Being able to say that video depiction of a woman being bludgeoned to death and then screwed would be illegal, as opposed to a couple having sex in the missionary position being legal, is hardly being able to interpret the law. Surely?

Vast sections of pornography are left in limbo here.
This is not simply referring to there being `other images`.
It is fairly obvious that a great many people will have such imagery in the UK. Thus they are not speculative `other images`.
If these people are confronted by police, each one of those images suddenly becomes a `particular image`.

Yet is there really anyone in the land who has got the slightest inkling whether these people are actually in breach of this law?

If no one can tell, then how can the law be sufficiently clear?

As the Andrew Holland case illustrates not even the lawyers know what to advise their clients.
A law which even baffles the lawyers? Clear?

As you can see, I`m struggling, Harvey.
I fully comprehend that you perceive some technical legal principle by which the law - albeit an ass - can be deemed clear.
My problem is not that I disagree with your perception.
At present I simply cannot perceive what it is you do perceive.

Harvey    [30459.   Posted 30-Oct-2014 Thu 10:19]
  phantom,

"Surely the key is that we, for all the time we`ve spent over the years on this subject, cannot know an illegal image from a legal one."

No. In respect of whether the law is clear enough, the key is whether we can decide that a particular image is not "pornographic" and "extreme", or is an "excluded image" and therefore, legal to possess.

It is specifically *not* about whether, apart from those images, there are some other images about which there is a degree of uncertainty. Those may or may not be illegal to possess, but you can regulate your conduct to stay the right side of the law by not possessing them.


Quite separately from legal certainty, there is the question of whether the degree of uncertainty about whether a particular image can be possessed, infringes convention rights. But you have to engage it on that basis. It`s not enough to say: `We don`t know for certain whether or not we can posssess some images.`, which you have done. You have to be able to show that the lack of certainty neccessarily leads to s.63 being incompatible with a convention right, which you haven`t.

That`s my understanding of the difference between the principle of legal certainty on the one hand and uncertainty about particular images on the other. If you want to, you can convolute the two, but you won`t be making any kind of legal sense, IMO.

phantom    [30458.   Posted 30-Oct-2014 Thu 07:36]
  Harvey {30456}

"As you have said yourself, you can stay the lawful side of s.63 by not possessing anything which is pornographic. In saying that, what you are actually contesting is not that the DPA is unclear, but that because of the uncertainty about what is "extreme", it is unnecessarily restrictive."

So, essentially, the fact that the DPP don`t know how to interpret the law either (man in tiger suit!), does in no way demonstrate the law to be unclear?

Surely the key is that we, for all the time we`ve spent over the years on this subject, cannot know an illegal image from a legal one.

Yes, we can separate extremes, but nothing more.

The ability to separate extremes hardly suggests clarity.

Else a weather report would be sufficiently clear if it either predicted boiling hot or freezing cold weather for the next day, but never made any further gradation.
The prediction would be next to useless, but in most cases whatever weather actually resulted could possibly be described as hot or cold.
But surely the weather report would be deemed by anyone not to be sufficiently clear.
Because nobody would know what weather to expect.

Is describing a cow as an animal which eats grass a clear definition?
For sure, a cow eats grass.
If you wish to steer clear of cows, don`t go near any animal which eats grass. Simple.
But a cow is not a horse, nor is it a bison or a sheep.
Thus describing a cow as anything which could be confused with an elk or an elephant is not clear.
Surely the entire purpose of a definition is at least to separate a cow from a kangaroo.
Yet if it cannot even do that, then surely it is not a definition - by definition. ;)

Any law of this nature will always leave some room for interpretation. Else the courts would have much less to do. But here the area of interpretation by far outstrips the area of definition.
Surely this must be attributed to a lack of clarity.
When a law casts more doubt than it does certainty it cannot be deemed clearly defined.

sergio    [30457.   Posted 30-Oct-2014 Thu 02:35]
  Seemingly someone`s flopped it (page 58 of the pdf)
http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/teen-girl-with-intense-stare-and-copy-space-20744493?st=088c2ad
Description `Teenage girl with intense stare.`

http://www.gmpcc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/81461-Coffey-Report_v5_WEB-single-pages.pdf

From a pic from an American - http://www.istockphoto.com/profile/catlane

----



Page 69 of the pdf
`Engaging different types of communities
29. The difficulties of working in some communities
cannot be underestimated. The increased
sexualisation of children and young people
involves an avalanche of explicit music videos, the
normalisation of quasi-pornographic images, sexting,
selfies, and Instagram. It has given rise to new social
norms in changed expectations of sexual entitlement,
and with it confused understanding of consent.`

http://www.gmpcc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/81461-Coffey-Report_v5_WEB-single-pages.pdf

Harvey    [30456.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 19:12]
  phantom,

"In that regard it is indeed easy to stay on the right side of the law."

Well, that is all that is necessary for the clarity which legal certainty requires.

As you have said yourself, you can stay the lawful side of s.63 by not possessing anything which is pornographic. In saying that, what you are actually contesting is not that the DPA is unclear, but that because of the uncertainty about what is "extreme", it is unneccesarily restrictive.

phantom    [30455.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 14:47]
  Harvey [30454]
I`m not quite sure of the point you`re making, Harvey.
If the only legal certainty of not offending the DPA is not to look at pornography (or controversial pornography for that matter), then the only legal certainty of not offending traffic law is not to drive a car.
In that regard it is indeed easy to stay on the right side of the law.

But the fact is, nobody would say the above about driving.

In the case of the DPA the law however is so vague, even a man in a tiger suit can lead to prosecution.

I think people on here will be among the best informed folks on the DPA around. Yet, I do not think any of us would be able to show any degree of certainty on any even remotely controversial imagery.

If the police and the CPS think a man in a tiger suit might breach the law, it merely shows how far out to sea this legislation is.

"Not really. IMO points 1 and 2 would be easily dismissed as grounds for making a declaration of incompatibility. The law is clear enough to be able to stay on the right side of. There is no need for the DPP to provide any additional guidance."

I`m working from the above statement of yours.
If the law is clear enough, then how come the problem of not being able to achieve any degree of certainty occurs, irrespective of how well informed you seek to be?

If the DPP itself thinks a man in a tiger suit is an offence under the DPA, do they really not need to tell us a little more about their thinking?

Harvey    [30454.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 09:37]
  phantom,

"To tell these people, simply to stay away from it, not because it is illegal, but because it could potentially be found to be, seems unreasonable."

Unreasonable, certainly. The entire effect of the law is unreasonable, because mere possession of an image causes no harm.

But the issue raised was one of legal certainty.

phantom    [30453.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 08:44]
  Harvey {30452}

"Nevertheless, you can recognise which images are "controversial", so you can stay the right side of the law by not possessing them. i.e. the law is clear enough that you can regulate your behaviour thereby."

Is it? I`m still not really sure.
Especially where sexuality - and the sexual imperative - enters into it.
People will be drawn to imagery if it is `their thing`.
This is undeniable.

To tell these people, simply to stay away from it, not because it is illegal, but because it could potentially be found to be, seems unreasonable.

So yes, technically one can simply `stay away from it` (albeit that one only knows if a picture is controversial if one has already seen it!).
But sexuality is not a lifestyle choice.
And to ask people to voluntarily curb their legal sexual preferences in order not to expose themselves to risk seems unreasonable.

The law seems to cut across common human drives. More so, across legal ones. Good old Aristotle`s motto, `there can be no morality without practicality`, rises up from the dust yet again.

People are drawn to pornography. To claim otherwise is pure folly.
Some pornography may be banned. Child pornography is a perfect example of the fact that this does not suddenly switch off paedophiles.

Why then would a risk of unforeseeable, potential illegality switch off those who are drawn toward this controversial imagery?
We know it will not. Moreover, to even expect it, is to deny the human condition.

I make no secret of the fact that I do not agree with the law.
But if a law there must be to satisfy the morality of some, so be it.
The least one can ask, however, is that the law is clear. That people can know what is banned and where the line is.

I`ve been involved since the proposal of this law. I still cannot say I could differentiate a legal from an illegal image with any degree of certainty. If I cannot, who possibly can?
Can you say categorically, Harvey, that you can keep with any degree of certainty an illegal from a legal image under this law?

We both know a clearly legal image (man in tiger suit having sex with woman) from a clearly illegal one (woman with lacerated genitalia).

But where pretence enters the field, terms such a `realistic` throw up massive problems. As does the `likeliness` for serious injury. Not because we`re being contrary and argumentative, but simply because they do.
And in BDSM practices with piercings or needle play, whippings or bondage, or simple role playing, very quickly huge questions arise.
To those people drawn to this material, `staying away from controversial, legal imagery` may just not be practicable - without effectively giving up viewing images of their fetish per se.

To top it all, if the law enforcement agencies and the courts even think a man in a tiger suit may be in breach of this law, then, pray, where do we stand?

Clearly the understandings and interpretations of this statute are laughable. They are so as a consequence of the nature of the law itself.

If even the law enforcement agencies can so wildly differ in their interpretations of the law, how could anyone know what a jury might decide?

This law simply cannot be administered justly. Not least, as, in essence, it represents an opinion.

Or is there anyone who thinks that, after a run-in period of these last five years or so, it will now be plain sailing, because the law is better understood? The issue of wildly differing interpretations will simmer down?

I very much doubt it.

Harvey    [30452.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 03:31]
  phantom,

"I still think it is pretty impossible when confronted with any controversial picture to decide whether it would fall within this offence or not."

Nevertheless, you can recognise which images are "controversial", so you can stay the right side of the law by not possessing them. i.e. the law is clear enough that you can regulate your behaviour thereby.

The "chilling effect" would become an issue if the definition of "extreme" was so vague that, in order to stay the right side of the law, the consequent inabiliy to possess such "controversial" images interfered with the right to a private life or right to free expression. Given the margin of appreciation which the ECtHR allows, I think challenging s.63, on the basis that it is incompatible with Article 8 or 10, wouldn`t succeed.

If you agree that the law, as it stands, is clear enough, the need for the DPP to give further guidance falls away.

What remains is the fact of 5,500 cases going before the courts. One interpretation of that is that *even if* s.63 is clear and is not imcompatible with the ECHR, the definition of "extreme" has caught far more than the images (30 cases per year) which the government intended. So I think you could get a court to at least consider that the *process* (of converting their intention into a workable law) was faulty to the point where it is unjust and therefore, unlawful.

JR is the means by which a process can be challenged, but the application to JR has to be made withn 3 months. Clearly an application made now to JR the process of enacting s.63 would be rejected as it happened in 2008, so you need to find a backdoor way of doing it. I am guessing that`s what Backlash/Jackman are up to.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30451.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 02:36]
  The Telegraph is having a bit of fun at the expense of the CPS

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11193829/Tiger-porn-case-Can-you-do-better-than-the-CPS.html

phantom    [30450.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 17:48]
  Harvey [30449]

"Not really. IMO points 1 and 2 would be easily dismissed as grounds for making a declaration of incompatibility. The law is clear enough to be able to stay on the right side of. There is no need for the DPP to provide any additional guidance."

Not sure there, I still think it is pretty impossible when confronted with any controversial picture to decide whether it would fall within this offence or not.

Moreover the fact that they are pointing to this court case where, they argue, the court itself found the matter rather baffling, seems to suggest that they have a leg to stand on, so to speak.

In effect their challenge to the DPP is one which they most likely seek to provide as evidence per se; namely that the DPP cannot provide a workable definition of the prohibited material.
If they cannot, they how could anyone else?

You have earlier mentioned the chilling effect. That is, in essence the only means by which people can `stay on the right side of the law`.

But a great many who wish to view pornography of certain fetishes seem to have a problem staying on the right side of the line. As 5500 prosecutions would attest, rather than 150.

--

As for the possible claim by government that it has emerged that the problem is bigger than expected. Would this not suggest that the benefits of this law thus would have to be exponentially greater?

Something in society, not least sexual violence, would have to have vastly improved. After all, who will forget the government sponsored meta analysis which concluded extreme porn resulted in cases of violence and death? It was the `academic basis` for this law. (albeit a retrospective one)

But if the impact of the law is over 36 times greater (and that`s not counting cautions) then the benefits of the law would need to be of a comparably greater magnitude, being much greater than expected.
Yet, there not being any perceivable benefits to combating this problem, one might say, that stating the problem being greater than originally estimated, would ring rather hollow.

As said: if the problem is much greater, then the dividend of now combating the problem would need to be much greater.
The more you inflate the apparent `problem`, the more glaring the discrepancy becomes for there being no benefit.

I don`t think this to be pure semantics. CEOP and co like to point to kids which have been rescued from exploitation, etc.
(yes, that`s often semantics, but at least it is something)

What can the DPA lobby claim thus far? If any measurable effect was expected by introducing the DPA, then a 36 times greater impact on enforcement would be expected to have a statistically significant beneficial impact over a period of five years. In fact, an obvious one.
Yet, I do not believe there is anything to which anyone can point.

So if the problem was over 36 times greater than expected, then the negative impact on society would have been greater by a similar magnitude. Thus, having dealt with this much greater problem, a much greater benefit would be derived.
The absence of benefit, only places the problem itself in doubt.

That is, unless the government wishes to distance itself now from the government rapid evidence assessment and wishes now to take the position that its law has no benefit per se, thus rendering the above argument irrelevant, - at some cost to the credibility of the statute.

Harvey    [30449.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 15:27]
  phantom,

"So to your mind, points 1. 2. and 3. work in conjunction with each other, addressing the same issue; the impact assessment and the evident discrepancy with reality."

Not really. IMO points 1 and 2 would be easily dismissed as grounds for making a declaration of incompatibility. The law is clear enough to be able to stay on the right side of. There is no need for the DPP to provide any additional guidance.

Point 3 - that s.63 is a disproportionate measure - stands a chance of being accepted.

The question is how do you get a court to consider it. You could try to go through the HRA route to have a declaration of incompatility. Or you could go the JR route to have the *process* of legislation ruled unlawful.


phantom    [30448.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 08:59]
  Harvey

So to summarise:

Article 7 of ECHR is the ancient convention of no punishment without crime. Party to this paragraph is that law must be comprehensible; as in, the individual must be in a position to discern whether he would be acting illegally.
This is what I understand Jackman & Co to be targeting with their points 1. and 2. that the prohibited material is not sufficiently clearly defined and that there is insufficient guidance from the CPS.

Article 10 of ECHR grants freedom of expression but allows individual nation states to curb this, for the protection of morals. But the measure must be proportionate.
This is what I see as being their angle in point 3. when they refer to disproportionate.

-

You however see it as three points targeted tightly at the impact assessment.

You see the vagueness of the definitions leading to the real impact overshooting the intended impact by miles. So the disproportionality refers in your mind to the effect of the law, when measured against the impact assessment. The cause for the disproportion being the vagueness of the law.

So to your mind, points 1. 2. and 3. work in conjunction with each other, addressing the same issue; the impact assessment and the evident discrepancy with reality.

-

I`m not sure whether the below point really makes things any clearer, but I guess it is relevant to the issue.

“Thus, on Mr Holland’s behalf, we at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP have asked that the Secretary of State for the Home Department to carry out a Human Rights Impact Assessment of the offences. Should the offence fail the Human Rights Impact Assessment, we have requested that this be confirmed in writing so that we can issue judicial review proceedings.“

So warm-hearted, easy-going Theresa May seems to be being asked to conduct a Impact Assessment. However, what muddies the waters is that she is being asked to conduct a Human Rights Impact Assessment.

Referring to Impact Assessment seems to back your interpretation. But referring to a Human Rights Impact Assessment on the other hand might suggest they are asking the government to look again whether this is actually human rights compatible.

In the third letter on the obscenitylawyer page the human rights paragraphs listed are 8 right to a private life and 10 freedom of expression.
The absence of a mention of article 7 may well therefore indicate that they are not pushing on the human rights angle for the absence of clear law. Then again, the mention of the other two seems to suggest that they feel human rights play at least some part in this.

“Mr Holland was innocent, yet he was persuaded initially to plead guilty.  That guilty plea was accepted by the Court and then the Court agreed to vacate the guilty plea. This suggests that there is a lack of understanding on the part of individuals, practitioners and the courts as to the correct scope of this offence. In this context there is a particular need for clarity given the significant social stigma attached to a prosecution under Section 63.”

So one of the key issues made by Jackman seems to be that the courts themselves do not seem to be able to ascertain what is supposed to be caught under this offence.
One can`t help but smile at reading that line. I wonder whether any judge involved in any potential judicial inquiry would see the irony contained within it.

It is also quite interesting to see the paper points out that the DPP cannot claim it can`t provide clarification, as it clearly has already attempted to do so. :)

“The third proposed ground of challenge is that the offence is a disproportionate means of achieving the legislation`s intended aims.  Whilst it is clear that the legislation is aimed at the protection of morals and this would be accepted by both the domestic and Strasbourg courts however, it is submitted that the legislation is disproportionate.  That is because:....”

Once again, there is a reference to the intended aims, which clearly seems to back your view, Harvey.
In fact does the line `AND this would be accepted by... Strasbourg courts` mean they effectively forfeit any claim of incompatibility with ECHR? Hmm...

But in the nine point reasoning that follows, one point at least (b) refers to incompatibility with ECHR. Then again, that might just be a matter of carrying together every argument available to back the view of this offence overshooting its intended aims (which still makes me wonder why article 7 is not mentioned).

So all in all, I`m still a little confused about the reasoning behind this.
Then again, at least someone is fighting the cause. (I say, give the man a knighthood!)

If you can peer through the fog more clearly, Harvey, by all means let me know. Your insights in this area are always appreciated. Not just be me, I would add. :)

freeworld    [30447.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 07:12]
  Harvey {30446. Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 05:54}
The issue of compatibility over the issue of knowing when "conforming"/"not conforming" to the law is discussed in detail by Mr Jackman in his letter on the blog.

In the bill`s guidance notes, the MOJ gave reasons for compatibility with the HRA which don`t really bother with the issue of certainty of conforming to the law in private life at all. They "deal with" necessity, moral protection, rights and freedom of others...I may have missed it, but it`s as if the subjectivity in so much of the evidential criteria of the new offense, meant they knew they were on even shakier ground there than with the rest, and just ignored the issue completely.

As these were the MOJ`s given arguments for compatibility, I hope they are addressed as part of any HR challenge to the law and shown to be inadequate; not hard, as they are based in falsehoods and irrationalities.

Here they are -

Extreme Pornographic Images

802. The Government believes that these clauses constitute an interference with Convention rights under Articles 8 and 10 but that for the reasons set out below this is justified as being in accordance with the law, and necessary in a democratic society for the prevention of crime, for the protection of morals and for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

803.The material to be covered by this new offense is at the most extreme end of the spectrum of pornographic material which is likely to be thought abhorrent by most people. It is not possible at law to give consent to the type of activity covered by the offense, so it is therefore likely that a criminal offense is being committed where the activity which appears to be taking place is actually taking place. The House of Lords upheld convictions for offences of causing actual and grievous bodily harm in the case of Brown [1994] 1 AC 212 which involved a group of sado-masochists who had engaged in consensual torture. The threshold that the clauses have set is very high, so while those taking part might argue that they had consented to it, such consent is not valid at law.

( What "most people" (unsupported assumption) feel is abhorrent doesn`t justify removing a human right from others. Acting/ pretense is not illegal. It`s perfectly possible to create such images via legal acts. It is not "likely" a "criminal offense" is taking place at all, especially since the HO, MOJ, Salter etc could not produce a solitary example of any images being created by real abuse. "Brown" cannot support a case for compatibility over images created thru legal actions.)


804. In the case of images of staged activity, the Government believes that banning possession is justified in order to meet the legitimate aim of protecting the individuals involved from participating in degrading activities. This is also the case with images of bestiality, which while involving harm to animals can also involve the non-consensual participation of humans who are harmed in the process of making the images.

( It`s a government job in a "free" society to stop/protect people from taking part in "degrading"- but not illegal ("staged") activities", eh ? The bestiality bit is thrown in to confuse the issue as real bestiality is illegal, unlike real life staged pretense of anything covered by this act)


805.The Government considers that the new offense is a proportionate measure with the legitimate aim of breaking the demand and supply cycle of this material, which may be harmful to those who view it. Irrespective of how these images were made, banning their possession can be justified as sending a signal that such behaviour is not considered acceptable. Viewing such images voluntarily can desensitize the viewer to such degrading acts, and can reinforce the message that such behaviour is acceptable.

( How can a ban in one country materially "break" (not just reduce, they say the DPA can "break" it!) supply and demand? This is followed by a bunch of assertions masquerading as facts and subjective moral tut tuttingI As, in law acting/pretense is not illegal, therefore is legally perfectly acceptable, the prohibition is often of an image created by perfectly legal means.So where does "not considered acceptable" come from - it certainly has only limited application to the DPA - images created by actual abuse, of which the HO/MOJ and the law`s polemicists couldn`t produce a solitary proven example.)


806 The Government considers that the restrictions on this material also achieve the aim of protecting others, particularly children and vulnerable adults, from inadvertently coming into possession of this material, which is widespread on the internet."

( As the legislation can do nothing to remove images from the internet or make them less accessible, this justification is irrational. How on earth can the DPA measures prevent anyone "inadvertently" coming across images given the international nature of the internet? It`s purely a law about individual private possession, not blocking websites etc)

Harvey    [30446.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 05:54]
  phantom

Maybe some misunderstandings.

I`m not convinced the HR approach will deliver anything.

There is a legal principle, quite separate from any specific right, that a law must provide those subject to it with the ability to regulate their behaviour thereby. It doesn`t follow that a law relating to images must be definintive in relation to any specifc image. Consequently there is a "chilling effect" where in order to regulate his behaviour, a person makes sure he doesn`t possess images that may be found to be extreme, rather than being able to know definitively which ones are and which ones aren`t. In extremis this would mean not possessing any images at all. If the law was so vague that it prevented a law abiding person possessing any images at all, it would invite a challenge on the basis that it infringed the rights to privacy or self expression. So the question is whether s.63 is so vague that to avoid being caught by it, a person`s human rights are infringed.

In the absence of any specific guidance from the DPP, the test for bringing charges are twofold; that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of gaining a conviction and that a prosecution would be in the public interest. If someone thinks that`s insufficient they need to say why.

It`s the last point where I think there is mileage and it`s nothing to do with HR. It`s that the offence is disproportionate to the aim of the legislation. You are right that in the context of the HRA and ECHR there is the concept of certain rights being limited where necessary and proportionate but that`s not what is meant by disproportionate in this context.

The govt carried out a *Regulatory* Impact Assessment, where they defined the behaviour they wanted to address and concluded that this would result in 30 or so cases a year coming before the courts. That there have been many hundreds - up to a thousand a year - suggests that s.63 is catching much more than the behaviour the government intended.

But as I say, it`s two edged, it could equally be said that the behaviour the government intended to address was far more prevelent than they imagined.

Asking for an HR Impact Assessment may just be a lever to get at the scope of s.63. The trick with a JR is eliciting a decision about which the legality can be questioned. The government`s acceptence of the original Impact Assessment cannot be JR`d. Application for JR must be made within 3 months.

The HR approach would only deliver if it resulted in a declaration of incompatibility and I think that is unlikely, for the reasons given above.

phantom    [30445.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 17:32]
  Harvey,

Well, in the three points outlined on the obscenitylawyer page the aim seems more targeted at human rights breech, from what I gather.

"1. The term "extreme" pornography is not clearly defined in the legislation; and therefore a potential defendant would not be able to understand anticipate if being in possession of certain images might be illegal;

2. There is insufficient guidance from the DPP as to when these offences will be prosecuted;

3. The offence is disproportionate to the legislation`s intended aims."

I`d say point 1. and possibly point 2. aim at the need for clear law under human rights. Nulla poena sine lege.
Meanwhile 3. seems aimed at the issue of proportionality which allows exception for moral laws, - as long as fair and proportionate.
Stating that the law is unclear and disproportionate seems to me to be taking a swing at the DPA via HRA.

"Hodge Jones & Allen LLP have asked that the Secretary of State for the Home Department carries out a Human Rights Impact Assessment in relation to S63 CJIA 2008."

The above seems to suggest they`ve asked Theresa May (the mellow, fair minded, warm hearted one in cabinet) to check this law is compatible with human rights.

So this doesn`t seem to drive at impact assessments or consultations being faulty.
From my understanding it suggests that the angle taken is that this law is in strict contradiction of human rights.

Thus one wonders. If it is found that people`s human rights were infringed - and we`re talking over 5500 prosecutions here - then one can but wonder whether there should not be some sort of comeuppance for those who foisted this upon the populace - when clear, unambiguous advice existed, which quite clearly stated this was in breech of human rights.

Harvey    [30444.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 17:00]
  phantom

I think the angle that Backlash and Myles Jackman are taking is that the impact assesment was faulty and they are hoping to take that to a JR. A finding of that kind would be similar to a finding that pre-legislation consulation had been faulty or inadequate. It would not necessarily mean that ministers or back bench promoters of the law had been at fault, far less that they had behaved unlawfully. But it may mean that the DPA had to be reviewed and a new impact assesment carried out.

The impact assessment is two edged, so even if Backlash get as far as a JR/review care would need to be taken. One interpretation of a larger than anticipated number of cases being prosecuted is that the problem of extreme porn is far *worse* than previously thought so the need for a law is *even more pressing* than originally envisaged. If you doubt me, just wait for the DM headlines of loony High Court judges/ECHR scuppering the extreme porn law, allowing thousands of deviants to run around, with the police powerless to act.

Therumbler    [30443.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 16:04]
  I too share the distaste for the CPS`s tactic of waiting for the accused to cave in.

phantom    [30442.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 14:06]
  "Mr Holland, who was denied contact with his young daughter for more than a year, said: `I lost my job, I had to move and I ended up having a heart attack with all the stress of it,` he said. `People were ringing me in the middle of the night."

"Three young lads turned up at my door and were calling me everything. I was threatened on more than one occasion."

When I read the two above statements I can`t help but be struck by one impression. The accusation under the DPA seems to be what the government would term an `incitement to hatred`.

Some may recall that recently I pointed out that the government wanted to make `revenge porn` illegal as it deemed it `ruined people`s lives`, but it failed to see that unsuccessful prosecutions do the very same very efficiently.
But I guess it can also be said that the government actively promotes what it claims to outlaw; namely to incite hatred.

It seems under English law you are not allowed to incite hatred against homosexuals, members of other races or religions. But you are entitled to incite hatred against those accused of government defined `perversion`, whether innocent or not.

Causing people to turn up at someone`s front door and then hurl abuse at them, or call them in the middle of the night to do the same, I would say was government sponsored incitement to hatred.
Mr Cameron calls it a judicial process.

phantom    [30441.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 12:27]
  Harvey,

You`re the most legally minded person on here by some distance.
Would you know what is the legal position regarding introduction of bad law?
I mean, if the review finds the DPA wanting, would ministers involved in the introduction of this abomination possibly be liable?
Or can they - as I suspect - claim some parliamentary immunity?

You see, if we claim that other political despots (Milosevic, Mugabe, Assad, Hussein etc) do not enjoy immunity and can be legally held accountable, then what about our own? Especially if they`re found to have breached human rights law.

--

As for the letter to the PM, I wonder what precisely the reaction will be. After all, I believe the Etonian toff currently ensconced in 10 Downing Street wants to expand the very law which is being challenged.
So I`m not sure how kindly it will be received.
Meanwhile, the head of the CPS is a political appointee, no? So again, one cannot see that particular figure wanting to disrupt the political bandwagon in the Tory campaign to garner female votes for the general election (that`s what they believe they`re doing).

Thus I suspect there will not be a voluntary review and it will need to be challenged via a judicial review.

Harvey    [30440.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 09:01]
  MF Dave

Regular readers of this forum will know that CPS turning up in court and offering no evidence is something I`ve ben banging on about for quite some time.

Whether it`s a tactic, or just a sign of incompetence, it has been on the increase and there is apparently no sanction to be taken to stop the CPS from continuing to do this.

There is a distinction as far as the Criminal Justice system is concerned between a case where charges are withdrawn, as in the case of the NotMuslim OAP, and one where the CPS offer no evidence at trial.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30439.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 08:18]
  Only vaguely related to the Tiger Porn case but I just happened to spot another case of a seemingly innocent man being punished by the CPS with a no hope prosecution being dropped only on the eve of a trial. I am guessing that this is a widely used tactic.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2808822/Ordeal-OAP-quipped-m-not-Muslim-airport-security-stopped-Man-spends-six-months-facing-racism-charges-case-finally-dropped.html

Harvey    [30438.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 07:31]
  "Widespread ignorance of the law very evident."

We musn`t forget thet Tiger Porn Man faced two charges. The one in relation to the Tiger Porn was dropped by the CPS, but he still faced trial on the second which was an alleged depiction of a life threatening act. As advised by his legal advisers, he pleaded guilty to that charge and would have been convcted had he not contacted Backlash, and Myles Jackman got involved, advising him to change his plea to not guilty. Having done that the CPS, surprise, offered no evidence and he was acquitted.

The CPS dropping a charge as soon as they realise there is no evidence is one thing. Persisting with a prosecution all the way to trial and then offering no evidence is far, far worse.

As for the Daily Mail and the rank hypocrisy of flogging the tragic victim angle, as cash generating click-bait. No mention in the article that the Mail was a prominent campaigner and supporter of Liz Longhurst and instrumental in bringing in the wretched law. FFS.

freeworld    [30437.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 06:22]
  Daily Mail report on Tiger porn. Comments are interesting. Widespread ignorance of the law very evident.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2809143/Bus-driver-spent-six-months-bail-extreme-pornography-laws-sent-film-woman-having-sex-tiger-prosecutors-drop-charge-discovered-animal-just-man-costume.html

Harvey    [30436.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 05:45]
  Tiger Porn Man- A lawyer writes.

http://obscenitylawyer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/tiger-porn-victim-bites-back.html

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30435.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 02:38]
  The Dangerous Pictures Act is set for a Judicial Review over the tiger porn case

http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/judicial-review-of-extreme-images-law/

jackdeth    [30434.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 14:44]
  A little piece on the Unconditional Surrender statue controversy and the language of feminazis.
http://deaftoamerica.wordpress.com

braintree    [30433.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 14:06]
  Can you imagine if we woke up one Friday morning to find our PM was Ed Milliband? Would any country in the world take us seriously . I definitely don`t want Labour in again ( they are responsible for most of the mess we`re in) but it`s strange how they must realise that it was having Kinnock as leader that cost them votes in 1992 yet they don`t realise that Milliband is their second biggest handicap after their loony policies.
There is so much wrong with this country it`s impossible to know where to start to put things right . Russell Brand is right though when he says the current system does not work and most people realise that all politicians are much of a muchness with none worth a penny . But with the whole corrupt system voting for it`s own pay rises and ways to keep the gravy train rolling via their own agenda , how on earth can we start from scratch ?

phantom    [30432.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:54]
  The problem surrounding current censorship proposals is that, those pushing them are presenting them to the parties as means to `win female votes`.

Every time an election comes around pollsters identify particular key groups which need to be won to secure victory in the general election.
This time they have identified certain sections of the female vote.

Thus those with an agenda are selling their policies to the parties as the only way to secure these women`s votes.

The main decision makers, clueless as ever, are buying it.
As if banning things were a specifically female ambition.

Thus, as both major parties see their intentions to ban and punish as a means to win power, neither will be willing to listen to any criticism of these `key aims`.

Thus the libertarian argument is - as it has been for the last twenty years - screwed.

phantom    [30431.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:48]
  freeworld {30425}

You do understand that it would be very easy for Farage to distance himself from such statements.
They are not official UKIP policy.
It really is that simple.

Much of the personnel at the top of UKIP is made up of old Tories, mostly from the right wing of the party.
It is very hard to imagine those folk suddenly `going soft` on drugs, stripping and porn.

One simple quote does a policy not make.
If it did, then Blair would have been `a pretty straight sort of guy`.

phantom    [30430.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:44]
  Melon Farmers (Dave) {30424}

The problem with the idea that the emergence of UKIP might put pressure on the established parties to buck up their act is past performance.
The other parties simply don`t do that.

At this present period, the parties are struggling to gain any sort of majority in British politics as it is, with or without UKIP.
This would put them under much greater pressure to reform than the rise of Nigel Farage.

So too, catastrophic election defeats simply do not make them reconsider. If anything, they feel it was the electorate who was at fault.

After the defeat of John `back-to-basics` Major, how many times did the Tories return with the same personnel, expecting the electorate to change its mind? They even presented us with Michael Howard as prime ministerial candidate.

Meanwhile, now Labour are in the same boat. But for one or two positions their entire front bench is made up of Gordon Brown`s front bench.
Thus, having been punched on the nose by the electorate has changed nothing. Just as it didn`t with the Tories in 1997.
It is hard to find a single policy in Labour which is proposed now, which wouldn`t have been proposed by the Brown government.

In short; pressure and defeat does simply not reform these parties.
If it did, then the advent of coalition politics would have brought about a step change immediately.
If anything, it only polarises them yet further.

For all the threats to the dominance of Tory and Labour, politics has been getting worse, not better.

The emergence of UKIP has done little more than to raise the profile of immigration in the political debate.

We have seen the emergence of smaller parties at the last election, most notably the LibDems, but so too the Greens. but it might absolutely no difference.

Why the arrival of UKIP should now change anything, I do not see.

freeworld    [30429.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:36]
  phantom {30428. Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:27}
Jool the fool might be better off cultivating a hatred of sugar. I regard this wommun as a legitimate subject for raillery, saying she spends her life ranting out her poisonous opinions in public which demonize men and egg on the destruction of our liberty by a slimy political class which gives its ear to the likes of her far too much.

phantom    [30428.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:27]
  Sabreman64 {30426}

Julie Bindel hates porn?
I wonder why she might hate films full of naked, attractive women...

I present exhibit A, m`lud.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/5/7/1336385068454/Julie-Bindel.jpg

freeworld    [30427.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 03:49]
  Sabreman64 {30426. Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 03:40}

Bindel`s "Why I hate men" rant is from 2006.

Isn`t hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a crime? Is this fat old trout guilty of it here? Is the Garundian guilty of spreading hatred based on sexual orientation? Imagine the Guardianista reaction if the Daily Mail or UKIP website created a headline saying "Why I hate Jews", "Why I hate Muslims", "Why I hate the Irish", "Why I hate queers", "Why I hate women"!

Men are are more likely to be victims of serious violence in real life. In popular culture - comics, tv, film are filled with far more evil men than evil women, those being killed and beaten up etc in these are overwhelmingly male.

Women are far less likely to go to prison for exactly the same crime a man will be imprisoned for.

A number of women seem to be drawn irresistibly to male brutes who treat them appallingly - despite all they stay with them. The Pistorius case has highlighted this sort of thing recently. He was controlling, unstable, and violent - he frightened her.But Reeva continued to share this odious thug`s bed. By Bindel logic Reeva Steenkamp is culpable in her own murder as she took no action herself to get away from Pistorius.

Until it`s understood that fundamentally the most extreme feminists regard any and all male/female sexual relationships as non consensual rape - an issue of one, the male, being "in power" over the other, the female, and thus only homosexual relationships where this "inequality" they fantasize about doesn`t exist, can be acceptable and correct, it`s not possible to comprehend the twisted totalitarian attitudes they take to issues of porn, definitions of "rape" etc. Of course, this patronizes women, seeing many of them as basically stupid children, "victims" tending to often be incapable of knowing they`re really victims. Like the New Labour home office chillingly using the term "nominal consent" (a spin off from Marx`s "false consciousness" theory) in their DPA consultation. Ideologically they are dangerously deranged.

Sabreman64    [30426.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 03:40]
  Man-hating* feminist Julie Bindel wants to rid the world of porn:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/24/pornography-world-anti-porn-feminist-censorship-misogyny

She comes out with the old argument that getting rid of porn will end violence against women. Presumably, in the olden days, before things like porn and Page 3, violence against women was non-existent.


* http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/nov/02/whyihatemen

freeworld    [30425.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 03:37]
  phantom {30423. Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 15:53}

Nigel Farage interviewed by prissy Telegraph journo in 2010 -

"Lap dancing? Don’t have the time these days, but I used to go to them. Like it or not, they are a fact of life. You are talking about normal behaviour there. Everyone does it.’

Do they? I never have.

‘Why not?’

Because it’s exploitative, demeaning for both parties and tantamount to prostitution.

‘Prostitution and lap dancing are not the same thing, they can be but not usually.’

But aren’t conservative-minded politicians like him supposed to believe in family values?

‘Yes, but I am also a libertarian. I think prostitution, for instance, should be decriminalised and regulated. I feel that about drugs, too. I don’t do them myself but I think the war on drugs does more harm than the drugs themselves. I am opposed to the hunting ban and the smoking ban, too. What have they got to do with government? The one thing I cannot be accused of is hypocrisy.’

Love the - "Don`t have the time these days"

- imagine Miliband/Cameron saying that!

Melon Farmers (Dave) {30424. Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 23:34}

Criminalizing all sex payers. I think you can be fairly certain Labour will attempt this if in government. Whether they could get it through parliament with a possibly quite thin majority is another matter.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30424.   Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 23:34]
  Phantom

Re UKIP

I don`t for a moment figure that UKIP are worth supporting for their policies. However to me, the point is that having them around as a threat may mean that the ruling parties (tories alternating labour) may be forced into doing a little more for the people, rather than implementing policies for their own pleasures. So the point is that the threat of UKIP may force the other parties into doing a better job, and hence should be nurtured.

Re Yvette Cooper

I interpreted the news as being that labour HAVE accepted the policy of criminalising buying sex. The debate about putting it on the conference stage is more whether this should be included as a manifesto policy to be debated during the election run up. In the end I reckon that they decided that the policy should be secret and not announced until they were elected. There is no way that Cooper could have even considered a conference announcement of something that was not an agreed policy. You simply can`t spring a surprise like that on your own party in a conference speech

phantom    [30423.   Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 15:53]
  Freeworld,

Regarding UKIP I think we all need to beware not to interpret our wishes into a new party that`s come along.

Just because they oppose the established parties does not mean they in essence oppose everything those parties stand for.

Meanwhile a look at some of the personnel suggests they are quite representative of the establishment.
Neil Hamilton does not quite strike one as an anti-establishment rebel.
I also doubt he`s the type who`ll suddenly go all easy on all things terrorism or taste and decency.

So really we can only judge them on censorship from what they`ve actually committed themselves to. As of now, that is nothing.
On the censorship and civil liberties issue, UKIP are a blank sheet.

phantom    [30422.   Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 15:42]
  I`m not sure about the Labour would ban buying for sex headline, Dave.
Sure, with Yvette Cooper, Harriet Harman, Dianne Abbott, Maria Eagle, Angela Eagle, etc, it`s hardly surprising that this policy is rearing its head again.

But in all fairness to Labour, the article in question merely points out that Yvette Cooper seemed to have scratched making that announcement at the Labour party conference.

Her not having said it, doesn`t really therefore mean Labour intend to do it.

Personally I have no doubt that they would, given the chance.
But this conviction of mine long predates this non-announcement.

But the non-announcement itself is really just that. It doesn`t cast any more light on the issue. And Labout would deny it was their intention. Specifically because they did not announce it.

freeworld    [30421.   Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 07:51]
  Voting UKIP myself - not that it makes any difference who I vote for in national elections, as I`m in one of Labour`s safest seats in England. I once sent young Mr Cameron a letter saying why I could never support his party, listing May`s assaults on civil liberties, the great repeal fib etc (didn`t add personal stuff, that I have chronic illness, but Duncan Smith still took my incapacity payments away and has halved my income). I agree with UKIP on the likes of immigration (the consequences of the political classes` own policy of limitless immigration/no proper border controls, plus their warmongering, is the major excuse/justification for the appalling assault on everybody`s civil liberties) and the EU. They`re the nearest we have to a significant party with some tendencies towards libertarianism, freeing the individual from the bully state. Nige actually went into a lap dancing club and said he enjoyed it, can you imagine any of the mainstream party leaders admitting to that - the hatchet faced harridans would be demanding their resignations. Carswell was a main guy in the great repeal "campaign" - which Dave and Nick (god, what a disappointment he is - good time Charlie was preferable) binned after all the phony fanfare in 2010. UKIP aren`t ideal, too many narrow minds. But I would guess a lot of Kipper`s "support" for laws against porn/bans is skin deep; probably a lot of them don`t properly understand how deranged and dangerous (dangerous quite possibly to THEM) our laws have become since they were perverted by totalitarians. The "ban it" tendency here is not the same as the ideologically driven totalitarian extremism you get from the female gender "warriors", and from male ideologues like Straw, who infest Labour. UKIP are the only bunch who aren`t thoroughgoing statists among the parties with any chance of exercising real power.

Interesting blog reporting a debate between blogger and Jule Bindel -

http://sexandcensorship.org/2014/10/report-debate-vs-julie-bindel-essex-university/

As part of the fightback against the puritans, sanctimony peddlers, gender Nazis and prodnose banstibators, I humbly suggest, words being so important, that the loaded one "pornography" be dropped by anti censorship folks and replaced by a softer far less loaded and abused one - "erotica".

phantom    [30420.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 17:09]
  I would say that the five year fixed term, introduced by this current government, is symptomatic of the very problem I describe.

What possibly could a government be introducing in its fifth year, for which it has a credible democratic mandate? what which it promised five years earlier has it not been able to introduce before now?

We need shorter terms for governments, not longer ones.

phantom    [30419.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 16:59]
  Dave,

The problem is, we need a change in political system, in political culture.
Any party which succeeds in this political environment is going to be crooked by default.

The very thing UKIP always complain about - political accountability - is what is wrong. Except UKIP only see the problem in Europe, whereas it is much bigger here.

Of all the prohibitions introduced, which are ever announced prior to the election? In short: for which bans do they actually have any political mandate? None.

The pre-election debate circles around the same five or six subjects which the politicians and the press feel comfortable talking about; preferably in vague terms of general ambitions and aims.
That in effect is all the information the public get, prior to voting.

Then suddenly lots of laws which were never mentioned emerge out of the woodwork.

Examples? What mention was there of `revenge porn` or `rape porn` in the general election? In truth, not a word. Thus the populace was not given a chance to vote against it, should they have not wanted it.

Of the over four thousand offences introduced under thirteen years of Labour, how many were ever announced in the elections? Exactly.

One of the foremost reasons for the utter disillusionment of the public in UK politics is that 99% of the political output has nothing to do with the five or six subjects they are willing to talk about in the run up to an election. (NHS, Immigration, Tax, Europe, yadda yadda....)

Our politicos have simply nudged the system into a state whereby they make very general statements about the NHS and the likes and then start introducing stuff which bears no relation at all to these airy-fairy subjects.

As for UKIP, they just keep telling us how they don`t like Europe. and Nigel Farage drinks lots of beer in pubs.
But why on earth should we not believe that he and his mates, on day one of taking office, would not immediately start introducing lots of crap which they never mentioned.
The fact is, they must rule it out. Explicitly. Otherwise we can assume they might well do it. And `it` can be anything. From banning ice cream vans to introducing BBFC licencing of T-shirts.

We all understand that the government in power is the only authority who can respond, on behalf of the nation to arising events. Therefore it is understood that governments might find themselves having to do things which they have not announced prior to an election.

But introducing new offences and prohibitions is not responding to events. It is simply creeping into a position of power under the radar and then letting loose upon the population a secret manifesto.

In the past when the parties forwarded a limited number of policies once in government, the current system sort of worked ish.

But in these days of hypergovernment (In short: ever since the Blair days, when `a-policy-a-day` was introduced) the democratic process has utterly stopped working.

The entire democratic process has been subverted.
UKIP are not an answer to this. They are merely another symptom.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30418.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 16:29]
  Phantom I agree, but still think it would be worthwhile giving the current politicians a once in a life time kicking. Maybe they would then devote a little more time to what the people want, not what big business/political extremists/police want. Switching endlessly between Tories and Labour does not achieve this. It just may help if there is an `you`re (all) fired` button available just in case.

phantom    [30417.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 16:12]
  The problem with that is, Dave, that UKIP have not really committed in any meaningful way to not being as proscriptive as the other lot.

They all evoke pretend problems in the public`s imagination which they then `solve` with another law banning something.

On how to do this, just watch the `Party Games` episode in `Yes, minister` to see how Jim Hackers `solves` the Euro-sausage problem. :)

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30416.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 16:06]
  Phantom, well if I don`t like it I will vote UKIP, it seems to be the only thing in town that may stop labour and tories treating the people like shit who need to be jailed for whatever petty excuse they can dream up.

phantom    [30415.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 15:57]
  Hmm... one wonders...
What will be the next item to crop up in party political ban bingo?

Smoking porn?
Criticism of politicians?
Page 3?
The wrong kind of books?
Films by Steven Spielberg?
Newsnight?
Any mention of Julian Assange?

After all, we need protecting...

Therumbler    [30414.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 15:49]
  https://twitter.com/ObscenityLawyer

Myles Jackman says that there`s going to be a big government announcement in the coming days. I dread to think what it could be.

cm comics    [30413.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 11:19]
  http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/21/British-Court-Convicts-Man-of-Possessing-Child-Pornography-on-Basis-of-Stash-of-Manga-Cartoons

looks like the attack on manga has started, the first case were the cartoons are not the low hanging fruit. funny how little press there was about it.
espeshley how important a test case would be on the matter

freeworld    [30411.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 10:00]
  From the Guido Fawkes blog. The nutters are already in the process of criminalizing customers but not the retailer in Stormont for Ulster, cheered on by Evangelical god botherers. The Justice minister opposes it, but is outnumbered. Yvette Cooper looks like a terrifying gender extremist who makes Harman pale in comparison.

http://order-order.com/2014/10/24/yvettes-plan-to-criminalise-the-worlds-oldest-profession/

phantom {30409. Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 20:15}

Let us remind ourselves of that piece of legislation out of the Blunkett home office (that paragon of moral integrity being godfather of the DPA and the RIPA too) which redefined rape law - leading to all the now familiar turmoil over consent and "rape is rape", redefined legal to consent 16/17 year olds as children, and made such terrifying ordeals as a bottom touch etc into a "sexual assault".

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/jun/01/sexual-offences-act-2003

Remember to vote Minibrain in 2015 everyone....

Harvey    [30410.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 07:58]
  But we were shouting from the rooftops at the time, that whatever was being claimed the new law(s) would catch, the offences were being defined in such a way that they would catch people who only had cartoons and drawings.

For that reason the laws were bad then, and they`re bad now, but they were pretty clear. An informed lawyer shouldn`t need to wait until a conviction is handed down before telling people they should burn all their Anime.

In truth, the police aren`t going to spend time and effort searching out collectors of Japanese comics. But if you become of interest to them for any other reason and they have a weak or non-existent case, dangerous cartoons is something they can use against you to make sure they get a result.

phantom    [30409.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 20:15]
  Harvey

"If there`s a time to argue about what the scope of the law should be it`s before it`s enacted, rather than after the first prosecution."

But the time should never arrive where we stop shouting it from the roof tops, that what the law is being used for is not what they actually said these laws would be used for.
According to the politicians who introduced the statue this was not its supposed purpose.

Damn the statute and what it says in the fine print. For it is a wicked law.

Over to Spencer Tracy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_DQUAuNUvw
1min20secs

"I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy. You can only punish. And I warn you, that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys everyone it touches - its upholders as well as its defiers."

It is my firm conviction that these laws are a pure evil. They are a poison. To my mind the lying, deceitful vipers who introduced them ought to be incarcerated for a great length of time. Not merely for the injustice they have foisted upon others, but so too for the lies and deceits by which they have corrupted the political process which produced such laws.

But so too do I think that the police and - even more so - the legal profession must also bear responsibility for this. They cannot brush this off as someone else`s law which they are merely enforcing.
Want it or not, they bear a moral responsibility for their actions.

After all, the judges at the Nuremberg show trials also would have argued they were merely enforcing the law. Someone else`s law. Nazi law.

But at some point one cannot simply abrogate responsibility for destroying people`s lives, whatever part within this destruction one plays.

And yes, I cannot believe that anyone involved in this case could credibly claim not to know what the politicians claimed this law was meant for. To play out a lie like this is to partake in the lie itself.

Harvey    [30408.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 15:53]
  phantom

You surely don`t need the "Wow".

It`s no surprise to me that there has been a conviction for posession of prohibited images. We said at the time that thiswas aimed directly at catching anime and manga, rather than "closing the loophole" whereby images of acual childreen were being rendered as drawings.

And so it has proved. The first sucessful prosecution is for posession of Anime cartooons.

The comments from Angelus, miss the point. Firstly he`s referring to the wrong Act. This was not a prosecution under the DPA (otherwise know as Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008). This was Section 62 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Now, whatever was claimed at the time - that this was about catching those who possessed images which would be caught by the OPA if published - that was NOT what was actually enacted. For s.62 says a "prohibited image" is one which is "pornographic", focuses on a (imaginary) child`s genitals or anal region, and is; "grossly offensive" or "disgusting" or "otherwise of an obscene character". It is very clear, that it will catch the merely disgusting (whatever that means) and not the criminally obscene.

If there`s a time to argue about what the scope of the law should be it`s before it`s enacted, rather than after the first prosecution.

phantom    [30407.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 15:30]
  re: Is it all politicians can do, dream up new ways to imprison anime fans?...

Wow. There we have it.
We`re now knowingly convicting people for things for which the laws supposedly weren`t meant.

Just like good Nazi henchmen, who were `only following orders`, our law enforcement agencies have got a good excuse; they`re `only following the law`.

No matter that the law is patently unjust. No matter that it clearly was never meant to catch comic book collectors and the likes.

What matters is solely that a law exists that says that possession should be punished. So punish we do.

So there you go. Nobody need think for themselves. Courts need show not an ounce of wisdom. They need only partake in the wild-eyed witch hunt.

If anything symbolises the bankruptcy of the legal system, it is this case. We now find guilty people who we know were never intended as the target. Just because we can.

phantom    [30406.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 15:19]
  Harvey

Yes, the 50`000 figures seems to wonderfully round and convenient.
But that`s why a grew a little suspicious.
It may well be the police spokesperson explaining why his force can`t do any more, but that in itself might be an indirect bid for new powers/rules/laws.
After all, who believes that going on the media and announcing 50`000 paedos are getting away with it will not cause a stir?
So if you`d want to cause a stir, that`s what you`d do, right?

On the other hand, there may be another, somewhat oblique angle on this subject. For every paedophile prosecution, how many front doors get bashed down? Given that the police appear never to smash the door down of anyone innocent (i.e. one always finds `something`), how many charges and convictions on such things such as `extreme pornography`, etc would the justice system have to cope with in order to catch 50`000 paedophiles?

In short, might it in fact be that the system simply can`t cope with processing another 250`000 folks in order to `get` those 50`000 paedos?
Perhaps creating those catch-all offences by now coming actually hinders catching the paedophiles.
I wouldn`t be surprised.

Harvey    [30405.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 12:21]
  phantom

The 50,000 figure is a bit ingenuous.

It`s an esitmate of how many people accessed indecent images last year. I`ve no idea how the esitmate was arrived at, but let`s be clear that these are not 50,000 known individuals.

What the cop is actually having to excuse is that he doesn`t have the resources to investigate the much smaller number of named suspects which the NCA are aware of. In recent weeks it came to light that two individuals who have been convicted of more serious offences, were suspected of having accessed indecent images as a result of being on the Operation Spade list, but were never investigated. Spade was the investigation by Toronto police of a company called AZOV which had been selling `naturist` videos as streamed downloads and DVDs by mail order.

The problem with Operation Spade is that it produced a lot of names (thousands) in up to 50 countries, but yet again, not all the names had been buying material which could be classified as indecent images of children.

There was a big fuss when it emerged that one on the list was a German MP, who had had his home raided by police, when he had only purchased legal material.

Thee was a similar fuss, but on a bigger scale in the US where a nude (i.e. non-sexual) image of a child is legal to possess. The cops had riaded purchasers of the `naturist` videos, but then found actual pornographic, sexual images with which they obtained prosecutions. Big debate about whether the search was illegal, as it was based on the purchase of legal material, and therefore whether material found in the search should be ruled inadmissible as evidence. It wssn`t and there have been a huge numer of convictions.

Any way back to the UK cop. He needs to explain the embarassment as to how a couple of paedos have apparently slipped through his net. His explanation is that there are so many suspects, he can`t investigate them all. He must prioritize. Which is true, as there are hundreds of names on his list and no way of separating the paedos from the rest. But not the 50,000 which is the figure he`s got the press to run with. Which is the art of spin.

phantom    [30404.   Posted 20-Oct-2014 Mon 12:36]
  BBC going berserk over 50`000 paedophiles `who`ll get away with it`.
The utterly discredited Jim Gamble on air once more.
One can`t help but feel that the ground is being prepared for something again....

phantom    [30403.   Posted 20-Oct-2014 Mon 12:34]
  Harvey

I think we both can see that we won`t agree here. :)

But just because I feel a little misrepresented here, my objection against the offence of marital rape was never because I considered it merely a private matter.
I object to the state intruding into the private sphere per se.
But I do so especially if it is in an area where the defined offence is effectively un-provable.
Once upon a time I seemed to have been far from a lone in this view.

And as for the underlying cause for the erstwhile exception on marital rape, again we`ll just have to disagree. As such the arguments have been made. No reason to repeat them.

Harvey    [30402.   Posted 20-Oct-2014 Mon 03:54]
  phantom

I tend to agree that the state should not be involving itself in matters which are essentially private.

Perhaps where we differ is in the definition of what is and isn`t private.

My view is that if you commit murder or rape or child abuse or slavery or theft, even if it is within your own home, it cannot be considered as an essentially private matter as it affects another person.

The exception for marital rape was never because the state saw it as a private, rather than a public transaction, but becaue it clung to the idea that marriage gave a husband specific rights in respect of his wife.

Therumbler    [30401.   Posted 19-Oct-2014 Sun 15:16]
  I don`t think the `revenge porn law` will affect naturists. The proposed law requires distress to be intentional, not merely a consequence.

phantom    [30400.   Posted 18-Oct-2014 Sat 16:14]
  Harvey [30399]
That`s almost a response worthy of a politician, Harvey. :)
A statement of interest. But a somewhat loaded one.

The truth on my part is I prefer a state that is kept out of as much of our lives as possible. Especially the threshold to the private home to my mind represents a profound boundary.

Now sure, I know you`ll argue, what about murder and other mayhem in the private home? We know that not everything is excusable by the fact that it happens not in a public space, but in a private one.

But the reason for an intrusion into the sacrosanct private sphere better be a good one, in my view.
Anything that is questionable from the outset, or possibly will do more harm than good, is best kept well away.
(This feels odd, as I`m effectively recounting much of the arguments I heard rehearsed way back when.)

I guess much hinges on the fact of just how much of a sacred principle the private sphere represents to you. To myself it represents one of the non-plus-ultras.

To use good old fashioned Anglo-Saxon verbiage, once across the threshold the state can fuck off.
It`s one of my primary drivers when it comes to my opposition to all things censorship.

I still recall stating in my missives to the ministry when opposing the Dangerous Pictures Act that public morality has no place in the private sphere.

It is also why in a recent debate on here about public nudity I sided with the state`s right to prohibit things. It is where to my mind, the private becomes public, because it is in public.

It goes without saying that my desire to keep a person`s private space private also has me clawing at the wallpaper whenever the government grants itself yet more snooping powers.

I guess, my default setting towards authority is distrust.

Thus the idea that the suspicion of a nigh un-provable offence can bring down the state on a private home is to me anathema.

To my mind the state is a beast which is to be kept at bay, tethered and muzzled.

In many ways I guess I feel myself proved right insofar that, having let the state into the private sphere more and more, we now face a state which feels emboldened to `send messages` by means of law and increasingly tell us what we may or may not do, view, hear, read, etc...

Harvey    [30399.   Posted 18-Oct-2014 Sat 14:28]
  phantom

It`s interesting that rape within marriage is something which you think the state shouldn`t be be involving itself with.

sergio    [30398.   Posted 18-Oct-2014 Sat 03:33]
  Man speak with forked tongue! Anyone listen to sonicstate talk on youtube? Well a contributer ` Gaz Williams (http://gazwilliams.me/) wore an indian feather headdress and got a some aggro from some chat client members.

On this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS3OuGgpv6U

phantom    [30397.   Posted 17-Oct-2014 Fri 14:08]
  re: Headdresses

I do not give a hoot about American sports, but - as of now - please consider me an ardent supporter of the Washington Redskins!

phantom    [30396.   Posted 17-Oct-2014 Fri 14:07]
  Harvey [30395]

No worries, Harvey.
I`m not expecting you to be up and running on Swiss law. :)
It was simply of particular interest at the time, as the debate brought up many examples of the state of the law in other countries.
It is why one got a fairly good impression of how things worked all across western Europe.

It`s well over twenty years ago now, but the general picture back then was that marital rape was deemed unworkable as a law. Religiosity or tradition did not come in to it. It was simply regarded as un-provable. Moreover it was one of those areas the populus did not seem to want the state involved. (This latter sentiment I particularly like.)
But I`d bet my bottom dollar most, if not all those countries, now all have it on the statutes as a prosecutable offence.
So as you say with Germany, these days no difference is seen between rape within or outside of marriage.

The Swiss are one of the most politicised countries on earth, precisely because they are always asked to vote on things.
At times thus the debate can be at quite a high level. (That said, at times it can - as everywhere - be abysmally low.)

In that regard the Swiss do show a tendency of wanting to know how it`s done in other countries to get an idea of the `current state of play`, so to speak. It is the one thing which is so dreadfully absent in UK-politics.
The only ever time you hear other countries mentioned is when someone advocates this or that proscription in order to follow the example of Scandinavia...

But we never get to hear the current state of immigration law in France or Germany, or present censorship in the Netherlands or Belgium.

In that regard we are considerably more insular than that little nation in the mountains. An island we may be indeed, but we are supposed to be a metropolitan trading nation, a former imperial power, open to the world. Whereas the Swiss have a reputation as `little Switzerlanders` with a rather closed off view of the world.

Harvey    [30395.   Posted 17-Oct-2014 Fri 02:12]
  phantom

I wasn`t aware of the arguments in Switzerland. In England and Wales, the effective exception that allowed marital rape was retained because it was seen as an indivisible part of marital rights.

Rape as defined in UK law is difficult to prosecute, full stop. This is because often the burden is on a prosecutor to prove a lack of consent and proving a negative or non-existence is inherently difficult. But I don`t see why it is made more difficult if the rape is by a husband of a wife.

Other legal codes define rape differently on the basis of a presence of additional factors such as force, threat, co-ercion, etc, rather than an absence of consent. That does make the prosecutors job easier, but it may mean that when defined this way, a marital rape becomes more difficult to prove than an equivalent rape which occurs outside marriage. It`s possible that in Switzerland the legal code is/was such that it was actually more difficult to prosecute marital rape. I haven`t checked what the Swiss legal code is/was. I do know that the German legal code, which does define rape in terms of force or threat, makes no distinction between marital and non-marital rape.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30394.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 17:52]
  Glenn

I have not seen it but there are two film clips within the film. The short films from which those clips are taken are included in their entirety as part of the set, one of these is cut. More than an extra but not quite the main film.

Glenn Quagmire    [30393.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 16:51]
  I`m slightly confused about the censorship applied to "Found". I`ve seen the uncut version but there was no scene of an erect penis in it. However, I noticed that the board classified the DVD extras at the same time. I`m wondering if the four seconds that were cut is from this instead rather than the main film.

phantom    [30392.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 15:47]
  Harvey [30391]
I recall quite vividly how this particular subject was a political hot potato for a while in Switzerland, where I grew up...
The Swiss do that very un-British thing of often comparing their national codes and political ideas to those of various other countries.
They can be very insular at times, but at other times very keen to know that the rest of the world is doing.
As we know Switzerland is the country of the plebiscite and strong sentiments exist there against the power of the state.
The overwhelming argument which was trotted out again was what of an impractical law, whereby the allegation of sex without consent in an area where sex is effectively common place would be nigh on impossible to prove and lead to no end of mischief.
Furthermore there was the view that the intrusion of law itself into this area was simply not welcome.
It was generally regarded at the time that the state was to be curtailed in its manifold attempts of getting across the private threshold.
Absolutely no one argued that marital rape was somehow acceptable due to conjugal rights, etc. Nor did any single voice evoke religion, tradition or the likes.
The impression one got of public feeling was that it would cause more trouble than it would solve and that the police, the state - and the effing lawyers - should be kept at arms length.

Harvey    [30391.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 14:10]
  phantom,

At the risk of taking this discussion too far away from freedom of speech/censorship, I don`t see why marital rape should be seen as more difficult to prosecute than rape outside of marriage.

I can see the point about not making a law to counter something which is impossible to prosecute. But in the case of rape within marriage, the law based on cultural and religious ideas about the position of a wife in a marriage existed as recently as 1991 in England and Wales*. If you believe rape in marriage is wrong, even if it was difficult to prosecute (and I don`t actually accept that is/was the case) that is no excuse for retaining legislation to specifically excuse it.



*It was held in common law that marriage gave the husband conjugal rights over his wife. Though judge made, common law conjugal rights meant that consent was implied. It was judges who made the law based on marital rights, not the difficulty of prosecuting marital rape. It was the Law Lords which redefined the extent of marital rights.

phantom    [30390.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 12:17]
  Harvey {30389}

"Actually there were long standing cukltural and religious ideas about the satus of a wife within a marriage and the lack of a law against rape reflected that probably more than a percieved difficulty in enforcing it."

I think the reasons behind not prosecuting rape in marriage did shift over time.
At first, I`d agree with you, they related more to the fact that the wife was effectively the husband`s possession. This was the position of ancient law, backed to a considerable degree by religion.

However, it hardly moved from this position to outlawing rape in marriage.
I believe the position arose quite early on in 20th century whereby the biblical/cultural position was abandoned for that of it being an un-provable offence.

One might argue that is a purely semantic difference, but it actually represents a considerable shift in moral position.
The former effectively condones marital rape. The latter condemns it, but simply forwards the notion that banning it would effectively be pointless.

I actually agree with that latter position.
I believe it was the position of most western democracies in the latter half of the twentieth century.

I do not believe in utopian law. Nor do I believe in law which `sends a message to society`.

To my mind law is supposed to support universally accepted, incontrovertible truths and is to follow the medical motto of `do no harm`.
Today it is however subject to much more superficial concepts and ideas.

These days Moses would not descent Mount Sinai with Ten Commandments, but 4347 offences, 5212 regulations and 7653 guidelines;
including rules on where to place lads mags on shelves of super markets, pre-watershed expletives and permissible song lyrics.

Harvey    [30389.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 09:18]
  phantom,

the only thing I would disagree about, is your choice of rape within marriage as an example of a law too far, based on the difficulty of prosecution.

Actually there were long standing cukltural and religious ideas about the satus of a wife within a marriage and the lack of a law against rape reflected that probably more than a percieved difficulty in enforcing it.

Otherwise what you say is right.

I don`t actually expect the prosecutors to act completely honourably or even more honourably than a defendant. What I do expect is that when they are seen to be acting in breach their own rules, they are held to account. Laying charges and then offering no evidence should be dealt with as a contempt of court.

phantom    [30388.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 08:34]
  Harvey [30387]
Actually, there once was an age when one was considerably more careful about the creation of new law. To the point where one actually accepted that certain acts of which one disapproved were taking place, but that the prosecution of such in law would be troublesome, if not impossible.

The prime example I can think of there is rape in marriage.
It was simply deemed a virtually un-provable offence, thus it was not banned under law in a great many countries.
Whatever one may think of that approach toward that offence in law, it shows that there was a considerable reluctance to introduce law into areas which were nigh on impossible to prove and where the intrusion of law may cause damage itself.

Nowadays however politicians are seized of the idea to introduce law in order to promote a utopia. We must strive toward an ideal, no matter how abrasive toward individuals or how impossible in practice.

Aristotle`s famous maxim, `there can be no morality without practicality`, has been abandoned wholesale.
What matters now it solely what ought to be.

Meanwhile, the damage law causes is excused with pretty much the approach you forwarded in your post, Harvey.
If you wish for there not to be any damage caused by unsuccessful prosecutions you`d have to abandon prosecutions per se.

The fact that the prosecution service is not acting honourably is completely discounted. (presenting no evidence at trials)
Also the fact that bad law causes real harm is never accepted.
The mantra is simply that good citizens stay within the law, no matter what. Thus the innocent have nothing to fear.

The truth however is that we have long since passed the point at which only the guilty need fear law. In plenty of law the attribution of guilt by now is a mere matter opinion anyway.

Law in itself has in many cases become an agent of harm.

Trying to argue this harm to be harm suffered for a good cause or excusable harm does not stop it from being harm.

The ultimate irony is that some of this harmful law purports to be intended to prevent harm.

What underlies it all is a huge deficit in wisdom of those introducing ever more law.
The law designed to catch tomorrow`s positive tabloid headlines will need to be endured by future generations.
Bad laws are in fact as toxic to the nation`s future as the national deficit.
Yet the politicians responsible are as cavalier about them. They misguidedly believe that any mistakes cane be easily ameliorated or reversed at a later date.

The very fact that they themselves excuse their actions with the possibility of future amendment or reversal indicates that they do not wholeheartedly believe in the permanence of their law.
Law it no longer a truth set in stone. It is an attempt.

Lacking the wisdom and insight to recognise truth, one is simply fishing for it.

Harvey    [30387.   Posted 15-Oct-2014 Wed 14:35]
  phantom,

some fair points.

If there is a problem, it`s where the government see making a new law as the cheap and easy way to be seen to be "doing something".

But unless you want to do away with criminal offences entirely, there will always be cases of prosecutions which don`t result in convictions. They are only "unsuccessful" when they fail to convict a person who is guilty. When an innocent person is acquitted, it should bee seen as the trial process working properly, but as you say the damage is done.

I too find it odd that cor is able to see the emotional damage to a person who is tried under the DPA, even going as far as to say their lives are ruined, but unable to see that the same kind of emotional damage can be inflicted in other ways. When that damage is inflicted intentionally, it probably does fall into the same category as intending to inflict a physical injury, and we do expect the criminal law to address that.

I just think you need to take great care about when and how you extend the criminal law. Even where you do identify some genuine mischief which is criminal in nature, if you find yourself having to make tortuous definitions and exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions, you have probably not identified the real nature of the mischief you are trying to legislate against.

phantom    [30386.   Posted 15-Oct-2014 Wed 13:52]
  Actually reading Car and Harvey on `revenge porn` it strikes me that the government is considerably more clear about what revelations they think can cause a person harm than they are willing to accept regarding the prosecution.
The DPA has been mentioned... and how much harm an unsuccessful prosecution can cause.

Oddly the harm by prosecution is pretty much identical to the type of harm the government is so keen to prevent by introducing a law against `revenge porn`.
However, it doesn`t seem that anyone in government seems to be making any connection at all.

It seems fairly clear that the cumulative harm done by unsuccessful prosecutions - together with the self evident harm done by the successful ones - actually far outweighs the hypothetical harm supposedly done by the pornography the DPA seeks to ban.
I don`t even think that`s a matter of opinion anymore. It seems fairly obvious at one thousand prosecutions per annum.
Nonetheless the government is content to continue doing harm there.

But how quaint that they ought to be keen to prevent people `having their lives ruined` because of `revenge porn`...




Harvey    [30385.   Posted 15-Oct-2014 Wed 11:22]
  cor [30382]

I understand your points, but I think I`ve made mine as clearly as I can, so I won`t repeat myself.

Obviously, in your case, if the intention was to cause distress, it would be caught by what is being proposed. OTOH, if the law was in place the a person would have to think carefully about what they were making public and they would do so in the knowledge they they would be comitting an offence i.e. their choice, frely made. It would be entirely up to you to decide whether the distress you suffered warranted making a complaint.

As for the CPS, it is their job to prosecute as forcefully as they can where there is evidence. It`s also entirely right that a defendant makes just as forceful a defence and statement of mitigation. It`s the judge who we rely on to act imprtially. Yes, you are right that there have been prosecutions under the DPA. Some have resulted in convictions but there have been acquittals and convictions quashed on appeal, as well, but damaged lives in the process. The big difference with the DPA is that at no stage is the prosecution required to show that the defendant caused or intended to cause any harm at all.


Therumber [30383]

Thanks again.

Good grief! The government tying itself in knots, struggling to define what is and isn`t a sexual image.

If an image is private, nobody should have the right to publish it without consent. If it`s published with the intent of causing harm, either that`s a crime (as I believe) or it isn`t. It shouldn`t depend on whether the image meets some cooked up definition as to whether it is sexual or not, ffs!

Some time ago there was a tragic accident where children were killed and some of the press obtained and published private photographs of the children involved. That caused distress, and as private photos, the press had no right to do what they did, yet this isn`t the right kind of distress, apparently.

Why are governments totally obsessed by sex?

sergio    [30384.   Posted 15-Oct-2014 Wed 01:09]
  It`s lawyers overtime ....

`(3) A photograph or film is “sexual” if—

(a) it shows all or part of an individual’s exposed genitals or pubic
area,

(b) it shows something that a reasonable person would consider to be
sexual because of its nature, or`

Ankles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I am a reasonable person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Therumbler    [30383.   Posted 14-Oct-2014 Tue 14:25]
  Update on the revenge porn law. This amendment appeared today:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2014-2015/0043/amend/am043-h.htm

“Disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress

(1) It is an offence for a person to disclose a private sexual photograph or film
if the disclosure is made—

(a) without the consent of an individual who appears in the
photograph or film, and

(b) with the intention of causing that individual distress.

(2) But it is not an offence for the person to disclose the photograph or film to
the individual mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

(3) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to
prove that he or she reasonably believed that the disclosure was necessary
for the purposes of preventing, detecting or investigating crime.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to
show that—

(a) the disclosure was made in the course of, or with a view to, the
publication of journalistic material, and

(b) he or she reasonably believed that, in the particular circumstances,
the publication of the journalistic material was, or would be, in the
public interest.

(5) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to
show that—

(a) he or she reasonably believed that the photograph or film had
previously been disclosed for reward, whether by the individual
mentioned in subsection (1)(a) and (b) or another person, and

(b) he or she had no reason to believe that the previous disclosure for
reward was made without the consent of the individual mentioned
in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

(6) A person is taken to have shown the matters mentioned in subsection (4) or (5) if—

a) sufficient evidence of the matters is adduced to raise an issue with
respect to it, and

(b) the contrary is not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(7) For the purposes of subsections (1) to (5)—

(a) “consent” to a disclosure includes general consent covering the
disclosure, as well as consent to the particular disclosure, and

(b) “publication” of journalistic material means disclosure to the public.

(8) A person charged with an offence under this section is not to be taken to
have disclosed a photograph or film with the intention of causing distress
merely because that was a natural and probable consequence of the
disclosure.

(9) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both), and

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
12 months or a fine (or both).

(10) Schedule (Disclosing private sexual photographs or films: providers of
information society services) makes special provision in connection with the
operation of this section in relation to persons providing information
society services.

(11) In relation to an offence committed before section 154(1) of the Criminal
Justice Act 2003 comes into force, the reference in subsection (9)(b) to 12
months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.

(12) In relation to an offence committed before section 85 of the Legal Aid,
Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 comes into force, the
reference in subsection (9)(b) to a fine is to be read as a reference to a fine
not exceeding the statutory maximum.”

“Meaning of “disclose” and “photograph or film”

(1) The following apply for the purposes of section (Disclosing private sexual
photographs and films with intent to cause distress), this section and section
(Meaning of “private” and “sexual”).

(2) A person “discloses” something to a person if, by any means, he or she
gives or shows it to the person or makes it available to the person.

(3) Something that is given, shown or made available to a person is
disclosed—

(a) whether or not it is given, shown or made available for reward, and

(b) whether or not it has previously been given, shown or made
available to the person.

(4) “Photograph or film” means a still or moving image in any form that—

(a) appears to consist of or include one or more photographed or
filmed images, and

(b) in fact consists of or includes one or more photographed or filmed
images.

(5) The reference in subsection (4)(b) to photographed or filmed images
includes photographed or filmed images that have been altered in any way.

(6) “Photographed or filmed image” means a still or moving image that—

(a) was originally captured by photography or filming, or

(b) is part of an image originally captured by photography or filming.

(7) “Filming” means making a recording, on any medium, from which a
moving image may be produced by any means.

(8) References to a photograph or film include—

(a) a negative version of an image described in subsection (4), and

(b) data stored by any means which is capable of conversion into an
image described in subsection (4).”

“Meaning of “private” and “sexual”

(1) The following apply for the purposes of section (Disclosing private sexual
photographs and films with intent to cause distress).

(2) A photograph or film is “private” if it shows something that is not of a kind
ordinarily seen in public.

(3) A photograph or film is “sexual” if—

(a) it shows all or part of an individual’s exposed genitals or pubic
area,

(b) it shows something that a reasonable person would consider to be
sexual because of its nature, or

(c) its content, taken as a whole, is such that a reasonable person would
consider it to be sexual.

(4) Subsection (5) applies in the case of —

(a) a photograph or film that consists of or includes a photographed or
filmed image that has been altered in any way,

(b) a photograph or film that combines two or more photographed or
filmed images, and

(c) a photograph or film that combines a photographed or filmed
image with something else.

(5) The photograph or film is not private and sexual if—

(a) it does not consist of or include a photographed or filmed image
that is itself private and sexual,

(b) it is only private or sexual by virtue of the alteration or combination
mentioned in subsection (4), or

(c) it is only by virtue of the alteration or combination mentioned in
subsection (4) that the person mentioned in section (Disclosing
private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress)(1)(a)
and (b) is shown as part of, or with, whatever makes the
photograph or film private and sexual.”

----

I believe this is the government proposed amendment.

cor    [30382.   Posted 14-Oct-2014 Tue 11:54]
  Harvey[30381]
"I`m nowhere near to suggesting that `invoking emotion` should be made a criminal offence."
But this is exactly whats happening.. if you wanted a law against driving people to suicide that would be one thing. But what is being proposed here is a disproportionate and life destroying option for many people who may exaggerate `distress` to inflict a death blow to their former partner for the crime of breaking up with them...

"The penalties range from a fine to a maximum 2 yrs"
And the cps will go after as much as they can get. You think this will be `applied fairly and proportionally`, or `only used in exceptional cases`, these are the slogans that accompanied the DPA, i don`t need to tell you how many lives that law has wrecked.

"Would the incident where your pictures were posted online be covered by the proposed offence?"
Yes, i was distressed, and she meant to distress me... I`m not sure a judge would have given her the full two years, but an emotional call to the police and that would have been taken out of my hands. And her life could have been ruined all for trying to get back at me. -See what i mean about escalation.

"Could you prove to a court that you had suffered "distress"?"
The bar is set so low you need only ask if the judge (a reasonable person) would be distressed by such a picture being posted online. Its not that you have to prove you are an average person, only that average people are generally upset at being seen naked (upset being synonymous with distressed).

Harvey    [30381.   Posted 14-Oct-2014 Tue 04:23]
  cor

"we shouldn`t make invoking emotion illegal just because emotion can lead some people to do stupid things."

But that`s not what`s being proposed.

I`m nowhere near to suggesting that "invoking emotion" should be made a criminal offence. I`m looking only at criminalizing an act carried out with the intention of causing harm.

"What would you tell the parents of a girl who killed herself after her boyfriend broke up with her calling her fat.... "

It would depend crucially on what the boyfriend inteded. For example, if he knew that his girlfriend was clinically depressed because she thought she was fat, then he`d be aware that the comment would actually be harmful, rather than merely insulting. If that was the case, I`d tell the parents that the boyfriend bore some of the responsibility for their daughter`s death. I`d be interested to know what the coroner said at the inquest.

The penalties range from a fine to a maximum 2 yrs and bearng in mind the offence would have to cover cases where many images were published over a period of months or years, you`d probably be looking at a fine for a single incident of posting something private on your Facebook page.


Would the incident where your pictures were posted online be covered by the proposed offence?

What was the nature of the "distress" you suffered? Could you prove to a court that you had suffered "distress"?

My suggestion is that the offence should only made out where the posting is malicious, i.e. inteded to cause harm. Was that the case when it happened to you or was the intention just to `hurt` your feelings?

cor    [30380.   Posted 14-Oct-2014 Tue 03:10]
  Harvey[30377]

"difference between the publication of private images on your Facebook page and calling someone fat or stupid"
Subjective difference at best. I know some people who would rather have nude pics posted all over the place than be called fat... Also there is no shortage of suicides from people being called fat or stupid by people they loved...
What would you tell the parents of a girl who killed herself after her boyfriend called her a fat bitch.... Or do you think that should carry a two year sentence as well?

we can`t protect people from themselves most of the time, and we shouldn`t make invoking emotion illegal just because emotion can lead some people to do stupid things.

phantom[30379]
A girl i was seeing a few years ago shared some fairly graphic pictures of me online (even txt me the link lol), of course it was after i cheated on her with one of her friends, so some would think she had reason to `hurt` me. Now, if i was particularly vindictive (and if this law was on the books) i could have gotten her locked up for up to two years, ruined her life and given her a criminal record... is that fair?
The harm you are talking about is financial, the very thing that civil court specializes in, the harm that can be inflicted by two years in the slammer is far greater, hence the term `disproportionate` (as opposed to the term summarily dismissed).

phantom    [30379.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 17:48]
  cor [30376]

I`m not sure I agree with you there, Cor, that showing someone naked online is something that merely causes emotional harm.
Take Max Mosley. You can in fact pretty much ruin a person.
What would such a revelation do to, say, a school teacher?

Thus, a revelation of someone in any sexual context can thus be damaging. thus, meaning that the harm done is far from merely emotional. Albeit that I understand that it is not a physical assault, a person`s life, social standing, career can be seriously diminished.

But, as I pointed out with the whip`s office comment, I think the politicians are being quite spectacularly hypocritical on this one - given how they tend to operate.

But I do not think the phenomenon of `revenge porn` can just be just summarily dismissed as something which might temporarily upset people.

People have a right to privacy for a reason.
Odd however, how government here seems to agree with that principle, whereas in so many other cases....

phantom    [30378.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 17:39]
  re: crime creation

Hey there,
Interesting pointer to the minister for crime creation there, Dave.
But it might also be worth pointing out that this fascist, puritan scumbag (let`s call him what he is, shall we?) is an MP for the LIBERAL Democrat Party.
Obviously he`s one of those liberals who haven`t yet grasped what being liberal is supposed to mean.

Harvey    [30377.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 15:02]
  I`m not being sarcastic.

Yes, there is a difference between arson or an acid attack and hurt feelings. But there is also a difference between the publication of private images on your Facebook page and calling someone fat or stupid.

The latter may cause hurt feelings, the former is intended to cause harm.

You clearly don`t see a difference.

Otherwise you wouldn`t suggest that the civil courts can deal with emotional harm, while only physical harm should require criminal prosecution.

Quite apart from that, we have a basic right to privacy and a private life and while I don`t suggest that all breaches of privacy are criminal acts, those that are malicious (i.e. intend to cause harm) really should be.

How would you like to advise the parents of a teenager who killed himself when what he thought were private images of himself were posted on a social media site? Should he have saved up all the money from his Saturday job and sued? Or maybe just pulled himself together and got over it?

cor    [30376.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 14:40]
  Harvey[30375]

"it`s only emotional harm - just feelings and no big deal then? Because it`s not the same as physical harm it shouldn`t be an offence?"

Precisely, albeit without the sarcasm. There is a `hell` of a difference between hurt feelings and acid in the face -I`m just saying our laws should reflect this difference. And a good line in the sand that generally deliminates `hurt feelings` from `burnt face` is the one between the civil courts and the criminal courts.

Harvey    [30375.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 13:41]
  cor [30374]

What laws?

Blackmail and manslaughter?

What about assault?

I suppose if someone throws acid in the face of an ex-lover, or sets fire to their house (both examples of actual cases) we do have laws to prosecute it. Posting a private letter, or a photo with the intention causing harm, though?

But of course it`s only emotional harm - just feelings and no big deal then? Because it`s not the same as physical harm it shouldn`t be an offence?

cor    [30374.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 13:16]
  Harvey[30372]

"..can go way beyond simply hurting someone`s feelings."
And when such is the case, there are laws to cover these things, from blackmail to manslaughter... What we are talking about is only realy the cases that fall short of this and so are not covered by existing law (only emotional damage cases).

"One person trying to harm another[`s feelings] is EXACTLY the kind of thing which the criminal law is designed to confront...the "distress" can lead them to take their own lives"
This is a very good argument for outlawing infidelity .. it is intentional harm that can lead to suicide (and usually a great deal more harmful than publishing dirty pics)... So should we, by your argument, be calling for 2 years in jail for people caught having an affair?

As i said, this is an escalating emotional exchange between two adults. Extending into the civil court only to try and diffuse these situations is logical (if flawed). criminal court involvement (for the sake of hurt feelings) will only escalate everything further.

phantom    [30373.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 13:07]
  Harvey [30370]

No, I don`t think you quite get the jist of it, Harvey.
You can choose to take the goat shagging photo literally, and only restrict your imagination to that precise scenario, or you can view it a little more in the round.

We know that the whips like to apply pressure.
We know that they have a filth file on anyone they can get filth on.
So the issue hardly relates exclusively to goat photos. :)
The fact is their bringing pressure to bear only works, if they follow up their threat if the backbencher doesn`t pedal the latest line.

Thus if there is anything questionable available regarding an MP (naked webcam selfie, him in action with a woman who isn`t his wife, in fact any juicy photo they can get hold of, etc, etc... and yes, a goat!) then the question arises that if they are instrumental in seeing to it that this wayward backbencher gets his comeuppance, I suspect the law will prove to be worded by our lords and masters in such a way as to not include that sort of `revenge porn`. Just in case. :)

Harvey    [30372.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 11:24]
  cor [30371]

"You`ve just undermined the entire civil court system"

No. I`ve just pointed out that in the civil court the onry redress is by monetarizing "damage" and extracting payment. There are situations where it`s a suitable means of settlement, but civil litigation isn`t the solution to every kind of damage.

If it was just about hurting people`s feelings, I`d say the law should stand well aside. But "revenge porn" (or making other private things public) can go way beyond simply hurting someone`s feelings.

One person trying to harm another is EXACTLY the kind of thing which the criminal law is designed to confront. You may think that as it`s emotional rather than physical harm, creating a criminal offence is being "overzealous", but I disagree. The intention is to harm, as you have said, and for some people, the "distress" can lead them to take their own lives.

cor    [30371.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 10:43]
  Harvey[30370]

"What if a respondent hasn`t got any money?"
You`ve just undermined the entire civil court system .. or just highlighted how it should be proportionally applied lol.

Ultimately, this is about hurting peoples feelings. We are not talking about some film star that might loose jobs because of a leaked selfie.. Its just people at the end of a relationship each feeling emotional, and each trying to emotionally harm the other.. The civil court option is an imperfect extension of that process, getting police and criminal courts involved is imo an act of overzealous pseudo-chivalric lunacy.

Harvey    [30370.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 07:39]
  cor [30364]

It`s not really a problem of access to civil courts. The state could (if it had enough money) provide legal aid for litigants, but what about the costs of the loser? What if a respondent hasn`t got any money? There is nothing to be gained by taking them to court, even if you win damages.

In suggesting a criminal offence, I would put the bar fairly high, only catching that which was malicious, that is; done with intent to cause harm. I wouldn`t restrict it to pornographic images, as just as much harm can be done if other personal, private images or information, such as a private diary, are published.


phantom [30368]

"So if today they have photos of some backbencher shagging a goat..." they are committing an offence. DPA


Thanks Therumbler.

I have to ask;

1/ Why only sexual images? If the test is whether it causes distress, can`t other private images be as bad, if published?

2/ Why the need to show distress was caused? Surely if the intention was to cause distress, than the act of publishing is just as wrong?

3/ Why 2(c)? Surely if distress is caused when an image is published, further distress could caused by its re-publication. If the (re-)publisher reasonably believes that no distress would be caused by re-publication, he can rely on 2(b) and be found not guilty.

2(c) looks like it`s only there to allow the press, broadcasters, etc, to (re-)publish images from social media, etc EVEN IF they reasonably believe it will cause distress.

I would rewrite (1):

(1) It shall be an offence for a person to publish a private image of another identifiable person without their consent with the intention of causing distress to the person who is the subject of the image.

scratch the proposed 2(b) and 2(c) and replace them with:

2(b) can show an overriding public interest that the image be published.

Therumbler    [30369.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 16:26]
  Publication of private sexual images

(1) It shall be an offence for a person to publish a private sexual image of
another identifiable person without their consent where this disclosure
causes distress to the person who is the subject of the image.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) if he or she-—

(a) reasonably believed that the person who is the subject of the image
had consented to its publication;

(b) reasonably believed that the publication of the image would not
cause distress;

(c) reasonably believed that the image had previously been published;
or

(d) did not intend to publish the image.

(3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial who owns the copyright of
the published image.

(4) An offence under this section is punishable by—

(a) on conviction on indictment, imprisonment for a term of not
exceeding 2 years or a fine (or both);

(b) on summary conviction, imprisonment for a term of not exceeding
6 months or a fine (or both).


http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2014-2015/0043/amend/am043-g.htm

phantom    [30368.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 13:14]
  I wonder, will `revenge porn` also apply to the established parties whips offices, or will they be exempt?

Remember the revelations not so long ago about a BBC interview in which a former whip had told them how whip`s offices had made cases of sex with minors `go away` in return for loyalty.

So if today they have photos of some backbencher shagging a goat, surely his loyalty is only guaranteed if he fears they might enact a `revenge disclosure` once he votes against the party line.

Somehow I suspect `revenge porn` will only apply to former `couples`, don`t you? One won`t saw off the political branch one is sitting on.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30367.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 08:53]
  So the government will now create a standalone offence of revenge porn.

I wonder if the wording will criminalise an awful lot more than stated.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/11156239/People-who-post-revenge-porn-on-internet-face-two-years-in-jail-says-Chris-Grayling.html

phantom    [30366.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 08:00]
  sergio [30365]

Yes, I`ve noticed how fiarly innocent US sitcoms are getting cut for really odd reasons these days on day time tv.
Big Bang Theory is also getting cut quite a lot in its daytime showing.
Just as with Frasier, I don`t really get how much of what is cut can be seen as unsuitable for family audiences.

But so touchy has everyone become in recent years that now anything can get cut - whether it screws up the continuity or not.

What is telling about the sentence you mention is that it is entirely the spoken word. Yet it is not rude per se.
The reason it is cut is merely due to the content it describes.
But described content should not really be subject to cuts.
After all, books are not age rated.
Thus what usually is cut is visual depictions of hookers being cut up and stuffed into bowling bags. But the mere mention of it should not be subject to censorship. Except it is by now.

This over-zealous self-censorship out of fear is a stark reminder of what will more than likely be coming our way on all fronts soon.
For let`s not forget that - thanks to our Etonian masters - music videos are deemed dangerous too now.
So too sport and documentaries....

I wonder how long it will be before WWII documentaries get cut for being `too hitlery`. The way we are going, it`s only a matter of time.

sergio    [30365.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 04:08]
  Frasier on Channel 4 at about 9Am sunday 12oct14 cut at about https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IvG6FonuQTk#t=86

`I try to figure out why a maniac `ll kill a hooker and stuff her entire body into a bowling bag`

This line was just so bluntly cut, the laughs seem to not relate to anything.

cor    [30364.   Posted 11-Oct-2014 Sat 01:06]
  Harvey[30363]

"We really need a new criminal offence to prosecute the malicious publication of private information/data/images."

If we agree that a civil court could / should give out justice to these civil matters; but that the poor have no access. Surly the answer is to make the civil courts accessible to all, maybe by lowering the cap on expenses to a percentage of a means test... Hoofing this to the criminal courts will not bring more justice, just a requirement for a higher threshold of evidence and more disproportionate punishments.

Also i can`t help but consider the comparison with our intolerance of privacy violations, even if the fix would bind our `free` media in more restraints... but at the same time we seem happy with a restriction of our rights to access civil justice...

Harvey    [30363.   Posted 10-Oct-2014 Fri 06:37]
  phantom [30358]

Re Avenging Revenge

CPS is just suggesting that so called revenge porn could be prosecuted with existing laws on the sending of malicious/offensive communications rather than either needing any new law or resorting to using or revamping the OPA. Quite apart from which, an image which is merely indecent wouldn`t fall within the scope of the OPA.

I think the point is that the CPS are saying that by using the Communications Act, it is the message which is the relevant factor and that the act of publishing a picture of a former partner can be threatening, humiliating and menacing to that person, whether or not the image itself would be construed as indecent or obscene.

I`m not so sure that the CPS is on the right track, though. The aim of the Communications Act is to protect people from receiving threatening or menacing letters, emails, etc. The point of revenge porn is that publishing an image without permission of the subject of that image, harms the subject of the image, rather than the recipient(s) of the message.

But.. we shouldn`t be looking at yet another new law based on whether an image is pornographic or not. For me, "revenge porn" is just a special case of breach of privacy. It happens to feature images which may be pornographic, but the harm done is in the making public of something which is personal and private, with intent to threaten or humiliate. At the moment all we can do is make a civil claim for damages, but that`s really only an option for those of us who are wealthy enough to go to court. We really need a new criminal offence to prosecute the malicious publication of private information/data/images.

sergio    [30362.   Posted 9-Oct-2014 Thu 05:35]
  How can `revenge pornography` be false? Faces posted onto other bodies? Is that illegal?

sergio    [30361.   Posted 9-Oct-2014 Thu 05:32]
  I was interested in what Mr Vaz said on the daily politics. He said that people coming into UK should all be checked/scanned for ebola. A specialist (an expert) also on the prog says that it`s difficult to know if people have ebola unless they have blood tests.

So then Mr Vaz says (in my bad recollection) with words to the effect of "it is a political decision, that we should reassure the people".

So, he has a more or less useless idea but as a `politician` that is a good idea.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30360.   Posted 9-Oct-2014 Thu 02:41]
  Re Not a Love Story

Thanks Bleach. That`s a shame. I watched it via that link and found it a fascinating documentary.

Re definitions

I don`t think we are far off the situation where the CPS make both the definitions and the decisions. Even if the defendant is right the CPS can destroy your life by taking the prosecution to the brink and then withdrawing just before the tactic becomes visible to the courts

bleach    [30359.   Posted 8-Oct-2014 Wed 15:50]
  The youtube link has been removed\blocked from this:
http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/hitshard18.htm#not_a_love_story

phantom    [30358.   Posted 8-Oct-2014 Wed 03:25]
  re: Avenging Revenge

Is it me or has the CPS outdone itself again with this fascinating definition?

"The issue in cases of `revenge pornography` will be whether the message or communication is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false, not whether the image itself is indecent or obscene."


Err... did they just use the terms `offensive` and `indecent` on either side of that argument?
So it`s a question of whether the communication is indecent or obscene, not whether the picture is indecent or obscene.
Wow, that`s cleared it up then. Thanks chaps.

Keep in mind these guys all went to the right schools, then uni and now earn the equivalent of a new Jag every month.

Worth every penny, no doubt.

phantom    [30357.   Posted 6-Oct-2014 Mon 13:06]
  sergio {30356}

`How would you prove it caused `harm`?

You call the BBFC. :)

sergio    [30356.   Posted 6-Oct-2014 Mon 01:00]
  `At your protest last Saturday, your supporters were screaming “rapist” at men walking into Spearmint Rhino`

Ok, so this seems like slander. Was this incident filmed? How does one get `justice` in this situation?

` For example, in the United States, the person must prove that the statement was false, caused harm, and was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement.`
How would you prove it caused `harm`?

phantom    [30355.   Posted 5-Oct-2014 Sun 18:31]
  freeworld [30354]

"It really is frightening what is happening to this country, and the supine indifference to it all from the masses and most of the msm (until they themselves end up in the snares being constructed) is very disheartening.While in the USA the most rabid and powerful anti communist could not actually have stopped free expression if he wanted to, as free expression is fundamental to America`s written constitution, here a jack in office can do what they like if they decide to steal our liberty - and one doubts some bit of paper like the ECHR or the HRA is going to stop them.
Sadly I concur with much of your pessimism."

First off, no worries. I don`t feel patronised in the slightest.
I`m not sure I agree with your summary of the McCarthy situation, - not least regarding the oppression of those who saw things differently. a politician does not necessarily need to hold any official power in order to impose on others. Sometimes it is merely a question of how the establishment operates. In many a society constitutions and laws can be circumvented if those at the top collude with a nod and a wink.
It`s precisely what explains how others were those now fingered for silencing folks, not McCarthy.
Yet one doubts it`s entirely coincidence that his name rose to infamy.
And as for the commies coming close to snatching power. On struggles to see how that would eve have happened. - It no doubt very much depends on what one defines as a communist.
In any case, the fact that both McCarthy and McTheresa are symptoms of a reaction towards a feared ideology does nonetheless hold water... ;)

Anyhow, to the matter in hand.
Yes, the HRA is pretty much a pointless statute as it simply allows governments to rubber stamp any draconian law with the statement that they`ve checked and their law corresponds to HRA. As they don`t need to reveal who said so and whether any provisos were made, it`s utterly irrelevant when it comes to protecting the populace from the imposition of hideous law. For all we know it might have been the Downing Street cat which is credited with the legal checking of Blair`s laws against HRA...

But the fact that departure from ECHR and Theresa`s anti `extremism` proposals are voiced simultaneously is somewhat telling.
After all, under HRA it would be difficult to silence people outright, - even to silence the reporting of their statements by third parties.

But it does speak of a fear of an idea. `Islamism` is now some strange virus which can infect people. (Like communism once was.) The Tories seem to think it`s some sort of verbal Ebola. Thus any exposure to this virus must be made impossible, lest we otherwise all succumb to it.
It`s for our own good.

Well, they would argue it`s not to protect you or me.
No, it`s to protect young Asian men. Those with a lower immunity to the thing they believe a virus.

That what you hear and see can be harmful and dangerous is hardly a new concept in this country. It`s been bubbling along for decades in the form of censorship.
And there too it`s not you or I who need protecting.
No, it`s those unquantifiable `vulnerable people`.
The parallels are obvious.

So I think, far from it being `Islamist extremism` which is infecting folks, it is actually censoriousness which is jumping the species barrier here.

Having made a nest in film censorship for years, then having burrowed its way via child porn laws into adult pornography it is now mushrooming.
At the very same time that BBFC exemptions are falling like skittles, that internet filtering is running amok, we get mainstream censorship galore proposed by St Theresa...

In short, the faith that is censorship is spreading.
One believes that hearing or seeing something can harm you.
One believes that preventing people from seeing or hearing these things can save them.
Therefore, save them one will. With all the zeal of an Islamist extremist.
And the means and the cost are irrelevant.
After all, saving people is a universal good.
It is godly. The will of Allah. :)

Naturally the true believers do not see the obvious parallel to the very thing they claim to be fighting. Like all zealots they are blind to it.

We are now to censor those who - to quote Theresa of Arc - know how stay within the law when preaching their hatred.
Forgive me, but doesn`t `staying within the law` mean that you are exercising lawful free speech anymore?

No, it`s now a clever ruse by which people craftily break the law. By knowing how to stay within the law. :)

So Mother Theresa`s proposals are targeted at catching those lawbreakers who fiendishly stay within the law.

So, conceding that they are not breaking any law, we are now opting to silence them, - for not breaking the law.

But of course, this only applies to the most extreme of extremists.
Most likely there would only be about 12 actions like these a year.... ;)
Well, I`m guessing they`d say the above. After all, they did before.

St Harriet and St Theresa.
The two greatest threats to liberty in this country today.
The irony is, they even claim to oppose each other. :)

freeworld    [30354.   Posted 5-Oct-2014 Sun 16:50]
  phantom {30353. Posted 3-Oct-2014 Fri 16:32}

It`s really not accurate to label McCarthy an anti Semite or a racist. McCarthy`s chief committee counsel and friend, Roy M Cohn, was both a Jew and a "queer" (something McCarthy could not have failed to be aware of). Cohn would die from aids in 1986. Another McCarthy assistant, G David Schine, was also a Jew. McCarthy`s enemies tried, but failed, to ever find any evidence of him being racist. McCarthy`s downfall was actually largely due to his problems with his own troublesome Jews, Roy and Dave - because he stayed loyal to them he was compromised in his investigation of the Army - while his enemies sniggered that Cohn and Schine were obviously a couple of "fairies" ( communist writer Lillian Hellman called Cohn, Schine and McCarthy "Bonnie, Bonnie and Clyde" ). In fact McCarthy himself was, at times, "gay baited" by his political and press enemies during his career (the boot was on the other foot), though there was nothing to support the "slur". In fact, McCarthy`s major targets tended to usually be pretty WASPY types, often very powerful ones too - Secretaries of States Dean Acheson and General George Marshall, Philip C Jessup, John Stewart Service, Owen Lattimore etc - he even went for Eisenhower. Homosexuals were, along with alcoholics and even heteros with "messy" private lives, considered lifestyle security risks (subject to blackmail by foreign powers) at this time, so they would often be removed from sensitive government posts in the 50s - see the so called "lavender" scare.

To suggest that McCarthy/the "ism" severely curtailed free expression, as is being proposed now by May and her home office goons for Britain, isn`t, to my mind, a very apt parallel really - sorry to disagree on this, as I think you tend to write very perceptively and with good sense (not meant to sound patronizing! ). Nobody was stopped from freely airing their opinions then - censored by the state. The press wasn`t shackled. Walter Winchell`s pro McCarthy broadcasts were complemented on the other side by Drew Pearson`s relentless radio attacks on McCarthy. Herblock the cartoonist caricatured McCarthy as a political caveman in the papers. Most of the Washington press corps was anti McCarthy. Probably no American politician has been so subject to relentless press and political attack as McCarthy was himself during his "heyday". He was under constant congressional investigation from 1950 - 54. He had anything but an easy ride - the pressures finished him, he was dead at 48. Even network tv in the form of Murrow`s "See it now ", chucked the neutrality it was meant to operate with out of the window and devoted a whole show to a completely one sided assault against McCarthy.

All through this period, the US communist party itself, despite being funded largely by the USSR (ie a hostile foreign government) and under its direct control (and engaged in clandestine criminal activities in its underground) was never made illegal in the US! The Daily Worker continued to be free to publish. A handful of leading communists went to prison when Democrat Harry Truman was president, under a sedition law passed in the "liberal" Roosevelt era, not by McCarthy or some other "right wing Republican" (actually, aside from the communist issue, McCarthy tended to be a liberal Republican on many matters). McCarthy in the early 50s was simply a senator and committee chairman, his committee being concerned with matters of the federal government and its agencies - as chairman, he had no power to ban what people said, published or read - just to question witnesses, deliver opinions, and, with others, put together reports on the hearings. Witnesses were made aware of their constitutional rights when called before the committee. The US constitution and bill of rights, weren`t torn up. The "Hollywood" investigations (which had nothing to do with McCarthy, but is often mixed up with him) by HUAC in 1947 and the early 50s, led to a limited "blacklist". But it was an action by the entertainment industry employers, not some sort of US government job ban (the "Hollywood 10" themselves went to prison for contempt of congress, not for being communists or because of what they believed - few make an issue of gangsters like Frank Costello and others, who were also sent to prison for "contempt" because they wouldn`t cooperate with congressional committees, just like the 10 wouldn`t). The US government never had powers to order private industries/individuals not to employ certain people, nor to tell them what they could and could not say, or to suppress the publication of political opinion - which is what May is wanting in UK legislation. This is starting down the road which can end with the Goebbels ministry`s control of the whole German press/entertainment and Soviet practice, lurching towards Orwells` ministry of Truth - not a parallel with what happened in the US in the early cold war period.

The Venona transcript material, kept secret for 50 odd years, finally published in the 1990s, and other recent new sources, show that the 40`s communist defectors (Chambers, Bentley, Budenz) were telling the truth about the extent of Stalin`s infiltration and how high and wide it went - this idea has been ridiculed, minimized and dismissed for decades by many writing about the period, and those denials turned into "received wisdom"; but the "received wisdom" has now been proved to be dead wrong about the extent of the problem which existed over Soviet activities in the.US.(Hiss, a principal founder of the UN, was indeed a key Soviet mole, executed Rosenberg was a spy - truths long denied by many; Harry D White, the assistant director of the Treasury and Roosevelt`s top aid Lauchlin Currie - both were Soviet agents; very possibly FDR`s right hand man, Harry Hopkins, was as well). The state department and OSS were riddled with communist agents. If Truman hadn`t replaced Henry Wallace as Roosevelt`s Vice President, many of the Soviet agents would have been controlling much of the US state after FDR died. That`s how close it got to Stalin`s henchmen being in charge in the US from 1945. Yet communists were never banned from saying what they wanted to, their party was never "banned", despite the serious internal threat which existed largely because of Soviet controlled communist activities.

As we now have more laws than ever in the modern era to imprison people based on what they say/write, I fail to see what use the ECHR or the HRA can be in this regard. Look at what are "qualified rights " under the HRA, ie ones which are weaselly "balanced" by some proclaimed "right" of "the wider community"/ state to ignore these individual freedoms if it chooses to (the supposed collective can trump the individual) -

- Family life/manifesting your religion/free expression/freedom of assembly and association...

We`ve already seen in the post HRA years how when they want to pass laws which breach a human right in these areas they do it. Thus the HRA/ECHR seem to provide little defense against May`s proposed future assault on free expression - just about all that might spoke its wheels is a rebellion in the house of lords. As you suggest, Labour would do this in office (would very possibly be even more draconian) or be "me to-oing" the Tories as Cameron does it. So the "undemocratic" (Lords), as we have seen it do numerous times, challenges the supposedly "democratic" (the commons) when it comes to defending liberty - such irony.

It really is frightening what is happening to this country, and the supine indifference to it all from the masses and most of the msm (until they themselves end up in the snares being constructed) is very disheartening.While in the USA the most rabid and powerful anti communist could not actually have stopped free expression if he wanted to, as free expression is fundamental to America`s written constitution, here a jack in office can do what they like if they decide to steal our liberty - and one doubts some bit of paper like the ECHR or the HRA is going to stop them.
Sadly I concur with much of your pessimism.

phantom    [30353.   Posted 3-Oct-2014 Fri 16:32]
  freeworld [30352]

I`d actually not choose the DDR as the example here, Freeworld.
Although clearly the idea of the `forbidden thoughts` was clearly well at home behind the iron curtain.

But here I would rather see McCarthyism at work.
Just as in 1950s America, some elements of society feel threatened by an invisible foe.
So how does one react?
One seeks to clamp down on an idea.
In the USA it was the ill-understood, mysterious eastern menace of communism.
And here today it is the equally mysterious phenomenon of `Islamism`.

Just as frightened America handed power to a nasty individual in senator McCarthy (a sort of `bad guy, but our bad guy`), so nowadays we hand power to increasingly nasty home secretaries.

Just as McCarthy no doubt will have abused his commie hunting to crack down on `queers and Jew boys`, Theresa can`t pass up an opportunity to include `extremists` on her anti-Islamist rampage.

With it she is of course threatening to open up a chasm in English law. (Keep in mind that at the very same conference the Tories announced their intent to secede from the ECHR!)

It would be a chasm which a later Labour government would be keen to fill with lots of additional legislation on feminism and public morality.

But, worryingly, the citizenry finds itself in a bind. We are no doubt going to be taken in another pincer movement here. the British parliamentary system is at its most terrifying when both political wings agree.
I doubt very much that we`ll be able to avoid this oncoming juggernaut, because I`m convinced Labour will join in with Theresa.

Just as US democracy was effectively in crisis in the McCarthy days, so today our democracy clearly is in crisis.
It is hard to see it otherwise, when only a few weeks ago a considerable portion of the nation almost upped and left.

Our institutions and political traditions are clearly failing and ancient principles of governance and law are simply being chucked overboard by a political class which appears pretty clueless.
In fact our rulers seem of such low calibre, a solution is unlikely any time soon. In fact in the foreseeable future I only see things getting worse.

freeworld    [30352.   Posted 2-Oct-2014 Thu 05:14]
  phantom [30350. Posted 1-Oct-2014 Wed 05:47]

May`s speech and the briefing stuff that accompanied it were horrifying - an attempt at crowd pleasing populism for the hard of thinking, which contained proposals envisaging one of the greatest lurches into totalitarianism imaginable. She`s the worst home secretary I can remember - with the possible exception of Blunkett.

Once thought control "hate crimes" are created, extra judicial punishment by accusation like Asbos are brought into being, the political class has laid the basis for the totalitarian state. The foundations of a lot of this were in the New Labour years, now, predictably, the Tories carry it on, making bad worse.

“I want to see new banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of the existing laws relating to terrorism. I want to see new civil powers to target extremists who stay within the law but still spread poisonous hatred. So both policies‚ banning orders and extremism disruption orders ‚ will be in the next Conservative manifesto..”

- May at Tory conference

So bans etc/civil punishment for people who have not been convicted of a crime.

"A Tory briefing note made clear that the banning orders, which can include denying access to the airwaves and to the net, would be targeted not just at so-called hate preachers but also those who sought to “disrupt the democratic process” and “undermine democracy”.

- The Guardian

Well, that`s the communist`s freedom to blether publicly scuppered, along with those other nasties like Fascists, Nazis and Islamists.

".. the Home Office will soon, for the first time, assume responsibility for a new counter-extremism strategy that goes beyond terrorism.”

- May at the Tory conference

"(she said the aim is ) to eliminate all forms of extremism‚ including neo-Nazism and Islamist extremism".

- Guardian

Carry on cheering totalitarian Theresa, Tory conference idiots - but don`t be surprised when the police get on your case for criticizing immigration/homosexuality and you end up with an "extremist" banning order - though you`ve not been found guilty of any crime by proper due process of the law. Burble all you like then about it being an "outrage" in a "free country". In truth this hasn`t really been a free country at all for a long time. Be hoist on the petard you helped create, or didn`t try to stop. First they came for the Islamists...

If "call me Dave" is kicked out next year, one can expect exactly the same legislation as Morticia`s from Miliband. We are left with the hope that, as with May`s previous vile "super Asbos", the Lords - one of the few places where any significant concern for civil liberties seems to exist within the political establishment - stop these appalling proposed measures.

May`s home office is currently consulting on something similar to the previous, "emotional abuse" of "partners" (ie mature adults)being made a criminal offense punishable by years in prison.

There are, of course, enough laws around, if properly enforced and applied, to deal with encouraging terrorist violence and to put those threatening/encouraging violence against groups or individuals before the courts. We`ve had them for ages. But more recently we saw something else - the state criminalizing "hate", over certain issues. Such legislation sets a precedent for the sort of thing May is proposing; indeed it has opened Pandora`s box, can lead to the state potentially criminalizing any opinion which is seen as controversial, a minority view, or one that simply isn`t concurred with by the consensus of the political establishment. Just replace the subjective word "hate" with the subjective words "extremist/extreme".

Welcome to DDR Britain.

Therumbler    [30351.   Posted 1-Oct-2014 Wed 12:56]
  http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/offensive-banksy-immigration-mural-in-clacton-scrubbed-from-wall-by-council-9768354.html

An apparent anti-racist Banksy work destroyed on complaint that it was racist.

Some people have no sense beyond a very literal interpretation of things. Unfortunately, they appear to be ones who cry the loudest. Like the old saying goes, empty barrels make the most noise.

phantom    [30350.   Posted 1-Oct-2014 Wed 05:47]
  jackdeth [30349]

Interesting.
And I can see how these proposals could impact on such conspiracy theorists.
But I don`t think they are specifically designed to deal with them.

Far more, I think these measures are meant as a broad net which could catch almost any non-approved ideas.
Most frighteningly this would also include not politically correct speech.

To me it is self evident that it has nothing to do with terrorism.
Incitement to violence is already illegal.
But anything which challenges the established norm could fall foul of this.

Consider David Starkey stating on BBC`s Question Time that modern day so called youth culture is black culture.
Or John McCririck`s views on women.

If the authorities will have the right to override anyone from saying anything which might `radicalise` someone else, then it`s not that big a leap to see them gagging the Starkey`s and McCririck`s of this world.

And not to permit what the `bad` person has said to be broadcast, etc is perhaps even more sinister. Because it provides the means by which to censor the news.

jackdeth    [30349.   Posted 1-Oct-2014 Wed 04:44]
  phantom: It seems that the `extremists` May is referring to are conspiracy theorists.

This was conveniently left out of mainstream media reports in the frenzy surrounding Iraq last week.

http://deaftoamerica.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/un-declares-war-on-conspiracy-theorists/

phantom    [30348.   Posted 30-Sep-2014 Tue 06:34]
  Fresh news from the Conservative Party Conference:

Beware if you are a Melonfarmer!
The Hag of the Home Office is out to get you!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29414574

So, more powers. And what for powers.
First off she wants the Snoopers Charter back.
But then she wants `extremists` banned from being able to voice their opinions, be it in the traditional media (anyone remember Sinn Fein voice overs?) or on the internet (yep, people could actually be banned from putting their unwelcome opinions online! And yes, that`s us, guys!).

Now of course, this is only the Home Secretary waxing lyrical about what she would like to do - if it`s a Tory only government after the general election. But it`s terrifying!
Not least as a Tory-UKIP coalition would no doubt implement it.

But aside from that, consider that `law and order` inflation only pushes the severity of measures upwards - on both sides of the political divide. In short: Labour are not going to be outdone for long on `being weak on extremism`, so they`re bound to follow suit.
And that will mean we have a `broad based political consensus`.

The policy is of course nonsense. You do not rid a nation of extremism by means of severity. If anything, severity causes extremism, it doesn`t cure it.
But then Theresa May is as severe as she is moronic, so one could never hold out too much hope there.

But the direction of travel in British politics is being spelled out quite clearly here.

Much along the lines of Michael Howard`s famous words on prison, spoken some twenty years ago, the egregious Theresa May has to all avail told the nation that `Censorship works!`
And apparently we need much, much more of it - right across all society.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30347.   Posted 29-Sep-2014 Mon 23:43]
  MichaelG

I think it is telling that the state is so arbitrarily negative about internet blocking. It is obviously all about moral censorship. If they really cared about the kids it would be reasonably easy for the state to set up a wide age verification scheme.

All you need is a single physical check or credit card transaction to your ISP and then your account could be set as age verified. I am sure this info could be encoded somewhere in the html protocol that the ISPS could verify on route so that webservers could then verify the setting and serve adult material accordingly.

MichaelG    [30346.   Posted 28-Sep-2014 Sun 13:11]
  Oh the irony... from one of the pioneers of default web blocking of adult material (BT) comes an article on my email login page entitled `how to delete your browsing history - Keep your web searches from prying eyes by wiping your internet footprint, whatever browser you use.`

Yeah, but if you don`t allow me to look at anything controversial, I surely won`t need to do this, right?

freeworld    [30345.   Posted 18-Sep-2014 Thu 02:57]
  phantom {30343. Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 14:59} #

Whether it`s the dangerous pictures sinister absurdity or ridiculous "rape" cases brought by the CPS, there is a tendency for juries to look at the nonsense "they" - what I characterize as the "enemy class" - are hoping to convict people over - and upset "them" by not returning the guilty verdicts they desire. This indeed shows the general common sense, genuine liberalism if you will, of many "ordinary people", which still hangs in there, despite the prevalent deceit/manipulations of the totalitarian ideologues now infesting politics, the legal bureaucracy and all those screeching pressure groups and phony "charities".

So, we are now seeing efforts to "educate" jurors by the likes of Starmer. If that doesn`t work as they want, next there will be moves by the "enemy class" to remove the jury system itself from certain sorts of cases where only self proclaimed "experts" "understand" the issue and can be trusted to make the "right" decision (there`s already precedence for this).

Of course, just the act of investigating people and taking them to court is probably fulfilling a lot of "their" purpose - the very process will shame/expose/potentially destroy someone, even if a not guilty verdict is the ultimate result of the court case.

I think the idea that an "independent" Scotland (if it happens) will get the equivalent of the US bill of rights is highly unlikely given the domination of the country by big government parties, and there being a still highly influential conservative church. What they may get is something reflecting the ECHR and HRA. As we know, having loopholes written into them, make many "rights" merely conditional not absolute under this legislation; in the case of the "enemy class" being determined on totalitarian measures, these supposed legal guarantors of our rights to freedom, are it seems, pretty useless.

sergio    [30344.   Posted 18-Sep-2014 Thu 00:59]
  Hurrah! So Symantec don`t block lgbtgddhs content only a bigger subset. Hurrah!

phantom    [30343.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 14:59]
  cor [30341]
Well, the very fact that there is not really a plan for such issues makes one doubtful.
Whether it`s Holyrood or Westminster, they never tell you that they`re about to trap your privates in the car door.
It`s always `friends, Romans, countrymen`... you know, gazing at the horizon stuff.
But if you believe they`ll be liberal you`re taking it strictly on trust.

My advice would be, if they haven`t actually promised it in some sort of cast iron policy manifesto, think the worst.
It is always dangerous to assume they`ll do the right thing - especially on subjects about which they`ve staid deliberately silent.
Never assume people in government will be reasonable and do the sensible thing.
We`ve assumed that time and again in this country and been proved wrong every time.

The truth is, there is a strong militant feminist element up there and they have a lot of clout. The Kirk and the Catholic church also still carry quite a weight still. I would be very suspicious of what that powerful lobby might get up to, if their political impact is suddenly exponentially increased - which it would be.
And as said, both major parties north of the border would be described as `big government` parties. That makes them more interventionist by default.

My fear is that Scotland would not become some sort of liberal Amsterdam, much as I would love to hear it.
Instead I fear there are reasons to believe this new nation would in fact head in the opposite direction.
Or should I say, its government would. Of the people in both north and south of this island I remain convinced that they are just about the most liberal on the planet.
But liberalism has no political traction in this country and thus I suspect other forces would prevail.

The independence of the Scottish judicial system has largely been a bit of a farce in the past, as the two systems have thus far always `coincidentally` levelled out in just about the same place all the time. (usually by copying the other`s excesses)
But once they are separated, it`s really anyone`s guess.

Reading the tea leaves, however, I would be very skeptical when it comes to censorship - especially `moral` censorship.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30342.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 14:33]
  Still watching Scotland getting excited about independence but I am totally at a loss where this excitement comes from.

Now from what I observe about various tiers of government:

Local councilors are a bunch of misery guts who want to ban all pleasure in life, generate shoddy legislation to micro manage people`s lives that `sends a few messages` but don`t give a stuff how it works in practice, and the harm it can do to people`s livelihood and freedom. It hardly even matters which party they are.

MPs are a bunch of misery guts who want to ban all pleasure in life, generate shoddy legislation to micro manage people`s lives that `sends a few messages` but don`t give a stuff how it works in practice, and the harm it can do to people`s livelihood and freedom. It hardly even matters which party they are.

MEPs and Euro politicians are a bunch of misery guts who want to ban all pleasure in life, generate shoddy legislation to micro manage people`s lives that `sends a few messages` but don`t give a stuff how it works in practice, and the harm it can do to people`s livelihood and freedom. It hardly even matters which party they are.

Why do Scots people think that their lawmakers are going to be any different? Surely there is so little chance of politicians being `better` that its not worth getting excited about.

cor    [30341.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 07:42]
  phantom[30340]
well, there will always be some idiot declaring this or decrying that, but the actual laws passed (and we`ve been passing laws for a while now) are, with the exception of the DPA, less draconian and petty than those of our Westminster counterparts... so the worst of the laws passed in Scotland recently were written to copy England laws.

Basically we`ve no idea what will happen once that influence gets lifted (or if it even will after a yes vote) - i just hope better representation and smaller government will translate into less legislation and more rights and freedoms (for both Scotland and England) .. but we will see.


Melon Farmers (Dave)[30338]
It is a wonderful opportunity to take a lighter touch with video regulation, let the industry sort out a rating system and let consumers choose it with their purchases... but you are right we will probably piss this opportunity away and immediately negotiate to keep the BBFC.

phantom    [30340.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 06:44]
  cor {30336}
Not sure there, Cor.
On this site alone I`ve read several times about this or that group on Glasgow council declaring the evils of pornography, etc.
I would be very surprised if Scotland would become more liberal due to leaving the UK. All the signs point to the opposite.
(i.e. both Labour and SNP seem to be talking about a `big state` approach in just about all areas)

Melon Farmers (Dave) [30337]
Yep, the SNP has successfully managed to make this contest about politics, rather than about nationality. And the three main parties have fallen into the trap.
The other day I actually saw an interview on the BBC with a guy with a self-apparent English accent who lived in Scotland and was going to vote for independence - because he wanted more left-wing policies.
That is how the SNP has managed to make this such a close race.
Questions of nationality and consequences thereof meanwhile have gone out the window.

Melon Farmers (Dave) [30338]

Interesting thought, that. And yes, it would seem that as a market 6 million Scots would just be too small.
Perhaps the markets would just assume that any Scots wanting stuff would order it from British suppliers south of the border.
And once the border controls go up, there might be folks hired to float DVDs across the legal border with drones. :)

And a similar note, one wonders whether the BBFC would reduce its prices by 10%. But then racketeers don`t really ever cut prices, do they? :)

sergio    [30339.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 01:39]
  I never heard of this - moral harm from the BBFC. The BBC afterwatershed prog didn`t say what the serbian film was about - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Serbian_Film

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30338.   Posted 16-Sep-2014 Tue 12:59]
  Re SBFC

This could be fascinating. with 10% of the population of the UK I bet there will be vast numbers of releases where it simply economically unviable to spend a grand on getting a film watched by professional film viewers. I bet they have to do something like accept BBFC ratings for use in Scotland. Or perhaps give up on pre-vetting for large chunks of the market.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30337.   Posted 16-Sep-2014 Tue 12:42]
  Re Scotland

Earlier this month the debate seemed to be something along the lines of `wanting` independence vs the `necessity` of having to be part of ever larger power blocks.

Somehow I think that this has all changed with Cameron, Miliband and Clegg joining forces. It has now handed to the Scots people a once in the life time opportunity to give a good kicking to the whole political elite that has been ruling Britain with scarcely a thought for the people in the last few decades.

Limey if there was a vote in England to get rid of all the parties that have stitched up Britain, then who could resist the temptation of booting them ALL out.

Surely this unholy trinity will have sealed the fate of the United Kingdom.

So what will the UK be called when Scotland leaves?

cor    [30336.   Posted 16-Sep-2014 Tue 11:55]
  sergio[30335] - Not right away i don`t think, but eventually, yes, and i hope such a `SBFC` will not have the power to actually ban anything, only rate age guidelines, but you never know until it happens.

phantom[30334] - I don`t share your cynicism over independence, i know the Scottish government followed Labour over the DPA and even went a bit further. But beside that case they seem to be more liberal and there is even talk of a constitution, which does act as a filter for crap laws in the US, so I`m hopeful.

sergio    [30335.   Posted 16-Sep-2014 Tue 07:08]
  So, if yes will the Scots get their own BBFC? The SBFC? Ireland seem to have their own? http://www.ifco.ie/website/ifco/ifcoweb.nsf/web/news?opendocument&news=yes&type=graphic
Are they going to have to reclassify all the films again?

phantom    [30334.   Posted 15-Sep-2014 Mon 15:23]
  Melon Farmers (Dave) [30331]
Dave, who knows, the Scots may get it their own way in a few days time.
Just how much of `it` they might get, if they do go independent, I think they cannot even begin to comprehend.
There is a great deal of feminist militancy in politics north of the border. I think people would be greatly surprised to find that they`ve voted themselves into ban-nirvana.

But anyway, yes, I just wondered. With Scandinavians being known for their porn and adult satellite channels, how does that chime with their anti-prostitution laws?
I agree with you though, I can`t see this country ever allowing for such `loopholes`.
I can see the UK enforcement department now. Everyone neatly dressed. In ze brown uniforms vith ze riding boots...

braintree    [30333.   Posted 15-Sep-2014 Mon 13:01]
  Pooch - as I said , I have no interest in the boxset itself but while reading Michael B`s updates over the last few months it would seem that all the censored material does involve bestiality as I don`t recall any mention of any other material that needed censoring . I may be wrong but he did mention surprise at some content that was passed but very happy when the only footage banned was that literally required by UK law.
My post was merely to update some of the points you made in your post . If you can`t cope with not being the definitive voice you should not be writing a blog or on here . At the very least informative posts such as your original one may need some response in order to complete the picture.

Pooch    [30332.   Posted 15-Sep-2014 Mon 05:30]
  @Braintree [30329]: The main gist of my comment was that - some, though not everyone - might be unaware that cuts had been made to the documentary on this set. Clearly you did.

And no, I was NOT aware the cut scenes involved bestiality! I had NO knowledge whatsoever of the content of the missing material, until AFTER I had been told by others. Are you saying that in every single missing second I mentioned, that has been blocked-out, contains actual bestiality? Even the moments that only last a couple of seconds?

As for your assertion that "your conclusions on here which appeared to be a warning not to buy the set", they were merely a notification to others, on a website that is meant to be about cuts and censorship. Clearly, the Melon-Farmers site isn`t about that at all, is it Braintree?!

In regards to have I ever done a completely positive review of an Arrow release? No, I haven`t. I don`t do many reviews of Arrow products at all. Why not?

1) Because I don`t buy/collect all of their stuff, just because it`s an Arrow/Arrow Academy release.

2) Because I don`t like/need/want all of their releases.

3) Because I don`t want to review everything Arrow releases.

4) Because the many releases I have bought, have all had issues that stop them from being genuinely great releases. It`s hardly my fault, that the specific films I`ve purchased from Arrow, all happen to be ones with "faults" or "cuts" in them, like many of their Argento and Fulci releases have been!

Anyway, clearly, there`s no point in me posting anything anymore to the MF Forum, because others will clearly already know everything anyway.

So, well done Braintree, in getting rid of me from your little clique!

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30331.   Posted 14-Sep-2014 Sun 23:51]
  Phantom. Scandinavia still seems pretty keen on porn (maybe except Norway).

Maybe there is something in the wording of the law.

The issue certainly came up when miserable laws to criminalise buying sex came up in Scotland. The moralists creating the bills were very keen to cast a massively wide net of sex being bought.

phantom    [30330.   Posted 14-Sep-2014 Sun 06:07]
  Here`s a thought.

Do those Scandinavian countries which have banned paying for sex still produce any form of pornography?

Did they only outlaw prostitution, or is the actual act of paying for sex completely outlawed? Because if so, then how would paying for someone to perform in pornography be possible?

Anyone know?

braintree    [30329.   Posted 11-Sep-2014 Thu 14:22]
  Strange how Pooch can`t help but try and make smartarse comments when his "knowledge" is questioned . And for someone who runs a site and even a blog to then argue the toss of browsing the internet just reinforces his dodgy thinking. I actually look at 6 sites each day of which this is one - and this usually takes about 30 minutes if things are interesting . Roobarbs just happens to be one of them as it`s main emphasis was originally classic tv which is a subject I`m interested in. Michael Brooke happens to be a contributor to that forum and not only regularly updates on the releases from Arrow and other companies he works / worked for but goes into detail about various issues that arise. The boxset in question was one he worked on personally and in depth which is why the details of what was going on with the boxset were on there a while ago .My comment that the details had been on Roobarb for a long time was not supposed to be any kind of smear about your knowledge - more a confirmation that your theories were not new or secret which was the impression your comments gave. The main gist of my comment was that you were aware the cut scenes involved bestiality so exactly what did you expect Arrow to do about it ? Not include the film at all ? Maybe you should have done your research first before posting your conclusions on here which appeared to be a warning not to buy the set . Have you ever done a completely positive review of an Arrow release? And there`s little point in trying to put people off buying the boxset - it`s a Limited Edition of just 1000 copies and it was sold out weeks before release so anyone who does not already have it will most likely not get one at all.
I don`t have any interest in the boxset at all BTW so the reason I knew about the cuts was because it was in the Arrow forum on Roobarbs. I did zero research on it .

I do agree about FOUND though . Only 4 seconds seems very lenient .

phantom    [30328.   Posted 11-Sep-2014 Thu 07:39]
  Interesting how ATVOD seems to be using the verb `to impair` now regarding the damage done by porn they and their friends at the BBFC fantasise about.
I wonder if there`s a new trend there.
Maybe they`ve decided `to impair` is more suggestive than `to harm`.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30327.   Posted 11-Sep-2014 Thu 06:56]
  Thanks Pooch and Braintree

Interesting information. And yes I guess it will be new to the large majority of readers, so well worth passing on.

Pooch    [30326.   Posted 11-Sep-2014 Thu 05:11]
  @Braintree [30325]

Clearly, you are better informed on the issue than me. Having never heard of, let alone accessed the "Roobarb forums", then for most people, the cuts would be a surprise to them. Moreso, when the opening statement on the extras is vague and ambiguous.

Having now had contact from Michael Brooke, who worked on this release, and explained in more detail what the material was, and more importantly why it was cut, I can now understand why the edits were made.

Still, it would have been better in my view, to have put a note in the book, or on-screen stating that the what the cuts were. Not everyone, myself included, spends hours, days or weeks hooked into the internet, and scouring every single website or forum for information relating to a specific release. Clearly, you do. I don`t. Thus, until I started searching online for the info, I had no idea what had been or cut or why.

Hence my original post in this Forum, which I thought you`d be interested in.

Clearly you aren`t.

I won`t bother you with any more info of this nature again, seeing as everyone (well, the five or six of you that comprise this forum) are so clued-up on every single thing in the worlds of film censorship.

P.S. It`s interesting (to me, at least) that the BBFC passed FOUND with only 4 seconds of cuts, to remove one single shot of an erection, whilst the film was savaged by the Australian OFLC board!

braintree    [30325.   Posted 10-Sep-2014 Wed 13:33]
  These cuts were listed on the Roobarb forums many months ago . As with lots of movies and home video releases advice is taken from the BBFC during the releases planning stages regarding what they would be wasting their time submitting. Surprise surprise - no bestiality allowed . Michael B explained it would be unlikely to be cleared uncut as soon as he saw it let alone before they contacted the BBFC. So quite obviously Arrow removed it so that the BBFC didn`t refuse it . What exactly did you expect them to do ? And how is the phrase " to comply with UK law" not a clear reference to cuts and censoring?

Pooch    [30324.   Posted 10-Sep-2014 Wed 05:40]
  Bad news guys - The WALERIAN BOROWCZYK Blu-Ray/DVD Combo set from Arrow, has cuts in it! :(

Whilst it`s not one of the films that`s been cut, but one of the extras instead, the fact that 32 seconds has been cut, is still not good. I shall now explain.

On the IMMORAL TALES set, there is an extra called "A Private Collector: Oberhausen Cut", that runs to 14m 31s. Sadly, 32s of that are blank screens of censored content. That is to say, when something has been censored, the screen goes completely blank. The start of the featurette does include the following note:

"In order to comply with UK law, part of this alternative version of A PRIVATE COLLECTOR has been adapted with the full co-operation of Borowczyk`s regular collaborator Dominque Diverge-Segretin."

What they don`t tell you, is that the "adaption" is censorship, made by Arrow, not by the BBFC. The cuts are as follows:

Cut 1 - 12m 08s to 12m 20s (12s of cuts)
Cut 2 - 12m 22s to 12m 24s (02s of cuts)
Cut 3 - 12m 26s to 12m 29s (03s of cuts)
Cut 4 - 12m 32s to 12m 35s (03s of cuts)
Cut 5 - 12m 39s to 12m 45s (06s of cuts)
Cut 6 - 12m 50s to 12m 56s (06s of cuts)

According to my research, the cuts are to remove scenes of bestiality. According to Michael B over at the Criterion Forums:

"specifically we blacked-out all of the frames where there`s actual sexual contact between the dog and the woman. We were advised that pixelation probably wouldn`t be sufficient to avoid potential legal hassle. However, the last shot has been left intact despite the dog being visibly aroused (evidence of which was pixelated on the German disc), as we reckoned that if aroused horses in The Beast (and innumerable David Attenborough documentaries) were OK, we`d probably get away with this one too - and we did."

Allegedly, the bestiality scenes were even stronger than those featured in the French documentary THE GOOD OLD NAUGHTY DAYS, and would NOT even have been passed at R18 levels! However, I can neither confirm or deny this, having never seen the uncut version of A PRIVATE COLLECTOR. (The scenes in THE GOOD OLD NAUGHTY DAYS, however, are explicit, but feature a dog licking a lady, rather than anyone doing anything to the dog itself, and thus, the scene is more laughable than obscene or offensive.)

phantom    [30322.   Posted 6-Sep-2014 Sat 16:09]
  Re: Love is Strange...And the MPAA is even stranger 

Actually, the BBFC I don`t think are quite that angelic, Pooch.

“With the BBFC, they`ll tell you exactly what the problem is, what to cut, and will do their best to help you out. They`ll give you lists of specific cuts, and what the results will be if you agree to make the cuts, or not. In many ways, they are one of the most open classification boards anywhere in the world. They actually make a film-maker`s life easy, and don`t treat you any differently, whether you`re a big major studio churning out blockbusters since the dawn of time, or a first-timer submitting your very first film to them, on a shoestring budget. It`s a very even playing field. All they care about is, how "adult" is your film, and is it suitable for its intended audience. Nothing else matters.If anything, if you are a newcomer to them, they will bend over backwards to accommodate and help you out, at every step of the classification process. “

Now I`ll admit to being almost pathologically incapable of hearing anyone heap any praise onto the BBFC.

But I really wouldn`t go as far as saying that the BBFC makes a film maker`s life easy.

I know your point here is comparative, so you mean they`re easier to deal with than other classifiers; in this case, the MPAA. But in a world in which they have you by the goolies, just because this lot squeeze a little less violently, it doesn`t mean that they`re nice people. ;)

Also, the BBFC do not merely care about how `adult` a film is.

If so, they would not be in a position to withhold certificates.
So the BBFC are not merely in the business of classification, unlike the MPAA. they`re in the censorship business too.
There is a position the BBFC can reach whereby they think something is `too adult` for adults.

This puts them more on a par with film censorship boards of countries like Iran or North Korea.

Apart from that they do also operate what can be termed little more than a financial racket.

So, although I fully comprehend the main thrust of your article, let`s not be too nice with the BBFC. They are most likely an organisation that would be best disbanded and replaced with a new classification body; one which cannot ban, one which cannot engage in racketeering, and one which does not seek to expand its business interests.

Meanwhile, regarding the main thrust of your article, I`m not sure.
I don`t think we ever will treat everyone equal.
Human history seems quite clear on that front.

Moreover I`m not sure whether homosexuality is really the main bone of contention anymore. It`s been the cause celebre of the political class these last years on either side of the pond.
In fact it`s become an annoying shorthand for `liberal, tolerant and open minded`. Which is why all politicos these days so fervently embrace the cause – whilst destroying ancient rights, locking suspects up without trial, spying on everyone on the internet and gradually turning our world ever more into a police state.

Let`s not forget that David Cameron, who just recently stated people waving the wrong kind of flag ought to be locked up, is very much in favour of gay rights. It seems rather telling.

So in essence, what I`m saying is the gay agenda has become the fig leaf for the most illiberal forces in politics.
Perhaps thus it`s time we focused on something other than enfranchisement of homosexuals and realised that that scale has been decidedly tipped over the years. (Heavens, the last change in law was effectively over the meaning of a word (`marriage`), so completely are they enfranchised by now.)
It`s very hard to see this minority as victims anymore.

So perhaps, after fifteen to twenty years of continuous liberalisation on homosexuality - whilst no other field of politics has seen any liberalisation at all - it`s perhaps someone else`s turn now.

phantom    [30321.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 15:54]
  In that case, Braintree, let`s keep our fingers crossed that the next guy to take up writing Dr Who is a hardline libertarian who hates censorship with a passion.

I`d quite enjoy watching an episode where it turns out the BBFC is being run by Daleks. ;)

braintree    [30320.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 14:52]
  It always seems to be rather stupid when broadcasters make temporary cuts to programmes because of something in the news . Remember when anything involving guns was either taken off or in at least one case had its title changed thanks to Hungerford. This weeks Dr Who cuts are PC through and through. Do we really need to spoil a broadcast for millions just to ensure a few people don`t see something to remind them of a possible tragedy . In all honesty , is anyone waiting to hear of the killing of their relative going to be wrapped up in Dr Who? When the tsusami hit that meant water related content was gone for a while and after Hungerford some loon at the BBC said First Blood and Rambo would never be shown so they were joining in the unproven rhetoric of the tabloids.
Is it likely that Dr Who will have anything approaching a realistic depiction of a beheading in its teatime slot?

Re Dr Who lesbian kiss . The regulator quite rightly felt no investigation was required but it has been something of an irritation to see the gay agenda on a regular basis since Dr Who was revived . But are we surprised . Look who brought it back .

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30319.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 14:38]
  "Because some imaginary complainant may be able to draw an imaginary line between two completely unrelated situations.
Someone - may - feel offended. Simply because we can imagine that it might be the case. Thus we must take action - against our own imaginary offence".

Great line phantom

"To my knowledge neither Dr Who, nor Robin Hood, nor The Sheriff of Nottingham have ever been to Syria".

Well actually there is a rather poignant connection. King Richard is very much part of the Robin Hood story and he was off fighting muslims in the Crusades in lands including Syria. [Edit after reading Wiki]

phantom    [30318.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 14:22]
  A Robot?
I love it.
So I guess those episodes of Red Dwarf in which Kryten loses/exchanges his head will also be off limits for the next week or two.

Out of respect, of course...

phantom    [30317.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 14:20]
  Talking of Dr Who though.
There was recently I believe a piece on a lesbian kiss here against which people objected.
I don`t think all these objections were necessarily out of moral prudery.
There are some people (I know one person) who object to Dr Who having become a bit of a campaigning tool in that regard. And that is to what they object. To a degree I can see their point.

That said, I`ve never cared much for Dr Who. Having grown up abroad I guess I never got `into it`. But I do understand it`s a bit of an institution. Which is why I think some people object to it being used as a campaigning tool for this or that particular cause.

DoodleBug    [30316.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 14:17]
  [30313] @dave

Dave, you were saying that the BBC`s decision to censor the upcoming episode of Doctor Who was a little over the top, well just to add a bit more to the ridiculous situation we have here...

(SPOILER ALERT for anyone who is going to watch the episode)

The character that gets beheaded is actually a robot, not even a real human being

phantom    [30315.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 14:15]
  Pooch [30312]

Gods, not this again.
So, we`re showing respect.
We can thus show any form of death on tv, except for beheadings - for a week or two.
Because some imaginary complainant may be able to draw an imaginary line between two completely unrelated situations.
Someone - may - feel offended. Simply because we can imagine that it might be the case. Thus we must take action - against our own imaginary offence.

To my knowledge neither Dr Who, nor Robin Hood, nor The Sheriff of Nottingham have ever been to Syria.
The two items are completely unrelated.
If anyone is drawing the connection it is in fact the BBC.
They are not doing so out of respect, but because they want to be seen as being respectful. After all, they are effectively pointing out to us how respectful they are.

Nothing can be more representative of political correctness than taking preemptive steps against a hypothetical feeling of offence.

Dave, you`re absolutely right on this one.
Pooch, you`re not.

cor    [30314.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 07:51]
  Pooch[30312]

"No! It`s got jack-shit to do with political-correctness, and everything to do with being respectful."

Actually its got jack-shit to do with being respectful and everything to do with political-correctness ..

Even if you thought anyone could draw a map between Dr Who and a real foreign war (without that require some mental disability) what exactly are we trying to say with the editors changes..?

"don`t behead him, please, stab him to death instead.."
or
"behead him if you want, just do it off camera.."

-is that the `respect` you think is good to send over to a POW.. And one that we`ve largely written off in the media because of our own PC thoughts on how to deal with foreign army`s that we`ve decided to call terrorists.


Just a strange comparison;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq2xStb0R-c
Norfolk Police can apparently publish snuff films on youtube *to help people be afraid and avoid accidents*, by this measure the BBC are actively trying to hid the hazards of decapitation then? lmao.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30313.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 07:19]
  Pooch

I sympathise with where you are coming from but I do believe that this has become an example of political correctness. In the past programmes that have being similar to a real life tragedy have been respectfully postponed and I accept that as a sensitive mark of respect. However Dr Who has no real connections with anything to do with the reallife ongoing inhumanity in Iraq and Syria.

It just seems to me going too far to clutch at straws for vague connections. This seems to have allusions to PC as one is bullied into some sort of mandated over the top response...And my rather cliched, but totally accurate concern is, where will it end?

I am just adding a trivial criticism, saying that in this case, the BBC response seems to me a little over the top. Just my opinion. Is one allowed to have opinions when debating issues deemed to be PC?

Pooch    [30312.   Posted 5-Sep-2014 Fri 06:05]
  In your "Just Don`t Mention the Crusades..." article, about the BBC removing a beheading sequence from Saturday night`s DR WHO episode, the author of the article says:

"The BBC has edited out a beheading from a fight scene in this weekend`s episode of Doctor Who, featuring Robin Hood, as a mark of political correctness following the murder of two US journalists."

No! It`s got jack-shit to do with political-correctness, and everything to do with being respectful. I don`t know if the author of the article is aware, but a British man has been captured by the IS (Islamic State) group, and is being threatened with beheading, unless a ransom is paid.

The person`s name hasn`t been made public, as far as I`m aware, but if that person was the article author`s father, brother, or cousin, would they really be happy with a fictional TV sci-fi show depicting a beheading in the same week that two real people have been beheaded, and a third person was potentially going to be murdered?

Come on, Dave! Show some respect here! Not everything that is censored, is done out of "political correctness"! Shame on you, for allowing the wording of the article to go ahead like this!

braintree    [30311.   Posted 4-Sep-2014 Thu 13:03]
  Dave - yes you are right . Sorry for contradicting you . I`d forgotten it was just 2 discs . Can`t believe its been almost 10 years since it came out.
A year or two ago I would have been excited about buying it again on 4 discs but over the last year or so most of the films have been released on Bluray although in order to get them you need to buy from more than one country . Universal don`t seem interested in releasing a lot of their classic movies themselves so they all get licenced to different companies in different countries . Universal always did seem to have a low opinion of these . Some never did get a dvd release in the UK and those that did were not released by Universal .
Totally uncut Curse of the Werewolf now out on Bluray on an English friendly German disc

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30310.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 15:43]
  Braintree

I believe the 2005 release was crammed onto 2 discs and hence the issues. This release is 4 discs. So although I haven`t read anything, should be better. And assuming it is, then the set itself seemed well received, so may be of interest to readers.

It appears twice because I wanted it to appear on the Hammer news page and also on the full list of releases. I`ll have a think if I can better organise this.

Phantom

Yes `mandatory deradicalisation` sounds an excellently creepy term. Perhaps next deradicalisation camps will be built on Boris` unused island

Perhaps Miliband would like to consider mandatory de-sexualisation camps while he is at it. And we could recruit Ilsa as a de-sexualisation czar.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30309.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 15:20]
  Melonfarmers.co.uk is now back online

phantom    [30308.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 15:18]
  This post is not as such about censorship, but there is a reason why I bring this up.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ed-miliband-urges-west-to-unite-to-confront-isis-threat-at-home-and-abroad-9700803.html

Miliband calls for `mandatory deradicalisation`. Hmmm.
I shuddered when I first heard this.
Now sure, he`s not in power. But Labour will one day be back in power.
And if this is their thinking we ought to be afraid.

Now I can imagine that many will quite like anything that sounds tough on Islamists.

But think about it. `Mandatory deradicalisation`.

For that read state-sponsored `re-education`. Or `brain-washing`.

That thought is terrifying.

And we all know how the slippery slope works.
Once they establish an idea, they soon start using it for other things.
If it`s good for terrorist suspects (and these would be suspects, not convicted terrorists!), then it`s good for others too.

I wouldn`t want to be one of those poor guys arrested under the DPA if Miliband comes to power. Not enough that you`d be publicly humiliated, have your career destroyed and be thrown into prison. No, this raises the possibility of your also being sent to mandatory psychological re-training.

And once Labour get their law that criminalises paying for sex, I`d guess they`d also like to re-train those guys too.

Yes, I`m speculating. But I`ve speculated before on this site and been proved right. We all know what they want and which laws they`ll push for, no sooner that they`re back in power.

That combined with the concept of `mandatory deradicalisation` is truly terrifying.

Vote Labour at your peril.

braintree    [30307.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 15:16]
  The lack of prison population stats is yet another PC casualty.

Todays news on the site features 2 mentions of the Hammer Horror set of 8 Universal movies . Why?
This set was released many years ago and the version showing on here looks no different . The main bone of contention was that the set used 4 dual layered double sided dvd`s and there were regular reports of playback issues with the dvd-18 discs . I had hoped a reissue would mean 8 discs instead of 4 but the link to Amazon still says 4 - so why is this set news ?

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30306.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 12:34]
  Thanks ronandusty, I will follow this up for tomorrow`s update

ronandusty    [30305.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 10:45]
  Both The Equalizer & A Walk Among The Tombstones have been cut for a 15 cert by the BBFC. The Equalizer for violence and A Walk Among The Tombstones for sexual threat and an aggressive use of the c-word.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30304.   Posted 3-Sep-2014 Wed 09:47]
  Melon Farmers web host is reporting storage failures, leaving MelonFarmers (.co.uk) offline. Hopefully all will be resolved soon., ie

By the way, there is now an ssl option for a little extra privacy when reading melonfarmers at https://wwww.melonfarmers.co.uk

phantom    [30303.   Posted 2-Sep-2014 Tue 20:13]
  braintree [30302]

I`m not really sure what the relevance of the ethnicity of the prison population is, Braintree.
In the case of the Rotherham cases the fear of appearing racist seems to have played a part.

But the national prison population?
I`d hardly be surprised if it roughly represented the population, proportionate to respective levels of economic deprivation in various ethnic groups. i.e. the poorest ethnic groups will be much more numerous in prison, proportionate to their share of the population.
That`s hardly news.

To illustrate my point, I`d point out that I also suspect there being a higher percentage of men with tattoos in prison than in the general population.
But I`m not sure that tells us anything, whether politically correct or otherwise.

braintree    [30302.   Posted 2-Sep-2014 Tue 16:45]
  Re The Rotherham Enquiry . I think there`s an ongoing problem of the authorities not wanting to look biased which is why they refuse to give a breakdown of the ethnicity of the prison population . I can tell you from first hand experience ( thanks OPA) that the figures would make for very un PC reading.

braintree    [30301.   Posted 2-Sep-2014 Tue 16:34]
  Has anyone been convicted for the Dangerous Pictures Act where the "offender" was not being investigated for an unconnected matter? The Judicial system must be very happy with itself for all these dangerous violent rapists they`ve locked up - after all that was what the law was intended to be for . I`m pretty sure the law has convicted nobody it was intended for . And all because people couldn`t tell one woman who needed a scapegoat for her daughters death to shutup and move on .

phantom    [30300.   Posted 28-Aug-2014 Thu 06:13]
  Melon Farmers (Dave) [30297]

What is clear is that there is a great deal of difficulty within the media (or among politicians) to somehow address the fact that these gangs were almost entirely made up of Asian, Muslim men and that there seemed to be an attitude among these men that their behaviour was alright as it was directed at western, white girls.
It`s an uncomfortable truth, so it is simply not mentioned.

In a bizarre twist the fear of being accused of racism is stopping anyone from pointing out the blatant racism which seemed to be part of these crimes.
Asian people - so goes the conventional thought - can only be victims of racism. So political correctness in this case simply denies the existence of racism, as to acknowledge it could be seen as racist.

That strange twisting of logic is so weird, it makes your eyes water.
But then that is where political correctness takes us.
So yes, I`m definitely with you there.

But I do still think the key issue here is the breathtaking exaggeration of the figures.
From what I understand, 66 cases were looked into, of which 64 were found to be of merit. From this finding of 64 confirmed cases, the report`s authors extrapolated the figure of `at least 1400` in the last 16 years.

Meanwhile the figure of 1400 is now simply being read as fact by all parties.

Now it is of course true that there is a significant problem with child abuse in this country. Frankly, I think it is `the British disease`.
But the scale identified in this report is so inflated, it would simply have been impossible to achieve.
No matter how organised and numerous gangs might have been, it`s just not feasible to propose that they could find 90 new girls every year - in a place the size of Rochdale.

To suggest they could, exaggerates the problem and feeds the national paranoia on this subject. Parents are already afraid enough for their kids, without the need to stoke such fears with insane figures.

The fact that the authors of the report would publish such figures, based on a sample of 66 cases, does suggest very strongly that they have an agenda; one wishes to scare the living daylights out of the population in order to achieve something; the politics of fear.

The media meanwhile are either too complacent or too keen on sensational headlines to question anything.

Therefore another fantasy is entering the line-up of sham facts to be banded about. For don`t think this figure will be forgotten. In five years time some Harriet Harman type is still going to be using this as an argument to support her demands for some desired punitive measure.

The truth has a value.
Filling our politics with pseudo-facts which have simply been created to further one agenda or another is not only futile, it is dangerous.

It is already plain that what happened in some places in Britain (and most likely in plenty of others, too) was truly ghastly. Why exaggerate it further?

Therumbler    [30299.   Posted 27-Aug-2014 Wed 14:38]
  I`m not sure what legal measures could be introduced to tackle the issue the Enquiry uncovered. It appears to me that the law is sufficient, but those who should enforce the law appear cowardly when confronted by something that doesn`t fit with their indoctrination.

braintree    [30298.   Posted 27-Aug-2014 Wed 13:22]
  Re The Rotherham Enquiry - it sounds very much like the perpetrators must have taken instructions from Jimmy Savile , the much mentioned paedophile who was able to have more than 500 victims yet was able to keep them all silent for 50 years.
But seriously , this enquiry sounds as accurate as a weather forecast for Christmas . But in the current climate where child sex abuse can never be denied those reporting this type of thing can easily pluck a nice sounding figure from the air and instantly have it taken as gospel- after all - nobody is going to standup and tell them they are lying even though any real evidence likely to indicate abuse on such a scale will be non existent . I`m sure those paid to investigate this enquiry and put together this report are more than happy to come up with numbers to justify the payment they received for it.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30297.   Posted 27-Aug-2014 Wed 09:06]
  Interesting phantom.

Sometimes you can listen to the news and hear people spout on for a fair while without daring to mention the key points to what is being talked about. Your two items are both examples with a total ban on anything critical of muslims and on any acknowledgement that vast numbers of people enjoy sexy entertainment.

And in the Rotherham case you get the corollary that once a report is accepted by the powers that be then it becomes itself beyond reproach.

It`s a strange old world that we have created for ourselves.

Oh and I just noticed that Wrecking Ball has now been viewed 699,008,259 times on YouTube.

phantom    [30296.   Posted 26-Aug-2014 Tue 14:16]
  Oh, and remember the fuss about Miley Cyrus` video `Wrecking Ball`?
It was one of the most oft quoted examples of the `sexualisation of society and childhood` here in Britain and thus ranks high on the list of reasons for David Cameron`s bringing the BBFC into video age rating by law.
Well, it just won best video at the MTV awards.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28936803

Odd, how it`s celebrated by the world, but seen as a source of evil in this country. Says quite a bit about the current health of the nation, I guess.

phantom    [30295.   Posted 26-Aug-2014 Tue 14:11]
  According to a report in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 1400 children were sexually abused.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-28939089

Is it just me or does that all sound a little steep?
Rotherham has a population of a quarter a million.
http://www.cypfconsortium.org.uk/UserFiles/File/IYSS_Needs_Assessment_Appendices.pdf

1400 over sixteen years represents 87.5 new children each year.
And let`s face it, we`re talking girls, eliminating 50% of the child population from the start.
It all seems a little far fetched to me.

Why am I bringing this up? It`s hardly a censorship issue.
No, it isn`t but it is representative of studies and reports backing up an agenda. Not least, the child protection agenda.

One acts out of the best of intentions, but then totally overshoots the goal one set out to achieve. Meanwhile no third party dares to step in, due to the nature of the subject. tTus all nod sagely and agree it`s a `big problem`.

But who could forget what happened in Middlesbrough when the authorities started spotting child abuse everywhere?
Who could ignore the citing of `child protection` when it comes to the censorship of the internet?

This is just the sort of case which illustrates the thinking behind such activities perfectly.

Can anyone really believe that the numbers forwarded here could be true?
How would these Asian gangs succeed in finding nearly ninety new girls per year? In a place the size of Rotherham?

There is no doubt that a problem exists, that truly atrocious things were committed. But the alleged scale is ridiculous.
How many children would one expect to live in a place like Rotherham? Divide that by two, because the gangs were after girls.
Now try finding ninety new girls every year.
What sort of percentage of the annual growth in female child population does that represent?
The scale just seems off the chart.

But - and this is where it gets interesting - any measures that will be taken, will be taken in proportion to the scale of the problem.
Thus, report the problem to be of a ridiculously high level and you create cart blanche in regards potential steps to be taken in reply.
Overestimating the problem justifies virtually any means in counteracting it.

It is why tens of thousands of women are trafficked into sex slavery in this country. It is why every child is exposed to the worst excesses of online hardcore porn. It is why one in every four women suffers sexual violence in the UK.
None of these figure are credible, but they are nonetheless common currency.

Now take the near ninety kids per year in Rotherham and extrapolate it to Britain. (87.5 / 25`0000 * 60`0000`000)
The figure is 21`000 new girls per year (additional to those already being exploited).
Armed with such national figures, what extreme measures can one justify to tackle this problem?
We`ve all heard the line, `if it saves only one child`...
Well, what about 21`000 children per year?

Already now nobody can be in contact with children in a professional capacity without undergoing police checks.
How much more can officialdom demand `to reduce risks`?

I suspect some MP will be draping him or herself in the mantle of child protection and demanding something be done in the next few days, on the back of this report. One dreads to think what measures he or she will propose. And I`m sure nobody is going to have the guts to say that the reported scale is tosh.

Fingers crossed that it won`t spark yet another round of prohibitions and proscriptions. But if it does, will anyone be surprised?

phantom    [30294.   Posted 22-Aug-2014 Fri 10:28]
  DarkAngel5 [30293]

Well, the term `progressive` cannot be taken literally when viewed through the prism of politics.
These days the Labour Party calls itself `progressive`. this is because it these days avoids the tags `socialist` or `left-wing`.
So in political terms `progressive` doesn`t match the dictionary definition.
In the same vein `progressive` can be stretched to mean `liberal`.
I think this is where the contradiction resides which you point out.
Championing women`s rights is deemed `liberal` (or `progressive`) when viewed as standing in opposition to social conservatism. However, standing up for freedom of expression is also deemed `liberal`.
We thus have two schools of thought which both shelter under the same political umbrella term.
Both the feminists demanding things be banned and the libertarians opposing these bans are `liberals` or `progressives`.
But this is really just the case when taking the political meanings of the terminology. The term `liberal` in that regard has become utterly corrupted.
It`s actual dictionary meaning would, I suspect, be entirely on the side of those who are more freedom minded.
Calling yourself liberal and demanding others be silenced or locked up for expressing an idea of which you disapprove is a fairly new idea.
I don`t think it`s a concept the population at large has bought in to.

DarkAngel5    [30293.   Posted 21-Aug-2014 Thu 14:47]
  OK, don`t really like talking about this bunch as I dislike giving them an air of legitimacy, when they`re little more than a rabble of feminist malcontents, but anyways...

Have any of you heard about a group calling themselves "No More Page 3" (might have mentioned them before)? Basically, they`re trying to get the Sun, and similar papers, to remove the topless girls from their papers?

Well, I really don`t know what planet these people are on. They seem to be of the opinion that if they think something is sexist, misogynistic, or they just don`t like it, then people should do what they say.

They say the campaign is simply asking the editor of The Sun very nicely, if he wouldn`t mind removing the P3 girl. Which in itself is fine (he can always say no).

But what is far more insidious is the fact they`re actively targeting shops and supermarkets that stock the paper to either stop stocking it, or move it to the top shelf, which is a way of frustrating sales and therefore a way of trying to force the papers to comply with your demands. Which in my view is basically a form of censorship via the back door.

The other thing is they get very uppity when people don`t agree with them or concede to their "wishes". They got very stroppy the other day and were bombarding the social media pages of the co-op after they refused to move the Sun and Star onto the top shelf with the lads mags.

Whilst the campaigns leader, Lucy Anne Holmes is it?, seems relatively moderate (she says she`s not against porn per-se) from what I`ve seen, the majority of her supporters do seem to be of the rabid, man hating, femi-nazi variety.

From the discussions I had with them (before getting booted off their FB page for being too argumentative), they seem to view themselves as "progressive". Yet their arguments against having P3 girls in the papers used the exact same rhetoric we`ve heard trotted out time and time again against TV, videos, computers games, etc etc, about "protecting children" and "corrupting influences" .

Anyway, they`re trying to get a million sigs on their petition page, its taken them about 2 years to get just under 200,000 (at this rate that`ll take them 10 years), most of which have been solicited by other feminist groups and anti-porn campaign groups. However, I seem to recall the Save BBC3 campaign and the anti-badger cull campaigns got more than that in just a few weeks. says it all really.

So what does anyone else reckon to them. Progressive, or illiberal? I say the latter personally, but that`s just my view.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30292.   Posted 20-Aug-2014 Wed 22:43]
  Hi DarkAngel

Ofcom always used to comment that they get hardly any complaints from PayTV. But now complaints have been encouraged massively as if it was some sort of replacement for the democracy lost in the real world. I`d be surprised if this episode would survive if complained about now. Hopefully there are still less people who complain about TV they have paid for.

DarkAngel5    [30291.   Posted 20-Aug-2014 Wed 14:58]
  Hi Guys, long time since I visited here last.

Just read an article on MF from a couple of weeks back about swearing in the simpsons.

Well, I seem to recall there`s an old episode (I forget the title) where they go to meet Homer`s half brother Herb (voiced by Danny DeVito IIRC) and Bart refers to him as a "bastard". When Homer goes to tell him off for swearing, he then explains "well he was born out of wedlock, therefore he is a bastard", to which Homer is forced to agree.

Then Bart starts singing the word "bastard" over and over.

Seem to recall first seeing that episode on Sky1 in the late 90s and they`ve repeated it many times since, usually around the 6pm slot and no one has complained yet.

Guess Ofcom are stricter with the free-to-air terrestrial channel, than the subscription based satellite ones?

phantom    [30290.   Posted 18-Aug-2014 Mon 15:24]
  Ah more news from our great Etonian, I see.
`Family friendly` policy. Yes, of course.
It is a long established fact in Eton that locking up parents in the best way of ensuring their urchins grow up healthily.
And clamping down on stuff, does lock up more people. That`s just a fact of life.
So, posh David`s policy is that destroying families is family friendly.
They do teach them well in Eton, don`t they? The true intellectual cream.
O tempora, o mores, David my old boy...

Therumbler    [30289.   Posted 18-Aug-2014 Mon 05:08]
  http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/aug/18/online-music-videos-age-rating-october-david-cameron

Online music videos to carry age rating from October, says David Cameron

cor    [30288.   Posted 17-Aug-2014 Sun 17:35]
  RE: phantom[30287]

prime minister suggested, anyone "walking around with Isil flags (or..)" should be arrested.

That`s bloody terrifying, they will be sending people to prison for disagreeing with the government. That`s what he means there, the *least* that will get you locked up is airing political opinions the government don`t like.

When the hell did we start imprisoning people for political dissent..?

phantom    [30287.   Posted 17-Aug-2014 Sun 15:12]
  here we go...

Cameron the Great following in the footsteps of St Anthony of Blair.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28823281

"The prime minister`s message is as much about home as well as abroad. People walking around with an Islamic State flag "will be arrested", he says."

Excuse me, Eton-boy, but by what right can you tell us what flags us commoners, whose daddy didn`t send them to a `proper school`, are permitted to fly? Show me where it says so in law?

There are two possibilities.
One, the Blairite `might cause offence` gambit.
Two, the banned expression of support for terrorism.

The latter in particular is worrying here. And I think that`s what posh David is aiming at.
Check out how many times Cameron uses the term `terrorist`/`terrorism` here. And that`s the crux of it. `Supporting` terrorism is forbidden in this country, ever since Blair. Remember the girl writing terrorist `poetry` going to prison?

But pray, what is a terrorist? What is terrorism?
To us lesser mortals, a terrorist is someone who walks onto a bus with a bomb. Or who hijacks a plane. You know, we all have a general picture.
But now we are talking about those designated terrorists by the British state.

These `Islamic State` lot are a bunch of nutters, no doubt. But are they terrorists? What busses have they bombed? Whose planes have they hijacked? Sure, they have committed atrocities in their war. But so did, for example, the Red Army during the Second World War.
`Islamic State` are a volunteer army made up of irregular fighters. They practice their extreme form of Sharia and show no concern at all for any minority they encounter. Ghastly? Yes. Terrorist? No.
For surely that is not the definition of `terrorism`. It never has been. It never will be.

But it appears that expressing support for these guys will get you prosecuted, - because support for terrorism is forbidden.

The audacity of the land grab here is quite breathtaking.

You simply define your opponent as an "exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement" and then all the rules of censorship apply. (and that`s how you bang up people returning from the Syrian civil war)

This begs the question, who is is in charge of the definition of who constitutes a terrorist. The courts or the state?

The scope for the state to define various forces and powers around the world `terrorists` and thus silencing any positive mention of them in this country is vast.

I can`t help but feel that Cameron is flying a kite here and what he`s out to get is profound and very dangerous.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30286.   Posted 16-Aug-2014 Sat 12:41]
  Sergio, try

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/enforcement/vod-services/ucsc.pdf

sergio    [30285.   Posted 16-Aug-2014 Sat 09:32]
  Anyone got the url for the ofcom adjudication in relation to http://obscenitylawyer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/dominatrix-beats-regulator-into.html Ms Itziar Bilbao Urrutia - the obscenity lawyer link seems incorrect.

braintree    [30284.   Posted 14-Aug-2014 Thu 12:34]
  With Cliff Richard in the firing line it seems the witch hunt is not over . It`s outrageous that someone like Cliff can have his name and reputation permanently tarnished , which it will be because some will say there`s no smoke without fire regardless of whether there are any charges by a lone individual who can pop up and make a claim of something they say happened in the 80`s. These ridiculous cases such as Rolf Harris and Savile at least rely on the fact that while there is no evidence whatsoever there is the fact that more than one person makes the claim . With Cliff the news seems to indicate one person . So anybody out there short of cash who might be able to prove they met a celeb decades ago can now say anything they want knowing that the law is on their side and no matter whether they get proved to be a fantasist their identity stays hidden allowing them to go back to their life unlike the celeb who`s life gets ruined.
Of course we can only go on the news in the media so it may turn out there`s more "victims" who`ll now jump on the bandwagon but it will be interesting to find out exactly what the police expected to find in their search of today for a crime committed decades ago .

phantom    [30283.   Posted 13-Aug-2014 Wed 05:12]
  braintree {30282}
"We already have people going to prison for crimes they`ve not actually committed but the CPS claim they intended to . We`re already living in Minority Report territory and the thought police get more powers every day"

Never a truer word spoke, Braintree.

It is getting quite worrying. Most of all, the ad-hoc nature of government measures. No underlying principle can be detected anywhere. Thus nothing is ever deemed to breech principle. Therefore anything is possible.

One particularly worrying recent episode is the imprisonment of guys coming back from Syria. Their crime? Having been party to the civil war.
Fighting in a foreign civil war has, to my knowledge, never been deemed a crime before. And one can point to no law which would outlaw it now.
In fact I believe much is made of Britons who joined the International Brigade to fight the fascists during the Spanish civil war.
So for what are these guys being jailed? Well, terrorism offences, of course.
After all, they`re brown and have beards, right?
Have they actually committed any acts of terror? Or been found plotting any? Well, they went to Syria. So they might be radicalised. They might therefore do something.

That is the perfect `Minority Report` scenario.

Much the same thinking underpins porn and film censorship. With the best will in the world, one can`t really point to any harm done.
But someone `might`, something `might`....

So essentially we are passing laws in the real world to protect against hypotheticals. The crimes only exist as possibilities in the imaginations of those so desperate to see `something done`. It`s a mirage. A castle in the sky. But that doesn`t matter.
Because, above all, nothing depends on principle anymore.

There are no longer things English law will not do as it offends a sacred principle, inviolate for hundreds of years.
So now we model ourselves more on a 1970s central American banana republic, whereby we make whatever law is convenient. Principle be damned.

So unrestrained mass surveillance the populace? Not a problem.
In fact, nothing is a problem anymore.
All that matters is technical feasibility and whether we have enough prison places.

braintree    [30282.   Posted 12-Aug-2014 Tue 13:35]
  The first thing the Pro-Incest guy should have done is fire his lawyer . He may well have got off with it as he`d not really committed any crime but even the dimmest lawyer in the land should have known that the guys forthright views would do him no favours . But nothing surprises these days . We already have people going to prison for crimes they`ve not actually committed but the CPS claim they intended to . We`re already living in Minority Report territory and the thought police get more powers every day

sergio    [30281.   Posted 12-Aug-2014 Tue 07:48]
  `TrickAdvisor

We have analysed 190,000 profiles of sex workers on an international review site. (Since it is active in America, it was not willing to be identified for this article. A disclaimer on the site says the contents are fictional; we make the assumption that they are informative all the same.) Each profile includes customers’ reviews of the worker’s physical characteristics, the services they offer and the price they charge.`


`we make the assumption that they are informative all the same`

Great stuff.
http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21611074-how-new-technology-shaking-up-oldest-business-more-bang-your-buck

phantom    [30280.   Posted 12-Aug-2014 Tue 05:55]
  Re: Pro-incest campaigner facing jail over sick cartoon pictures

This seems to be another case of an awkward customer with weird views getting punished for what he is, rather than for anything he has done.

If there is anyone who thinks that joke cartoons of the Simpsons having sex harms anyone, then I think they have serious psychological problems.

Now sure, this case sounds a bit sleazy and weird.
And I`m not sure how much credence I grant the man`s `campaign`.

But – what has he done?
He`s been found in possession of drawings. That`s all. Another one of Labour`s victimless `crimes`.
For this he will go to prison. - The guy is a full time carer!
Locking up carers is a good idea? For owning drawings?

Carers are good guys. For one, they look after people. But aside from that, they save the country fortunes. In fact they represent a pretty selfless part of society.
But what did this guy get for his efforts?
He`s been arrested, publicly humiliated and now will be imprisoned.
That is how society repays him.

I am fully aware that I run the risk of sounding like some of the moralists, when I speak of an ill society. But to me this is a fairly clear indication of something being badly amiss, when a society should imprison a person devoted to the care of another for something as petty as this.
The good this man does as a carer surely outweighs by far whatever ill some zealous morons ascribe to the possession of drawings.

But then who cares for natural justice?
So let`s punish the man because he`s `weird`. Moreover, let`s punish his mother too by depriving her of her carer. Just because we can.

It`s another one of those days to be proud to be British.

phantom    [30279.   Posted 10-Aug-2014 Sun 17:29]
  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28702527

Therumbler    [30278.   Posted 9-Aug-2014 Sat 03:02]
  http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/08/08/twitch-music-copyright-deleting-videos/

An article about the muting of copyrighted music, sometimes erroneously, on Twitch.

This part is interesting:

"Videos of Crypt of the NecroDancer (which is pretty good) are being silenced while composer Danny Baranowsky insists “nobody but me has the authority to ask for a takedown.” He explained that it “was somehow identified as music in Audible Magic catalog. Even though it isn’t!”

NecroDancer creators Brace Yourself Games are even seeing their own dev streams muted."

Time and time again in matters of censorship and copyright enforcement we see that automation is rubbish.

phantom    [30277.   Posted 6-Aug-2014 Wed 06:46]
  Pooch [30276]
Really, Pooch?
I think if you re-read the exchange you`ll find that reason is on my side here. Not because I`m right by default, but simply because there is an internal logic to what I say.
You meanwhile tend to shift your ground and grow ever more heated as you go on. What a "cod-bullshit extravaganza" is, I will never know.

Saying somebody is possibly a "sad, lonely individual", with all the implied baggage this entails, merely because he happens to draw pictures for dvd covers which you find inappropriate, is never going to make you look particularly good. It`s just not cricket.
That is why I originally posted a short comment.

What followed was a serial cri de coeur of quite breathtaking proportions. P.G. Wodehouse would have been proud of some of it. Touches of Roderick Spode.

But all this anger does not change the fact that the smear is the actual subject at heart, no matter how hard one seeks to get away from it and talk instead about some other irritant.

It is quite clear that we will have to agree to disagree on this one. You think it appropriate to adopt certain tactics when disapproving of publications. I do not.

Meanwhile, in contrast to what you say about me on here, Pooch, I can assure you that you, for one, are very special. Very, very special indeed.

Pooch    [30276.   Posted 6-Aug-2014 Wed 06:06]
  @Phantom [30275]: You`ve added nothing to the debate, with your "clever" response, which is kind of what I expected would happen from you. You don`t want to have a debate. You never did. You just want an argument, and to win it. If that`s what you want, then so be it, but don`t include me! Your response is as inconsequential as you yourself are!

phantom    [30275.   Posted 4-Aug-2014 Mon 06:05]
  Pooch [30274]

Wonderful. What else can one say? Comedy is well and truly alive in this country, albeit unwitting.

All the below is of course to be enjoyed with the sole suffix that we`re all equal; except for those, like Mr Melton, who draw `the wrong thing` and are thus a little less equal than the rest of us.

Pooch    [30274.   Posted 4-Aug-2014 Mon 05:41]
  @Phantom [30266]: If you find my comments "pathetic", then that`s fine. You`re hardly flawless yourself! You then say: "We`re getting all sorts of attempts by your good self to deflect this in a different, more convenient direction."

No! "We" aren`t getting anything! You are! Just you, yourself, no one else, so please don`t try and include other people in your little "group of do-gooders! You accuse me of doing the very thing you have done, and which I brought you to task on, and because you don`t like, you`re now doing the same thing to me! How "ironic"!

Yes, I have concluded that Mr Melton is a one-trick-pony, and I raised the question of whether this was because he was a "sad, lonely individual", but it was an accusation that he/you/anyone else is free to refute! Another little bit of information, that you seem keen to ignore.

As for "You`ve never met the man. You know virtually nothing about him, save for what you`ve picked up on the net." well, I doubt you`ve met him either. In fact, what relevance does that have to any of this, other than another opportunity for you to infer something about me - namely, the accusation that because I`ve never met him in person, I must know nothing about him. And for what it`s worth, considering the stuff I DO know about him, comes from HIS work, HIS website, and interviews HE has been involved in, then I think I can safely say that that constitutes satisfactory evidence. It`s not like I`m taking this info from bloody Wikipedia, for crying out loud (though you and many others have used Wikipedia when it suits you)!

Whether Mr Rick Melton`s name is his real name, or a nom-de-plume, is totally irrelevant once again! (Christ, you have a real bug up your butt, don`t you, when it comes to muddying the waters?! You castigate me for doing the very thing you do yourself! It`s genius!) And, no, I`ve NEVER said or implied I am never wrong. That`s your false assumption about me! I know I`m not perfect. In fact, I am more than happy to admit I`m a fuck-up! I`m far from good! But hey, that`s just me!

You then say: "Odd, coming from someone who insists on there being forbidden words. It seems one is willing to dish it out generously. One just can`t take it."

Oh, stop acting like such a child, Phantom! Just for once, say what you bloody well mean, rather than spouting this cod-bullshit extravaganza that you`re churning out right now! If you want to call me something, then do so! Say what you mean, and mean what you say! Act like a man, and stop pussy-footing around all of the time. Just stop trying to hide behind this ilusory facade, that you`re somehow "better" than me! It`s embarrassing and infantile!

The implication that you are better than me, or anyone else in this Forum, or anyone else on this planet, is a farce! You are no better or worse than any of us, okay, no matter what you might think?! I don`t care who you are, what you do, or where you come from, you`re just a grunt like the rest of us! So please don`t try and kid yourself that you`re some kind of high-falluting wonderbrain! You`re no Marie Stopes. You`re no Stephen Hawking. You`ve not cured Cancer. You`ve not unravelled the meaning of life!

You`re. Not. Special! At all!

You`re just a mere, ordinary bog-standard human being... exactly like me!

Harvey    [30273.   Posted 3-Aug-2014 Sun 13:23]
  ~The prosecutors ought to be ashamed of themselves.~

They have no shame. It`s simply about the number of successful prosecutions they can rack up. They are aided considerably if a lack of legal representation means defendants just crumple under the pressure and plead guilty.

I don`t really care about the motives of the politicians. What I care about is the damage they create alomg the way.

phantom    [30272.   Posted 3-Aug-2014 Sun 12:59]
  Harvey [30271]

Well, we both know that the prosecution is very adept at bullying people.
Hell, they`ll even leave unsubstantiated charges standing, only to deliver no evidence at the trial and then forfeit. All in the hope that the accused will crack under the pressure in the run up to the court case. So I have very few illusions about the police and the prosecutors and their claims.

I know you care only for the letter of the law, Harvey. But to me it`s important that this law was introduced under false pretences. It is the result of political fraud. I would suggest it is even the product of criminal behaviour. (Lying to parliament is a criminal offence, I believe. Whether it is the government who is doing the lying or not. And the parliamentary committees at least were knowingly deceived.)

Especially at a time when an expansion of the statue is afoot, once again accompanied by claims of very tight definitions and safeguards, it`s important to point out just how this law came into being and just how big to lies were. Few cases illustrate the lies told better than this case.

As for my comment on bestiality, I think you may be being a little too literal there. Yes, `bestiality` needs to meet certain criteria to fall under the umbrella of the DPA. But as such it is the one part of the DPA which is at least theoretically possible to identify. This hardly means I agree with the concept of rendering such material illegal. But at least most people have a grasp of what bestiality is to mean.

But `a man pumping air into his disfigured genitals, a man having sex with an amputee` are listed as though they by default would fall under the DPA.
Especially with the latter one struggles to comprehend how it could ever fall within the definitions. Thus in contrast to the accusation of bestiality - which although unproven in this case, at least could plausibly fit with the DPA, - the two other accusations seem bizarre.

As for pictures being `possessed` which one had thought deleted, we`re very much on the same page there. But again, I remember politicians telling us that common sense would prevail in precisely such hypothetical scenarios.

In that regard I very much question the motives of the prosecution. Sure, it is their job to accuse. But their making accusations ought to have at least some tangential connection to wrong doing. Accusing someone because one hopes to win on a technicality seems to serve no purpose at all.

Prosecution must have something to do with the public good, not merely with destroying people for the sake of it. I cannot for the life of me see any public good being served here.
The prosecutors ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Harvey    [30271.   Posted 3-Aug-2014 Sun 08:22]
  "They were very insistent on this."

So what? Virtually all the politicians who were involved in getting the DPA onto the books are now merely footnotes in history.

Whatever was said - the claims, the assurances, the impact assessments - are all utterly meaningless. The ONLY thing that matters is the law as enacted and the way it`s interpreted by the courts.

On the other had you seem to have forgotten the considerable debate over the EXACT wording of section 63 and the struggle to restrict its application. I can`t think of another reason why you would say; "Now we both understand that bestiality is deemed illegal under the DPA."

Remember that to be an "extreme pornographic image" it must satisfy several subjective tests.

First, it must be "pornographic". i.e. "of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

Next, it must be "extreme" in that it is "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" AND "portrays, in an explicit and realistic way... a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal"

Of course prosecutors will say that the images in question passed all of these tests, but would a jury agree? Pleading guilty means a jury never has the chance to consider any of these tests OR the specific defence in the DPA where images are sent to a person without prior request. Of course the law says they must not be kept for an unreasonable time, but I think there would be a decent case to make that these defendants hadn`t kept them. "Keeping" something has to be an act of commission rather than (as the prosecution would prefer) an act of ommission. It seems they were stored on their phones completely automatically by the Whatsapp application. Could the prosecution show that the defendants had "kept" these images? Also there is case law in respect of images in that to be possessed, they must be under the control of the defendant. Again was this the case here? The prosecution has to show that it was.

At the very least these defendants should have had access to competent legal advice and they probably should have asked the proecution to actually prove all the relevant facts, by pleading NG.

phantom    [30270.   Posted 3-Aug-2014 Sun 06:22]
  Harvey [30269]
You are of course perfectly right on this one, Harvey.

But I think you can see from where I`m coming.
When this ghastly law was going through parliament we were given no end of rhetoric how this only applied to the most depraved cases. This would only ever catch cases which were so extreme they were in danger of falling off the end of the shelf. The extreme end of extreme, so to speak.
They were very insistent on this.
You remember the impact assessment? Only 12 estimated prosecutions? Thus no significant impact. We`re now running at a thousand cases per year and two guys who thought they`d deleted material they never asked for have just been done.
The lie that was told to parliament has by now become so big, it makes you want to scream.

"They included a man pumping air into his disfigured genitals, a man having sex with an amputee and a woman having sex with a horse."

Now we both understand that bestiality is deemed illegal under the DPA.
But I find the other two listed examples somewhat baffling. Admittedly, the idea of blowing up one`s genitalia like a kids balloon seems a little strange to me. But the guy was doing it to himself, giving him no doubt some control over the procedure and I struggle to envisage `serious injury` resulting from this.
Best by far is the `sex with the amputee`. How that per se is to fall under the definition of extreme porn is beyond me.
Clearly this is just defining what some people call `weird` as `extreme` under law. In essence it`s becoming a way of enforcing sexual conformity.

All the while these two were originally arrested on `an unrelated matter`.
It all appears a travesty of justice.

Harvey    [30269.   Posted 2-Aug-2014 Sat 21:23]
  phantom [30268]

`safeguards`?

There is a defence to the s.63 offence in a case where a person is sent an image without requesting it.

BUT... for that defence to apply, the person must not keep the image for an unreasonable time.

These poor saps didn`t even realise that it is an offence to possess the images they`d been sent. One said he had deleted them from the phone app which had been used to send them to him, but didn`t realise they`d been stored elsewhere on the same phone.

This is exactly the kind of situation we predicted would happen once the new offence got established. People who have no interest in "extreme porn" being hoovered up when their computers (or in this case, phones) are examined for completely unrelated reasons.

Most worryingly, neither defendant was represented at trial. Had they had any competent legal advice before meekly pleading guilty? They may think that by doing so and recieving a conditional discharge, they have been dealt with leniently, but that conviction will resurface in the future and thzey will be flagged up as sexual deviants, long after the circumstances and the sentence have been forgotten.

Whatever those files were, if they are being circulated to the unsuspecting by apps on smartphones, these will not be the only two people to have recieved them and they won`t be the only files in circulation, either.

http://courtnewsuk.co.uk reports the case also:
"TICEHURST: FRIENDS CAUGHT WITH EXTREME ANIMAL PORN

CANVEY ISLAND; ROMFORD Two friends who kept `truly disgusting` sex videos involving horses, dogs and pigs on their mobile phones escaped punishment today (FRI). Gary Ticehurst, 28, and Mark Kelly, 25, were caught with the extreme pornography after being stopped by police at Fenchurch Street Station in central London. They included a man pumping air into his disfigured genitals, a man having sex with an amputee and a woman having sex with a horse. Prosecutor Thomas Coke-Smyth told the Old Bailey: `There is no evidence to suggest the defendants were in any way involved in distributing these images."

I suppose despite this being reported in the DM, Liz Longhurst was unavailable for comment.

phantom    [30268.   Posted 2-Aug-2014 Sat 13:10]
  re: Extreme Injustice...

What happened to all those `safeguards`?
Only the most extreme, disgusting cases? 12 cases per year at the most?
Most certainly nobody who hasn`t gone looking for it and has only come across it by accident. I remember the assurances quite clearly.
Where did all that go?

phantom    [30267.   Posted 2-Aug-2014 Sat 13:00]
  re: Whips at the Ready...

Strange how sometimes some of the stories on here can be funny and terrifying simultaneously.

"I believe that a majority of people are not buying into these lies, but they are bullied by the mainstream media into staying silent."

Lies? It`s a book, right? And they`ve made a movie? A work of fiction...
And the majority of people are bullied into silence by the media? On sex? Interesting concept.

"The popular series promotes torture as sexually gratifying and normalizes domestic violence, particularly violence against women."

I don`t think it`s Guantanamo Bay torture... And domestic violence? Now, I`ve never read Fifty Shades of Grey, but I really don`t think that assault and battery are the sort of thing that the author has in mind.
Meanwhile isn`t the readership of that book mainly female? So isn`t there a crack in the logic there somewhere?

And there is that odd verb `to normalise` again.
A bit like `to defenestrate` it appears to have one use.

"This type of material cultivates a rape and sexual violence culture and is now permeating our society."

I`ve heard this before... From the Prime Minister. So it MUST be right. For like Pooch, he`s also never wrong.
But odd, I`ve still to see it permeating our society. Anyone here spotted any dominatrices walking down the streets in thigh high boots, brandishing bull whips recently? I haven`t.

"The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, states that sadism and masochism are mental disorders, which should be dealt with on a professional psychiatric level."

Ah, they are actually ill? So, a) one doesn`t like it, ergo b) there must be something wrong with the people involved. (Sound familiar, Pooch?)

But his never-wrongness aside, how do you actually treat sexual sadism or masochism? I mean, if it`s a condition. That would be interesting to know. Do you just give a dominatrix a pill and make it better? Or do you sedate these people into a stupor? Or is it a padded cell job?
Can you cure these people? You know, just in the way you cannot cure homosexuals.

"We must oppose the continued promotion of BDSM in our society. We will go after all public leaders that propagate the lies that torture and violence are normal and healthy sexual templates."

Public leaders?
You know that the west is currently getting its knickers in a twist over Putin`s laws banning the promotion of homosexuality in Russia? (how does one actually promote it?)
Is it just that he`s banning the promotion of the wrong thing? Not puffs, he should be doing whips and chains people instead? Is that it?

Should we be more discerning against whom we discriminate? Is that the message?
We`ve thought better of massacring Indians, lynching blacks and bullying gays. So now it`s time for the bondage folks?

I wish Morality in Media could tell us. After all, I suspect they know. They too will always stand by all their writings (or is it scripture in their case?) and I bet they too are never wrong.

I`d be willing to bet that sarcasm and irony will also not be a strong point of theirs.

phantom    [30266.   Posted 2-Aug-2014 Sat 09:14]
  Pooch [30265]
That`s quite pathetic, Pooch.

We`re getting all sorts of attempts by your good self to deflect this in a different, more convenient direction.
But it remains that you concluded the man had either limited talent or was a `sad, lonely individual`.
It is quite obvious that I`m objecting to the `sad, lonely individual` smear and the implication this invariably carries.

You`ve never met the man. You know virtually nothing about him, save for what you`ve picked up on the net.
The only other thing you know is that you don`t like his art.
Or should one say, you do not like the art he creates under said nom de plume. We have no idea whether he may in fact produce other material under other names.
So, `sad, lonely individual` it is. Because you are never wrong.

Odd, coming from someone who insists on there being forbidden words. It seems one is willing to dish it out generously. One just can`t take it.

And as for the Magna Carta comment.... My fault entirely. I forgot you were irony impaired.

Pooch    [30265.   Posted 2-Aug-2014 Sat 06:52]
  @Phantom [30261]. I`m not sure why you automatically equate bigotry with censorship, but it seems you wish to do so. Totally pointless, but so be it.

As shocking as this may be to you, but I am not being bigoted towards Rick Melton, as none of my comments are disaparaging of him because he is a white, (presumably) heterosexual, man. His race, creed, skin colour, sex, gender have nothing to do with how or why I am criticising him. Sorry to break that little bit of news to you! I`m sure you`ll be greatly disappointed!

I`m labelling him in the way I have, based on nothing more than his artistic output. So my view would be no different, if Mr Melton was actually Miss or Mrs Melton, and she was living in China; or if Mr Metlon was actually a transgendered person from Sweden, or even an Aboriginal gent from Australia! I`m criticising the output from someone who just happens to be a white, heterosexual man! Inferring anything else, is you distorting the actual issue!

Yes, he is entitled to draw what he likes. But to use your footballing analogy, if he were a football player who always played in exactly the same way, in every single match he participated in, I think you`d probably argue for that player to change their tactics, or “up their game”. I`m not telling Rick he cannot, must not, or should not draw naked/unclothed women in his art. I am merely asking him to change things around a bit, and not to feature them in every single piece of art he does, purely because it`s boring seeing the same thing over and over! It`s derivative! If he always featured naked men, or fountains of blood bursting out of every person`s orifices, I`d be labelling him the same "one-trick-pony". The problem is not the nude/topless women, it`s the fact that that is all he includes!

To imply, I`m calling him a "pervert" is ridiculous, and also irrelevant. He`s not being a pervert, or perverted in my view. (Maybe he is being that, in yours, in which case it doesn’t seem like I’m the one with a problem here, but you do?!) He`s being a one-trick-pony. Nothing more, nothing less. If anyone constantly produces the same piece of art/film/literature repeatedly, then they too would be one-trick-ponies. I have worded my comments carefully to avoid anyone trying to subvert them into meaning something that was never intended. Congratulations! You’ve managed to do just that, and then you want to blame me for your subversion!

You then say: "For all we know `Rick Melton` may be a black, gay, disabled refugee." Except he isn`t as his photo appears on his website, and he’s been featured in various magazine articles too, as a white, married man! But again, you are deliberately trying to distort my words, and trying to take inference from things, where no inference was intended or even implied. I think I`ve made it perfectly clear what my view is, but you want to twist it into the very thing it isn`t, to suit your own ends and means, so you can metaphorically bash me over the head with it. I could argue that the reason you are doing this, is either to take cheap pot-shots at me, or because your own defence of the issue at hand, is piss-poor. I’m just not entirely sure which!

And, yes, I do realise I`m not penning the Magna Carta here! Were you somehow confused into thinking I was?


@Glenn Quagmire [30263]: I don`t have a problem with nudity and naked women, (or naked or unclothed men for that matter), being included on any film cover. I have a problem with them always being included, because it`s boring, and repetitive, when that`s pretty much all that Rick Melton produces! I understand the exploitation angle, but you can exploit something, without being derivative, and pandering to the lowest common denominator all of the time. That`s really all I was saying. And, even though this wasn`t what you were suggesting, for what it`s worth, I don`t feel that INFERNO was an exploitation film. Hence, why I have such a problem with Mr Melton`s artwork. Unfortunately, my comments are being deliberately misinterpreted by Phantom, possibly because it`s me that`s making these comments in the first place.


@Sergio [30262]: The problem isn`t that sniffing feet is a sexual assault, per se. The problem, is that the feet being sniffed (and fondled) belonged to minors (under 18’s) who also happened to be school-pupils, and the person doing the sniffing, was a teacher in charge of those same pupils. Plus, the teacher was sniffing said feet of said pupils, for his own sexual kicks! So, yes, in this instance, and as far as the law is concerned, it is technically a sexual assault, even if no sex-act or penetration took place between the victim(s) and the criminal. At least, that’s my understanding of the situation, and with my limited knowledge of English Criminal Law.

phantom    [30264.   Posted 1-Aug-2014 Fri 12:57]
  Ah, the great liberal voice of America has finally found his stride.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28591592

Obama wants a woman on a bank note. Wow? That`s it?
Why is it that liberalism is tokenism these days?

Blair and Cameron draped themselves in the rainbow colours of gay marriage while Obama (Mr Drone Strike and Internet Surveillance) now wants a person not possessed of a penis on currency.
You may recall that over here too some internet martyrs have been campaigning for women on bank notes. This is an important issue? While their imposing ever more proscriptive law and lock people up for diddlysquat?

Are the people really this superficial? Does anyone buy this?
Is there anything more irrelevant than whose face is on a bank note?
But nowadays this is the sort of vacuous piffle our leaders grant us as a great leap in liberal values. It`s pathetic.

As an irrelevant aside:
Whom do the BBC suggest? A woman who plagiarised the flag of the East India Company, a woman who didn`t get up in the bus and a woman who was the umpteenth person to fly across the Atlantic. Titans. :)
I`m not an American citizen. But I`d like to propose someone highly influential to be put on the folding money. Linda Lovelace. Go on, Mr Obama. Make my day.

Glenn Quagmire    [30263.   Posted 1-Aug-2014 Fri 10:54]
  Pooch [30261]

Personally I like the Arrow video covers. Very artistic. What you seem to be forgetting is that these films are exploitation films. Whether they have naked women in them or not is irrelevant. They`re exploitation films, Arrow specialises in exploitation films and the covers are just living up to that. Exploiting it so to speak.

sergio    [30262.   Posted 1-Aug-2014 Fri 10:15]
  Sniffing someone`s feet is sexual assault.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-28599417

phantom    [30261.   Posted 1-Aug-2014 Fri 06:21]
  Pooch [30260]
"I`m not going to apologise for my view. If that makes me sound judgemental, then so be it. I stand by everything I write, whether it be on my blog, or on a Forum. Anyone who has to consistantly resort to drawing images of naked or semi-naked women (or naked or semi-naked men for that matter) - and to be fair here, the vast majority of Rick Melton`s work is exactly that - then, yes, in my view, you clearly have limited talent. (Go look at his official website at..."

Wow. It appears I was wrong. You evidently are not better than that.

Aside from that post being incredibly pompous, it sounds oddly familiar.... For it is the type of rhetoric censorious people engage in to justify their bigoted output.

This individual, whatever his name is, is perfectly entitled to draw and publish whatever he likes. You may well not like it and you are entirely free to do so. So too may you say anything about him or his art you like.

But the manner and nature in which you do the latter will tell a great deal about you.
In this case you play the man, not the ball. You insinuate. You smear.

So what if he draws artwork you do not like?
Why does this make him a sad, lonely individual?
And pray, what is `a sad, lonely individual` to mean?

You are in effect not far off calling the man a pervert for drawing something you do not like. To all effect you are implying it pretty clearly.

I`ve seen this done again and again by those who like banning things. I despise it.

Before you start foaming at the mouth, claiming I wish to silence you; I do not have the slightest objection to you disliking the artwork and speaking your mind about it. I don`t mind you suggesting it shouldn`t be on the covers. I do object to your implying things about the artist, because you happen to dislike his output.

But I do not think you ought to be prevented from saying it. However, I feel it says a great deal that you should embrace the methods of those who like to slur by implication in order to make their point.

But go ahead, you `stand by everything you write`.
(You do realise you`re not penning the Magna Carta here, do you?)

For all we know `Rick Melton` may be a black, gay, disabled refugee.
So go ahead. Plant a seed. Call him names.
No doubt he deserves it - for drawing the `wrong` sort of material.

Pooch    [30260.   Posted 31-Jul-2014 Thu 08:28]
  @Sergio [30256]: I always liked the original Go Video / UK Video Nasties cover, with the cannibal chomping down on flesh. It wasn`t subtle, but at least it wasn`t trying to sexually titillate. And this one, from the Dutch (I think) DVD release...

http://www.movieposterdb.com/posters/05_09/1980/0078935/l_54384_0078935_c861f731.jpg

...is also eloquent, relevant, and subtle, but without resorting to cheap tits-and-ass imagery.


@Phantom [30257]: I`m not going to apologise for my view. If that makes me sound judgemental, then so be it. I stand by everything I write, whether it be on my blog, or on a Forum. Anyone who has to consistantly resort to drawing images of naked or semi-naked women (or naked or semi-naked men for that matter) - and to be fair here, the vast majority of Rick Melton`s work is exactly that - then, yes, in my view, you clearly have limited talent. (Go look at his official website at...

http://www.stunninglysavage.com

...and see how many images he has created featuring topless women, and you will see exactly what I mean!)

I`m not saying he has no talent at all. He clearly does have some talent, but the sad fact remains that the vast majority of Mr Melton`s work consists of nothing but tits-and-ass. It`s lazy. It`s crass. It`s childish. And it demonstrates to me, that this person has a limited imagination, because all they are doing is including the same thing, over-and-over-and-over-and-over again, ad infinitum! And yes, that makes Mr Melton the very definition of a one-trick-pony! I would even argue the same point in some other artist`s works, such as those of Boris Vallejo.

Could I do better? Absolutely not. But then, I`m not the one being paid to create artwork for DVD covers, but which most of what I offer are images of women in various states of undress, designed to arouse and titillate the minds of pre-teen boys!

Let`s look at this example:

http://www.iictokyo.esteri.it/IIC_LaValletta/webform/..%5C..%5CIICManager%5CUpload%5CIMG%5C%5CLaValletta%5C201403031054inferno%20di%20dario%20argento.jpg

This is the original, classic INFERNO poster we all know and love.

And this is what Rick Melton produced...

http://www.brutalashell.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Rick-Melton-Inferno.jpg

Here`s another example. This time, Lucio Fulci`s THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. Here`s the original art...

http://www.dodaj.rs/f/K/b7/6jneKUK/the-house-by-the-cemeter.jpg

OR

http://www.cityonfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/91NJXjOo-qL._AA1500_.jpg

And here`s Rick`s "concept"...

http://i457.photobucket.com/albums/qq300/bizarre_eye/HBTCDVD.jpg

In just these two examples, he has deliberately focussed on the images of a naked or nearly-naked woman, and in both films, there`s little or no nudity actually in them. So, he`s effectively miss-selling the films, as some kind of tits-and-ass shockers, when both films aren`t actually that kind of film at all.

Want more? How about these then?

THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMMAGE
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MB1WnNB-hkc/Ua0BgRCfUDI/AAAAAAAAAGc/VnzAtgnerzM/s1600/91PT13qEcTL__AA1500_.jpg

MANIAC COP
http://cultcollectiveblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/dvd-art-arrow-video-manic-cop.jpg

SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=wklsoi&s=7

TWO EVIL EYES
http://twitchfilm.com/assets/2010/10/FCD426_AV_TwoEvilEyes_DVD_vf.jpg

So, it`s not like I`m making this up! Why do this? If he has been given free reign to do as he likes, (which is what I suspect), then he`s chosen the wrong article to focus on, namely female nudity!

What does that say about the artist? Is it that they are lazy, because they can`t see anything beyond naked women in their art, and so have to incorporate such imagery in almost every piece of work they create, or is it that it`s easy to paint such things, and therefore it makes the artist`s life easier, or perhaps, it`s because he thinks it`s what the public wants?! Whatever the reasons, I don`t like it. Not because I`m prudish. Not because I`m offended, which I`m not. Nor because I find female nudity problematic - in art or films. No, I have a problem with it, because that`s all Mr Melton does - aim for the lowest common denominating factor, and pandering to the pre-teen boys who think that naked chicks make everything cool (ala BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD), with lazy art featuring nothing but naked women!

How sad a person must you be, to have to feel the need to include such an image in almost every single piece of work you create?!

This is why I have a problem with the artwork of Rick Melton! It`s cheap, tits-and-ass titillation that insults me, as an adult man with a brain!


@Braintree [30258]: Like you, I dislike most of the Arrow covers, not because they are Arrow films, but because they rarely represent the films in the best way possible. And, whilst it isn`t always Mr Melton who does Arrow`s covers, he does do a lot of them. Generally, though not always, his are the ones featuring naked or topless women on them!

There`s nothing wrong with focussing on sex and violence, but if that`s all you ever focus on, then that makes that person a rather tragic individual. And I would say the same thing, to a film director, if all of their works were nothing but sex and violence. There`s a time and a place for it, and such works can be great, but not all the time.

phantom    [30259.   Posted 31-Jul-2014 Thu 05:08]
  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28562156

braintree    [30258.   Posted 30-Jul-2014 Wed 12:59]
  Pooch - I must admit I`ve never noticed whether Arrows alternative covers are just nudity because they always strike me instantly as being awful so I don`t really register what the content of the artwork is - I just dislike the style and whenever its available I always try to use the original video covers ( if there was one ) or what appears to be original poster artwork.
Is it really the same guy who does every single one of Arrows alternate covers? Arrow should use the funds on a more worthwhile extra . I do like alternate covers but I don`t see the need to commission new artwork for old films where there should be more than enough multiple posters or video covers already out there.

phantom    [30257.   Posted 30-Jul-2014 Wed 11:13]
  Pooch [30255]

"So what`s Mr Melton`s point for including unnecessary sexual imagery? It`s either:
1) Because Mr Melton doesn`t have enough talent to come up with artwork that doesn`t include a naked woman,
2) He`s been told to include such imagery to help sell the film he`s doing the artwork for,
3) He`s a sad, lonely individual, and this is the only thing he can draw."

Seriously?
Pooch, have you any inkling just how judgmental that makes you sound?
So someone does not possess sufficient talent, or more, is a sad, lonely individual, based on artwork which you think inappropriate?
Please, you`re better than that.

sergio    [30256.   Posted 30-Jul-2014 Wed 08:54]
  So, Pooch, what would you put on the cover of Cannibal Holocaust? Some animals being chopped up? A woman vomiting? I find the strange unequal equation of titillating covers and the gross real violence of animal slaughter rather odd.

Pooch    [30255.   Posted 30-Jul-2014 Wed 05:47]
  @Braintree [30247]: Thank You for your kind words, r.e. my CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST Blu-Ray review.

I have never been a member of VPRC, even if it might have seemed like I was. However, I do feel that the "sexist" alternate cover artwork by Rick Melton was unnecessary. Not because it included sexual imagery - I mean the outer-box artwork featuring the photo of the impaled woman is far more controversial and contentious - but that Mr Melton`s artwork is focusing solely on one part of the film, and that focus is always tits-and-ass. Which, as I say in my review, insults me as an adult man, and infers that I need a shot of a naked/topless woman/women to get me to watch or buy a particular film. It`s crass and childish.

It`s as if that`s Mr Melton`s sole raison d`etre. He just can`t do any artwork, without including a naked or partially-clothed woman in it. And that`s why I mention it in my review. It`s also why I reference Arrow`s INFERNO cover. A film in which, I don`t recall there being any nudity at all, from anyone female or male.

So what`s Mr Melton`s point for including unnecessary sexual imagery? It`s either:
1) Because Mr Melton doesn`t have enough talent to come up with artwork that doesn`t include a naked woman,
2) He`s been told to include such imagery to help sell the film he`s doing the artwork for,
3) He`s a sad, lonely individual, and this is the only thing he can draw.

I`d like to think Mr Melton isn`t the kind of person mentioned in 1 or 3 above, but the more work I see of his, the less I believe that 1 or 3 don`t actually apply.

If the film he`s doing artwork for, contains lots of sex or naked women, then maybe that may justify him including such scenes in his cover-artwork. And whilst CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST does include a lot of nudity, the vast majority of it is non-sexual. That is, it`s not been included to arouse, titillate, or "get male viewers off". Yes, there`s one sex scene in the film, and a rape sequence too, but female nudity is not generally the thing I first think of, when thinking of what imagery this film conjures up in my head.

It just feels like Mr Melton is a one-trick-pony, and this pony needs putting out to pasture, once-and-for-all. His artwork is cliched, derivative, dull, and irrelevant. In fact, I find most of his work embarrassing - the kind of work I`d expect from a pre-pubescent schoolboy! It`s hardly the kind of things you want your customers to be thinking of, when deciding whether to buy your product or not, is it?!

Anyway, I hope you "enjoy" the Blu-Ray, as it`s a really great release!

sergio    [30254.   Posted 29-Jul-2014 Tue 13:15]
  `Black masculinity in proximity to white women is often framed as a corrupting, defiling influence- due, in part, to age old racist and dehumanising depictions of black men. This is illustrated most graphically in mainstream porn.`

I must be immune to this stuff but I can`t remember any recent porn that has `racist and dehumanising depictions of black men` (note this article was written by a `feminist` so maybe they think all people in porn are `dehumanised`).

http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/tulisa-cocaine-scandal-the-sun

I found the BBC 3 doc on Tulisa riveting.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30253.   Posted 29-Jul-2014 Tue 10:54]
  Pooch, It looks like Victim wasn`t submitted for this latest release and used the last video cert which was 12. The cinema certificate is PG though and was passed a year later than the video

Therumbler    [30252.   Posted 29-Jul-2014 Tue 10:28]
  https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3588/3341901662_998f5a0cfa_z.jpg?zz=1

10 years since "Ban these evil games".

Pooch    [30251.   Posted 29-Jul-2014 Tue 06:13]
  @MelonFarmers (Dave) - On your "Shopping List: Recent Releases" page, you have VICTIM listed as being passed uncut at 18, though the cover of the Blu-Ray suggests it`s been passed uncut at 12. Are you able to confirm, it is indeed a 12 (or possibly a 15)?

braintree    [30250.   Posted 28-Jul-2014 Mon 14:10]
  And with todays findings about Clarkson and his use of the term "slope" its reached the point where somebody needs to get the investigators investigated. These silly regulatory organisations like the BBFC and Ofcom are supposed to follow public opinion and change things accordingly . Ofcom wastes time and money because 2 people complained about slope . Which means that several million others really couldn`t give a shit so why are Ofcom wasting time and money on these whingers ? There should be a limit of a certain number of complaints . Investigating programmes viewed by several million that result in complaints by one or two people is ridiculous and those in authority should step in and cut Ofcom budgets as they clearly have far too much time on their hands and need curtailing

phantom    [30249.   Posted 28-Jul-2014 Mon 05:22]
  re: Aids: Don`t Die of Prejudice...

I`ll be the first to say that I couldn`t stand Norman Fowler when he was part of the Tory government. When chairman of the Conservatives he seemed one of the chief political sycophants of his day. Some of his utterances were cringe inducing.

But credit where credit is due. On Aids the man has been a paragon. It was he who pushed through the famous national Aids ad campaign to inform the nation of the dangers of the epidemic. For a Tory politician to invest political capital into a campaign on matters sexual in that day and age was a phenomenal leap.

Today still, now Lord Fowler, he seems one of the few men in Westminster to engage his brain when it comes to sex, drugs and Aids.

I doubt I would see eye to eye on much with this arch Tory and his family values but I`ll gladly concede that I feel a huge respect for that man.
He overcame his own prejudices and moral preconceptions for the sake of the public good and since he`s tirelessly been campaigning on keeping up public awareness on this subject. One weeps at what kind of a reception he must get with his fellow Tories for being so outspoken on sexual and drug issues.

But once in a while it`s worth posting a message which doesn`t bemoan the way of the world, highlighting only the negative.

So I`d just like to say that in my book Lord Fowler is one of the good guys. More strength to his elbow.

phantom    [30248.   Posted 28-Jul-2014 Mon 04:56]
  braintree {30247}
For the state of affairs on whinge-ism just check out the story on here regarding the series `Outnumbered`. One complainant regarding one fairly innocuous comment on autism and they get hammered and told not to slip up again.

Has anyone on here noticed how sitcom has died a death in this country?
Sitcom writing is a much more substantial craft than writing jokes for stand-up comics and panel shows. How is it that the nation which produced Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, Porridge, Dad`s Army and many more is now producing next to nothing in terms of sitcom?
Well, just look what happened to `Outnumbered` and you have your answer.

I`ll bet money our best comedy script writers are in the US penning material for the likes of `The Big Bang Theory`. Thus they are over there earning money for Yank productions on the international television market, when that cultural output and money could be ours.

Handing the power to censure and curb program making with so few complaints leads only to loss of programming and loss of income to the nation.

Let`s face it, would you put serious effort and finance into a big comedy project if Mrs Smith from number eleven can shoot it down with one complaint?

Whinge-ism has a cost. There will be no more quality sitcom from this country as long as we pander to to such pettiness.
Britain will therefore not be known abroad for its self-proclaimed `unique sense of humour` for the foreseeable future. Panel shows don`t travel, sitcoms do. Humour is now - (oh, irony of ironies) - American!

braintree    [30247.   Posted 27-Jul-2014 Sun 13:59]
  I`ve been putting off getting the Grindhouse Blu of Cannibal Holocaust for a while but Pooch`s review convinced me to get one now . Although it did seem odd that Pooch may have been a member of the Video Packaging Review Committee (remember them?) when complaining that covers for this film and similar titles from Arrow might be "sexist". Of all things problematic with Cannibal Holocaust releases a "sexist" cover is surely the least of its worries.
Of all the "isms" that`s the one I take with a pinch of salt . Men and Women really are different but it seems you`re not allowed to mention that these days . God forbid we mention the reality that women are usually physically weaker than men hence the recent comment from a soccer pundit that a player kicked like a girl . That the subsequent uproar of complainers were not told to simply piss off is another bizarre story from the PC police notebook.
It`s high time broadcasters were able to tell complainers to get a life instead of apologising for every imaginary transgression. How about standing up for your staff instead of pandering to whingers?

phantom    [30246.   Posted 27-Jul-2014 Sun 12:15]
  If I recall, Pooch, Messrs Martin Salter and David Lepper made a lot of hay out of `Cannibal Holocaust` by referring to it (though not by name) in their contributions to the debate in the Commons, when pressing for the introduction of `Extreme Pornography`.

I recall one of them, if not both, everlastingly referring to `snuff material made in Guatemala`. Everyone with a brain concluded that they meant Cannibal Holocaust and could not quite comprehend what this had to do with the parliamentary bill in question.

It is significant as Salter and Lepper were two of the driving forces behind that particular legislation.

Thus to what extent Cannibal Holocaust may or may not have contributed to the introduction of what we here dub the `Dangerous Pictures Act` we will never know. But no doubt Messrs Salter and Lepper will have been dwelling on it for a reason.

And when MPs were shown examples of the sort of stuff one wanted banned (which I believe some were), I would not at all be surprised if some of the imagery of Deodato`s material will have been sneaked in for good measure.

Not that `Cannibal Holocaust` ever had anything to do with what is actually `extreme porn`. But it says something about the power of the imagery of that film that MPs should fall back on it as an argument for a porn ban.

braintree    [30245.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 14:21]
  The media and authorities seem too stupid to realise that their obsession with convincing us there is a paedophile on every corner does little except bring the subject to the attention of an awful lot of curious people who really would not have bothered had it not been for the constant media circus. I`m sure over the next few years the small number of these people who then committ other crimes will find themselves in deeper trouble once their computers are seized. Those who make money from paedophiles must be loving the UK who provide them with a level of publicity money could never buy.

Likewise with extreme porn . Has anyone arrested or convicted of possession of extreme porn actually been investigated for that crime initially ? From what I`ve read it`s always other matters but routine checking of computers / phones etc then leads to these other charges.

Why doesn`t someone in authority stand up in court or the House of Commons and ask what makes the British public so uniquely idiotic. Why don`t these MP`s go on one of their paid jollies to countries like Holland or Denmark to see why they have had decades of easy access to this type of material yet their country hasn`t sunk into the violent sexual country wide orgy that the rule makers use as excuses over here . Do other countries have the same type of moronic tabloid press that we have here ? Maybe decades of exposure to crap like The Daily Mail and the News of the World are the reason so many people in this country seem to be gullible fools. A good reason to ban them but it doesn`t suit the current Government agenda

Harvey    [30244.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 13:02]
  freeworld [30239]

I would pretty much agree with where you draw the line as to what should and shouldn`t be restricted speech.

If we can wrap slander/libel inside the general guise of defamation then there`s a justification for restricting such speech. So no real problem with civil actions for damages. The problem with defamation law as it stands is that the sheer cost of defending oneself against an action for defamation can (still) be seen as a covert mechanism for censorship for people who are wealthy enough to use the law. I would actually favour the creation of a criminal offence where defamation is wilful or malicious so that the state takes responsibility of prosecuting cases.

I`m not so sure that a merely possessing a photograph of anything should be prohibited, but I would agree that creating, distributing or publishing pornographic (rather than simply indecent) images of children should be a criminal offence.

The Public Order Act has already been amended to allow the use of insulting, rather than threatening words.

freeworld    [30243.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 11:48]
  phantom {30242. Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 11:28}

In some fields of the law we are getting perilously close to a standard of accusation = guilt. Where fantasies and lies are sagely believed by "the authorities" for ideological reasons, not to further the ends of justice, objective truth replaced by subjective "feeling". The pressure groups - often made up of fanatics - are probably more influential over the law than they have ever been in the modern era. In any alliance with the press/broadcast media, their control over the political class can be well nigh irresistible to them. The fanatics squawk a lot and loudly and soon a new law (or procedure) - often badly thought out rubbish - is rolling down legislation alley. And what the fanatics want is more laws, more controls, special privileges for X, and often more and worse punishment of others to gratify their own sanctimony about their hobby horses. The late Auberon Waugh, often thought of as simply a right winger, had their number when he called this tendency "punishment freaks" years ago. They are the modern equivalent of the medieval person who saw the whole of the world surrounded by malign invisible demons, who, with their human allies, must be fought every day, by burning the latter alive quite often. To the feminist extremist all men are rapists who just haven`t been caught yet, just as it was quite common in earlier generations to assume the fantasy all homosexuals were paedos was true.

phantom    [30242.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 11:28]
  freeworld [30241]

I will grant you that I too feel a certain unease about the Harris case, but again I wasn`t really referring to any particular case when speaking of the hatred shown towards paedophiles.

What worries me is that politicians and media have established them as a sort of short hand for `evil`. They are thus not far removed from the `Untermensch` which the Germans dubbed the Jews and Slavs back in their day.

This to me seems very, very dubious. Paedophilia is indeed a problem. But this level of demonisation is concerning. After all, is it ever healthy for a country`s elite to be fostering public hatred toward any group?

How nasty would one be willing to become in exploiting this hatred, should it become politically convenient?

Thus by default, to my mind any political system which indulges in such matters is highly suspect.

freeworld    [30241.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 11:07]
  phantom {30240. Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 10:42}

Someone who tries saying - "look at the pathetic standard of the "evidence" used to lock away Rolf Harris for years", or expresses some doubts that some of the hundreds of allegation about Savile might not be actually true - will then see the "you must be one too" accusations roll in. One well understands the way anyone who stated principled doubts in the seventeenth century about the claims that so and so is a witch (or that witches even existed) quickly got accused of being in league with Old Nick as well.

Hysteria is never healthy and leads to all kinds of miscarriages of justice.

The justifications for censorship change, or some become more influential than others over time, but the consequences are the same. In Britain it was once "religion" then "public decency. Now it`s mainly "for the children"/"to protect women"/some "minority" from exploitation - the latter having become "victims", unable to look after themselves and their interests and therefore in need of special protections from the all wise, control it all state and its laws - a more dark age, patronizing idea, is hard to think of.

The idea that freedom is just too much, actually spiritually bad for us, that we shouldn`t be have it, needing repression/totalitarianism, with somebody or organization in control of us, is brilliantly covered by Dostoyevsky in the story of the Grand Inquisitor in "The brothers Karamazov".

phantom    [30240.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 10:42]
  Harvey {30236}

"I think part of the problem is using the term "free speech" as if there is a universal, unqualified right to say or publish and that any restriction is a denial of that right.
Unless you belive there should be an unqualifed right to free expression, where do you draw the line between what is a violation and what is legitimate restriction?
It`s fairly obvious that the maintream media in the UK will draw the line broadly where UK law does, so you will see China, etc reported critically when their citizens are denied the right to say or publish something which would be legal in the UK.
So it`s not so much that they exhibit double standards in their reporting as much as that they use the wrong standard (the letter of the UK law) to define what is and isn`t a "violation of the right to free speech"."

I hear what you say.
It usually boils down to the fact that freedoms are greater here than in China or Pakistan, so what is the problem?
But freedoms are also much greater in the Netherlands or the US than they are here.
So this relativism cuts both ways.

What is appalling is that the media`s comparison is only ever made one way.
And whilst Pakistan or China may be censorial in more profound areas, they do at least not hold themselves to be paragons of liberty and democracy as this country does.

Whereas the subtext here is always the same: be grateful that you live in the queen of all nations, Great Britain, and not in that dump without sewers where they lock people up for political dissent...

The simple truth is that liberty has stood still in the last twenty years in this country. Can you point me to any freedom which has substantially improved in law?
And please spare me the mention of homosexuality. Yes, there have been some much trumpeted advances there, but to the exclusion of all else.
Individual liberty in this nation has only been reduced. `Gay rights` have been used as a fig leaf by autocrats bent on squeezing the life out of this nation`s ancient liberties.

Can the same be said about Pakistan and China? Chances are, for all their problems, they are still actually advancing on the trajectory toward greater enfranchisement - not reversing.

It is not as though we had achieved some state of perfection a quarter of a century ago, which has now suffered some reverses. No, it is far more that we are heading backwards across the board, simply because the ruling establishment finds it more convenient.

In the name of fighting paedophiles, terrorists or organised crime, etc we are seeing the state erode away ever more of what had been amounted over a great length of time.

What we all took to be a continuous evolution toward liberty has been first subverted with the tyranny of political correctness and then consciously dismantled by autocratic politicians.

I do not think that people are even aware of it happening. And those who are may well believe that these setbacks can be easily reversed, not realising how hard won they were to start with.

Freedom is now only abused by Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada... or it serves to `let off` suspected paedophiles, rapists and the likes....
Thus to extinguish some of its `excesses` is merely to serve justice.

Meanwhile, the country seems to have been consumed by a cancer of hatred. First of all among the targets rank paedophiles which are now suffering a state of state sponsored persecution which borders on the demonisation of the Jews in 1930s Germany. Hatred is being purposely incited and channelled. When states do that everyone has reason to be worried.

I understand censorship of all kinds merely as an extension of the conscious denial of justice. It is symptomatic of a regime which denies its people liberty. Censorship in this country has by now become endemic. What once was the denial of the principles of freedom around areas of pornography, has long since become a tool to curb some forms of expression, both political and religious, and `catch-all` legislation which almost guarantees the authorities that an arrested suspect will be found guilty eventually of `something`.

This is happening. Here. But the media tell us about outrages in Pakistan or China, or Indonesia, or Uganda.
All the while the terrifying, soul destroying trend happening under our very noses goes virtually unreported.

Mine is thus not some semantic objection about where any line is drawn, but a despair at seeing the line continuously moving - backwards, from where it once came.

Just like the members of the Readers and Listeners Association once bewailed the evils of the 1960s and its great liberalising effect on popular culture, so now to the denizens of power hate the past achievements which granted us greater individual rights and seek to dismantle them.

We live in exceedingly troubling times.

freeworld    [30239.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 09:57]
  Harvey {30236. Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 01:30}
As far as it involves what people can say/write/possess -basically my belief is it should be drawn over -

1.Slander/libel of an individual (not merely insult) ie "X is a paedo/murderer/plagiarist" etc.

2.Advocacy of physical violence against individuals/groups (this would encompass inciting terrorism).

3.Possession/publishing images of real children being really abused/advocating children should be abused.

4.No laws over people generally verbally abusing each other,however nasty, unless it can be classed as amounting to harassment/libel/slander.

A return to the not that distant days before the existence of "hate speech" crimes. No censorship or prosecuting individuals over expressing unfashionable/outrageous opinions eg holocaust "denial" (a historical fact, an idea - whatever, should not, as some seem to think, need to be specially protected by severe criminal laws and censorship - is a truth, a belief etc so delicate it can`t fight for itself)

freeworld    [30238.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 09:31]
  phantom {30234. Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 13:08}

The hypocrisy of our home grown political stalwarts of free expression and liberalism (sarcasm!) over the Russian "Pussy riot" affair was sick making.

Harvey {30231. Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 02:08}

If you look again at what I wrote previously, I didn`t say the dispersal order was under "Labour`s blasphemy law". But Weston was subject to an arrest involving the "new blasphemy law". The details are discussed further on. Whether Weston was actually formally charged subsequent to his arrest is unclear from what I`ve seen (you can be placed under arrest for a period without being actually charged - 24/36 hours max in most cases). Saying charges were dropped, even when only an arrest and no charges had actually been made, may be technically inaccurate, but it`s a fairly common way of describing the process.

The initial arrest -

The police themselves said in a statement -

`(a).. dispersal order was issued following complaints from members of the public about the man`s behaviour."

The BBC news site says -

"..he failed to comply with a section 27 dispersal order."

"He was detained after failing to comply with a request by police to move on under the powers of a dispersal order."

In an interview Weston himself said he was being arrested for a breach of a "section 27 dispersal notice".

In a letter sent to him the police state that Weston`s initial arrest was over a breach of a section 27.

Like you, I can`t see how on earth such a section 27 "dispersal order" can be applied in a situation like this one.

The BBC news report says -

"He was detained after failing to comply with a request by police to move on under the powers of a dispersal order."

"A Hampshire police spokesman said: “A 50-year-old man from Dorset was arrested outside Winchester Guildhall at approximately 2.30pm on Saturday April 26 after he failed to comply with a section 27 dispersal order."

- Telegraph report

Section 27 of the violent crime reduction act seems to only relate to alcohol related disorder -

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/38/section/27

So, one important question is, if that`s the case, was Weston actually wrongly initially arrested/detained for "breaching" a dispersal order issued wrongly in the first place by the police? The police statement above says he was first arrested after he failed to comply with the - incorrectly applied - dispersal order, not over the the POA.

As to POA section 4 A - a legal authority to arrest and possibly charge, prosecute and punish someone over just about anything some person might take objection to - it`s an appalling totalitarian tool for repression/censorship by the state`s creatures.

The arrest and "religious hate" issue -

The police themselves state that Mr Weston -

"...was further arrested on suspicion of religious racial harassment"

The police quote/ given reasons for re-arrest appear in a number of places, not just the Mail.

The account on the online BBC site says -

"He was further arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-27186573

In a letter sent to Weston, the Hampshire police stated the arrest was due to -

“ .. an allegation of a breach of a S27 dispersal notice and a Racial/Religious Aggravated Section 4 Public Order Offence."

So, specific mention is made by the police themselves and numerous other sources of that religious reason for re-arrest; we are thus lead to "Labour`s blasphemy law", nailed into the POA as 3A in 2006 ( yours truly, not the Mail, is the one pointing out that that it`s Labour`s law!). It`s useful here to also say that Weston was only talking about a religion, not a race (you do not, of course, have to be a member of a particular racial or national group to be a Muslim). More on that later.

According to the police Weston`s "re-arrest" was, partly at least, over POA 4, the 2006 section 3A addition to it - viz "Religious Aggravated" (see above). Without this they would not have had at least half of the grounds they are themselves quoted as saying they had for Weston`s re-arrest over an alleged "Racial/Religious" public order offense.

The POA and religious hatred -

I`ll now say a little more regarding issues raised in your post about the POA, specifically those religious hatred additions to it.

Nothing in Weston`s speech at issue is stirring up/threatening/abusing on the basis of race - so that`s a non starter - it should never have been used as any part of a justification for arresting him. So, we come to the other (police) given justification for Mr Weston`s POA arrest - religion. They would have thought again about bringing forward charges against Weston based in breaches to legislation`s religious hatred definitions - because what he said was entirely within the law. It might have been very different if the Blair government had had their way, which they nearly did. The present wording of the legislation added to the POA from 2006, is a long way from what came out of the government. It was significantly amended to protect free speech by others - in the house of Lords, before it became a law and a part of the POA. The abusive, insulting stuff, applicable in other areas of the POA, was jettisoned by the Lords for any charges being made on a "religious hate" basis - to be prosecutable, conduct must be defined as "threatening".

" It creates new offences of stirring up religious hatred, which are significantly different from the race hate offences contained within Part III of the Public Order Act 1986."

"Threatening is the operative word, not abusive or insulting"

- CPS guidance to the POA amended law covering religious hatred.

Further there has to be an intent to stir up hatred, not just a possibility that this might take place as a result. The Lords also inserted the paragraph I quoted in the earlier post, section 29J - putting in concrete terms what was not to be considered a breach of the law -

"29J Protection of freedom of expression
Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytizing or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practicing their religion or belief system".

The Labour government tried its hardest to have those free speech protection amendments overturned. In the attempt to get rid of them in the commons they were defeated (on a knife edge - by one vote). A number of Labour MPs themselves rebelled. The matter is reported here -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4664398.stm

Of the Lord`s amendment, Dr.Evan Harris (a notable DPA foe), the then Liberal Democrat human rights spokesman, stated -

"The government just failed to understand that they can`t take liberties with freedom of expression. This has showed tonight that we will stand up for freedom of expression."

Our old friend the late Mr Goggins was involved as home office minister in the failed commons maneuvers to rid the legislation of the Lord`s amendments to protect free speech. So, to adapt what you said about the Tories - that`s Labour law for you. But, I can assure you I hold no brief for the Conservatives -the introducers of default internet censorship filters (lobbied for enthusiastically by Labour before Cameron gave in to it), cheerers on of the (Labour) Digital economy act, zealous champions (along with Labour) of the "snooper`s charter", the government which hasn`t liberalized but extended Labour`s DPA, and in the past, creators of much of the current POA, including the later amendment which stands as section 4A, that notorious arrest anyone for just about anything clause (they`ve recently made what seems a pretty meaningless change to the POA itself by ditching "insulting" from it`s definitions- in this context, what`s the material difference between "insulting" and "abusing"?).

In the teeth of the same government opposition, former Tory home secretary Lord (David)Waddington had amendments to protect free expression successfully added to legislation when Labour was putting "hatred" on the grounds of sexual orientation into the POA (2008 - that Straw justice ministry bill which delivered the DPA).

Free speech protections which apply to religion do not apply to race in the POA 1986. So, if Mr Weston had actually been speaking about race, instead of just religion (where freedom of speech has those exemptions clearly written into the legislation - no thanks to New Labour), it might have been more likely that he would have faced prosecution. Yet the police seem to have thrown arrest grounds of racial hatred at him without there being any material in his religion dominated speech to justify such a claim. Instead of "prosecution" Weston "just" suffered through a short period of unpleasant "persecution" for daring to express certain opinions in public.

I can`t see how the story in the Mail seriously misrepresents what occurred.

What may well be the case is that the police`s given grounds for the initial arrest were a serious misapplication of the dispersal notice law. Further, the re-arrest over "Racial/ Religious" harassment was unjustified, and rightly the matter has been taken no further.

I must keep away from this excellent site - it does get me depressed about the totalitarian nightmare the country is being led into by the professional political class.

Pooch    [30237.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 05:47]
  @Dave [30233] - In regards to my Monty Python post, yes, feel free to post it on the main site if you wish. I don`t have a problem with that at all. :)

THE PENIS SONG lyrics are well-known, but go as follows:
"Here`s a little number I tossed-off recently in the Caribbean
Isn`t it awfully nice to own a penis
Isn`t it frightfully good to have a dong
It`s swell to have a stiffy
It`s divine to own a dick
From the tiniest little tadger, to the world`s biggest prick
So three-cheers for your willy or John Thomas
Hooray for your one-eyed trouser snake
Your piece-of-pork, your wife`s-best-friend, your percy or your cock
You can wrap it up in ribbons
You can slip-it in your sock
But don`t take it out in public, or they will stick you in the dock
And you won`t a`come a`back!"

But the two additional verses (which premiered at the O2 Live shows) are as follows:
"It`s fun to own your own vagina
It`s great to have your friendly thatch
Your minge, your twat, your kitty cat
Your nest, your nasty or your snatch
It`s great to have a monkey furrow
Your finger pie, your lunchbox, or your catch
Your camel toe, your bearded clam
Your bottom at the front
Your monkey minge, your muffin or your old Sir Berkely Hunt
Your honeypot, your hairy friend
But never call it c**t
Or we won`t be coming back"

The third verse, goes:
"Isn`t it awfully nice to own a bottom
Isn`t it frightfully good to have an ass
It`s swell to own a tuschy
It`s diving to own a scut
From the skinniest little buttocks
To the world`s largest butt
Three cheers for your posterior or anus
Hooray for your lovely sit-upon
Your fundament, your fanny, your cheeky little dear
Your rump, your haunch, your hams, your stern, your fanny or your rear
But be careful how you handle it, or you`ll be caught, I fear
And you won`t come back"

As you can see, no channel could have got away with all of the above, at 7:30pm on a Sunday evening, either being sung by a chorus line, and with the words on-screen in clear-view to everyone in the audience! (Thanks to "Biancholy" who posted the screen-caps as evidence at:

http://imgur.com/a/ZOwIt

Finally, Gavin Salkeld`s CUTTING EDGE - EPISODE 7 that deals with TERMINATOR 2 has been banned from YouTube with the note "This video contains content from Studio Canal and Lionsgate, one or more of whom have blocked it on copyright grounds." appended to it! See...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y588LXWdUI

... for the notes. It seems even using clips under "fair use" limitations as per S107 in the US Copyright Act is no longer acceptable to Studio Canal/Lionsgate!

Harvey    [30236.   Posted 26-Jul-2014 Sat 01:30]
  phantom, MF Dave,

I think part of the problem is using the term "free speech" as if there is a universal, unqualified right to say or publish and that any restriction is a denial of that right.

Unless you belive there should be an unqualifed right to free expression, where do you draw the line between what is a violation and what is legitimate restriction?

It`s fairly obvious that the maintream media in the UK will draw the line broadly where UK law does, so you will see China, etc reported critically when their citizens are denied the right to say or publish something which would be legal in the UK.

So it`s not so much that they exhibit double standards in their reporting as much as that they use the wrong standard (the letter of the UK law) to define what is and isn`t a "violation of the right to free speech".

Then of course we have the Daily Mail...

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30235.   Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 16:33]
  Phantom

Along the vague theme I haven`t yet spotted a story from the Daily Mail mentioning the low take up up options for ISP internet blocking.

Also I bet more people have been jailed for internet free speech violations in the UK than China if the size of the population is factored in.

phantom    [30234.   Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 13:08]
  Harvey {30231}
freeworld [30230]

My objection is not to any specific case, but the British media approach in general, whereby they point the finger at things which are rightfully appalling in other countries, but somehow always omit to ever include any pieces in their programming which would point to such failings in this, their own country.

It helps to create a national sense of superiority and encourages complacency.

It`s message being, `Sleep easy, Britannia. Everything`s alright.`

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30233.   Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 09:30]
  Thanks Pooch, great stuff. Do you mind if I repost it on the main MF site? I am sure it would be of interest to many readers. I think there`s a good headline along the lines of How to kill a dead parrot.

Pooch    [30232.   Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 06:01]
  @Dave [30223] and Phantom [30222]. I attended one of the MONTY PYTHON O2 screenings at a local cinema, and in the case of GOLD censoring the 7:30pm broadcast, there were two issues at play here.

Firstly, no one at GOLD was intelligent enough to realise that there wasn`t a cat-in-hell`s-chance of this live show being PG-friendly, for a Sunday evening broadcast! If they did, then they were being extremely naive. As such, no channel could have broadcast the show live at that time of day, on any channel, unless there had been an enforced PIN-locked restriction.

The heavy cuts in the first half of the show, related to THE PENIS SONG (NOT THE NOEL COWARD SONG), and the following two additional, never-before-seen verses, that talk about owning a vagina and an arsehole. As per the Penis Song lyrics, the Pythons used every available term to describe such parts of the body, and on-screen lyrics were visible on the huge screen behind the singers/dancers, including the infamous c-word.

So, to be fair to GOLD, they had no choice to censor it, but they should have been aware that none of this was ever going to be remotely suitable for family viewing, in the first place. Why they didn`t just time-delay everything, and then air it, starting from 9pm onwards, I don`t know? No one would have complained if they`d done that!

Secondly, in the second half, there was a potentially libellous set of jokes about Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor, and his paper`s bad review of the MONTY PYTHON LIVE show. I`m not sure if the jokes were left in for the post-watershed repeat on Tuesday night (and again tonight - Friday 25th July), but GOLD didn`t want to risk his wrath on their little channel. Hence, more censorship and editing of that sequence was needed.

Ultimately, whilst the censorship was ridiculous, and ridiculously horrible (the screetchy bleep tone they used was horrific), GOLD really should have known better! They`d already had 9 previous performances to check on the suitability, but were determined to go for ratings, rather than time-delays, and thus opted to air it live, but heavily censor the show, based on a script they had - something that heavily backfired on them, going from the numerous complaints on their Facebook page.

Lastly, the other thing that annoyed people, was the fact that GOLD could have, and maybe should have, announced that their Live transmission wasn`t going to be complete-and-uninterrupted - either because of censorship or because of over-runs. The show ran 15 minutes later than advertised, and I believe that GOLD ended their Live transmission early, during the PARROT SKETCH, just to stay on schedule! If fans had known beforehand, and had been primed that two uncut repeats were planned, then fans would probably have cut GOLD a lot more slack. But no one said anything. And as such, GOLD has been rightly pilloried.

Definitely one of TV`s messiest "Live" showings ever produced, and one that will go down infamously in TV history of how NOT to air something live on TV!

P.S. For what it`s worth, the uncut Live show itself was fab!

Harvey    [30231.   Posted 25-Jul-2014 Fri 02:08]
  freeworld [30230]

"The charges were later dropped"

Well, there weren`t any charges to drop. Weston was informed that the police weren`t taking any further action regarding his failing to comply with a dispersal order under "Labour`s blasphemy law". That might be because of the freedom of expression clause containined in the 2006 Act, but that would be the Racial and Religious Hated Act 2006? It`s much more likely because the police didn`t exectute the section 27 dispersal order properly - it should be given in writing and that it wasn`t relevant to Weston`s behaviour. The s.27 order is provision of the Violent Crime and Disorder Act 2006 and gives police the powers of dispersal to deal with alcohol related crime or disorder. i.e. nothing to to with preaching racial or religious hatred even if that is what Weston was thought to be doing.

He says he was instead de-arrested and then re-arrested at the police station on suspicion of having committed a racially aggravated offence under section 4 of the Public Order Act.

The Public Order Act 1986 is a Tory law. Sections 4, 4A and 5 being the `go to` offences for any behaviour in public which the police feel like putting a stop to. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/4

If Weston`s account is correct, he was NOT arrested or re-arrested on suspicion of racial or religious harrasment, which is what the DM article claims. It`s true that anyone convicted of a s.4 offence which is motivated by racial or religious hatred stands to be given a more severe sentence, but the s.4 offence is Tory legislation. In the Tory law, you can be convicted for using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour". There is no exception providing for free expression, but that`s Tory laws for you.

The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 intoduced new offences of stiring up racial and religious hatred by amending the Public Order Act. If that was what Weston was being accused of he`d be charged with an offence under s.18. If he had been, you could justifiably claim that this was a use of Labour`s blasphemy law, but he wasn`t, so you can`t. However much the Daily Mail, and hangers-on would like to think it so. The DM article is so misrepresentative of the actiual facts of the case, you`d have to think the misrepresentation was deliberate, rather than just ignorance.

A better summary of the facts of this incident are:

1) Police misuse and then misapply the powers of a section 27 dispersal order.
2) Police arrest and detain a person for not complying with the order.
3) Police realise their mistake and use the catch-all provisions of s.4 of the Public Order Act to justify arresting said person.

All very nasty, especially when said person is a candidate in an election, but absolutely nothing to do with the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, however hard the DM tries to shoe-horn it into the story.

freeworld    [30230.   Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 23:57]
  phantom [30229. Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 18:42]
Persecution of beliefs UK. Here`s an arrest over publicly quoting from remarks about Islam by Winston Churchill in one of his books - the UK now having Labour`s more comprehensive new "blasphemy law". A law which gets used - unlike the one they repealed at the same time they passed the new one. The charges were later dropped - did they realise only negative publicity for such a law could result from trying to convict someone for quoting Churchill? Or maybe they actually read the law itself more carefully?


Actually the 2006 law itself talks about "threatening" expressions intended to lead to religious hatred and includes this provision to supposedly protect people`s freedom of expression.

29JProtection of freedom of expression

"Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system."

But this does not appear to stop people being thrown into police cells and having their lives severely impacted upon because those enforcing the law seem to think its existence is a free pass to stamp out any expressions of religious criticism - especially if there has been a complaint. It`s the very existence of laws like this, often dimly understood by the public and even those tasked with law enforcement, which creates a climate of fear over the expression of opinions.

In the pictures look at the number of police there to arrest a single person, someone not acting violently or armed - all being done on the basis of one complaint about a speech.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614834/Arrested-quoting-Winston-Churchill-European-election-candidate-accused-religious-racial-harassment-repeats-wartime-prime-ministers-words-Islam-campaign-speech.html

phantom    [30229.   Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 18:42]
  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-28439518

Interesting indeed.
But as an aside, would the BBC ever have the balls to report on UK government sponsored witch hunts? Because there are plenty of those to report on. But much easier to point at Pakistan or Putin`s Russia and hold one`s nose...

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30228.   Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 11:20]
  Freeworld

I have been reading your comments about the licensing of porn clause in the Criminal Justice and Courts bill.

Although it sounds a silly idea to try and license foreign porn sites, there is a horribly practical angle from which it may well work to some extent. It is nothing to do with prosecuting foreign websites or seeking extradition etc, that would be a non-starter.

No it is a plan being hatched by the government to give the banks and payment services a legal certainty for grounds to refuse payment services. The Banks can`t or won`t suspend payment services to legal companies and ATVODs week attempt to convince them that hardcore is illegal under the OPA have clearly failed. BUT if the foreign website wasn`t licensed then that would be considered legal justification for refusing payment services.

Here is a little evidence of the government and ATVOD scheming along these lines:

http://www.atvod.co.uk/uploads/files/Board_Meeting_Minutes_May_2014.pdf

Maybe the Lords amendments were turned down because the Government themselves are planning to add the licensing scheme, perhaps a little different to Thornton`s

phantom    [30227.   Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 07:15]
  Melon Farmers (Dave) [30225]

"It strikes me that many politicians don`t seem the slightest bit interested in thinking about the actual consequences of their actions. Once they have `sent their message` that`s their job done."

I can only point you to my former MP when I met him about the initial DPA.
When I made clear that the definitions were incomprehensible to any person, his comment was that it was for the courts to come up with working definitions once the law was introduced.

Oh, he decided not to stand again after the expenses scandal.

Yep, a true paragon of virtue, that one....

phantom    [30226.   Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 07:11]
  freeworld {30224}

I interpret the amendments a little differently, Freeworld.
You see, politics operates on the basis of certain semantic tricks.

With something that is to ban `rape porn` there is crossparty consensus that `something must be done`. Thus, the parties work together.
As you yourself say, there are ready references to the wisdom of prior laws - introduced by the now opposition party.

And that is the key to this sort of legislation. To the casual onlooker things must appear reasonable, reasoned and fair minded.
How is this best achieved? By presenting extreme legislation as being a wise, well-judged compromise.

"In the light of the balance that this Government have sought to strike with this offence,..."
So you see: "balance". Compromise.

How does one best portray one proposal as a compromise? One rolls out some folks with utter whacko ideas, who propose something which is beyond the realms of sanity. This is easy to do with parties effectively cooperating in order to get legislation through.

The government then portrays its proposal as a compromise between the status quo and the extremist idea. Everyone involved then nods wisely and the minister concerned is made to look like Yoda.

The initial idea is then painted as being the compromise between two extreme views. (The status quo being the extreme, untenable libertarian view.)
The fact that the government`s proposition was actually there first, and thus cannot be a conscious compromise, drawn up to strike a balance, is irrelevant. They simply brush that under the carpet.

I`ve seen this trick played again and again. Thus I`m not really surprised.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30225.   Posted 24-Jul-2014 Thu 02:03]
  Great stuff Freeworld, I`ll get something added on the main site.

Fascinating that these people are angling to get so many in serious trouble with the law just serve personal morality whims.

It strikes me that many politicians don`t seem the slightest bit interested in thinking about the actual consequences of their actions. Once they have `sent their message` that`s their job done.

freeworld    [30224.   Posted 23-Jul-2014 Wed 16:59]
  Criminal justice and courts bill

This Xmas tree bill is currently getting the attention of the Lords and a number of amendments have been moved in the past few days. The amendments to the "rape porn" clause 28 would broaden the DPA still further and if enacted would seem to criminalize just about every BDSM image which includes a real looking individual. They would move the offence way beyond the limited kind of real(highly unlikely) or (overwhelmingly) staged rape images covered by the current bill`s wording. Another brand new clause, 42B, is megalomaniac stuff about "licensing" foreign beamed in hard porn ( presumably leading to attempts to extradite foreign citizens who breach such a UK law?).

The movers of these amendments are -
Baroness Thornton (Labour. LSE Fabianite)
Lord Beecham - formerly Jeremy Beecham of Newcastle city council ( a Labour Justice shadow).
Baroness Howe of Idlicote (Mrs Geoffrey. Crossbench) - renowned censorship enthusiast (42B only)

Clause 28 amendments and new 42B (42A in the Hansard extracts)-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2014-2015/0030/amend/ml030-II.htm

The debate on the clauses -

Thornton and Beecham seek to remove the "disgusting/obscene" etc part of the DPA. It may be remembered that this clause was more or less forced on Straw and co at Justice by a fairly rebellious house of Lords during the passage of the original DPA - rightly being seen as something which made the DPA closer to the the existing OPA and also limiting the scope of the material which would be potentially caught by the new offence. Thornton`s words about "cultural harm" (that is some nebulous subjective concept of the sort which figures so importantly in the sloganizing propaganda of the obsessive agitators - a quite different thing to careful, well researched real world solid evidence of harm, which should be the basis of all legislation in a rational democracy) illustrates the nasty totalitarian concepts being commonly utilized by (unfortunately) influential and powerful allies of totalitarianism - being used bit by bit to create criminal laws.

For the moment Lord Faulks (Conservative. Justice) for the govt politely bins the amendments, which are withdrawn by their sponsors.

On clause 28 he says -

"Amendment 36B would replace the Government’s amendments to the extreme pornography offence, including the relevant defence, with a broad provision that would criminalise the portrayal of any sexual activity that involves real or apparent lack of consent or any form of physical restraint which prevents participants indicating a withdrawal of consent. This is very broad. It could have the effect of bringing into the terms of this targeted offence the possession of pornographic images that depict any form of non-consensual sexual activity. (Yup!- F W)
In the light of the balance that this Government have sought to strike with this offence, we believe that such an extension to the offence would be going too far. It would, I believe, widen inappropriately its scope and could make too wide a range of sexual activity subject to serious criminal sanction."

Thornton seems to regard not criminalizing all material she and her cronies regard as causes of "cultural harm" as "loopholes", rather than representing limits and balances to counter totalitarian statism.

Lord Faulks appears to incorrectly infer that the "obscene/disgusting" stuff in the DPA was put in deliberately by its (implicitly wise) drafters, rather than having being forced on Straws MOJ by an unquiet Lords to limit the scope of the offence.
He makes clear, once again something those who follow these sort of things know anyway - that in creating the new law, as with so much law these days, the ones primarily listened to have been the noisy agitators, who have got themselves recognized, quite falsely, as invariably being of sound opinion and representative of public sentiment. Evidence of harm is not the overriding concern when it comes to such legislation, but the subjective views of those who shout loudest and most persistently. So, any studies which show real world sexual violence against people reduces with the easy availability of porn, get ignored, and the strident ban obsessed screamers - who may actually be harm mongers, endangering more real people by censorship and criminal laws - are pandered to, treated as fonts of wisdom by Westmonster legislators .

On new amendment 42B (42A in Hansard)-

Lord Faulks points to the ISP filter system as the government`s way of addressing access to adult material, including that coming from outside UK jurisdiction. Thornton asserts it`s not working. Has she told Ms Perry yet? Apparently Thornton has "clear evidence" of the harm being done to children by this material. Has she really? So, Thornton and her pals want to supplant/supplement one unworkable failed system with another.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/140721-0001.htm
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/140721-0002.htm
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/140721-0003.htm

Discussion of 42B and comments in the link to annaraccoon`s blog. The writers mainly seem to assume it will be in the final bill - but I doubt it. Thornton having withdrawn it.

http://annaraccoon.com/2014/07/23/the-minister-for-global-porn/

Beecham`s part in all this is of some significant concern. Being part of Labour`s justice team it could be here we are seeing the kind of broad brush criminalization using the DPA which would come out of a future Labour government - the possibility of which is not very distant.

Here, once again we have an example of what is supposed to be rational legislating, evidence based creation of laws, courtesy of our parliament of fools. Ever crusading to protect us from ourselves, to restrict and even make criminal the consensual activities of adults - invariably utilizing the tried and tested hysteria inducer, the alleged negative impact on "children", the banstibators prime instruments of specious moral blackmail. They will no doubt one day conclude the only solution to " major ills" (many based in fantasy and their subjective prejudices) is to introduce a total ban on the internet, all books, magazines, newspapers, broadcasting, "pictures" of any sort - as these might "harm children"( maybe make them smoke/drink/abuse substances/get fat/assault their future partner etc - the totalitarian crusades are not just about adult porn images).

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

- Groucho Marx

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30223.   Posted 23-Jul-2014 Wed 14:34]
  Phantom

Not even the Spanish Inquisition can use the f-word before 9pm!

phantom    [30222.   Posted 23-Jul-2014 Wed 13:28]
  They censored Monty Python???????????????????????????????????

Harvey    [30221.   Posted 23-Jul-2014 Wed 08:29]
  phantom [30218]

The public announcement regarding Operation Notarise (660 paedos arrested) did have an interesting timing, though I wouldn`t read too much into that.

I would advise reading the NCA`s press release rather than the interpretaions of it which a lot of the press have made. http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/news-listings/411-uk-wide-operation-snares-660-suspected-paedophiles Some points to make.

The announcement that 400+ children have been "safeguarded" almost certainly means that the the suspects with children living at home have been required to live away from their own homes while on bail. The insinuation is that the children involved have been taken into care as a result of suspected abuse. It was the same when Ore burst on the scene. Similar claims of links between consumers of images and abuse of children, but no actual evidence.

The operation was almost certainly a centrally co-ordinated monitoring of target files on peer to peer networks. Nothing terribly hi-tech about it. Just quite a reseouce heavy process as software would be required to hoover up accesses to files of interest and the mass of IP addrersses traced to narrow down the UK ISPs and through them trace individuals. the result will have been a list of names which will have beed disseminated to each local police force to go and investigate the couple of dozen names on their patch. From there, pretty simmilar to the Ore routine, the early morning raid, search, siezure of computers an interview and then a long, long wait on bail while computers are analysed.

My guess is that "the list" will turn up a sizeable number of suspects who are found to be in possession of incdecent images. It will also throw up many false positives, where no indencent images are found, because montoring peer to peer sites and tracing people through IP addresses is not an exact science.

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30220.   Posted 17-Jul-2014 Thu 02:11]
  The BBFC Annual Report covering 2013 has been published

http://www.bbfc.co.uk/sites/default/files/attachments/BBFC%20Annual%20Report%202013%20-%20web_0.pdf

phantom    [30219.   Posted 16-Jul-2014 Wed 17:51]
  I would also suggest that the case of Babar Ahmed which has just finished in the US should rank among the censorship issue here.
So he designed some websites which `promoted` terrorism? And he did so in the UK? And the UK authorities never charged him with anything?
But instead they felt it convenient to extradite him to the US? Where he is then promptly found guilty. According to US law or ours? He was in Britain after all.

The Babar Ahmed case strikes me as one of the most serious in terms of modern boundaries of freedom of expression in the UK.
We never tried the man. We simply exported the problem. To someone who we knew would find him guilty.

The example this sets is very worrying. On what other matters might Britain never try someone but hand them over to another country? Trip to China or Saudi Arabia, anyone?

If we feel someone has broken our laws with a publication in our country, we ought to have the balls to prosecute them. But hand them over to another country, if we do not prosecute? Surely that`s shameful.

phantom    [30218.   Posted 16-Jul-2014 Wed 17:36]
  Yes, I seriously suspect that most of the 660 suspects they`re talking about are related to the 431 children who are supposedly protected now. (Odd, that so much certainty is given to something - before any court trial has even been announced.)
If children were abused, that points to much more old fashioned policing than police cyber spookery. Because it suggests police found a much more tangible, real world way into this large group of suspects, rather than some snazzy cyber surveillance.

And police are particularly coy about revealing how they tracked them down. They imply that is in order to protect their methods. But I suspect it`s because there wasn`t really that much internet IT wizardry involved.

It seems to me the police are going out of their way to imply that they need the government`s emergency powers currently being rushed through parliament. That makes much of the press release PR exercise here a political act. It is very worrying that the police are operating in such a political manner. For I would prefer my police to be non-political.

Interesting Newsnight. The police all but admitted that Operation Ore was a catastrophe and sought to insist that this time they had applied a much more sound approach. But then who do newsnight bring on? Jim Gamble.
And he actually had the nerve to come on and dispute that Operation Ore was discredited. (Even though the police had just plainly distanced itself from it.) The suicides were `tragic`, were they? Seriously?
And then he starts quoting studies... and mentioning Jimmy Savile - before declaring a `war on paedophilia`.
There are not many people in this country who are anywhere near as sinister as that man.
I cannot for the life of me understand why is awarded that much air time.

sergio    [30217.   Posted 16-Jul-2014 Wed 15:13]
  Is a (heavily) pixellated image of `child abuse` an illegal image to view/download? (newsnight seemed to show this image)

Is Jim Gamble a politician? A certain arrogant certainty seems to emanate from his authoritarian pores.

braintree    [30216.   Posted 16-Jul-2014 Wed 13:33]
  A refund from Amazon has alerted me to the fact that Video Nasties 2 is down to £14.99 . ( Why won`t the pound sign display?) Not sure if thats permanent so grab one while you can . Watched the main feature and it was very good .
The most frightening thing about the many laughable elements of the hysteria is that the British establishment will inevitably fail to learn from history and those involved still don`t seem able to see why the UK continues to be a laughing stock around Europe .
A Dutch commentator says his nation finds the British obsession of a paedophile on every corner a bit of a joke.
Todays story claims that "400 children have been protected" as a result of the arrests . Does that mean that 400 of the 650 accused were abusing someone ? The way I read it was that the arrests were based on people downloading or possessing images . But these days every paedophile story won`t let facts get in the way of some tasty soundbites even if they`re basically meaningless

phantom    [30215.   Posted 16-Jul-2014 Wed 08:53]
  Odd, Sergio. I had much the same thought.

Now of course one can never rule out the chance of this just being coincidence. but the odds to seem steep.

One can`t help but suspect that the security services have launched this right in time to back up their claim that they need internet suveillance powers.
Clearly this police operation has taken some time to prepare. So suspects to arrest, houses to be raided, etc have been accumulating for some time.
there is no apparent reason why this operation could not have taken place, say, a month ago.
If the authorities launch this at the very time of the government is fast-forwarding relevant legislation through parliament, one must conclude that it would be an extreme coincidence for the two to coincide.
It looks very orchestrated.

Interestingly, one is implying that these arrests are the result of internet surveillance, but nowhere is it stated outright.
This haul thus may be the result of conventional policing...

sergio    [30214.   Posted 16-Jul-2014 Wed 03:38]
  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28326128
Is this a coincidence? Who actually `plants` these stories? Was it the NCA? Did they arrest all those 650 suspects yesterday? Was it planted by the `BBC`? New draconian laws, let`s get some paedo story (goes the thinking). The new laws are only for paedos? The dark net, the anonymous part of the net which is not anonymous. Tor we come again!

Interesting hint of `causality`
`And he added: "Some of the people who start by accessing indecent images online go on to abuse children directly. So the operation is not only about catching people who have already offended - it is about influencing potential offenders before they cross that line.`

phantom    [30213.   Posted 14-Jul-2014 Mon 17:03]
  re: Extracts: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers...

This really does read as something quite terrifying.
One can`t help but feel that something is afoot here. Not least as the people involved are so utterly untrustworthy. (For one, I would not trust Theresa May with a dead cat, no matter the nation`s security services.)

It seems self-evident that this is being rushed though parliament specifically to prevent any meaningful scrutiny.
There seems to be deliberate sleight of hand here regarding definitions.
And given that this - supposedly - is all about addressing the ECJ ruling, there seems a great many aspects of the ruling which appear completely unaddressed.

And yes, the aspects of territorial sovereignty still remain something one totally ignores.
The motto still seems to be `if we can grab it, we are entitled to.`

And yet media such as the BBC is spending more time talking about the general synod of the Church of England today deciding that it will from now on have female bishops. Interesting priorities here....

braintree    [30212.   Posted 14-Jul-2014 Mon 13:03]
  Video Nasties 2 arrived today . A browse through the contents show this is just as heavenly a release as volume 1 . For those of us who lived through those times it helps bring home how lucky we are today . And the fanzine cover collection is superb. If I had to say one negative thing about the release it would be that the rather generous running times has forced the bitrates a bit low so picture quality suffers in places with pixellation apparent - but only on closeup viewing . The running time and the quality of the content means this one complaint can be ignored . Another great dvd for the collection .

Melon Farmers (Dave)    [30211.   Posted 12-Jul-2014 Sat 23:09]
  Hi Pooch

Yes I thought it was a dangerous new presumption that the pre-watershed restrictions `ought` to apply to anytime that children were watching. I bet if anyone dared to publish figures they would find that vast numbers of teenagers ARE still watching up to say 11pm. Any official recognition of this fact would end up with no real answer beyond pushing the watershed back to 11pm.

The reality is that the large majority of teenagers routinely watch post-watershed TV, with the approval, or at least acceptance, from their parents. I`m surprised that moralist campaigners don`t make more of this.

Pooch    [30210.   Posted 12-Jul-2014 Sat 07:19]
  Hi Dave,

Love the "Easily Duped by the Presumption of a Cuddly World... TV complaints at 12A rated trailer shown at 10pm during football" story.

Particularly like the hypocrisy that fans were (allegedly) upset at a CGI ape appearing to shoot a human man in an ad for a sci-fi film, but were (presumably) more than happy to see a real human (Suarez) bite a real man`s shoulder during another recent game?

Football`s a funny old world! ;)

 


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