Monday, 26 April 2010

Porn at 16? We used to support it, now we don't...

First off, apologies for the relative lack of posts here. It's not because there's been a dearth of material, as the paper's coverage of the election can be crudely categorised as falling into two camps, firstly smearing Labour and the Liberal Democrats while indulging in some truly stomach-churning sycophancy towards David Cameron, but more because the election itself is detaining me more than I thought it would.

Here though is the latest attack on the Liberal Democrats, which is not just only slightly less ancient than the Daily Mail's splash last Thursday, but also somewhat hypocritical:

FURIOUS mums have slammed Liberal Democrat plans to let 16-year-olds watch and star in PORN films.

The controversial policy has faced blistering criticism in the chatrooms of Mumsnet, a popular website for mothers.

Under the Lib Dems, the legal age for viewing or appearing in adult movies will be cut from 18 to 16.

But the policy - overwhelmingly passed at the party's conference in 2004 - has now been savaged on the internet by women who claim it is "essentially legalisation of child porn".

We'll ignore the "FURIOUS MUMS" part and just focus on the policy itself, which is perfectly true, if not really mentioned or discussed since 2004. The BBC's news report from the time puts across the party's justification, which is more than adequate in pointing out the disconnect between the age of consent and the age at which you can watch other people engaging in sex:

Mr Foster made the case for allowing 16-year-olds to view pornography during a censorship and freedom of expression debate.


While he had worried the proposals would encourage pornography into schools, "the reality is sexually explicit material is already readily available to 16 and 17-year-olds on the internet", he said.

"Our current policy on censorship and freedom of expression is not only out-of-date, it's inconsistent and it's confusing," Mr Foster said.

"We still do not allow 16-year-olds to watch sex, despite the fact they can currently have sex, lawfully marry and indeed, a woman may choose to have a baby at 16.

"This certainly seems out of date given that as Liberal Democrats, we would extend to 16-year-olds full political and social rights ...

"The proposals are intellectually sound - 16 and 17-year-olds in this country are living in a twilight zone between childhood and adulthood, having lost their children's rights, yet only gaining adult rights in a piecemeal fashion, some at 16, some at 17, some at 18.

"This motion merely proposes consistency on the suitable age for obtaining adult rights in line with the well-established Liberal Democrat policy on 16 as the common age of majority.

There is no mention of allowing 16-year-olds to "star" in pornography incidentally, but then that's where the Sun's hypocrisy enters into it. After all, if we're going back 6 years here, why don't we go back slightly further and remember the fact that the Sun, along with the likes of the Star and Sport, were more than happy not so long ago to err, allow 16-year-old girls to pose topless on their third pages, as Samantha Fox, Maria Whittaker and Debee Ashby to name but three did? Why shouldn't "intelligent, vibrant young women who appear ... out of choice and because they enjoy the job", as former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) described page 3 models, be allowed to do the same today? Or has the Sun changed its mind in these paedophile-plagued times? The law itself certainly has been, as the 2003 Sexual Offences Act regardless of permission now outlaws 16-year-old topless models, and you somehow doubt that it would be a Liberal Democrat priority should they enter into government with either a Commons majority or as part of a coalition to change it.

Still, another Liberal Democrat policy unearthed and exposed as mad, and if the quote floating around from the paper's political editor Tom Newton-Dunn is accurate, hopefully another step towards ensuring that his job is well and truly done.

2 comments:

D-Notice said...

There's also the fact that most of the Sun's recent articles aren't worth full-sized critiques..

People might as well look at our Twitter page for summaries of what the Sun's been up to.

Cadiz said...

Lib Dem policy is to derogate SOA 2003 so U18 can 'star' in pornography. I was part of a UN working group, the Lib Dem HQ wheeled out a barrister etc. THe poloicy is as per the claims by the Sun.

I will bet money on the above.