Backlash UK updates

By on February 12, 2007

Image © Andy Belladonna

“UK Government proposals to criminalise the possession of ‘violent pornography’ will do nothing to reduce real crime. They will treat consenting adults like children. And they run the risk of imposing much wider limits on freedom of speech than they intend.”
That is the view of Backlash – a national umbrella group representing a range of organisations concerned with civil liberties and the right to individual sexual expression*.

On August 30, the British Home Office announced plans to push ahead with proposals which could see people sent to jail for three years for looking at pictures of consenting adults — just because the government doesn’t like the content.

Throughout its consultation process, the UK government has consistently admitted that there is no evidence that the imagery it wishes to ban causes any “harm”. It links the current proposal to existing law on children, suggesting that a loophole needs closing. But in reality there are many areas where the law for adults and children differs. This is a red herring.

Counsel’s opinion** suggests that the effect of such a law will be to shatter support groups for individuals whose sexuality is not mainstream – leading to an increase in unsafe sexual practice. And focusing police resources on what consenting adults choose to do in private is going to mean less time spent going after real violent criminals.

This proposal will give the police an increased right to check on our net activity and our credit card transactions: as with Operation Ore (a major police sweep aimed at catching those with an interest in child porn), the wrong people will be picked up and lives ruined with no chance of redress***.

Backlash has been involved throughout the consultation process, providing the government with input from academics, lawyers and the alternative sexual community. For further information about how a new law might affect you and how you can stop it:

Backlash UK will be at The Skin Two Expo Saturday 7th October & Sunday 8th October 2006

** Rabinder Singh, QC
*** Increasingly, follow-up to Operation Ore shows individuals charged who had no interest whatsoever in child porn. So far, nearly 40 individuals accused under this operation have committed suicide