|31st December |
Brazier's BBFC accountability bill
Thanks to DarkAngel on the Melon Farmers Forum
Regarding Brazier's BBFC Accountability bill, I actually emailed the BBFC about this, asking if they were going to respond and take up issue with him over this.
Whilst they didn't go into detail, saying they would be responding "in due
course", I did get the impression that they didn't seem too worried. Letting slip that they didn't think the bill had much support (he has tried this once before after all).
The feelings I've been getting from other forums is that as the
BBFC is already accountable to the government under the VRA, and that if the government really wanted to they could simply designate a different censorship body for home video and computer games other than the BBFC, then it is not likely this bill will
get through as its unnecessary.
|30th December |
Parliamentary question to the Solicitor General re prostitution
Questions to the Solicitor General
Tony Lloyd (Manchester, Central) (Lab): What her policy is on the prosecution of offences associated with prostitution and kerb crawling.
The Solicitor-General (Vera Baird): Our policy is to
consider alternatives to prosecution to help prostitutes to find a route out of prostitution while emphasising the need to arrest and prosecute kerb crawlers. That is part of a strategy to focus enforcement action on the purchasers who create the demand.
Tony Lloyd: I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that answer, which I find reassuring. In areas such as my constituency, where there are two locations where street prostitution is known, people find kerb crawlers to be the nuisance. Many
people are sympathetic to the view that driving prostitutes further underground puts women who are already at risk at even greater risk. Will my hon. and learned Friend confirm that the Government's strategy is not to make the prostitute's position even
The Solicitor-General: I can confirm that. I compliment my hon. Friend for taking a long interest in the care of women in prostitution in the two areas of his constituency. I completely agree that crackdowns on kerb
crawlers must be carried out in conjunction with diverting prostitutes through appropriate local projects. I am impressed by the strategy employed in my area of Cleveland, where referral workers are available in custody suites and work closely with
police and vice units to ensure that women who are stopped by the police can be referred to appropriate services straight away.
Philip Hollobone (Kettering) (Con): Next year, the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon.
Member for Gedling (Mr. Coaker), will visit Sweden and the Netherlands to look at measures introduced to tackle the demand side of the prostitution equation. Will the Solicitor-General consider accompanying him?
The Solicitor-General: I
intend to go with my hon. Friend to Sweden to look at those measures and to do the best comparative study that we can, so that we can fully inform ourselves. The hon. Gentleman was on the Committee that considered the Criminal Justice and Immigration
Bill, so he will have heard my hon. Friend announce that we will review the way in which we tackle demand to see whether we need to be tougher. That trip and other research will feed into the review.
Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) (Lab): Has my
hon. and learned Friend seen the research report entitled “It's just like going to the supermarket”? It suggests that our interventions with men who buy sex are not particularly effective, and that it would be more effective to reduce the normalisation
of the commercialisation of sexual relationships that underpins those men's belief that they are entitled to buy women's bodies.
The Solicitor-General: Yes, I have seen that research. Indeed, I attended the launch in Whitechapel. The
report contains interviews with a range of different men who use prostitutes. At times during their interviews, they referred to it as being just like going to the supermarket to buy any other commodity. They said that they would not be deterred if it
were a criminal offence, but different research suggests that they would be. We must see what the best approaches are, and that is why we are reviewing demand.
|28th December |
And for once oppose censorship
Based on an article from Pink News see
A group of nutter MPs has tabled an amendment designed to ensure that homophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.
Devout Roman Catholics Ann Widdecombe and Jim Dobbin are among the MPs attempting to amend the
government's proposal to make incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation a criminal offence.
Christian Concern for our Nation, a pressure group which attempts to stand up against a tide of unChristian legal and political changes
in the United Kingdom, is urging its supporters to pressure MPs into supporting the new amendment.
Stonewall, the gay equality organisation, have been giving evidence to parliament's scrutinising committee about the sort of incitement
to homophobic murder and hatred that goes unchallenged. Chief executive Ben Summerskill quoted extensively from the homophobic lyrics of dancehall star Beenie Man and others to demonstrate the nature of their comments about gay men and lesbians.
Summerskill rejected concerns that a law banning incitement to religious hatred would be used to silence the voices of religious people who regard homosexuality as a sin:
We are crystal clear that people are perfectly entitled to express their religious views. We are also crystal clear that the temperate expression of religious views should not be covered by the legislation. One might also want to look at the context
in which any expression is made that people should be killed or put to death because they are homosexual.
The homophobic incitement provisions were later passed by the whole committee, and none of the Tory MPs voted against them.
new amendment from Christian MPs reads:
Nothing in this part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion of, criticism of or expressions of antipathy towards, conduct relating to a
particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct relating to that orientation.
Among the MPs asking for the right to show antipathy towards their gay constituents are:
Lib Dems Colin Breed (South East Cornwall) and Alan Beith (Berwick Upon Tweed); Conservatives Philip Hollobone (Kettering) and Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone and the Weald); and Labour MPs David Taylor (North West Leicestershire) and Jim Dobbin (Heywood and
|23rd December |
More bollox targeting guys buying sex
The usual Labour nutters have proposed a typically mean minded amendment to the Criminal Injustice Bill currently passing through parliament.
To move the following Clause:
- A local authority may designate any part of its area as a zone of safety.
- A chief officer of police may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, designate any area as a zone of safety.
- The Secretary of
State may approve a designation under subsection (2) if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the incidence of prostitution in the proposed zone has contributed to an increase in criminality in the locality.
- It, in a zone of
safety, a person (A):
(a) intentionally obtains for himself the sexual services of another person (B),
and (b) before obtaining those services, has made or promised payment for those services to B or a third person, or knows that another person
has made or promised such a payment, the local authority or the chief officer of police may apply to a magistrates' court for an order forbidding A from doing those things again anywhere.
- In subsection (4)(b) “payment” means any
financial advantage, including the discharge of an obligation to pay or the provision of goods and services (including sexual services) gratuitously or at a discount.
- The Secretary of State may by regulations made such supplementary
provision about orders under subsection (4) as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
- Regulations under subsection (6) are to be made by statutory instrument and are subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either
House of Parliament.
- A person who is the subject of an order under subsection (4) and who fails to comply with the terms of that order is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the
standard scale or to a community punishment order or to both.'.
|20th December |
Harry Cohen's amendments to extreme porn bill re-submitted
From SeeNoEvil see full article
Harry Cohen has re-submitted his amendments to the Criminal Justice & Immigration Bill Part 7 Criminal Law:
Page 65, line 17 [Clause 94], leave out ‘appears to have' and insert ‘has'.
Page 65, line 20 [Clause 94], leave out ‘appears to
have' and insert ‘has'.
Page 65, line 27 [Clause 94], leave out ‘it appears that'.
Page 65, line 33 [Clause 94], leave out from ‘which' to end and insert ‘results in a person's death or a life-threatening injury,'.
Page 65, line 34 [Clause
94], leave out from first ‘in' to end of line.
Page 65, line 36 [Clause 94], leave out ‘or appears to involve'.
Page 65, line 38 [Clause 94], leave out ‘or appearing to perform'.
Page 65, line 40 [Clause 94], leave out ‘or appears to be'.
Write to your own MP and ask them to support these amendments
These amendments would ensure that people wouldn't be prosecuted for possessing legally produced images with staged violence.
Forum members have commented that hopefully
these amendments may have been accepted by bill sponsors after some heavyweight opposition and concerns about human rights compatibility
|14th December |
Harmful Content On The Internet And In Video Games:
From Culture, Media and
Sport Committee Inquiry
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has announced a new inquiry into the potential risks from harmful material on the Internet and in video games, with the following terms of reference:
The benefits and opportunities offered to consumers,
including children and young people, and the economy by technologies such as the Internet, video games and mobile phones.
The potential risks to consumers, including children and young people, from exposure to harmful content on the Internet or
in video games. The Committee is particularly interested in the potential risks posed by:
- Cyber bullying
- user generated content, including content that glorifies guns and gang violence
- the availability of personal information on social networking sites
- content that incites racial hatred, extremism or terrorism
- content that exhibits extreme pornography or violence
The tools available to consumers and industry to protect people from potentially harmful content on the Internet and in video games.
The effectiveness of the existing regulatory regime in helping to manage the potential risks from harmful
content on the Internet and in video games.
The Committee will accept as submissions (or as part of submissions) responses to the Byron Review of children and new technology.
The Committee, however, intends that its inquiry be broader
in scope than the Byron Review as the Committee will examine the impact of content on consumers in general, rather than focusing solely on the impact on children and young people.
It is expected that oral evidence sessions will be held in
February and March 2008.
Written submissions are invited from interested parties; these should be sent to Daniel Dyball, Committee Specialist, at the address below by Wednesday 30 January 2008 .
preference is for submissions to be in Word or rich text format (not as a PDF document) and sent by e-mail to email@example.com, although letters will also be accepted. Submissions sent by post should be sent to Daniel Dyball, Committee Specialist,
Culture, Media and Sport Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Please include a contact name, postal address and telephone number in the body of the e-mail or in the letter.
|7th December |
Brazier presents his BBFC accountability bill to parliament
Thanks to DarkAngel on the Melon Farmers Forum
Parliamentary Publications: presented bills
Braziers bill was presented Wednesday:
British Board of Film Classification (Accountability to Parliament and Appeals)
Mr. Julian Brazier, supported by Mr. John Gummer, Keith Vaz, Miss Ann Widdecombe, Mr. Jim Hood,
Stephen Pound, Mr. John Hayes, Mr. Lindsay Hoyle, Mrs. Nadine Dorries, Jim Dobbin, Mr. David Burrowes and Mr. Greg Hands, presented a Bill to make provision for parliamentary scrutiny of senior appointments to the British Board of Film Classification and
of guidelines produced by it; to establish a body with powers to hear appeals against the release of videos and DVDs and the classification of works in prescribed circumstances; to make provision about penalties for the distribution of illegal works; and
for connected purposes: And the same was read the First time; and ordered to be read a Second time on Friday 29 February, and to be printed.
Now might be the time to start speaking out against this.
|6th December |
ELSPA requests meeting with Brazier
From GamesIndustry.biz see
The computer games trade group, Entertainment and Leisure Software Publisher's Association (ELSPA) has responded to a private member's bill presented by Julian Brazier MP.
This Bill highlights the importance of the classification of the visual
entertainment industry, ELSPA said in a statement: The correct classification of computer games made for adult consumption - covered by the BBFC - is of the utmost importance to the computer games industry.
ELSPA is requesting a
meeting with Brazier to ensure that the bill takes their concerns into account.
|6th December |
Another inquiry into harmful material on the internet
From GamesIndustry.biz see
The UK parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee has announced a new inquiry into the potential risks from harmful material on the Internet and in videogames.
The CMS Committee wants to consider the benefits and opportunities offered to
consumers, including children and young people, and the economy by technologies such as the Internet, videogames and mobile phones.
At the same time, it will look at potential risks to consumers from exposure to harmful content on the Internet or
in videogames, considering the "effectiveness of the existing regulatory regime" in helping to manage the potential risks.
The committee is particularly interested in the potential risks posed by "cyberbullying" according to a
statement calling for written submissions from interested parties.
While the CMS Committee will accept responses to the Byron Review, it intends that its inquiry be broader in scope as it will examine the impact of content on consumers in
general, rather than focusing solely on the impact on children and young people.
Submissions are due by the end of January, with oral evidence sessions planned for February and March of 2008.
The inquiry was first mentioned
in August 2007 after a series of YouTube videos highlighting youth violence:
John Whittingdale, the chairman of the cross-party Commons culture, media and sport select committee said he was "very
interested" in an investigation into how to limit access to unsuitable material across the "new media".
Concern about the way gangs promote themselves by placing violent video clips -
including scenes with guns -on the internet has grown since the shooting of Rhys Jones in Croxteth.
And again the inquiry was mentioned in the Telegraph
A teenager who boasted of his criminal exploits on Bebo has been handed an anti-social behaviour order. The 17-year-old, from Norfolk, posted comments and photographs on the social networking site
glorifying his criminal exploits including drug-taking, according to the police.
Appearing at Norwich Youth Court, district judge Philip Browning banned the youth from using the internet to publish material that is "threatening or
abusive" and "promotes criminal activity".
The court heard a police investigation found the boy had also made offensive comments against officers on his web page.
Fears that criminal gangs use internet sites to recruit
members, organise fights and glorify their activities prompted MPs to launch an investigation into how to shield young people from such material.
|5th December |
For the People, our Politicians don't care
From the Melon Farmers Forum
Thanks to DarkAngel
Julian Brazier had something like the BBFC Parliamentary Accountability and Appeals Bill planned for a while now...
From 11th July 2006...
article from julianbrazier.com
Brazier, in a letter to Conservative Policy Coordinator Oliver Letwin, has urged that an incoming Conservative Government shall take action on the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). He is concerned that the BBFC is unreliable in preventing
scenes of violence from reaching our screens at a suitable rating.
The letter read: In light of David Cameron's recent comment: “Protection of childhood innocence against premature sexualisation is something worth
fighting for I would like to make a submission to policy review. I recently had a look at the annual report of the British Board of Film Classification - I believe that it is time to shake them up. The failure to rate films suitably can lead to the
portrayal of topics and themes in a way that may encourage their wider use.
The BBFC is good at controlling scenes of drug use. They allow only scenes of drug use that put a negative spin on recreational drug taking.
Their stance on the portrayal of violence is pretty weak, however. Examples are films such as Green Street and The Football Factory , both rated ‘18' and containing strong violence in the context of a popular past time. The BBFC says of The Football Factory
: passed ‘18' for the strong violence … that featured in its tale of violent men attempting to profit from criminal activities Is this a theme that we want anyone, let alone 18 year olds to be watching? With the hooligan culture already
wrecking some British football matches, do we need such films?
I believe in a free country but incitement to violence is unacceptable. House of Wax , a ‘stalk and slash' film, rated ‘15', contains occasional
moments of strong gore and violence but was limited to a ‘15' rating due to the formulaic and predictable story, its fantastical setting, and its generally restrained treatment of the violence. Should the fact that it is in a fantastical
setting be a reason for keeping any film as a ‘15'? Just because a film is not set in the current world does not mean that 15 and 16 year olds will not attempt to copy dangerous action sequences.
In some cases,
previously cut material is being reinstated. For example: American Gothic which was originally cut in 1987; Not of this Earth , 1988; and the 1994 film Dracula's Widow , all had scenes of sexualised violence reinstated. The reason
given was, a lack of sufficient eroticised detail to raise concerns under either the current BBFC Guidelines or contemporary understanding of the relevant research and policy.
The BBFC should be reformed and its
guidelines strengthened. In too many cases its censors appear to have been lacking the mettle to deal robustly with the film industry's nastier output. Only one recent chairman has stood up to the film industry – Andreas Whittam Smith – and he lost some
bad cases under the appeal arrangements. Surely there is scope for reform here.
Also.. it seems he's tried this once before, remember the controversy surrounding the film Crash in the late 90's? He tried to do the same thing then,
but was dealt a suitable rebuttal by then chief censor James Ferman .
Thanks to IanG:
We are failing
All hope is
For our liberal democracy
Do we have Nazis
And religious halfwits
Filling all our Parliamentary seats?
Six hundred 'visions'
But no sound decisions
Just pass a new law every week
Try 'hate' prevention
Ban demonstrations and end Free Speech!
Five million spy cams
All up and down the land
But they can't stop kids shooting kids
Now they blame games
and films for all our 'sins'
The banks are empty
Lost all our pennies
In Brown's 'wonder' economy
Looks like its over
In mortgage foreclosure
For all that Sub Prime economic greed
So look ahead guys
And watch the
For their next big knee-jerk thing
It could be Pros. on crack
Or school truants on smack
Whatever, its all just Spin!
Yeah we are sailing
With no bearing
On an ocean made of spin
You know the statute
in total disrepute
When Judges can't tell if you broke the thing!
Now where's our Rights gone
From that Constitution?
They were there before the 'Hand of Blair'
Don't we NEED them?
No Rights or Freedoms?
For the People,
our Politicians don't care...!
For the People, our Politicians don't care...!
For the People, our Politicians don't care...!