back to article Written material saved from censor's big black pen - for now

Censorship of written material is off the agenda – for now: and for that we may need to thank Lord Falconer’s intense interest in suicide. This week in the House of Lords, an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill, put forward by Baroness O’Cathain, was withdrawn at the last minute. This amendment was designed to make …


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  1. Scott 19

    Save all this time

    Lets save these hard working people from having to debate anything of such importance to liberty and freedom and just make everything illegal and then debate what should be legal, much simpler. Owning a house, paying your taxes and working till you drop dead is legal everything else illegal under think of the children, terrorism or elf and safety.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Satanic Verses

    Muslims around the world were outraged about Salman Rushdies 'the Satanic verses'. When asked if they'd read it, they said *no* they could not read it because they were told it was offensive. So they got their impression of it from the hyped up media version.

    As the media hyped it further the belief that the book was extreme, became stronger and strong, and since no Muslim could read it, there was no moderate voices pulling the discussion back to moderate middle ground.

    The belief fed on itself and grew more extreme.

    In the same way, the Australian censor says the net is full of pedo sites, but when we actually see his list of sites, it is normal porn and even anti-abortion sites and stuff that wouldn't be out of place in Health and Efficiency magazine.

    When you start censoring stuff, nobody can see the thing censored and nobody can pull you back to a moderate viewpoint. The Australian censors word is taken as the truth, and he runs off to ever broader censorship.

    Just look at how quickly Australia went from censoring nothing, to censoring political discussion (Wikileaks disclosure of the censor list, an Anti-abortion site etc.).

    The censoring runs away with itself, censoring ever more sites.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Mark .

    Cartoon Images To Be Illegal

    On the same day that this amendment was dropped, the clauses to criminalise possession all sexual images depicting someone under 18 - or even adults where the predominant impression is of someone under 18 - were passed with no debate whatsoever.

    Even a cartoon of two adults having sex with a fully clothed person who might look 17 in the background will be illegal to possess. And if Australia is anything to go by, joke images such as Simpsons porn will be criminalised.

    Meanwhile in Scotland, where they are "debating" their (already broader) version of the "extreme" porn law, Police Chiefs and MSPs are considering whether to drop the "explicit and realistic" requirement, in order to catch any kind of image no matter how unrealistic (they cite the example of people roleplaying in Second Life, as something that they want stopped):

    MSP Nigel Don says:

    "In such a situation, in order to avoid setting a boundary over which people can promptly go, we surely need a law that is effectively infinite so that only the courts can drag it back."

    So I guess Scotland at least will have a law against "extreme cartoons" too.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Don't worry - drawings will still land you in prision for being a peadophile unless a miracle happens and someone blows up the government and their cohorts.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Cartoon Images To Be Illegal

    "MSP Nigel Don says:

    "In such a situation, in order to avoid setting a boundary over which people can promptly go, we surely need a law that is effectively infinite so that only the courts can drag it back.""

    Anything short of totalitarianism involves limits, lines which can be crossed. And, of course, sometimes those lines will be crossed. The only "solution" is not to have those lines - totalitarianism. And currently, with so many things, the totalitarians are winning.

    It's like the Taliban, banning TV, just in case some viewer somewhere might commit the sin of idolatry, by idolising someone on TV. After all, if it keeps even just one person from committing a sin of idolatry, it's worth it - isn't it?

    I wonder what MSP Nigel Don would make of, say, furniture porn? They've even got some BDSM!

    Flames - also handy for burning books.

  7. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Don't break out the champagne yet...

    As Mark above points out, the Dangerous Drawings Act has been waved through with barely a murmur after a discussion at the Committee Stage by a one lot of people with an agenda and another lot who didn't really have a clue refusing to listen to those who pointed out how stupid this law would be and there is still the possibility that the Dangerous Writings Act might get the same treatment at the Report Stage...

  8. Steve Swann
    Big Brother

    A lyric springs to mind....

    I will give "oldie" points to anyone who recognises it as well....

    "Dress yourself my urchin one, for I hear them on the stairs....

    ...because of all we've seen,

    ...because of all we've said,

    we are the dead."

    Chillingly appropriate that song is.

  9. Mike Shepherd
    IT Angle


    What would we do without the Great and Good to protect us from ourselves !

    Like the helpless populace of Gotham City, we are helpless without the protection of these caped crusaders who know what's best.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    wonders if the oft "persecuted" (lols) furries would fall foul of the "extreme cartoons" laws...or written laws...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now what I really love about the push for censorship (written material, drawn material and staged material) is that basically the scum in charge of our country want us to all fantasise about vanilla sex with office ladys and house wives. That's called _REAL LIFE_ I don't wanna fantasise about real life ffs! I want to imagine I'm a 16 year old stud, banging the student council president whilst holding back the hoards of hell!

    That's what fantasies are for, now I know that most politicos simply get a stiffy out of making sure everyone else is as boring as them and rulling the world, but I don't want to fantasise about shit I can do. Now maybe when I'm 70 and crapping in a nappy, maybe then porn, drawn porn, and erotic literature about banging an attractive office lady would get me off, but not at the moment. That's not a fantasy, that's just thinking about something.

    No longer are we to be allowed to think "jee if I were young again I'd rag that like there was no tommorow"

    Ahh stuff it. I ain't burning none of my posters, figures, doujin, or blanking my drives - fuck em. But hey if you do get made an example of, your lifes over, may aswell have some fun then right? Become the monster? "Nothing to lose, nothing to fear!" That's a far better mantra then "nothing to hide nothing to fear", has far more exciting results.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    another thing

    Another thing, this government that is so eager to censor (and supporters not in government but backing the censorship issue) is the same government that has

    a: wasted over 300 of our soldiers lives in pointless war zones.

    b: sponsored the blowing up of hundreds? thousands? tens of thousands? of woman and children in pointless war zones.

    c: supported torture.

    d: used anti terror laws to bully icelandic banks.

    e: back the police in their harrasment of photographers and protestors (with of course the occasionl thinger wag to make it look like they're concerned about silly things like freedom.)

    f: constantly tried to cover up their lies and failings and never taking responsibility for their actions.

    Anything else to add?

    And these people want to tell me that I can only wank to things they want me to? I mean damn! I don't even know how these monsters sleep let alone tell me that having fantasies about being a cool teenager with fun relationships is bad.

  13. Britt Johnston

    long term view

    You guys are so pessimistic. Just look how things have improved since Calvin's day, when all cartoons, broadsheets, music and theatre were no-gos - at the behest of a single senior cleric.

    Mind you, the Brits eventually had enough of 'verboten', and exiled the purpetrators to the US. I wonder where we can send the next wave to?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want my freedom back!

    Who are these people? Why exactly do they feel the need to intrude so far into people's private lives? Sometimes, when I wake in the morning up and think of these things, I wonder, "What happened? Did I pass through some portal into an alternate universe where the Nazis won WW2?"

  15. Anonymous Coward

    rally support around this issue

    So that's just her and one other nutter then?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Re: A lyric springs to mind....

    We Are The Dead, on the album Diamond Dogs, by David Bowie.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Cartoon Porn and the Human Rights Joint Committee

    Something I came across while browsing parliament's website regarding the cartoon porn ban in the Coroners and Justice Bill:

    In particular, this bit:

    The Human Rights Joint Committee seemed pretty unimpressed with the proposed cartoon law. It's a pity the Lords seem to have ignored this while scrutinising the Bill in committee.

    It's worth reading what the Human Rights Joint Committee wrote (and it's only about the length of an article on El Reg). They seem pretty sensible on this stuff, and share similar concerns and make similar criticisms as do those actively opposed to the proposed cartoon porn law. It sounds like the cartoon porn law, if passed, may soon run aground on the rocks of the Human Rights Act.

    A pint, because I think the Human Rights Joint Committee deserve a round.

  18. Mark .

    Re: long term view

    Well that's the curious thing - when it comes to society as a whole, there is a liberal trend in terms of what's permitted to *publish*.

    But what's worrying here is that these new laws being brought in aren't about publication, they're about possession. You say "when all cartoons, broadsheets, music and theatre were no-gos - at the behest of a single senior cleric" - that refers to publication, and it was never at that time illegal to simply possess such material. Possession of images involving adults has never been illegal before this year. And possession of non-realistic images, or written material, has never been illegal (at least, on the basis of them being "porn").

    Also remember that a possession law means that the material has to be destroyed, creating a permanent effect - the material is gone, even if the law is repealed tomorrow. If possession laws were around back then, all those no go cartoons, broadsheets, music and so on would have been lost forever, unless someone risked breaking the law.

    We have the odd situation now where publication laws are becoming increasingly limited, but new laws are being brought in for possession. Unlike the Obscene Publications Act, these laws specify kinds of material that are explicitly outlawed (the OPA lets the jury decide, based on whether the material would "deprave and corrupt" those likely to see it). So whilst the OPA can become more liberal, what's criminalised by the possession laws today will always be illegal, unless the law is repealed.

    By falsely conflating such material with abuse and child porn (as the Government and lobbyists have done), it increases the possibility that most people will tolerate such laws, and not associate them with censorship laws. Also, although I think that possession laws are far more draconian that publication laws, there's the problem that they're a lot less visible: if something can't be published, the publisher can generate a lot of publicity over it, but if some random guy is sent to prison over "extreme images on his computer", hardly anyone bats an eyelid.

  19. Dave Bell


    Part of a general problem: how do you define "human" and "animal".

    Any law which bans possession of depictions of sexual intercourse between a human and an animal is going to raise questions about various versions of "Star Trek", or even "Doctor Who". As for "Torchwood", the show whose fandom doesn't need to use Photoshop...

    OK, there's other things necessary to meet the definitions of illegality, but there's enough off-screen activity between humans and non-humans--how else did Spock come into being--that young lawyers must have been arguing the issues in bars for years.

    So, what is an animal? And, as well as the kinky sex, what would be the penalties for killing The Doctor if non-human and animal are the same?

    (Me, I can't help worrying about eating prawns--what if mother can build a fusion reactor?)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ^ as

    ergo "who cares about what happens to some quiet weird guy that keeps to himself as long as society is 'safe'"

    Hope anyone pulled on these knew laws goes direct to the courts of human rights. Course you'll lose here becouse lets face - no more justice for uss here.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Obscene publications act

    Is posting or hosting a link to, for example Blake Sinclair's infamous "Girls (scream) Aloud" an offence under the obscene publications act?

    Mine's the one with the legs in the pocket...

  22. Mark .

    Re: Furries?

    Good points. Especially since the "extreme porn" law explicitly covers even dead animals (the original proposed law didn't, but Lord Hunt specifically amended it to do so - obviously the issue of dead animal sex must be something that troubles him greatly...) - when does a dead animal stop being a dead animal, and become something like "food"?

    The Scottish law goes even further, using the word "carcass". This has implications for anyone into a bit of "food play" - fucking a frozen chicken bought from Sainsbury's isn't my cup of tea, but I don't see why a photo of it should be illegal. This shows it's clearly not a law concerned with the issue of animal cruelty, but simply what they find "disgusting".

    A similar issue shows up with the under-18s cartoon law. How does one judge ages of non-human characters? There's a Ghastly's Ghastly Comic that depicts one of the elves from "Rice Krispies" being penetrated anally by an adult woman with a dildo. The elves are described as being "children", so this would risk being illegal soon. In my consultaiton response, I asked if the Government was going to introduce a separate age of consent for Elves - unfortunately I didn't get a response.

    I am however pleased that I have got the phrase "anally penetrated with a dildo" into official Government records.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Loving the Alien - Re: Furries?

    I seem to remember there's a David Bowie song called Loving the Alien. So I chose it as the title for this post, since I want to offer some thoughts about bestiality. (The song wasn't about that, though.)

    It's not hard to imagine that in the case of, say, Spock's parents having sex, proponents of such things as extreme and cartoon porn laws would argue that since Vulcans are sufficiently anthropomorphic humanoids, it wouldn't really count as bestiality. The same would go for Time Lords and humans, along with many, many other humanoid species.

    Are chimpanzees sufficiently anthropomorphic humanoids? They're a lot more closely related to humans than, say, Time Lords, or Klingons. PG Tips ads relied on chimpanzees being anthropomorphic humanoids. What about orang-utans? Right turn, Clyde!

    Are such great apes not sufficiently anthropomorphic? What about Klingons? What about various other alien species? What about ET? What about Daleks? (There's already porn of that - Daloids.)

    And what about shape-shifters/changelings, such as Odo on Deep Space Nine? If Odo's in humanoid form, and has sex with a human, is that okay? What if Odo's in the form of a zebra? What if Odo and another of his species (the Founders) are having sex, in a whole variety of forms? Does it matter if one takes the form of a washing machine?

    What about different non-humanoid species? A Dalek having sex with an octopus? Does it matter that Daleks are mutated, once-humanoid Kaleds? What about an octopus having sex with a zebra?

    Sometimes science fiction involves the idea of species that age backwards. They start off old, and progressively get younger. How will the cartoon porn law cope with that?

    And tribbles? Doctor McCoy found that tribbles are born pregnant - how does that work? Can it be legally turned into tribble porn?

    Inspired by tribbles, I came up with the following idea for an alien species, possibly but not necessarily anthropomorphic. It's a species that reproduces sexually, but is only sexually active during what we could call "childhood". That's when the sharing of genetic material occurs. Then, they go through something we might liken to puberty, becoming adults. Soon after entering this puberty-like phase, they (usually) lose interest in sex. Once they're mature adults, they (if they're of the right sexes for this) lay eggs, give birth, whatever it is they do.

    As a bonus, I imagined that those adult members of this species that retain an interest in sex are regarded in much the same way as paedophiles. Sex is something for children - and only children. Adults having sex - whether it's with each other or with children - is regarded by this species as dirty, disgusting, wrong, unnatural, etc. They should have grown out of it.

    Where would the proposed cartoon porn law stand on cartoon porn of such alien adults having sex with each other? It seems it would remain entirely legal! Is this a "loophole" to be closed?

  24. EvilGav 1

    Does that mean . . .

    . . . that Pterodactyl porn (google it, funniest thing you will ever watch) is now illegal ?

  25. Bruno de Florence

    Yes but...

    Written material may have been saved from censorship, but what about the visual or sound material which arise inside my head while reading the written material?

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