Won’t Anyone Think Of The Children?!?-Why David Cameron’s ”War on Porn” is Dangerous For Us All

David Cameron has come out today decrying the access children have to pornography and he’s going to jolly well tell those ISP’s what for and sort out the ‘Corrosion of Childhood’ once and for all!

Image

Cameron wants to make porn something that ISP’s automatically block and that the customer (remember this word, it’s important) will have to contact the ISP to opt out, and in doing so this will create a list of people who have opted out which creates a problematic situation as in what does an ISP do with such lists?

Here’s where I take a diversion and try to be as vague as possible for reasons which will become apparent quickly. Over the last 13 or so years I’ve worked for various marketing companies and large organisations who either as a side effect of their business, or as a core of their business, collate large lists of data. These lists of data are sold, or used by those in various positions to gather information by looking at trends, etc. The data sold can end up anywhere and there’s rules and regulations around it, but it’s also the case there’s ways round this so I don’t believe for one minute this is anything but an excuse to mine data for people who may, or may not, be deemed a potential hazard to children and society in general. After all the tone of the debate is now so moralistic and dealing in sheer absolutes that logical argument is being disregarded because it’s all about the Big Political Gesture.

The problem is that do you trust Cameron and this government to not do anything with all this juicy data the ISP’s will have at their fingertips? Do you think there’s not going to be potential abuse as soon as you opt out because you might want to be an adult and watch adult things online? Does this not fill you with dread that the potential for a system where government interferes with your searches is now entirely possible as that’s exactly what’s on the table after today.

This isn’t advocating child abuse or saying there shouldn’t be something done to stop it, or the increasing pornofication of our culture and our children. We should but this isn’t the way to go round it as assuming people are incapable of making decisions by themselves, while ignoring the strong case that parents aren’t doing enough to protect their own children is frankly a weak one but it all hinges on the fact that Cameron really isn’t doing anything but doing a switch and bait tactic here.

It’s come to light that Cameron’s ”election guru” is balls deep with a private health alliance when he was advising on the Coalition’s NHS reforms. This is pretty major and it’s starting to smell like some serious lobbying, and therefore corruption of the system, has been going on but Cameron’s changed the political debate to this and suddenly everyone is thinking about the children.

Of course there’s little or no mention of how Cameron cut the funding to CEOP, or anything which he’s done in government which actually makes the policing of the internet (and most people bar the most hardened libertarian agrees these things need policing) incredibly difficult because they don’t have the support from government they need, and also, this simplification of the argument means there will be the impression that this is going to solve everything and that parents don’t need to check their children’s internet browsing, or educate them about the dangers, or that as a society we should stop trying to sexualise children from a ridiculously young age, or any number of very hard, tough questions which aren’t going to be solved by opting in or out of your ISP’s filters. How does he suggest dealing with the issue of streamed abuse, or any of the other ways abusers get their jollies?

He can’t beyond some platitudes about get your ‘best brains’ to sort it out because he’s again, not looking to solve the problem, just look like he’s trying to solve a problem.

Then there’s the problematic part of this:

 Mr Cameron said possession of online pornography depicting rape would be made illegal. 

Sounds reasonable enough, except who defines what is ‘extreme’ pornography? Let me give you an example, and this is the point if you’re reading this and are a child then ask your parents to read the rest of this before carrying on, and if you’re easily offended it’s time to go read something else.

I own a copy of Lost Girls by Alan Moore and his wife, the artist Melinda Gebbie. It’s a clear work of pornography as images like this make clear that what you’re reading is porn.

Image

That’s a mild pornographic image. You’d have to be exceptionally prudish to be offended by it.

What about this?

Image

That probably passes for fairly extreme porn for a lot of people, but say someone more homophobic than you or I decides that’s actually ”harmful’. There’s more extreme images in the book (including children as well) I could post but you get the point that who decides what is ‘harmful’ even in a case where what’s happening is totally imaginary because it’s not real even if it uses real actions & events.

Is the Last House on the Left illegal? The Virgin Spring? Shakespeare? The Bible? Who appoints our moral guardians because this is the question here as well? From past experience it’s going to be people like Graham Bright back in the 80’s, the folk at Mumsnet and so on as they agree with the government view.

Let’s also note the comparisons briefly here between this and the Video Nasty fiasco. That too was based upon lies and disinformation but the less we learn from history the more we’re doomed to let people like Cameron sell us the same lies but slightly repackaged.

If you’re now saying ‘but surely Cameron is concerned about the sexualisation of society and is doing something’ then may I draw attention to the fact he’s clearly said he’s not going to support a ban on Page 3 because I quote:

“This is an area where we should leave it to consumers to decide, rather than to regulators,”

Here’s the thing; remember how I said earlier in this blog about ‘customers’? It’s the same situation as if someone wants to download a bit of already legal porn, or watch a film or read a book or comic with violent sexual imagery in it they happen to be just as much as a customer as someone looking at Page 3. So where’s the consistency?

There isn’t one as we know Cameron is in with The Sun and Murdoch, so it’s not in his and his party’s interest to come out against Page 3 even though the case for it contributing to the sexualisation of society and therefore helping cause the problems Cameron talks about has been around for a while now.

See if you only assume the market will decide, you end up with the sexualisation of society as advertisers and marketing departments sell sex to younger and younger children because kids think sex is adult and if they think they’re adults you can flog shite to them. Page 3 sells the idea that women need only to get their tits out to progress in society. The language used by people in war is sexual as pointed out by Alan Moore in this interview.

Morphizm: The age boys go to war is often the age of their sexual prime.
Alan Moore: Absolutely, and increasingly there are an awful lot of women going to war now, which is a terrible waste. So there’s that, the killing of the sexually capable and active often by old men who, as you can imagine, are beginning to be a little bit past it. And then there is the weird sexual language of warfare. For example, when America bombed Libya, the bomber pilots took off from Britain and came back to us saying that they shot their rockets right up Libya’s back door. There were also stories circulated before the bombing arguing that Qaddafi was a transvestite. He was feminized, because we have to feminize our enemies before we fuck them. In the late 70s and early 80s during hostilities with Iran, there were rumors, again probably circulated by the CIA, that the Ayatollah Khomeni was a homosexual pedophile. It does seem to me as if the energies that people in a natural world put into sex and procreation are being perverted into this dreadful…I don’t know, antimatter sex

The entire discussion is a complex one. It’s one we need to have. We also need to ensure the safety of children while ensuring civil liberties are not encroached. This isn’t going to happen by scare tactics, censorship and blustering on about ‘best brains; as if technology can solve the problems of society that the very system endorsed by Cameron himself has helped cause. How can you reconcile a crusade against violent porn, or indeed, porn in general and at the same time defend the right for Page 3 to exist unless consumers don’t want it anymore unless you’re a total hypocrite?

You don’t need to answer that question…

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Won’t Anyone Think Of The Children?!?-Why David Cameron’s ”War on Porn” is Dangerous For Us All

  1. Pingback: More of David Cameron’s War on Porn.. | My Little Underground

  2. You know what, I am actually in complete agreement with you on this one, Glenn. The Internet is one of the last true places for the free exchange of ideas. Once you enter the realms of censorship and ‘big brother surveillance’, whatever the reason or justification, you are treading on very dodgy ground. Turkeys banning of Twitter is going to become quite costly to its government

    Like

  3. Pingback: Bill Drummond, UKIP and Censorship | My Little Underground

  4. Pingback: Why is the media ignoring the victims regarding institutional abuse and Elm Guest House? | My Little Underground

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.