Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Listening to those who would ban things plus a ray of hope


This morning whilst wending my way towards Bradford, I chanced to listen to Nicky Campbell's morning phone in. Today's subject was "banning" and whether action should be taken about smoking in films and breasts in the Sun.

Dominating about ten minutes of this phone in was one Evan Harris, ex-MP and full time nannying fussbucket. Dr Harris wanted to do something about Page Three - it was, he said a terrible thing, it objectified women, it encouraged the early sexualisation of children and something should be done (I think Dr Harris wants the Sun banned but would settle for it being sold under plain cover in specialist shops).

Turning (at last) to another caller, Nicky asks "you disagree with that argument?"

"Completely," said the caller.  I smiled.

The next two callers - after a break for news or travel - were a "feminist comedian" and Paige, a Page Three Girl. The "comedian" starts talking about how toddlers in buggies could see the Sun on the shelves without for even a second appreciating that your typical toddler has an entirely different relationship with pictures of bare flesh than does the average adult.

Cue Paige who defends her job, explaining patiently that if parents don't want their children to read the Sun then they shouldn't let them read it. Paige, speaking as a mum, pointed out that it was her responsibility to bring up her child and not the responsibility of government.

Paige was the voice of common sense - supported by most of the other callers - ranged against the know-alls and fussbuckets who love to control, to direct and to ban. People who want to judge what "good parenting" means despite, it seems, having no substantive experience of actual parenting.

I remain worried that ban-fans like Dr Harris and the "feminist comedian" will win the day. But I am reassured by the good sense of ordinary people and cheered by Paige the glamour model who I'm pretty sure will raise her daughter right well without the interference of the state's nannying fussbuckets.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time for the LibDems to change the name of their party. They are neither Liberal nor Democrat.

Authoritarian Socialists would be a more apt description.