Lib Dems - the truth about these people

(57 Posts)
growell Tue 20-Apr-10 23:07:24

Voted on unanimously within their party a couple of years ago (was NIck Clegg an MP then?):-

"Youngsters aged 16 and 17 should have the right to watch and appear in explicit pornography, the Liberal Democrats decided yesterday"

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/let-16yearolds-visit-sex-shops-and-see-explicit -porn-say-lib- dems-567128.html

Sorry but scum of the earth.

NetworkGuy Tue 04-May-10 09:46:56

I see this thread made it into The Sun !

WebDude Wed 28-Apr-10 09:37:55

Good grief - this is news from years ago.

Anyway, if you don't have an issue with someone watching, why is there such a big issue with the possibility of taking part?

If the original quoted line had once been a headline, it is certainly not the one on the web page now, which says "Let 16-year-olds visit sex shops and see explicit porn, say Lib Dems"

It's not a position that I see anyone encouraging and the newspaper piece quoted the spokesman as saying "it was inconsistent to allow 16-year-olds to have children, and be treated as adults in other respects, but to bar them from watching or taking part in explicit material - which they could access, anyway, from the internet."

I read that as a clear statement of fact, the way it would be interpreted by a judge, and not a suggestion that it would be encouraged, and re-reading the original statement "should have the right to watch and appear in explicit pornography", I don't see it as encouragement but, again, just giving the effect of implementation, were such a change to take place.

With the widespread availability of web cams, mobile phones, and digital cameras, I bet a big portion of under 18s (and perhaps some, under 16s too) are already "starring" in their own small way!

More than 10 years ago, while visiting friends in California, I was sharing a PC with a teenager, whose boyfriend (on the East Coast) had just sent her 8 porn clips in an e-mail. She was so embarrassed, poor thing, because I was introduced to her shortly before the download finished and she was either genuinely surprised or had to act it, because she didn't manage to stop the automatic playback of the first XXX clip...

Seems like every teenager in the USA went online straight after school (mostly on AOL). If you didn't get on then, the phone lines were engaged so they always kept the connection "busy" in case they were logged out for inactivity!

Clairewilliams1973 Wed 28-Apr-10 08:07:08

I think you miss the point Killer3James....

Most have no issue at all with porn and sex shops being open to 16 year olds !! The difference is allowing 16 year olds to star in porn which leaves most people anxious.

EVERY UK childrens charity is agsinst the policy but the Lib Dems seem to think they know best...

Since this issue was posted on mumsnet I have been quoted in The Mirror, The Sun, Telegraph, Express all of which are asking questions about the Lib Dems.

choosyfloosy Tue 27-Apr-10 12:31:30

Killer3James i think you'll notice that every single poster agrees with you on access to porn.

I'd agree also that 'mumsnet' is sexist, it's a brand that has got stuck that way (I have a feeling that parentsnet was in use at the time it was founded, but can't remember).

Killer3James Mon 26-Apr-10 17:59:54

I'm sorry, but, i think having Porn and Sex Shops open to 16 year old's + is perfectly acceptable.
People only use them if they feel that they want to...we have a choice...it's not as if we're being forced to watch them!
Also i think that "mumsnet" is sexist, and should be changed to "parentsnet"
I'm not trolling, so don't comment back saying that i am...
+ this is my view on the situation as a 17 year old boy.

animula Mon 26-Apr-10 13:54:24

And, yes, it smells of blatant propaganda to me, too.

animula Mon 26-Apr-10 13:53:53

Surely bringing in regulations into the sex industry is about protecting potentially vulnerable people after the age of 16, 18, whatever? And that, surely, makes sense?

It's not all just about tax/raising a profit. It's about recognition that age of consent legislation isn't that effective as a means of protection, and that it is sometimes counter-productive because it suddenly cuts off people from protection the second they reach a certain age.

Soulshoes Mon 26-Apr-10 13:43:44

It's a blatant attempt to get the 52% of us that voted lib-dem on mumsnet poll to change our minds. Smells like Tory propaganda.

Clairewilliams1973 Sat 24-Apr-10 10:17:38

Well, my husband spoke to the Lib Dem office in Bath. I must say i only work in Bath I do not vote there.

he asked the question whether it was Lib Dem policy for 16 year olds to be in porn movies and he said he would get back to us. We gave our phone number and waited....

When he called back he was very very clear. They wanted to level all of the age related legislation and decided on 16 as they felt the UK public would not support 18.

When asked if the policy had been thought out for its wider implications he got rather abrupt. He said that 16 and 17 year olds are old enough to make their own minds up and if they make a mistake they should live with it like the rest of society, they do not need any special protection under the law. The Lib Dems are about liberty and freeing people to live their lives how they see fit without state intervention.

Dwelling on this point my husband raised the legislation that places protections on sexual relationships between those in authority and young people and he advised that that would need review as well.

He also spoke about binge drinking getting worse if the drinking age was reduced and was bluntly told if young people want to wreck their livers that is there choice.

The more questioned the more ANGRY he became. He ended the call by saying 'Look I have explained the policy and if you do not like it you do not have to vote for us'

I have to say that we as a family are far from convinced about the Lib Dems. Whilst i can understand the LOGIC behind this policy it is deeply flawed. With regard to binge drinking those who are binge drinking are only the tip ofthe problem, vandalism, violence, unsafe sex and anti social behaviour are the real problems of binge drinking.

There are two issues here, harmonising age related law - a good thing, but this needs to be done in full consideration of the wider iplications which it has not.

Second, the whole sex industry needs legalising and legitimising. That is the only way that the exploitation of sex workers can be stopped. Hey lets tax it and earn some money for the deficit wink

We have come to the conclusion that Nick Clegg is all cutesy smile, presntation and under the surface the rest of the party are a not up to the job. This is not an election for one man, it is an election for a PARTY to run the whole country. Nick Clegg talks a good talk but his party is lacking.

anastaisia Fri 23-Apr-10 13:53:58

choosy not saying that the answer is to extrapolate that principle - but that was the thinking behind the policy. I'm not sure that setting a minimum or maximum age works well on a lot of things because people are so different.

I also agree with WebDude about the ridiculous situation of having so many different ages for so many things.

I actually think that the answer of making the sex industry less dangerous to work in is the best answer to this though.

WebDude Fri 23-Apr-10 13:38:24

The whole minimum age thing is complete chaos in my view.

It seems that some things are possible much younger than I thought - for example, in the USA body piercings are generally not permitted on under-18s (21 in some places) but at 14 you can have your nose pierced here...

I see someone added "!" in "You can sell scrap metal!" (I believe it used to be 21, so perhaps when that changed the person making the amendment was surprised.)

One item missing is a minimum age for a girl having any intimate contact with another girl - presumably these regulations were drawn up by men who didn't consider any "minimum age" was needed!!

When does the education act change to force attendance until 18? One of the first items in the "16" category will be out of date once it applies.

choosyfloosy Fri 23-Apr-10 13:25:28

anastasia i wouldn't exactly agree - I'd say that extrapolating the principle of '16=adult' across the whole range of human activity is one that I don't feel works. that's recognised in existing law by e.g. you can't get married without parental consent at 16. the policy says explicitly that it regards working in the sex industry as potentially dangerous, and I think that explicit legal prevention of employing 16/17 year olds in the sex industry is important.

anastaisia Fri 23-Apr-10 13:16:50

They are also arguing that the sex industry should, as you say Claire, be more tightly regulated to protect vunerable people.

Their entire premise is that at the age of consent you have reached the age of consent. Which is why, IMO, raising the age of consent is the argument that counters this one. I don't think the fact that some 16 year old look young has any relevence at all. Some 18 year olds look young. Some 18 year olds act young. They are still legally an adult.

Its an old out-dated policy that was not renewed. So I wouldn't worry about it too much if I was you. If it makes you feel like you need to vote for someone else then do.

choosyfloosy Fri 23-Apr-10 13:11:23

claire that is not the way I read the argument from the libdems, the implication that 16 year olds will be legally allowed to be in porn has been inferred from the policy by others, it is not something they are arguing. they ARE arguing as far as I can see that there is no logic in preventing 16-year-olds from having access to porn from newsagents or on DVD or even in cinemas, given the existence of the internet and the other things that 16-year-olds are legally allowed to do.

I think that the inference that 16/17 year olds are not legally prevented from being in porn is a reasonable one to make from the policy, and I would like to see that changed, but it is not imo the argument they are making.

Clairewilliams1973 Fri 23-Apr-10 12:50:53

choosy we agree on something. To me the issue is about exploitation. A 16 year old is much more open to being exploited than an 18 year old.

The law is there is protect people from exploitation reducing the age will only increase exploitation. The argument from the Lib Dems is that if we can send 16 year olds to the front line in Afghanistan then why not let them be in porn..? I am with you Webdude 18 is a much better age to level things at and I would even prefer to see the whole sex industry legalised and properly controlled so that exploitation can be reduced further.

Additionally, do we want to make it easier for 16 year olds to buy booze by lowering that age too?? Looking at our estate most evenings

And I stand by my use of the word perverted. When you have 16 year olds who LOOK like 12 and 13 year olds... Having them on film is nothing less than perverted. The fact the chap who came up with it was a secondary school teacher makes my skin crawl...

To me it highlights that a lot of Lib Dem policy is very poorly thought out and its consequences very very poorly considered.

WebDude Fri 23-Apr-10 12:23:48

my mistake - described the party as disgusting pervert

choosyfloosy Fri 23-Apr-10 11:45:08

Well, having read the policy in detail now (sorry I didn't before), I still agree that I would like to see it changed and an explicit ban on under 18s in the sex industry. But I still don't think it makes them the scum of the earth, especially when they are talking about tighter regulation on sex shops, on sexual material appearing in the community and better enforcement of existing legislation to prevent exploitation of sex workers.

WebDude Fri 23-Apr-10 11:45:03

"I have no issue at all with 16 year olds looking at porn, but their is an immeasurable gulf between looking at a picture of a couple taking a walk up the dirt highway and your sixteen year old son or daughter being the star !!"

But that was the point of the first quote in the Independent... if they are allowed to watch (and you don't seem to object to that) then why can they not be the stars ?

I'm far from advocating it as a "good idea" by the way, but the comment by Don Foster was pointing out how if it was legal to watch, then it would also be legal to be involved...

I'd say it would make more sense to shift everything up to 18, rather than lessen anything to 16. (Same goes for joining armed services, in my view.)

WebDude Fri 23-Apr-10 11:41:12

"But to call the LibDems 'scum of the earth' because they think 16-year-olds are sexual beings"

I think calling someone (an election candidate) a "disgusting pervert" might be classed as libel, so perhaps MN should check the other thread Claire posted on too. Or Claire - maybe you should contact MNHQ and ask them to "pull" your post lest they (or you) are sued.

animula Fri 23-Apr-10 11:40:13

Appearing in porn films at age 16 -18 - whatever is about exploitation. Usually economic. And at the age of 16 it'll be tied to social exclusion (limited education etc,), and IMPORTANTLY, almostcertainly tied to exploitation WITHIN THE HOME/FAMILY or some kind of care set-up.

It's an issue of power and economics.

Legislation around age people can do this or that is not going to protect a vulnerable 16 year old from appearing in a porn film.

Seriously, there is way more going on than some 16 year old, who's "head is all over the place" waking up and deciding to do a porn film the way a rebellious teen might get their nose pierced.

That is why it makes WAY more sense to work with CPAG on issues around poverty and social exclusion than to bring in ridiculous legislation about age-based access and rights.

Do you seriously believe what you wrote in that post ClaireWilliams, or do you think we, on mn, are ridiculously stupid?

Clairewilliams1973 Fri 23-Apr-10 11:22:57

Choosyfloosy - you again entirely miss the point. Lib Dems are not simply saying that 16 year olds are sexual beings.

That over simplifies the issue to the extent that WW1 was about someone who disliked the aristocracy.

As well as other reasons the law is there to protect people, that is why the current law has provisions for those in a position of trust when it comes to sexual relationships rather than saying that at 16 its a free for all....

I have no issue at all with 16 year olds looking at porn, but their is an immeasurable gulf between looking at a picture of a couple taking a walk up the dirt highway and your sixteen year old son or daughter being the star !!

At 18 most young people have made many many mistakes, picked themselves up and moved on. making the later considered mistake to star in a porn flick will haunt them forever.

What makes it worse is that one of the key advocates of this policy is also working closely with the Child Poverty Action Group. Is a porn career a good way to get out of poverty..? Because it is exactly those children who organisations like the CPAG aim to help that will end up being exploited by this.

poppyknot Fri 23-Apr-10 11:06:29

Am looking forward to the Any Q, Justine. Thought it was last week (according to one of the continuity annoucers it was).

DH can tease me about the all-pervasiveness of MN........... smile

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 23-Apr-10 10:57:05

Please please do our fourth election poll if you haven't already. Am on Any Questions tonight and will no doubt be asked how Mumsnetters think so would love our poll sample to be as representative as possible!
(plus you might win a voucher [desperate])
Thanks

choosyfloosy Fri 23-Apr-10 10:56:15

I think it's interesting to have this debate.

Do you think, growell/crystal/claire, that the age of consent should rise to 18 across the board? I think there's an argument for that. I can actually also see the argument that getting married with your parents' consent, which implies some kind of benign adult involvement in your life, is different from taking part in a porn film at 16, which implies a whole different world. So I think in this case, as in a lot of other cases, just extrapolating a principle across the whole of the legal spectrum is not sensible, and I would want the LibDems to change this if they were anywhere near power.

Wow I just agreed with crystal123, that's a first for me

But to call the LibDems 'scum of the earth' because they think 16-year-olds are sexual beings... well, 16-year-olds can consent to sex; I was certainly well-exposed to pornography by the time I was 11 and that was pre-internet. I dont' think that's a good thing, but really at 16 I think it's less of a problem. It wouldn't stop me voting for them.

This reminds me of when I used to live in the States when I was a teenager. One of my classmates asked which party I supported. I said I was a Liberal. She spat at me 'We don't want Liberals in this country. We hate Liberals' grin (I guess her parents were republicans)

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