UK: Criminalizing Child Erotica in Cartoons and Sketches. A Step Too Far?

May 29th, 2008 by Strato

Yesterday, the UK’s ‘Ministry of Justice’ (do they also have Ministries of Truth, Peace, Love and Plenty?) announced plans to implement new legislation, criminalizing possession of cartoons, drawings and sketches of child erotica.

This announcement follows a ‘public consultation’ last June. The full Report, published yesterday, is available in .pdf format from: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/non-photographic-depictions.htm).

In summary:

A majority of respondents to the consultation “saw the lack of research and evidence, as acknowledged in the original consultation paper, of a causative correlation between viewing non-photographic visual depictions of child sex abuse and the commission of offences as a reason not to legislate in this area. It was argued that ‘while there may be behaviours of which most of us disapprove, these should not be criminalised unless they directly cause harm to others in society’ and that ‘an unsupported ‘concern’ cannot be sufficient to justify restricting the liberty of citizens.

In addition:

Many of the respondents thought that the proposals were tantamount to ‘thought crime,’ victimless activities or ‘Orwellian behaviour’ on behalf of the Government and were concerned about the possibility of viewers of these images being criminalised without harming children or ever intending to do so. Many individual respondents reiterated the principle that freedom of expression should not be limited to information or ideas favoured by the Government, or the majority, but rather the test of free expression was whether the Government criminalised a form of free expression that does no harm, on the grounds that the expression is abhorrent.

Nevertheless, ultimately, the UK Government felt that:

there exists a class of material that should not be tolerated, even in the absence of conclusive evidence that it caused offending behaviour.”

Is there any more evidence of an authoritarian regime?

It is notable that the most powerful brokers in this discussion were – yes, you guessed it – those who had the greatest vested interests (financial and otherwise) in pushing new legislation through: “the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Public Prosecution Service NI (PPSNI), Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), Police Federation of England & Wales, the Internet Service Providers Association, numerous child welfare organisations, local police forces, religious groups and the British Association of Social Workers.”

There is nothing more to be said in this matter. I suspect that the UK Government will not get these proposals enacted into legislation until at least 2009 – which gives us a year to prepare our friends in the UK. At the very least, we need to step up our computer security campaign. We must get one simple message across as broadly as possible: Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt.

Whatever (remaining) ‘obligation’ UK citizens felt towards their government has been well and truly forfeited.

13 Responses to “UK: Criminalizing Child Erotica in Cartoons and Sketches. A Step Too Far?”

  1. ZandirGL Says:

    Looks like the thought police are at it again.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Typical of my government. Ask for the evidence then do what you damn well want anyway.

  3. Daniel Lièvre Says:

    Can we just ban all kinds of consultation on these matters? I’m thinking of my wallet – especially as it appears that we’re paying for an illusion.

    I was going to add this little guy to your post, but thought better of it. What if we cover his white bits up with the head of Maria Eagle? At least that will deter anyone with one last trace of sex hormone from thinking bad things.

  4. PiedPiper Says:

    And this is to our TOLERANT nation and its crusade on us (and others):

    First they took the Sexual Deviants and no one said a word,
    Then they took the Health Deviants and no said a word,
    Then they took the dissents and no said a word,
    Now they take YOU and there was no one to say a word.

  5. Viamund Says:

    Unbelievable. The U.K. has always been backwards. It seems they have become worse than the U.S.A.

  6. Daniel Lièvre Says:

    The UK is influenced more by a rational utilitarian system of thought – the US being prone to more of a puritanical/moralist philosophy.

    Therefore, because UK authorities have to rationalise the pathetic morality that drives incentives such as this, the justifications are all the more outlandish, and the speculations/science all the more depraved, doom ridden and esoteric.

  7. ellipsis Says:

    encryption is only a mild solution… hardware and fixture play adds a bit of spice to the romance of your g-rated pics. It’s a bloody sad when you’ve got to encrypt for that.

    But a little handywork around the flat adds new plateaus of paranoia for those under the aim of speculation.

    And I think if the legal heads get into thought that just about anyone could setup a practically non-locatable server in the hallow of a wall that may or may not be on one’s property, when flash cards could be placed in just about any nook or cranny, even inside the family pet. Additional power sources, cable-hides between standard sockets or outlets, that they have to tear apart everything…

    it’ll just push these witch hunts to a level that the public would feel uncomfortable with — especially when speculation is enough.

    the line of thought from the piper goes into my mind with another rant to toss out — not only in the BS of politics and media but the fucking tired rolling of eyes from the extended communities…

    Ideals evolve, opinions change…

    But wtf does the community actually care

    So, why not just “Out” the community. Not those who are shagging or ampt to get caught, but the standard bloke or dame… the fantasy wankers who contribute to the landfill of hypocritical I-net waste and applauding the demise of everyone that has come to pass. The selfish little “fags” that don’t give a fuck as long as it doesn’t come to their door, turn on their mates to save their hides. It’s the community I recognize from the early days even before the modem outbreak.

    But let’s up the ante on all sides.

    Join every kind of group, infilitrate the anti’s and the lovey-dovey cum-factories labeled as support groups, and the other crapshoot social bs online and off. There’s no one we can really trust and all the vigilante groups should be corrupted from the inside out. Take them down. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself, most of them are pretty corrupt but you can’t just sit around waiting for someone else to do it.

    Also, it wouldn’t hurt for the bigger message on the scenes to escape down down to basics – freedom of sexual attraction and identity.

    If I hear one more fucking greek reference from the BL community I’m going hurl — through the pages of history every culture has tolerated some form of CL — the ages and definitions vary through the passages of time, culture and society. But we live in the present and be it BLs or GLs, we’re all otherwise fucked regardless of action or intent.

    There’s supported genocide and criminalization of the “mind” that nothing more than a hint of speculation or rumour is considered valid towards condemnation more prominent through the censorship of creative endevours of all sorts comes under fire; from the arts to spectulative opinion — to “morally sanctified” violence (verbal, physical, death) by vigilante groups or individuals and the prominent displays of political corruption, capturing the boogeyman and kissing babies for votes.

    So WTF

    Out and double-fist fuck everybody.

    Though personally, I’d rather the world was just paranoid

    We all have something to fear, every individual on planet …

    There’s no one to trust – strangers can weave their way into most peoples’ lives with little ease, setups are easy to happen but the truth is usually more interesting and even mates you’ve known all your life or share your dirty laundry with can easily turn … given the right circumstances or for the professional victim schemes, which a fair deal of popular “victims” especially from the recalled memory bs begin professional trade .

    So here’s a question for the communities — is this your/my fight alone or should we act together,

    true, there’s no left to trust

    but if the pisspots of the associated communities aren’t willing to step up, they should put on a blindfold and smoke a cigarette because the foundation of the ‘movements’ is pretty fucking shoddy and we need a good restructuring.

    Most of our collectives don’t like “predators” anymore than the general public … of course, the definition is quite a bit different from the inside/out … the solution for both the bystanders and serious fuck-ups are the same.

    It doesn’t mean belonging to an organization or having connecting threads to anyone else, but the simplicity of action.

    It doesn’t take much effort at all.

    Whether you’re a fucking cunt that can’t do anything more than tag a bathroom wall like the shit that’s often read in places like these or you’re capable of aiming for the bigger and better from societal and cultural terrorism to something more aggressive than thought or ‘creative’ actions, though usually that’s more my speed.

    The power of media is capturing the exploitation of the grossly absurd … otherwise we’re doomed to fade into mundane existence of everyday life, a ‘norm’, an accepted reaction — it isn’t a fucking “win” when they stop showing vigilante programs on the television or it disappears from the regular news — because then all they show are the more henious cases and every shmuck that barely crosses the line is attached to the worst rather than our typical every day existence, for most of us anyway. Are you the monster in the closet? Or just another scared person waiting for when they’ll come to get you … not for your interactions with a youth, but simply for the assumption of what you are — no actions needed.

    So if you fucking wankers aren’t going to do much more than wank and talk about child actors that are likely a decade or two older than yourselves, the least you could do is ensure you’re not a fucking fluffy little cunt. (directed more towards the cream factory boards and groups out there.)

    toss out some phases that are likely to piss off more than just anti groups, align yourselves with “noble heros” ones that would likely not desire nor their fanbase desire to be associated with you — make people see the lines that cross when they would rather not catch the scent of their own hypocrisy, and then set the bitches off on each other — play into the cultural hate of opposing sides, never pick a fight with just one group and expect the others to come along — frankly there’s a need for distraction and obvious truth(s) — the exploitation of identity beyond sexuality while the groups may carry similar positions against you, it’s quite a bit of fun to understand they’d rather not agree with each other for the sole principle of being on opposing teams.

    But I digress, frequently and often not caring of the subject at hand.

    It’s going to be a fucking blast with the arts and entertainment, when themes tap into youth subjects … which even with adult actors are coming under fire for what’s being considered exploitative material or pornographic discriptions for as little as a kiss or a bit of exposed flesh in rather mundane displays.

    But whatever…

    rather need something more explosive to happen to get the rest of the world riled up, whether for or against support isn’t the issue… just to the point that everybody truly has something to fear.

    Paranoia is a wonderful drug.

    And morality is by far is the greatest perversion; the xians have stopped looking for jesus in oil stains and now looking for potato chips in the shape of adult-youth erotica.

  8. Strato Says:

    ellipsis:

    I enjoyed reading your reply (and digressions are always welcome).

    I can’t help but wonder whether my (otherwise placid) cat might have something of an abreaction to my placing a flash card inside him…but the point is well-taken.

    (Incidentally, I suspect that it will make no difference how uncomfortable the general public grows as the level of intrusion increases, and that no indignity would be so great as to rile up the world – they will continue to take it. Because they know no other way – they are too far into a state of voluntary servitude. And because the absence of symbolism in contemporary culture means that any form of sacrifice for a higher cause is unthinkable. As you rhetorically asked in your reply to Steve’s post ‘To be of service…’: “What is your life worth?”).

    There is no doubt that most of the rants of the public face of ‘the community’ are more directed towards internal catharsis and the need to feel that ‘something is being done’. While that can be frustrating, it has its place – particularly for those who are mentally unequipped to face any alternative perspective.

    The foundations are shoddy. Non-existent, in fact. But, like the Russian doll, there are communities within communities and factions within factions.

    In some senses the issue of ‘appropriate response’ comes down to a division between those who would like to believe that ‘society’ can change, and those who hold no such convictions. For the former, only engaging in a political process is possible – which essentially comes down to fighting on the same terms as the detractors. Even the (arguably sole remaining) genuinely political acts – suicide and terrorism – are still (tautologically) internal to a political process.

    For the second category – those who do not believe that social change is practicable – what approach to adopt? Aim to make things more palatable for the community? Argue that the fringes are a more desirable place to reside, and expound upon how to maintain such an existence? Find pleasure in fighting one’s own daily wars? Ignore all the shit and exist in an untouchable, transcendental head-space? There’s no easy answer, since the questions are individual and endless.

    Strato

  9. Steve Diamond Says:

    Sometimes I find myself feeling like “every” structured organization out there, be it the church, the government (local, state, national), media, our economic structure…so much about the predetermined influences on our life…

    …it all exists strictly to make life miserable, and as unlivable as possible.

    Logically I know this is not entirely true…but when your status is a legal “non human”, everything changes…

    …everything…

    It is mind boggling to conceive, just exactly what criminalizing cartoons is going to accomplish, who it is ever going to save, or how it could ever manage to save anyone…

    For all of this “dog n pony” jack off performance, and the atrocious human rights violation of it…will these mind dead zombies ever even bother to do a follow up, to determine if anything “good” even became of this political monstrosity?

    …No…of course they wont…

    They’ll just march straight forward, forgetting about what happened today, waiting for the day lightning strikes again and they have another child’s horrible death to exploit and parade in front of the world, so they can demand something new to happen to the legal “non humans”.

    What is left after Dennis the Menace boning his mother lands you in prison for five years?…

    …What is the next frontier?…Where does it end?…

    Anyone informed and intelligent will tell you, this wont do diddly squat…It’s just another excuse to throw political “non humans” into a cage and treat them like animals.

    Unfortunately, this world is infested with stupid people…

    How did we intelligent ones become the extreme minority?

    It is clear that the UK has no government…They have social handlers and political wardens…Much like the U.S.A.

    Even in Canada, you write a grammatical story about “rubbing nastys at age ten”, and you can go to prison (if you share it, anyway)…It is just insane…There is no other way to say it. This world is insane.

  10. ellipsis Says:

    If one could manage sitting through it.

    Gilbert Gottfried: “The Dirtiest Joke Ever Told” (2008)

    … Which might be better titled “Not Convicted, Yet”

    It’s far worse to mention sitting through Gilbert Gottfried than mentioning I post here.

    The dirty joke can be an odd celebration of our culture, from both mainstream and subcultural perspectives. It’s a format which allows us to bring these subjects or generalized themes it into open dialogue.

    Of course, we can’t control the audience reaction … but it provides opportunity to present the subject with more mixed reactions and often with less walls than other mediums.

    But one of the primary realities of sexual attractions in debate is people are more prone to visualize sexual acts, barred of identity and individual behavior.

    In my activism (mostly queer and multicultural based), I was prone to shock value … presenting a facade of being a radical separatist that sought to eliminate the other factions to make a queer new world. Following into outrageous extremes, quoting some of the feminists and radical leaders of the past as well as the opposing sides… such as one passage that we could do away with heterosexual behavior in its entirity by having vast channels of semen tanks beneath the city streets – so males would be completely unneeded for reproductive purposes.

    Presenting such a dramatic alternative to the world around us and presenting a bit of a stereotype in the fears presented in some of my audiences… going on the wildest extremes. And once it was out of the way, snapping into a real discussion.

    Are the extremes a reality for the majority of minority groups or is over emphasized bs? Does every black man want to kill whitey? Does every homo want to be a drag queen? Are all women(/lesbians) victims? Is every man a suspect(to rape, murder, abuse)? Do all paedos “harm” children?

    But rarely are you going to be quoted for your “real” discussion rather than your more felching soundbytes. (Which any time you give an interview, bring a tape-recoder and a video cam, so after the published date you can release an unedited version of that interview.)

    And in this age, context is often lost. As it is with the concept that any material which includes adult-youth themes is somehow child pornography or linked to paedophilia, in which the public needs protection from.

    So perhaps it’s easier to push more common goals rather than presenting shock value or serious discussion … the bawdy jokes and satire of ourselves can play both sides. However distasteful they may be.

    Common goals in other areas can be brought with the question of censorship in the arts, entertainment and media in the witch-hunt of the moral panics.

    Engage the public to question the fringes of this subject — when laws are passed to remove the dirty joke, the bawdy song, the drawings, or even basic human interaction without proof or acknowledgement of sexual behavior or attraction as a preemptive protection for whom, children, to possibly spot potential paedophiles or fascist control of the state.

    And it doesn’t sit alone to the “dirty” or unseemingly, when we are presented with “I’ll know CP when I see it.” or “It’s CP when it’s in the hands of certain individuals” from state of authority … anyone who has pictures or drawings of the banned subject, even of their own (kids) are in trouble – regardless of context.

    Sure, there are limitless answers and wide variances in the eye of personal responsibility.

    The game of “Survivor” — what if it was presented with an additional option — you could survive as a group and gain an equal share of the winnings — or you could manipulate your way into being the sole survivor.

    Albeit, factions would still likely be made and in the end, at least by majority, many would fight to be the sole winner.

    It’s a depressing concept of humanity, but it often speaks more true of society in general. And slowly by slowly, I find myself adopting some of these themes.

    As much of an emphasis on teamwork is presented as an ideal; Our (global) society is prone to the basic laws of survival – survival of the fittest – self preservation.

    So….

    If as a people; a culture; community; communities within communities; factions within factions; cannot name ourselves as a whole, then the representations which name all of us as one, stands alone.

    We are branded for the actions of one.

    Sexual attraction, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, traits or backgrounds and so on, — there is no birthright to community or faction.

    We are free spirits of choice in where we gather and how we choose to fight.

    for those, who find themselves wandering into the doors of these communities, of these factions, of these individuals separate in cause and name … what is the price you’re willing to pay?

    Every character you type down, whether social or irrelevant puts another mark against your name. When you find yourself listed on those sites which name us as one creature, one breed, one animal, without thought or reason – all of us just like the rest, like the horror of mankind, the elusive monster under the bed. As separate and individual as we may be — the price of just socialization, of just empty words on the screen, are easily sealed as both lock and key — we all exist in the same cell.

    We fight, whether we want to or not, the only way to avoid it is to deny.

    There’s no option for surrender. You fight or you hide.

    Are you one of many or many of one?

    Of course, it’s hard to figure out if I say what I mean or mean what I say.

    The world cannot be riled up or distracted from the day to day … the day to day life as it is with most of us is the distraction from the bigger things.

    We can go on with life while the world of others crashes around us and yet we exist seemingly unscathed. Empathy can only go so far… but for as many groups as we belong to, individually, the separate issues that pull us away from center, each asking us to be a whole representation in one of our groups rather than the fractured parts we often are… in both the whole, the fractured; the individual, do we need to sacrifice a further part of self.

    There is always a price.

    The bigger picture is made up of fragmented pieces, I suppose, I should be more content with any action that comes forth – even if it’s a recursive notion of socialization and hiding in the comfort and pseudo-safety of our own communities — one which I am prone to doing.

    But the limitless answers that befall the many individuals we are .. is perhaps reduced to the simple notion of being human.

    “Hello.”

    introductions from the one of many, who may share similarities to the many of one. But I can understand the fear of putting a face on the individual rather than the whole. I suppose few of us are actually ready for that.

    … But whatever. I digress…

    the closet door is already opened wide — there wouldn’t be such a need for security proctols if it wasn’t a concern… if there’s already that level of fear, then why not just hide? :P

    If everything we do is a declaration of war, suspicion or a risk of our personal freedom… then there’s little to nothing holding us back from progressive action.

    Taking part in any of these online communities or any public acknowledgement or association with sexually identified groups puts us at risk. So if the fear of safety is holding back — disconnect. :P

    But, still, perhaps the argument for this page is to draw a bawdy toon, featuring a youth, signed or unsigned.

    It doesn’t only affect us and our own, but the rest of the world.

    I wonder what these laws mean for artists in countries, where the work is legal, who travel to the UK — even if they leave the offending materials at home, the burden of proof can be linked to the net and public knowledge (albeit in fringe communities, let alone the problems to be had at comic conventions.)…

  11. Strato Says:

    Steve:

    I share your incredulity at the unending-ness of it all, when each new day brings news of a fresh method of control and limitation. It is difficult to know…I freely admit to finding myself conflicted. Sometimes I think that if I have to listen to just one more politician, policeman or spokesman for a children’s charity, spit forth their meaningless drivel of egotistical self-delusion…I’m going to let loose the fires of hell. But, I swallow it, obediently, and continue pushing buttons on a keyboard. Distinctly less satisfying than pushing The Red Button that would bring forth Armageddon. I grow less participant, more observer. Is that playing their game? Can it strictly be a game any longer, when there are no objectives?

    ellipsis:

    The problem with context is that it presupposes an unattainable status – of the impossible separation between subject and object. As the world increasingly consists of information flow, context disappears; there is only relentless dissemination of diminishing concepts. And so ‘abuse’ becomes a catch-all for touch and sight; active and passive; palpable and notional; participant and recipient. Devoid of meaning, no requirement for context.

    The representations that stand for all of us, as one, therefore progressively lack differentials…how are they to be addressed, or even conceived? Is there advantage (or even distinction) between being one of many or many of one?

  12. ellipsis Says:

    … I was just exploding on internal conversations and a few outside schemes of wondering the point of any of these places.

    The problem in the equation is an age old question of answering who we are – the elusive labels with the transitional definitions.

    “We” perhaps should have been added to the recent semantics post. And that’s likely a trap I’ve fallen into.

    It’s an isolated connection or bond; it’s the promotion of further separation. That, in “we” we or community are associated by an intergenerational attraction

    likewise the outside view, “often” reduces us to the sole representation, the one link in the chain.

    I should likely be fighting somewhere for the rights of paedo pandas and field mice.

    I tend to have problems with conforming to moral majority within any group — I don’t rock the boat; it’s often set aflame into a crowd of baby ducks.

    I suppose I’ve been lucky that in most of my circles I can be open (without naming it) and yet brush off the seriousness of it.

    Online or walking into “defined” social settings – it heads back into the fractured identity … trying to stuff everything I am into one little box.

    “what are you”

    If I select “other”, then it somehow invalidates the choices that are present and listed.

    Exclusion.

    But the inclusionary clause has the same consistency of the original subject matter…

    there’s elements within the subject that would align the context of being one and the same.

    But the problem lies in that in alone. “one” and “the same”

    Can one ever be the same?

    The multiplicity of definitions and roles.

    It’s likely not a step too far.

    If everything relies on selecting the right box, then there are defined presets — so the context is always going to be removed

    and with visual media … it’s the descriptions of the image being read to a blind person; the personal backgrounds of both the voice and the judge are never pulled into question — does the fault lie with the speaker or the judge.

    If both are socially impaired as outsiders within the given culture or subtext, then I suppose the selections narrow to yes or no.

    So anything suggestive of erotica or at least the very basic elements that suggests it may be erotica that features a child or representation of a child, or even the suggestion of a child, is indeed child pornograpy.

    So likewise the same on the surface is suggestive of who falls into the intergenerational follies of identification.

    Reasons, excuses, arguments nullified.

    I suppose its the removal of the bias and the shifting of context.

    … I’m attracted to some youth, so what does that make me? Jewish.

    I got a stiffy when cute little young thang walked by… you know what that means? Damn, he’s cute or I really need to get laid.

    My people is me, I’m a community of one but I’m fucking human, so I guess that includes you too.

    For now on, I’m fighting for the rights of paedo pandas and field mice. Huzzah!

    Everyone else is connected to me whether they want to be or not. Am I paedophile, fuck if I know… I wasn’t elected the poster child and kicked out of most of the groups, so they might say otherwise. if somebody wants to believe I am. Go for it. I am attracted to humans on a linear scale, typically the lower end. So?

    I am a criminal of context … plagiarized and satirised. a weak imitation when defined by one category. Where does that put any of us in a community except in the concept of proximity and tell-tale connections of similarities.

    Exactly what qualifies for a paedo these days.. or child erotica; what doesn’t?

  13. ellipsis Says:

    one of many — it’s a question of multiples that find themselves tossed in the same category.

    Schools – can one school be better or worse than another? of course.

    There’s a variety of options and differences.

    But through the entire process we’re still refering to it as a school, regardless of whether or not it actually fits our ideal of what a school should be. It’s just one of many with infinite possibilities. It just has to meet a couple requirements, often enough it’s little more than a title or name, or at least a group of people which believe it is.

    Many of one — everything else is moot but the one defining point, defines it all. It’s three copies of the same cd; you might have bought them at different shops, but the tracks and packaging are the same. Despite the possibilities of mild individual differences between each individual cd (a couple scruff marks, a few changes, a printing error) you’re buying the same product, put it on a shelf and ten years from now — it’ll still be the “same” cd.

    There’s the increase of probability factors that promotes the aesthetic as identical or a carbon copy. The differences are moot.

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