Feeds

Lords, MPs go down on to the Erotic Awards

Hob-knobbing with the hoi polloi, fighting for your freedom. With flying penises

High performance access to file storage

Or as Lord Faulkner put it, echoing analysis carried out by El Reg earlier this year: “Government research on the topic is bogus: this legislation is based on a lie.”

The atmosphere of the event was oddly wistful — reminiscent, perhaps of how Londoners must have felt during the phony war, when hostilities were expected any minute, but hadn’t actually commenced. The politicians and campaigners were painfully aware that although this government’s mandate may now be time-limited, it still has the capability to wreak immense damage.

Legislation on prostitution in the last session of parliament was pushed back because those opposed to it argued that it could be brought forward for more thoughtful consideration in this session. The new session has arrived, and so has the revised and extended legislation. For the other side, academic and campaigner for the rights of working women, Belinda Brooks-Gordon, suggested that the opposition to government proposals was also far readier than it had been a year ago.

So where’s the IT angle? Apart from legislation on extreme porn, this event is also the antithesis of a trend that is both uniquely British and seriously chilling both in terms of how people use the net in future, and how we are allowed to express ourselves more generally.

One of the most perceptive comments of the evening came from performance artist, “Mouse”. She said: “The UK is pants. Over the last ten years, we have just gone backwards sexually. A lot of things are going underground. Although from a completely selfish point of view that’s not all bad — it just means people pay more to see me perform.”

In other words, the present government has presided over a decade of growing puritanism, which in turn is fertile ground for legislation on porn, on prostitution, and yes, for much broader regulation of the internet.

One of the reasons Labour has been able to get away with this is a view the Reg has encountered many times when talking to members of the Lower House — they simply dare not argue the case for sexual freedom because they are afraid of how it would be portrayed to the electorate. Much of what is being proposed or passed into Law at present may – just — have majority support. But only just. Yet, if one listens to debates in the House of Commons, there is almost no opposition.

Whilst the noble Lords could not agree quite on the solution – Baroness Miller teased Lord Faulkner with the suggestion that proportional representation might help – it does underscore the need to retain a body such as the Lords. Because at present, almost the only people prepared to put their necks on the line for topics that won’t play well with the Daily Mail sit in that House, not the Commons. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.