Melon Farmers Original Version

UK Parliament Watch

2012: Oct-Dec

 1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Latest 
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    


Update: Tory Hero Dominic Raab...

40 Tory MPs set to oppose the Government's Snooper's Charter

Link Here22nd December 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Nasty plans for a snoopers charter' were in turmoil last night after 40 Tory MPs threatened a full-scale revolt.

They are demanding major changes to the Communications Bill. The backbenchers say the Bill's scope must be limited to terrorism and the most serious crimes if Britain is not to be turned into a nation of suspects.

Tory MP Dominic Raab has collected the names of 40 colleagues who will sign an open letter opposing the Bill unless it is substantially amended:

  1. "We urge you to limit the application of the Bill to terrorist offences and the most serious crimes, limit access to such data to the intelligence agencies, SOCA and the police, and make the regime subject to judicial warrant as a safeguard against abuse."
  2. "From a law enforcement perspective, there has been no explanation as to how those using foreign internet and communications service providers will be prevented from circumventing the regime."
  3. "Equally, given the public sector's woeful track record of protecting personal data, we are concerned about the vulnerability of the scheme to both the negligence of officials and attempts to infiltrate the system by those with criminal intent. We would urge you to consult in further detail with the Information Commissioner, internet providers, telephone companies and other external experts, to test the technical integrity of the proposals."
  4. "Finally, the Home Office estimates the proposals would cost 2 billion. The Committee stated that these estimates 'are not robust'. We urge Ministers to subject the proposals to external audit and re-consider their law enforcement cost-benefit in light of the suggestions made, above, to limit their breadth and tighten their focus."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has already demanded the Government return to the drawing board . Now the prospect of a rebellion by both Coalition parties means ministers may have to rely on Labour support. However, the Opposition has yet to say where it stands on the issue.

The 40 MPs are unnamed but Raab said the 40 MPs include 19 first elected in 2010, a group who have proved they will take a stand on issues of importance.



Update: Appallingly Poor Quality EDM...

MPs belatedly call for the banning of The Innocence of Muslims

Link Here16th December 2012
Full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

Seemingly a little late of the mark, but perhaps just in time for possible renewed flak from the next controversial film, The Innocent Prophet from the likes of Terry Jones. Anyway UK parliamentarians have called for a ban on the previous controversial film, The Innocence of Muslims

EDM 829: Innocence of Muslims Film

That this House notes the anger of Muslim constituents in response to the online video, The Innocence of Muslims;

  • is offended by the vile, Islamophobic slurs it makes about a faith followed by over two billion people worldwide;

  • believes that the film constitutes incitement to hatred on the grounds of race and religion;

  • further believes that the film itself is of appallingly poor quality;

  • and urges the Government to make provision for its banning.

Signed by Party Constituency
Campbell, Ronnie Labour Party Blyth Valley
Cunningham, Alex Labour Party Stockton North
Danczuk, Simon Labour Party Rochdale
Dobbin, Jim Labour Party Heywood and Middleton
Galloway, George Respect Bradford West
George, Andrew Liberal Democrats St Ives
Hopkins, Kelvin Labour Party Luton North
Lavery, Ian Labour Party Wansbeck
McDonald, Andy Labour Party Middlesbrough
Meale, Alan Labour Party Mansfield
Osborne, Sandra Labour Party Ayr Carrick and Cumnock
Wright, Iain Labour Party Hartlepool



Update: Good on the Lords...

House of Lords passes amendment to remove insults from the Public Order Act

Link Here13th December 2012
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

The House of Lords on Wednesday night voted to remove a shameful law that criminalises the use of insulting language in Britain.

The upper chamber voted to erase the word insulting from the clause in the Public Order Act that covers speech and writing on signs which states a person is guilty of an offence if he uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

It follows a long history of abuse by the authorities.

MPs are likely to be asked to finally decide whether to vote down the Lords amendment early next year. A ComRes survey of MPs in May found 62% believed insults should not be illegal.

In Wednesday night's debate, peers said the government had concluded there was insufficient evidence that the removal of the world insulting would have overall benefits and urged their colleagues to vote against the amendment. It had been sponsored by the former West Midlands chief constable, Lord Dear, Labour peer Baroness Kennedy, the former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald and the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay.

Campaigner Peter Tatchell said:

The criminalisation of insults is far too subjective and constitutes a dangerously low prosecution threshold. Anyone who values free speech and robust debate should welcome its removal from section five. The section five ban on insults has been abused to variously arrest people protesting peacefully against abortion and campaigning for gay equality and animal welfare. The open exchange of ideas -- including unpalatable, even offensive ones -- is the hallmark of a free and democratic society.



One Repressive Law Out, One Repressive Law In...

Parliamentary Committee criticises defamation law that will lead to website operators taking down contested content without considering the merits of the complaint

Link Here13th December 2012

Repressive plans to tackle the supposed problems of internet trolling could have a chilling effect on online freedom of expression, a committee of MPs and peers has said.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights warned that libel law reforms might cause website operators to delete statements that had not broken the law. Chairman Hywel Francis said:

There should be a higher threshold put in place before material has to be removed.

We think there is a real risk that website operators will be forced to arbitrate on whether something is defamatory or lawful, and will too readily make decisions on commercial grounds to remove allegedly defamatory material rather than engage with the process.

Proposals in the Defamation Bill aim to protect website operators such as Facebook or Twitter from claims against them when defamatory statements are published by their users, while making it easier to identify the people accused of making such statements.

To be entitled to this protection, the websites must either facilitate contact between the complainant and the author or remove the offending material when they cannot establish contact.

Under the bill, a statement is regarded as defamatory if it has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of a person or a company, but any claim for damages will fail if it can be shown, for example, that the defamatory statement is substantially true .

The bill is due to begin detailed scrutiny in the House of Lords on 17 December.



Update: Feel Free to Insult Me!...

Lords propose amendment to remove the word insult from Section 5 of the Public Order Act

Link Here30th November 2012
Full story: Public Order Act...Enabling police censorship

The Reform Section 5 campaign has taken a major step forward with the tabling of an amendment in Parliament to remove the word insulting from section 5 of the Public Order Act.

The amendment, to the Crime and Courts Bill, was made by Lord Dear, former Chief Constable of the West Midlands police, and countersigned by three prominent lawyers, former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern, former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord (Ken) MacDonald and Baroness (Helena) Kennedy QC.

The amendment has been welcomed by the incoming Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Baroness Onora O'Neill, who said:

There is evidence that police are using this power to arrest and fine people for exercising their fundamental human right to freedom of expression.

Limitations on free speech to deal with offences such as incitement to hatred and violence are clearly necessary. However, a blanket ban on the use of any insulting words or actions is dangerous because it could criminalise anyone who speaks their mind, regardless of their intention.'

A legal change is vital to protect free speech along with better guidance on equality and human rights, to help police find the right balance between legitimate free speech and taking justifiable action against abusive words or conduct.'

The influential Joint (Parliamentary) Committee on Human Rights has also recommended that:

We understand the sensitivities with certain communities on the issue of criminalising insulting words or behaviour, but nonetheless we support an amendment to the Bill which reduces the scope of Section 5 Public Order Act 1986 on the basis that criminalising insulting words or behaviour constitutes a disproportionate interference with freedom of expression.

The campaign to reform section 5 has been led by the Christian Institute and the National Secular Society who last week wrote to every peer asking them to support the change.

Keith Porteous wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society said:

Given the high level of support, especially with such prestigious names, we are highly optimistic that this campaign will be successful. The deadline for the Government to respond to the consultation passed many months ago and there is no credible opposition.



Offsite Article: There's no way to stop children viewing porn in Starbucks...

Link Here 22nd November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Filtering doesn't work. It also puts power into censorware firms which help cover up human rights abuse

See article from



Offsite Article: Politician's Brains Addled by Internet Porn...

Link Here14th November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn
Nutter MP Anne Coffey blames schoolgirls being groped on the inevitable internet porn. Of course she offers no evidence nor much of an explanation

See article from



Update: Howes About That Then?...

Nutter bill to mandate an internet porn blocking option receives a 2nd reading in the Lords

Link Here9th November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Elspeth Howe has launched a Lords private member bill obliging Britain's ISPs to impose a block block on all pornographic images along with any websites that reference porn or anything else considered adult.

The bill would bring in a system whereby adults will only be able to see porn if they specifically opt in after a strict age verification check.

The legislation faces opposition from Liberal Democrat peers, who argue that the proposed system is not the best way to protect children online.

Howe, an independent Crossbench peer claimed the bill was needed because of the dangerous effect that sexual content was having on relationships between boys and girls. She said that access to porn was giving children the wrong idea about relationships and could lead to teenage boys treating girls as sex objects.

Her Online Safety Bill , received its first reading earlier this year but it is now receiving a second reading which is the first chance for debate.

The legislation only has a chance of becoming law if it receives the support of ministers. Only when the Government grants enough Parliamentary time to debate a private members' bill does it have any hope of passing into law.



Offsite Article: Biased Call for Due Impartiality...

Link Here7th November 2012
Full story: Leveson Inquiry...Considering UK press censorship and regulation
MP Alun Cairns attacks Channel 4 over Hugh Grant's Leveson documentary which he claims does not show due impartiality

See article from



Offsite Article: Sex Work Moralist Admits Trafficking 12,900 Pounds out of Westminster...

Link Here 3rd November 2012
Full story: Trafficking Hype...Trafficking figures hopelessly over exaggerated
Denis MacShane always did have problems with inflating figures. He also notably inflated trafficking stats to suggest that 25,000 sex workers were trafficked to Britain each year.

See article from



Update: Filtering Out Claire Perry Bollox...

Open Rights Group report on parliamentary debate about blocking porn

Link Here2nd November 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Yesterday there was a Westminster Hall debate about the responsibilities of Internet companies. You can read a transcript over at the Parliament website . Be warned - for anybody who cares about freedom of expression online, it doesn't make for particularly pleasant reading. It includes general calls for internet companies to take down offensive material, criticisms of YouTube for publishing the infamous video insulting Mohammed, and the now familiar calls for default-on network filters to protect children online.

It's useful to note that Westminster Hall debates aren't particularly formal interventions or statements of the Government's policy. They are secured by MPs who want to discuss something important to them, and can indicate MPs feelings and signal to the Government what Parliamenarians' priorities might be.

But even though it's just a Westminster Hall debate, it seemed important to note that I spotted Claire Perry MP citing a statistic that I haven't seen before, and which got my spidey senses tingling. She suggests that the number of parents installing network filters at home has dropped ten percent over the past three years, standing now at 39%.

This seemed to contradict some of the statistics I've seen from recent research such as the EU Kids Online project. They found that 54% of parents say that they block or filter websites at home or and 46% track the websites visited by their children. These findings are far higher than in Europe generally, with the UK topping the country ranking for use of filters , that The UK is near the top of ranking of countries in terms of parents actively mediating their children's safety.

So this afternoon I've written to Claire Perry asking her about this statistic - where it's from and what it means. You can read the letter below. We'll let you know her reply as and when we receive one.

It's an important issue, because too often we see evidence in this debate that doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny. For instance, the Safety Net campaign, which has led calls for default-on network filters, state that 1 in 3 10 year olds have seen pornography online (Psychologies Magazine 2010) . This is in the The Facts section of their website. However, the figure comes from a chat that Psychologies magazine had with a group of 14-16 year olds in one school in London in 2010.

It's important we're dealing with robust evidence, so we are all clear the nature of the problem we're looking at.



Offsite Article: Linx Reports on Parliamentary Debate about the Snooper's Charter...

Link Here 2nd November 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May faced tough questions when she appeared before the Joint Committee on the draft Communications Data Bill.

See article from



Offsite Article: Overturn this curb on free speech...

Link Here19th October 2012
Rowan Atkinson speaks out against the insulting Public Order Act

See article from



Update: Internet Champions vs Government's Joke Police...

Major internet companies set to oppose the Government's Snooper's Charter

Link Here14th October 2012
Full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Google, Facebook and Twitter are set to torpedo reprehensible Home Office plans to spy on every citizen's emails and website visits.

The companies have threatened to block the snoopers charter, which requires them to store all data for a year so that security agencies, police and councils can request its disclosure should they need to investigate internet insults.

Civil liberty groups point out that the powers would create a surveillance state, but Britain's security and intelligence agencies claim they are vital to investigate insulting messages and crimes against political correctness.

Parliamentary testimonies of internet bosses have been released by a cross-party committee of MPs and peers that is scrutinising the draft Communications Data Bill. They reveal directors from Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Twitter believe the Bill would breach users' privacy and allow repressive regimes to spy on Britons.

Facebook said it might go to court to resist the new law, while Google and Twitter executives said they could refuse to unlock encrypted data if the Government were to seek the information via third-party providers such as BT. Facebook said it might go to court to resist the new law, while Google and Twitter said they could refuse to unlock encrypted data



Update: Must Do Better...

Government agrees to improve its underwhelming protections against libel bullies

Link Here12th October 2012

Scientists and academics are to be given extra protection from bullying corporations that use Britain's libel laws to suppress legitimate criticism and debate, the Government has indicated.

Ministers are to look at amending the Defamation Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Lords, after strident criticism that their plans do not go far enough.

Scientists have warned that under current proposals there nothing to stop companies and the rich and powerful silencing criticism even if it is in the public interest.

The Government had said it would change the law to introduce a new simple public interest defence as part of its Defamation Bill. But when the Bill was published critics pointed out that far from protecting scientists and academics the new bill made defending an action on ground of public interest so complicated that it would have a chilling effect on public debate.

Now the Government minister in charge of the legislation has indicated that he is prepared to rethink his plans. Speaking in the House of Lords Lord McNally said he understood concerns that its public interest defence was too restrictive .

I have heard enough hearsay evidence about the willingness (of businesses) to fire off lawyers' letters and rack up costs or implied costs.

It is admitted that the clause (on public interest) that we have put forward will need further work. I hope that this work will avoid the kind of back-street bullies that he described.



Offsite Article: Libel reform: politicians must deliver on promises...

Link Here10th October 2012
Full story: Censorship by Libel...British libel law allows the rich to censor the truth
As the UK government's Defamation Bill goes to the House of Lords for its second reading debate, Michael Harris explains why it's vital that the government acts to protect free speech

See article from



Hate Legislation Against Prostitution...

Two public consultations about banning prostitution in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Link Here4th October 2012

Not one, but two consultations advocating “the Swedish solution” to make criminal the purchase of sexual services have been announced in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The first, in Northern Ireland, is part of the Human Trafficking & Exploitation (Further Provisions & Support for Victims) Bill presented by Lord Morrow. While CAAN is against all forms of non-consensual behaviour – including trafficking for the purposes of sex slavery – CAAN is firmly of the issue that criminalising the purchase of sex is not the way forward.

The second, in Scotland, is a stand-alone bill ( Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex (Scotland) Bill (2) from Rhoda Grant MSP) that follows in the footsteps of the earlier bill from Trish Godman.

Both of these bills amount to hate legislation against prostitution, an effort to drive the industry underground in a flurry of fear and disgust brought on by the fact that the acts involve sex. They may be couched in terms of saving the poor and unlucky victims of trafficking, and may have lofty goals of gender equality, but they will do nought but bring further harm to prostitutes in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

How is this different from the last few times that prostitution has been challenged? This time the anti-sex campaigners are riding a rising right-wing tide across the Western world that has led to discussions outlawing prostitution in France and Ireland. Denmark has also seen prostitution under attack, although the Danes in general were sceptical of criminalising prostitution. The current consultations also seem to be marginally better researched, now that more time has passed since Sweden passed their law.

In both of these consultations, numbers matter. CAAN encourages you, as an individual, to put forward your opinion on these new consultations. You may just have the one argument that turns the tide against the sex-negative campaigners. Your voice counts!

The Northern Ireland Consultation closes 5pm on Thursday 18th October 2012.
You can read the consultation in full with all directions of where to send it here .

The Scotland Consultation closes 14 December 2012.
You can read the consultation in full with all directions of where to send it here .




Update: Pub Music Delicensed...

A very rare instance of censorship law being reduced in Britain

Link Here2nd October 2012
Full story: Licensed Music Censors...Licensing sets up authorities as music censors

Venues in England and Wales with a capacity of under 200 people no longer need a licence for live music, as long as it is not late at night. The change in law is part of a government move to free businesses from a little of the mass of red tape. Live unamplified music can also now be played in any location, regardless of the audience size, under the act.

However, the government has made it clear there would be no changes on the rules controlling gatherings of more than 5,000 people, boxing and wrestling, and events such as lap-dancing clubs classed as sexual entertainment.

Musicians and business owners have welcomed the change, which will allow live music to be played between the hours of 08:00 and 23:00. Jazz musician Buster Birch described the change as a huge thing , adding that live music is very important for our society and our culture .

UK Music, which represents the music industry, estimates that the Live Music Act could enable 13,000 more venues to start holding live music events.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

From today businesses are freed from the red tape that holds them back.

He described the previous rules that affected pub gigs and small live performances as over-the-top bureaucracy that stifles community groups and pubs.

We've set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations. I'm determined to slim down regulation and make Britain an easier place to start and run a business.

The change was introduced through a private member's bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat Don Foster. The success is a relatively rare example of a House of Lords private member's bill making it into law.

 1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Latest 
Jan-March   April-June   July-Sept   Oct-Dec    

melonfarmers icon











Film Index

Film Cuts

Film Shop

Sex News

Sex Sells

UK News

UK Internet


UK Campaigns

UK Censor List






UK Press

UK Games

UK Customs

Adult Store Reviews

Adult DVD & VoD

Adult Online Stores

New Releases/Offers

Latest Reviews

FAQ: Porn Legality

Sex Shops List

Lap Dancing List

Satellite X List

Sex Machines List

John Thomas Toys