... the Morality Police are making tits of themselves again...
6903 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007
... the Morality Police are making tits of themselves again...
One of the things that Terry Pratchett has been trying to get over to people is that he Aten't Dead Yet and probably won't be for a long time!
Regrettably, as some comments on here suggest, there is still widespread ignorance about Alzheimers which, coupled with the lamentable lack of funding that the condition receives, means that many sufferers, whilst they still have their faculties, feel abandoned or get treated as if they have one foot in the grave already.
This doesn't have to be the case, but only if those who research into Alzheimers and treatments for it get the support that they need.
... Sir Terry!
And, iamapizza, if you think Terry Pratchett "lacks talent" or could be compared to those you mention, just stick to the books with the big pictures and the short words and don't bother trying to engage your brain (which you obviously didn't do in the first place).
So Wacky Jaqui says she would publish a consultation paper in the new year.
What she doesn't say is that it will be biased and one-sided and not give the full facts and even then she will ignore it if it doesn't give the response the Government wants.
This Government has lost any connection with the real world, they know they've not got a hope in hell of winning the next election, so they're just trying to push through as much of their Control Freak, Big Brother, Nanny State legislation as possible before they're unceremoniously kicked out of office.
Of course this doesn't mean that the *next* bunch we get in power (the Tories, most likely, by the rule of Buggins' Turn, given the way our electoral system "works") are really going to be much better. Ok, yes, they say they'll get rid of ID cards, but what about all the *rest* of the legislation New Labour brought in which infringes on our Right to Protest, Right to Privacy, Right to decide for ourselves what we can read or see, Right to go about our lawful business without let or hindrance?
Will David Cameron give us a promise that he'll do anything about this? Or, if asked, will he just give us a weaselly, mealy mouthed statement about "well, we'll look at it and maybe get rid of it, but we can't say right now" and then, once he's in power, say "perhaps this isn't so bad after all, but maybe after the *next* election"...?
The only Party with any real gumption to do anything this are the Lib Dems, but they're stuck in third place in a system that would require a massive shift in voting patterns to give them a chance of power and neither of the other two parties have any intention of changing that.
... from the Sky/ Virgin debacle?
Virgin lost, Sky won, eventually Virgin had to eat humble pie. End of story.
This isn't "Nanny State" because the Government is only issuing *guidelines* (rather than attempting some ridiculous and unenforceable heavy-handed nonsense like passing laws making it illegal for a child to drink more than X amount) so it might help children learn that going out and getting blitzed isn't necessary to have a good time.
Of course it does rely on their parents being responsible and not sitting the kids in front of the TV with a couple of tins of Special Brew...
... before pressing the Power Button...
Why don't you just build a five mile high wall around your country and then you can *really* convince yourself that there's nothing else in the world and nobody else would have to worry about a country with such a balanced personality that it has a chip on *both* shoulders!
(Joke ahead icon because there's no "responding to a complete joke" one...)
... Yep, you go out and get pissed and forget about this.
The fact that the Government is planning on trying to take away more of your rights and controlling what you can see or read or download with ridiculous and unenforceable laws isn't important, is it?
... and I can set it to give me a *warning* if I am exceeding the limit. I sure as hell would never let anything over-ride my control of the bike, nor, if I am in the middle of an overtake, would I want to have to worry about pressing a button to stop it happening.
As for Bassey's "why let vehicles go faster than 70", obviously he's never seen a "Crawler Race" where you have one HGV with its limiter set 2mph faster than the one it's trying to pass. Naturally the trucker being passed isn't going to back off ("why the hell should I?!"), so you have an overtake manoeuvre which goes on for a couple of miles.
Now imagine that you're trying to pass one of those trucks on a dual carriageway, but you can only do it at 70mph and that "end of dual carriageway" that was a mile or so off is coming rapidly closer... does that sound like a recipe for safety??
.... I'd like to see things from your point of view...
... But I can't get my head that far up my arse!
Well then just don't fucking LOOK at it, you pillock!
And if your kiddy starts looking at it, what the HELL are you doing leaving your child unattended whilst it's browsing the net?
Your Big Brother, Nanny State, Control Freak Party has already passed the most ludicrous piece of legislation making it illegal simply to possess so-called "extreme pornography" but you can't even *define* what the fuck you mean by this term, so how the hell is anyone going to be able to decide if what they own is illegal in the first place?
And now you want everyone else to do your job as a PARENT and protect your little ones from the nasty stuff that you don't like?
The sooner this bunch of idiots are out of office, the better!
... what do the Yanks sell that's so much better, meaning we should buy it...?
"There are strict guidelines in place regarding the use of intelligence databases and if anyone abuses it that is taken extremely seriously."
The "strict guidelines" being "don't do this, it's naughty and we wouldn't like it"?
Somewhat ironic given No2ID's just launched "Take Jane" campaign. See http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=v1JqlvnZANA
If we have a National ID Database, is this sort of thing going to be:
a) Less likely?
b) More likely?
Still, if you've got nothing to hide...
... is keen to retain the opt-out, believing that it suits the UK's work culture, which generally involves longer hours than that in other EU member states.
Y'know, I would have thought this Government would have been in favour of stopping people working longer hours because that way the employers would be forced to take on more workers to get the same amount of work done and thus make the unemployment figures look better!
> won't be looking forward to telling their children that there's no longer any way to win one's glorious wings of gold and the respect of the nation
Not to mention it'll make it much more difficult to try to get Kelly McGillis' knickers off in the Ladies Room...
... Mine's the one with the off-key copy of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" in the pocket.
... at the most depressing time of year for many people, the Number One song could be "music to slit your wrists to"...!
Well, maybe there's a god above,
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah...
Happy Xmas everyone...
> "Is knowing the state has your DNA really more detriminent to a person's "privacy" than knowing that unauthorisated photos are visible to people you don't like on facebook?"
Well, yes, because only one of those is an infringement on the right to be Presumed Innocent Unless Proven Guilty!
@Sean: 911 is not usable in the UK because some UK phone numbers start with those three digits.
@Jaowon: The other reason for choosing 999 in the UK was that, with the old rotary dial phones, it was easiest to dial in the dark, you just found the bottom of the dial and put your middle finger in the first hole which was 0, then your index finger in the hole next to it which had to be 9 and you didn't need to find any other digits thereafter.
So she promises "a review of the RIPA code of practice", whilst ignoring the fact that she has now been *TOLD* that keeping the DNA of people not convicted of crime is illegal. The "removing 70 under 10s from the database is just a sop which attempts to distract people's attention from what's still going on.
She also claims that the use of CCTV has the confidence and support of the British public, but I wouldn't be surprised if these are the same people who, allegedly, think that ID cards are a great idea and should be introduced immediately...
... Our FUD spouting Overlords!
Be afraid, people. Be VERY afraid! Only through your fear can we make you safe! Don't trouble your little heads about Human Rights or Civil Liberties, such things can only make Terrorists' lives easier, so let us remove all those Rights and let us watch you wherever you go and see who you're phoning and check what websites you're visiting and record your DNA and have you carrying ID cards because only in that way will we have true Safety!
We shall prevail!
... are we going to see Mr Thayer being arrested and prosecuted for "causing damage" to those computers?
... those frickin' lasers to fit on sharks' heads and then they can zap this jellyfish menace into oblivion!
... that a ;-) smiley could be considered a unique way of representing his business?
Is Trademark Whoring a business?
... will that be enough to buy her a brain...?
... Publish and be dumbed!
... this is Right Hand. Do you have any idea what I'm doing, because I don't!
@Neil Hoskins: Basically I'm fucking sick of fucking "libertarians" telling me that I have to view their sick pictures
And I'm sick of people like you using Straw Man arguments like this! You do *NOT* have to view these pictures, nobody is forcing you to view anything. You, however are telling everyone else that because *you* consider these images to "sick pictures" *THEY* should not be allowed to look at them which is bullshit. Your personal tastes (or those of Wacky Jacqui et al) should not govern what anyone else is allowed to look at "just in case it might make them think about doing something nasty".
@Dennis: "criminalising the possession of obscene material as the obvious reaction. "
No, it was a ridiculous over-reaction, especially since it is still entirely unclear as to what will be criminalised and what won't because such decisions are going to be based on the *subjective* opinions of the Police/ CPS/ DPP/ Magistrates...
But you're right, the OPA was flawed, is flawed, and always will be flawed and the best way to fix the problem is to get rid of it entirely.
> Professional in Child Care that is!!
But presumably not a professional in environmentally responsible waste disposal...!
... Tomorrow belongs to me!
... and starts playing game featuring a Yo-yo wielding caveman...
... gets hit by flying dagger...
... what a remarkable man. Most Americans would probably have been reaching for their lawyers by then...
In the UK you have no right to demand privacy if you are in a public place. If someone takes a picture of you, that's perfectly legal.
What they do not have the right to do is to publish or use that photograph in a "defamatory" way and, had the women mentioned in the article been in the UK they could have sued on this basis.
Had the face been blurred out or the figure only shot from the neck down they would not have been identifiable and so there wouldn't have been a problem.
PS @Help me here, please. "Can I deny a police officers demands to stop/desist and/or handover the pictures as making them available to others may prejudice a possible prosecution? Just asking..."
As far as I understand the law, yes, you can, see http://www.sirimo.co.uk/ukpr.php and http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-and-the-law.html for more information.
"There's no law underpinning this, no offence is committed by ignoring the IWF - but because there is no law, what can you challenge? [...]
"The IWF is unaccountable and they're clearly out of control - there needs to be a statutory approach to this. Myself I'd prefer no censorship, but it it's there it needs to be open, transparent and on a legal footing - and you have to ask yourself why government is so opposed to that approach...."
Excuse me? This is the Government which has brought in the Extreme Porn laws and which plans to make it illegal to possess *drawings* of "child abuse" amongst other things!
The only reason they haven't put a law in place yet is probably because they haven't found the time to do it or there hasn't been a sufficiently media friendly "moral outrage" to which their knee can jerk!
This Government is clearly out of control and has no idea about what its legislation will actually achieve, nor, indeed, how it will achieve it (see the Ministry of Justice's "Guidance" on Extreme Porn which basically says "let the courts sort out our mess") and you want them to introduce *more* legislation?
You've written some good articles in the past, but in this case I think you've got it wrong.
Ok, given that I've been involved in the campaign against this law for the last two years, let's address a few points:
1) The IWF has absolutely *NOTHING* to do with this law! The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 and the Ministry of Justice's guidance make no reference to the IWF at all. The original Consultation did, but only to say that the IWF had had no reports of this being hosted in the UK in 2003-4 and claiming that this might be due to the "deterrant effect" of the Obscene Publications Act (yeah, right...)
2) For an image to be prosecuted (as far as I understand it), firstly the Police must find it in your possession, then consider it to be an "extreme image", they then have charge you with the offence and pass the case on to the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS then have to get permission from the Director of Public Prosecutions to actually take the case to court. (In the mean time, of course, your computer has been seized, along with all your CDs, videos, DVDs etc and you're not going to see those again for a *long* time because you're not an MP!)
3) The problem (well, amongst the problems!) is that the MoJ's "guidance" is as vague and ill-defined as the law passed by Parliament. They say that "The words ‘grossly offensive’ and ‘disgusting’ are not alternatives to ‘obscene character’ but are examples of it. They are drawn from the ordinary dictionary definition of ‘obscene’" but they don't say *which* dictionary. Chambers says "Obscene [...] 3. (UK Law) Liable to corrupt and deprave", but the Government specifically excluded this by voting down an amendment brought in the law to include this definition.
The guidance also says that "Serious injury should be given its ordinary English meaning" but then specifically excludes case law regarding Grievous Bodily Harm which does refer to "serious injury" and which might have given some clue as to what is included or excluded.
The MoJ says "As with any law, once Parliament has passed it, it is for the courts to interpret and apply it." which sounds like a massive cop-out requiring that the Courts should try to sort out this abysmally incoherent law.
4) The MoJ says that "the new law will only catch material which would already be illegal under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959", but this is a blatant lie, since it criminalises images excerpted from films which are entirely *legal* to publish and sell under the OPA. It also creates a new definition of "pornographic" since it declares such an image "must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal", something which the OPA does not do.
5) The guidance says "An image must come within the terms of all three elements before it will fall foul of the offence" ie that
a) it's "pornographic" (defined as mentioned as: "must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal", ie in someone else's subjective opinion, it's to give someone their jollies),
b) its "grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character" (but it then goes on to say "The words ‘grossly offensive’ and ‘disgusting’ are not alternatives to ‘obscene character’ but are examples of it", which suggests that it should at the least say "and" not "or" or, even better, "to be considered obscene it must *also* be grossly offensive *and* disgusting", although that's still entirely subjective) and finally:
c) "An extreme act is one which threatens a person’s life, which results or is likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals" (I'll skip the necrophilia and bestiality references)
The problem is the guidance then goes on to say that "Life-threatening is not defined in the Act. It will therefore take its ordinary English meaning and will be a question of fact for the magistrate or jury", but it only suggests what it *could* (not does) include depictions of and it doesn't even say whether those depictions *are* actual examples of what the law would cover.
In other words, again, it's up to a Court to decide if an image is actually covered under all of these criteria (presumably after the Police and the DPP have decided that it is or could be). But what this means is that you or I will have no idea if an image will fall foul of the law because it's not *our* view on it that matters!
Presumably violent films (even featuring nudity) or art won't be included, except that's not necessarily the case if you take an excerpt from one and stick it in the same folder (or on the same hard drive? Or is that just on the same computer??) as your porn collection because then the Police can argue that the "context" suggests you took it "for sexual arousal", ie they'll decide if you're getting your jollies from looking at it! (So probably images of the Crucifixion aren't going to be illegal unless someone's drawn a knob on it like some kids did on the ones in the RE books at school...!)
Of course, probably, as I've mentioned in other posts on this subject, what's going to happen is that this will end up being a "Consolation Prize Law" where if the Police have nicked you for something but can't pin it on you, they'll dig through your computer and see if they can find any "extreme porn" to justify the original arrest.
In the meantime we have a "chilling effect" produced where people are forced to self-censor just in case they have something that might fall foul of this law.
There is, however, still time to do something, so, once again, I urge people to read the above, then write to their MP via http://www.writetothem.com and get their elected representatives to demand that the MoJ produce some coherent and definitive information on what this law is or isn't intended to cover instead of saying "it's not up to us, let the people self-censor and let the Police make subjective decisions and let the Courts sort it out whilst we find something new to persecute!"
The plane you're thinking of is the A-10 Thunderbolt, better known as the "Warthog", essentially it's a 30mm cannon with a plane built around it!
... I want one that's frickin' shark's head size!
... right after Wacky Jacqui and friends introduce a new law making it illegal to possess or distribute videos of "criminal behaviour" because that sort of thing obviously makes people want to emulate it (unless, of course, you're a TV station broadcasting Crime Watch or America's Dumbest Criminals etc, because that shows the bad guys getting nicked and that's ok..)
"Jacqui Smith: Law to remain while judgment 'carefully considered'" in other words: whilst we try to find a way to weasel out of it...
PS Jacquiavellian! I love it!!
... will it be able to deduce the existence of rice pudding and Income Tax...?
The Queen can't "fire the toss pots", a little thing called the English Civil War took care of that back in the 17th Century.
Of course at that time it was the Monarch who got so arrogant with his power that the only solution was to chop his head off, so perhaps it's time for a similar solution...
... I'd like to learn all about you nuclear systems, please!
Mines the one with the lead lining...
... and no further encroachments on individual liberties...
Call me cynical, but the word "yet" could easily follow these statements...
Thank you for your reply, at least you're willing to admit that you may be mistaken.
Unfortunately there are those, especially those who proposed and supported this law in Parliament and the Lords, who are completely unwilling to accept that they could, in any way, be wrong, and would not even listen to any arguments that perhaps their law would not achieve their aims, nor do they care that it will criminalise people for looking at "dangerous pictures".
It is, regrettably, way to late to debate this issue, in fact it was probably too late when the law was first proposed two years ago, it's pretty clear that the Labour Party was going to push this law through come hell or high water and any "concessions" were simply a sop to neutralise any opposition. Have a look at the Backlash and CAAN sites and you'll find all the information and if you think that this worthless law should be removed from the lawbooks before innocent people end up being hauled in front of the courts, write to your MP via http://www.writetothem.com
PS @Phil, unfortunately even your admirable First Amendment isn't necessarily going to protect you, when the Bush White House decided to "crack down" on "producers of sadistic porn" (at the same time as torturing prisoners in Guantanamo Bay) one producer said "While Intersec is certain that a potential prosecution would have no chance of success... the staff is unwilling to fight a lengthy and expensive court battle only to emerge victorious but bankrupt."
As the old saying has it "How much justice can you afford?"
"would a 'normal' person find (even faked) pain and suffering of another human being or creature pleasurable? I venture an answer of 'nay!'"
Well then you would be WRONG! I run a business making and selling BDSM gear and I have been to many fetish parties and seen "dangerous videos" where I have seen "pain and suffering" going on, but these are *consensual* acts engaged in by *consenting* adults!
You seem to make the same arrogant mistake that those who proposed this law did by assuming that your tastes are the ones that should govern what everyone else should or shouldn't see or do or be allowed to publish because you are "normal" and anyone who likes things that you don't like are "dodgy folk", well pardon me if I say BULLSHIT!
If you don't like it, don't look at it, but don't tell everyone else that, because you don't like it, they shouldn't be allowed to look at it.
If you (or the Government) could actually provide any genuine evidence of harm you might have a reasonable, logical case, but you don't, you simply have supposition and emotive arguments not backed up by any facts (and you cannot make a single *exceptional* case into a general case either).
You shoot your own argument in the foot by saying "Lets not forget that 15 years ago hardcore porn was banned in the UK", well, yes, it was and now it's legal, so by your arguments, all these "dodgy folk" would be out there on killing sprees yet, somehow, this hasn't happened. I suggest you look at the work of Professor Milton Diamond PhD of the University of Hawai'i who examined the situation in the USA and Japan where this material has been available for over 20 years and discovered "It is certainly clear from the data reviewed, and the new data and analysis presented, that a massive increase in available pornography in Japan, the United States and elsewhere has been correlated with a dramatic decrease in sexual crimes"
Meanwhile Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire Ripper and Steve Wright the Ipswich Strangler who, between them killed 18 women, justifying their behavior because, according to their reading of the Bible, they were doing "God's work". In which case, it would make sense to ban the Bible because whilst banning so-called "extreme porn" might (unprovably) have saved one life, banning the Bible would have saved *eighteen* lives!
And why do you find it necessary to drag up the hoary old chestnut of "snuff movies"? Let me spell this out for you: Snuff Movies are a MYTH!! They do not exist! Despite thirty *years* of searching, the FBI, the British Police and others have never found *ONE* example of someone being murdered for the purposes of making a porn film, nor has anyone ever being charged with possessing one, let alone being convicted of making one!
If you want a logical debate, start by debating *facts* not myths and supposition and hearsay.
So let's take one fact from your little piece:
> Making people who encourage and participate in extreme acts which DO harm innocent victims accountable to some form of legal process? Good thing.
I agree, and so does everyone else in the BDSM community, I don't doubt.
Except that we already *HAVE* these laws! It's a crime to kill someone! It's a crime to commit an assault on another person (regrettably, it may even be a crime if they wish to consent to it after the Operation Spanner case)! It's a crime to falsely imprison someone!
We already have laws to deal with these crimes, this law will do nothing to change that situation, all it will do is to criminalise people for being (according to your lights) "a bit dodgy" because you don't like the pictures they look at.
Which is it to be...?
> Why can't they just focus legislation on people who run the websites for extrem porn?
To quote from the Explanatory Notes produced by the Ministry of Justice:
"The proper functioning of the Internal Market in electronic commerce is ensured by the Internal Market clause, which means that information society services are, in principle, subject to the law of the Member State in which the service provider is established. In turn, the Member State in which the information society service is received cannot restrict incoming services."
In other words, the original idea as proposed in the Longhurst petition to "block access" to sites showing so-called "extreme pornography" would be illegal because these sites are legal in the Member States in which they are established.
That petition also called for the banning of sites "promoting violence against women", but there's never actually been any proof offered that these sites do "promote violence", it's simply a supposition (not backed up with facts) that this sort of material "encourages" violence against women (and, presumably, Female Domination sites "promote violence against men...?)
The fact that members of the BDSM community support the idea of Safe, Sane and, most importantly, *Consensual* play doesn't seem to matter to these people, nor that BDSMers are as opposed to non-consensual violence against others as anyone who signed that petition.
Probably this law will end up being used as a sort of "Consolation Prize" for the Police whereby if they nick you for a crime but are unable to charge you with it, they'll trawl through your computer and see if they can find any "extreme porn" just so they can justify the original arrest...
So we have the "guidlines" at last, except that they provide very little "guidance" and mostly just re-iterate the same old twaddle that we've heard before, not to mention that, in places, they actually contradict the law as written eg it says an image must be "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an offensive nature", yet the guidance says it must fit all the criteria, ie it should be AND of an offensive nature.
We also don't know what is "life threatening". Skydiving or riding a motorcycle can be "life threatening" if done without adequate safety precautions, so if someone takes adequate safety precautions when involved in breath-play, would that be ok? I doubt it.
Ditto for "serious injury". I actually asked the MoJ if that would be defined as GBH, since that's the definition the courts used, but they've decided that, no, it isn't, presumably because that would be too stringent a test for them to catch the stuff they don't like.
"Explicit and realistic" are, frankly, tautologous. If it's porn, it's probably explicit. If it's real people (even if acting) it's "realistic", so no help there.
"Obscene" is also said to take its definition from the dictionary instead of the mass of case law from the Obscene Publications Act, yet Chambers has "Obscene: UK Law - Liable to corrupt and deprave", so is that included or not?
Also they keep claiming that this act will only catch stuff which is "illegal to publish under the OPA", yet as the article points out, it will catch excerpts from films which are *not* obscene when shown as a whole, yet *will* be obscene if taken out of context!
And, finally, we have the statement that if you've deleted the images you're ok, unless you're a techie and have undelete software, in which case you'll need to use a file shredder to be safe.
The MoJ also basically say that it's going to be up to the Magistrates or Judges to decide if an image fits the definitions given, in other words they've made a huge mess and then want the courts to clean it up and we're left with the definitions of "pornographic" returning to the 1970s where "porn is whatever gets the Judge turned on"!
PS @ I Wonder:
The BBFC would not be prosecuted because paragraph 65 says:
65 Defences: general
(1) Where a person is charged with an offence under section 63, it is a defence for the person to prove any of the matters mentioned in subsection (2).
(2) The matters are—
(a) that the person had a legitimate reason for being in possession of the image concerned;
The BBFC can claim to have a legitimate reason for possession, just as the police officers who have to evaluate seized material are allowed to possess it.
PPS @ Richard Cartledge
If you think it's gross, don't look at it. But don't be as arrogant as this Government and think that *your* personal tastes should define what everyone else is allowed to look at.
PPPS @ John Ozimek: "Exteme" porn...?! ;-)
... and yet (having not blasted my eardrums at discos in my youth) I can hear these things as well as (if not better) than any teenager and I object to being treated as some sort of "unwanted presence" thereby.
And to those slagging off Liberty, you are really missing the point. These devices affect *everyone*, especially the new version, whether they are supposed to or not. They are infringing on *everyone's rights*. Liberty is protecting your rights too whether you realise it or not.
And before you start bleating "but what about my rights..." please, tell me, since when did two wrongs start making a right? How can you protect one person's rights by infringing someone else's?
Or are some people's rights more equal than others...?
.. was originally intended to be a tax on "luxuries", but it seems today that pretty much everything over the barest minimum needed to survive on is now classified as a "luxury".
This tax simply causes more hassle for businesses and should be ditched.
... I have to wonder whether the terrorists who went around looking for people with "American or British Passports" would be in favour of this technology...
... you might get arrested as a "terrorist" for revealing information that the Government wants kept hidden...
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