Monday, October 06, 2008

The OPA rides again..

Bleeding heck. This and the UK extraditing someone for denial of Holocaust, a crime we don't actually have here, all in one week?

I hate to say it, but both the Lib Dems and the Telegraqh are dead right on this one. I'm all for reasonable restraints on freedom of speech, of which this certainly is one, but the correct approach should then be a public debate in the UK as to whether this is a crime we wish to recognise (or introduce) not a blank cheque to the receiving country's police. That way lies extraditing Western citizens to Saudi Arabia for sever penalties for (say) sleeping with married women. No please.

The Girls Aloud stuff is equally vile but the principle has long been understood: no more prosecutions of literature, stick to obscene pix. Even the IWF now says it is after "images of child abuse" not "child porn". As Wendy Grossman pointed out, if this prosecution is successful, will the IWF have to start considering the artistic worth of stories and fan fiction, so as to add it after complaint to its block list. Really no please. That is for courts.

Are conservative values reasserting themselves in recession or is it just autumn and time for some Internet moral panic stories?

ps this is my first blog post written on my beautiful new and very tiny Acer 1: staggeringly cheap, fast, decent keyboard, virus free Linux OS, built in web cam. I am a total convert. All I need now is mobile Internet sub and I can happily write all my articles on the train to Sheffield :-)

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