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Starlust: love, hate and celebrity fantasies

Obscenity law stops fans thinking Aloud

The prosecution is being brought under the Obscene Publications Act, 1959. This same act, with its quaint formula, “to deprave and corrupt,” was laughed out of court in the 1960 Lady Chatterley case, made ridiculous in the 1971 Schoolkid’s Oz case, and was finally (we thought) buried under a ton of cum after the 1976 Linda Lovelace case.

But the New Labour control freaks are at it again. Trying to resuscitate this infamous and oppressive law by applying it to a new jurisdiction: the Internet.

And even more sinisterly: to your brain and my brain.

Because this is another example of “thought crimes” recklessly legislated against in the New Labour hyper surveillance society. After the sordid farce of criminalising “voyeurism”, the present Home Secretary - a politician so dim she referred on TV to Paul Francis Gadd as “Mr Glitter” - is dictating what it is permissible for us to think, daydream, dream, or fantasise.

New Labour apparently wants to control our minds. Whether it's "terrorist poetry" (where would "Red Shelley" have stood here?) or the mere viewing of certain categories of porn (viz Pete Townshend etc). But it's control-freakery that is more likely to "deprave and corrupt" the civic good and body politic than anything Darryn Walker might invent.

So why do our governors fret so about our fragile potential for depravity and corruption by the written word? What gives them the right? What gives them the nerve? What makes it so easy?

It's the absence of a written constitution that creates a sense that in the UK we have liberties on sufferance – as "subjects" rather than citizens. Rather than legally enforceable rights we have temporary freedoms - loaned us by the governing classes, case by case, for the time being, until an "emergency" or summat else crops up.

The resulting secretiveness and arrogance of the British State infantilises the population: we are all naughty kids, in a great big nursery.

Anywhere else in the Western world, and for any sane adult, Darryn Walker's musings would seem as fictional – as hyperbolic, as symbolic - as the "promise" of Girls Aloud singer, Sarah Harding flashing her bits at the paparazzi.

But I have the solution. Darryn Walker should turn his dark romance into a film script and offer it to Girls Aloud manager, Hilary Shaw. It'll be a smash hit! Madonna eat your pussy out! ®

Fred Vermorel is a writer and Professor of Communications.

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