A series of letters between the Irish prime minister Charles Haughey and the Irish Countrywoman's Association (ICA) in November 1982 detail the PM's displeasure at the prospect of sex-shop chain Conegate setting up stall in Ireland.
Conegate was (and
still is) a company belonging to David Sullivan best known on the high street as the Private Shop chain. The business model of selling softcore, whilst misleadingly claiming that sealed packets were hardcore, was very successful at the time.
ICA initially wrote to both Haughey and then Fine Gael leader FitzGerald expressing their unhappiness at the suggestion that Conegate was on its way to Ireland, and requesting a commitment that this would not happen.
Haughey's private secretary
replied that the Taoiseach would be totally opposed to the opening of any such shops .
And indeed no sex shops opened in Ireland until 17 years later when Ann Summers opened in Dublin.
Adult website closes to UK viewers in reaction to UK internet censorship rules
13th December 2015
Evidence is emerging of self-censorship by web sites in reaction to the new censorship regime in the United Kingdom.
At least one web site operated and owned outside the UK has stopped accepting subscriptions from the UK and has
asked a Melon Farmers contributor not to identify it in order to protect British models who appeared on the site. The site is entirely softcore, but the problem lies in content filmed out of doors in risky situations within the UK. (Some films
actually show the model and photographer/videographer having to do a runner when passers-by appear.) The contributor noted the absurdity of not being able to access content shot ten minutes walk from his home.
compares the censorship regime with that in Iran. Understandable perhaps when the regulations were introduced by the Toryban regime when Mullah Sajid Javid was minister for culture!
A Scottish Government survey found that young adults are three times less likely to object to porn than their parents' generation and seven times less than their grandparents'.
In a poll of attitudes, only 6%of 18-29-year-olds said that watching porn
was always wrong, compared with 25% among older age groups.
Vivienne Pattison, director of moralist campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said:
This very sad trend comes as no surprise because this is the first
generation that has had access to porn at the click of a mouse, 24/7.
In previous eras, it was little more than pictures of naked ladies; whereas today's material is often violent and misogynistic.
Government poll interviewed nearly 1,500 adults across all age groups, asking how wrong it was for an adult to watch pornography at home. In all, 21% said it was always wrong. Among the over 65s, however, the figure was 44% and 18% for those aged
40 to 69. It was 17% for people in their 30s, but only 6% for the youngest age group.
Meanwhile, those on higher incomes and with better qualifications were more accepting of pornography.
The Guardian reported about the trial of Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare who were convicted in the Becky Watts murder trial:
Matthews and Hoare harboured disturbing sexual fantasies. They exchanged intimate messages about
kidnapping petite girls. Their phones and computers were used to access pornography focused on teenagers, young women dressed as schoolgirls, and threesomes.
The Daily Mail adds that Matthews regularly viewed porn via the
massively popular website, PornHub:
After the verdicts, campaigners warned that the case showed how violent pornography is fuelling deadly attacks on young women.
Dubbed the YouTube of porn , Pornhub is the world's largest sex site. It hosts more than three
million videos and claims more than two million visits an hour. Founded in Montreal in 2007, it is one of a handful of sex aggregator sites that boast more monthly visitors than Twitter, Amazon and Netflix combined.
terms and conditions, those appearing in videos must be at least 18 and there is a ban on illegal or obscene footage.
But Clare McGlynn, an expert in the regulation of internet pornography, said new UK legal strictures against
scenes of violence and rape had little effect.
The possession offence applies only to this country, it doesn't stop this stuff being made and uploaded in other countries, said the Durham University professor. These sites
aren't considered extreme but they host content in categories like brutal sex or forced sex. It's normalising sexual violence.
They said sickening images of rape and extreme violence against women have increasingly become part
of mainstream porn on sites like Pornhub, used regularly by Matthews, or YouPorn, and are freely available to anyone with a computer or smartphone despite attempts to tighten the law.
Following a campaign by the Daily Mail, it was
made illegal to possess rape porn . But websites making such sickening material available to users are based abroad and not subject to British laws.
Another Guardian article cites a criminologist working with the Met police,
but it all seems a bit cut and paste with arbitrary and seemingly irrelevant conflation with child porn:
But there is no consensus in the published research on whether the viewing of violent pornography or child abuse images increases the likelihood of an individual carrying out contact abuse or even murder.
Dr Elena Martellozzo,
senior lecturer in criminology at Middlesex University, who works with the Metropolitan police and specialises in studying sex offenders, said while there were certainly links between the viewing of such images and the violence an individual might go on
to perpetrate, not everyone who viewed such abuse images would go on to commit violent sexual acts themselves. She said:
We have been working very closely with a number of sex offenders where once they have been
arrested they were found in possession of a very large collection of indecent images of children. But this is not to say that generally speaking, when people watch something particularly horrendous like this he or she may go on to commit an act of
Her colleague Dr Jeffrey DeMarco, forensic psychologist at Middlesex University, added:
We do talk about it as being a potential risk factor. So viewing violent
digital literature, photographs, videos, images arguably -- if these actions are in the narrative of this particular individual -- would mean there's an increased probability that their behaviour may go on to be of a violent nature. But there are a lot
of people that are exposed to these kind of images that do not engage in violent acts.
Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian is a 2015 erotic novel by EL James
In Christian Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh
perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.
Christian Grey, enigmatic hero of best-selling erotic novels Fifty Shades of Grey , is getting his own sequel.
James has announced that she is publishing a new version of her sexually explicit novel written from the point of view of the tormented tycoon and not the shy, young object of his desires, Anastasia Steele.
The new book, entitled Grey: Fifty
Shades of Grey as Told by Christian, will be published on June 18, the fictional character's birthday. It will be published simultaneously by Vintage in the United States and Penguin Random House in Britain.
The government has been trailing this policy by forcing onerous age verification requirements on British adult Video on Demand websites. Unfortunately there is currently no economically viable way to implement age verification and the net result is that
pretty much the entire British VoD business has either been forced to close or else move overseas.
Widening out the policy to all internet porn will not do anything to make age verification practical and so the only possible outcome is that all
internet porn will have to be blocked by the ISPs. Perhaps a few sites with a massively comprehensive selection of porn (think porn Amazon) may be able absorb the administrative burden, but they will for sure be American.
Anyway this is what the
Tories are proposing:
It's time to protect children online
By Sajid Javi, Culture & Censorship Secretary, writing for the Daily Mail
Imagine a 12-year-old-boy being
allowed to walk into a sex shop and leave with a DVD showing graphic, violent sexual intercourse and the subjugation of women.
You would, quite rightly, ask whether society should allow such a young mind to view hard-core
pornography. I'm sure we'd all agree that the answer would be an emphatic no .
Yet each and every day children right across our country are being exposed to such images. And it's happening online.
The internet has been an amazing force for good in so many ways. But it also brings new threats and challenges for us to contend with. I'm a father of four young children and I know all too well that the online world can be a worrying place for mums and dads. After all, even the most attentive and engaged parents cannot know for sure which websites our children are visiting and what images they're seeing. Culture and Media Secretary Sajid Javid is setting out plans to shield youngsters from easy access to hardcore online pornography
Culture and Media Secretary Sajid Javid is setting out plans to shield youngsters from easy access to hardcore online pornography
In 2015 anyone, regardless of their age, is only ever two clicks away from
the kind of material that would be kept well away from young eyes in the high street. And allowing young people to access pornography carries alarming consequences both for individuals and for society. It can lead to children pressuring each other to try
out things they've seen online, and sharing inappropriate sexual pictures and videos. And it can lead to children having unhealthy attitudes towards sex AND relationships.
It is because of these types of concerns that we have long
restricted and regulated adult content in the offline world -- whether that is magazines, TV programmes, DVDs or video-on-demand content. Such protections are taken for granted, and, as the Daily Mail has argued for years, it's time our approach to the
online world caught up.
So today we are announcing that, if the Conservatives win the next general election, we will legislate to put online hard-core pornography behind effective age verification controls.
Of course adults should be perfectly free to look at these sites. But if websites showing adult content don't have proper age controls in place -- ones that will stop children looking at this kind of material -- they should and will be blocked
altogether. No sex shop on the high street would be allowed to remain open if it knowingly sold pornography to underage customers, and there is no reason why the internet should be any different.
An independent regulator will
oversee this new system. It will determine, in conjunction with websites, how age verification controls will work and how websites that do not put them in place will be blocked.
One thing is absolutely clear: the Conservative
Party's commitment to child safety online. For the past five years we have been working with industry on A voluntary basis, an approach that led to the creation of default-on family filters. But filtering is just one way in which we can keep our children
safe online. Now we can -- and must -- go further to give our children the best start in life.
There will be some who say that this exercise is futile, that websites and children alike will find ways to get around this law. And I
agree that there are always people who try to avoid legal restrictions. But we must not let the best be the enemy of the good.
It is right that we act now and do what we can to restrict this content. It is right that we have the
same rules applying online as we do offline. And it is right that we do everything we can to protect our children.
If we fail to take action, there is every chance that the sort of things children see on these websites will be
considered normal by the next generation. That is not the sort of society I want to see and it's certainly not the sort of society I want my children to live in.
Over time Britain's laws have evolved to reflect our most
deeply held values and beliefs, and the protection of children has long been a sacrosanct principle at the heart of that. I don't believe that we should abandon such an important principle simply because the latest threat to our young people comes from a
technology that also brings incredible benefits.
There is a choice at this election, and it is between a party which backs families wants to give children the best start in life, and a chaotic Labour Party with no plan.
We are clear: adults should and will be free to view legal content, but we would never stand by and allow that 12-year-old boy to buy hardcore pornography from a sex shop.
It's time to make sure our children
are just as well protected online as they are on the high street.