back to article Anti-smut Baroness sent to solitary

The likelihood that possession of extreme pornographic writings is about to become a crime dipped yesterday, as the Conservative Party officially distanced itself from a notion floated by one of its own peers. This is a rebuff for Conservative peer Baroness O’Cathain, who thought up the idea – but anti-censorship campaigners …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear politicians

    It's simple. Being attracted to someone because they are in pain is nature's way of getting people to be nice to people who are in pain. That's right, bdsm = natural. Have a nice day.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we are too stupid

    "worrying that some individuals may too easily rearrange their gender and then regret having done so"....

    I am no expert on this, but i understand you cannot simply have your gender re-assigned, there is a waiting period and also a consultation period... so i cannot believe anyone will do it without some thought and if they do change their mind and regret it.. well thats life... i regret not having a bacon sandwich this moring, but i will just have to live with that.

    But thanksfully, we don't have to think as there is politicians who think for us..

    Perhaps a future for DAB could be "breathe in... now breathe out .... breathe in ...."

  3. Dave Mundt

    Sounds like SOMEBODY needs to get laid

    Greetings and salutations from across the Pond.

    A good example of the sort of "do-gooder", busybody with too much time on her hands that is such a thorn in the flesh here in America. It is the sort of annoyingly maternal view that believes that everyone else is a mewling infant, and only THAT person knows what is best for them.

    Our government has, for some years, been trying to train the citizenry that they are powerless and unable to make good decisions on their own, and only the Government REALLY knows what is best for us. This is so wrong on so many levels that it is not EVEN funny. Take a hint from our Declaration of Independence about government's true relationship to the citizens.

    Good luck escaping the nanny state!


    Dave Mundt

  4. Eponymous Cowherd
    Paris Hilton

    Turkeys don't vote for Christmas

    ***"She agreed that there was little appetite on the Tory side to extend the legislation in this way"***

    Title says it all.

  5. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Alan B'stard?

    Sounds so much like that episode where a Lady turns up at B'stard's office with an anti-smut campaign manifesto, but it's so full of lewd suggestions that B'stard decides to publish it "brown wrapper" style, while telling the author her work will change the country for the better, but abolishing filth and those who peddle it!

  6. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "Daily Mail-pleasing" mode

    And this is the real problem, coupled with them knowing that they're going to get a kicking at the next election.

    So they're going to try to push through as much populist legislation as they can to make themselves look good in the media whislt, at the same time, force their personal agendas on the rest of us before they're thrown out of power.

    When the two co-incide (as they might well do in cases like this) then we're in deep shit...

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward

    It's rather depressing actually read the Parliamentary debates around this subject. It reveals simply what many ordinary people suspect: MPs are hopelessly out of touch and utterly ignorant of the real-world. To hear MPs debating the criminalisation of 'dangerous cartoons', couching their arguments with terms such as 'dirty old men' in reference to paedophiles is to witness just how far out of range this government has drifted. If the Government see only 'dirty old men' when they think of what a paedophile might be, then we are all in trouble.

    The whole level of debate is worrying in the extreme, with certain MPs like Maria Eagle so mesmerised by the propaganda being fed to her by her mates in the child protection industry she begins to sound like a slightly surreal figure; speaking only in extremes, quoting the very worst case scenarios as if they were somehow a day-to-day reality rather than the attention-grabbing press quotes they so clearly began life as, no doubt on the desk of some CEOP official, whilst most MPs seem to struggle with concepts of 'NuMedia' and the whole digital age thing. Talk of that old Police favourite the 'pseudophotograph' only serves to muddy the water and I'm afraid the entire notion of 'photorealistic 3D design' is absolutely a technical leap too far for these numbskulls.

    I do despair that so much time and effort is being squandered in the debate over 'dangerous cartoons' - drawings and CG renderings in which no REAL child has been harmed - whatsoever - in any way imaginable. That Parliamentarians should devote quite so much time in seeking to criminalise yet another tranche of society (because creating, seeing or possessing such images will, in their view, most likely lead on to actual child sexual abuse - yes, it seems THAT obvious to most of them) is quite outrageous. But the whole tone of the debate, it's uninformed and speculative nature, simply illustrates, once again, the threat posed to the freedoms and liberties of most ordinary people by a government so completely hell-bent on seeking to criminalise it's own population at every turn.

  9. Robert Synnott

    Northern Irish gays

    "To be fair, she was also pointing out that the social and cultural background in Northern Ireland was different from the rest of the UK, and that this had previously been recognised in respect of laws relating to gay relationships." - 'was' being the operative word there; while it is still more difficult to be gay in NI than in England or Ireland, things have certainly come on more than she's accounting for.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @Edward Kenworthy

    Like you could even tell, for the most part - a huge number of us transition in our late teens, and then seamlessly blend into background.

    As for being a cosmetic operation - why don't I cut your cock off for you, then you can tell me why you should have to pay for the *merely cosmetic* operation of having it stitched back on?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Too right, only we don't have a consittution, in fact we are the only country not to have one yet we started it all with the magna carta. How sad is that?

    The birth of so called democracy and we are now nothing but a scum state ruled by "the boys" and judging by the house of lords, "the senile."

    Daily Mail pleasing mode. I like it. Shame they don't turn that emphasis onto crime (how many murderers were on release from prison exactly, and why?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    And as her cleavage heaved with the regularity...

    ... of the Atlantic swell, her passion became more intense, torrid and she began to succumb to the stronger will insider her. White knuckled, salivating, she grasped harder and harder. Her eyes enlarged, her focus intense - the only thing that now mattered was to push it through. Push, push, push!

    As the beads of sweat trickled from her pores and the trembling in her body receded, she gasped hotly and longed for the base pleasure of nicotine.

    The other Lords got on with the business of the day.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intolerant woman

    Which is better, a minister that knows what they're talking about or one that is ignorant? Ideally I would think we hope to have ministers that know what they are talking about.

    Which is better:

    1. A man who can see an image and understands the male visual sexual stimulus?

    2. A woman who can see the image, but doesn't experience the visual stimulus? (Smith, Baroness Cathain etc,).

    3. A blind man who can't even see the image (Blunket).

    I notice that the people who are so free and easy with locking people up for sexuality are generally women for the porn issue (which I reckon is a lack of understanding of the visual stimulus), men for the gay issue (unacknowledged homosexuality), old men (blame porn for their lack of libido in later life).

    What problem are you trying to fix that causes a wish to lock up huge numbers of normal healthy men?

    Lack of interest? It's normal in a marriage, there's even a hormone that suppresses sex in long time close relationships which is there to suppress incest.

    Infidelity? It's perfectly normal for hubby to be excited by a new woman, it's suppressed by society because of jealousy, but monogamy is forced:

    Rape? The correlation is the reverse of that claimed and porn usage among rapists is lower than the male population as a whole. Men who get off don't want sex, this is normal, they have a single orgasm and they'd done/can't seek multiple ones.

    Really if you make it a crime for a man to possess images that are sexually stimulating, we are one step away from criminalizing gays for their sexuality. It is intolerant, and done from ignorance.

    I'm sorry, but if every time a female minister is elected, she votes to lock up lots of men for no good reason, then she shouldn't be voted in because she'll break up families and attack society based on a false understanding.

    It's like 'lethal pot' Brown... legislating from ignorance and doing incredible damage in the process. Or Blunkett on the privacy issue, as if he's a good judge of privacy, or Smith who seems surprised her husband watches p0rn.

  14. David Hicks
    Big Brother

    Of Gay Irishmen...

    "she was also pointing out that the social and cultural background in Northern Ireland was different from the rest of the UK, and that this had previously been recognised in respect of laws relating to gay relationships"

    Yes, sure, so we should make sure that, because it's not as socially acceptable to be gay over there, that gay people in NI have less rights. Obviously.

    It boggles the mind what goes on in her head.

    Couldn't agree more Dave Mundt, she sounds like an old busybody who should be in a home, not in a position to actually affect anything.

    I'm sick to death of the government trying to be moral arbiter. Where there is demonstrable harm, go for it, otherwise get the HELL out of everyone else's business.

  15. Clarissa

    @Edward Kenworthy

    I know a number of people who probably like to meet you and point out precisely where you are going wrong in calling GRS 'cosmetic surgery'.

    However for those that like to let the Daily Mail (or other tabloid papers) do their thinking for them it is worth noting that it is bloody difficult to obtain funding for it on the NHS even after those seeking it have jumped through all of the hoops placed in front of them whilst continuing to work and pay their taxes in order to fund our 'universal' health system.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Edward Kenworthy

    "Although I do think there should be an obligation to declare you've had one in any kind of "dating" scenario: I suspect most people would not be pleased to find out "after the fact" <ahem>."

    Would you mind thinking that trough once more?

    Do you expect a full listing of any thing your date has ever done that could be unpleasent for you?

  17. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I feel like starting a charity..

    To provide deprived people with things that they are missing. There should be no deprivation and poverty of experience in NuLabour Britain!

    All donations of bukkake and anal DP should be sent to Baroness O’Cathain at her House of Parliament address. No need for a plain brown wrapper.

    Paris because she will surely be an early contributor....

  18. kain preacher

    Get a clue

    "worrying that some individuals may too easily rearrange their gender and then regret having done so"...

    In the UK you go through NHS b you have to live full time for a year before they give you hormones. Before yo get there you have to see a shrink for 6 months. Then its not like you can just go see any doc for SRS. The hole process can take up to 3 years.

  19. RW

    @ AC 12:17 GMT

    Quoth she: [Britain doesn't] have a consittution, in fact we are the only country not to have one . . .

    The state of Israel does not have a written constitution, I believe.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Get a clue

    >The hole process can take up to 3 years.

    I thought they just get you on a table and make a hole with a scalpel.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @kain preacher

    3 years? You'll be lucky. My girlfriend started the process just after turning 18, and the surgery is nowhere in sight, whereas I'm shopping for her 21st birthday present right now.

  22. DavCrav Silver badge

    @kain preacher

    "The hole process can take up to 3 years."

    Fnarr fnarr.....

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC - "Atlantic swell"

    You thought of writing that stuff for M&B? MIght be an earner...

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge


    No swapping genders willy nilly?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Define irony...

    A Tory peer floating the idea that the 'Nanny' State be extended further while being a member of a party whose affiliates used to be found in hotel rooms dead from acting out their nanny fantasies. Perhaps she could give all those naughty BDSM enthusiasts a darned good spanking to teach them a lesson. That astronaut who drove 3000 miles wrapped in Pampers finest might offer her some pointers in functional kink.

    Crazy old bastard.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    On the upside

    she is taking care of 147 cats.

  27. James O'Brien

    @Edward Kenworthy

    You sir, are an utter fucking moron. I know several people who have "transitioned" (which to me and what I know about that is in and of itself offensive). Why don't you go stick your head in the sand with the other liberal dicks and think the next time before you speak.

    As for this lady.....shes a moron.

  28. Mark .

    Daily Mail

    The irony is that even the Daily Mail ran a piece condemning the "extreme porn" law: .

    Basically I don't think it's so much about pleasing tabloids (who have shown no interest in such the law), but just an opportunity to criminalise people. Labour might not dare to push such an even more draconian version of the law of writing yet - but if this somehow passed in the Lords, and it got handed to them on a plate (thus bypassing all the usual parliamentary consultations, committees and debate), why would they turn it down? (The only reason I can think of is simply on the grounds that it came from a Tory.)

  29. Mark .

    sex transition

    "Personally I think the problem with sex change operations is that, like any kind of cosmetic surgery, it shouldn't be funded by the tax payer."

    Except you can get cosmetic surgery on the NHS: . (And given the long winded process transsexuals have to go through in order to get treatment, I doubt the process is easier than those who seek cosmetic surgery on the NHS).

    There are lots of things that people dislike being on the NHS - e.g., why should I pay for people to have children via IVF? But at the end of the day, that's the downside of the NHS. If you don't like paying for other people, then advocate replacing the NHS with private healthcare. Transsexuals pay tax too, remember - you won't hear them whining if they have to pay for some treatment you have.

    "Although I do think there should be an obligation to declare you've had one in any kind of "dating" scenario: I suspect most people would not be pleased to find out "after the fact" <ahem>."

    I'm not sure what you mean by "obligation". What people do is up to them. If the change is perfect enough that you can't tell, why does it matter? And if you're so worried, perhaps you should spend some time getting to know someone before jumping into bed with them?

    In practice, I suspect that most transsexuals are open about their past to partners, but there's no obligation to advertise up front just because you can't be bothered to wait five minutes to get a quick shag.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    "Amendment 177DA not moved"

    According to Hansard (not the final, official version yet), "Amendment 177DA not moved." The cartoon porn stuff also appears to have been nodded through.

    "9.45 pm


    Clauses 52 and 53 agreed.

    Clauses 54 to 58 agreed.

    Schedule 11 agreed.

    Clause 59 agreed.

    Amendment 177DA not moved."

    Clauses 52 to 58 are the cartoon ones, "prohibited images of children". It appears the Lords have agreed to ban possession of Simpsons porn without any real debate.

    Clause 59 just slightly amends the Protection of Children Act 1978 in relation to marriage, etc, and indecent pseudo-photographs of children (so you can legally own a dirty pseudo-photograph of your 17 year old husband, as well those dirty photographs you've already legally got).

    Amendment 177DA was O'Cathain's proposed amendment. I don't know if "not moved" means it'll never now be moved, or if it just wasn't moved today.

    The "Fifth Marshalled List of Amendments to be moved in Committee", which contained O'Cathain's amendment, also said, "Baroness O'Cathain gives notice of her intention to oppose the Question that Clause 53 stand part of the Bill." Clause 53, part of the proposed cartoon law, would have excluded "classified work[s]", such as BBFC classified films, from being criminal to possess.

    Hansard indicated that O'Cathain did not actually speak in opposition when the Question arose, since Hansard says, "Clauses 52 and 53 agreed", and there's no record of anyone voicing opposition.

    I'm disappointed the Lords seem to be nodding through the cartoon nonsense.

    If I'm understanding this right, it looks like the next opportunity to try to stop the cartoon porn law would be the report stage in the Lords, followed by the Bill's third reading. But since the Lords seem to have nodded it through with no debate in committee, I'm not optimistic.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember dear old Mary Whitehouse?

    A batshit-crazy old biddy who grandiosely called herself the "National Viewers' and Listeners' Association", and whose cat had boils because of all the smut and filth what was on the telly in those days, etc.

    Yet the British public had a kind of soft spot for her. Know why that was? I'll tell you. Because she had <i>no power whatsoever</i>. She was just a noise.

    The sooner we can get Baroness O'Catshit into the same position, the sooner she can be loved too.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "Amendment 177DA not moved"

    It's here:

  33. imposter

    re: It's rather depressing

    When I saw the words "dirty old men" I thought of the houses of parliament. (Admittantly that's slightly sexist, but only slightly, because there aren't *many* women there. )

  34. Mark .

    Cartoon Porn Law

    I agree, this is very worrying. But then, if the extreme porn law go forced through despite some criticism in the Lords, it's hard to see anything stopping this new law :( But it's a shame to not see anyone willing to criticise it.

    In some ways, I feel this will actually be far broader than the extreme porn law - whilst that law itself is still worrying, the problem of including non-realistic images means a wide range of images get included, whether or not the person had any interest in being aroused by under-18s (not to mention the issue of why is being aroused by 16 and 17 year olds wrong?) A wide range of Japanese anime/hentai is at risk, since anyone meant to be 18 or older could be interpretted as being a 17 year old, due to the difficulties in telling someone's age (and the Government have specifically cited that material coming from Japan is what this material is meant to stop). Plenty of people have school scene/uniform fetishes - their interest is solely with adults roleplaying, but if you draw a cartoon character, the "uniform" might be enough to give the predominant impression of an under-18, to the police or jury. Not to mention joke images like the Simpsons (which we know is illegal under similar laws in Australia).

    What about South Park, which shows a child masturbating a dog? Or comic books that depict underage sex? Even an drawing of a fully clothed 17 year old in the background of adults having sex would be illegal to possess! Even if published books or videos aren't illegal, scans, screenshots or clips, or similar scenes drawn privately or downloaded from the Internet, may well be.

    "Clause 59 just slightly amends the Protection of Children Act 1978 in relation to marriage, etc, and indecent pseudo-photographs of children (so you can legally own a dirty pseudo-photograph of your 17 year old husband, as well those dirty photographs you've already legally got)."

    Yes, I noticed that. The increase of "child" porn to 18 in 2003 was mad. They tried to add an amendment to allow for relationships, but it's rather disgustingly unfair to only protect married couples, and not other relationships. But I can't believe they were stupid enough to forget to add this for pseudo-photographs.

    The joke is though that they've made the same mistake here - even though the cartoon porn law (absurdly) copies the age of 18, it has no defence for being married. So a saucy photo of your husband or wife is legal, but make a drawing? Three years in prison.

    Even a 17 year old making a drawing of his or her own body would be facing a prison sentence...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amendment 177DA not moved

    "Amendment 177DA not moved"

    So does that mean the danger is over, or that they are just saving the debate for later, or that it has been accepted as part of the bill.

    Does anyone here know law :/

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lego Porn

    Legally, where do we stand on Lego Porn?

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