Bugger the Toddlers

David Cameron seems to be pre-emptively thwarting my wicked plan to kidnap Prince George and make an insalubrious film about him featuring a red hen, a toy train set and a paddling pool.

I won’t write too much on this myself, as a lot of good ink has been spilled criticising Dave’s announcements already. I’ll just give you the links and a few key points.


– Cameron has totally confused the issues of (1.) Protecting children from being abused and filmed; (2.) protecting children and teens from stumbling onto porn and being damaged; (3.) stopping adults viewing illegal child pornography; (4.) protecting adults from viewing consensual, legal pornography.

– The measures Cameron proposes to solve said issues will not work. They’re impractical, easy to get around, and will face massive questions about where to ‘draw the line’ and what responsibility Internet Service Providers (ISPs) bear.

– It is very possibly that this is a big cynical PR move to impress Tory/Mail reader/voters, with the unintended consequences of teaching teenagers how to use proxies and the deep web, and criminalising a lot of adults who currently enjoy legal, non-vanilla kink etc.


Independent Oliver Wright shows how the filter changes are useless and will cause Cameron future headaches. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/family-filters-wont-block-soft-porn-david-cameron-retreats-in-war-on-internet-porn-admitting-there-will-be-problems-down-the-line-8726991.html

The Economist looks at previous legal efforts to censor ‘extreme’ porn, and how they failed. Readers who excel at life will note the hat-tip to Myles Jackman, a barrister who just loves to beat the government at this bullshit game. http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21582297-social-conservatism-and-old-media-win-out-over-white-heat-technology-default-cameron   

Wired on how Cameron’s filters will block much more than porn, including anorexia & eating disorder information sites, drugs, alcohol, violence, sex education, mental health & suicide sites and, most problematically, ‘web blocking circumvention tools’. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/27/pornwall

TechEye on all the technical misunderstandings that undermine the policy. http://news.techeye.net/security/david-camerons-porn-law-an-all-around-disaster

Vice detail all the ways the policies fail to achieve their stated goals, and how confused the policymakers seem. http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/camerons-internet-censorship-plan-is-dead-in-the-water

Open Rights Group shows how last week’s announcements by Dave and his bulldog (bull-bitch?) Claire Perry go far beyond what was agreed in Cabinet earlier this year. I.e. Lib Dems probably not on board. N.B. announcement made while Clegg on holiday. N.B. Nation blinded by birth of a baby. N.B. it was ‘presidential’ leadership like this that brought down Thatcher. https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/who-exactly-is-responsible-for-nudge-censorship

Independent Voices on how rape porn (i.e. filmed with consensual adults) is none of the government’s business, has little to do with the other issues, and will not bring down the patriarchy if banned. Makes important point that plenty of people have BDSM fetishes, and they aren’t exclusively fat males in basements. You probably should’ve understood that from 50 Shades of Grey* http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/porn-is-about-fantasy-sex–and-the-truth-is-that-some-women-have-rape-fantasies-but-this-is-very-different-from-the-real-thing-8727971.html

Independent Voices on how porn is admittedly problematic, but that better solutions surround child education on negotiation, boundaries, and understanding that porn isn’t real. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dont-ban-rape-porn–introduce-more-porn-with-negotiation-and-boundarysetting-8727612.html

Louise Mensch, former MP on Unfashionista (of whom I am seldom a fan) echoes many of the sensible points described above, mainly railing against banning fictional, consensual depictions of kink. She too draws parallels to the ‘obscenity trial’ of Simon Walsh. http://unfashionista.com/2013/06/10/the-campaign-to-ban-rape-porn-is-far-too-broadly-drawn/



  N.B. I tentatively agree that children and young teens should not be exposed to pornography before they’ve had comprehensive sex and relationships education. Which, incidentally, the ConDems are cutting back on.

*50 Shades of Grey is not an excellent ambassador for the BDSM community, most of whom hate it. The main gripe is that the characters do not follow the consent, safety and ‘safe word’ procedures of real-life practitioners.


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or email me at james.lynch.staunton@gmail.com

Feel free to comment!

4 thoughts on “Bugger the Toddlers

  1. I must admit that I’m a bit confused by your use of a picture of the Japanese fashion known as Lolita fashion, which has nothing to do with any of the issues you are discussing. It’s not a fetish, just a fashion subculture.

    Other than that, I agree with your points. Cameron’s war on porn seems poorly conceived and I don’t like the idea of ISPs having too much control over content and I think this would impact those who are legally viewing porn more than it would do anything regarding illegal porn, such as child pornography.

    • Hi Bahia, thanks for reading.
      This being a free blog with no budget, I’m limited to using creative commons images. I’d done a search for ‘Lolita’, the original Nabokov book and resultant film being an example of media Cameron probably doesn’t want to ban but difficult to exempt from a filter. This image came up and I liked it as it seemed to broadly allude to the issue, whilst keeping up this blog’s mildly absurdist use of imagery (see archive). For obvious reasons, I did not want to use actual pornography to illustrate this blog.

      I agree with your assessment of Cameron’s policies.

  2. Pingback: A terrifying attack on our civil liberties is going through Parliament | Liberal Conspiracy

  3. Pingback: Let he who has never been a nuisance cast the first stone | Haywire Thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s