I hope the title does not promise too much. Typically, I am one for the grand overview, though my abilities may be limiting. Still, I find myself, with some presumption, eager to tinkle the keyboard.. This morning a remarkably convalesced Andrew Marr discussed child porn with David Cameron on the BBC. Despite the very serious topic; it appeared only as gloss. I am far from having any sympathy with those who exploit and sexualise children, or anyone who exploits anyone for that matter, but this particular media-political love-in was sinisterly suggestive of another corruption.
David Cameron’s thoughts seemed, on face value, to revolve around internet search providers preventing people searching for images of child abuse. This at first intake sounded perfectly reasonable, but then I thought that was already the policy being enforced by internet search providers, internet service providers, the police, and other governmental and intergovernmental agencies. I, for one, have never stumbled across images of child porn; even whilst searching for articles, accounts, and opinions on the subject. I have encountered tortuous and heart-wrenching text, that was more than enough for me to deal with, yet never one single image. I accept the possibility exists that my lack of visual encounter may be an exception, however the probability of my experience being unique, or anomalous, seems even less likely.
If I was as intent to view those kinds of images as I was to hear the new Queens of the Stone Age album I could quite easily have bypassed David Cameron’s proposed restrictions, which incidentally bore a remarkable similarity with the preventions that already exist. With this in mind, his motives seem to become less about preventing the sexual exploitation of children, and, shamefully, more about the manipulation of the public. Though, just for the positive and to avoid a rebuke, his remarks do maintain a public consciousness of a wrong of the world that needs righting.
Now, it would be very hard to conceive that the Conservatives, and other powers that be, are naive of P2P, instant messaging, and the use of forums; so it remains that either an exploitation of ignorance is occurring, or David Cameron has exhibited some foolish unilateral mind dribble. I do not think it is the latter. The former hints at the Conservative’s recent hiring of Lynton Crosby, a political strategist who is a well-known proponent of divide and conquer through the exacerbation of contentious issues. Here the contention is between liberty and safety, while the use of internet child pornography as a medium exploits a known ignorance of file sharing and its role within the proverbial ‘interweb’.
Child pornography is understandably a very provocative issue that can almost guarantee a domination of the media, and political and popular debate when roused. A period of time will now inevitably be filled with a purposeful deflection from other issues. The expected debate on party funding of the Tories, after a fortnight of Labour and union bashing, is now knocked onto the verge by the Conservatives riding on the misery-of-children’s coattails. Coincidence? For the sake of political ideology and egotistical one-upmanship children are being exploited…. Again.
I do not know how prevalent the fantasy of child sex is within the human psyche, but I am inclined to the thought that it remains a niche group of psychopaths that are enabled to permeate our minds through the complicit nature of a titillated media. It is that permeation of thinking that provokes a heated reactionary argument. The instinctive nature of the argument stalls rational progressive debate. In turn, the stalling of progressive debate works to prevent the realisation of a working democracy. The prevention of a working democracy fails everyone.
It goes without saying that ‘everyone’ includes all children, exploited and cherished alike. They more than most, purely on the basis of time, are raped of the prospect of a better future. The exploitation of the already exploited could be considered the more perverse exploitation. Tell me how David Cameron could responsibly reconcile that with his ideological game of sleight of hand?