This law will fall and I hope it damages the government when it does.
Let's be clear why there is opposition to this law. Yes the vagueness of the definitions are a major concern, but it is far more than that.
No one opposing this law has argued that "anything goes" and that images of real abuse, bestiality or necrophilia should be legal to own. Though this is all the government argues on, the opposition is mainly about the fact that this law deliberately includes fictional material. Even where the defendant can prove no one was harmed in the making of it.
The government, at first, said it must include fictional material otherwise proving an actual crime took place would be an insurmountable obstacle for the prosecution. That's right you will be assumed guilty, because it may be too difficult to prove that you are.
After being challenged on this, they then changed tack and said that the law was meant to prevent harm caused by merely viewing the images. After much prodding they came up with 'evidence' that merely viewing caused harm.
How? They commissioned well established anti-pornography campaigners, who were known to already support the law, to compile a report called "The Harm of extreme pornography". Obviously they did not want to leave the slightest chance that the conclusion would not be the one they wanted.
After cherry-picking sixty years of research on this subject, in the process ignoring anything which did not support the premise of this law, the reports authors could find no evidence that those making this material are harmed, but that "some of the most sexually aggressive men may be influenced by viewing this material". some of the most aggressive men may be influenced by watching Bambi or reading the Bible or the Koran, but hey this was enough for the government.
From this extraordinarily weak conclusion they extrapolated their opinion that this "influence" could result in the committing of rape and sexual assault. This was the 'smoking gun' the government wanted to criminalise fictional material.
Now we have the situation, where a citizen of England and Wales can have their privacy invaded, be convicted on a sex offence, with all the stigma that caries, and be locked for up to three years, for looking, in private, at images of consenting adults taking part in perfectly legal activities.
Baroness Millar in the Lords debate, said that this constituted "thought crime" and she was right. This is not about what you do, it is about what the government think you are thinking of doing. And they deliberately concocted evidence to show that what they think you are thinking "may" be dangerous.
I can only hope that the anger I have heard expressed over this insane irrational law over the past few days, will be remembered when the next election comes around. Do you want a government that can persuade itself that it is right to lock people up on the grounds of taste alone?