Jacqui Smith has made a documentary about pornography.
Rowan Pelling has this to say about it.
[Jacqui] Smith’s disingenuousness continued yesterday with her declaration that she decided to make a documentary on pornography because most people, herself included, “don’t know very much about it” – which leaves you mystified, given that she [used to be Home Secretary and thus] was the person who was meant to legislate for its control.
I’m linking to Mark here, not the Telegraph directly because I feel bad enough stealing his post. Unlike Ms Smith (who is entirely busty substances - in more civilised times she would have played a tyrannical matron ultimately outwitted by Sid James) I so have some moral fibre. I stole from Mark because I want to amplify Ms Pelling’s point and make one of my own.
Obviously Ms Pelling’s gotcha is delicious but the taste rapidly turns sour when you appreciate that despite admitting not to knowing anything about porn (could have asked hubby) Jacqui Smith actually introduced legislation concerning pornography.
The absurd, utterly illiberal and frankly Stalinist Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 was introduced under her watch. Jacqui Smith was Home Secretary between 28 June 2007 and 5 June 2009.
I said “Stalinist” and I mean it in the sense that apart from anything else the law is staggeringly loosely defined. I said “absurd” because it makes it illegal to portray by almost any means acts between consenting adults that are not in themselves illegal. It is also illegal to possess such images - even if it is just you and the missus getting kinky and videoing it for your own private edification. As to “illiberal” - do I really need to explain? If you want to know more this is a good place to start.
Now you might be thinking, “but porn is bad” or “porn doesn’t matter to me” and Nick is just thumping his libertarian drum for the noise it makes but the principles behind, assumptions made by, and potential applications of this law are staggering and very scary.
Just two further points…
I assume fantasizing about coating Ms Smith’s minge in treacle and releasing the honey badger is a thought crime. Drawing a cartoon of it certainly be highly illegal.
…and given recent “events” at Samizdata and here I just have to point out that Ms Smith read PPE at Hertford College, Oxford. I am naughty.