To think that Amazon should not be selling this book!!! <warning - upsetting content>

(203 Posts)
LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 12:23:34

http://www.amazon.co.uk/To-Train-Up-Child-children/dp/1892112000

I don't have the words - this is actually a thread about a thread, but i thnk this needs more attention so posting here. There have been convictions for murder in the states by folk following this book. Yet it is still published angry

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/1915841-Has-the-world-gone-completely-mad

Link to original thread

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 12:24:13

link fails www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/1915841-Has-the-world-gone-completely-mad

[[http://www.amazon.co.uk/To-Train-Up-Child-children/dp/1892112000 ]]

TEEurkeyDay Tue 19-Nov-13 12:24:27

Freedom of Speech is precisely for covering shit like that.

Sad but true.

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 12:24:28

Fucking Hell shock

I'm genuinely floored that this exists and that people buy it and follow it.

Lost for words...

Sammie101 Tue 19-Nov-13 12:32:13

I read about this in the other thread about that poor, little girl hmm

What I want to know is who actually publishes such cruel, disgusting things? And it's been given to and written by a Christian (?) couple? The whole book seems very unchristian to me!

There's another thread about it in Chat - (http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1915759-Evil-book-To-Train-Up-a-Child) with details of a campaign to stop UK retailers selling it. Several have removed it from their stock but Amazon, Apple, The Book Depository and no doubt others are still profiting from it.

happydaze77 Tue 19-Nov-13 13:15:10

Is this for real?! Horrific. sad

HettiePetal Tue 19-Nov-13 13:26:03

Yes, it's disgusting - might as well call it "How To Abuse Your Child".

But this:

Freedom of Speech is precisely for covering shit like that is a ridiculous thing to say, and not remotely true hmm

KissesBreakingWave Tue 19-Nov-13 13:36:12

TEEurkeyDay, it's not a freedom of speech issue: this book contains, and largely consists of, incitements to commit serious criminal offences.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 14:13:39

KissesBreakingWave

TEEurkeyDay, it's not a freedom of speech issue: this book contains, and largely consists of, incitements to commit serious criminal offences.

In that case it is precisely a freedom of speech issue. You may not like what it has to say. The authorities may deem some of the actions in the book as criminal. But that shouldn't make it illegal to buy or read it.

How is a campaign to ban a book any better than book burning?

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 19-Nov-13 14:17:19

I'm not sure about legalities of selling it, but surely it should come with some kind of disclaimer stating that anyone following the advice in the book is likely to be prosecuted for child abuse and have their children taken into care.

PresidentServalan Tue 19-Nov-13 14:23:27

The problem with there being several threads about this is that it is more publicity for the author. Unfortunately freedom of speech also extends to things you don't agree with. I don't believe that perfectly rational people are going to pick this book up and start abusing kids.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 14:25:38

its not supressing freedom of speech - its about asking retailers to make a commercial decision

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 14:26:03

Perfectly rational people wont - but not everyone is perfectly rational, sadly. Also, it is offensive. Thankfully this isn't a case of all publicity is good publicity.

PresidentServalan Tue 19-Nov-13 14:26:54

Sorry, pressed send too soon! People have been doing this kind of thing for years sad and the existence of a book like this is just an example of this. Banning books is a dangerous road to go down though - who gets to say what is acceptable?

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 14:34:51

LEMisafucker

Perfectly rational people wont - but not everyone is perfectly rational, sadly. Also, it is offensive. Thankfully this isn't a case of all publicity is good publicity.

So we should ban a book just in case the wrong people read it, or because it offends some people?

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 14:36:36

PresidentServalan

Sorry, pressed send too soon! People have been doing this kind of thing for years sad and the existence of a book like this is just an example of this. Banning books is a dangerous road to go down though - who gets to say what is acceptable?

Apparently both Mumsnet and the Daily Mail consider themselves the Fountains of Moral Probity. In future all decisions on suitable literature, websites and television programmes will be run past a People's Committee consisting of a combination of Daily Fail Commentards and Mumsnet Busybodies.

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 14:44:41

Flatpack got back to this first. But, yes. That's exactly what Freedom of Speech is about.

Talking about such things is not illegal. It's doing them that's illegal. A fine line, but a line nonetheless.

It's censorship to ask them to stop selling this. It just is.

Where do you draw the line? Who decides?

cestlavielife Tue 19-Nov-13 14:47:33

banning the book achieves nothing.

corporal punishment is lawful in US acc to wiki
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporal_punishment_in_the_home
so the author can subtly argue that they not advocating any law breaking - that is in the hands of those who take it too far/misnterpret .

"United States
Despite some opposition to corporal punishment in the United States, the spanking of children is legal in all states. Bans on the corporal punishment of children have been proposed in Massachusetts[31] and California[32][33] but have failed to secure passage.[34][35]
"

In the UK, corporal punishment is legal, but it must not leave a mark on the body and in Scotland it has been illegal to use any implements other than an open hand when disciplining a child since October 2003

yes there are laws against child abuse. but if you dont leave a mark in england and Wales you can "switch" your kids a la this book.

the danger is the fundamentalist biblical religion behind the whole thing. but that is not illegal either.

how many people actually buy and follow these teachings?
that's what you need to know...and how many abuse their children even without reading such books? even without the book/input from the ministry concerned, how can we know for sure these deaths would not have happened? the parents were clearly v midguided...vulnerable to suggestion...or jsut needed an excuse who knows why? where were social services etcetc ?

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 14:50:46

We should ban the book because the people are profiting from child abuse - hth

Jojay Tue 19-Nov-13 14:57:32

How many people there have read the book?

I'm not supporting this book for one minute, but having never so much as flicked through it, I'm withholding judgement for now.

Just a thought, that's all smile

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 15:09:22

LEMisafucker

We should ban the book because the people are profiting from child abuse - hth

It isn't illegal to write what they're writing. It shouldn't be illegal to write anything.

There are no grounds to ban the book, which is no doubt why the meddling mumsnetters are trying to get Amazon to refuse to sell it.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 15:09:46

Jojay

How many people there have read the book?

I haven't, and I don't care what's in it, I'm just taking a stance against bansturbators.

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 15:15:51

I haven't read the book and don't intend to.

But I will fight to the death their right to write it and publish it.

They have broken no laws by writing the book. You are trying to legislate thought. That is a very dangerous road to go down.

gordyslovesheep Tue 19-Nov-13 15:16:43

Hell just froze over ...I agree with flatpack!

I do though . The book is vile but it should not be banned ...I like crime fiction, in the wrong hands that could be ' dangerous' where do you draw a line?

For me it's not about banning the book - even if it were banned in the UK you could still buy it from abroad. It's asking retailers to be responsible about what they sell - what if this was a book encouraging men to rape their wives/girlfriends? Would they react differently?

Sorry, I didn't word that very well - I mean that the campaign isn't asking for the book to be banned and nor am I. Just for retailers to stop selling it in the UK.

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 15:37:12

That's the exact definition of banning the book Joyful. Not allowing it to be sold or asking people to not sell it.

How do you think books get banned? By people insisting no one sell them.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 15:39:30

censorship is absolutely not the same as asking a retailer not to sell something.

censorship is top down state suppression of ideas and opinions being circulated.

amazon have removed plenty of items for sale in the past, it is up to them whether to give authors a platform for selling. Look at the recent furore about WHSmith removing self published child porn books being marketed as 'erotica' - whats the flipping difference?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24519179

This book is also self-published by the way - no actual publisher would touch it - is that censorship too? its not a valid argument.

this is requesting not enforcing - amazon dont have to listen and sadly probably wont unless enough people find it unacceptable and take their business away.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 15:40:21

no - books get banned by government censorship prohibiting their sale by law - making the sale or purchase or posession of a book an offence.

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 15:40:30

The difference is child pornography is illegal. This book isn't.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 15:41:24

link again

www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24519179

would you 'fight for the death' to get WHSmith selling these again?

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 15:41:54

writing about child pornography isnt illegal actually - no

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 15:42:48

No, because that was illegal.

This is not.

As I've said over and over and over again. But y'all are too busy getting your pitchforks ready to listen to reason.

So get it banned. Be proud of yourselves for it. Start a MN campaign even.

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 15:43:09

Bored now.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 15:48:21

missfliss

censorship is absolutely not the same as asking a retailer not to sell something.

That's precisely what it is.

In fact, it's worse. The reason it's worse is that with government censorship, it's in the open and it can be roundly condemned for the wickedness it is.

This sort of back-door censorship is far worse, because it's done by meddling busybodies with too much time on their hands, who think that the only way to live is their way, and that anything that doesn't fit in to their way of life is bad and should be censored.

It's worse because it doesn't have any legal or democratic backing. It's the worst kind of self-centred bullying and it's something that MN does extremely well. Look at their 'campaign' against internet porn that David Cameron thinks is so brilliant.

Tigerstripes Tue 19-Nov-13 15:49:33

"I haven't read the book and don't intend to.

But I will fight to the death their right to write it and publish it.

They have broken no laws by writing the book. You are trying to legislate thought. That is a very dangerous road to go down."

^this.

Tee I was under the impression that if a book was banned it was illegal to own a copy, like Lady Chatterley's Lover. I don't want that, I just think that is wrong and repugnant for retailers (well, anyone really) to make a profit from books such as this.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 15:51:08

oh jesus how childish.

those self published books were not Illegal- they (WHSmith) removed the titles because they caused offence and contravened their own 'acceptable content policies'

if you cannot actually see the difference between top down banning of books by the state (censorship) and asking one retailer to remove to remove it from sale voluntarily - then - well sigh

'fight to the death' to protect amazon selling whatever they flipping well want to, and then go on and infer anyone who disagrees that they might care what their customers think commercially is just a pitchfork waving peasant on a witch hunt.

sigh.

^This sort of back-door censorship is far worse, because it's done by meddling busybodies with too much time on their hands, who think that the only way to live is their way, and that anything that doesn't fit in to their way of life is bad and should be censored.

You're absolutely right flatpack. I'm a meddling busybody who refuses to accept that it's perfectly fine for someone to beat a child with a switch, or a length of piping, or a tree branch. How intolerant of me. hmm

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:01:35

i could make up bullshit insults to belittle your opinion too flatpack - but thats not really debating a point is it?

on the definition of censorship - we could go round in circles - i disagree with your view and say it is top down suppression by govt or media, not a retailer deciding that enough consumers find an item for sale offensive.

There is a difference between 'asking' and 'imposing'

bearhug Tue 19-Nov-13 16:03:55

I don't see how this campaign is so very different from say the Nestle one? I don't buy their products as I don't like the way they promote formula feeding. I've just told Amazon I won't buy from them because I don't like their decision to keep selling this book. We make our moral choices on a daily basis. How is this wrong?

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:09:25

well said bearhug. Commerical pressure by voting with your £ is not the same as advocating banning something. last time i checked amazon wasnt a state controlled media outlet - just a retailer who can decide what they will and wont sell.

namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 19-Nov-13 16:11:29

'fight to the death for their right to say it'

Wow. That does sound all noble and impressive. I am all impressed. Is there a soundtrack I could get hold of?

Are we confusing their right to say it with 'Massive-retailer-who-doesn't-stock-loads-of-shit's responsibility to stock it'?

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:11:59

amazon selling this and making it available 'rubber stamps' it in the eyes of consumers. It also means the book will be actively promoted by them in buying metrics, shopping basket anaylsis and 'similiar title' mailings pushed out to customers.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:17:06

I can see Godwins law being invoked soon..

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 16:20:05

what if this was a book encouraging men to rape their wives/girlfriends

Well, how many MN readers have paid coin of the realm to buy a copy of "Fifty Shades"?

Clever line,* missfliss.* Can't think why Adolf Hitler would ever have to come anywhere near a discussion of bookburning and its sordid sisters, book bans and Mumsnet campaigns, though. Hitler NEVER went in for that censorship malarkey, right?

Flatpackhamster, bless his or her narky socks, is in the right.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:27:08

your point is what maltesefalcon?

My point is the same as namechanges, whats the difference between people finding a businesses activities questionable (amazon selling this, nestle promotion formula to breastfeeding mothers in the third world) and asking them to stop the aforementioned activities ?

My point is that this is not censorship. Somebody has already brought up the burning books analogy. Eventually somebody was bound to bring it up. Comparing people that want this removed voluntarily by a retailer that i spend money with is not the same as nazism.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 16:29:53

missfliss

i could make up bullshit insults to belittle your opinion too flatpack - but thats not really debating a point is it?

No, it isn't. But feel free to, I have a thick hide.

And I will belittle the narrow-mindedness of the people who support censorship, because it is the thin end of the wedge, just like porn filters are. What will the high-minded censors step in to block next to protect us from ourselves? I don't care if it's offensive, crappy, poorly-written, it doesn't matter. What matters is that people can say it. Because as soon as we stop people saying it, we're heading down the road to book burning and hand-chopping.

on the definition of censorship - we could go round in circles - i disagree with your view and say it is top down suppression by govt or media, not a retailer deciding that enough consumers find an item for sale offensive.

I agree that censorship is exactly that - suppression by government. That's why I said what is being done here is worse, because government censorship is out in the open and clearly visible to everyone. This is censorship-by-stealth, without debate, without criticism, carried out by people with a sense of their own moral superiority.

There is a difference between 'asking' and 'imposing'

But what you're doing isn't asking. You're imposing your moral values on a company and telling it that your moral values are superior to others.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:30:40

here is some of the content from the book - it may not change your view on what is classed as commercial selling strategies / versus censorship - but it will give you a taste of what its about:

Quotes from the book:

"At four months she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good, we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command of "No" with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch long, one-eighth-inch diameter sprig from a willow tree"

"After about ten acts of stubborn defiance, followed by ten switchings, he surrendered his will to one higher than himself. In rolling the wheel, he did what every accountable human being must do-he humbled himself before the "highest" and admitted that his interests are not paramount. After one begrudged roll, my wife turned to other chores"

She is talking about a 15 month old baby ...

"On the bare legs or bottom, switch him eight or ten licks; then, while waiting for the pain to subside, speak calm words of rebuke. If the crying turns to a true, wounded, submissive whimper, you have conquered; he has submitted his will. If the crying is still defiant, protesting and other than a response to pain, spank him again"

"One particularly painful experience of nursing mothers is the biting baby. My wife did not waste time finding a cure. When the baby bit, she pulled hair (an alternative has to be sought for baldheaded babies)"

Yes, pull a newborn's hair! That'll teach him!

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:31:35

so by that definition - all forms of activism are a form of censorship flatpackhamster?

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 16:33:21

missfliss

so by that definition - all forms of activism are a form of censorship flatpackhamster?

No. In the case of Nestle, you're telling them that you won't buy their products. That's a commercial decision they have to make.

By trying to get Amazon to remove their product you're interfering with the right of other people to purchase the product.

Do you see the difference?

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:34:26

Well seeing as they merrily take my money i feel i have a perfect right to not give it to them any more if i find their business activities abhorrent. If others also feel the same that is their business.

I'm simply imposing a loss of trade on them, if they wish to change their view they can have my money back - whats the difference?

On the insults -
i wont call you a Daily Mail reading busy meddling busy body because number 1 - i don't know you and just as importantly it invalidates any decent discussion. Its a lazy tactic.

PresidentServalan Tue 19-Nov-13 16:38:19

The fact remains that it is not illegal to write about it. And to those who ask if it would be different if the book was telling men how to beat or rape women - it is the same principle. There are many things I find offensive but I wouldn't ban them. Amazon should NOT stop selling shit like this - that is censorship. I just don't see the point of everyone starting a thread to link to it except that the item gets more hits on Amazon

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 16:40:10

Wow - this has turned nasty sad

Who has said that the book shouldn't be published (although i beleive it shouldn't) but that a major retailer should not be condoning its content and letting these animals profit from their bullshit.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:40:20

It does not interfere with the 'right' of anybody to buy the product. They can buy it from anywhere that still offers it legally and with no barriers.

Do you think WHSmith should have kept selling the child porn ebooks? It was their commercial decision to do so, not a legal requirement. where's the difference? is that 'insiduous back door censorship'.

The reason i want amazon in particular to stop selling it is because a) they are the most visible outlet for the book b) because their size and scale means it would make it a less convenient for people to get hold of it and c) beacuse amazon's metadata means the book will be actively promoted by amazon.

If people want it, they will find it -and buy it. Being actively promoted by the worlds largest retailer is something quite different, and when i spend money with them i have a right to wothdraw my financial support until their policy changes.

IAlwaysThought Tue 19-Nov-13 16:41:15

Amazon also sells THIS VILE BOOK. Penguin modern classics my arse. hmm confused

I can see that it is ok to sell books with disturbing content if it's there for historical or educational purposes but that Anais Nin book is child porn.

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 16:41:48

What about racial hatred then TEE would you die to protect the right of people who publish that as well? Well, so long as everyone has freedom of speech eh.

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 16:44:06

What about racial hatred then TEE would you die to protect the right of people who publish that as well?

Odd that people appear unconcerned about Mein Kampf being sold by Amazon.

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 16:44:41

I agree with everything missfliss says here, she is saying what i want to say, just more eloquently than i can!

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 16:45:04

amazon have removed other items for sale for precisely the same reason - its called consumer pressure.

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 16:46:27

friday - i disagree, i don't think i would have the stomach to read that but I can imagine that historically that would be a very interesting read. Hitler was mad/evil - seeing inside his mind would be fascinating, although i couldn't read it personally.

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 16:47:08

Indeed, Amazon only want six quid for a copy of the protocols. Available hardback, paperback or Kindle, for your convenience.

Or perhaps a bit of flat out Holocaust denial is more your thing?

PresidentServalan Tue 19-Nov-13 16:47:08

If you don't agree with censorship then you don't agree with ANY censorship surely? Isn't that the point? I loathe racists but I still support their right to publish their particularly fucked up views.

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 16:49:38

I can imagine that historically that would be a very interesting read.

Ah, so there's now an "historical interest" test on race hatred?

seeing inside his mind would be fascinating

What about seeing inside the mind of people who advocate beating children?

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 16:50:43

missfliss

Well seeing as they merrily take my money i feel i have a perfect right to not give it to them any more if i find their business activities abhorrent. If others also feel the same that is their business.

I'm simply imposing a loss of trade on them, if they wish to change their view they can have my money back - whats the difference?

Because what you're seeking to do is use your commercial pressure to deny someone freedom of expression.

PresidentServalan Tue 19-Nov-13 16:50:46

But by quoting the book and linking to it, you are publicising it, Amazon's algorithms will be affected and you achieve precisely nothing positive.

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 16:50:57

I don't really understand what point you are trying to make friday - hmm

lifeisajumprope Tue 19-Nov-13 16:53:18

I have friends (I use the term loosely) in the states who use spoons on their children....they are Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians who follow Dr Dobson's ethos: basically if you sit the child down and explain to them what you are going to do and why and use an implement other than your hand, the only way a child can interperate your actions is that you love them...

I had no words then, I have no words now....

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 16:55:09

LEM, bookshops sell all sorts of books full of all sorts of stuff. People appear to have a very arbitrary set of criteria for getting worked up about them. The protocols were responsible for a lot of people being killed in progroms in the early part of this century. Mein Kampf inspired the death of millions in the middle of this century. But you're getting worked up about a book which might (and, having read the details of the trial, might not) have been tangentially involved in the death of one child? What was that thing that Stalin said about one death being a tragedy, a million deaths being a statistic?

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 17:00:34

You are talking completely out of context friday - those texts are now historical (thank god) maybe there is something to be learnt from them - in terms of history and lessons learnt. I am not going to defend those books, they may well be equally wrong, bt that is not the point - the point is that the authors of these books are fruit loop evangalists who are making $$$ out of their teachings, TODAY!

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 17:05:08

The holocaust denial book I linked to was published in 2011. The author is very much alive.

harticus Tue 19-Nov-13 17:05:31

Banning the sale of this book will achieve sweet FA because the brutalising religious freaks who wrote it give copies away from their "ministry" - Pearl claimed he'd sold 625,000 copies.
But since 2001 it has actually only sold 9,579.

It won't go away if Amazon stop selling it - however there is a case to be made for people profiteering from shit like this.

If I owned a book shop I would not stock it.
This is not censorship.

LEMisafucker Tue 19-Nov-13 17:10:28

I didnt click on the link friday - but then yes, that should also be banned

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 19-Nov-13 17:15:34

Bloody hell!

I too agree with Flatpack!

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 17:16:06

No flatpackhamster

I am not "using commercial pressure to deny someone freedom of expression"

They are self published, they are active, they sell from their website, via Nielsen bookdata and available in libraries that choose to stock it. In addition on the same topic they sell speaking engagements, consultancy etc - where is their freedom of expression denied?

They have plenty of platform.

Amazon are condoning it and choosing to buy selling it. My right to use my freedom of speech to disagree with their stance.

Pls answer the query on WHSMITH removing the ebooks too.

hackmum Tue 19-Nov-13 17:21:21

There is a clear difference that has escaped flatpack - who, let's face it, couldn't list a grasp of nuance as one of his/her core strengths - between banning a book and asking a retailer not to stock it.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 17:21:55

Amazon is only one intermediary route to market for authors" They are influential and huge, and as a consumer I disagree with their commercial decision to promote this title to its customers as an acceptable guide on child raising.

knowledgeispowerr Tue 19-Nov-13 17:33:19

What's wrong with censoring an incitement to CHILD ABUSE?! Which is a crime... and then what kind of 'person' SUPPORTS this right to incitement? Wow.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 17:33:42

missfliss

No flatpackhamster

I am not "using commercial pressure to deny someone freedom of expression"

Really? What you've said is you won't shop at Amazon until they stop stocking a book which fails to live up to your personal moral position. You're trying to deny that book sales.

They are self published, they are active, they sell from their website, via Nielsen bookdata and available in libraries that choose to stock it. In addition on the same topic they sell speaking engagements, consultancy etc - where is their freedom of expression denied?

They have plenty of platform.

Amazon are condoning it and choosing to buy selling it. My right to use my freedom of speech to disagree with their stance.

Oh, I see. What you're claiming is that you're not denying them free expression because they have it elsewhere. You're attempting to shut down their access to a commercial site. You know full well you have no legal recourse to deny them publishing so you're looking for ways to deny them expression. You specifically state in a post above that your aim is to deny them sales at 'the world's largest shop'.

Come on, at least be honest about your purpose here.

Pls answer the query on WHSMITH removing the ebooks too.

Why?

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 17:33:49

but then yes, that should also be banned

Could you outline who's going to check books which purport to be historical and determine whether they should be sold?

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 17:34:53

What's wrong with censoring an incitement to CHILD ABUSE?! Which is a crime

Corporal punishment of children is not a crime in the vast majority of jurisdictions Amazon sell into.

Anal sex is a crime in quite a few jurisdictions, but I don't notice MN deleting every thread that mentions it.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 17:39:55

hackmum

There is a clear difference that has escaped flatpack - who, let's face it, couldn't list a grasp of nuance as one of his/her core strengths - between banning a book and asking a retailer not to stock it.

We discussed that on the previous page and why that stance is a nonsense one. Do try to keep up.

flatpackhamster Tue 19-Nov-13 17:41:37

ItsAllGoingToBeFine

Bloody hell!

I too agree with Flatpack!

I knew you'd come round sooner or later. ;)

Now help me explain to the bansturbators why censorship for one leads to censorship for all. I doubt if missfliss and hackmum would be too pleased if their favourite books and newspapers started disappearing off the shelves because of a group of morality police had decided they were unacceptable material.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 18:02:18

"Bansturbators" very droll.

Although as I have said repeatedly and you cannot quite grasp, I don't want this to be banned, nor do I want it not to be published.

I just don't want someone I spend my money with to promote it.

So would that make me a "consumerpressurebator"?

The whsmith question that you won't address is asking whether they wee right to choose to remove child porn books from sale.

Interesting that you won't address that.

On second thoughts not interesting at all, just indicative of your inability to grasp the nuances of the argument.

harticus Tue 19-Nov-13 18:52:11

Straw man arguments everywhere!

Boycotting commercial producers and outlets etc by withdrawing patronage and encouraging others to do the same is an intrinsic element of activism.

Always has been.

This is not the same as censorship.

Lazyjaney Tue 19-Nov-13 19:03:42

My lord but MN is full of The Offended right now, thread after thread to get us call Thinking Right.

Don't like it, don't buy it. Campaign about it by all means - but accusing those who disagree with you as supporting child abuse yadda yadda is being as bad a dictator of mores as the thing you are protesting against.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 19:40:42

THANKYOU harticus

namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 19-Nov-13 19:58:30

And loads of books don't get published, most books in fact. many because the ideas in them aren't mainstream enough. I'd guess this isn't a Random House publication?

<dons swastika armband and goes out to find a copy of Candide to burn >

Lazyjaney Tue 19-Nov-13 20:01:11

God yes Candide would never survive today's Thought Police

hardboiledpossum Tue 19-Nov-13 20:45:14

I was given a similar book to this, shepherding a child's heart, by family friends. I have also read to train up a child. these books are truly awful. I don't think banning amazon from selling would do much, a complete ban on smacking would- there is too much grey area.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 20:50:48

Which is why self publishing exists...mainstream publishers ( of which amazon is now one) only rubber stamp content. As does active promotion.
Do you really understand what Censorship entails? If disagreement is " thought policing" then you should be very comfortable with me expressing mine.
Jaded. Lazy. Simplistic GCSE level arguments.

Lazyjaney Tue 19-Nov-13 20:56:48

It's not even GCSE missfliss, it's basic primary school level. You are the only one trying to deny people access to the book, so you are the one attempting censorship.

Just because you don't like something neither makes you right, nor those who disagree with you wrong.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 19-Nov-13 21:00:38

I have no objection to people complaining to Amazon, or withdrawing their patronage. However Amazon should not withdraw this book on the basis of this.

You have a perfect right to protest.
Amazon has a perfect right to sell whatever books it wants, within the law.

Amazon sells many,many books which are objectionable to various people for various reasons. Who should decide which groups' reasons are valid, and which books should be banned.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:02:16

Same goes for you. Retailers are commercially driven. If people care about it ( and not everyone does) then they can vote with their money. I'm not denying anyone access to the book, simply asking a retailer not to stock it.
Are amazon legally obliged to sell?
No.
So, I am well within my rights to ask them not to.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:03:17

And look up "censorship" before you tout that old argument.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:05:39

Also I'm not the "only one"
There's an international petition with thousands of signatures, as well as the NSPCC and Barnado's .

Oppressive regimes, non?

Mim78 Tue 19-Nov-13 21:11:04

Not sure if Amazon need to sell it in order for freedom of speech to be upheld though. Wouldn't be the same as banning it if responsible sellers refused to sell the book.

Am a bit shocked that anyone could think this was reasonable or publish it in a book. Some people must really hate their children!

HerlockSholmes Tue 19-Nov-13 21:18:14

it sickens me that anyone would even think about beating, starving and breaking their own children down to "shells", let alone write a book encouraging others to do the same.

the fact that someone has published this and they are making profit from it goes beyondy comprehension.

i don't give a fuck if it's legal, people who abuse their freedom of speech to advocate that level of evil deserve to have that right taken away.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:31:17

I'm going to write to waterstones immediately and tell the to have a corporal punishment section, and a child abuse section, and a section for physical punishment. Because by choosing not to, they are actively censoring freedom of speech.
Oh no, hang on, that would be bollocks.

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 21:45:08

I'm going to write to waterstones immediately and tell the to have a corporal punishment section, and a child abuse section, and a section for physical punishment.

No need. They, er, beat you to it.

"Getting her first job as an English Teacher at Thornton Sixth Form College was a dream come true for Christina Shaw. But that dream soon became a nightmare when she realised she had no way of controlling her rowdy class. However, Christina is resourceful if nothing else, and after a particularly disturbing incident in a store room with one of her male pupils, it dawns on her how to keep her class in check and enjoy her job at the same time. Each student is rewarded in a very special way, and the boys become very obedient indeed. Everything is fine until the girls begin to demand the same favour if they too are to be good in class. Matters are getting out of hand, and even more so when one of her fellow teachers finds out her secret and threatens to expose her if she doesn't do as he asks. With her colleague's demands becoming more and more perverse Christina realises he has to be stopped, and she has a very special way of doing it..."

No? Want it a bit more obvious the sort of stuff Waterstones happily sell?

"Tomboy Caroline Letchmount enlists at Furrow Weald finishing school in Cornwall - motto 'Bare up and obey!' - with its military regime of merciless corporal punishment, and flagellent girl gangs, the Swanks and Stingers. When accustomed to pepper panties, bare-boxing, and canings from 'sixpence' to five shillings', she is ready to be auctioned as a girl-slave to rich voluptuaries."

Unfortunately, they appear to be right out of copies of "The Spanking School for Girls" and The Romance of Chastisement: Or, Revelations of the School and Bedroom. But I'm sure you will find what you want in their extensive range of school-themed spanking fiction.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:52:49

Hoot day, you literally have no clue do you?
Waterstones online is served by Nielsen book data and gardners.
big difference between listing all books available for sale and making a commercial decision as to what you actively sell in store.
Sooooo not the same as asking a retailer to curate what content they sell.
Still. Impressive googling.
Big well done you.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:53:45

Yep, because because being against soft porn is so the same as being against being anti child abuse, well done you

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 21:55:06

Good copying and pasting. Really impressive

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 22:03:13

Those copying and pasting skills have totally rocked that Argument. Be proud.

BridgeMix Tue 19-Nov-13 22:15:17

I had no idea of the content of the book, but reading some of the excerpts on here has made me feel a bit ill, actually... sad

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 22:19:19

Sorry you have been distressed bridgemix. It's not pleasant. Actually its distressing to think that sleep deprived and desperate new parents might get this popping up in a feed of recommended titles when they are searching for childcare information.
It's just horrid.

nennypops Tue 19-Nov-13 22:32:58

This really isn't a free expression issue. That books is advocating criminal assault on children. It goes way, way beyond what the law defines as reasonable chastisement. Arguably by selling it in the UK Amazon is condoning such assault.

We have never purported to have absolute freedom of speech in this country, and quite right too. Would anyone seriously defend the right of a bookseller to make money out of selling books telling people that they should inflict sexual abuse on children?

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 22:37:16

Well said nennypops. And you are right, there is no legal right to day they shouldn't sell it. But there is the right to ask them to consider what they make commercially available. Of course they are within their rights to say no - but they are choosing to profiteer from it

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 22:43:17

Please look at the amazon reviews of this title
Here's just one pasted below
This book is not your run of the mill discipline/behavioural technique/parenting book it is a step by step guide on how to destroy your child through abuse and for the first time has made me question the idea of 'freedom of speech'.
Please take steps to remove this from sale, Amazon.

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 22:44:58

Oh and friday16 here is the wAterstones link to this exact tile
www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/simpleSearch.do?simpleSearchString=1892112000&typeAheadFormSubmit=
NOT FOR SALE

missfliss Tue 19-Nov-13 22:45:49

Touché

namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 19-Nov-13 23:32:52

Ummmmm missfliss my post at 19.58 was agreeing with you - you got that right? grin

lessonsintightropes Tue 19-Nov-13 23:36:25

Friend of mine posted on FB about this tonight, and tbh am flabergasted that it's legal to sell it in the UK as some of the methods it appears to espouse are illegal here. However I haven't read it, wouldn't pay to and therefore support the authors, and so am posting entirely on hearsay about the content. There's no Amendment reason for it to be cleared for sale in the UK, any posters have clarification on why it's been passed for sale here?

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 23:43:05

There's no Amendment reason for it to be cleared for sale in the UK

What on earth does "cleared for sale" mean?

lessonsintightropes Tue 19-Nov-13 23:53:06

Friday I am not in a position to comment as I've not read the book and will therefore STFU.

However... if what others have said is true (hearsay) then what is advocated in the book in terms of 'child control' and punishment, then it's advocating actions which are illegal in the UK, which is why I'm unclear as to why Amazon is allowed to sell it here.

a) I could be (extremely wrong as I've not cleared original sources) be wrong on content

b) no actions are advocated which are illegal in the UK

In which case Amazon is totally within its rights to sell the book and to promote it.

I feel very uneasy saying anything more than this as I haven't read the source material, just some very emotive coverage on the death of a child supposedly as a result of following the advice in the book via a friend on FB.

Am pro-freedom of speech; am anti-spread of hatred or abusive behaviour and once again state that I've not read the source matieral, just been horrified by the results, so most posters here would say I've no room to comment and are probably correct.

lessonsintightropes Tue 19-Nov-13 23:53:53

STFU from this point forward I mean, just wanted to put forward some principles for discussion...

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 06:53:49

it's advocating actions which are illegal in the UK

Firstly, that isn't of itself the basis for banning books under any UK legislation. So even if it were advocating illegal activity, that does not make the book illegal unless it breaks other legislation. Shooting people with your illegally held handgun is a good way to go to jail, but this book is clearly not illegal to sell, buy or possess. Even if you happen to have a shotgun certificate, you'd probably be wise to ignore the advice here, too.

Secondly, from what I've read of the book, it's not at all clear that the measures it proposes (as opposed to what child abusers have taken it to propose) are illegal in the UK. Section 58 of the Children Act 2004 is pretty widely drawn. It would require a UK prosecution of someone for following the book's precepts, but not going beyond them, to settle that question. I suspect that the CPS would have very little appetite for bringing such a prosecution even if it would get on to social services' radar. They have bigger fish to fry.

just some very emotive coverage on the death of a child supposedly as a result of following the advice in the book

Sure, it's a thoroughly nasty book, and it says a lot about fundamentalist "Christians" that so many of them have been drawn in by it (seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2016875109_hana28m.html). The world would be a better place if books like this, and indeed their authors, didn't exist. I think people that punish their children physically should be shunned, although I think that the unintended consequences of trying to make it illegal completely would be susbtantial. But "yuck" isn't the basis for banning books.

The argument advanced upthread that someone might accidentally buy it while sleep deprived and be so overwhelmed by the power of its persuasive prose that they set about abusing their child is laughable. It's essentially the "is this a book that you would want your wife or servants to read?" argument fifty years after the Chatterley trial: "I can see this book for the trash that it is, your honour, but there are some people without my education and discernment who might be corrupted by it". Aside from anything else, it also requires that rather than Googling for advice people carefully trawl for books and wait for the postman to arrive.

Lazyjaney Wed 20-Nov-13 06:57:58

"We have never purported to have absolute freedom of speech in this country, and quite right too"

Probably the scariest thing said on the whole thread.

Now that is the sort of I'd like to ban

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 07:15:12

Lazyjaney, no country has absolute freedom of speech. The US, for example, has a range of exceptions (libel, obscenity, particularly "fighting words"), and in any event as its periodic moral panics prove, there is a substantial difference between freedom of speech on paper and freedom of speech in practice.

But what no civilised country has is prior restraint. What people appear to want is some sort of process by which books are "cleared" or "approved" for sale. Leaving aside the fact that "books" and "sale" are somewhat quaint concepts in 2013 (people asking for prior restraint on books might like to look out of the window and notice that the Internet is quite the thing these days) this would be utterly unworkable other than in a fascist country.

If people believe this book is illegal, then report it to the police. West Midlands Police made fools of themselves over a book of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs in UCE (now BCU) library but showed that they were willing to engage in the basic concept of investigating books. Otherwise, until proven otherwise, it's legal to sell.

nennypops Wed 20-Nov-13 08:06:38

Lazyjaney, where have you been if you think we have absolute freedom of speech? Have you never noticed the laws on libel and slander, and laws like the Race Relations Act? Do you seriously contend that we should have absolute freedom to incite racial hatred and indeed to tell parents that abusing and assaulting their children is not only acceptable but what they should be doing?

sashh Wed 20-Nov-13 10:02:38

I'm actually glad this is on Amazon.

Not because I agree with it, but because you cannot buy it without being aware of the reviews and comments.

You cannot buy it by accident, you cannot buy it and think you are just doing what all other parents do.

Some parents have always 'broken' their children, even if they didn't call it that.

This book being criticised on the website that is the biggest (I think) retailer is going to going to keep this book strictly in the 'parenting for loons' stable.

ProfPlumSpeaking Wed 20-Nov-13 10:10:54

Isn't inciting violence and/or child abuse a criminal offence? How is this book legal under current laws?

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 10:27:55

It is remarkable that people are defending the right of a capitalist behemoth like Amazon, who treat their staff like absolute shit, to profit from peddling abusive crap like this.

Peddling being the operative word - it is all about money with Amazon.

And the idea that Amazon are now suddenly promoted to the role of banner wavers for free expression is beyond risible.

It is not a freedom of speech issue to protest against Amazon's sale of this book .... in the same way it is not a freedom of expression issue to ask my local newsagent not to display porn mags next to comics.
The vendor has a commercial choice - to stock it and face boycotts from customers ... or not.

This book is already being given away freely by the fucked up Ministry these "authors" run. In the digital age books do not "need" to be published and sold in order to be widely available. It would be impossible to truly censor it.

"Training up" children seems to be what gives Christian extremists a hard on and there are loads of texts available. The Pearls are not the only bastards at it as you can see here....
www.gobookee.org/to-train-up-a-child/

Just a reminder of its content though .....

"Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument. It will fit in your purse or hang around you neck. You can buy them for under $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store. They come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps the kids in line."

Should anyone really PROFIT from the sale of this stuff?
Really?

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 10:33:14

This is what the CEO of the NSPCC says -

"We urge Amazon to consider whether it's acceptable to profit from books, or any material, that supports child cruelty."

Simple as that.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 10:33:32

i think i love you harticus thanks

Freedom of speech should only be limited in circumstances where the speech in question results or is very likely to result in actual harm to someone else. That is why it is (rightly) illegal to incite someone else to commit suicide, for example. That is why someone can sue you if you slandered them- unless you have truth on your side (that's a gross over-simplification, but it'll do).

When we start trying to regulate people's thoughts, fiction and art, when we start to say, "I don't like what you wrote; it's not illegal, but I don't like it and am offended by it, therefore it needs to go!", then THAT is dangerous territory indeed.

I can't stomach Nabokov's "Lolita," which you will certainly be able to buy from any decent bookseller in the UK, as its subject matter and especially its utterly convincing depiction of the innermost thoughts of a monster who preys upon his orphaned step-daughter is utterly stomach-turning. However, it is rightly regarded as Literature with a capital L. Doubtless some people derive the wrong sort of pleasure from it, but most read it for Nabokov's lyrical English. Surely no one nowadays seriously campaigns for that to be banned (again), do they?

LtEveDallas Wed 20-Nov-13 11:15:03

Amazon is a business, a big business. It sells lots of things that I wouldn't buy, and wouldn't want other people to buy - but I cannot impose my moral standards on other people.

I can say "I think selling this item is wrong" but I cannot add to that "and everyone else in the world should also think it is wrong"

I don't like the training methods of Ceasar Milan. I won't follow them, and have told friends why I won't. I think he is cruel to the animals that he says he helps. Amazon (and every other bookshop) sells books by this man that I don't think should be sold. But that is my judgement. My friend thinks his methods aren't cruel and follows his teachings. She is still my friend, because my moral standards aren't the same as hers.

I also hate all the SWMNBN parenting books, because I think they are cruel and outdated. Again, her books are for sale in every bookshop. Other people on this very site avocate her as a parenting genius. Just because I find her cruel doesn't mean I can impose my thinking on others. Where do you cross the line? Is CIO cruel...Is NCSS cruel?.....Is anything other than Attachment Parenting and Co-Sleeping cruel?

...and this is an American book, by American authors, in America. The rules/regs on child cruelty differ from ours and differ from state to state, so the NSPCC are being a bit daft with their statement - trying to impose the will of the UK on the USA. Never going to happen.

Be annoyed, write a review, tell everyone you know why you think this book is wrong. But there is no point in trying to get it 'banned' or withdrawn from sale. Censorship is not a good thing...

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 11:22:08

Isn't inciting violence and/or child abuse a criminal offence?

No. Common law incitement was abolished as an offence in 2008. It's replaced by S.44 through S.46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007. There's absolutely no way that publishing or selling a book like this would get over the "intent" threshold in the legislation.

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/27/section/44

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 11:44:03

cannot impose my moral standards on other people

Oh FFS.
Humanity imposes moral standards all the time - cannibalism, incest ....
If it didn't we'd live in a constant state of brutal anarchy.

Opposing something as inherently wrong as physically brutalising babies with plastic piping does not make you some despotic violator of free expression.

hardboiledpossum Wed 20-Nov-13 11:47:33

LtEve this book and similar are sold to people and followed by people in the UK too.

Shepherding a child's heart, a similar book, is promoted in many evangelical churches around the UK.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 11:49:19

Shepherding a child's heart, a similar book, is promoted in many evangelical churches around the UK.

So that's what you should be campaigning against.

hardboiledpossum Wed 20-Nov-13 11:59:57

I am trying to by drawing peoples attention to it! I think what we need is a complete smacking ban as at present there is too much grey area.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 12:02:56

Friday

is that not suppressing the evangelical churches freedom of speech?

rather than asking a retailer to just consider not making it available if one agrees that one dont want it promoted by them?

In the same way as waterstones have chosen to not make it available as they deem it inappropriate.

In the same way as WHSmiths withdrew from sale from their site (off their own backs) self published ebooks (which are perfectly legal) with themes of child sex?

In the same way as the NSPCC and Barnados have asked one retailer to consider their approach with regard to this book?

Amazon are not the media. They do not have a remit like the BBC for 'impartial' reporting.

If enough of their customers care enough to ask them to consider delisiting this title, then it is their choice whether to do so. They dont have a moral obligation to list everything possible thats available for sale. Other retailers have delisted it of their own volition. Their commercial decision.

I have the right to ask them to consider - they have the right to refuse just as you have the right to not be bothered and not to ask them. You dont have the right to tell me and others that we can't use our patronage in this way. That is you imposing your moral standards on me by telling me not to.
Of course i am going to defend my point of view if challenged, i accept you might disagree with my choices - but asking a retailer to change their policy is not censorship!!!!

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 12:08:03

From the book trade press - an announcement TODAY about the actions some content aggregators have chosen to take with content that they deem inappropriate. They were not breaking any laws by selling them - but have chosen to remove them from sale.

"The BA therefore suggests that booksellers who sell e-books should consider contacting their e-book supplier to ask that they take steps to ensure that booksellers are not unknowingly making available content from their platforms which violates their content policy.

"In addition, the bookseller should have an opportunity to direct the supplier to filter out any titles that they would not personally wish to sell to the public.”

The National Book Tokens e-book site The Indie e-Book Shop, a sister business of the BA, has reviewed its range of e-book titles as a result of last month’s exposé by a national newspaper and decided that “as a result a small number of titles have been removed”, Davies said.

He added that the BA had been satisfied by the action Kobo had taken to remove explicit content, review its policies and procedures and introduce safeguards to “do everything possible to ensure that this situation does not happen in the future".

Kobo has published a new content policy, making it clear that pornography, paedophilia, incest, bestiality, child pornography and hateful or violent content are not self-published onto its Writing Life authors platform.

Last month, a spokesperson for Kobo told The Bookseller the company wanted to “protect the reputation of self-publishing as a whole".

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 12:12:58

I think what we need is a complete smacking ban

I think we need to think very, very carefully before doing that.

We've already seen that a consequence of well-intentioned "no touching" policies in schools is that disruptive children use "I'll tell them you touched me" as a threat against teachers. And anecdotally, parents of disruptive teenagers are already being threatened with being "reported" when they try to impose discipline. Those "reports" wouldn't get anywhere, but it's easy for people like us to say that we would calmly discuss allegations of abuse with the nice policeman, rather less easy if we were already subject to social services monitoring and had a less happy view of the police.

So handing a teenager whose phone you've just confiscated the ability to go to the police and say "mum smacked me" has to be thought about quite carefully. If the next move was, say, an order for the accused person to leave the house, or the child to be taken into care, that would be massive escalation in the fallout without any real reduction in the harm. And given the way in which drinking, sexual activity, drug use and so on are thrown about as accusations in disputed custody cases, adding "and he once smacked him" into the mix is unlikely to be edifying.

Smacking should be socially unacceptable. Smacking which causes demonstrable injury should be illegal. But making it an offence to smack a child once will not materially reduce violence whilst potentially having a massive range of unintended consequences.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 12:20:50

If enough of their customers care enough to ask them to consider delisiting this title, then it is their choice whether to do so.

It is indeed. However, if they decide not so to do, then that is also their decision. Why don't you see how many people you can organise into a boycott and find out?

By the way, you sneered at my reference to the material on the Waterstones porn section by saying that their website just lists book data. You said "Waterstones online is served by Nielsen book data and gardners.
big difference between listing all books available for sale and making a commercial decision as to what you actively sell in store." But now you're saying that because a book isn't listed, Waterstones have "have chosen to not make it available as they deem it inappropriate."

Could you clarify which is, in fact, correct? Is their listing of a book (a) a result of their website taking a feed of all available books, and anyone who doesn't know this "literally [has] no clue" or (b) a result of their decision as to whether it's appropriate to sell, as you now imply?

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 12:28:14

the point being that the waterstones rebsite is run seperately from their main book operation and takes standardised data feeds from nielsen book data. whereas the stores (and the sections) are bought centrally and stocked via a DC.
MY point was that i was saying waterstones dont have to offer sections instore to cater for people who want to use physical discipline for children. They curate their own offerings as all retailers can.

Your links to titles that are available everywhere and are adult titles for softporn readers was totally missing the point about booksellers curating their own content and even if they are sold in store would not be sold in a childcare section. They would be sold in erotic fiction. Context.

The seperate link was to demonstrate that whilst soft porn (irrelevant comparison) is widely available including a waterstones, they have actively stepped in to filter this title out from nielsens feed as they have decided not to sell it.

That was the point.

On the sneering issue - perhaps if you stopped trying to label anyone who disgarees with you as hysterical / holocaust denying / anti porn prudes then you might not get responses in kind.

hardboiledpossum Wed 20-Nov-13 12:28:16

Friday- in countries where smacking is already banned children are not removed from parents after a single instance of smacking, there is no reason to think that would happen here. parents are normally directed to parenting classes in a first case.

CeliaLytton Wed 20-Nov-13 12:34:23

YANBU to wish amazon didn't stock it.

All kinds of books are written by Joe Public, some of them worth reading (which is a judgement) and most complete rubbish. So I don't buy for one second that amazon are selling this book because of freedom of speech/the press, because if that were the case they would be selling every book ever written. Amazon will only sell what makes a profit.

If there were a book written about how to beat your wife into submission so that she would obey and never question you, I think more people would be up in arms, regardless of the need for freedom of speech. I don't know why we don't have more respect for our children that it is not illegal to hit them but it is illegal to hit another adult. (Not 'we' as in us, here, now, on MN, but we as people)

I wish nobody had written it, or done it, or even thought it. However as hitting children is not illegal and many do not consider that abuse, it has as much right to be published as the daily mail any other writings.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 12:37:43

It is indeed. However, if they decide not so to do, then that is also their decision. Why don't you see how many people you can organise into a boycott and find out?

as i said:
I have the right to ask them to consider - they have the right to refuse just as you have the right to not be bothered and not to ask them.

on the other point - i have campaigned in small way on this issue for a few months now thankyou. I intially approached amazon direct with others, no response. I aprroached my MP too to clarify his position as former childrens minister.

I also started a petition on change.org and then realised there was a much much larger one already in existence with backing from national charities.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 12:42:47

If there were a book written about how to beat your wife into submission so that she would obey and never question you, I think more people would be up in arms, regardless of the need for freedom of speech.

And as if by magic:

www.amazon.co.uk/Domestic-Discipline-Jules-Markham/dp/189731244X/

"Domestic Discipline is a lifestyle choice for couples who want to rebalance their relationship and live in harmony through the application of caring, loving, discipline. This book show you how to set up, run, and benefit from a disciplinary lifestyle. Topics include: Why do people want a DD lifestyle? The Philosophy and Psychology of DD. Spanking and other forms of discipline. Corrective versus restorative discipline. Orgasm control and sexual focus. Discipline and emotional cycles. Synchronising your cycles. Applying the discipline. Maintenance discipline. Denial and Chastity. Enema discipline. Anal Discipline. DD in the bedroom and DD on the edge."

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 12:44:54

Just sitting with some colleagues at lunch coming up with profoundly horrible self-help books/book titles to see where the libertarian brigade would actually draw the line re: censorship.

My personal favourite was "Grill Your Granny - a cannibal's guide to avoid paying for social care."

There was also "Hidden Bruise - how to inflict internal bleeding on under 5s without social services finding out."

And then it stopped being funny because, in essence, that is what this piece of shit by the Pearls is all about.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 12:45:35

I aprroached my MP too to clarify his position as former childrens minister.

So do you want government action (ie, censorship) or not? If you want a consumer-led action, what's the need to talk to an MP? If you want government action, how is that not censorship?

flatpackhamster Wed 20-Nov-13 12:57:45

missfliss

Although as I have said repeatedly and you cannot quite grasp, I don't want this to be banned, nor do I want it not to be published.

I somehow doubt that if the Levers Of Ban were in your hands, that such a book would be allowed to be published. But let's leave that to one side. I can fully grasp the massive holes in your argument. But what you can't grasp is that you are attempting to blackmail a retailer in to suppressing another's freedom of speech because that other doesn't share your values.

I just don't want someone I spend my money with to promote it.

Then don't. Take your Moral High Ground and go and shop at LovelyBooksFromTheGuardianLiterarySupplement.com

The whsmith question that you won't address is asking whether they wee right to choose to remove child porn books from sale.

Interesting that you won't address that.

Really? Or was it me simply avoiding a lazy trap laid poorly by someone who wanted to smear me for supporting child porn? Gosh, I wonder what it could be.

You trying to do that shows how weak your argument is. As if we needed any further evidence.

On second thoughts not interesting at all, just indicative of your inability to grasp the nuances of the argument.

Oh, bless. You saw Hackmum use the word 'nuance' and thought you'd join in.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 13:31:24

"blackmail a retailer"

PMSL

You're a flippin comedy genius

oh bless, you saw someone say a word that someone else said and spotted a clever pattern

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 13:34:29

i approached my MP because i wanted to know if he knew about the legality of the book due to his knowledge of the legislation around incitement to violence / child abuse due to his aforementioned position as a previous minister. I wanted to check my facts before taking any stance.

Turns out its perfectly legal and so the approach i adopt is consumer activism rather than trying to use any legal argument.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 13:35:45

oh and hamster - i wasnt trying to trap you into supporting child porn.

the blindingly obvious comparison is that in that case a retailer chose not to sell something because they didnt want to make it available despite being legal. My question was, was that then censorship?

sigh.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 13:40:30

The whsmith question that you won't address is asking whether they wee right to choose to remove child porn books from sale.

Actually, I'll go there even if the estimable hamster won't. Yes, they were within their rights to do so, just as they were within their rights to (for decades) refuse to sell Private Eye. They're hardly consistent, though: for years they stocked and sold assorted BDSM "anonymous" novels from publishers like Silver Moon (absolutely not safe for work link). They can, however, sell or not sell whatever they and their shareholders want to sell or not sell, so long as what they sell is legal.

British law is in a real mess over textual depiction of illegal sexual acts, with the failure of the "Girls (Scream) Aloud" case to reach a conclusion meaning that it's not quite clear what the law actually is. It's unlikely that the CPS would touch such a prosecution now, and since 2009 endless websites containing material far more disturbing that in the GSA case (for example, those containing fictional textual depictions of sexual activities involving young children) are not on the IWF block list, nor is anyone proposing that they should be (and these are mainstream websites in the .com and .org domains, indexed by Google, not hooky DarkNet places).

But it's not entirely clear that an Obscene Publications Act prosecution would fail were it to be brought, WH Smith are rather higher profile than a random website, and are based in the UK. As they're making essentially no money from such sales, it's a reasonable commercial decision to decide that they don't want to take the risk.

So I think WHS were acting reasonably when they stopped selling those titles, as it's not obvious that an Obscene Publications Act prosecution would have failed, and the defences open to (say) Penguin over the Chatterley trial wouldn't have been available.

But there's absolutely no way that the book that is exercising people in this case would be the subject of an OSA prosecution, or any other credible legal threat. This is a taste issue, not a legality issue. So I'm not sure what the parallels that people are attempting to draw are. This is not borderline illegal material, no matter how much some people want to make it so.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 13:47:26

OPA (Obscene Publications), not OSA (Official Secrets), obviously. That'll teach me to type about smut while talking about the Snowden case.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 13:48:59

Friday - this is a genuine question not a barb as i'm unclear on somethings you are saying above:

WH Smith are rather higher profile than a random website, and are based in the UK. As they're making essentially no money from such sales, it's a reasonable commercial decision to decide that they don't want to take the risk

are you saying that whsmith are less high profiule than amazon? because i strongly disagree. also Amazon may be american in origin but they are operationally based in the UK with seperate buyers and warehousing, and registered as a european srl status company.

have i misuderstood?

also

They can, however, sell or not sell whatever they and their shareholders want to sell or not sell, so long as what they sell is legal

precisely - so can amazon. I get that. All i am saying is that if enough of their customers didnt want them to sell an item, they might consider withdrawing it. I accept that not everyone will feel as strongly as i do - fine, but it is not unreasonable to ask them - its also not unreasonable for me not to spend money with companies that violate my personal ethical code.

Of course i know amazon might not listen, of course i know that other people may feel differently - but i (and others - see the number of signatories on the petition) see the precedents other retailers have used to not sell items that they dont want to sell.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:05:21

are you saying that whsmith are less high profiule than amazon?

When I said "random website" I meant random websites, not Amazon. I was comparing WHS selling borderline obscene stories and those same stories being available on some-random-porn-site.com, and why WHS decided to take them down while some-random-porn-site.com was still not being prosecuted. The GSA case was about some-random-porn-site. It's all moot, as there's simply no legal theory which makes the sale of To Train A Child actionable.

All i am saying is that if enough of their customers didnt want them to sell an item, they might consider withdrawing it.

And that's fine, so we can all part as friends.

If I were their management I would, on the "give an inch, take a mile" basis, tell you to get stuffed: once I start operating on a "two hundred lippy customers threaten me and I cave in" basis, I will need a complete office to deal with the complaints, and will find huge swathes of my business under pressure. WHS took action because they were worried that what they were selling was at least arguably illegal; Amazon sell plenty of stuff that you could get a petition up against, and simply holding the "is it legal? then we'll sell what we want line" is probably the easiest.

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 14:06:50

The Scots are far more progressive on the whole issue of physical abuse of children and a smacking ban is again on the cards.

In Scotland it is already illegal to hit a child with anything other than a open hand - has been since 2003.

This book advocates the use of various implements with which to hit children.

Does that have no implications?

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 14:12:04

thanks for clarifying which websites you meant - that makes more sense.

On the amazon response - they just dont give one in this case - no reply to anyone.

But there are precedents with amazon withdrawing items for sale under consumer pressure: travel guides to burma (human rights issues) and a book aimed at paedophiles (not porn, a title that tried to educate them on how to act safely and within the law) - as well as those halloween costumes depicting mental patients...

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 14:15:36

*The Scots are far more progressive on the whole issue of physical abuse of children and a smacking ban is again on the cards.

In Scotland it is already illegal to hit a child with anything other than a open hand - has been since 2003.

This book advocates the use of various implements with which to hit children.

Does that have no implications?*

i wonder?

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 14:16:09

doh - sorry i didnt bold that properly harticus

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:19:14

Does that have no implications?

It does not. If you think it does, report it to the Procurator Fiscal and see what they say.

Then, if you think selling books and analogues of books encouraging illegal acts is an offence, see if you can get anyone to take action against Apple encouraging illegal drug use. I suspect you'll get the same response.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:27:16

On the amazon response - they just dont give one in this case - no reply to anyone.

As they are perfectly entitled to (not) do.

amazon withdrawing items for sale under consumer pressure: travel guides to burma

Got a reference for that? A Google search throws your posting up on the second page (Christ, their indexing is fast) but nothing substantive. They do sell a lot of guidebooks to Burma.

a book aimed at paedophiles

Probably illegal in the US. It would be interesting to know more details.

as well as those halloween costumes depicting mental patients

That wasn't Amazon, was it?

cestlavielife Wed 20-Nov-13 14:33:06

corporal punishment is not illegal in USA. yes make views know n to amazon, give negative reviews, maybe that will make potential buyers think...

far more real effect would come from the broader church taking up the campaign and really telling people that this branch of "christinanity" goes against the grain. educaiton of parents etc,etc.

the book sales on amazon or not wont change what the pearls do and what they teach. it wont stop them giving thir books for free and it wont stop susceptible people being reached out to via their ministry and some of them taking these teachings one step further.... so you wont stop this abuse by trying to stop a book store sellling the book online. stop its sales and you only increase the fervour of the extremists... who will argue til the cows come home it's all legitimate ..and quote the bible .

rachelheldevans.com/blog/the-abusive-teachings-of-michael-and-debi-pearl makes some good points. "the Pearls are inexplicably popular in certain Christian circles"

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:44:53

far more real effect would come from the broader church taking up the campaign

Quite. It's all of a piece with the "male headship" nutters, and worrying about the books they use is rather missing the point.

Cheesy123 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:50:38

I feel sick and have only read the reviews.

Mim78 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:50:52

I still can't see what's wrong with petitioning amazon to stop stocking this book, which is what i think the OP was advocating. Persuading a retailer not to sell a potentially (and in several cases actually) harmful book is quite reasonable, and using means such as boycotting the site is also reasonable.

OP wasn't advocating banning any books, as far as I can see.

missfliss Wed 20-Nov-13 14:51:51

I'll have to come back to you on the links later friday but i will (i'm travelling now) - but here is another example of them withdrawing a product on grounds of taste
www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/4611161/Rapelay-virtual-rape-game-banned-by-Amazon.html

Mim78 Wed 20-Nov-13 14:55:52

On a separate note - I agree - I felt sick just reading some of the reviews. Can't imagine being in the head of someone who thought this was OK.

What I think shocks me is that someone feels so strongly about this being a good idea that they've put it in a book. I must confess I thought it was just individuals with mental health problems (and you'd have to have some kind of problem to behave like this) who treated their children in this way.

The tone of the book from the preface section that I read on amazon reminded me strikingly of the advice given by people who are cruel to or neglect their animals and think that their way is right. It had very much the same "feel". I've dealt with a lot of animal cruelty in my work, and the absolute determination that these clearly cruel practices are OK/preferable to the norm is strikingly similar.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 15:03:09

but here is another example of them withdrawing a product on grounds of taste

Japan is the wild, er, east for porn legislation. So long as you pixilate the genitalia, almost anything is legal, and you can see people reading alarming manga on commuter trains which would almost certainly be illegal if brought into the UK. It's not just the laughable tentacle porn, there is readily available hentai which would certainly trigger prosecutions under child pornography legislation in most western countries.

The game in question would, unless the description is wildly inaccurate, trigger an Obscene Publications Act prosecution in the UK if offered for retail sale. Because it did not have a PEGI (or whatever the equivalent was in 2006) rating, the vendor would not have a defence against being liable. At the time it wasn't illegal to offer for sale a video game which has not been rated, but Amazon were behaving both reasonably and sensibly in preventing the backdoor sale of a Japanese-only release of something that is almost certainly illegal in this country and which would have dragged them into a messy court case which they would almost certainly have lost.

Again, it's hardly comparable.

By the way, it's only the Burma thing I'm interested in a link for. I was aware of the change.org petition on the paedophile thing.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 15:03:40

What I think shocks me is that someone feels so strongly about this being a good idea that they've put it in a book

Those crazy Christians.

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 15:44:43

This book does not appear to be for sale with Amazon Germany, France or Italy.

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 16:57:33

Amazon Germany (which also serves Austria and Scandinavia - all countries that have made corporal punishment illegal) stocks 7 books by Michael Pearl and his stupid ministry and yet no sign of To Train Up A Child.

Now why could that be do you think?

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 17:39:51

Perhaps you need an Austrian lawyer who can give you an opinion on the legality of selling in Austria a book which contains information about an act which is illegal in Austria. I don't know if it's illegal to do that under Austrian law. But it wouldn't totally surprise me given (for example) their very stringent legislation on holocaust denial, which means that David Irving spent rather longer in Austria on his last trip than he perhaps intended.

And then you might be able to find a someone who can figure out what relevance that might have under UK law, where it isn't in general illegal to sell books that describe illegal acts, and the act in question isn't illegal anyway. The statement that Amazon in country X tends to adhere to the laws of country X is hardly news: they don't sell straightforward reprints of Mein Kampf in Germany, either, as that too is illegal.

But if you think you've found a knock-out legal theory as to why the sale of this book in the UK is, in fact, at least arguably illegal, why not phone up the police in Slough and lay a complaint? "Hello Mr Policeman. I believe that Amazon.co.uk Ltd of Patriot Court, 1-9 The Grove, Slough, Berkshire, England SL1 1QP are selling a book that I believe to be illegal, and I think you should investigate it."

Or, on your rather more creative theory that it ought to be illegal in Scotland on the basis of, well, something or other, phone the police in Edinburgh and say that as Amazon sell into Scotland, there's a case for them being held to some law you haven't quite figured out yet. Might be worth waiting until 19th September 2014 for that one.

harticus Wed 20-Nov-13 21:09:17

The statement that Amazon in country X tends to adhere to the laws of country X is hardly news

Oh really?
Tell that to the people on here that seem to think Amazon is some unassailable global bastion of free speech.

Decisions have been made within Amazon regional centres either to stock or not stock this book.

Germany, France, Spain and Italy are the only regional Amazon centres in the world who don't sell this book.

It is worth asking why that is - especially in Germany where all of Pearl's other books are freely available for sale.

Was there a campaign against it in Germany?
Or has this decision come from the Amazon.de HQ buyers?
Or is it down to German legislation?

And it throws up broader questions ....
If domestic laws on corporal punishment are influential, then what kind of impact would a change in smacking laws in Scotland and England have on the legality of literature like this?

Anyway - the main point is that it makes Amazon UKs position on stocking this book much harder to defend when its European colleagues have decided not to.

friday16 Wed 20-Nov-13 21:33:46

If domestic laws on corporal punishment are influential, then what kind of impact would a change in smacking laws in Scotland and England have on the legality of literature like this?

None at all, without a concomitant piece of legislation which makes the discussion of illegal acts itself illegal. Perhaps that's the case in Germany, I don't know. It certainly isn't the case in this country.

There are plenty of books for sale talking about how to cultivate cannabis, even though cultivating cannabis is unambiguously illegal with no significant defences available.

MarylinK1978 Sat 07-Dec-13 22:25:31

@Ialwaysthought - Completely agree.

Mumsnet

Please can you start a campaign for books like "Delta of Venus" by Anais Nin to be banned. These child porn novels are sold under the guise of erotica and "Delta of Venus" has even been elevated to the status of Penguin Modern Classic and is sold everywhere from Waterstones to Foyles. They are not erotic nor classic to decent people.

I have nothing against sensual even sexually graphic novels - anything between two consenting adults is acceptable - what I object to is book which for example describes an older man getting aroused as he fondles two little girls - may be 9 or 10 years old - whilst he is "playing with them".

You cannot have double standards and ban child abuse images but not do anything about fiction that incites people to sexualise and molest children.

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 14:08:33

Don't you think it's quite a leap from 'fiction' to 'incitement to molest'? I've just finished reading the Complete Chronicles Of Conan but that hasn't incited me to crush the Jewelled Thrones of the World beneath my Sandalled Heel.

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 14:17:46

I think it depends on the intention of the books. The Anais Nin books are meant to be erotic. They are meant to arouse you.
Let's be clear - she has written about children being raped with the 'intention' that the reader gets off on it confused. I don't think that is ok shock and I challenge anyone to say that they think it acceptable.

It's all very well for posters to declare that ALL censorship is wrong but another to get them to openly admit that they do not see anything wrong with writing erotica about children being raped.

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 17:15:08

It's lucky Nabokov wasn't writing these days or Mumsnet would have had him in jail before you can say 'literary classic'.

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 17:15:19

And his books banned, natch.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Sun 08-Dec-13 17:19:21

You can't ban books because you disagree with what they say. And saying they should be banned because people might act on what they read us helping to establish excuses used by sick bastards in court. "The book made me do it". If you don't agree, vote with your feet and don't buy it.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 17:36:07

You cannot have double standards and ban child abuse images but not do anything about fiction that incites people to sexualise and molest children.

It isn't double standards. Child pornography involves abusing real children. Writing fiction doesn't. One argument is about stopping child abuse that is an inherent part of the production process. The other is a rather more nebulous argument about banning things which may incite bad people to do bad things. Pretty well every argument about censorship which is dressed up in "incitement" is a cover for "it's yucky and I don't like it, so it should be banned".

The claim that people who were not already a menace to children will become child abusers just because of a book is denying them moral agency. Ironically, the more the claim is made that books/films/etc make people commit crimes, the easier it becomes for criminals to claim they were victims of books/films/etc. "It was the book that made me do it" is a shockingly amoral defence, but one given currency by the very people who claim to be "protecting children".

There are lots of books that contain stuff I don't like. Some of it is potentially inciting (the protocols, Mein Kampf, assorted holocaust denial, the usual racist fuckwittery). I wouldn't ban a word of it. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

LittleBabyPigsus Sun 08-Dec-13 17:55:43

I have read sections of the book (couldn't read more as it made me feel so sick). Children have actually died in the US because their parents followed its advice. The Pearls (the authors) make $$$$$ from their parenting advice books and blog. They advise parents to punish babies by hitting with plastic plumbing tubing, toddlers and up get punished by hitting with a wooden switch. They also advocate removing food to punish children. What they advocate is ILLEGAL.

I don't see why asking Amazon to stop selling a book that's led to the death of children is comparable with Hitler's book burning.

I am a Christian but still find TTUAC utterly abhorrent.

LittleBabyPigsus Sun 08-Dec-13 17:58:09

freejinger.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20122

Info on the Pearls/TTUAC here.

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 18:03:06

So Friday. Do you think it is ok to allow erotic books to be sold if they are about children being raped. Books that are written with the intention of the readers getting off over children being brutalised . A straight Yes or no would be great confused

I really don't think it is sad.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 18:06:05

So Friday. Do you think it is ok to allow erotic books to be sold if they are about children being raped.

Yes.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 18:12:27

What they advocate is ILLEGAL.

So the people that followed its advice would be committing a crime.

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 19:01:49

IThoughtThat

So Friday. Do you think it is ok to allow erotic books to be sold if they are about children being raped.

I'd like to turn that around. Do you think it's the job of the state to decide what material people should be allowed to read or view? Is the state's job to act as moral arbiter? If so, whose morality is it applying?

LittleBabyPigsus Sun 08-Dec-13 19:03:33

The book has led to the death of children, though. Why is that OK?

LittleBabyPigsus Sun 08-Dec-13 19:08:26

Also, seriously, I am fine with censorship if it means fewer children die. I am fine with less freedom if it means fewer children die. Because fewer children dying is more important than someone's right to read a book about beating children with plumbing tubing. That is a freedom I don't want people to have.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:21:21

The book has led to the death of children, though. Why is that OK?

The Bible. Discuss.

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 19:22:06

Friday. FairPlay for the honest answer.

FlatPackHampster Yes, of course I believe the state should outlaw unacceptable material. confused. Thankfully, it already does this based on what is normally considered to be acceptable or not. I don't give a shiny shit about the civil liberties of someone who wants to get off on descriptions of children being brutally raped regardless of whether those descriptions are fictional or not.

So, FlatPack do you think it is ok to sell books that describe children being raped for the sexual pleasure of the readers?

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:24:20

I am fine with less freedom if it means fewer children die.

In which case, we should remove children from all mothers with mental illness, from all mothers with family incomes under about 20 grand a year and, particularly, from all women who are living with men who are not the child's biological father. All three categories are correlated with elevated rates of death and associated morbidity. And far, far more children's lives would be saved by this than making a laughing stock of the UK by banning novels written in the 1940s which there is no evidence of any child abuser ever taking inspiration from.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:27:47

Thankfully, it already does this based on what is normally considered to be acceptable or not.

Really? When was the last successful prosecution of textual material under the Obscene Publications Act? The Girls Scream Aloud case was dropped by the CPS. The Oz trial was more than forty years ago and eventually failed. The Chatterley Trial was before most people posting here were born. Could you outline the books that are currently banned, the measures that are used to ban them, and what happens to people who transgress?

I don't give a shiny shit about the civil liberties of someone who wants to get off on descriptions of children being brutally raped regardless of whether those descriptions are fictional or not.

Thought crime, in other words.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 19:39:58

The book has led to the death of children, though. Why is that OK?

And, of course, the book hasn't led to anything: it's an inanimate object, sat on your bookshelf. What's killed children are people. And those people should go to jail. Just as we should not accept alcohol as an excuse for violence, accepting a book as an excuse for child abuse is placing the blame in entirely the wrong place.

The adoptive parents in the Washington State case were, quite correctly, convicted. She got 37 years, and is likely to serve all of them (and as she is 42, is highly likely to die behind bars) and he got 28 years (ditto, although he might be alive by the end of his sentence). Although as a good liberal I should restrain this thought, as they have been convicted of child killing their time behind bars is likely to be particularly unpleasant, and their self-pitying sobs in the courtroom don't alter that. They committed the crime, and they are justly being punished for it.

They didn't, as it happens, advance "the book made me do it" as a defence or a mitigation, but it would have been rejected in the US just as it would be rejected here.

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 19:47:08

IThoughtThat

FlatPackHampster Yes, of course I believe the state should outlaw unacceptable material. Thankfully, it already does this based on what is normally considered to be acceptable or not. I don't give a shiny shit about the civil liberties of someone who wants to get off on descriptions of children being brutally raped regardless of whether those descriptions are fictional or not.

So, FlatPack do you think it is ok to sell books that describe children being raped for the sexual pleasure of the readers?

Whenever someone asks me a question like this, I ask them to consider the following. Imagine that the levers of censorship aren't in the hands of someone you agree with but someone who hates you. Imagine, for example, that we end up with a minority Islamist government in this country in coalition with Labour (not a remote prospect).

Would you welcome their hands on the ban-button? Would you like them limiting (for the protection of women and children, of course, it's ALWAYS to make you safer) what you can read or view?

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:09:11

Imagine, for example, that we end up with a minority Islamist government in this country in coalition with Labour (not a remote prospect).

it doesn't even need that. Roy Hattersley, a man who made it his mission to be wrong about everything he ever considered, seriously proposed that a lot of offence could be spared if The Satanic Verses were made available only in hardback, so as to keep it out of the hands of people who might be influenced by it. But Labour in general were very receptive to the idea of banning books because a lot of noisy people were threatening to blow shit up. I was impressed that so many people who had English as a second or third language had troubled themselves to read a Booker Prize winning author's not very good novel and reach a considered opinion, and was cheered that perhaps next year they might read the whole shortlist, but perhaps I was being naive.

It's hardly a new idea. Lady Chatterley's Lover had circulated in various private editions, and so long as it was kept out of the hands of, oh, what's the phrase, one's wife and servants, that was OK. It was widespread publication in 1960 that caused the problem. The list of books that have been banned in English speaking democracies over the last 100 years is like a canonical list of stuff that anyone who pretends to have an education should have read, and the banning of Ulysses in the UK up until the 1930s was particularly insane. Lady Chatterley's Lover is arguably over-rated, as it isn't even Lawrence's best work and time has not been kind to any Lawrence anyway, but Ulysses looks better and better as every day goes by. Banned? For our protection? FFS.

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 20:11:29

hmm You are still avoiding my question Flatpack shock At least Friday was honest in saying that she agreed that fictional books about children being raped were acceptable.

... I can answer your question quite easily. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a society where free speech was banned. However, there are no circumstances in the world where I could find it acceptable to sell a book describing brutal child rape, that is written so that the readers can get aroused by the descriptions in the book. I think it's DISGUSTING and I bet the majority of UK citizens would think the same.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:15:54

I certainly wouldn't want to live in a society where free speech was banned.

But. There's always a but.

Free speech isn't worth anything if it's only the speech that no-one wants banned. Free speech is only right worth having when it's about things people want to see banned.

So since you're into the "yes or no" questions: do you think that there should be a government function which approves books for sale?

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 20:34:59

Yes, I am in favour of the obscene publications Act.

No, I wouldn't want a government department to pre approve books. That would be ridiculous and unnecessary. I think 99.9999999 % of publications end up being effectively self censored by publishers, distributes or by the market itself.

friday16 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:51:30

Yes, I am in favour of the obscene publications Act.

Odd, therefore, that the original object of your ire (one short story in a minor work by Anais Nin) hasn't awakened the interest of the Crown Prosecution Service in the near-forty years since it was published. If your threshold for outrage is the OPA, then calm yourself, because there is no way on earth that a prosecution under the OPA would, or could, be brought against any of the books that are exciting outrage on this thread. There's more chance of Fifty Shades of Grey being prosecuted. You can read the charging guidelines here.

I think 99.9999999 % of publications end up being effectively self censored by publishers, distributes or by the market itself.

Or circulates on the Internet, well away from prying eyes. Worrying about what's sold by overground publishers on public websites does seem all rather 20th century.

Do you seriously think that someone with an interest in child erotica would be purchasing near-unreadable Penguin Classics by minor mid-20th century writers? Have you actually read Delta of Venus, or are you just being outraged at a second remove, in the manner of bearded men with effigies of Salman Rushdie? "Instead of answering her as soon as he saw her hair grow electric, her face more vivid, her eyes like lightning, her body restless and jerky like a racehorse’s, he retired behind this wall of objective understanding, this gentle testing and acceptance of her, just as one watches an animal in the zoo and smiles at his antics, but is not drawn into this mood. It was this which left Lilith in a state of isolation - indeed, like a wild animal in an absolute desert." At least Nabokov could write.

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 21:13:36

Yup, I have read sections of The Death of Venus and that's why I can categorically say the book offends me very much. It isn't just one of the stories in the book that is offensive it is several of them. Your suggestion that I am offended in the manner of bearded men with effigies of Salman Rushdie Is ignorant, patronising and highly offensive.

You think it's OK to publish books describing child porn for weirdos to perve over and I don't. There is nothing more to discuss.

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 21:38:59

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 20:11:29

You are still avoiding my question Flatpack. At least Friday was honest in saying that she agreed that fictional books about children being raped were acceptable.

The context of my reply should have given you your answer. I agree with Friday. I would not wield the banhammer for this any more than I would for anything else which I find dreadful.

... I can answer your question quite easily. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a society where free speech was banned. However, there are no circumstances in the world where I could find it acceptable to sell a book describing brutal child rape, that is written so that the readers can get aroused by the descriptions in the book.

So you are in favour of free speech, right up to the point where you aren't.

I think it's DISGUSTING and I bet the majority of UK citizens would think the same.

What's your stance on homosexuality? Because a hefty chunk of UK citizens would state their disgust at it. Would you like any depiction of homosexuality banned? After all, it's TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN.

I'm trying to make clear to you the consequences of applying arbitrary moral judgements to liberty. What happens when someone clamps down on your freedom of expression TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN?

flatpackhamster Sun 08-Dec-13 21:41:48

IThoughtThat

Yup, I have read sections of The Death of Venus and that's why I can categorically say the book offends me very much. It isn't just one of the stories in the book that is offensive it is several of them. Your suggestion that I am offended in the manner of bearded men with effigies of Salman Rushdie Is ignorant, patronising and highly offensive.

Could you clarify for us the difference between your stance, which is a moral one outraged at the depiction of sexual acts in fiction, and the stance of those who wanted to kill Salman Rushdie, who were morally outraged at the depiction of sexual acts in fiction?

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