"It does seem as the government want us to go back to the pre-internet era when the only pr0n you could see was what the BBFC say was ok [...]"
It took a few years before the BBFC was appointed to oversee the rating and blocking of tape video recordings. Up to 1984 the media producers and rental shops had a free rein - although the Obscene Publications law could have been used on a piecemeal basis.
Quote from the BBFC History site
Video recorders were first introduced in the UK in 1978. At the time there was no legislation governing what could be released on video or to whom video recordings could be supplied. Initially the major distributors were wary of releasing their films on video because they felt video tapes might have an adverse effect on cinema revenues. This left the market open for smaller distributors who, in most cases, could only afford to release low budget material, including horror and pornography. Because there was no legislation governing video recordings, these companies were therefore able to release films that had not been submitted to the BBFC for cinema release, uncut versions of films that had been cut by the BBFC and even films that had been refused a certificate altogether by the BBFC. Some of the films released contained scenes that would be in contravention of UK laws on animal cruelty and obscenity. Even more worrying was the fact that such films were available, in theory at least, to children of any age.