hey, firstly... this is dealing with a bit of an adult topic, so if you're offended by this, don't read on ok?
the proposed bill dealing with Criminal Justice and Immigration... first and foremost it's a bloody travesty in my eyes.
allow me to explain...
The debate on the new Criminal Justice Bill making it illegal to possess certain images has been postponed from July to October.
This is a result of Theresa May, shadow Leader of the House, taunting Labour on 12th July when the original date was announced.
"On 23 July the Second Reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill will take place, but yesterday (Wed 11th) the Prime Minister said that he would add the recommendations from the Flanagan review to the Bill in the autumn. How can we give the Bill a Second Reading when part of it is not even written ? "
The Flanagan point refers to the PM flagging new policing measures, as in "we are committed to building a broad consensus on the right balance between protecting our national security and safeguarding the civil liberties of every individual in this country" and so is rather relevant.
UK Human Rights lobby group Liberty has joined its name to the growing list of opponents to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 and has raised concerns about the plans to criminalize the possession of pornography.
this is a psychiatrists view on the matter...
Extract from The Psychologist, Volume 19, Part 5 (May 2006)
Letters Pages: 268-273
Extreme pornography consultation.
We write to express our deep concern at the Society's response to a Home Office consultation paper on internet pornography.
We are concerned that the response was based on virtually no evidence of harm, yet recommends extremely authoritarian measures.
The government is considering making it a crime to download sexually violent pornography. This will extend the legislation on child pornography to adult material that is defined as the realistic depicting or acting of a scene that would, if acted out, cause grievous bodily harm.
This would include a variety of bondage and masochistic scenes acted out by consenting enthusiasts, as well as images of the notorious Spanner trial of a decade ago (in which consenting men were imprisoned for sadomasochistic practices).
Simply viewing the material will now constitute a serious criminal offence. And anyone looking at bondage scenes where somebody is wearing a mask and might suffocate (if this scene were acted out "in reality") must be prepared to defend themselves in court.
However, there is no engagement in the BPS response with the complex issues of consent and agency.
The BPS was asked to cite evidence of harm. Only three papers were cited, and the extensive literature pointing to no simple causal links between viewing pornography and committing crimes was ignored. The "evidence" focuses on the effects of pornography on either children or disturbed offenders. We do not dispute that psychopaths may be kick-started into action by all manner of things, including pornography. But there is no evidence at all that those not already predisposed to such action will be similarly affected.
In fact, the response is based not so much on evidence, but on assertion and argument. This is mainly that pornography degrades women. There is no mention in the response about violence towards and degradation of men, indicating its partial and selective nature.
The proposed legislation will make the possession of photographs (but not cartoons and text) an offence. The reason the government is concerned about sexually violent pornography is that atrocious crimes may be committed in the making of the material. But of course, this is already a crime, and rightly so. The government's aim here is to punish consumers, not perpetrators.
Most worryingly, the report then goes on to recommend the toughest option for this new offence: three years in prison.
This cannot be based on evidence (no evidence on the effects of imprisonment is cited). We believe that the UK imprisons too many of its citizens, that generally, only violent criminals who are a threat to society should be incarcerated. We do not believe this as a result of evidence. It is a political position.
We find, however, that our Society takes a very different and authoritarian position. One of us was involved in the 1980s in the STOPP campaign to abolish corporal punishment in schools, and tried unsuccessfully to encourage the BPS to take a stance against it. But this was deemed too political. Any BPS response had to be based on hard evidence.
Since then, the BPS has refused to take a stance supporting other liberal issues such as apartheid and gay marriage. But it has rushed to support an authoritarian piece of legislation.
This response appears to have been made without any wide consultation. It also seems to fly in the face of the Society's guideline that no recommendations can be made on the basis of partial or selective evidence.
If any of us were given the job of refereeing this report for publication in a peer-refereed journal, we would have to recommend rejection on the basis of an inadequate literature review and insufficient rationale for the conclusions.
putting it bluntly, if you own pornographic images dealing with BDSM or anything like that, you're facing 3 years jail time.
is that blunt enough for people to stand up and notice this travesty of justice?
if anyone in the UK is as against this as i am, please visit
and get this stopped... i don't like the idea of the government having the power to tell me what i can and can't do in my own home, in my own time.
giving them the power to say what i can and can't read or take pictures of it just distressing to say the least.
i won't post the full proposed bill here, because it does deal with sensitive information, but if anyone from the UK wants to know more, e~mail me and I'll provide the details.