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back to article Minister admits thought crime is on the agenda

A short exchange in the Commons yesterday suggests that thought crime is now officially on the government’s agenda. Labour MP George Howarth had something of a triumph at the committee stage of the Coroners and Justice Bill, when he famously observed, of a drawing scrawled on a piece of paper: "If somebody is in the process of …

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Black Helicopters

Jesus Christ...

... somebody needs to get these clowns out of office (preferably against the nearest wall and shot) as soon as possible.

/black heli and anon ... for obvious reasons.

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Alert

Pipe to pipe bushmen

So, parents, if you see a dodgy looking character hanging around the kids' park with an etch-a-sketch, be afraid.

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Anonymous Coward

Thought of Thought Crime

Actually that's not a thought crime, that's what the *minister* thinks that the person is *thinking*. It's the thought of a thought crime.

In actual fact you're not prosecuting them for what they're thinking (because you have no way of determining that), you're prosecuting them for what the minister *fears* they may be thinking, based on his own *thoughts* on the matter. i.e. the thought your prosecuting is the one in the minister or policemans head.

i.e. Person has cartoon of Lisa sucking Bart's ****.

Person thinks, "that's funny"

Minister thinks, "I'm aroused, wonder what it would be like if I stuck my **** in Lisa, better not tell anyone, quick how do I deal with this guilt, Lisa is drawn like a little girl, erm, quick make a law and transfer these thoughts to others"

Minister says: "we must protect children from these perverts who would stick their *** in Lisa"

Person says: "dude, you have some serious issues if you can't tell a cartoon from reality"

Minister says: "We must also protect our nation from the evil decepticons, let's form an alliance with Optimus Prime to tackle this global problem"

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Tom
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Not really the case...

Surely it's the drawing of it that is breaking the law not the imagining itself?

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Unhappy

Double Plus Bad

If people weren't intent on baffling others, dodging the question, hiding the truth of their agenda behind double-speak or trying to show themselves off with imagined smart-arse command of the English language in a pathetic game of one-upmanship they wouldn't trip themselves up or get tongue-twisted so badly nor so often.

Whatever happened to old fashioned, plain, simple, English and simple, honest answers ? RIP both.

If this government weren't so too-faced that they would deny intending to do something while saying they'll be doing exactly that, it might be easier to decipher what the actual answer really meant.

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twice in the space of a mounth

this is the second time I have read something our elected representatives have said and thought "they can not be serious"

"“Does she agree that not only are images based on real children unacceptable, but so too are images that people use for these purposes that they have generated either from their own imagination..."

how can this person seriously believe what they are saying???

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Anonymous Coward

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg!

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg! stop the world I wanna get off, please. I'll wait for the next one thanks, it can't be any worse.

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Dead Vulture

BS much?

How is drawing a picture of a naked child a "thought crime"? There's activity going on outside the brain - definitely some pencil on paper (or mouse on Photoshop). Most importantly there will be concrete evidence that this has gone on.

The real issue, if you forget the sensationalistic 1984 strawman bullshit, is, do we allow virtual child porn? Some people say yes, some say no; it's hardly any open-and-shut case.

This issue has at least two components.

1. Do we allow "pure virtual" child porn - i.e. a child that is completely synthetic inside a program like Blender?

2. Do we allow "modified" child porn - i.e. a child that is real, but has been shopped to look porny?

Some people fancy children. Is it better for society if that is simply suppressed (which doesn't appear to always work), or should those people have an outlet which doesn't harm anyone else? If given that outlet, will it make them more or less likely to harm real children?

Difficult questions. Probably not going to be answered here by El Reg - which is becoming more like The Daily Mail each day.

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Jobs Halo

So that means...

... anyone in possession of the official London 2012 Olympic logo is a criminal. There's something somewhat poetic about that.

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Dan
Unhappy

and lo...

If you have nothing to hde, the only thing you have to fear is that someone might disagree...!

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Anonymous Coward

man

no fuck it, I'll just kill myself when the bill comes in, that way they've all pushed someone to suicide and should be arrested.

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Stop

The final straw

Fuck this: for 10 long years I've been resisting my instincts and abandon a lifelong natural support of 'labourism'. But these c*nts have so little to do with the ideals I've so long cherished, and are now sticking noses into people's personal lives with no evidence of harm being in such an intrusive way, that I've done with ideologies.

I announce to the world I AM voting conservative at the next election. Say what you want about them, they most certainly do not seem to, and indeed have never exhibited any desire to, intrude into people's private lives in the way this bunch of orwellian c*nts keep pushing to!

Roll on the Cameron government...

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In that case, nothing to worry about

Can someone remind the Attorney General of Articles 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so that s/he can have a word with these moro... ministers, to tell them to stop wasting tax payers' money in the European courts.

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Anonymous Coward

Where is it all leading?

We are Borg. You will be assimilated.

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Tim

Thought Punishment.

If thinking things can be construed as a crime, would the punishment be to watch MTV's "my super sweet sixteen"? I dont think you would be able to be sexually aroused by a young'un ever again.

That said, you would start thinking "how can i kill these spoilt little brats in the most horrioble fashion?" so maybe that aint the answer either.

No its no good. The only thing they cant get you on is stuff that stays in your own head.

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Alien

December 21, 2012

Personally, I can't wait. Nature deserves a better dominant species.

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Anonymous Coward

however on a more serious note

This bill is getting no real air time, and I'd wager if it did the Government spin artists would be all over it via their official news service (bbc) and papers (daily mail,sun.)

This countries turned to shit.

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Black Helicopters

@Tom

No, they're not talking about drawing the images. They're talking about using them for sexual arousal - i.e. what you think when seeing the image can be a crime.

Y'know, the more I read what "think of the children!" gets used for, the more I feel urged to say "screw the little buggers, they can think for themselves". Hell, with the sort of attitude that's going around these days, that last sentence could be a crime too.

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Unhappy

Can anyone tell me..

where I can sign up for the revolution please?

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Stop

Holy Fucking Shit Batman!

Read my lips, you bunch of arseholes!

It's NOT a Fucking MANUAL!

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Coat

@Tom

Who cares what someone draws, paints or writes for their own personal pleasure? Actually, they should be able to sell to anyone who cares to buy it.

What does matter is whether children/animals/etc are abused in the production of such work which generally means photographs or videos.

Mine's the one with the collection of highly collectible, hand-drawn, Victorian post-cards in the pocket. Ta.

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Black Helicopters

@ Tom

"Surely it's the drawing of it that is breaking the law not the imagining itself?"

Only for the time being.

If Labour get in for another term, they will create a new offence of "going equipped to commit thoughtcrime", punishable by lobotomy. Nobody with a brain will be safe.

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Stop

@1st AC

Be carefull about thinking about putting people against the wall and shooting them. Surely that is a though crime in itself.

... and now I have gone and thought about it too. Oh no.

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Coat

Tinfoil BAAAAD

For those that find this disturbing I wouldn't recommend using tinfoil hats. It'll actually aplify your brainwave patterns for easier analysis by the nuLabour fourth reich though police.

I'll be the one wearing the wet towl on my head looking for a way to my arse to Mars

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Black Helicopters

thought crime?

Ok, that's it. I am leaving this crappy little nanny state that seems to think 1984 is a style guide, not a warning.

Anon because... well duh

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

> i.e. Person has cartoon of Lisa sucking Bart's ****.

http://www.bengilman.com/2008/11/branding-london-2012/

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Here's a thought...

... and hopefully one I won't be arrested for, but if (in the words of the Right Honourable Idiot) "We need to protect our children.", then why not just lock up the parents and all close relatives of said children?

After all, aren't most molested/assaulted/murdered by their "nearest and dearest" as opposed to some stranger?

Just a thought, seeing as we must protect the little dahlings at all costs...

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Black Helicopters

Socialism Strikes?

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people." Adolf Hitler

"As long as government is perceived as working for the benefit of children, the people happily will endure almost any curtailment of liberty." Rabbi Daniel Lapin

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Coat

Makes sense

If, as voters, we are to able to remove these people from office because of not only what they have done, but also because of what we think they may do next, then the government should have the right to punish us for what we think.

Mine's the transparent one with GPS tracking and "I vote therefore I need to be corrected" written on it.

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Tom
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Absolute tosh!

The whole idea is so stupid, drawing an image makes no difference what so ever, the person had to think about it to start with. Seeing as we can not read peoples minds we can not punish people for thinking and imagining something so whats the point of doing so if they draw it? They can quite easily fantasise about it in their head and no one can do anything anyway.

This is just another case of the government and political figures in general just trying to do what they think the loudest shouting members of the public want to hear, nothing about right or wrong.

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This is all going to end in tears...

So, if I draw a picture of someone robbing a bank would that make me a bank robber? What about it a draw a picture of a government minister robbing a bank?

Curious...

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Alert

What if...

What if I imagine I'm drawing a picture?

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@ Tom and revealed preference

Tom...the point is what was jsut said in the Commons...which presumably reveals what the people in power are thinking. This is as clear a statement that imagination is fair game for state intervention as anything - and maybe the scariest exchange I have heard in a long time/ever.

It also brought to mind a reference I noted yesterday in a very good special issue of Index on Censorship. OK - so I have an article in there! :) But its pretty good anyway.

One of the writers was talking about "revealed preference" which is economist-speak for "look at what they do, not what they say".

Their point: an obsession with passing laws that are mostly focussed on the notional protection of sweet white middle class lookalike kiddies. And very little actual practical done for preventing against real child abuse.

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Anonymous Coward

Another Brasseye prediction comes true

Do we get a "pre-construction" of the crime as well?

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Black Helicopters

@ac 14:57

good point. The whole concept of the courts ruling on whether they think you were sexually aroused by a cartoon and therefore guilty of a crime is distinctly Kafkaesque. What evidence can "prove" what someone is thinking ? I'd like to have that technology...but of course I would use it only for good :)

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RW
Paris Hilton

@ AC re "Thought of Thought Crime"

The whole thing validates the old adage that those most concerned with smut, nudity, sex, and other forms of "dirt" are the ones with the dirtiest minds. Normal people don't obsess about such matters. We have better thing to do with our lives.

Paris, because she's the closest we have to a "smut" icon

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Bronze badge

Any evidence that you are having thoughts is evidence of an evil propensity

If you draw a sketch of a burglar, your mind-set is that of a thief, and it clearly signals that you will (not might) go further with this thought, so the drawing is proof that you have intent to steal and will, in fact, steal. Minority Report without the fancy technology.

Given this is what they are proposing, does playing a game of hangman with someone get you arrested for as-close-as-dammit murder by strangulation, or sectioned for wanting to self-harm (that is, commit suicide)?

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Anonymous Coward

Thought of crime thought

Continuing on from Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 18th March 2009 14:57 GMT...

Once the Minister has had the thought of a crime, then any thought of crime also becomes suspect.

No-one will be permitted to think of the Middle East say, and more specifically about the butchery of Gaza children, for example. Politically convenient, no?

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Stop

Brain Firewall

Sheesh , soon there will be a ironport/messagelabs type device for you brain.

If you do not program you mind, we will program it for you.

Fecking Nazi's the lot of them.

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Coat

What's really going on?

Don't look at the left, look at the right-hand. Don't look at the right, look at the left-hand. rinse. Shuffle Repeat.

This decade we had a Millennium Dome and a Phoney-war on Terror to keep all eyes off the complete collapse of the banking system (which Mr Bono naughtily ruined with that Drop the Debt effort for countries seriously overdrawn with no way of repa... okay naughty and prescient). So what big distraction for the 2010's can we expect?

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@Thought of Thought crime

Under those 'rules' the people who 'designed' the 2012 Olympics logo should all be on the sex offenders register.

Still worth it for £600k though. Probably.

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Coat

logos too?

So, whoever designed this log is in trouble

http://www.london2012.com/img/v2/fpo/london2012-logo.gif

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Stop

Cnuts, the lot of them

that is all

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Anonymous Coward

@Tom

The point seems to be that if one creates such a drawing, even based entirely on the contents of one's imagination and without any ancillary connections towards either an individual sexual response or intentions to replicate the act/s depicted in the drawing with an actual child, one is clearly a raging pervert desperate to cornhole any and all children to which one can gain any sort of access whatsoever.

The threat is, of course, real. So real that we don't have time to get an independent psychiatric evaluation of whether a new law (along the lines of "drawing something kind of sort of like child abuse except not actually involving an actual child being abused at any stage of the process") would be needed to deal with this utter non issue.

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It's just a new kind of herasy

and they are a new kind of inquisition.

Please, there are no witches and paedophiles are very rare. Lets stop this madness.

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@Thought of a Thought Crime

When thought crimes come to court, life gets really interesting. By the time it has come to court, the police and lawyers for the prossecution must have thought exactly what they think the person in the dock has thought. So they must be guilty too. If it is a jury trial, if the person is found guilty, the jury must have thought what they think the guilty person is thought to have thought . That is a whole lot of people to throw in jail. One dodgy cartoon in a newspaper or in junk mail and we could have the whole country in jail. Surely it is best to just pull everyone's passports now, declare the UK a penal colony, and avoid all the expense of huge numbers of court cases.

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Alien

Mmmk

OK the politicians in your country are beginning to scare me more than the politicians in my country. And that's saying something.

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Anonymous Coward

@BS much

"Is it better for society if that is simply suppressed (which doesn't appear to always work), or should those people have an outlet which doesn't harm anyone else?"

Having an outlet is always the most-bandied, least supported justification in these cases :) An "outlet" rarely satisfies for long, because people's desires are generally never satisfied.

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Anonymous Coward

@BS much?

No the question is,

Is it possible for an imaginary person to commit an imaginary crime against an other imaginary person, and is that crime the same as a real person commiting a real crime against a real person.

Then exrapolating, is watching an imaginary person commit an imaginary crime against an imaginary person the same as watching a real person commit a real crime against a real person?

In my opinion, the notion that imaginary acts are the same as real acts is idiocy.

As to point 2, photo-realistic and pseudophotos are already illegal.

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Flame

Children can go f*** themselves

There are serious civil liberties concerns here.

What I do in my house you might not do in your house, but what I do in my house is my business.

Please get me a first amendment before I move to the religious crazy land over the pond.

I would suggest that sending people to jail for doing something where there is no harm to any other individual in (any) society is a step towards a totalitarian regime.

This has me talking to the Lib Dems! Seriously, that's how bad it has gotten.

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