by Ian Jade

After some discussion, then editing heavily to reduce the text to an acceptable length, there is now an e-petition LIVE and READY TO BE SIGNED on the government’s website.


Basically, you should sign this to persuade your elected officials to reconsider criminalising ordinary people for enjoying things that the politicians happen to find distasteful. Yep. That’s it. Behind all the spurious reasoning and flawed logic, it comes down to a question of taste. Because they don’t approve of it, YOU could go to jail for it.

As far as I’ve been able to find out, there is no causal link between explicit portrayals of coercive or non-consensual sex and actual coercion or rape. None. Yet the politicians present the link as so obvious it doesn’t even bear dwelling on, let alone debating. Parliament has been herded towards banning this kind of pornography, and nobody has dared to oppose it for fear of being tainted with the stigma of immorality. Well, I am standing up now,  because whatever my view of this type of pornography it is fundamentally wrong for a government to intrude in this way on the private lives of its citizens.

For a government to dictate to ordinary people what is an acceptable sexuality scares me deeply. For a group of politicians to restrict free speech and artistic expression based on their own predilections is contemptible. If this material could be shown to cause harm to certain people, under certain conditions, there might be a case for discussing its partial restriction, just as all harmful substances and activities are licensed. But it harms no-one, and yet it is banned outright.

The one hope we have is that there are, within the government, enough people with enough common sense to overturn this preposterous law. Of course they won’t risk their political careers and squeaky-clean images by making a stand on their own behalf, but remember, these people are our representatives. They work for us, on the issues we tell them we care about, and perhaps handing them a well-presented argument will give them something to work with, a cause to debate and examine. After all, politicians are only human. Maybe they enjoy watching this stuff too. Maybe their husband or wife does, and puts it on their official expenses. Who can say? But as long as we passively accept this situation, we will keep on having our rights taken from us, non-consensually, coercively, by people who enjoy seeing it happen.

Now why does that sound familiar?