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back to article Scottish Parliament pr0n law faces angry opposition

Last week, the long-awaited Scottish extreme porn bill (pdf) was published — s34 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill — and it hasn’t gone down well at all. The proposal was much as expected; similar to the English version, but slightly more extreme. However, unlike the English version, which avoided the trap of …

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So...

"an image will be illegal if it looks non-consensual"

So he's consented to being tied up and asked the mistress with the big strapon to do it, and to gag him while she does it...

...that appears non-consentual if photographed but is actually completely consentual.

Well, bugger. Pun oh-so-very-much intended.

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Possible new genre

"so possibly jurors will be required to watch any prosecutions south of the border without sound."

Silent porn, cutting back and forth between the action and black and white cards with the speech on them like an old silent film. Might add a touch of class and/or nostalgia to the production.

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Coat

Jocks, never mind the porn

The Scots parliament should be looking as to how they are going to pay the English back for bailing out their reckless banks. So much for Celtic financial sobriety.

Just had some late news:

Max Mosely has just cancelled the purchase of his Scottish weekend retreat

My coats the long leather one with the whip in the pocket :)

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Paris Hilton

Thank You

Thanks for keeping us informed!

I also wish to wish CAAN Scotland great success with their efforts.

Paris, because she looks like she's keeping an eye on things, too.

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Bronze badge

not a fan of pr0n but...

I questionthe bland assumption that porn is fine, healthy, required for male mental health, etc., but I do think such laws are madness, save where the images shown are actually evidence of a crime being committedd ie the molestation of children, forced incarceration and holding people against their will, and that sort of thing. But an image of a very fat bloke making love to his skinny wife could be seen as depicting 'risk of death' or danger of harm to her (suffocation, etc) and this makes a mockery of the law. If lawmakers want to stop people looking at porn, then they have to stop the desire to see it, and we are in cloudcuckooland then. Just as the 'war on drugs' needs to address why people take drugs rather than the trafficking of drugs, so do these foolish porn laws have to question what it is, exactly, they are trying to extirpate. And if that is possible. Which of course it isn't, not in my reading of human nature.

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Flame

I reserve the right...

... to visit www.adultsheepfinder.com

But from now on I'll be going to Wales, not Scotland, for my Gary-Glitter-tourism

Anyway, who are the nation who invented Irn Bru, razor gangs, drunkeness and deep-fried Mars bar to lecture anyone on what's good for us? Ginger skirt-wearing pillocks, the lot of them.*

*Yes, Charles Kennedy, if the cap fits...

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Paris Hilton

South of the Border...

Thanks for the thought (Oliver Mayes). As I wrote that line, I was first of all not intending the slightly awkward fnaar fnaar content in considering porn south of the border.

But as far as silent films go, it did strike me as a fruitful vein for further exploration. Not just black-and-white porn...bring back the cinema organist. Oh, darn...fnaaar fnaar again.

Or even the tinkly pianist.

Isn't there a wonderful scene in an early Chaplin where the villain is trying to throttle some damsel in distress...quite violently, too, I seem to remember. And Charlie's answer to this is to keep kicking said villain up the behind?

Hmmmm. Better not watch that sort of thing nowadays, if it turns you on.

Paris...cause she remembers the joke about the six-inch pianist

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Coat

Vegetarians rejoice

Cool. I'm going to go around and report anyone who has taken a pictures of a family meal showing people eating sausages and then report them for fellating dead pigs. Sometimes there may even be children present... why doesn't anyone ever think of the children?

But seriously WTF??? This is insane.

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Am I the only one

Who sees the innate humor of rule (section) 34 banning rule 34

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Home movies

So you decide to recreate the crucial scenes from the Jodie Foster film The Accused. The original film is safe because it has a BBFC rating. But your home movie depicts non-consensual activity. And so the thought police strike again.

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confusion deliberate

As with the legislation south of the border, I'm not the only one perhaps to detect a method in the poor quality of this law. The more confusing and ill-though-out it is, the more people will feel that they should police themselves. If they were serious about helping those who wish to remain law-abiding, they would issue a list of 'approved' sites, images or something. As with England, the agenda here is to generate confusion, one suspects, and an instinct to self-censor. On both sides of the border, these are laws that cry out for judicial clarification. The trouble is, some poor bastard's life will have to be ruined for that to happen.

Anyway, well done to The Reg for keeping the pressure up on this issue.

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"deep-fried Mars bar"

"deep-fried Mars bar"

that bings up a good point if I have a picyure of a naked person eating a deep-fried Mars bar doser that class as a " a threat to life in a pornographic context:" god forbid smoking

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Child protection agencies - BEWARE!

So is it now illegal to document illegal mutilation of genitals in order to try and stop the process/prosecute the offenders?

I fear the law of unintended consequences more than sad people it is supposed to target.

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Anonymous Coward

X is bad so images of X are illegal

Look it's really simple, X is bad so viewing images of X should be illegal.

Murder is bad so seeing images of murder should get you locked up.

Speeding is bad, so looking at the image from a GATSO camera should get you jail time.

Shop lifting is bad, so don't you dare go look at that CCTV camera.

And if anyone says otherwise, simply conflate an image of something with the act itself... i.e. Sadam Hussein was in possession of IMAGES of weapons of mass destruction, ergo we need to invade Iraq quick. Possessing images of weapons will get you locked up, and by doing that we choke off the supply of weapons in the world.

My logic is impeccable, "Monkey see monkey do" ergo if "Monkey don't see, monkey don't do", and we're all decended from apes, and apes are hairy like monkeys, ergo, make viewing images of bad stuff a crime will fix the bad stuff.

This mode of logic is (TM) Wacky Jacqui.

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Stop

@ AC, Sceptical Bastard and doubtless many others

Way to go, only a handful of comments and already the petty jingoistic trolling has started, oh goody!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @ AC, Sceptical Bastard and doubtless many others

Yes. I believe I'll start giving the boot to anyone in this thread getting confused and having a pop at the Scottish rather than Scottish legislators.

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Heart

@ not a fan of pr0n but...

Speaking as a fan of pornography (seeing as you felt it necessary to point out that you yourself are not), I would just like to point out that it isn't just males that view porn, in fact, I think you will find that there are even entire genres that are produced without the male audience in mind.

My opinion on the matter is simple: Pornography is part of people's sexuality, and Governments should have not say in any matters relating to the sexuality of the individual.

(Yes, they should intervene when abuse is involved, but that is never about the persons sexuality, it is about the fact that the person has or has tried to physically abuse someone else).

Heart, because we all need more love. Especially government ministers.

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I'd like to invite...

...the sanctimonious gits who smugly talk about the US 'nanny state' to post in this thread explaining how we're a nanny state and the UK isn't. That's all.

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Paris Hilton

How can we tell if a picture is extreme (etc.)?

Would it be a good idea for the governement to host a number of pictures on a website (or links possibly) to pictures, with a caption of 'Ok', 'not Ok', '5 years for this', 'fine unless the tomato is removed' and the like.

Obviously the more pictures the better since sampling a larger data set gives more accurate results and all that.

That way we would all be educated on the sort of things that we are now allowed.

Of course, they couldn't show us the really naughty pictures, so maybe they could use stick figures or something.

Maybe they could host it at porn.gov.uk or similar.

only a thought.

ttfn

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A victory for morals

Well done Scotland. Good to see at least one nation wishes to support decent morals and to help promote them. The rest of the UK is allowing morals to slip away and on almost any street you can see disgusting images of semi-naked men and women.

Hopefully the rest of the UK will follow Scotland and tighten up its laws to ban all this filth. Perhaps then we can further the morals set out in the Good Book and engage in a just, fair and decent society; without all the disgusting deviant forcing their views on the rest of us.

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"non-consensual penetrative sexual activity"

Can a melon consent? Or a blow-up doll?

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@A victory for morals

Nice bit of trolling lol.

"without all the disgusting deviant forcing their views on the rest of us."

Oh, you were 'forced' to go and look at all those websites were you?

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MacAyatollah is loose aboot the hoose.

Just as in the UK parliament, the feminist writ runs large in the Scottish legislature and with the same deadening effect. The very concept of criminalising possession of an image, any image, is "one giant step for mankind" - backward into medieval darkness.

The complete absence of any rationale behind the proposals betrays its origins in the finely honed mind of the chief bigot herself, the hapless Jacqui Smith. For example, what is the purpose and desired outcomes that this law is meant to achieve? It certainly won't improve the scandalously low conviction rate for rape crimes or protect one single child from being the victim of real, actual, sexual exploitation. Maybe the real intended beneficiaries of this piece of horse-manure are all the dead animals who will be saved from the unwelcome attention of necrophiliacs. .

MSPs who endorse this kind of infantile nonsense should be publicly flogged through the streets of Edinburgh.

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@ Dennis and "Home Movies"

If your idea of a good time is remaking "The Accused" then I think this law is a good thing.

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Coat

Pie?

I recently saw a film where a guy shagged an apple pie, I take it that as a depiction of non-consensual sex that this is now illegal?

Getting me coat...

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Nev
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Flame

@AC "A victory for morals"

Which "Good Book" are you looking to for moral guidance? The Bible?!?

I suggest you actually go read it. Including all those wacky passages

on rape, slavery and sex with children.

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Stop

Re: A victory for morals

Don't forget that it's perfectly acceptable to allow your virgin daughters to be raped to protect your guests according to the "Good" Book...

Still, if the Scots actually have the guts to throw out this stupid law, then it means only we English can't be trusted to act sensibly if we look at this stuff, so obviously Scottish morals are better than ours...

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Heart

@Troll.

Could you please expand on your views regarding pornography? I would very much like to know why you think of it as deviant and disgusting.

Personaly I find pornography (That is, imagery of a sexual nature, not limited to depictions of people having sex) arousing and uplifting (in a smile-on-my-face after seeing a woman with a very nice bottom walking down the street sort-of-way, not the next plane of existence sort-of-way), but not in any way deviant or disgusting (unless of course you argue that sex itself is a deviation, but I think we have proven that one wrong through quite a few generations of sticking with it).

Remember, there is no correct answer, only opinions :o)

Answers on postcard please, no arousing pictures on the front ;o)

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Anonymous Coward

poor island dwellers not in the EU

Doesnt the EU have a law for the freedom to pursue ones happyness? clearly these "laws" are stopping some people from being totally happy, some a few times a day or more.

Take these so called laws to the EU court in Brussel, the place where you dont count unless you kidnap at least 4 kids.

Pfcourse clearly illegal things as kiddy porn should be prosecuted, but who do the state legislators think they are imposing all kinds of mirky restrictions on the poor people of the UK.

Glad I am living in holland, smoking pot and watching hard BDSM, and praying My personal rights wont be affected here.

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Happy

Eh?

I41 etc...

"Damage... in a pornographic context" - so, er, e.g nipple rings (etc.) are out, the nipple being a) a priori part of the breast and b) damaged? (BTW - is a depiction a rendering or a record of a scene, or both?)

However, on the upside I think the trend is generally in the right direction... soon, no doubt, "depictions" of poverty and greed "in a financial context" will be outlawed, on which topic (whoa boy! too late...) I don't recall any news of a global Greed pandemic in the last few years so I rather assume that bankers are/were just as "greedy" as they had always been... in which case (not that I applaud them for overlooking the severe mathematical limits on the applicability of a certain rather important formula) why pick on the poor bankers alone...

wasn't HMG equally greedy for its tax revenue insofar as it was equally content to overlook the not-unknown technical risks?

Having been HMG's bitch far too long I would be rather relieved to be able to bin my impoverished bank statements in accordance with the Law.

But still... Are we not at War With Filth? We should all fight "the evil depicting ones" and remember - if you deed a depicter or you fund a depicter - you're a depicter... it's so much easier than actually dealing with abuse per se.

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Anonymous Coward

@A victory for morals

"The rest of the UK is allowing morals to slip away and on almost any street you can see disgusting images of semi-naked men and women."

Matthew 18:9 : "And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."

Well there it is, the word of God, he says that if something offends you, you should pluck out YOUR eye rather than be cast to hell. Can you also put it on YouTube? I'm sure no Wacky Jackie can take offence at someone doing what the Good Book tells them to do.

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Flame

so...

more true crypt required, and a forgetting of the password if there is a <ahem> problem...

what a complete load of bollocks, maybe labour would like to kiss my ass - at least no one will be taking a photo of it.

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@AC 12:58 re, A victory for morals

"...without all the disgusting deviant forcing their views on the rest of us."

If you'd bothered to read anything about this and make any attempt to understand it, you'd realise that those 'disgusting deviants' are not trying to force anything on you. They have not and never will try to get you to look at their specialist picture collection. It is you and people like you who are trying to force your views on them.

As for "...almost any street you can see disgusting images of semi-naked men and women.". You do have a valid point there. Contact the ASA and make a formal complaint.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: MacAyatollah is loose aboot the hoose.

I don't think it's fair to blame this one on feminists in general. No feminists I know are in favour of this sort of legislation, and I don't see how it's a feminist agenda fuelling this - it's just the same stealth-censorship stuff for political reasons. The implications of such laws are just as bad for women as for men, if not worse.

On the other hand, I'm sure you can find a way to blame everything on feminism if you put in a little effort - doesn't seem to be too hard. It's like six degrees of Kevin Bacon, only with barely-understood ideologies.

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Anonymous Coward

re A victory for morals

Anyone care to take the bait?

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Pirate

The English law too...

... has problems with the idea of freely-given consent meaning you are not the victim of a crime. Recall the R v Brown, Operation Spanner case?

No doubt our Calvinist establishment think we should be grateful that we don't live in Saudi Arabia where consent is *never* an issue, since all sexual activity is either a serious crime or at the discretion of an identifiable male authority figure.

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Boffin

@Sarah Bee

Much appreciated, m'am.

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Intercourse the Penguin!

Not Batman's other partner - but the objet trouve on the TV set in Mrs Jean-Paul Sartre's living room. Henceforth, no more dead parrot sketches (3D versions are allowed, if animated by real actors; nostalgic old 2D versions are not, if they include depictions of taxidermy). No more Anyone for Tennis.

In the 19th century, the possession of soap was illegal for a time. Now the filff, so to speak, is on the other foot.

But acting-out (and presumably acting) is ok. Yet if Kent Police and assorted puritans had their way, there'd be no more playing with the English language. No more Shakespeare shaking his spear. No more Luthers luting.

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Morals?

Yours, not mine.

Pornography is fine with me, BDSM included (although not my thing). As long as it's consenting adults.

But then, I don't get my morals from a book. I work them out for myself. Perhaps the MSP's should also work them out or ask their constituents.

I find indoctrination particularly immoral.

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@ A Victory for Morals

Hmmm.... Trolling, devil's advocacy or sarcasm? General consensus seems to be trolling, but I'm not so sure. I vote sarcasm.

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Anonymous Coward

@re A victory for morals

I thought he was being sarky.

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Anonymous Coward

Consensual and immoral?

Since women and fundamentalists obviously don't like sex, no photo can be seen to be consensual.

And as for a law that purports to "support decent morals", any law that is sufficiently ambiguous and subjective that it could be used to stitch-up innocent people is wholly immoral.

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Stop

politician in disguise?

"If your idea of a good time is remaking "The Accused" then I think this law is a good thing."

Really? So what is the difference between the consenting people at home making a personal home movie, image, whatever, and the writer of the accused, the producers of the Accused, the actors in the Accused, the cameramen of the Accused, the make up artists from the Accused, the crew of the Accused, the people who give the broadcasting certificates for the Accused, or all those people who watch this on tv, cinema, video, DVD?

Talk about time for people to plain 'grow up'.

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Paris Hilton

Beg to differ

Hmmmm. At risk of condemning myself to a week of grammatical hell...I shall have to take slight issue with our esteemed moderatrix.

A lot of feminists are against this legislation. That is true. Organisations like "Feminists Against Censorship" - the clue is in the title - have taken a valuable stance on behalf of the liberties lobby.

But I think its too easy to distance feminism entirely. Just as christianity contains within it the seeds for, on the one hand, pacifism and total acceptance, as well as the Inquisition...so feminism contains all manner of viewpoints that are described as "feminist" and in some respected quarters accepted as such.

I don't mean the facile argument "God told me to do it" ergo the Yorkshire Ripper is a bad argument for christianity: more the buying-in to a particular point of view (whether anti-gay or anti-porn) by a recognised set of what are, in both cases, quite broad churches.

I've written elsewhere about the roots to New Labour's anti-sex agenda. In part it has to do with the way they switched questions in 1997. Prior to New Labour, a serious debate was taking place in the legal establishment about consent. The question under discussion was the limits of consent: that is, where was it right for the state to draw a line. Tattoing. Religious flagellation. bdsm. Rugby.

On New Labour's arrival, the question shifted to one about where it was ok for an individual to withdraw consent. They shifted the ground from positive consent (when was it OK to say yes) to negative (when to say no). Both are valid questions: but the emphasis was significant.

The shift in emphasis co-incided with the creation of the Sexual Offences Review Team at the Home Office... a group widely regarded as radical feminist in its inspiration.

Of course, it would be unfair just to pick on the feminist elements. Blunkett also made a crack about how nice it was to work with so many of the same religious bent. I think he meant catholics, but not entirely sure.

So the shift in attitude under New Labour, like all such shifts, has complex roots. Some feminist. Some religious. Some - I'd get back to another time - in the Police and in the somewhat puritan ranks of New Labour. Never under-estimate the degree to which New Labour just find sex and related topics "icky".

To blame all that on feminism is wrong.

To seek to exonerate feminsim entirely is just as wrong.

Its what comes of being a broad church.

Paris, cause she's secretly a card-carrying radical feminist. No. Honestly.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Beg to differ

Yeah of course. Some people are going to be all for it, and the 'some' includes some feminists, but it's important to distinguish between the different types, which many people don't seem to do (so I wouldn't want to give the impression of doing the same thing - certainly wouldn't want to defend anyone who's supporting these laws on whatever basis, they don't speak for me). Same as with tiresome radical factions anywhere.

Porn is what divided feminists into different groups in the first instance so there's no reason why that would change now.

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Black Helicopters

BBFC Classification draws the line...?

So a UK-issued DVD copy of The Accused (or whatever) would be absolutely fine, but if you happen to have a non-UK issued copy of the same film - as a download, or as a Region 1 DVD - without that little bit printed on the packaging... <shudder>

Is this all just a very clever anti-grey-import, anti-piracy scheme dreamt up by the Pigopolists?

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Anonymous Coward

It just goes to show you can't be too careful

Doesn't it?

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Pat
Paris Hilton

Tartan man/totty ban = Talliban?

Why don't they just get on with it and outlaw any sex act unless it is purely(?) for procreation and performed fully dressed, masked and with a partner you find unattractive, and ban ANY erotic depiction including this?

We'll obey that law just as much as the Extreme Pr0n.

Pathetic interfering weirdos!

Paris, because I look forward to the MAD-style folding pictures of her we'll be seeing in the future.

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Boffin

Hoots mon, about these roots!

Note of caution, for Telegraphers ascribing this to NuLabour motives and values.

The current Scottish government is an SNP government, and consequatently about as far away from the middle-left, middle-class, stakeholding, focus-grouped Labourites of Downing Street as you can get. This has nothing to do with Brown, or Blairites; from the perspective of British political ideology, it is a fundamentally disestablished administration -- and consequently MacAskill is never going to be the lackey of Jackboot Jacqui.

Indeed: were you to make ardent claims of NuLabourism in such a Holyrood bill within earshot of that parliament, doubtless the main chamber would ring to peals of laughter.

Mine's the one with bells on.

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Anonymous Coward

Too Late

We might all joke about laws like these, but the simple fact is that such legislation has become the norm for this government. It isn't over yet.

There will be more to come shortly, as I'm sure John Ozimek is well aware, regarding the creation and possession of 'indecent' drawings and cartoons. Don't forget many interested parties would like to see similar sentencing in this area as those already dished out for viewing/downloading 'indecent' photographic images. I'd be interested to know where we are here in England & Wales on this new legislation - you can't trust the government to tell us anything until it's all been put into law (and even then they'll barely announce it).

It really is a terrible state of affairs but it all seems well and truly unstoppable - the government consults with 'interested' parties and by default many of these organisations (or 'agencies') are bound to seek to have the laws rewritten to suit their own agendas (or business plans).

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