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phantom    [31018.   Posted 3-Dec-2016 Sat 15:36] View Near Messages
It did not take them long, did it?

`The Britisher censored`
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQucDeo7Th0

phantom    [31016.   Posted 23-Nov-2016 Wed 17:49] View Near Messages
Some ARE trying...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EHn03LpLlU

phantom    [31013.   Posted 22-Oct-2016 Sat 15:53] View Near Messages
Braintree,
in truth these proposed pardons have nothing to do with the people of the past and everything to do with the people of the present.
The term we`re looking for is called `virtue signalling`. ;)
keep in mind that homosexuality has been the fig leaf of liberalism for ever more authoritarian UK governments over the past twenty years.
One may have introduced one Orwellian statute after another, but one always had one`s liberal credentials regarding homosexuality to point to.
By now of course one has utterly exhausted this mine.
`Gay marriage` was already rather farcical given that one had already provided the rights involved with `civil partnerships`.
Thus one simply has nowhere left to go.
So now we`re going to de-discriminate the dead.
Ah well... :)

phantom    [31003.   Posted 5-Sep-2016 Mon 14:08] View Near Messages
Wasn`t goodie-two-shoes Keith Vaz already chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee when the Dangerous Pictures Act went through Parliament?

I don`t recall him putting up a valiant fight for the rights of those with a slightly different sexual twist back then.
Who`d have thought he was standing in a massive glass house at the time...

phantom    [30970.   Posted 29-Jun-2016 Wed 07:37] View Near Messages
I find that a strange question, Sergio.
How do we stop crime? How do we stop cursing? Spitting in the street?
How do we stop wars? Or how do we stop biased reporting by media?
Or best of all, how do we stop politicians from being corrupt and lying to us?

There are plenty of things which are unsavoury about modern societies.
To ask these questions seems to serve little purpose.
The world is what it is. We should always aspire to improve, but not kid ourselves into thinking we can magic problems away.

Most of all we need to remember that British society is most likely the least racist and chauvinist society on the planet.

A slight uptick in anecdotal events after a referendum do not make for a sudden outbreak of national racism.

Least we should try to do is to somehow censor our way out of a problem.

phantom    [30963.   Posted 27-May-2016 Fri 13:32] View Near Messages
Sym,
I`m not sure that voices of the left are necessary for what I am alluding to.
In essence I believe it`s about getting serious opposition to political correctness into politics.
Effectively the world needs a force in politics to take on political correctness. Some force. Any force. So far there has never really been such a force.
If the self-proclaimed `cultural libertarians` can hoist their ideas and principles into the bowels of the Republican party then at least there would be some serious political organisation prepared to fight politically correct culture.
Having at least one major party wedded to the idea of killing off political correctness would give the US at least a fifty percent chance of eventually getting a government which would do something about it.
It would also mean that Democratic congressmen and senators whose seats are contested would need to take opposition to political correctness on board in order to regain their seats.

In short: political correctness needs to be fought in the public arena.
As you say, nobody feels free to actually stand up to it. Folks could get themselves fired or otherwise ostracised.
But if at last a major political party takes it on, things could happen.
That is where I see this phenomenon leading.

As for Trump, I don`t think `the Donald` holds out any significant hope against political correctness.
When folks like Milo Yiannopulos are backing him, I hear the agent provocateur speaking.
I don`t think Trump is the answer to anything.
When I speak of `cultural libertarianism` having a great chance of taking a hold of the Republicans, it is completely unconnected to Donald Trump.
That said, I am getting the sense that he is more than likely going to win.

However, if America advances a mainstream political voice opposed to political correctness (the Republican party, not Trump) then I wonder how long it will be that someone in mainstream UK politics highlights the fact that Britain is being treated as one great `safe space` in which no-one is permitted to say the wrong thing or look at the wrong picture for fear of someone being `triggered`...

phantom    [30961.   Posted 26-May-2016 Thu 12:49] View Near Messages
Sym,
Yes, I perfectly understand what you mean. Within the social media bubble it is easy to get delusional about things.
But the reason I mentioned this is because I`ve been observing it for a while and it does seem more than just a storm in a tea cup. It seems to be gathering momentum – on the American right.

The very fact that some of the heroes of this movement are turning up on websites and TV shows means that they are making an impact on right of centre audiences in the US. It means they are building bridgeheads within the Republican party and could therefore become a force on the political right.

I really don`t think it`s merely wishful thinking on my part. For one, I don`t share many of their Republican views. However, the sheer force of these folks seems to set them apart from regular voices of the American right.

Again, I agree, Sargon can be obsessive. But what makes him stand out (and what will be at the root of his having over 300,000 subscribers) is that he is well-spoken, reasoned and rational.
We also need to consider that his obsessing may also be due to economic factors. He needs to satisfy audience expectation.

Let`s be clear. Usually clips on youtube which command viewing figures of a quarter to half a million feature a kitten trapped in a basket of wool or Miley Cyrus` crotch.
So to see clips of folks talking about politics hit figures which at times come close to newspaper circulation figures suggests that something is going on.

When you listened to American right wingers over the past twenty years, rationality was not your immediate impression. The religious right and the Tea Party movement were (and still are) hysterical types.

But I challenge anyone to listen to a character like Ben Shapiro and not feel the sheer weight of intellect behind the man. Again, it`s not about agreeing with all of his views (and in his case he could not be called an anti-censorship advocate – but he`s nonetheless part of the movement against political correctness).

I simply get the impression that such a movement – with such a force of argument, eloquence and intelligence behind it – cannot be ignored for long.
They are – ironically – the real `young turks`. A new generation of educated, energised young men champing at the bit to make an impact.
Which is why I suspect it only a matter of time until they have an effect.

It will not be on the mainstream media that they appear first. That is not where they could affect things. But on the political right.

The social justice movement has dramatically overreached itself in the last few years and the Democrats are wholly subscribed to it. So the possible impact of turning the Republicans into the effective counter force to political correctness could be considerable.

The effect could well be global rather than merely domestic.
I know the US is a different case than the UK – not least as they have freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution. But where the US lead, we invariably tend to follow.
If the US is about to begin a political counter revolution against political correctness, then a country with such close cultural relations as the UK will not remain unaffected.

So, I`m not saying that a mainstream revolt against political correctness is imminent. But I think what has been happening over the past two or three years – aside from the sheer soundness of the new movement`s foundations - seems to suggest it will have an impact. A new generation of young Republicans is being enthused by these online voices preaching free expression.
I get a strong sense of where this is headed. Especially, as the Republican party is currently out of any other ideas – thus, in need of one which can be translated in opposition to the Democrats.

Much of the underpinning of the mini revolution has been supplied by Christina Hoff Sommers in a book she wrote over twenty years ago (Who stole Feminism?). At the time of her publishing the book, she got nowhere with it. The time was just not right. But anyone who has followed things can see that she has been gaining traction recently. She too is on youtube and is part of the whole movement I describe.
Her book is often quoted online as the chief debunking tool of fake, exaggerated claims by militant feminism. (the ludicrous 5 in 1 rape claims, wage gap, etc)
What makes her all the more credible is that Hoff Sommers, who once held a professorship in philosophy, is in fact a signed up Democrat and a feminist. So hers is not some right-wing agenda.
I have read her book some time ago. It is an eye opener. At times full of dry statistics, it literally destroys most feminist claims of victimhood.

Now I`m hardly saying that what I predict is guaranteed to happen. I`m no soothsayer. But I`ve seen a good many things come and go. This movement possesses real energy. Young audiences are clearly reacting to it. Most of all, it has a worthwhile goal.
It seems to me that this is going to go somewhere. Fast.

-

Incidentally, Milo Yiannopoulos just had his latest event at DePaul University halted by protesters who took over the stage, snatched the mike and threatened violence. They could not have made his argument for free speech any better for him...

phantom    [30958.   Posted 20-May-2016 Fri 17:18] View Near Messages
I would like to ask whether anyone here has noticed a new phenomenon: `cultural libertarianism`.

It seems to be enjoying a groundswell right now – on the American political right. It is young, literate and pretty dynamic. I`m beginning to suspect it might be an important factor in the future of American politics of the centre right. Not in its present form. - But ideas travel very quickly nowadays.

Much of it seems to have crystallised around an incident called `Gamergate` in which online gamers clashed virulently with feminists who were deriding all games and gamers as sexist and misogynist.
It was a bitter online war which almost went unnoticed by the rest of the world.
But it seems from there to have broadened and become a distinct movement very quickly.

It seems directed mainly at feminism and other forms of political correctness. Its intellectual weight is drawn from opposition to authoritarianism and prescriptive thinking. We`re talking pure enlightenment thinking here. It seems to be gathering pace very quickly.

Now intuitively you would think you`d find liberals to the left of the political spectrum, due to how politics have functioned so far.

The reason `cultural libertarianism` finds itself on the political right is because the political left is largely the champion of all things politically correct. So not all `cultural libertarians` appear to be gun-toting Texans who love Donald Trump. Far from it in fact.

The term `cultural libertarianism` seems to have been created in opposition to `cultural Marxism` which is the term many on the political right use in the US for political correctness.

What is remarkable is the force of reason among those people. They are calm, deliberate, logical types with more than a mere whiff of university about them. So this is not right wing talk radio.

They are becoming quite a force on Twitter and Youtube.
Contributors like `Sargon of Akkad` (a Brit, btw) regularly has videos with a quarter of a million views on youtube. That does not seem to me a random occurrence. This whole thing truly seems to possess momentum.
Another Brit, Milo Yiannopoulos, seems to be their poster boy right now. (Imagine the gay love child of George Osborne and Boris Johnson.) He often plays agent provocateur, but at times can turn serious and become quite heavyweight. He is no fool and at times makes highly eloquent arguments for freedom of expression.
Aside from this internet persona of his, he is a columnist for the right wing online publication `Breitbart`.

The Republican party in the US is undergoing a catharsis right now. The religious right, which had launched Bush Jr to the presidency, has lost its hold over the party. The radical right-wing Tea Party movement has gone nowhere. It achieved little else than political sabotage. With Trump rampaging as Republican candidate, the party is desperately looking for a new idea, a new identity to pin the GOP badge on.
`Cultural libertarianism` may well be that new thing. Its moment may have come.

The Democrats are in not much greater health than the Republicans. The left in the US – much like in the UK – have long since abandoned the politics of representing the working classes and have instead started championing political correctness.
Thus one can see from where `cultural libertarianism` is coming. It`s diametrically opposed to the core values of the political left: Third wave feminism, social justice dogma, `safe spaces` at universities, equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity, quotas for women and minorities, token media representation, etc...

It goes without saying that `cultural libertarianism` is very strongly anti-censorship.

If `cultural libertarianism` gets a firm foothold in Republican politics, it may well prove a godsend to a world drowning in thought crimes and hate speech prohibitions.

Interestingly, in the UK it would provide a dilemma for the political right. The Tories are no longer wedded to the Republicans as they were in the 1980s. They have whole-heartedly embraced many of the concepts of political correctness. So if `cultural libertarianism` does eventually prove to be a new political force of the right in the US, it would be tricky for the British political right to emulate them (unless some party like UKIP fills that vacuum).

Anyway, sorry for going all heavy here.
But I thought this was an observation I`d share with you folks, because I really think something interesting is afoot. There may be a little spec of light for those who dislike censorship and it`s coming from a very unexpected direction.

phantom    [30947.   Posted 6-May-2016 Fri 14:56] View Near Messages
Well, it`s a common tactic on many a forum to become very tired of a subject, or for it to have been merely a joke, or one having only played devil`s advocate (the tropes are many), if one encounters determined opposition.
The phenomenon is quite well known.
Generally it`s a sleight of hand played to close down a debate which one has grown uncomfortable with, rather than one which has exhausted itself.
Usually it involves the implication that the other party which is trying to engage in debate is taking this much too seriously. They ought to get a life, etc...
That`s why I made reference to the card trick.
So, there`s no need to suggest I`m confused.

phantom    [30945.   Posted 6-May-2016 Fri 06:06] View Near Messages
Yes, true.
We best stop talking about it.
Not because you`re `tired` of debating it. (That`s one of those debating card tricks.)

But because by talking about it, we`re advertising the issue yet further - according to your logic.
I worry how many paedophiles we`ve sparked off with this exchange alone.
Unless of course words do not hold magic powers...

But as you say, we`ll agree to differ.

phantom    [30943.   Posted 3-May-2016 Tue 04:46] View Near Messages
Braintree,
I`m currently reading a very insightful book on censorship.
The Anatomy of Censorship by Prof Harry White
I assure you it`s a very interesting read.
In the book the author repeatedly points to the self-proclaimed use
of so called `common sense` by censors.
Time and again evidence is not needed to support
the idea of censorship. Not even in court.
Instead it is claimed that people intuitively `know`.
We simply `know` material causes harm, even though we can`t prove it.
We simply `know` of effects though we can`t say how or why.
This is where I see the parallel to your position.
You claim it`s something everyone knows. That it`s obvious.
It`s not evidential. It`s just common sense...
Can you see where I`m coming from?

phantom    [30942.   Posted 2-May-2016 Mon 13:43] View Near Messages
Braintree,
So if it is not an assumption, what is it?
Whence comes this certainty of yours?
There is no data to support it. So it cannot be factual.
Surely it must be an assumption. Else, name it.

Movies affect us. Certainly.
They can make us weep or cheer. That is an effect.
But that does not mean they have any significant lasting effect on our personality – or our sexuality.

As for advertisements. Again, it may help shift hamburgers. That said, again the science isn`t clear.
But what advertisement lays absolutely no claim to is changing the consumer himself.
Advertisers neither seek, nor claim to be able to change the basic personality and drives of their audience.

So, your claim that hearing news about paedophilia having the power to turn people into paedophiles remains a great leap.

The idea that some subset of inferior people can somehow be infected by an idea through some bizarre, unspecified means of osmosis is the great myth of censorship.

Taking a complete unknown like paedophilia and just attaching media exposure as the complete explanation for the subject is one of the classic methodologies of the censorship industry.

It`s very tempting to reach for such explanations.
But replacing unknowns with assumptions is not a true explanation.

Academics on the subject like to state that censors are not actually wary of the content, but the audience. The history of censorship is full of colourful examples of how some group must be prevented from seeing this or not, lest it be corrupted.

Painting a picture of mindless drones sitting at home, minding their own business, who can be `switched on` and become something dangerous has all the classic hallmarks of a censorial fantasy.

phantom    [30939.   Posted 1-May-2016 Sun 14:26] View Near Messages
I`ve heard words like words like `inclined` and `vulnerable` a great many times.

The entire art of censoriousness is based on a lack of precision.
Nobody ever provides detail on how corruption is supposed to occur, to whom it is supposed to occur, or what exact harm it is supposed to do.

We`re simply told that by some mystical process some `vulnerable people` can be done `harm` by material which falls within vague parameters.

The fact that there are some vulnerable people with inclinations who can be switched on by hearing or seeing something is – again – an assumption.

Truth is, we don`t know how anyone ends up a paedophile.
But it is by no means `obvious` that they reside in our societies as harmless sleepers until some random event switches them on.
And if we were to buy into this assumption, would it really suffice simply to expose such people to the news on paedophilia alone? That again is an assumption. And a rather thin one.

In fact we do not know at all how people are swung toward any particular leaning.
How does one become a more left or right leaning individual on political matters? An environmentalist? A feminist?
Is it really just a matter of having been exposed to sufficient media coverage or literature? Or is something else going on?

With something as fundamental as sexuality, the questions become labyrinthine. Way back in very early childhood things may or may have not been of influence. Relations with parents or siblings may play a part. Or not. We are grasping in the dark.

But how likely is it that what was on the six o`clock news plays a part in someone becoming a paedophile?

The influence of media is continually overstated.
Everlastingly we are told that all – or possibly just some few – are helpless dupes when exposed to media. It apparently it tells us to overeat as well as to starve ourselves. It makes us apathetic as well as hyper-aggressive...
Meanwhile, every political party claims that the media is pumping out poison which favours their opposition. `The people` would see sense, if only it wasn`t for the media`s lying...

But in the end we always comes back to the same point.
Nobody has ever demonstrated how this mystical influence upon our personal views, psyche and sexuality is supposed to really occur.
It is always assumed.

But the assumption is made in order to explain something which is not understood.

Example:
We do not know how anyone becomes a paedophile.
But we know the media can make paedophiles out of those who have prior inclinations.
We do not know how the media does it. We do not know how the prior inclinations come about.
In fact we do not know anything about this subject except that it is the media which can switch some people on.
Does that really sound credible?

phantom    [30937.   Posted 30-Apr-2016 Sat 15:23] View Near Messages
Braintree,
Have you ever felt the urge to indulge in viewing child porn because of the extensive coverage of the problem in the media?
I know I have not. I very much doubt you ever have.

Thus, if your theory does not apply to us, then to whom does it apply?

Referring to some hypothetical 0.0001% is little more than a stab in the dark, isn`t it?
Who would these people be who are corrupted by hearing news; so much so they ought to be protected from news coverage on certain subjects?
It has a ring to it of that famous old adage by the BBFC of protecting those adults with `vulnerable minds`.

But if exposure to media coverage on child porn can produce paedophiles, then where does this theory end?
Does following the current anti-semitism brouhaha surrounding Ken Livingstone and the Labour Party make anyone become more prone to anti-semitism?

How does reading about a subject or viewing an audio visual piece on a subject make one more inclined to corrupt as an individual on any matter?

In what way does exposure to ideas, concepts and fictions increase any tendencies within us?

To hark back to your example; car accidents. We know car accidents happen. We know how they come about. We know how car accidents damage traffic users and pedestrians. We understand the function and interconnection of the processes of an accident.

But does the fact that young women see many slender fashion models really make them more likely to be anorexic?
If so, how? Why? By what process?
It is not comparable to a car accident. Because the link is entirely an assumption.
(See Okham`s Razor)

The connection between various people hearing certain stories and developing an interest in the subjects covered within those stories may appear intuitive to some – but as you can see with me, it does not to others.

There is no immediate logic which points to hearing about something and then wishing to partake in it.

I will grant you that, if you do not know something exists, you cannot possibly wish for it.
Therefore basic knowledge precedes desire. That much is agreed.

But just because people know there is a brick wall, does it mean someone will seek to run into it, assault it or rub their genitals up against it?
There is just no inevitability in that at all.

You will forgive the further reductio ad absurdum:
St Paul`s Cathedral exists. We know it exists. Over time it has been glorified in articles. Paintings have been completed. Books have been written about it. It even played a stirring part in the Blitz. Documentaries have been made about it. But so far, to my knowledge, no one has tried to mate with it – despite the media coverage.
Thus it would be hard to argue that extended media coverage about St Paul`s Cathedral would increase the likeliness of someone developing a sexual interest in it.
Not even among 0.0001% of the population.

Now, I know I`m being facetious. But you will grant me there is more than a grain of truth in it.

For us to suppose that hearing about or seeing something can corrupt us there must be more than a mere assumption that this corruption might be possible.
`Might` is just not good enough.
There is nothing to suggest that it can happen.

You are connecting two dots. `Hearing of` and `desiring`.
But you do so not because there is any inherently logical reason to so. Instead your intuition alone leads you to conclude this.
This intuition however derives from your private assumptions.

You are perfectly free to make these assumptions. I cannot prove them wrong. - One cannot prove a negative.

But you`ll equally need to grant me that there is nothing – other than private intuition – which inherently connects hearing of paedophilia in the media with having an interest in paedophilia.

Sorry for this being a long one.
But I think folk will appreciate why I go on so about these points.

Thus far I`ve seen plenty of gay kisses on tv. Though I`m still not interested....

phantom    [30935.   Posted 30-Apr-2016 Sat 05:27] View Near Messages
Braintree,
I`m actually not all too sure that media attention has helped `normalise` paedophilia for people who would otherwise never have heard of it.
Neither do I think that media`s focus on paedophilia piqued people`s curiosity.

In fact if ever-presence in media could influence people in that way, then the censors would be correct. We would need to keep bad things – even ideas and concepts - out of the media to prevent them influencing people.
Because if, as you suggest, the mere mention of paedophilia has created `perhaps tens of thousands` of paedophiles, then being exposed to bad ideas does indeed do harm.
I fundamentally believe that this is not the case.

I do however agree that over-representation of the problem of paedophilia in the British media (and political discourse) has helped foster an atmosphere of paranoia within society because it has granted the problem much greater prominence than it deserves.

phantom    [30932.   Posted 28-Apr-2016 Thu 17:56] View Near Messages
Since I`m at it... :)

Here`s another one I just stumbled across.
Sure, I`m a year late with this one but it`s a beautiful article by Brendan O`Neill for the Spectator.
I wonder why I myself never spotted the similarity between the two yellow bikini poster attacks. Beautiful. Enjoy.
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/04/feminism-becomes-more-like-islamism-every-day/

phantom    [30931.   Posted 28-Apr-2016 Thu 04:35] View Near Messages
The latest microaggression to `harrass` the snowflake generation on the tube:
http://www.theweek.co.uk/71485/matchcom-sorry-for-saying-freckles-were-imperfections

Not to be outdone by tube passengers the student unions also ponder matters of severe gravity; i.e. whether to censor the net or not to preserve their `safe space`:
http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/facebook-twitter-and-yik-yak-could-be-banned-by-nus-motion-to-ensure-safe-social-elections-a6992496.html

phantom    [30920.   Posted 20-Apr-2016 Wed 17:58] View Near Messages
re: Free speech stifles political correctness so must be banned...

Interesting that Yvette Cooper (one of the establishment backed candidates for the Labour leadership - and thus a politically significant voice) should be banging on about the poor victims of online harassment.

It seems very interesting just how and where the likes of Yvette Cooper draws the line.

No wonder that the feminist writer Polly Vernon gets mentioned. Criticising her, attacking her en masse is of course `wrong`.
No doubt the inane Caroline Criado-Perez who has little else to do with her time than to campaign for more women on bank notes (who has since been handed an OBE for her troubles) and who received violent online threats would also be included under the Cooper doctrine of protection.

But what about the other side?

Remember Dr Matt Taylor? He is a astrophysicist who during the broadcasts related to the Rosetta probe which landed on a comet had the audacity of wearing a shirt with a print featuring drawings of scantily clad women.
The feminist storm which erupted around his daring to wear an `offensive` shirt eventually reduced the man to tears during a European Space Agency press conference.
But I bet his sort don`t deserve Cooper`s protection.

Then there`s nobel prize laureate Tim Hunt. He dared made a `sexist` quip during a speech in South Korea. A feminist journalist utterly misrepresented what occurred at the conference. Another feminist storm of online outrage whipped up, seeing a flurry of headlines, follwed by universities distancing themselves from one of the country`s leading biochemists.
Again, I hardly think Cooper wishes to see his case included in her online protection.

Once again it`s not about providing law for all.
It`s merely about providing law which will protect those who hold the `correct` view from harassment (or simple criticism).
The sheer avalanches of hate her own camp can unleash Yvette Cooper surely will not want to see in any way curbed.

phantom    [30919.   Posted 20-Apr-2016 Wed 08:01] View Near Messages
re: Drawing a little prick...

Just to inject a little balance.
Hillary Clinton hardly holds out much hope to libertarians.

Here`s a flavour of the Clinton approach:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/26/pro-hillary-group-puts-female-new-york-times-repor/

I`m hardly a fan of `the Donald`. I think he`d be a disaster.
But I suspect that the more Blair-like Clinton may unleash a political correctness avalanche.

phantom    [30903.   Posted 20-Mar-2016 Sun 07:36] View Near Messages
Dave,
I don`t know whether police procedure has changed notably in that respect for the period to which these figures refer.
I would assume they were already checking mobile phones of folks arrested before this increase.

That`s why I suspect that the increase in the figures might be due to the expansion of what pictures which now qualify as `extreme` (so-called rape imagery, etc).

What is clear is that something significant seems to have changed to generate such a dramatic increase in prosecutions.
Given that the increase of scope by the law is the only change I know about for certain, it is the only thing to which I can point.

In keeping with the law, this increased scope is far from clearly defined, making it a perfect catch-all.

My main concern is that we are not seeing the absolute increase of prosecutions but merely the indication of an upward trend. Who knows at what annual figure of prosecutions it might eventually come to rest.

It is why I think this is now out of control. One thousand prosecutions per annum was obscene, given the parliamentary belief that this would at most affect a dozen per year.
But if prosecutions are now to rise to a multiple of the previous one thousand per annum then we are now really heading into legal nightmare.

No one in their right mind could ever claim that this was the parliamentary intention of the statute.

phantom    [30901.   Posted 19-Mar-2016 Sat 18:54] View Near Messages
575 prosecutions for extreme porn in Greater Manchester in one year?
This is getting way out of control.
We were running at roughly 1000 prosecutions a year - nationally.
Now Greater Manchester alone seems to account for over half that figure.
With South Yorkshire appearing also to report a dramatic rise (albeit that their figures are mixed in with those of OPA), I think the national totals are going to reach eye watering levels.

Remember that parliament was assured at the time in the impact assessment that, at the most, 12 prosecutions per year were predicted - because prosecutors were only going to go after the most extreme, depraved cases.
It therefore seems that Manchester alone has made up for roughly 50 years worth of prosecutions for the whole nation, if one was to grant the impact assessment any credence.

This is utterly insane. A veritable orgy of pointless prosecutions.
I can only imagine that the increase is due to the widening of the parameters of the law by the current government.

phantom    [30900.   Posted 14-Mar-2016 Mon 17:10] View Near Messages
Isn`t it peculiar how a polemic always gets deemed a diatribe.
Some folk are quite capable of typing a goodly few sentences without bleeding from the eyes...

phantom    [30896.   Posted 13-Mar-2016 Sun 11:01] View Near Messages
re: Let`s jail everybody, especially men...

Alright, I`m a little confused here.
We all know that prosecutions for POSSESSION of `extreme porn` have been running at around 1000 per annum since the law`s inception.

So this article seems a bit of a googly. It speaks of PUBLISHING.
We`ve not really had much on publishing in recent years. Not least of publishing according to the DPA. (up to five years - remember how that came about? we did that. lol)

First off, what police seem to have reported here is a trebling in
"cases of publishing extreme porn and other supposedly obscene materials" in West Yorkshire.
So they are chucking the figures regarding the ancient, decrepit OPA in together with those of the DPA, thereby blurring the lines - no doubt deliberately.

Meanwhile England and Wales have seen 10644 cases of obscene publication? Ten thousand???
What on earth does that mean? Surely this cannot mean ten thousand prosecutions. But if it simply includes the running totals of publications of every offender, then it could mean that a hundred people have been prosecuted for publishing a hundred images each.

Can anyone make sense of this? We need the expert.
Harvey, Harvey! Wherefore art thou, Harvey?

phantom    [30893.   Posted 12-Mar-2016 Sat 18:42] View Near Messages
Now hang on, Joshua.
This affects workers` rights, maybe.
But the rights of what sort of workers?

These people have voluntarily subscribed themselves to a rather odious organisation.
People who do not share in the outlook of such an organisation do not do that.
What I mean is, liberal minded people do not volunteer to be censors.
Only censorious people do. It is a self-selecting crowd.

So this is a group of people who intellectually set themselves above us all.
They deem themselves capable of watching material they think we cannot handle.
The arrogance of this position is self-evident.
I find it hard to sympathise with such people.
After all, what sympathy do they show to those who are prosecuted due to offending their judgements? None, I guess. Else they would not do that job.
In short, you are asking us to sympathise with judgemental folks who care not one jot what their work does to others.

As for your mentioning their child protection credentials again; what child protection?
I agree that certification provides a service to parents who wish to have an idea of the age suitability of material. (Something the BBFC is notorious for getting wrong time and again.)
But the BBFC – and its workers - are a cabal which is instrumental in the infantilisation of our country. They are at the forefront of those claiming that all should be treated as children in order to protect children.
Their recent aggressive campaigning to achieve overlordship of sports and music videos proves that very point.

If the BBFC can achieve such power through its lobbying, it would be an easy thing for internal pressure from within the BBFC to finally achieve an end to outright censorship in this country (something they do by denial of certificate).
But your supposedly poor, hard done by workers are unlikely ever to do us that favour.
Because they are all subscribed to the dogma of denying us `for our own good`.
They are all convinced that they know better.
And now you wish to rally our support for their cause?

These people willingly make their living from causing misery. People go to prison because of the folks for whom you are asking us to care.
And the latter more than likely enjoy the idea of the former being incarcerated. No doubt, they`d claim is was for `child protection`.

Meanwhile, in what other country could censorship workers get the sort of rates they get at the BBFC?
North Korea? Iran? Pakistan? Saudi Arabia? Or are they in fact the best paid censors in the world?

Whose pay will you ask us to care for next?
Will you be launching a campaign to secure the pay of `Enhanced Interrogation` Officers at Guantanamo Bay? That too would merely be about workers` rights, no?

The people at the BBFC clearly choose to do what they do.
Of course they do not like the idea of getting paid less.
But the job of censor is not one one chooses because one has three kids to feed. One chooses it because one is a judgemental bigot.
I have no problem with bigotry becoming less expensive in this country.
It already costs enough – in ruined lives.

So if the management are offering voluntary redundancy, I suggest folks take it.
If they`re so highly qualified as they think they are, they`ll no doubt have no problems finding proper jobs in the City.
Or who knows, being such experts they could start making films. No doubt theirs would be better than anyone else`s – given their `expertise`.
Unless of course they all want to stay at the BBFC, no matter what, so they may continue to enjoy their feeling of power.
But then, please, they should spare us any talk of not getting paid enough.

p.s. I love that implicit claim that the majority of the population in this country back the BBFC. It`s so perfectly – unsubstantiated. Very much the way in which BBFC workers operate. But then, it is `a friend` of yours we`re talking about, isn`t it? ;)
p.p.s. Joshua is a biblical name, no? :)

phantom    [30891.   Posted 12-Mar-2016 Sat 07:00] View Near Messages
Not sure I`d welcome Corbyn`s support for decriminalistion of prostitution.
First off, he`s really the last any libertarian movement needs as a would-be ally. Seen as having a serious credibility problem and predicted to crash and burn at the next election, his support may well only tar the movement with his brush - and render them a bunch of loons in the eyes of the public.
Second, given the number of `wimmin` surrounding Corbyn in the Labour leadership, I would ask how genuine this support is and whether it is not pre-conditioned by the simultaneous introduction of other feminist policies.

phantom    [30888.   Posted 10-Mar-2016 Thu 13:30] View Near Messages
Interesting story Joshua.
Although I feel obliged to say that I do not value the people at the BBFC at all. Much of their work has little value and they do not actually do much - if anything - for child protection.
They may claim to. But claiming is not doing.

Personally, I believe the BBFC ought to be abolished and a new certification service ought to be founded in its stead - albeit without the power to deny certification.
Moreover nobody previously hired by the BBFC should be admissible for employment by this replacement agency.
Such is the nature of the `infection` I judge to reside in the BBFC, the above step would be necessary to assure the BBFC`s corporate culture does not take hold in the new company.

Incidentally, their downgrading of staff should be welcome by any person concerned about censorship issues.
For years the BBFC have claimed to possess nigh on mythical `expertise` in matters of taste and decency in films.
It should be interesting to see them publicly trying to continue these claims when they internally insist that such expertise does not exist among their staff and therefore need not be paid for in wages.

phantom    [30884.   Posted 2-Mar-2016 Wed 14:10] View Near Messages
I think it was the great Dave Allen who once remarked that many think the definition of a fanatic to be someone who cares deeply for what he gets to do and how he gets to live his life, whereas the true definition of a fanatic is that he cares for what YOU get to do and how YOU get to live your life.

In these days of Al Qaeda and Islamic State that jape of his is more applicable than ever.

But it hardly applies only to such Islamist extremists.

We have student unions on the rampage, desperate to no-platform people whose opinions are deemed too dangerous to be expressed.
We have witnessed ever greater encroachment into the realm of private sexuality with curbs on pornography and political declarations that this or that sexual behaviour `has no place in our society today`.
In a similar vein, child protection is increasingly being used to police adult behaviour, thereby effectively abolishing the realm of adult expression by insisting that all the world must be child-friendly.
Self-appointed witch hunters patrol the net, ready to pounce on anyone who dares to utter `the wrong thing` online. By means of social media this can within minutes result in a storm of self-righteous vigilante hatred, ruining someone`s life instantaneously.
Even the sciences are not immune to this new era of fanaticism. Climate change researchers not wanting to share research data with climate change critics is a worrying example of how `the wrong opinion` now also seems to have taken hold of academia.
In a strange twist of irony, the fanaticism of Islamic terrorism seems to have led to a dogmatic government approach which itself seems fanatical in its willingness to excuse anything, as long as it has the tag `anti-terror` attached to it.
Meanwhile, the Blairite laws that serve political correctness which allow for the silencing and punishment of anything that some people choose to call `incitement to hatred` grant huge powers to the state to interfere in what YOU get to do and how YOU get to live your life.

If you forgive the digression:
I believe it was the stalwart US libertarian Harry Browne who always liked to declare that `government never solved anything`. What he meant was that people, communities, societies solve societal problems, not governments.
So if government implements the will of society then things work out. However, when government announces that it seeks to `send a message to society` with a particular law it stands little chance of ever solving a problem; not least because that is not what government is for.
Government is a tool to provide for its community. A means of pooling resources. It is neither a teacher nor a benefactor. It has no inherent merit or value of its own.
Just as you would not expect your toaster to teach you lessons, you would not really expect it from government.
But as we all know, `sending a message to society` is one of government`s favourite reasons for proposing laws in this country these days.

It might thus be apt to ask whether this is actually an era of fanaticism.
The desire to meddle in the lives of others – both by government, as well as by interest groups and individuals – is perhaps greater than it has been for generations.

All the while the western enlightenment tradition of discourse and reason is under siege.
For innumerable `good causes` exceptions are being demanded.
The phrase `I`m in favour of free speech, BUT...` is so widespread it has become clichι.

phantom    [30883.   Posted 2-Mar-2016 Wed 08:36] View Near Messages
Freeworld, Dave,
First, Freeworld, the right wing traditionally make common cause with the religious. Hence my allusion to May`s right wing credentials.
When it comes to criminalising men who pay for sex the initiative is indeed that of gender feminists, but society finds itself in a pincer movement by the self styled `liberal left` and the religious.
It is precisely the simultaneous attack by left and right which makes this threat to basic liberty so dangerous.

It is indeed a sad world, Dave. But the hyper aggressive feminist stance is one which has been growing and taking hold for decades now, having its roots in the 1970s.

The source of the `sadness` is that society has remained largely blind to the sheer madness which drives modern feminist theory.

Society is a male conspiracy. They regard all as a `phallocentric` construct. Even science is described as `masculinist`, alien to `female knowing`. they effectively see men as the enemy and seek to destroy society as it is, in order to build from its ashes something more `womencentric`. - I`m not making this up.

Armed with the tag `academic` these loons are being listened to by western governments and have been provided with money to instigate their `transformationalist` agenda in education and many another place.

Please consider that these are people who readily describe `Newton`s Principia` as `Newton`s Rape Manual`.
Again, I`m not making this up.

Any society which grants any degree of credence to such people - who in their dogma are no less fanatical than ISIS - is in for a battering.

The monstrous `no platforming` we are seeing in our universities was self-evidently spawned in the `women`s studies` departments of campuses. It is from there that the language used (`safe zones`, etc) has come.

Society is under siege from myriad political correct claims of equality - all demanding equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity. But the most destructive of these by far is gender feminism. It has utterly divorced itself from previous equality feminism and now indulges in plain misandry.
It has prominent representation in parliament and the media (not least of all the BBC) and seems almost to be taking on the forms of a cult these days.

But still the powers that be are too scared to voice opposition to this madness for fear of being deemed `sexist`.
I think the parallels to authorities not daring to do anything in Rochdale for fear of being deemed `racist` are all too obvious.

phantom    [30880.   Posted 1-Mar-2016 Tue 09:12] View Near Messages
Freeworld,
I suspect that it was hardly the rather right wing Theresa May who opposed the idea of making paying for sex illegal.
My guess would be it was the LibDem coalition partners who put a stop to the idea.
Worryingly, that coalition partner is no longer there...

phantom    [30860.   Posted 30-Dec-2015 Wed 13:05] View Near Messages
A happy new year to you all from a wet north of England.
First time in a while that I`ve been on here since the great flood.
I`m even having to type this on my mobile.

So forgive me if this post isn`t very organised.

Safe to say, Harvey, I think you`re wrong. :P

Have a good one folks. :)

phantom    [30851.   Posted 4-Dec-2015 Fri 17:36] View Near Messages
BBC: `Strippers told to reveal all about tax to HMRC`
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35004472

Why do I have a problem believing that the above is really about recouping tax?

Well, after we`ve witnessed EU regulation for online television being used as a means by which to obliterate UK porn production, I would say people have plenty of reason to be cynical about such announcements.

This looks once again like an indirect way of clamping down on vice by the authorities.

So, at a time when government is facing increasing public complaints about multinational conglomerates not paying tax in the UK, they decide that their priority is going to be the enforcement of taxation on strippers?
How many people are gullible enough to believe that?

And a 5 billion pound industry? Based on what figures?

Hyped numbers, menacing sounding officialdom and a disguised moral cause, all combined with an anecdote about a convicted benefits cheat?
I believe I hear a bandwagon rumbling down the road...

phantom    [30845.   Posted 29-Nov-2015 Sun 14:56] View Near Messages
braintree [30844]
Not necessarily.
Perhaps some of the fun will be getting them to prove that they`ve actually done the work - or else be guilty of fraud.

phantom    [30842.   Posted 28-Nov-2015 Sat 15:33] View Near Messages
sergio [30841]

Well, personally I sympathise with the project.
Sometimes there is little one can do but ridicule the system with the few tools one has to hand.

One is reminded of Vaclav Hazel, the Czech dissident and later president.
He contended that the people were being treated like children by the communist regime, so he and his followers took to the sandpit and built sandcastles. This of course meant that the state security men which were watching everything also had to spy on him building sandcastles.
Did it overthrow the eastern bloc? No.
But he made what little point he could within a system against which he was powerless.

It`s the same with the BBFC. They are a monstrous entity which is simply foisted upon us. With every political force in the UK subscribed to maintaining this incompetent, censorious institution, what can one do?

Will it end the reign of the BBFC over the UK?
You are right. It will not.
But does it allow people to make what little point they can? Yes.

Vaclav Hazel would understand. It`s building sandcastles.
You want to treat us like morons and insist on pre-viewing everything to assure our minds do not melt. You insist on infantilising us.
Alright, do your duty. - Watch 14 hours of paint drying.

The voice of the powerless must sometimes take bizarre routes to make a protest. In that regard this paint drying film project continues that long tradition.

phantom    [30839.   Posted 27-Nov-2015 Fri 16:49] View Near Messages
re: dangerous tweets

Very interesting figures there.
5 folks a day convicted for `internet insult`.

And 155 custodial sentences at an average of 2.2 months.

Now, the figure for the cost of a prison place ranges from £45,000 to £60,000 per annum, depending on source and method of calculation.

So for sake of ease, let`s take £50,000.

Thus:
155 x 2.2 : 12 x 50,000 = £1,420,833.33
So the policy is currently costing ca. 1.5 million pounds per year in prison sentences alone.
That is without ever calculating the other costs...

And we`re running a deficit, are we? :)

phantom    [30834.   Posted 24-Nov-2015 Tue 16:05] View Near Messages
Charlie Drake banned???? On Ozzie radio?
Are they out of their minds?
He`s comedy royalty.

At what point did the use of comedy stereotype become racist?
After all, we all know it`s a stereotype.
There is not a single nasty sentiment within a Charlie Drake skit.
Frankly, seeing Charlie Drake as nasty borders on psychosis.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the inimitable Charlie Drake:
My Boomerang won`t come back:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXJR5NWM_xI
Please, Mr Custer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgOd3jgJtvc

phantom    [30832.   Posted 23-Nov-2015 Mon 14:25] View Near Messages
I see, the Daily Mail went into full `outrage mode` over the Church of England`s Lord`s prayer ad being banned.
You could not really make this up. Folks really do not like a taste of their own medicine, do they?

To my mind the focus on the advertisement `causing offence` is entirely the wrong one.
From what I heard, the cinema advertisement distribution company who had refused the ad did so, not for fear the ad might offend, but because they saw a legal trap opening up before them.

Simply put, if they were to accept this Church of England ad they would not be in a position to turn down other religious ads without being accused of (legally actionable) religious discrimination.
If they accepted the Church of England, then how to say `no` to the Church of Scientology? How to say `no` to the Catholic Church, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Jews, Methodists, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, etc, etc...?

Meanwhile, how much fun would it be for the cinema going public to watch ten minutes of diverse religious broadcasting prior to seeing the movie?

Of course they were absolutely right to turn down this ad. But not because they allegedly bowed to a militant Muslim lobby, fearing the ad would cause offence. They simply knew that accepting this ad would unleash an avalanche of Ian Paisley style religious rants and images of aborted foetuses on an audience which simply just wanted to watch the latest Bond movie.

phantom    [30831.   Posted 22-Nov-2015 Sun 12:24] View Near Messages
My heart bleeds.
An advert produced by one of the main supporters of censorship in the UK has been censored.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34893762
Somehow they don`t seem to get the irony of it, do they?

phantom    [30827.   Posted 11-Nov-2015 Wed 13:51] View Near Messages
re: no shocks

So some bloke called Alex Dyke thought something and said so?

He could have said that he thought the BBC to be the `best broadcaster in the world`. (A phrase often heard from the BBC, I might add.)
He could have said that he thought that the BBC is an equal opportunities employer and not at all an institution mired in self-evident nepotism. (ever wondered how Dan Snow and David Dimbleby got their jobs?)

The above would have been the right sort of things to say.

But dear Alex Dyke (is his surname even permitted to be spoken aloud on the BBC?) said the wrong thing. Or was it that he thought the wrong thing? Who knows?
He said he thought public breastfeeding was unnatural.
Apparently, this puts him on a par with holocaust deniers.

Ominously, Alex D*** is now scheduled to attend "further compliance training".
Could there be anything that sounds more illiberal than `compliance training`?
I bet the good old DDR under Erich Honnecker had such a thing as compliance training programmes.

As things go, I think the BBC is pretty much dying before our eyes.
But not, as they would have it, due to funding shortages. No, simply because the whole structure is rotting from within.

phantom    [30825.   Posted 5-Nov-2015 Thu 09:12] View Near Messages
Dave, it`s not so much the vetting agency we need to worry about.
(Although that`s another can of worms!)

Far more, it`s the hackers at their next visit to TalkTalk (or any other ISP for that matter) that can really screw things up for people in Mr Cameron`s future Britain.

phantom    [30823.   Posted 4-Nov-2015 Wed 15:39] View Near Messages
Hm, unusually for a BBC piece, the page I provide a link to below seems to have been altered substantially.
Who knows, perhaps someone at the BBC realised that in their original piece they were taking propaganda too far...
Mind, it still seems much too kindly. But at least they`ve reduced some of the crawling sycophancy of the original article.

phantom    [30822.   Posted 3-Nov-2015 Tue 20:32] View Near Messages
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34715872

The one, two, three on how to be a loyal, cowed broadcaster:

Just look how the section ends, titled:
`Analysis by Dominic Casciani, BBC home affairs correspondent`.

"Critics will call this a snooper`s charter - but security chiefs and police say they`re not interested in your online shopping habits - only the habits of serious threats to society.
And they say this legislation is long overdue - and has the backing of three major reports in the last year that broadly agreed that there should be no safe space online for criminals."

You know how the BBC always go on about how they show balance?
Well, look at it.

"Critics will call this a snooper`s charter - "
That is the some total of the `balance`.
The rest of the entire paragraph - and the last word within the analysis - is given over to Mrs May`s people.

It`s a perfect example of how not to do journalism.
That said, the BBC have been scraping the bottom of the journalistic barrel for some time now.

phantom    [30821.   Posted 2-Nov-2015 Mon 18:25] View Near Messages
Interesting link, Dave.
Very interesting how councils should be permitted to access our web history in order to `help detect crime`.
You see, there was I thinking it was the police`s job to detect crime.
Whereas it now seems to be the job of Mrs Jones in booth 3 at the council planning office.

What is bizarre is that nobody sees fit to tell us why councils and God-only-knows-what public bodies ought to have these powers. What possible use can a municipal council have for anyone`s web browsing history? It beggars belief.

Last time councils were handed surveillance powers it didn`t end well. Surveillance powers were used against dog fouling and in school placement cases.

What is also of considerable interest is that MPs will be exempt from this new surveillance law, it seems.
So too will journalists (to protect their sources).
This means that the people voting on this in parliament will all be exempted.
So too will those people in the press who are in a position to damage said parliamentarians with media coverage. What a coincidence.
What`s the saying? One law for them and one for us?
Well, here it is literally the case. The law will only affect us, not them.
The hypocrisy is quite staggering.

When it comes to combatting terrorism or paedophilia, etc, I cannot really see how this law adds anything. By asking a judge for permission the security services can already check all this information. Why must they be able to do this supposedly `preliminary check` of seeing what websites one has visited without asking a judge for permission?
Surely this only is of use if they seek to investigate people who are not actually suspects.
After all, if someone is a legitimate suspect there would be no problem obtaining permission from a judge. Therefore, all this enables is police fishing (i.e. mass surveillance of people who are not suspects).

Meanwhile, if not fishing, what is the purpose of the law, other than to create a deliberate chilling effect?
By law you are perfectly entitled to visit BigBazongas.com if you so wish. But how many will think twice about it, if they fear that their wife`s best friend who works part time at the municipal refuse collection agency will, with the click of a mouse, be able to ascertain that they have done so.
It thus seems to me that one of the clear purposes of this law is to stifle perfectly legal activity – by fear.

Fishing and chilling. I cannot see any other use for this law.
Can anyone else?

phantom    [30819.   Posted 1-Nov-2015 Sun 14:01] View Near Messages
Well, the snoopers charter has hit the BBC headlines today.
The spin is of course a positive one.
Home Secretary Teresa May (whose nigh pathological bitterness more than likely stems from not being as attractive as the former page 3 girl of the same name) is announcing to the world that the police only want powers to check every website you`ve visited, not which web page on those websites.
That of course is a massive difference. Isn`t it?

Well, it means that the authorities will be able to ascertain that you are a subscriber to BigJuggsMonthly.com but won`t be able to check on which buxom models you favour.
That makes everything different, doesn`t it?

Of course, it`s only because the police themselves have been asking for these powers.
The politicians don`t want them per se. It`s merely that the law enforcement experts in the security services are saying these powers are necessary.
In short: they need to know who is visiting BigJuggsMonthly.com. It`s vital. For national security.

The BBC in its reporting of course does not ask – not even for a moment – why it should be the police lobbying for a law they desire, rather than merely enforcing existing law.
No, ever since Tony Blair, the police are in effect a political body with political ideas of their own.
And – repeat after me – that is not worrying at all.

The great worry for people interested in the melonfarmers angle on things is of course the law on so-called `extreme porn`.
Is there any tool more ideally designed to facilitate police fishing expeditions than this ability to check who has visited which site?
It seems perfectly designed for this precise purpose.

The very thing which makes this law suspect is that Teresa May claims it to be for exceptional purposes, but that it is designed to be used in non-exceptional circumstances.
Whatever the security services may claim, Britain does not have that great a number of terrorists active within its borders that it would be impossible to get authorisation from a judge each time you want to tap a terrorist suspect.
But here is a law designed so the police do not need to ask a judge`s permission, but can simply – on the spur of the moment – check on anybody`s browsing habits.
It is self-evident that this is not a law designed to deal with the exceptional. Far more, it is one designed to enable snooping on the masses.
This is a law created to enable mass surveillance of web browsing habits.

This begs the question, why would the police even want to know what I am doing on the net?
What could they possibly gain from this knowledge?
I am convinced it is entirely for fishing purposes. One wants a means by which to ensnare the thousands who are currently circumventing with impunity many of Britain`s ludicrous laws.
Most of these people would never be suspected, thus cannot be tracked. Their offences are effectively minor misdemeanours, but thanks to some of the hyped moral legislation in UK law these minor breeches can land them in prison.

Of course, this legislation will create a chilling effect like never before.
In an area of law where very few still know with certainty what is legal and what isn`t, the fact that – at any moment – your browsing history could be tapped by police will deter huge numbers from accessing sites they are perfectly entitled to visit by law.

At a time when crime figures are falling – and have been falling for thirty years or more – it is no doubt becoming ever more hard work to keep increasing the prison population.
More and more draconian measures are required for any Home Secretary to prove his or her spurs by showing that yet more `criminals` are being locked up than under his or her predecessor.

This law would suggest the police would have a ready source of `criminals` to arrest permanently on tap. At any given moment, one need only do another search of the browsing database to find oneself some more culprits.

The supreme irony in all this is that it is Teresa May overseeing it all.
Who in 2002 at the Tory party conference warned that the Conservatives had in the eyes of many become `the nasty party`? Yep, you guessed it.
Interesting to see just how she plans to resolve this now that she`s in power, no?
Not by being nicer. No. But by being able to check who visits sites where such things are said.

phantom    [30818.   Posted 29-Oct-2015 Thu 15:45] View Near Messages
sergio [30817]
Yes, I`m not surprised that David Cameron is a Daily Mail reader.
He never struck me as being a broadsheet reader.
The words they use are too long and complicated, you see...

phantom    [30815.   Posted 24-Oct-2015 Sat 10:54] View Near Messages
Harvey {30813}
re: Destroying Art

I know you are pretty much the legal eagle in this area, Harvey.
But in recent years I`ve become pretty cynical about the whole subject.
To my mind law these days is simply made to fit the case, rather than the other way around.

Being accused really seems as good as a conviction.

Do I believe that the infamous Judge Roscoe has a pseudo-political (pun intended) way of talking her way out of this? Yes.

I`m sure she will have some flimsy justification.
Whether it actually stands up to legal scrutiny does not really matter.
Because it will never come to that.

Legal matters of this kind appear to be such affairs these days where the unpopular cause simply does not have a leg to stand on, no matter what right they might have on their side.

The infamous Judge Roscoe no doubt believes herself in safe territory, knowing the pediatrician`s-house-burning mob on her side on this one.
Everything else is irrelevant.

People may ask technical questions but they can be readily ignored.
Winning the argument has become irrelevant.
Backing the popular cause is what matters, irrespective of how low it makes us sink.

phantom    [30811.   Posted 19-Oct-2015 Mon 13:46] View Near Messages
Re: Destroying Art
Let`s just call it the Roscoe Act 2015, shall we? :)

Well, I think largely we`re talking photographs.
But I wonder whether the `paintings` may in fact be manipulated photographs and thus might possibly fall under the photograph clause or that of pseudo porn.
The Independent article talks largely of photographs.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/paedophile-artist-s-photographs-and-paintings-must-be-destroyed-judge-rules-a6692921.html

Though I must admit, Harvey, the legal framework under which this vandalism is taking place really is not of that much concern to me.
I`m not that much of a technocrat.

But the fact that a judge has determined that art ought to be destroyed, that just appalls me beyond measure.

To my mind Judge Roscoe cannot hide behind the law. Claiming to merely apply the law of the land, does not hack it. Anyone who soils their hand by participating in this outrage is a vandal - and be they a judge. Claiming that one was only taking orders doe not absolve one of this.

I wonder if the infamous Judge Roscoe is going to have the material destroyed publicly.
You know, on an evening bonfire. Perhaps the BNP and EDL can bring a few standards along. And flags, plenty of flags. An umpah band. Perhaps a few guys in uniforms. Lots of saluting, of course.
And while we`re at it, we can perhaps chuck a few books on the fire as well. No doubt, the infamous Judge Roscoe will tell us which ones...

phantom    [30809.   Posted 17-Oct-2015 Sat 17:45] View Near Messages
Re: Destroying Art

Yet again. Wow.
Art destroyed by judicial decree. What next?
Judge Elizabeth Roscoe has something coming to her, I think. History is not forgiving toward her kind.
It seems the infamous Lucius Mummius is at last reborn.

`Standards of propriety` has a horrible ring to it. It is worthy of a Mummius.

I will say straight out that I despise modern art, which includes `artsy fartsy` photography.
I have no time for all this interpretive rubbish. But that is mere opinion.

I would never dream of agreeing with Judge Roscoe.
To destroy what others deem a work of art is vandalism. Barbarism.

It is the equivalent of pissing in a temple sanctified by a religion in which you do not believe.
What matters is that it is sacred to someone.
To that extent it ought to be granted that minimum of respect. i.e. the right to exist.

Now to make it clear: Just because someone thinks Ovenden`s work is art, does not mean it should be treated as art by everyone. Were we to go down that route, we would end up in the place of not offending Mohammed with cartoons because someone believes in him.
There is always freedom of expression.
Thus, I am free to express my opinion that Ovenden`s supposed art is a heap of crap.
Destruction, however, is not a form of expression.

Nobody ought - ever – to wilfully destroy something which is considered a work of art. Whether they think it one or not.

To my mind, Judge Roscoe – infamous Judge Roscoe, henceforth – has just become such a destroyer of art. It makes no difference whether it`s an Ovenden or a Rembrandt. It is the same thing.

What is ironic is that a judge – a profession keen on insisting that everyone shows it sufficient respect in court (on pain of punishment, no less) – has proved completely incapable of showing any respect to art.

No, it`s a commodity to Judge Roscoe. Interchangeable. Definable. Regulatable. A thing.
Hence the comparison to Mummius suggests itself.

Effectively, modern art photography involving children now depends for its legal status on who owns it.
We have heard of the time a piece got into trouble with police in the north east – until it emerged it was the property of Sir Elton John.
If Ovenden were not the man with a conviction, would this matter ever have troubled the brow of the infamous Judge Roscoe? Of course not.

The material is suspect because it is owned by Ovenden, the convicted paedophile.
Were he still to be Ovenden, the artist free of conviction, this would never have happened.

Could there be a more vacuous state of law? Material is legal or illegal depending on who owns it.
So much to equality before the law.
But worse, material is now considered art, depending on who owns it.

Anyhow, I foretell a great career for the infamous Judge Roscoe.
Ofcom will no doubt be looking for `talent`, now that they intend to do ATVOD`s job.
Or maybe the BBFC may need new leadership....

phantom    [30806.   Posted 14-Oct-2015 Wed 18:28] View Near Messages
I could well imagine that you`re right about ATVOD.
People who act as quasi governmental extortionists may well turn out to have a skeleton or two in the cupboard.

But I`m not sure that the sharing of porn these days goes on purely out of the kindness of folks` hearts.
Many of the download sites do provide financial incentives to those who provide the content for download.

Thus a cottage industry has arisen of folks ripping off sites, then uploading the content for quasi public download.
What at first seemed a fairly innocuous affair by now has grown into quite a beast and is proving nigh on impossible for the pornsters to fight. Not least as the porn producers get little help from law enforcement or politics.
It`s been deemed that they`re fair game, as they are `immoral`.

I go back to the very beginnings of the net, when a certain amount of altruism and laisser faire was part of the spirit.
But much of what you see by now is an organised rip-off on a nigh on industrial scale.

Producers cannot really hope to survive that - as well as the simultaneous assault from regulators and law makers.

I think people have come to view porn as an inevitable part of the net, due to its ubiquity. Many may well be in for a surprise when it starts croaking over the next few years.

What do they say? You don`t realise how you value something, until it`s gone?

phantom    [30804.   Posted 14-Oct-2015 Wed 13:34] View Near Messages
Wow.

“We are immensely proud of the work ATVOD has done since it was given the job of overseeing a brand new set of regulatory rules for video on demand services in 2010,” said ATVOD Chair Ruth Evans and ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson in a joint statement.

For the above please read. `We are fantastic. We think we have done a marvelous job. So good in fact, we`re being cancelled....`

“We have done this as a co-regulator dedicated to engaging fully with the industry we regulate in order to ensure that consumers enjoy the protections to which they are entitled without the imposition of unnecessary burdens on providers of video on demand services. Under our regulation, the UK video on demand industry has grown strongly and consumer complaints have been dealt with effectively and efficiently.”

Err... `Engaging fully with the industry`? Without the imposition of unnecessary burdens on providers of video on demand services`?
This is a sick joke, right?

Hundreds, if not thousands of UK websites are no more.
How the hell does one square that with those statements?
It appears to me that Ruth Evans and Pete Johnson are to media regulation what Jim Gamble was to policing.

I must say, the gall some people have is quite staggering. These two, together with that evil egghead Sajid Javid, have been the most destructive force in media for the past twenty five years.
Yet listening to them, one would think they had been the most soft-touch, easy-going regulators on the planet.
But then extortion racket running fascists would portray themselves that way, wouldn`t they?
I bet they`ll get hefty golden handshakes...

phantom    [30802.   Posted 13-Oct-2015 Tue 18:51] View Near Messages
Well, well...
I`m offline for a few days with connection problems and what happens.
ATVOD wobbles and Playboy announces the end of the nude.

As for Playboy, not sure it`s the feminists winning. It may just be what the mag is saying; that internet porn - especially the rise of free, ripped off internet porn - is simply killing them.
I think in that regard the internet is eating itself. When it becomes financially unfeasible to make anything, because five minutes after it is published everything is freely available for download everywhere, it quickly becomes impossible to make any sort of content.
Producers cannot even recoup their costs.
I know I`m sounding like some anti-pirating Hollywood agent here.
But I do think for pornography in particular things have become increasingly impossible online.
Clearly the surge of creativity in that field, which we witnessed some years ago, is over.
For a few years porn was the cultural phenomenon. It`s visual energy influenced a great deal. One need only look at how it changed some of the visual language of music videos.
But now it is a spent force. Simply because it`s financial model has collapsed.
The very force that built the net, is now being consumed by the net.
What we`ll end up with online are party political websites, online shopping and videos of cats doing funny things. Oh, joy.

As for Ofcom replacing ATVOD.
Hmm, I`ll believe it when I see it. But are we not possibly just talking of Ofcom subsuming ATVOD? In short, nothing will change in practice. Extortion money will simply need to be paid to Ofcom instead of ATVOD.
Meanwhile, even if common sense breaks out. Isn`t it already too late? ATVOD has effectively murdered hundreds if not thousands of UK websites when the relevant law came into effect.
None of those sites will be back anytime soon.
Established web-traffic cannot simply be regained by the flick of a switch.
What may have taken a decade to grow in the face of fierce international competition online was wiped out in a day (ironically, by the pro-market Tories). It was wiped out for good, I say.

Regarding `Midnight Run`, thanks for the info, folks.
I still am astonished, mind.
Dear Mr Ferman was - evidently - an idiot.
Then again, what other than idiots do we expect an institution like the BBFC to attract?
Who will apply for a job to censor stuff? Anyone sensible?
It seems to be a job for which idiots are in fact self-selecting.
In an ideal world, anyone who wanted to work there would be disbarred from working there by default.

But yes, `Midnight Run` is a wonderful film. I advise anyone who has not yet seen it to give it a view.
For one, because it`s a good film. But also, because Mr Ferman evidently did not want you to watch it. That ought to be reason enough.

phantom    [30796.   Posted 7-Oct-2015 Wed 19:25] View Near Messages
Just watched that old classic `Midnight Run` with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin.
Marvellous movie.

But one thing does bewilder me.
How does a film with no nudity and no really serious, gory violence end up with an 18 certificate?

Was this another one of those episodes where the BBFC ran mad?
Sure, the language is fruity, but it was the late eighties, for heaven`s sake.
Did they still snap an 18 on it because the distributors were not willing to dub `flipping` and `melonfarmer` onto the audio track in the late eighties?

I would challenge anyone to watch that movie and tell me that was an 18 certificate.

Is that particular film yet another one of those times when the BBFC`s self appointed experts fell off their rocker? (as for example they did with their infamous Spiderman 12 certification)

One simply struggles to see how Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in an unlikely buddy movie can warrant anything like an 18.

Wanton incompetence?

phantom    [30795.   Posted 2-Oct-2015 Fri 06:09] View Near Messages
new PC Rule No1:
Maybe they ought to pixellate any churches which they happen to capture in the background of the picture in their reports on such violent incidents.
Just so there can be no suggestion that God was involved. :)

phantom    [30789.   Posted 19-Sep-2015 Sat 18:43] View Near Messages
I know, I know...
This story is from Nov 2014, but I`ve only now come across it.
I don`t think I saw it on here, so I just had to give it a whirl.
Surely, this must be one of the ultimate censorship stories.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/28/china-media-watchdog-bans-wordplay-puns

Apologies if this has already been dealt with long ago.

phantom    [30786.   Posted 18-Sep-2015 Fri 14:51] View Near Messages
The Unintelligencia...

A question or two for the anti-sex-robot feministas:
a) is a dildo/vibrator a primitive form of sex robot?
b) if so, are you prepared to disavow the use of them?

I think the idea that men will flock to having sex with robots says everything about feminists. Misogyny may be their favourite word, but it is self-evident that it is in fact they who hate men.
Thus, their opinion of men.

In truth, men have no more interest in having sex with robots than they have in having sex with trees or a cup of tea.

Andrea `All-Sex-is-Rape` Dworkin may have spread the term `sex object` about (by misquoting Immanuel Kant), but the truth is, men do not want sex with objects.

Meanwhile, women like the idea of pleasuring themselves with plastic objects. Men generally do not.

So, if the sale of sex aids is anything to go by, sex robots are more likely to be called `Big John` than `Melinda`.

Frankly, there is something embarrassing about this whole project. Primarily, because it is unwittingly self-revelatory.
For it tells us everything about what these anti-sex-robot feminists think about sex. Clearly it is they who are objectifying people here and who are concluding that, therefore, everyone else objectifies people too.
Thus, they are objecting to behaviour which they are inferring from their own attitudes.
Can there be anything more ridiculous than publicly objecting to yourself?

So, dear feminists.
Women may like vibrators. Feminists may like vibrators.
It does therefore not follow that men like vibrating holes.
By publicly protesting against the latter you are merely broadcasting the former.

phantom    [30782.   Posted 11-Sep-2015 Fri 14:38] View Near Messages
The day the female form stops being something which is erotic to a man, please, shoot me. :)

phantom    [30780.   Posted 7-Sep-2015 Mon 12:58] View Near Messages
Disgusting Prosecution:

Doesn`t that sound as though it was a rather `fire and brimstone` trial?

The judge sounds like the late Ian Paisley.

One can`t help but wonder whether the prosecutor quoted the psalms, Moses and Leviticus during his oration.

The supreme irony is that these two legal eagles, depending on their age, may well once have been saying the very same things about homosexuals in the courtroom.
But I don`t think irony is rated very highly at Leicester Crown Court.

Hatred and anger at things and people which are `disgusting` however still seems to be alive and well in Leicester.

Reading that article one does not get the impression that Leicester is a particularly friendly place to anyone who isn`t a heterosexual, white, Anglo-Saxon protestant who does it strictly in the missionary position.

Remind me to give Leicester a miss on my travels...

phantom    [30779.   Posted 6-Sep-2015 Sun 10:45] View Near Messages
Sergio,
Yes, I saw this one too on telly.
They introduced it as `5500 sex crimes` at schools in the past three years.
Then they featured one of those angry, campaigning women with a perpetual frown who spoke of there being `6000 rapes`.
Note how she rounded up the figure and concluded that all sex crime is rape.
More to the point, the BBC presenter neither corrected nor questioned her statement.
And yes, the `tip of the iceberg` was mentioned there too.

Personally, I cannot really accept this figure.
It seems born of the same sort of surveyism which produces `research` that declares thousands of ten year olds to be addicted to hardcore porn.
It just sees divorced of the reality we see around us and simply is designed to exploit parents` fears.

It goes without saying that none of this is in any way substantiated beyond a BBC freedom of information request to police forces.

Let us keep in mind that `Joey groped me` will be recorded as a `sex crime`. `Joey called me a slag` might also, in the current climate.
So too, `Joey said I was gay.`
Thus, what we are supposed to make of the usefulness of these figures is anyone`s guess.

But as the nation is in the firm grip of an `ism` these day, dogma is more important than anything else. Not least as we`re teaching it at school.

Feminism is just that. An `ism`.
We`ve had socialism, fascism, communism. We`ve had them all taught at school in their time, as quasi academic subjects.
I knew a Bulgarian woman once who told me of having had to sit through `socialism` classes at school before the iron curtain came down.

Feminism is another `ism` designed to pursue some strange, ill defined ideal.
Just like fascism and communism, etc it creates it`s own pseudo science which is purported to be undeniable (and unquestionable!) fact.

The very notion however that most of these supposed facts are either myths or vague ideas, reveals that - like all `isms` - it is really all just hot air.

Ideas such as trade, property and money are how old? How long did communism last? Yep.

How long have the civilisations of the earth had concepts of family and differing roles of the sexes? How long has feminism been around? Exactly.

We simply find ourselves in another one of these periods of mass delusion, Sergio.
It appears, all received wisdom of the ages is wrong and we must create society from scratch - on the back of an envelope.

Just as politicians in this country once quoted Marx and Engels as though they were prophets, they now wax lyrical about feminist ideals - and the need to crush all resistance to it.

When we wake up from this latest folly is anyone`s guess.
Until then just smile as they quote their statistics.
Once they kept going on about how the USSR produced so many more tractors for the proletariat than the corrupt west.
Now they tell us about mass rape at school.

Ah well, just remember that pinch of salt...

phantom    [30776.   Posted 3-Sep-2015 Thu 07:41] View Near Messages
Good to see UK law setting an example to the rest of the world again.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34142241
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34136388

phantom    [30775.   Posted 2-Sep-2015 Wed 06:35] View Near Messages
I love it. I`m a film! :)

And having watched the trailer, what I now need to do is practice staring intently into the mirror and doing a lot of pointing and shouting. ;)

phantom    [30773.   Posted 1-Sep-2015 Tue 17:11] View Near Messages
Censorship, Islamic State-style:

One wonders whether the much-reported destruction of the Temples of Baal-Shameen and Bel in Palmyra by IS is merely the cultural vandalism it is made out to be.

You see, there is a nagging suspicion at the back of my head that it might in fact be an attempt at censoring something inconvenient from the collective memory.

Various historians have long argued that Islam is a religion which evolved out of pre-existing Pagan cults in the region.
Suspicion centres around various deities which bear the name Bal, or something close to this.
Baal, Ba`al, Bel, Bol, H`bal, Hubal, even El Gabal, etc
They largely seem to be variants of much of the same thing. (usually, celestial deities)

One such deity seems to have ended up being worshipped in Mecca.
According to Islamic tradition – until – Mohammed threw out the Pagan gods and introduced Islam.
According to some historians, it`s more likely that this Pagan deity evolved into what is now Allah.

Whether you attribute any credibility to these historical theories or not, it is rather telling that some hyper-religious Islamic cult has now taken to destroying temples related to such a possible, historical connection.

To me it suggests that this might not merely be the destruction of Pagan temples by zealots. After all, what threat could a ruined Pagan temple be to Islam? Is anyone really suggesting it represents any temptation for Muslims to resort back to Paganism? It seems a stretch – even for fanatics.

But with the worship of Baal/Bel being at the root of the historical suspicions surrounding the beginnings of Islam, the destruction of these temples takes on a different nature.
It seems one is trying to expunge something from history, because one doesn`t want to confront a possible alternative truth. Perhaps one is even a little afraid. After all, what if the theories are true?

It is of course very interesting is that the media have stayed away from this angle. I cannot have been the only person to have had this thought.
So why the silence? Well, the fear of offence to other Muslims, no doubt. After all, the theories regarding proto-Islamic history are not merely unpopular with IS...

Before anyone says so, I know that Islamic State have form on destroying Pagan sites and artefacts. Their alleged bulldozing of Nineveh was widely reported, so too did they film themselves smashing up statuary in an Iraqi museum.
Their actions at Palmyra may therefore simply be maniacal, religious rampage.

But with the Temples of Baal and Bel being the first thing they go for, one cannot but feel there might be a little more to it than barbarians doing what barbarians do.
One might in fact be trying to censor something from history.

phantom    [30770.   Posted 27-Aug-2015 Thu 06:44] View Near Messages
Talking of violence, these days we have censorship of the news at an unprecedented level.

Yes, we report on the `car crash` events, sensationalising them. But at the critical moment our media always `blinks`.
`Violence` is represented by staged occasions of IS fighters emptying their kalashnikovs at a clearly fictional enemy at the other end of a field, or war planes taking off. Maybe even a grainy black and white image of a laser guided missile going off.

I guess because `violence corrupts`, news must corrupt also – if it`s reporting on violence.

I recall imagery and film of the South Vietnamese general ruthlessly shooting a Vietcong prisoner in the head.
These were pictures which went around the world.
They shocked. But they told us something.
Most of all, they reflected the truth. Not a truth, filtered for taste and decency. But a stark, uncomfortable truth.
I recall naked Vietnamese girls running down a road, after a napalm attack on their village, their skin hanging from them.
Stark, brutal truth. Truth about consequences. Truth about actions. About governments.

Now apparently we`re much too `tasteful` to broadcast this sort of truth. So we`re told.

We live at a time of victims being a pixellated blur. Or presenters take the moral high ground by telling us how they are much too sensitive and caring to show us the details of an outrage.

Instead they pillory those who would show these things on the internet.
As Newsnight did last night when taking a swipe at LiveLeak co-founder Hayden Hewitt.

Naturally, the BBC presenter didn`t accept the argument that mainstream media, such as his, was sensationalising the event of journalists being shot in Virginia, causing people to want to view the event. No, no. It`s all someone else`s fault.
Michael Wolff, the talking head brought in to pillory Hayden Hewitt did come spectacularly unstuck when it emerged that he – the man arguing that people should be prevented from seeing this – had in fact viewed it himself.

I have long felt uncomfortable with this BBFC style reporting of the news.

Especially in a day and age, when we partake in warfare whereby we strike death and destruction on enemies from miles away in planes, it is rather convenient to feel `too sensitive` to show our people the effects of such Nintendo war.

We have entered this strange world in which violent events are described to us on the news, but not shown. A strange paradox for what is an audio-visual medium.

But if the powers-that-be accept the notion that we can be corrupted by violence in film, then – by logical extension – we can be corrupted by violence in the news. Thus, we must be prevented from being corrupted.
Truth corrupts. Thus, truth must be censored.
It`s for our own good.

phantom    [30759.   Posted 21-Aug-2015 Fri 19:03] View Near Messages
Now this one is interesting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34017423

I`m not a great fan of the unions.
However, just exactly why should they not be able to be active on social media during strikes?

This has more than a hint of the Iranian approach to social media about it...

phantom    [30757.   Posted 19-Aug-2015 Wed 12:48] View Near Messages
May he rest in peace. ;)

phantom    [30755.   Posted 18-Aug-2015 Tue 14:56] View Near Messages
Ah, but you`re not thinking like a sneaky, cynical leech on society, are you, Sergio?
You are making the mistake of applying common sense.

Because you see, crime has been falling for thirty years now.
There is no reason to think it will suddenly start rising.

So, what you do is you connect something with crime. Ban it. And then claim the predictable fall in overall crime was due to your intervention.

Politicians have been playing that game for years now. Or have you not heard them tell you that any fall in crime is due to their good stewardship? When crime has fallen across the developed world, that is of course nonsense. But things making no sense has yet to discourage any blackguard from taking credit.

So is it not a natural thing for the censorship industry to follow the example of politicians?

a) you claim that some activity is causing the earth`s gravity to fail.
b) you ban said activity.
c) you drop an apple to demonstrate that gravity is now fully functional.
d) you claim credit for saving earth.
e) you find something else which you don`t like and claim it causes water to run upstream....
f) You collect your BBFC paycheck.

phantom    [30752.   Posted 14-Aug-2015 Fri 06:13] View Near Messages
Is it me?
Today the BBC is broadcasting a royal sob story, whereby Prince William (the future monarch) is letting it be known, how intrusive the surveillance of Prince George (another future monarch) is becoming, with paparazzi hiding in the boots of cars to get photographs, etc.

Correct me if I`m wrong, but isn`t the current state surveillance apparatus - in which the security services do considerably more than lurk in car boots with photo cameras - being run in the name of Prince William`s very own grandmama (the present monarch)?

If Prince William does not want intrusive surveillance of his son, does this mean he would object to it being done in his name to his own people when he eventually ascends the throne?

Or should one maybe not bandy about the word `surveillance` so lightly?
At least not while Her Majesty`s services are collecting data on us all at an industrial level...

phantom    [30751.   Posted 10-Aug-2015 Mon 05:03] View Near Messages
Yes, I agree with Dave.
Framing this in terms of violating women`s rights has way more chance of achieving an impact with media and politicians than framing it as violating human rights.
For some reason in the current political climate women trump humans.
Make of that what you will...

phantom    [30746.   Posted 4-Aug-2015 Tue 13:16] View Near Messages
So Amnesty`s position on prostitution is `divisive and distracting`?

Can there be any argument more intellectually lazy than simply to state that something is `a distraction`?
In essence the Guardian is taking the position that it`s not Amnesty`s job to deal with prostitution. That it`s a distraction from their core cause.

Then again, is it the Guardian`s job to opine on what is Amnesty`s job? Or is that a distraction from the Guardian`s core cause? One can go on with that ad infinitum. Frankly, it`s cheap.

Amnesty decided that the routine, casual, institutionalised violation of human rights of prostitutes by government agencies around the world called for action.
I do not really see how it is the Guardian`s role to question whether the above is Amnesty`s role.
It seems very much that one is seeking to disagree, despite not really having an argument.

As for it being divisive; is the Guardian`s position that Amnesty ought only hold views with which everyone agrees?

After all, I recall a good many republicans in the days of George W Bush`s reign who did not agree with Amnesty`s position on the `enhanced interrogation` of al Qaeda prisoners.

So why is the Guardian concerned when the objection to Amnesty`s policy is made by Meryl Streep, rather than Dick Cheney?

Moreover, what greater moral authority does Meryl Streep have over the likes of Dick Cheney?

Is it not that dear Meryl has for some time been a vocal feminist and that the Guardian is a self-proclaimed feminist newspaper? Does not the Guardian itself in this very article say that a good many feminists object to this policy?
So is that not really the crux of it? Traditional feminists disagree with legalising prostitution. We agree with Meryl.

The reality is that prostitution exists in a sort of legal limbo in most nations around the planet. The powers that be are well aware of the necessity of `the oldest profession`, but for reasons of moral tradition and good old fashioned politicking, they have always taken the opportunity to express their distaste for this trade; in word as well as law.

Prostitutes remain the `unclean`, the `untouchables` in the world`s societies.

Lip service may be paid to equality of all, but under the so-called policies of `discouraging the trade`, a great deal of unfairness and hypocrisy is doled out.
As we all know, much of this country`s law makes little sense when it comes to prostitution. Much proposed law is even worse.

So the question is, what is the Guardian`s own position?
Wishing for nirvana in which there is no prostitution, there are no drugs and all people are nice to each other, is not a position.
Prostitution exists. It always will. How is one to handle it?

Multimillionaire actresses, ensconced in their Hollywood mansions, may feel that prostitution ought to be abolished and the women instead should be allowed to live in fairy castles.
But if the Guardian has the gall to criticise an institution as noble as Amnesty International, then it better have an alternative to Amnesty`s position.

The truth is, it is uncomfortable to find that the very organisation which once stood up to the Pinochets of this world now may be challenging a view one holds dear oneself.

But the Guardian, – rather than question its own dogma toward prostitution and the women who work in it, - finds it more convenient instead to attack Amnesty.
It seems that – even at the Guardian – shooting the messenger is oft the preferred option.

phantom    [30740.   Posted 30-Jul-2015 Thu 20:28] View Near Messages
Yes, Cameron seems determined.
And the left (represented by the Guardian here) is right behind it.

So it just looks like a juggernaut that`s unstoppable now.
Reason simply doesn`t apply here. This whole censorship malarky follows its own, twisted logic.
Children are assumed to be in danger from an assumed harm. So censorship will provide the solution, one assumes. :)

Are we truly `protecting children`? Or are we far more playing to the sensitivities of easily offended women (i.e. voters!) with a chip on their shoulder about porn?

Of course, the moment you have an industry which complies with the government`s ludicrous regulations, you will have a lobby group interested in protecting its position and investment.
So the UK porn industry (the BBFC approved and ATVOD registered material providers) will invariably need protecting from the utterly unregulated, mainly American providers with their far superior material.
Having ruled the material illegal over here, one will then need to create the great fire wall, to protect those who comply from competition that would otherwise crush them.

In that respect it will be the same story as with the sex shops who pay licences. They must be guaranteed a quasi monopoly. Else why pay for a licence?

Thus, we have entered a new censorial era. Who has forgotten the days of David Sullivan`s `hardcore` material being sold in the UK in the 1990s?
This is where we`re headed. But now on the net. This time with full nudity. How exciting. :)

Naturally it`s an utterly futile effort.
Censorship never works. We know what happened to the desperate censorship efforts of the 1990s.
They collapsed. They always collapse.

For what which once was censored remains censored?
The censorial and legalistic types talk of censorship adapting to changing standards. But the truth is, that the standards only ever change in one direction. The past centuries of censorship have only ever seen standards go one way. One would think at some point someone would learn.

Not too long ago, I swallowed hard, when Depeche Mode`s `Personal Jesus` was used in a male perfume advert. When that record came out it was deemed a product of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now it`s the background to daytime television advertisements – in the run up to Christmas, no less.

Censorship is a science of ignorance, where those who deliberately hold themselves ignorant, by refusing to learn from history, try to keep their compatriots equally ignorant.

I remember reading Duerrenmatt`s `Physicists` yonks ago. In it the great thinker examines how a thought that has been thought cannot be `unthought`.
What has been thought simply is. Like a weed it will find a way. Simply because it will.
You cannot censor the thought which has been thought, the discovery which has been made. It exists. You can pretend that it doesn`t. But it will continue to exist.
Duerrenmatt may apply this to nuclear theory and atom bombs, but it applies just as much to porn or horror films.

Just as you cannot censor atomic knowledge (look to Iran on that very matter!), so you cannot stop Debbie from doing Dallas, over and over.

It is simply an incontrovertible truth. Censorship fails.
But it creates untold misery while it continues its futile struggle.

phantom    [30728.   Posted 19-Jul-2015 Sun 16:54] View Near Messages
We seem to be heading toward an age where even our fridge will be connected to the net.
In ten, twenty years time we may well have devices which are all linked.
It may thus turn out to be your home entertainment system, your mobile phone, your laptop or your cloud storage which rats you out regarding what copies you might have made.
We cannot know where things are headed - but they will try and keep their options open - as things may well head their way.
Especially with more and more programmes being operable from the cloud rather than via your harddisk copy, the potential for such future reporting is very great.
I maintain that the music industry know what they`re doing. They are playing the very same game our dear government played with `illegal` porn.
What is clear is that, however pointless or lost the situation may appear, they will never cease fighting their corner, as they always hold out hope that things may swing their way - eventually.

phantom    [30726.   Posted 18-Jul-2015 Sat 16:58] View Near Messages
I don`t think it`s because the industry believes it will be able to change something immediately, Braintree.

I believe they simply wish to keep their options open. Future technological developments may go their way. But only if at that point they still have the law backing them, can they use it to their advantage.
I believe that`s the way they see it.

In that regard they are taking their lead from government. For years UK government maintained an insane principle that all content on the entire net is published in the UK and therefore liable to legal sanctions.

But now look at them. Slowly the technological net is closing. They simply maintained a nonsense throughout a time in which things were impossible. Their goal was always porn. And now? Now the legal steps have been put in place with ATVOD etc.
Sooner or later, one will be able to ban foreign porn (or such foreign porn one wishes to victimise) for breaking UK law, - because it`s published here...

The forces of sexual bigotry held on for ten years or so, throughout which their cause looked hopeless. The internet meant we were winning. But we, the libertarians, are a disorganised jumble of idealists.
They won. Because they played the long game. They maintained useless legal options, waiting for the moment when technology turned in their favour.
Now it`s happening. And they`ll have their great British firewall pretty soon. To keep out the foreign muck which is `breaking` UK law.

Who could blame the music industry for playing the same game?
So what if everyone ignores their pointless, unenforcible laws. They`ll wait. Until such a day when enforcement is possible. Then they reclaim their lost territory and start selling cds at 15 quid again.
But that day may only come if they succeed in maintaining the legal status quo.

Remember that Snowden`s revelations shocked the world. Not merely by telling us whom governments were spying on, but by showing what IT capacity`s they have by now.
These tremendous IT surveillance capacities will only increase. And sooner or later they will be turned on music downloaders.

Then tell me again how pointless the music industry`s actions are....

phantom    [30719.   Posted 1-Jul-2015 Wed 06:14] View Near Messages
Funny you should mention government proposals to have teachers spying on pupils.

You see, I have a little first hand experience of that.
I may be born in Britain but I grew up in Switzerland.
There is a little known story from Switzerland which is very relevant to the Snowden revelations and the entire modern day security apparatus.

A little over 25 years ago a scandal blew up in Switzerland, when it emerged that the government had been spying on its people.
It became known as the `dossier affair`, due to the government apparently keeping dossiers on vast numbers of people.
The population was outraged.

Unlike the UK and US governments the Swiss federal government did not have the gall to claim it needed to do this and instead came clean.
It promised to destroy the dossiers.
Everyone was given the right to claim a copy of their dossier in order to see what was in it.

Like me, most did not. Because who would expect to have been of interest to the government anyway, right?

Well, it so happened I much later met an old school friend on a tram. We talked. Turns out, he had asked for his copy.
The first entry had been made when we were in primary school together, at about the age of ten. He was `a loner, kept to himself, tended to get into trouble`, etc.

One thing is clear, if my pal had been reported by the teacher for that, then so will I have been. Not least as I had been his best friend back then at school.
But sadly it was past the deadline. So no chance anymore of getting myself a copy of my dossier. Too bad. It would no doubt have made interesting reading.

So, although I do not know it for certain, I`m pretty sure I will have been catalogued by the nation`s authorities - from age ten onwards. Reported on by my primary teachers and so forth. I would never have suspected it, until I just happened to bump into my long lost friend Alain years later.

The lesson is clear. You may not suspect anything at all. You may think yourself of no interest to the authorities at all. Yet still they`ll make their notes.
Just in case a ten year old loner who keeps to himself and gets into trouble might turn into a terrorist someday.
Better safe than sorry....

You see, the most worrying aspect about the scandal was that nobody ever explained for whom or what the dossiers were actually ever intended. You only collect such data if one day you intend to look at it for some purpose.

The `dossier affair` got more and more sinister. After the first scandal had blown, there followed another one soon after.
Switzerland has military conscription.
Believe it or not, they had a list of officer`s names who - due to their dossiers - were deemed untrustworthy. On outbreak of war, these were to be imprisoned.

And remember, this was Switzerland. Peaceable, quiet, deeply democratic Switzerland. Cheese, watches and mountains.

Yet, if left unchecked, they would spy on ten year olds and file the reports forever and, better yet, lock up their own officers.

So when I hear of the UK government, which is dossier mad, asking teachers to do some intelligence gathering for them, it`s like hearing an old story repeated.

After all, I believe myself to have been logged, filed and catalogued.
Because I was as contrary back then as I still am today. :)

If a teacher files a report on a pupil, then it will need to go somewhere. It will be kept in a file - a dossier - connected to this individual for life.

Over time the curiosity of the state will only expand.
Until they`re logging all kids.
Just like in Switzerland.
Just to be safe....

phantom    [30717.   Posted 29-Jun-2015 Mon 14:10] View Near Messages
I`m sorry but Boris is just plain wrong.
Who knows, perhaps deliberately so.
One of the characteristics of the definitions surrounding Islamist terrorism is that the political leadership of this country are always divorcing it from Islam.
No doubt, they don`t want to lose the votes of the Muslim citizenry who might choose to feel offended.
But the truth is that we simply haven`t got Jewish or Protestant men with Kalashnikovs combing holiday beaches for people to shoot.

--

a) How often have we heard this phrase?
`Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.`
Over and again we are told by self appointed Muslim community leaders, government and opposition politicians that Islamist ideology is a perversion of a great faith and that the terrorists represent merely a tiny minority of Muslims.

--

However, over the past 35 years we have seen a fundamentalisation across the Muslim world. If we are completely honest, does a fundamentalisation mean that, as societies, they move closer or further away from the absolutist ideology of the terrorists?
I believe the answer to that is obvious. To deny that Muslim societies across the world have hardened their stance over the past three to four decades flies in the face of self-evident history.
Ayatollah Khomeini`s rise to power in Iran, the growth of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the diminution of secular leadership in the struggle for an independent Palestine, the decline of Bathist nationalism, the rise of Hisbollah and Hamas. Even Turkey – the country of Ataturk - now has a distinctly Islamic government. All this is not mere coincidence.

It cannot be denied that Lebanon was once hailed `the Switzerland of the Middle East`, with women in western dress walking the promenades of Beirut. Many pictures of men in Afghanistan from the 1970s will show them clean shaven, wearing suits.
One of the things which offended Khomeini so terribly was that there were women in miniskirts on the streets of Teheran.

But where has all this gone? It was swept aside in a gradual, but dramatic fundamentalisation. Caught up in a vicious cycle, Islamic countries almost vied with each other regarding who could prove more devoutly religious.
Women`s western dress disappeared more and more. Life became much more strictly prescribed.
Beards made a big come back. So did the western suit begin to disappear. Everywhere, in every facet of civil life religion entered more and more. Even the tales of `A thousand and one nights` were widely banned for being `unislamic`. (This despite these tales being part of the Middle East`s very own cultural heritage.)
Governments, keen solely on maintaining the immediate, short term civic peace, appeased the religious faction, ceding ever more territory to the religious leadership.

Whereas the response of India and China has been to embrace globalisation, an Islamic world, feeling increasingly threatened by outside economic and cultural pressures, turned inwards and sought to purify itself, creating a bulwark to foreign influence by strict adherence to core cultural and religious traditions.
Societies which involve themselves in too much concern over matters of purity can turn very nasty. 1930s Germany is a ready warning.

Now, if we consider that a society contains a wide spectrum, made up of both liberal and zealous elements, then where does the religiously radical wing go, if the societal mainstream itself becomes increasingly religiously hardline?
Surely, the shelf is of limited width. The more a society tends toward religious zealotry, the more likely the most zealous in said society will fall off the far end of the shelf.

I believe this is exactly how the conditions have come about which now spawn these terrorist organisations.

Religious terrorism is little more than the expression of radicalism by a society`s religious radicals who are bereft of any other means of expressing their radicalism, as much of their fundamentalist ideology has over recent decades been absorbed into mainstream Muslim society.

A radical, a zealot will not simply let himself be re-absorbed into a societal mainstream which adopts his ideas. Far more he will shift his ground, re-establishing equidistance – thus preserving his radical identity.
The more toward religious fundamentalism society moves, so too does the pre-existing religious fundamentalist.

It thus follows, how can you be a zealot in a country of zealots?
You venture where even the ordinarily zealous will not go.
Religious terrorism is an extension of this zealotry. Terrorism is the last bastion of radicalism for those whose radical identity has been eroded away by the mainstream having become more radical.

--

b) Meanwhile, where is the means by which people are turned into terrorists to be found?
The internet - apparently. Al Qaeda and Islamic State supposedly recruit people online via social media and youtube videos. In fact, they `groom` them into becoming terrorists.
`Vulnerable individuals` are corrupted into sharing the twisted beliefs.

--

The lingo used to define the supposed route to radicalisation through the internet sounds incredibly familiar. According to current establishment doctrine, pornography can `corrupt` people. What people? `Vulnerable individuals` of course.
The vocabulary regarding radicalisation is almost entirely lifted from anti-pornography propaganda.
The belief that seeing a sexual act in a pornographic video can corrupt the viewer is being transposed wholesale into the world of terrorism.

Meanwhile nobody questions this credo.
Just as the myths about pornography go almost entirely unchallenged, so too has it been accepted that youngsters simply fall victim to seeing Islamists beheading people and thus becoming Islamists themselves.

Gaps in this anti-porn derived perspective are filled with views regarding paedophilia. Where innocent children are `groomed` by sexual predators, now innocent, vulnerable, young men are `groomed` by fanatical recruiters.
This presupposes that the young men are innocent and vulnerable – like children. One accepts by default the usual line forwarded by relatives that this or that young man, prior to his becoming a terrorist, was not an extremist at all (suggesting in fact that their family are not extremist and therefore not worthy of investigation) and had instead been corrupted and mislead by `someone` online.
It most likely belies that the individual concerned - and his wider family - held what most would consider hardline views regarding sharia law, burkhas, women`s rights and infidels, etc.

--

The truth, I fear, is not very comfortable.

Fundamentalisation has moved most societies in Islamic countries closer to the stance of the Islamists. Religious and cultural tolerance is now in short supply in many of these countries. What marks out the terrorists, if not an abject lack of tolerance?
It therefore takes much less convincing to move an individual situated on the hardline fundamentalist fringe of a fundamentalist society to take that last remaining step into radical terrorism.

I know a number of secular Muslims. But in my time I have also met a number of Muslims who, though outwardly secular, hold quite radical views; preferring the UK to be under sharia law, for example.

The UK`s problem is that living here today we have a large diaspora of Muslims who in many cases maintain very close ties to Pakistan and other Islamic countries. They are thus prone to influence by fundamentalised Islam.
It is this fundamentalisation which poses the great threat. Not youtube videos.

--

So to my mind, this is not as complicated as many politicians and community leaders would have us believe. Sure, Islam per se is not to blame. Mohammed certainly did not have this in mind when he dictated his revelations some 1400 years ago.
But it cannot be a coincidence that religious terrorism occurs on this scale, across the Muslim world, after a continued religious fundamentalisation across the very same territory over several decades.
The connection between the two seems fairly obvious.

When the religious fervour finally will die down across the Muslim world, is anyone`s guess.
But it is only once the Muslim mainstream normalises, once every Iraqi soldier stops feeling compelled to shout `Allahu aqbar` every time he fires an artillery piece, once globalisation is no longer resisted as though it were a foreign invasion, that we can hope to see religious terrorism end.

For one thing is crystal clear to me. It is Islamic society which has spawned this menace – albeit unwittingly – with its widespread fundamentalisation.

Trying to make out it instead was the internet what done it, may well help some politicians secure some votes, but it will never take us any nearer the truth.

Boris Johnson is a classicist, a man who understands his history. He ought to now better than to spout such nonsense.

My apologies for the long post.
Let`s say it`s the conclusion of a great deal of thinking I`ve been doing on this matter for some time.

phantom    [30707.   Posted 22-Jun-2015 Mon 13:55] View Near Messages

It is remarkable how supposed liberalism and enlightenment is turning into rank intolerance in this country.

On Saturday, 21 June, we had the `Cumbria Pride` event in Carlisle.
It was one of those officially sanctioned gay festivals.
I`ll never quite understand the point of them, but fair dos. Why not?

However, three preachers arrived in town to protest.
Again, not something I comprehend how anyone can motivate themselves to do this. But again, why not? Rumour has it that these guys are from America and are touring UK gay pride events, telling folks what God thinks.

So far, so good, right? Wrong.

The preachers set themselves up about 100 yards away from the concert area in the city centre.
There really was no reason for any immediate confrontation.
But that was to reckon without the militancy and downright aggression by the `LGBT` crowd.

When I arrived in the town centre, pushing someone in a wheelchair, the mob was in full swing.
The religious yanks were surrounded by a large crowd of militant LGBT demonstrators who shouted down the one who was trying to speak. They chanted and blew whistles at any attempt of his to preach.
Their main chant was `Gay not God! Gay not God!`
The entire purpose was to silence the preacher, or make anything he said unintelligible.
It was very loud, very aggressive.
Orchestrated bullying by a large mob.

Now I am a lifelong atheist. I have thus no religious bias in favour of these street preachers.
Truth be told, I argued for gay rights long before it became a fashionable cause.
But let us reverse the situation. Let us imagine the lone speaker to have been demanding gay rights, then being was surrounded and shouted down by a large group of skin heads.
There would be immediate complaints, denouncing it a hate crime.

But instead the members of this large mob – and it was a mob – no doubt believe they struck a blow for liberty and tolerance. Because they believe that anything they do serves liberty and tolerance.
Being gay, they`re just right, because they are.
So convinced are they of their innate victimhood, they do not believe themselves capable of being the bullies. Martyrs all.

However, all they accomplished here was to perform a blatant act of oppression.
Ironically, on the day they were celebrating their freedom of expression they chose to deny someone else that very same right – in public, with loud, aggressive and boorish behaviour.

As it happened I was pushing someone in a wheelchair through town. Else I would have gone over and stood up for the preachers. I hate bullies and be they gay bullies.

It gets better, any reference I`ve found in the local press and online has laid the blame entirely with the preachers for `disrupting` the gay pride event.
Having seen it first hand, I know they were not disrupting anything. They were merely present.
The main event went on completely undisturbed by the preachers.

But apparently, being present in town, protesting, voicing an opinion not shared by the established orders nowadays means `disrupting` things.

I was there. I saw it with my own eyes.
The only fascist mob present were the LGBT lot.
The only disrupting that was being done was their aggressively shouting down any attempt to speak by someone who dared to disagree with them.

But so indoctrinated with current dogma has everyone become that even the press report the story as a complete inversion of the truth. The preachers were the disruptive element, we`re told.
The gays, apparently, are all much too peace-loving and happy-go-lucky to cause trouble.
Think again.

phantom    [30706.   Posted 21-Jun-2015 Sun 18:58] View Near Messages
You`ll love this one.

http://wonkette.com/588839/teacher-fired-for-saying-sandy-hook-during-safety-drill-inspired-by-sandy-hook

phantom    [30659.   Posted 4-Apr-2015 Sat 16:33] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) {30656}
I hate to say I told you so, but wasn`t that precisely what I predicted some time ago?

The most depressing thing is that we are heading towards censorial nirvana with the fatal inevitability of Greek tragedy.

The end goal is clear to see.
One is simply rehearsing the arguments which will lead to a giant firewall by which to ban all non-UK adult content.

Calling it `Tory nastiness` really serves no purpose.
Point me to one single party who are not intent on doing it.

phantom    [30658.   Posted 4-Apr-2015 Sat 16:27] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) [30657]

""Anyone whose body mass index... is below a certain level will not be able to work as a catwalk model," it said."

and

"The deputy previously said models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI - the ratio of height to weight - of at least 18 before being hired for a job."

Those statements are taken from the BBC link I gave.
They seem pretty unambiguous.

It`s not just the BBC.

Reuters:
http://tinyurl.com/lue5f4l
Telegraph:
http://tinyurl.com/k4oq8j9
The Guardian:
http://tinyurl.com/my26jkg
NBCNews:
http://tinyurl.com/pd4llcm

This really doesn`t seem to be the media spinning an exaggerated yarn based on a half truth, but simply a reporting of fact.
France has banned skinny models.

The message is clear: Skinny models have no rights. Because seeing skinny models is bad for you.
I`m surprised the French parliament hasn`t followed its conviction through to its natural conclusion.
Skinny women ought to wear burkhas in public by law, in order not to corrupt other women`s minds by visual exposure.
After all, if it corrupts on the catwalk, why not on the street?

What is the betting that obese MPs like Dianne Abbott will be all in favour of introducing such a law in Britain?

phantom    [30655.   Posted 3-Apr-2015 Fri 17:22] View Near Messages
So here we are. Another example of truly astonishing censorship.
Feminism at its finest.
France has banned skinny fashion models.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32174364
Apparently this follows suit from countries such as Italy.

Why? Well, apparently it promotes an `unhealthy body image` to women.
Immediately one is pointed to anorexia and bulimia.
Because of course that is the big body issue of the day. - Not obesity.
Suffice to say, fat models (in danger of diabetes and heart disease) are still perfectly permissible under French and Italian law.

We`ve all heard the feminists screeching about body image.
Hell, recently there have even been complaints that Cinderella`s waist in the new Disney movie is too slim.
(I kid you not. http://tinyurl.com/qhj9qgt)
I am in no doubt that, after the two fashion capitals of the world have banned skinny models, we will soon see legislation advanced here in Britain too.

But please, let`s think about this.
Feminism is supposed to be about empowering women, isn`t it? I read that as its purpose being to provide more women with more opportunities.
Last time I looked skinny women are women too. Have they no rights?

If a fat woman were to be refused access to a bus for being fat, there would be a riot in the media.
But refusing a thin woman the right to have a job walking catwalks is applauded.

How has this happened ?
Once more feminism finds itself advocating a policy which actually reduces the rights of women.
After all, a section of women have just lost their existing right to be high paid fashion models.
So a new glass ceiling – introduced in the name of feminism!

We are again in the sticky territory of offence.
Many women claim `offence` at seeing these skinny models held up as ideals – because they themselves are neither skinny, nor slim.
So these models` right to earn a living must be curbed to protect other women from said `offence`.
Clearly, offence trumps everything these days. Even your right to earn a living.

Moreover, the theory that people can be corrupted by seeing images is upheld as sheer fact. Women see skinny models, thus they turn anorexic. Does that thinking sound familiar?

The obvious irony that skinny models ought to be persecuted during an obesity epidemic in the western world seems lost to just about every politician.

So there you go. Don`t be thin. It`s the newest crime of our time. If you`re a girl.

phantom    [30651.   Posted 2-Apr-2015 Thu 06:17] View Near Messages
re: Children`s `charities` get nasty about internet censorship...

I too met the children`s charities campaign on internet porn with disbelief.
The BBC reported it as though the charities reference to `depression` and `pressure to have sex early` as effects of exposure to porn were established fact and not mere opinion forwarded by the charities in question.
The deliberate blurring of lines in this field is now becoming endemic. Nobody ever speaks what they know to be the truth anymore, but instead all engage in this presentation of pseudo-facts in furtherance of their agenda.

And yes, I can only heartily agree with Alan`s comments.
The Perrin case is one which pops up time and time again. Let us not forget that the DPA also used the Perrin case as a basis.
The fact that the case itself represents an outrage of pure injustice does not seem to bother anyone among the ranks of those using it so freely as a supposed legal foundation for their prohibition demands.

It seems to me that to base one`s demands on a legal injustice is quite telling.
For one, it illustrates that one is concerned more by ends than by means. As long as one gets one`s way, one is not really that concerned how it is achieved.
Much the same can also be said about the use of pseudo-evidence about `depression` and `pressure on girls` caused by porn. Lying it appears, is acceptable, if it leads to the goal one desires.

The above is ironic, if one considers that this is supposed to be about what is good for children.
For what could in fact be a worse example to set to children, than to seek to achieve one`s aims by deceits and injustice?

What is the greater evil? Pornography or a society in which even charities lie and connive in order to achieve the personal desires of those who run them?

It was professor Harry G. Frankfurt who wrote a book called `On Bullshit`.
In it he contends that truth has an inherent value to any society. That if all and sundry lie, this damages our societies. For if everyone lies, everyone expects everyone else to lie. Nothing can be believed anymore.
PR agencies and politicians have in effect ruined what was once a fairly truthful society. Now everything is `presentation`. So if one need bend the truth a little to achieve a better impression, so be it. Thus, no company CEO, no minister of the crown, not even a bishop, ever speak the truth anymore. They present. So too now apparently do charities.

The simple truth is that this ubiquity of PR speak, or `bullshit` as Frankfurt puts it, is many times more damaging than any effect pornography could ever exact on us.

Lying is more harmful to society than flesh.

phantom    [30649.   Posted 29-Mar-2015 Sun 07:20] View Near Messages
When is a threat `help`, I wonder?
When it`s from a school head teacher, apparently.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32103991

The Stasi society advances on and on.
Here are head teachers effectively volunteering to turn state informers, in order to `help` people.

phantom    [30643.   Posted 23-Mar-2015 Mon 19:32] View Near Messages
I`m sure they did cut those words, goatboy.
In fact I remember to which two episodes you refer there. (and two episodes, given that they`ve made over 150 episodes so far is very, very tame)
But the fact is that a great deal more than `whore` and `slut` is cut.
Big Bang is just about as mainstream and inoffensive as you can get in a sitcom these days.
The fact that Channel 4 sees fit to cut something out of just about every episode in pre-watershed broadcast is cause for concern.
I would class this series as in tune with modern taste and sensibilities as one can get.
To find fault even in this, one must really try hard.
But channel 4 manages.
One wonders just who encourages them to do this...

phantom    [30641.   Posted 23-Mar-2015 Mon 16:15] View Near Messages
re: Big Bang Theory

It`s been going on for some time. I believe i myself have mentioned the cutting of Big Bang dialogue once or twice on here.
It is utterly incomprehensible to me why something as innocent as this sitcom would be cut, but it is happening on a daily basis.
It seems any screening before the watershed has any line which is even mildly suggestive removed.
The very fact that something so mild can be deemed worthy of cutting does not bode well for any other TV content.

phantom    [30638.   Posted 19-Mar-2015 Thu 19:43] View Near Messages
re: Aw...poor little things...

Stunning. So police officers may have to attend a real murder scene, detailing all the real gore.
But to view some `extreme porn` may be too much for them.
Wow.

Better yet, the judge insisted it was not a `victimless crime`.
Who, pray, is the victim, m`lud? The horse?

phantom    [30636.   Posted 17-Mar-2015 Tue 08:08] View Near Messages
I found the story of Elton John regards Dolce & Gabbana interesting.
The BBC gave it wall to wall coverage on TV and radio.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-31906315

At its heart it was a call for punitive action, because someone had voiced an opinion.

It perfectly chimes with the current trends of militancy whereby some seek to silence those who hold an opposing opinion.

The fact that Dolce was accused of being `anti-gay` for his comments when he is in fact himself homosexual shows just how insane the claims here have become.

You must conform to the mainstream view or people will seek to silence you. Here Dolce & Gabbana are threatened with economic sanctions unless they publicly repent and confirm that they `think right`.

There can be no doubt that we are looking at a form of censorship here. One facilitated by the new phenomenon of social media.

It seems to have struck next to none of the celebs lining up behind Elton John that maybe Dolce - in a supposedly free society - has every right to voice his opinion.
Whether one actually agrees with him or not, surely is irrelevant.
The man may say or think what he likes - without people `taking offence` and then seeking to exact their vengeance.

phantom    [30633.   Posted 14-Mar-2015 Sat 17:36] View Near Messages
re: Offsite Article: Are you reading too many books by straight white men?

The mind truly boggles.
I have always been staggered at there being a perceived need for a Bailey`s `Women`s prize for Fiction` these days.
But a call to boycott white male writers is so surreal it beggars belief.

Have any of these feminist darlings calling for such a boycott (or awarding female authors` prizes) ever heard of Agatha Christie, The Bronte Sisters, J.K.Rowling, Barbara Taylor Bradford or Jane Austen?

How could anyone ever conclude that women are discriminated against in writing and publishing?

One wonders. One truly wonders what goes on in their little heads. :)

phantom    [30629.   Posted 12-Mar-2015 Thu 07:41] View Near Messages
On yesterday`s news (might have been Newsnight) the BBC alluded to how the political parties having a right ding dong online with negative campaign ads and video clips.
How so?
Because the same rules do not apply to political ads online as do for broadcasts and advertising hoardings.

Odd isn`t it? Given that the parties in question always claim to be very keen for the same rules which apply to the `real world` also to apply online.

But apparently not if it concerns them.

phantom    [30626.   Posted 2-Mar-2015 Mon 18:14] View Near Messages
re: Adultery law is found to be cheating on the people...

"The law is unconstitutional as it infringes people`s right to make their own decisions on sex and secrecy and freedom of their private life, violating the principle banning excessive enforcement under the constitution."

Must be nice to have a written constitution. What lucky few the South Koreans are.

Er, didn`t we fight for their freedom?

Ironic, isn`t it?

phantom    [30624.   Posted 28-Feb-2015 Sat 18:50] View Near Messages
I wonder. Is it only me who thinks this?
A doctrine seems to have sneaked into the nation`s thinking on terrorism, which seems to have originated from a rather familiar field – censorship of porn and violence.

Here`s what I mean.
The BBFC-style pseudo-scientific nonsense of people aping what they see in photos and film has effectively been accepted as official doctrine by the entire establishment.
Hence we`ve seen a whole raft of irrational legislation trying to bar the mere sight of things which might `harm` us.

But this thinking seems now to be polluting other areas of policy. (Always a danger with strictly doctrinal thinking.)

Where are all the Islamists getting radicalised? Why, on the internet, of course.
They see stuff and then become raving lunatics, foaming at the mouth.
Does this not sound oddly familiar?

Do we really believe that watching some preacher spouting the need to kill and destroy on youtube would turn anyone into some mindless drone wanting to chop people`s heads off.
Surely, such preachers can only preach to the converted.
Nobody else will ever grant them any credence.

Once again the notion of `vulnerable, young men` rears its ugly head.
Oh, of course it would not affect you and me. No. Only the `vulnerable`.

But I hold that no reasonable Muslim, no matter how devout, will watch some bloke in Yemen mouthing off about the need to slaughter and will then turn into a `sleeper` waiting for an opportune moment to attack the London Underground.
It`s just blatant nonsense.

But everyone in power subscribes to it.

The government (who want more powers over the net), the schools and Muslim society (who want to be absolved of any responsibility) and the press (who hate the internet with a passion, due to it gradually destroying their industry).

So the internet it is and something must be done.

The truth is that Islamist propaganda on the net is ludicrous.
Despite our being told how `sophisticated` it is, it is fairly idiotic, put together by people who have watched a few too many Rambo movies and think ninjas are cool.
If I see one more example of Jihadis dressed in black, attempting an assault course in which one of the obstacles is a burning circus ring through which to jump, I`ll have a seizure.

And if some bearded chap, trying to look regal, talking to camera, trying to explain why Allah perfectly justifies the killing of anything that moves, is supposed to be convincing, then why are not droves of other sects more successful?

If it`s that easy, then surely all the established churches, the moonies, jehova`s witnesses or the scientologists need to do is upload plenty of youtube clips and thousands will come flocking to their ranks. After all, it`s that simple to brainwash people into thinking what you think, if only it`s on camera.

Unless it`s all nonsense.

Unless, the wholesale embrace of BBFC-style doctrine into mainstream politics has led us down a blind alley.

Having taken a foolish idea, - namely that watching zombie films can turn you into a psycho-killer and that watching porn will turn you into a rapist, - and having applied it to a different subject we have drawn a totally wrong conclusion.

The war with the terrorists is not online.
Pointing to the fact that the various nutjobs who have killed had visited sites containing hate preachers or other pages expressing sympathy with terrorists means nothing.
Of course they visited such sites. Because they were Islamist nutjobs.
What other sites would we expect Islamist nutjobs to visit?

It`s the old fallacy of pointing to rapists having viewed porn.
Again the blatant transference of thinking is obvious.

The problem is that in the case of terrorism getting it wrong could literally mean the difference between life or death for some.

The problem of radicalisation of Muslims lies not on the net. It never has done. It never will do.
Finding where this radicalisation truly occurs is of the utmost importance.

But charging down blind allies due to the flawed thinking of self-appointed `experts` of mind-corruption at the BBFC in this case is not merely wasteful, but downright dangerous.

Opinions welcome....

phantom    [30619.   Posted 13-Feb-2015 Fri 06:10] View Near Messages
re: More people to be persecuted for extreme pornography...

"More nasty laws generated by crap politicians who seem to get a kick out of jailing innocent people"

Well put, Dave.
It has long appeared to me that the crass desire to interfere with other people`s sexual interests is in fact a sexual fetish of its own.

Personally, I regard it as a sort of molestation. Just as a woman might not appreciate having her behind grabbed at a bus station, so do I think most people abhor the government sticking its hand down their knickers in these incessant sexual prohibitions.

But chances are it is a sort of control fetish, - Fifty Shades of Westminster Grey, so to speak, - whereby certain people in power are actually sexually driven to these acts of sexual control.
Who knows, to those of a submissive bent, this `being controlled` may in fact prove gratifying.

But what is clear to me is that the drive to control our collective sexuality appears so compulsive that it may indeed be a syndrome.
You may be familiar with Stockholm Syndrome, the condition attributed to some victims of kidnapping, whereby they begin to bond with their captors.
Who knows, there may be such a thing as `Westminster Syndrome` whereby the mere act of being in power creates the irrational desire to delve into other people`s sexual habits and desires in order to interfere.

What is evident is that the symptoms displayed so vividly by politicians make it quite clear that the condition is highly abnormal...

phantom    [30618.   Posted 11-Feb-2015 Wed 12:28] View Near Messages
freeworld

I agree with your summation of the Green Party. I too would rather see them as authoritarian than libertarian. As said, i can only imagine that their stance on animal rights is being counted as a huge plus on `civil liberties`. I cannot otherwise see how they can be so far in the liberal sphere on that graph.

As for UKIP however, I would point you to the very paragraph you`ve quoted.
It is an explanation why they are positioned so far to the right on the graph, not why they are positioned so far in the authoritarian domain.
The term `neoliberal` denotes macro-economic views, not anything to do with the libertarian/authoritarian spectrum.
So, no, the author is not, as you allege, denoting them as authoritarian for any NHS policy.
Just as with the Greens their position on the libertarian/authoritarian spectrum is unexplained.
I would very much like to know what the author`s thinking was.
But it is not apparent from that article alone.

phantom    [30615.   Posted 10-Feb-2015 Tue 15:34] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) [30613]
freeworld [30614]
On the whole I`d say it`s a very laudable attempt at a graphic
depiction of political positions.

Yes, I too am a little perplexed as to how the Greens got to be so far into libertarian territory.
No policies spring to mind which would put them there. Yes, they support legalisation of prostitution, but that policy alone cannot make up for that huge gap.
I suspect that the creator of the graph takes the Green`s commitment to animal rights and welfare into consideration, thus equating civil rights with animal rights. Not very helpful.

But all in all, one thing becomes clear.
There simply is no meaningful representation of liberal views in UK politics today.
It demonstrates that the democratic choice presented to the people today is a false one.
One is permitted to choose between right and left, but the most liberal minded nation on earth is not given any liberal choices, lest they choose them....

As for your comment on health, Freeworld, I think the comment on UKIP being neo-liberal is aimed at their economic policy (i.e. liberal=`laisser faire` economic policy), which I guess is code for `right-wing`. Which is where the health service comes into it.
so I don`t think one is saying their views on health service make them authoritarian.

As such I am surprised at how authoritarian UKIP are portrayed in that graph. Sure, they`d be tough on immigration, which would surely push them up that scale, but I can`t really point to any great number of harsh, authoritarian policies. Personally, I would suspect they would be authoritarians, but I cannot actually point to anything solid.

Than again, I guess much of that graph must be done by feel.
But it`s a very creditable attempt. I applaud whoever did it.

phantom    [30610.   Posted 9-Feb-2015 Mon 14:31] View Near Messages
Dave

While it is true that these days it appears that militancy is on the march everywhere (I shudder at what monsters our universities are creating right now), I do think it especially worrying when parliamentarians get ever more trigger happy.

Right now it is very hard to find any person who has actually got a say in the matter of making law, who seems the slightest bit interested in liberties and rights.

There seems to be no inclination by anyone to restrain the law, to stifle the march of the state.
No, the state is a universal good. Anything the state does is good by default.
Anyone who questions the state apparently sides with the terrorists, paedophiles and criminals.

Nobody in a position of power seems to have the slightest doubts whether intervention has any downsides.
Telling people what to do - more, what to think - now appears to be the very purpose for which the state was created.

phantom    [30608.   Posted 8-Feb-2015 Sun 19:25] View Near Messages
Will not someone save us from these censorious morons?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31246808

Is there a single liberal minded politician left in the country?

phantom    [30605.   Posted 6-Feb-2015 Fri 07:29] View Near Messages
re: Applying BBFC rules to real life...

There we are. It`s happened. Once again.
Calls for censorship of the news on grounds of taste and morality.
Not that it`s not already the case that news broadcasters refuse to show us things which are `too graphic to broadcast`.
No, we need more cuts. (News vetted by the BBFC perhaps? Paid for of course.)

So let`s be clear, the news reports facts. (or at least it should do)
Terrorist violence is a fact. Imagery of terrorist violence is imagery of fact.
Andreas Whittam Smith believes it might be a good idea to withhold facts.

Some truths, it is best for us not to know.
It`s for our own good.

So where is the line, Mr Whittam Smith?

You deem the pilot`s execution off limits.
But what about the burning twin towers? Should we only be told that happened? But not shown?

Or what Abu Ghraib? That was in bad taste too, wasn`t it, Mr Whittam Smith? So best for us not to see that truth either.
Whole episodes of inconvenient truths could be disappeared.

A democracy depends heavily on its population being informed.
An uninformed populace can be led to vote for a Hitler.

And talking of Hitler, are the old pictures and films from the concentration camps also too tasteless for us to see?
All those emaciated bodies being bulldozed into pits?

Where do you cease to sanitise history?

The truth is, Mr Andreas Whittam Smith, you are a moralising, puritan moron; no doubt your chief qualification for being hired for the BBFC.

The truth has a value. It far outweighs any blether of taste and decency you might have picked up on some BBFC seminar.

I suggest you go live in North Korea. I`m told they have no nasty imagery on their news. You`d be happy there.

Bon voyage.

phantom    [30603.   Posted 5-Feb-2015 Thu 04:52] View Near Messages
re: A Bum Steer

I love that article.
So the means of advertising must have something to do with the product?
Thus a skimpily clad lady has nothing to do with steering wheels...

Ok, let`s test that theory.
What, pray, has an orangutan got to do with SSE Energy?
What has a meerkat got to do with a comparison site?
Er... What has the ITV Digital monkey got to do with PG Tips Tea?
Best of all, what has six-pack lawnmower man got to do with Diet Coke?
One could go on and on....

What is obvious is that the ASA statement doesn`t hold up to even the most perfunctory scrutiny.

The truth is selling steering wheels has to do with cars.
It was Sigmund Freud`s nephew, Edward Bernays (who invented modern PR), who famously used sex in adverts to sell cars.
Ever since Bernays used his uncle`s findings to appeal to the consumer`s subconscious in order to sell goods, products related to cars have been sold with sexual references.
One would think the ASA would know that....

This just seems to be another attempt at attacking `lads mags` culture. What are we to find hanging from the walls of car repair garages if not pics of page three girls and sexy adverts for car parts?
Do we really expect them to display posters of characters out of Jane Austen novels instead?
Or six pack diet coke men? :)

phantom    [30601.   Posted 3-Feb-2015 Tue 16:05] View Near Messages
I can see how one could think the distributor might argue for an 18 certificate for fear of it else being seen as too tame.

But given the BBFC`s record on fetish, I don`t think there`s a chance in hell of `Fifty Shades of Grey` being deemed anything but an 18.

`Secretary` and `The Notorious Betty Page` have nothing remarkable in them. Yet both are 18 certificates.
But what they share is a fetish theme.
So does `Fifty Shades of Grey`.

Fetish is the equivalent of a nun-chak to the BBFC.
They will simply not permit anything fetish, whether it contains any nudity or not, under 18.
Truth be told - fetish is the new gay.

It would have amounted to a miracle to see `Fifty Shades of Grey` awarded a lesser certificate than 18, given current BBFC policy.
It`s their bias, bigotry and prejudice that counts - and we all know what it is.

phantom    [30599.   Posted 3-Feb-2015 Tue 08:04] View Near Messages
Dave, was there really ever a chance of the BBFC awarding a 15 certificate?

I don`t think so.
See examples below. Both BBFC 18 certificates.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secretary-DVD-James-Spader/dp/B000777UEK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Notorious-Bettie-Page-DVD/dp/B000MX7YGI

I`m sorry, but I just don`t believe there was ever the faintest chance of `Shades of Grey` being anything other than an 18.

phantom    [30596.   Posted 31-Jan-2015 Sat 18:40] View Near Messages
re: Judged too small a sample...

"This one case has left me in no doubt that the wearing of wigs in a professional capacity has a tremendous effect on an individual.
The judicial wigs available today are simply horrific and play a real part in the rotting of the brain."

Sorry. I just couldn`t resist.

But, if I understand correctly, this judge has himself seen this horrific imagery. As he attributes such power to this imagery, what is he planning to do about himself? Is he referring himself into custody?
Having seen these images he now - according to his own logic - represents a clear and present danger.

Frankly, I`m worried.
Why does this judge not do the honourable thing and section himself?
After all, he has seen those pictures.
We can`t have him turning into a psychotic killer at any moment.
This is intolerable.
Won`t someone think of the children?
The Lord Chief Justice must be incarcerated now. Immediately.
For all our sakes.

phantom    [30592.   Posted 31-Jan-2015 Sat 05:13] View Near Messages
freeworld {30591}

I definitely agree with you that much of feminist rhetoric in fact dis-empowering women.
Every woman is cast the victim.

Fear is used as a powerful weapon. Rapists are everywhere. It`s a world of predators. Ludicrous statistics suggest one in four women are subject to sexual violence. Tens of thousands of women are trafficked and forced into sexual slavery in this country alone.

Moreover, women are not to make their own decisions as many will make the `wrong` choices, because they`re brainwashed by the patriarchy.
Their competency and right to consent is taken by the lawmakers, considered merely `notional consent`, not the real consent of the kind a man would give.

So yes, I see recent notions championed by militant feminists - and accepted by the political class - as detrimental to women - and to feminism itself.

To this day I say that the mainstay of feminism ought to be mundane tasks like making sure that dinner ladies and cleaning ladies get the equivalent rates of pay. But those sort of battles have simply been seconded to the unions. Those subjects are not sufficiently controversial to get lots of media attention.
When have you last heard Harriet Harman or Dianne Abbot stand up for equal pay for working class women?
In truth I cannot remember ever hearing them mention the subject.

phantom    [30590.   Posted 30-Jan-2015 Fri 09:07] View Near Messages
Here`s another twist on censorship.
Taylor Swift now claims to own bits of the Oxford English Dictionary, I guess.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-31053821

If that`s the game we`re now playing, I`d like to trademark the words `The`, `And` and `Hello`.

phantom    [30589.   Posted 29-Jan-2015 Thu 18:18] View Near Messages
freeworld [30588]

Well, first off some of the Daily Mail verbiage is shockingly wrong.

"Date rape suspects will now need to prove that a woman consented as part of tough new rules on the way sex offence cases are investigated."

That part is just plainly inept reporting. Providing such `proof` would in fact be impossible. It isn`t what the changes contain.

"....Alison Saunders, said she wanted police to ask suspects how they knew the alleged victim was saying yes, and was doing so `freely and knowingly."

It is the above part which is actually the true change being proposed.
But I agree, it sounds dubious.

"The rules also aims to stop suspects using social media to construct ‘false narratives’ to help cover their tracks."

That part sounds highly controversial to me. If you were accused of rape by a person, would it really be unreasonable of you to see what that person is stating they actually did in facebook, etc?

To my mind, the rise in rape claims means
a) either more men are raping
b) more women are making false allegations

However, to suggest b) is "sexist, detrimental to justice", yadda yadda... "Jimmy Savile" yadda yadda...
Thus, it must be a). Not because we know it to be. But because it must be. Because certain circles want it to be.

And because those circles have votes...

This coming election is going to see a great chase for the female vote. (Or better for particular sections of the female vote)
The pollsters have been predicting this for some time now.

I`m afraid this is part of this game.
(Btw, tightening up on internet porn was also just to placate the mumsnet crowd - 6 months before a general election. Thus exactly the same thing.)

phantom    [30587.   Posted 29-Jan-2015 Thu 08:02] View Near Messages
re: Sabreman64 [30586]
I wonder whether Stephen Glover has got any sort of rational explanation regarding how it is possible that sexual offences numbers have been falling for years now despite this `vile porn` being everywhere `to poison men`s minds`.

phantom    [30585.   Posted 28-Jan-2015 Wed 05:38] View Near Messages
In that case.

I also don`t believe in censorship....
...BUT...
I think books like these ought to be banned.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Third-Way-New-Politics-Century/dp/0716305887

"There would be many who would argue" that banning these books would prevent future warmongering, protect Magna Carta and prevent the imposition of arbitrary bans and prohibitions.

Not that I`m saying this material should be banned, of course.
But I`m saying we should have a national debate... and then ban it.

Then again, I bet Thomas Docherty MP would not agree with the above.
Why? Well, see the link below.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1341560/Tories-slam-preposterous-plan-statue-Tony-Blair.html

Ironically, in that mock picture, the statue is almost performing the Nazi salute.... How fitting. :)

phantom    [30582.   Posted 26-Jan-2015 Mon 14:11] View Near Messages
re: Lest it `offends` the terrorists...

What a very strange article.
The BBC seems to be suggesting that they are very careful and considerate when using the term `terrorist`.
But I know them to be quite fast and loose with the term in some respects.

Not to call the acts in Paris `terrorist` is plainly ridiculous.
It begs the question, if those acts were not, then what is?

But take the BBC`s reporting on ISIS/ISIL in Syria and `terrorism` is used frequently and indiscriminately. Such use is highly questionable, but - given the arrests of people returning from Syria - that use appears government sanctioned.

With the BBC being so keen to designate ISIS a terror organisation, it makes their refusal to dub the Paris attackers, - a much more clear cut case, - all the more extraordinary.

Gunning down journalists and Jews in a metropolis, just for the hell of it, seems to me the epitome of terrorism.
Taking part in a civil war on the other hand, does not.

This bizarre bias on part of the BBC seems to suggest that one is trying to please some political master.

This in turn makes their insistence on being particularly careful in their use of the term `terrorist` all the more strange.

phantom    [30580.   Posted 25-Jan-2015 Sun 04:29] View Near Messages
I`m sorry, but why call them *****?
Why not ISIS or ISIL?
Why be afraid of an abbreviation?

phantom    [30576.   Posted 22-Jan-2015 Thu 07:19] View Near Messages
Yes, it is rather ludicrous that there appears to be the belief that folks smoke, because the packages look nice. It once more is a faith.
A faith that there are vulnerable people out there there who can be led astray simply with brightly coloured cardboard.
Oh, not you or I, of course. But others. Vulnerable people.

It is a faith which is everywhere these days.
We all know it originated in the anti porn movement.
But now we even find it in ideas about combatting islamist radicalisation.
As with all dogma, it sooner or later spreads into every nook and cranny.

The irony course is that the government approach aims to be offensive. Yes, think about it.
`We`ll plaster the packets in ghastly, hideous pictures,` goes the mantra.
Yes, offensive pictures, say I.

So in an age when causing offence is the greatest crime, offensive pictures on cigarette packets are ok.
I can but chuckle.

I understand the desire to stop people smoking.
But I do not think this is the way to do it. Who knows, it might be effective, although I doubt it.
However, things need not only be effective, they need to be right in principle.
Telling manufacturers of a legal product that they need to make it look ugly and repulsive is highly questionable to me - in principle.

And I`m speaking as someone who has never smoked a cigarette in his life. So I hardly have a reason to be biased.

But who knows, maybe there is an answer here.
I may be willing to agree to this in principle, if it also applies to political advertisements.

So the next posters to go up advertising Labour and the Conservatives; if 75% of the available area is covered by photographic depictions of gum disease or genital warts and only 25% is left - in plain grey, of course - to contain the party political message; then I might come round to this idea.

After all, there are many vulnerable people out there.
It`s important not to corrupt them. ;)

phantom    [30570.   Posted 20-Jan-2015 Tue 06:59] View Near Messages
Brilliant link Sergio.

The Sun`s Page 3 was a bastion. Something for the demagogues and naysayers to rail against. As long as it held, other subjects were safe.
The fall of Page 3, the Sun`s page 3 that is, is thus a serious matter.

The enemy hordes will not rest a moment, but charge onward, at whatever feeble defences can be erected at other points.

Personally, I have never understood the point of topless girls in newspapers. But the libertarian principle behind it was an important one.
It needn`t make sense. Whether logical, necessary or not, the point was simply, why should there not be pictures of topless girls in a newspaper? What right would anyone have to deny it?

And the fact that politicians feared the press barons was equally important. If the press is now moving away from a defence of page 3, it means that zealous politicians will no longer need to fear the press when waging war on nipples.

The victory will now no doubt further strengthen the claims that:
a) nudity demeans and objectifies women,
b) sight of nudity causes harm.
For it is clear that campaigners will insist that the press are backing down, because they have come to accept their arguments.

The truth of course is that no rational argument has ever been made to substantiate their claims. Making these claims noisily doesn`t make them right.

As someone who has known various page 3 girls over time, I know for sure that they were neither exploited, nor oppressed. Moreover, their page 3 appearances, if anything, were a source of pride.
And they disliked having it rubbished.

But yes, Singapore has fallen, gentlemen.
I shudder at what may happen next...

phantom    [30567.   Posted 19-Jan-2015 Mon 17:11] View Near Messages
Newsnight tonight (19/1/15) postulated the same thing: The Sun`s Page 3 most likely dead.

So yes, no doubt all the feminist campaigners will now stop and go home, right? They wouldn`t just move on to demanding something else, would they? Surely, not...

phantom    [30565.   Posted 18-Jan-2015 Sun 15:21] View Near Messages
The great leader speaks!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30873150

David `Mandela` Cameron announces that it is perfectly ok, in a free society, to offend someone - as long as it`s within the law.
It`s apparently not his job to tell people what to publish or what not to publish. His job is merely to uphold the law.

He seems to forget - temporarily - that, as prime minister, he is the man who proposes law and then uses his party`s whip`s office to see it passed by parliament. So by passing law he is very much the man who tells people what they cannot publish.
It must have slipped his mind...

The hypocrisy brought on by the whole `Charlie Hebdo` affair is limitless, it appears.
Everyone is keen to be seen defending `western values`. This despite just about every politician in the land being engaged in the continual dismantling of western freedoms of expression.

So David `call me ATVOD` Cameron is here actually purporting that he is not a censorious type, claiming in a free society we have a right to cause offence.
But he further claims that there is no right to wreak vengeance as a result of offence.

I wonder whether all those British citizens arrested, prosecuted and jailed for viewing offensive material, or for having said something offensive on his watch will agree with his being quite so free spirited.
Some might say he is very much the man who likes exacting vengeance on those who do something to offend - by sticking them behind bars.

Saying that your job is only to see that people publish things within the law is incredibly two-faced, when you are clearly engaged in tightening the law to such an extent that the pips aren`t squeaking, - they`re bloody screaming by now.

For the latest champion for the banning of bad ideas to drape himself in the mantle of free expression is quite sickening.

I can only assume that integrity and truthfulness are not values which Eton tries to impart onto its pupils these days.

phantom    [30564.   Posted 18-Jan-2015 Sun 07:33] View Near Messages
What? :)

phantom    [30560.   Posted 13-Jan-2015 Tue 17:45] View Near Messages
re: Fetish Theme...

I don`t think the 18 rating of the Duke of Burgundy has anything to do with preparing the ground for the 50 Shades of Grey movie.
Far more it is perfectly in-keeping with the BBFC`s bias toward all things fetish and BDSM.
Let`s not forget `the Notorious Bettie Page` which also received an 18 certificate. Something which is almost impossible to explain, given the film itself.
But the BBFC hate fetish.
They are effectively at war with it.
They are not alone. The government are right behind them.
Let`s not forget at whom the DPA was mainly targeted.

The BBFC`s war on fetish stems from an irrational bias which can only be compared to the nun-chak ban some years ago.
It is not based on any sound reasoning whatsoever, but instead is derived purely from personal dislike and hostile dogma.

As long as we have censors we will have the banning of concepts and ideas purely on the basis of personal beliefs and bias.

The only hope we have is to one day rid ourselves of the censors.
As for the BBFC, they are beyond reform.

phantom    [30559.   Posted 13-Jan-2015 Tue 09:24] View Near Messages
sergio [30558]
Sounds as though they`ve caved in.
I for one, sent a complaint. I`m sure others will have too.
In my complaint I pointed out that other news platforms were showing the picture; that the Beeb was displaying editorial cowardice.

All through the evening and night of 12/1/15 they were describing in words what was on the front page, but refusing to show it.
If there was any lesson from Paris it was not to bow to the fear of offence. And here they were reporting on Paris, but missing the central point the story was about; namely for the west to stick to its values.

I can`t help but wonder how many folks complained.
I suspect they were embarrassed into giving in.

phantom    [30557.   Posted 12-Jan-2015 Mon 21:20] View Near Messages
What is missing in this BBC article?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30790409

On Newsnight Evan Davies almost showed it to the camera, but clearly was instructed by the little voice in his ear, not to.

So, the BBC remain as ball-less as ever.

phantom    [30555.   Posted 10-Jan-2015 Sat 13:17] View Near Messages
Мария [30554]

So just to get this straight?
The cartoonists at `Charlie Hebdo` spat in your mother`s face in front of you? They then posted nude pictures of your sister on the net? And finished by defecating on your grandfather`s medals?

Because this seems to be what your point is suggesting.
The problem is, I don`t believe they ever did that to you.

I think you`re just a nasty little man who has issues with some of the things Charlie Hebdo printed in their magazine.
And now you like the fact that they`re gone.
Because now they won`t be doing things anymore of which you disapprove.
So yes, no problem someone shot the court jester, ey?

Human society evolves. Yes, it`s an evolution. The ascent of man is not only from the ape to his current shape, but so too from the cave dweller to the modern citizen of the world.
However, some of us are less evolved than others. Some just see those who have striven on ahead as decadent and depraved, simply because they cannot understand.

They are the Neanderthals of the human family, railing in anger at man`s progress which is leaving them ever further behind.

There are atrocities and injustices everywhere in the world.
But some are of symbolic value.

The abuse of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib for instance was such a moment. Not because their lives were any more valuable than those of children maimed in Syria, but because their plight became symbolic for all that was wrong with the war in Iraq.
They were thus not mere victims, but symbols.

In that same way the shooting of a group of unarmed men, who simply made a living by drawing and writing has become such a symbol.
These men were not collateral damage in a war. They were not the unintended targets of a greater struggle in Ukraine, Syria or Gaza.
No, they were deliberately sought out and killed.
Because they dared to make people laugh.

Two men, who claimed to believe in Allah being the most powerful force in the entire universe, capable of exploding stars, even galaxies, in the blink of an eye, thought their almighty deity needed protecting from drawings in `Charlie Hebdo`.
Two idiots killed cartoonists for not believing in things the way they did.

phantom    [30553.   Posted 9-Jan-2015 Fri 21:40] View Near Messages
Dave

What really rattles my cage with the Charlie Hebdo saga from a UK perspective is the staggering level of hypocrisy.
Every politician over here is declaring that he or she is standing `shoulder to shoulder` with Charlie Hebdo.
All of them are saying that the freedom, as symbolised by Charlie Hebdo, is key to our western values and democracy.
But the truth is Charlie Hebdo would be a banned publication here.
Let`s face it, of how many laws would it run foul, with its satirical, attacking style? In comparison Private Eye is rather Charlie`s neutered British cousin.
There would be an orgy of litigations and prosecutions against Charlie Hebdo in this country. Not least for `inciting hatred`.
In a country where police enter shops to tell patrons to remove gollywogs from the display, what chance for Charlie Hebdo?
So to me, it`s extremely annoying to have to listen to these UK political hypocrites on how keen they supposedly are to defend such liberties - for the French!

But I did chuckle when I saw your update on `Stand up for free speech`.
It was when I saw the Charlie front page `Il faut voiler Charlie Hebdo!`. It translates as `Charlie Hebdo should be veiled!`

Does that sound vaguely familiar? Remember various publications being sold in opaque sleeves in supermarkets and newsagents? Remember certain folks demanding the practice be spread?
Strange how unwittingly relevant a French mag can be...

phantom    [30551.   Posted 9-Jan-2015 Fri 09:35] View Near Messages
Someone pinch me, please. I want to wake up.

So Gordon Taylor made the `wrong` simile and now needs to apologise for it?
(and has already done so, effectively conceding that the attack on him was correct?)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30749036

What can any public figure actually say anymore that will not cause `offence`?
It was self-evident what point Gordon Taylor was trying to make.
The outrage relates to a completely unrelated point.
But it means that the original point can be readily ignored.
At least this seems to be the conclusion.

Whether one actually agrees with Taylor or not is really irrelevant.
What matters is that he`s effectively been silenced (more; forced to apologise, in order to save his neck) after being hit by an outrage avalanche.

It is absolutely clear that no offence regards Hillsboro was intended. It actually takes a great deal of conscious effort to be offended here.
Apparently, what he says implies something. This implication is offensive.

Once again, pinch me, someone. Please.

phantom    [30550.   Posted 7-Jan-2015 Wed 17:40] View Near Messages
Yes, but will any of the `great statesmen` who have been waxing lyrical about the Paris shooting, have the balls to stand up and hold a speech about that girl`s right to be in porn without being shot?
Nope. I doubt we`ll be hearing from President Hollande on that subject.

Porn somehow is not free speech. Cartoons are. Go figure.

And as for the feminists? Well, they`ll no doubt use one particular line, which they otherwise decry.
`She asked for it.`

phantom    [30547.   Posted 7-Jan-2015 Wed 12:44] View Near Messages
I guess today we saw another demonstration of the spirit of the age.
Three Islamist nut jobs stormed into the office of a humorous French magazine and shot twelve people.

Apparently, the great and mighty Allah, creator of the universe and all living things, needed protecting from a French magazine...

Irony, it seems, is not part of the Islamist curriculum.

That said, David Cameron - national censor and imprisoner in chief - immediately sprung into statesman mode during prime minister`s question time.
`...and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy and these people will never be able to take us off those values.`
Clearly, irony didn`t feature much at Eton either.

Harriet Harman, the nation`s foremost demander of the silencing of others, not wanting to be left out, has also pronounced these attacks `a fundamental challenge to western values`.
So it seems the St Paul`s Girl`s School is also not a place where irony is taught.

One struggles really to comprehend on what level Cameron and Harman disagree with the terrorists.
Sure, they appear not to agree with the terrorists` methods of killing people outright.

But according to their statements there ought to be a great chasm in libertarian principle between these two politicos and the terrorists.

However, I just can`t make it out.
Harman with her `western values` wishes to silence those people who are `wrong` just as much as the men in balaclavas do.
And Cameron with his `free speech and democracy` is hardly known as a great champion of civil liberties and free speech. I mean, just mention the human rights act to him and watch the steam coming from his ears.
that`s before we even touch on internet filters, etc.

Both also have no problem with imprisoning people without trial or non-public trials. Both also have voiced no opposition to punishing people for saying the wrong thing, on race, religion or homosexuality.

So yes, the terrorists committed murder. I get it.

But for the pontificating on free speech and western values to hold water, surely our political elite ought to hold some actual difference with the goals of the terrorists?

From where I`m standing, they in fact seem to share the key motivation of those gunmen; namely the desire and inclination to silence those with whom they disagree.

phantom    [30545.   Posted 30-Dec-2014 Tue 07:46] View Near Messages
sergio {30544}

Well, the author is right insofar that regulation and prohibition by law are two separate things. And yes, all industry tends to be regulated.
That said, there is an overlap between regulation and prohibitive law.
After all, regulation may prohibit things.

What is exceptional here however, is that regulation is not about how many hours it is safe to work, or under what weather conditions certain things are prohibited.

No, the industry regulation he is speaking of here is that of free expression. Is expression still `free` if it is regulated?
This is a question not merely the pornsters are asking. The press have also been posing this question ever since the Leveson inquiry.
(albeit it is worth pointing out that porn has never had its Leveson inquiry)

My appropriate argument would be that which I use with the BBFC. Regulation of free expression is not censorship - as long as it permits free expression.
As we know, the BBFC does not permit free expression.
It still insists on refusing certificates.

The ATVOD regulation is based on BBFC guidelines. This means that material is not merely regulated. True, much of it is regulated, but over all hangs the threat of outright prohibition.

As long as the `regulators` maintain the right to ban, then they are in fact censors. After all, only permitted material is `regulated`.
Were they regulators, then their role would be to regulate all material; not merely that which they permit.

So I tend to disagree with the author. I think we are seeing censorship.

Further, there is the issue of who bears the cost of this `regulation`.
Given that the regulation is not utilitarian in its principles, but entirely faith based, it is somewhat unfair to lay its cost upon those who are non-believers.
The censorship regime is effectively being introduced entirely due to the beliefs in harm, etc by certain groups in society.
But it is not they who are being asked to bear the costs of those beliefs.

The standard reasoning for industry paying for regulatory costs is well accepted. But that is due to an evidence based approach. There is a reason why we have health and safety regulation in nuclear power plants and it seems feasible that it should be the industry which bears the cost of it.
Power plants are dangerous. Nuclear plants represent a potential hazard to the health of the entire nation. Not because we believe it to be so, but because science tells us so.

Porn is now increasingly regulated as though it were radioactive. But so far, all we have is belief.
To demand one group to pay for the beliefs of the other is a steep ask.

But then why shouldn`t the Conservative Party donours pay some of the costs of the Labour Party and vice versa? Perhaps then they might see the error of their ways.

phantom    [30543.   Posted 24-Dec-2014 Wed 08:21] View Near Messages
Hmm...

So, what`s to look forward to living in western liberal Britain in 2015.

Look at wrong picture. Result: arrest. (DPA, to be extended to include `rape porn`)
Tell wrong joke. Result: arrest. (communications act)
Have argument with partner. Result: arrest. (new offence of `coercive and controlling behaviour`)
Smoke in your car. Result: a fine. (children and families act)

Do you feel free yet? :)

phantom    [30538.   Posted 18-Dec-2014 Thu 04:49] View Near Messages
Ah, the joys of parliamentary English.

I assumed `laid before parliament` meant that parliamentary approval was sought/needed.

That said it seems merely to be a flashy term used to describe that something has been published.
http://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/laid-or-laying-before-parliament/

So Clegg did not get to vote on it. Neither did anyone else. That said, he`s still the party leader in a coalition. He could have blocked this, had he wanted to.

Meanwhile I doubt this is to do with William Hague.
He may be `first secretary of state`, but there are plenty other secretaries of state.
My guess is that giving him that position is merely a way of keeping him in the cabinet, albeit without portfolio.

In this case the closest match would most likely be:
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
The other two candidates I guess would be Department of Justice (Chris Grayling) and the Home Office (Theresa May).

phantom    [30535.   Posted 17-Dec-2014 Wed 15:59] View Near Messages
Well, the way I see it, even if a regulation doesn`t go through parliament, the coalition parties who form the government bear joint responsibility.
After all, if one of the two coalition partners refuses to back it, it cannot go ahead.

In this case, we saw it get rushed through parliament.
So they cannot even claim it to be a mere cabinet stitch up.
they forced it through the parliamentary process as though it were an emergency law. Everyone waving it through.

But I did not hear a single protesting LibDem voice.
Where were those LibDems if they were so opposed to this?
Nowhere.

Now that it`s passed, one or two of the morons are asking for it to be repealed. (Fat chance!)
and now Clegg comes out announcing his opposition to a law the government he`s a part of has just passed!

It`s absolutely risible.

What is the man claiming?
`I didn`t know. I`m only Deputy Prime Minister.`
Is that it?

I may misunderstand this, but I believe parliament voted on this. However, it simply did not debate it.
If that is so, I`d love to know which way Clegg voted.

If anyone knows how to find out, please let me know.
I`ve tried `they work for you`, but can`t make sense of it.

phantom    [30533.   Posted 17-Dec-2014 Wed 10:21] View Near Messages
Well, I just tried finding out, but frankly don`t understand how `they work for you` works on that front.

But I`d still like to know:
Which way did Clegg vote then?

Are we saying he voted for something (I`d assume he voted for it as a cabinet member) which he did not properly understand?
If that`s the case, isn`t he a moron?

I see Clegg`s move as pure electioneering.

This is the man who gave up on the Great Repeal Act - a policy to which his coalition partners had agreed in the coalition talks.

So this is the politician who most likely should have been overseeing the repeal of the DPA, instead he`s part of a government which extends it.

And now he comes out and declares he`s against this extension?

Come on! The man is taking us for mugs.


phantom    [30531.   Posted 16-Dec-2014 Tue 18:51] View Near Messages
re: Nick Clegg champions people`s `exotic` sexual kicks...

Hang on. Clegg is speaking out against the law?

He is doing so now? Now that it is passed?
Where was he while it was going through parliament?
This is a coalition government. He was part of the government which passed this.
Now he is honestly trying to make out it had nothing to do with him?

How can any minister come out to oppose a law his government has passed, - after it is passed?

Clegg kept shtum when his criticism could have mattered.
He speaks up now once the law is on the statutes.

The man is pure slime.

phantom    [30530.   Posted 15-Dec-2014 Mon 07:27] View Near Messages
you might like this one:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30432645

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/wales/11286232/Welsh-rugby-chiefs-urged-to-ban-Tom-Jones-Delilah-before-matches-at-Millennium-Stadium.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30441537

BUT:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30445260

No, no. He doesn`t want it banned at all...

phantom    [30527.   Posted 13-Dec-2014 Sat 08:34] View Near Messages
rifdw [30526]

Hi ridfw,
I`m not sure i share your optimism in the short term.
In the longterm, I`ve always contended that censorship is a completely pointless exercise, doomed to failure.
But mass-surveillance technologies do seem to be emerging for the web.
and with the government bringing GCHQ on board to monitor the web on child porn, the road seems to be being paved to one day have GCHQ monitor for other online `offences` too.
With Britain in a pincer between the political right and left, both agreeing that they want censorship and will achieve it by any means, there seems very little reason for optimism right now.
Personally, I have come to the conclusion that this country has been lost for a generation. Liberal principles are as good as dead right now. Authoritarianism is on the rise.

phantom    [30523.   Posted 11-Dec-2014 Thu 06:17] View Near Messages
sergio [30522]

I see, you too have been enjoying the speech by our great, glorious leader, Kim Jong-Dave.

To be honest I`m a little perplexed about the `new offence` he announced of approaching a child sexually by phone, internet, etc.
Surely that falls under the term of grooming and already illegal.
I can only imagine it`s another one of those Blairesque duplications, whereby you make something illegal which already is, in order to shine in the daily Mail.

But what did seem concerning was the sheer raft of technology which seems to be emerging.

Keeping in mind that most adult content online is now illegal, we just saw Cameron giving us a glimpse of the sheer arsenal which will eventually deployed in blocking it.

Because there can be little ground that once the tools have been perfected in fighting child porn, they will be deployed against porn.

And remember, ATVOD is now the official UK online porn gatekeeper.
Given that even those foreign producers who have only perfectly regular porn online are breaking the law by not paying ATVOD a regulatory fee, it is only a matter of time until the sort of measures Cameron announced today will be used against the wider public and adult pornography.

As usual child pornography is being used as a the testing ground.
Once the legislative framework and enforcement techniques are established, they are soon widened into more mainstream, adult areas.

phantom    [30521.   Posted 6-Dec-2014 Sat 17:14] View Near Messages
Here`s an interesting thought.

The way things are currently set up anything on the net is subject to our courts.
Thus the ATVOD changes have really not just ruled what UK producers make illegal. Far more they have made all material on the net which does not comply with BBFC standards illegal. It is just that they cannot touch the foreign porn producers.

But that begs the question, how much of current worldwide online pornography is now deemed illegal due to ATVOD?

We all know that vast amounts of international porn would not pass the BBFC as they might contain even a snippet lasting seconds of something the BBFC does not allow.

Just how much of the world`s porn do we believe the UK has currently ruled illegal in this grandiose scheme?

Perhaps the campaigners opposing these laws would be best served sending letters to foreign governments asking them what they think about Mr Cameron implying that they are effectively harbouring `UK porn criminals`.

phantom    [30520.   Posted 6-Dec-2014 Sat 11:30] View Near Messages
Sergio,
What chance that Blossfeldt photographed some kids as part of his body of work and that recently somebody complained about it?

The inability by some to comprehend that some art photographers capture the human form in all its guises seems to be pretty run of the mill these days.

Didn`t Elton John run into that very problem with some art photography he owned? I seem to recall a story on here once.

phantom    [30516.   Posted 4-Dec-2014 Thu 21:06] View Near Messages
re: The Truth about the Porn Law Changes...

And the prize for best load of corporate whoring on matters of ATVOD goes to Murray Perkins of the BBFC:

"The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations will ensure that UK on-demand content is consistent with legally available pornography off-line, benefiting from the application of UK law and the expert legal and medical advice which informs BBFC decisions."

So the censored are in fact not censored at all. Far more, they are permitted to benefit from the application of UK law! Fantastic!

phantom    [30515.   Posted 3-Dec-2014 Wed 20:42] View Near Messages
The worrying fact behind the entire ATVOD story is that it makes no sense to persecute UK producers, as they are simply responsible for too small a part of the available pornography online for it too make any serious impact on the supply side of pornography on the UK internet – UNLESS – there is an ulterior motive behind the action.

Frankly, it cannot be that one has decided to rid the net of UK content alone. It serves no purpose.

But then ATVOD has been running for seven years now. Clearly the powers behind this are willing to play a very long game. Long enough to build a case over seven years and running....

My prediction is this. What now will follow will be a one or two year pause.
In this time one will prosecute and fine anything that moves via ATVOD.
The purpose of this is to demonstrate readiness to enforce the law.

Then, having established a track record of enforcement, one will then complain about how foreign material is undermining efforts to enforce the clearly expressed will of parliament to ban non BBFC compatible material and .protect children from seeing breasts.
In short; the purpose of this futile law is to enable complaint by ATVOD about its futility.
The law commits parliament to official BBFC standards online. Circumvention of parliament`s firm commitment by foreign sites then becomes a question of sovereignty. Parliament cannot be seen to lose.

This will then be the argument forwarded to move on blocking foreign sites. I strongly suspect that Cameron`s filter is more than likely the prototype for that very operation.

So expect a few high profile fines and some court cases in the next one or two years.
For only if the law is actively enforced will one be able to complain that foreign sites alone are circumventing it.
Then will follow a concerted campaign. Tabloid headlines: `My son died because of US porn` and the likes. One or two champion MPs like previously Messrs Salter and Lepper, bewailing the state of affairs. Followed by `responsible and proportionate action` by whatever government is in place.

Cameron`s filter will then be switched on for all (possibly via isp access, with counter measures for circumvention in place and draconian fines for attempted circumvention) and form the basis for the Great Firewall of Britain.

Personally, I firmly believe that recent events make the above inevitable.
Trying to rid the world of UK material alone serves no purpose.
So the purpose must be something else.
Enforcing a strict ban on UK material only makes sense if the goal is to move on foreign material.
But one cannot move on foreign material if one has shown no effort to kill one`s own production.
I cannot see any other reasoning behind this.

phantom    [30514.   Posted 2-Dec-2014 Tue 17:09] View Near Messages
Yes, but we just had the recent pronouncement that vloggers must mention whether they`re sponsored to push a product. So yes, anyone working through youtube is feeling the cold grip of UK regulation clamping down also. There is not a soul who believes the sponsorship comment was the last edict to be issued regarding youtube clips.
One is moving slowly and stealthily. You tube clips will get clamped down on soon enough with more do`s and dont`s.

Personally I feel things are looking very bleak for the UK right now.
The problem is the political consensus by the establishment to crush online expression which is not approved.

I mean, not enough for ATVOD to want to be paid and to crush producers.
(i.e. those wanting to exercise the negative right of freedom of expression are actually being forced to pay for the positive right of not being offended for those who oppose them.)

But ATVOD even insist on people needing to notify them in advance before starting what they define as an on demand program service.

That`s as close to licensing of the net as you can come.

phantom    [30512.   Posted 2-Dec-2014 Tue 14:16] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) [30511]

..."from all ATVOD qualifying websites"...

`ATVOD qualifying websites` are effectively all UK sites, no?


phantom    [30510.   Posted 1-Dec-2014 Mon 13:50] View Near Messages
Dave, you called it right. It`s armageddon.
UK sites have closed left right and centre.

By the look of it it`s pretty much a purge. Folks are running for the hills.

Sad to say, but the bad guys have won.
After years of trying they`ve finally got their BBFC standard on UK internet sites.

Worth remembering it was a Tory- LibDem coalition that did it. That, after the Labour DPA. Some choice...

phantom    [30509.   Posted 28-Nov-2014 Fri 14:13] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) [30508]
Jack Straw and the Mail.
What a wonderful combination, Dave.
The man who hamstrung the right to silence writing for a certain newspaper. What could produce more common sense?

Now first off, Jacky boy, as someone who knows his classics, I know that Nemesis was a Goddess, not a God, you moron.

Ah, and Mark Snowden is a posturing hypocrite. Even the `terrorists` friend`.

Meanwhile, internet companies are merely hiding behind `libertarian nonsense`.

Well, here`s what I think of Jacky.
While he was home secretary Jack`s glasses got smaller and smaller as he sought to appear more authoritarian.
So to hear a man who models his looks on Himmler, because he thinks it makes him look stern, talk of `liberal nonsense`... Well, what can I say... sometimes a pictures just says so much more.

Compare please.
Earlier Straw:
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/73419000/jpg/_73419765_000074234-1.jpg
Later `stern, authoritarian` Straw:
http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/british-foreign-secretary-jack-straw-adjusts-his-glasses-news-photo/2811230
And a certain German:
http://wpmedia.news.nationalpost.com/2014/01/heinrich-himmler-salute.jpg?w=940

phantom    [30506.   Posted 27-Nov-2014 Thu 16:12] View Near Messages
re: The war on Facebook

Yes, I love this facebook story.
Nothing is quite as magnificent as Malcolm Rifkind pontificating on the BBC about how `that American internet company` is failing in its responsibilities.

We spend billions on GCHQ. They everlastingly demand new powers in order `to keep us safe`. And when it turns out it was all rubbish and they are no more able to keep us safe than Postman Pat, what do they do? - It was all Facebook`s fault!
Why of course it was...

Meanwhile the police is handing out leaflets to commuters telling them to run and hide if they hear gunfire.
And why is that?
Well, Theresa May and GCHQ want more powers. In order to keep us safe again. So they stir up a little fear to further their aims.

Once upon a time, the UK government put up posters telling folks to `keep calm and carry on`. It was the blitz. Bombs were raining down on London. Literally. Meanwhile today they`re distributing leaflets telling us, `Panic! Now!` The last bomb went off seven (correction: nine!) years ago.

But at least we now know what Britons are made of these days.
If the tough get going, the British now run away and hide...

phantom    [30504.   Posted 27-Nov-2014 Thu 07:30] View Near Messages
Another piece of little known censorship.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30209890

More power to John O`Farrell`s elbow, say I.

phantom    [30503.   Posted 26-Nov-2014 Wed 18:00] View Near Messages
So, the authorities like to censor people.
But, pray, who gets to censor the authorities?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-leaflets-tell-commuters-to-run-hide-and-tell-in-event-of-mumbaistyle-terror-attack-9884019.html

phantom    [30501.   Posted 25-Nov-2014 Tue 19:47] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) {30499}

I agree with you that Labour are definitely driving away a great many working class men. I`ve seen it first hand with people I know.

But what I was disputing was that Labour were sensitive to that issue.

Miliband foamed because the white van man headline gave his lot a bad press on a day he was hoping for the Tories to suffer bad headlines.

But it is clear that he doesn`t comprehend the problem at heart or he`d start holding public speeches telling Dianne Abbott and the Eagle sisters that they cannot have everything they want, and that it is only right that they cannot. But he doesn`t. :)

Yes, I think there is a large section of the libertarian vote slushing around out there, looking for a home.
The LibDems turned out to be a damp squib. (What happened to that Great Repeal Act, Mr Clegg?)

The anti-establishment rhetoric of UKIP seems now to be attracting some of that vote, but possibly mistakenly so. With quite a number of old guard Tories staffing the ranks of UKIP, it`s hard to see them as the libertarian answer to the established politics of old.

Meanwhile, the established parties have made their home in `identity-politics`, which simply define society as a collection of `minority` groups. The aim is to simply satisfy these groups, devoid of any overarching principle.
Oddly, women are deemed such a minority group. Men of course are not. Especially not white van men who read the sun and have an England flag out the window. Politically that group does not exist.

Meanwhile, identity politics allows for groups to be traded off against each other. Gays score higher than Catholics, of course. And so on...

Thus, the working class no longer find their cause represented by Labour. Instead Labour stands for whatever `identities` it feels able to bond together into a coalition.
Foremost among those identities reign the `wimmin`. This group is deemed considerably more important to their overall goals than any old fashioned concepts of socialism or social justice.
In fact it is more than likely their primary political interest as a party right now.
As said, take a look at every single one of their female MPs.
It is clear that to the likes of those female MPs feminism ranks highest above all their political views.

With that staff base in the parliamentary group it is clear that ditching militant feminism is impossible for Labour, even if the leadership wanted to do so.
If once they were known as the `loony left`, then now they clearly have become the `loony feminists`.

Oddly however, the Tories - terrified at missing a trick - are not far behind. They are keen to shadow Labour in most of what they do, lest Labour gain an advantage. And vice versa.

The dilemma for the likes of us is that civil liberties are not a worthwhile minority identified by the established parties in their hunt for votes. Thus they are of no consequence.
Frankly, I suspect that is most likely the same with UKIP.

Meanwhile just look at the unanimous verdict by all present on BBC`s Questions Time about the supposed righteousness of Theresa May`s banning that pickup artist from entering the UK recently.
Freedom of expression doesn`t even figure on the political radar these days.

It`s something left to conspiracy theorists or terrorist sympathisers. Folks like us and Shami Chakrabarti.
that`s what we`re deemed by now. The loony fringe.

phantom    [30498.   Posted 24-Nov-2014 Mon 19:01] View Near Messages
Melon Farmers (Dave) {30496}

"Perhaps it is worth alluding to a middle class feminist campaign that seeks to ban working men`s pleasures in life. I think Labour may be sensitive about this observation at the moment."

How so, Dave?
You mean because they might feel threatened by UKIP?
I think it would take a great deal more than UKIP to change Labour`s mind on any `middle class feminist campaign`.
After all, who is Labour`s deputy leader? Harriet Harman.
And can you think of any female Labour MP who isn`t a feminist nutbag?
Name one. Just one.

phantom    [30494.   Posted 19-Nov-2014 Wed 16:03] View Near Messages
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30119100

If proof were needed just how vibrant freedom of expression in Britain is today, the story above surely shows us to be an open-minded, liberal utopia. Surely nobody else is as free as us.

Foremost of all in this story rank:
Yvette Cooper (Lab), Lynne Featherstone (LibDem) and Theresa May (Con)

Should the established parties be wondering why they`re struggling to gain traction among the British public, that odd unanimity on a petty subject like this might just give them a pointer.

Effectively, if you are a foreign national and you want to come to Britain, you better have views which are pre-approved by the political elite.
If not, then you`re not permitted.

Any similarity to cold war eastern Europe is, of course, purely coincidental.

Oh and if you don`t like what someone is saying, start a petition.
If there turn out to be enough of you, you can silence that person.
It`s not liberal democracy. It`s not Stalinism. It`s no doubt what Blair called `the third way`.

Can`t we just sink this island and start over?

phantom    [30493.   Posted 18-Nov-2014 Tue 16:56] View Near Messages
Yep, I too think Cameron wants to bang the drum about this censorial nonsense in the run up to the election.
As I`ve said before, the pollsters have identified female voters as the key constituent of this election.
The advice both major parties are receiving is that creating more censorship appeals to this demographic.
Thus, both parties now do not only have a desire to censor. No, now they think they have a need to censor.
They truly believe that he who is more prohibitive will be preferred in the elections.
Personally I believe that view is a nonsense.
Not only is it the pursuit of votes at the cost of any adherence to principle, I also believe it is plain wrong.
I do not believe that the female vote is that much more censorious than the male.
If I`m right then the policies being pursued here are not only bad in principle, but they are not even populist.
In short; they`re just pointless.
But given the state of British politics and the absence of any meaningful ideas on either side, this is the sort of lunacy politicians cling to these days.

If in doubt, just look at Lynne Featherstone. You could not make it up.

phantom    [30491.   Posted 17-Nov-2014 Mon 14:34] View Near Messages
The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014

"These Regulations may be cited as the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014.

Laid before Parliament on 6th November 2014

Coming into force on 1st December 2014."

Interesting dates.
Are they per chance in a hurry?

phantom    [30490.   Posted 16-Nov-2014 Sun 08:49] View Near Messages
Ah yes, Benny Hill...
Terrible what he got away with. Such a bad man.
Or maybe all the outrage is just pretentious puffery.

`Alternative comedy` has a lot to answer for when it comes to the rise of political correctness in this country.

In essence much of the outrage at the `old fashioned comics` was used as a tool by the new `alternative` comics to get up the ladder faster than would have ordinarily been the case.

The careers of the likes of Ben Elton, Jo Brand, Alexi Sayle etc got a leg up much earlier than would have been traditionally the case, because the existing hierarchy in comedy was effectively decapitated.
New comics were needed, because the old ones were suddenly deemed unacceptable, - rather tellingly, - by the new comics.

Thus, much of the `outrage` was generated by the newcomers who wanted those at the top to move over - to make way for them. i.e. self interest. It had in fact nothing to do with comedic material.
Nobody invented a `new` form of comedy.
This was the very reason why some of the old hands were rather bitter at how they were being disposed of.

Meanwhile the cutting edge alternative rebels have long since shown their colours. Ben Elton works with Andrew Lloyd Webber. And Jo Brand presents for the Great British Bake Off. So proper anti-establishment rebels. Not merely in it for the money at all.
Right on. Up the Revolution!

And as for Benny. He was a comic genius. Let them say about him what they like. As it turned out, Charlie Chaplin had all his videos. Rumour has it, Charlie knew a thing or two about comedy...

phantom    [30488.   Posted 15-Nov-2014 Sat 17:49] View Near Messages
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30052071

phantom    [30487.   Posted 13-Nov-2014 Thu 15:25] View Near Messages
re: A watershed for the internet...Mediawatch-UK will be pleased...

Actually might that not prove a stumbling block for those advocating prohibition of nigh on everything?
After all, if you produce a `watershed`, silly as the concept may be, then you cannot advocate the total prohibition of content in order to `save the children` from seeing something that`s not meant for their eyes.

phantom    [30486.   Posted 11-Nov-2014 Tue 16:30] View Near Messages
braintree [30485]
Well, it`s the age of the phantom menace. :)
The dangers which these days occupy the media and politics are hypothetical dangers.
So the simple fact that a single man might be a paedophile means that single men shouldn`t be seen in parks.
In just that same way we all might be terrorists. Which is why the government these days effectively treats us as such.
And yes, porn of course might harm somebody. So yes, it must be banned. Because it might.
A guy with a camera in London. Well, clearly that might be a terrorist staking out new targets.
T-shirts or gollywogs must be taken out of windows, because they might just offend someone.

Earlier this evening on newsnight they had that obnoxious guy `Dapper Laughs` on. Again here is a guy who might be doing harm, we`re told. Thus he must be taken off the air.
Not because he`s unfunny (which is defintiely is). No, because he`s might be encouraging misogyny and sexual violence - by saying something.

Bad taste, offence, imagery, an Asian guy with a beard in possession of a map of the London Underground, or a single man in a park: all might lead to something.
So all are suspect. All are to be investigated, snooped on, curbed, crushed, controlled.

We`re a nation ruled by fear of what might happen. A timid little island, run by those who are simultaneously the most fearful as well as the most frightful.

If Hitler`s forces were poised across the Channel today, we`d not fight back. We`d arrest someone and pass another law...

phantom    [30483.   Posted 5-Nov-2014 Wed 07:59] View Near Messages
Harvey {30482}

"as for the review; it would be done by MoJ. The main objective would be to chack whether the regulatory impact was in line with expectations."

Is that the same MoJ which is currently proposing an extension of the very same statute? :)
I`m assuming it`s the MoJ. I guess it could be the Home Office, but I guess you get the point.

phantom    [30481.   Posted 4-Nov-2014 Tue 17:01] View Near Messages
Harvey {30477}

"There was a consultation on the government`s prposals and a Regulatory Impact Assesment.
Both emphaised the minimal nature, in cost, in added workload for the police and courts and interference with legit activities. This was all based on the notion that what would be made criminal to possess was, broadly, no more that what was already illegal to publish under the OPA. It was that analysis which led to the estimate of 30 or so cases per year."

As for the consultation. Yes, a completely flawed affair. But is there any legal traction on that?

As for the OPA: comparing anything to the OPA is to compare something to the length of a piece of string. So they`re most likely on safe ground there. I can`t see how one could find them to be in the wrong.
Given the widening discrepancy between the international standard and what the OPA will allow, it`s all rather prehistoric.

"The fact of over a thousand cases per year is evidence that the estimate was wrong and therefore the regulatory impact is far greater than was proposed."

Yes, but unlike ECHR proportionality the impact assessment can, as you have already pointed out, be side-stepped by stating, the situation was simply worse than expected. One can`t really see whether it is possible to get any traction in this area.

"Part of the implementation was to establish a process of review of how the law was working in practice. Where is that review and what is the assessment of how the law is working?"

A very good point.
But who would do the assessing? What would be the parameters? If it`s just a committee headed by the likes of Harriet Harman and Fiona MacTaggart, I think we know the outcome already, don`t we?

When it comes to consultation, etc, there was of course a deeply flawed passage through parliament. Parliamentary select committees were lied to, being told that amendments would be introduced to address their concerns - in order to get them to recommend the law to the house. But the amendments were never produced.
So procedure (and the law) was breached.
But whether this legere de main would actually count for anything in a judicial review I do not know.

Also there was the retrospective rapid evidence assessment, conducted by someone who had already responded favourably in consultation, I believe.

To any reasonably minded person this was a stitch up. But reasonably minded people and the law seem to have very little to do with each other.

phantom    [30476.   Posted 3-Nov-2014 Mon 14:17] View Near Messages
Harvey [30475]

Then what about the enactment was incorrect?

phantom    [30474.   Posted 3-Nov-2014 Mon 08:42] View Near Messages
Harvey [30473]

Well, the aim of the law is to protect us, the citizens, from whatever corruption or harm these depictions are supposed to contain.

Now whilst seeking to achieve this protection the infringement on free expression must be necessary and proportionate.

The only thing we know the law to ban is, aside from some gory material, bestiality.
The gory stuff and the bestiality are thus the only thing we can define as being the aim of the law from which to protect us. If that is not so, then they have had ample opportunity to define what beyond that they mean.

Other material is banned by implication.

To stop people from viewing mainstream hardcore videos because they contain some scene which falls into the “uncertain” bracket, in order to pursue the aim of banning some gory stuff and bestiality surely must be seen as a disproportionate effect.

It curbs the right of passive free expression way beyond its actual perceivable aim.

The aim of the law can only be that of what we actually can clearly perceive it to ban.
The aim of the law cannot be to protect us from that material over which it creates uncertainty.
The aim of the law cannot be to create uncertainty.

The uncertainty is merely the result of our not being able to rule out whether an interpretation that is not our own would equate material with that we know to be the law`s aim (i.e. particularly gory material and bestiality).

Therefore the crux of the law must lie with the identifiably illegal material.
That is in essence from what we are to be protected.

It is therefore for that purpose alone that free expression can be infringed upon. However, clearly the law infringes on expression beyond that by the sheer scale of doubt it creates.

Most law, especially moral law, will create an area of doubt. No wording can be so perfect as to avoid any doubt altogether.

But given that here the area of doubt surpasses by many multiples the identifiable aim of the law, when infringing free expression, then the impact upon free expression must be disproportionate.

Government cannot claim it its aim to protect us from material over which it casts mere doubt.
It can only claim the aim to be to protect us from that which it comprehensively defines.

Some discrepancy between the aim and what is effectively banned (by doubt) is excusable, due to the limitations of language and differing interpretations.

However, once a statute bans more through this discrepancy than it actually identifiably bans by the wording of the statute itself, then the infringement of free expression is subject mainly to the discrepancy, not the statute.

The discrepancy being disproportionate, the infringement must be disproportionate.

For the infringement of the human right is only permitted in order to achieve the stated aim. Not to reach far beyond the stated aim by multiples. To do so, is by definition disproportionate infringement upon the human right.

A ban that mainly consists of a chill factor is clearly overreaching any stated aim. It is only the stated aim which excuses the infringement of free expression.
The perceivable aim of the law being dwarfed by the chilling by the law through doubt, the permissible impact on free expression is dwarfed by a further impact for which no permission under ECHR exists.
The further impact on free expression being a multiple of the permissible impact by the law`s stated aim, the overall impact on free expression is disproportionate to its aim.

The law effectively bans many times more than it sets out to do.
Therefore if follows that the law infringes free expression many times more than it is permitted to do.
Ergo the lack of proportionality in what it bans relates directly to a lack of proportion in infringement of free expression.

Sorry, if I`m long winded. I`m trying my best here. :)

phantom    [30472.   Posted 2-Nov-2014 Sun 11:41] View Near Messages
Harvey [30471]

"Proportionality in respect of the ECHR relates to the effect of the infringement on an individual`s rights versus the need to protect others. Whether one is disproportionate versus the other. You need to be careful of veering towards seeing proportionality in terms of the numbers of people which could be affected or the numbers of images which could cause someone to be affected."

Yes, I did indeed consider that.

But debating the nature of an infringement of rights is a bit like debating the length of a piece of string.
The truth is that something may be a theoretical infringement but barely noticeable on the legal richter scale as it does not have a significant impact.

However, here the very fact that what is rendered untouchable to the public by sheer uncertainty dwarfs what is actually known to be illegal shows that the impact of the law is out of proportion and so by definition is the infringement on people`s rights.

Any imposition of the law is an imposition on human rights.
But an infringement needs to be proportionate and necessary.

Now we can quarrel about necessity. (I guess we both think this law is about as necessary as a hole in the head.) But is it proportionate?

Well, if the measure impacts upon the people to a much greater extent through uncertainty than it does through what it bans, then surely its infringement of the rights of the people is disproportionate to its aims.

Thus, to my mind, the disproportionate effect of the law when rendering material uncertain is directly translated into the law not being proportionate in the infringement of human rights.

The law claims only to deal with the extremes of pornography. In practice it can only be discerned to ban bestiality and a very small quantum of particularly gory porn.
But it infringes the rights of people to view vast swathes of pornography because it casts them into doubt.

And the principles of law which you have explained demand that the people stay away from anything which they would understand as "uncertain".
Thus the law effectively bans what it is known to ban AND what it casts into uncertainty.

The disproportion between the categories of "certain illegal" and "uncertain" does thus also translate into a disproportionate impact on the passive right to free expression under ECHR.

The two proportionalities thus relate to each other.

And much as I understand your point on clear law, I still think that article 7 plays a role here. For surely it is the duty of a government issuing a ban to make it clear WHAT they are banning and not merely to fulfill the technical legal standard of allowing people to discern what remains permitted for them to do (with "certain illegal" and "uncertain" being prohibited).
Not least as it follows from that principle that all is permitted which is identifiably permitted. And not; all is permitted which is not expressly banned.
This, although law is generally defined by what it bans.
If a government cannot clearly describe what it is it wants to ban, then surely it has a problem of clarity under law.

phantom    [30470.   Posted 1-Nov-2014 Sat 17:50] View Near Messages
Harvey [30469]

"What you need to show is that the uncertainty means you have to avoid possessing some images which cannot be justified on the basis of being necessary and proportional with regard to the aim of the law."

Actually I was just further expanding my point via the edit function as you posted.
I touched on that very subject.

But I do think that the proportion between that which we can understand to be banned and that which is uncertain and, thus effectively banned also, is important.
Because it shows the overall impact of the law to be vast in comparison to the actually discernible prohibition.

I suspect you might disagree, but I think that this might well be a strong argument when considering whether the law is `proportionate" under ECHR. Because its impact on behaviour via the chilling effect is vastly disproportionate to what it can be discerned to prohibit.

phantom    [30467.   Posted 1-Nov-2014 Sat 12:57] View Near Messages
Harvey {30464}

First off, thanks for the explanation.
I`m not sure how long this information is going to reside in my brain.
But at least I now understand the point. :)

As regards quantifying matters, I don`t think that actually boils down to counting individual images.
For one, these things cannot be counted. As you say, they are as good as infinite.

However, it is possible to quantify proportions of a total.
Just ask an astronomer.
Thus is it possible to achieve approximations of proportions of types of pornography.
For example, I guess it would be possible to ascertain roughly how much straightforward heterosexual pornography these days includes such things as anal sex, etc. I don`t think it would require anyone to count every video or image available.
These things are fairly self evident.

You ask me to demonstrate that the area of "uncertain" legal status is larger than the area of "legal" status.
Actually, given the vast amount of regular middle-of-the-road porn, I am in no doubt that there is more "legal" porn than "uncertain" porn under the DPA.
This was not my claim.

However, I`m equally convinced that the "uncertain" porn by far outweighs that which one can know to be "illegal".

In all fairness, to ask me to demonstrate this, would more than likely be asking me to commit a crime under this very statute.

But if we consider that even such acts as `choking` (be it through `deep throat` oral sex or otherwise) are to be filed under "uncertain", it is clear that a vast amount of mainstream pornography falls into the area of "uncertainty".
Other acts can also question the legality of fairly mainstream porn.
And lets not forget that even pure context can render normal mainstream porn possibly illegal and thus "uncertain".
That is before we even touch the massive area of fetish related material.

"Certainty of illegality" only applies to bestiality and some gory, bloody acts. They are far removed from the mainstream and thus will be lesser in number. (The principle applies that the further away you travel from the mainstream the fewer the depictions become.)
Even necrophilia material doesn`t really apply as "certain" as real necrophilia will not credibly exist, so the question of perceived "realism" of pretend necrophilia is the legal arbiter, clearly sending it into the "uncertain" column. And even any pretend necrophilia is hardly that widespread, given how far removed it is from the mainstream.

In numerical terms we are largely looking at bestiality for the main load of "certainty of illegality".
Whereas in the "uncertain" field resides a large portion of mainstream pornography and the overwhelming area of bdsm fetish related material.
It is fairly clear that the latter dwarfs the former.

Thus we are without doubt comparing a very large field of pornography which is "uncertain" within the statute with a limited area of pornography which falls into the "illegal" field.

I hold that the above is not opinion.
It is simply an observation of self evident fact.

Thus, the statute clearly puts many more times the amount of material into the "uncertain" column than it renders material identifiably "illegal".

In short: it renders doubtful much more than it bans.

According to the legal definition of clarity which you have explained the law may be "clear".
However, this is a rather technocratic clarity.

For any law which renders something illegal, but renders many more times the amount legally uncertain, would by no layman be deemed "clear" in the usual meaning of the English language.

Thus I fully accept your definition of legal clarity of a statute.
After all, no one would make that up.
But I would still apply my caveat, as the statute renders legally doubtful much more than it understandably defines as prohibited.
The chill factor is positively arctic. :)

The way you seem to read the law, you would concede that the only safe approach - in fact the only approach recognised by the courts - is to stay within the area of "certainly legal".
This however means that the law effectively bans both areas know as "certainly illegal" as well as "uncertain".

Given that the "uncertain" area surpasses the area of "certain illegal" by multiples, it figures that the law -effectively- bans wildly more than it -fathomably- bans, largely because the law represents an opinion.

Moreover it endangers those who may venture into the "uncertain" area by the nature of their sexual inclination. It`s hard to argue that something, subject to the sexual imperative, ought not be viewed, if you haven`t even comprehensively deemed it illegal.

To top it off, the "uncertain" area also represents the playground of the DPP. For it them with provides ample opportunity to ruin the lives of individuals who are subsequently found not guilty of the charges.

Thus the "uncertain" area is vastly disproportionate to the "certainly illegal" area, as well as incredibly destructive.

Not least as the charges - as illustrated by the Holland case - effectively amount to public incitement to hatred.

phantom    [30462.   Posted 31-Oct-2014 Fri 17:26] View Near Messages
Harvey [30461]

"...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."

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

Ok, here goes.

Yes, if what is required is for "legal certainty" is for the individual to be able to place any image into "fail threshold", "uncertain" and " passes threshold" then the statute passes "legal certainty".

In essence, the individual can say "I know this to be legal", "I have no idea whether this is illegal or not", or "I know this to be illegal."

In the case of this statute:
"fail threshold": couple shagging
"passes threshold": man buggering horse
"uncertain": woman choking on male`s member

However, I would forward one caveat; namely that the area of "uncertain" in this statute to my knowledge surpasses in size the "passes threshold" area by thousands of percent.
i.e. I believe the number of images definable as "illegal" to be a great many times smaller than the number of images whose legal status cannot be defined other than by a court case (i.e. a retrospective coin toss).

I would further ask what this means:

"... 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..."

In what way do the "bounds of uncertainty" need to be "defined"?
If there was such a deliberate definition, it would surely mean the authors would deliberately cause uncertainty.

If it means that one knows at what point one no longer knows, then yes, the "bounds of uncertainty" are defined.

To take up your example of driving:

"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."

The example is a good one.
But what if the RTA left vast areas (not merely some specific aspect) of driving as possibly definable as dangerous?
The RTA is practicable because its area of uncertainty surely is tight.
Its entire aim is to attempt to create certainty.
If however driving in a red car would mean much of driving might be deemed dangerous, because rules could be varied for red cars, if the arresting policeman thought that the driver was driving his vehicle in an obscene or inappropriate manner, who would drive in a red car?
Red cars would not be illegal. But nobody would effectively know with any degree of certainty what happened once they were in a red car.
One might be able to define that red cars caused one uncertainty, but nothing beyond that.
So surely, the only way to stay clear of the RTA indeed would be not to drive at all - in a red car. :)

phantom    [30460.   Posted 30-Oct-2014 Thu 15:37] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30458.   Posted 30-Oct-2014 Thu 07:36] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30455.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 14:47] View Near Messages
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?

phantom    [30453.   Posted 29-Oct-2014 Wed 08:44] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30450.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 17:48] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30448.   Posted 28-Oct-2014 Tue 08:59] View Near Messages
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. :)

phantom    [30445.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 17:32] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30442.   Posted 27-Oct-2014 Mon 14:06] View Near Messages
"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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30432.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:54] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30428.   Posted 26-Oct-2014 Sun 09:27] View Near Messages
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

phantom    [30423.   Posted 25-Oct-2014 Sat 15:53] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30420.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 17:09] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30417.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 16:12] View Near Messages
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. :)

phantom    [30415.   Posted 24-Oct-2014 Fri 15:57] View Near Messages
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...

phantom    [30409.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 20:15] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30407.   Posted 21-Oct-2014 Tue 15:30] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30404.   Posted 20-Oct-2014 Mon 12:36] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30400.   Posted 18-Oct-2014 Sat 16:14] View Near Messages
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...

phantom    [30397.   Posted 17-Oct-2014 Fri 14:08] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30392.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 15:47] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30390.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 12:17] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30388.   Posted 16-Oct-2014 Thu 08:34] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30386.   Posted 15-Oct-2014 Wed 13:52] View Near Messages
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`...




phantom    [30379.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 17:48] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30373.   Posted 13-Oct-2014 Mon 13:07] View Near Messages
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. :)

phantom    [30368.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 13:14] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30366.   Posted 12-Oct-2014 Sun 08:00] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30358.   Posted 8-Oct-2014 Wed 03:25] View Near Messages
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] View Near Messages
sergio {30356}

`How would you prove it caused `harm`?

You call the BBFC. :)

phantom    [30355.   Posted 5-Oct-2014 Sun 18:31] View Near Messages
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. :)

phantom    [30353.   Posted 3-Oct-2014 Fri 16:32] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30350.   Posted 1-Oct-2014 Wed 05:47] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30348.   Posted 30-Sep-2014 Tue 06:34] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30343.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 14:59] View Near Messages
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.

phantom    [30340.   Posted 17-Sep-2014 Wed 06:44] View Near Messages
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? :)

phantom    [30334.   Posted 15-Sep-2014 Mon 15:23] View Near Messages
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...

phantom    [30330.   Posted 14-Sep-2014 Sun 06:07] View Near Messages
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?

 


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