I really do despair at times at the intellectual contortions that some "Liberal Democrats" have to go through to justify their use of the term 'liberal' in describing themselves. Here's Lynn Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP sucking up to the Hampstead feminist lefty vote:
When asked if I supported the campaign ‘No more Page 3′ during an interview with the Independent on Sunday – I said yes!
It isn’t top of my list of things to do – but it is part of the whole issue surrounding the coarsening of women’s representation in the public space – and it is anything but harmless.
Page 3 has the effect of enforcing the notion that women are little other than sex objects. For me, a semi naked woman in a ‘family friendly’ daily newspaper for the direct purpose of the titillation of men is an outdated idea that has no place in a modern world or in a country that prides itself on the strides made in the last 40 years towards equality between the sexes.
There is an honourable argument (that I don't personally agree with) against 'Page 3' - Ms Featherstone rather tritely touches on it by talking of coarseness and women's representation. But this argument is not, and never has been, a 'liberal' argument. If anything the focus on public morals and behaviour reminds us of Georgian sensibility or of a Victorian high Tory viewpoint.
What I find odd is that our National Gallery is filled with paintings depicting women as sex objects - a glorious Reubens is above and there are thousands of others showing seductions, orgies and even rapes. Yet Ms Featherstone does not campaign for covering these images but rather the slightly less stylish snaps of naked ladies in The Sun.
I'm guessing that the women pictured in The Sun appear willingly and are paid well for doing so. At which point the Liberal argument should be to applaud their enterprise, respect their individual choice and, if offended, not buy the newspaper concerned. Not to try and ban the pictures.