Notes, Book 1

The following short essay was composed in March 2009 to be the Afterword for the print edition. I've linked in the hyper-bibliography.

AFTERWORD

"The UK Comics scene has needed a heady bout of politic talk for some time", I told Shane Chebsey and GM Jordan via email when discussing this book. Shortly after that, I noticed parallels with campaign by the Comic Book Alliance against the Coroner and Justice Bill, and the themes of my book . It became apparent thinking that this had immediate relevance, and having studied Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen (on the bombings of Hiroshima) and EduComics distributor, activist, and Cartoonist Leonard RIfas, I know that social change can be very really brought about by comics and other culture. So I set down another troubled manuscript and decided to serialise my 400 page story starting with the volume you are holding here.

The Coroner and Justice Bill, as I write, has passed through the Commons by a narrow margin and is on its way to the Lords. The reasons being that, in essence, it espouses values of sexual violence against women and minors that only fools approve of. However these are mixed in with a granting of police powers interpretively that threaten anything the most liberal sociologist would class as deviance. In law, the wording is obscure: images, of sexual acts between minors perceived would be made an illegal offence. This has serious implications for culture and personal freedom. What you have is an on-the-spot judicial process beginning from a purely subjective stance. Did you have a bad day? Did someone tell you a porky? Rapid evidence assessment was the course chosen by Jack Straw in growing this bill. Not a successful tactic for the old fucker when he analysed Iraq's civilian population as weapons of mass destruction. That judicial process committed UK employment figures to the similarly visually impaired George Bush. I would have suggested a guide dog: cheap, friendly and able to communicate in short syllabic sentences.

In hypothesis, The Coroner and Justice Bill has been rejected by The British Psychological Society. Amnesty International don't look happy with it. Members of the Libertarian Alliance, the Spanner Trust, the Sexual Freedom Coalition, Feminists against Censorship, Ofwatch and Unfettered consolidated their forces to create a hubsite opposed to it. Their efforts have been supported from The Guardian, The Independent, Politics.co.uk, The Times, The Modern Law Review, The Scotsman, and University department heads up and down the country. Leading human rights lobby groups Justice, Liberty have joined with the Parliament's joint Human Rights committee in a document that has been interpreted by Rabinder Singh QC. and many other analysts as incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights (and therefore the Human Rights Act)

"The Government has said it is happy for this to be tested in the courts, but what this means in practice is that no one will know whether they are breaking the law (or not!) until they have been through the trauma of a trial....It is also well known that unclear laws are easy to abuse. This is not to say that the police are corrupt, but opportunities for abuse should perhaps not be written into legislation. "
http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/unintend.html

The murder of Jane Longhurst in 2003 by Graham Coutts further catalysed the bill. To some perspectives the grief-stricken mother is understandably associating the online existentency of necrosex, torture and asphyxiation fantasies, were like-minded company reflected thoughts of the murderer un-alone, and effected. Others see the bill as a building by Coutts, a trace evil rupturing time in the aftermath of the murder. Chine Mbubaegbu (January 15, 2009) interviewed Clair Lewis of the Consenting Adult Action Network. She had this to say,
“what happened was absolutely abysmal......“But him saying the pictures made him do it is just an excuse. Are we going to take a murderer and rapist’s word for it?

Lord Hutton's judgement in that case, and with five law lords agreeing, found Coutts' remarks an attempt to prejudice the jury.

They came for Alan Moore, but I wasn't a fanboy, so I did nothing. Perhaps not the line used by Jack Straw's half-brother, Kenny McAskill Minister for Justice in Scotland, were the law is more extreme.
"The way people view and access porn has changed with the explosion of the internet. In the past we were looking to control the supply, centring on bookshops and, to some extent, private houses," he said.
(Michael Howie, 19 January 2009, The Scotsman)

Even with HBOS financing Asian Babes, Penthouse UK, Readers’ Wives....Mega Boobs, Only 18..... Mothers-in-Law, 60 Plus...What the fuck? I didn't receive any subscription when I opened an account. Maybe things have changed, since they've gone down; McAskill and his government can get tits out by tea.


DEM. PEOPLE AND GOVT

In 2003, the advice of two million of Londoners, 1/3 of the population, on a day marching their vote opposition to the Invasion of Iraq was ignored. Globally, contributory countries take up whole paragraphs to spell, delineating the largest protests in human history. This failure in ignoring free democratic practice and government responsibility by a proof-addled suspicious public, was tantamount to distribution of paradigms of government-sponsored terror. Such as those perpetrated in Northern Ireland, Ahwaz, Cuba and Pakistan. Catalysts for paramilitary terror, we are victims and survivors living with a certain powerlessness. Its individualised more fatalistically. With government sponsored terror we must look for trouble to be a target, defined growingly over the shores were we are born, to be blinded. In same trauma, brought to us by the people we elected to make our environment a place of love, fun and knowing contentment.

Anyone found guilty under the C&J Bill will be added to the Sex Offenders Register. The performativity of nonsensical mindlessness by parliament is a doom of people. The interpretation to arrestable offence by power police, positions the subject to suspect. Edward Bulwer-Lytton foresaw this,

True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the C├Žsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!

Ally Fogg, writing in The Guardian, makes analogies with drug reclassification, which I think goes right to the heart of the Pro-lobby's reasoning.
"When the cabinet chooses to ignore the advice of their own appointed experts with respect to classification of recreational drugs, it is incumbent upon them to demonstrate that their approach – using the law to "send a message" – actually works, and indeed works better than the alternatives of decriminalisation or medicalisation. When politicians take expert advice on social and psychological consequences of policy, as they did ahead of the extreme pornography provisions, it is essential that the advice reflects the diverse spectrum of clinical and research expertise, not an unrepresentative sample intended to bolster and justify a predetermined position. All healthy societies need to find a delicate balance between protection of the common good and the freedom of the individual to make their own choices. The only way we can ensure that the pivot is correctly placed is with an accurate assessment of their relative weights. On these topics, as in so many others, New Labour has revealed a disregard for the value of genuinely evidence-based policy."
Ally Fogg, Tuesday 3 March 2009

GOVT.

The International Union of Sex Workers are opposed to the Bill too, though Jacqui Smith found out she couldn't pay them by trying to claim two porno films on her government expense accounts. (Harry Haydon, The Sun, March 29) It seems there is a threat to high profile government jobs. Democracy in the UK is majority rule by equal vote with a first-past-the-post system. Opposing apathy, elector disobedience, and disabilities, the power of the internet petition and emails cast votes on bills from more people who vote on them in the Commons. There are serious issues of excess under-representation brought to light by e-democracy which will, by Moore's Law, repeat themselves. Already, in public polls in the media arrround 90%ish are against the new Bill.
They don't seem fit to do the work they are beig paid for. When the bill reached the House of Lords in 2008, only one peer, out of seven hundred and forty-two viewed the examples. Lord Faulkner, (a Labour appointment) who said "I was left with the question whether their possession is so threatening to society that it is worth turning people into criminals and sending them to jail....I really cannot imagine that any useful purpose is served by creating criminals out of the people who possess them."

Rick Haythornthwaite, head of the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council, according to Backlash, told The Politics Show on BBC1 when talking about the Bill,. "We have got to deal with some of the systemic flaws in policy-making within Whitehall". I'd go a bit further. I think there needs to be new legislation. New legislation from which those seated in parliaments are excluded from a say in drawing up. Interruptive impositional legislation serves as a diversion, a menagerie performance, from loving government over real issues such as homelessness, poverty, co-counselling for the mentally abused. Injustices these are that, almost everybody can agree upon. Homelessness! How easy it would be for the Commons to end homelessness through a simple diversion of funds.

COMMUNITY III

The spark for easily abused law such as this often comes from bereaved survivors of the ordeals gone through by Sarah Payne and Liz Longhurst. The emotive power communicates with passionate intensity on single lobby matters were it receives an understandable reception among MPs for communities. It seems passionate intensity may find its voice also in disindivualised power conduits. The campaign against The Coroner and Justice Bill in this, acts as a message to the government that we are vigilant. Redirected community power finds form in the like of measures such as The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Pilot, notifying upon application not mass publishing partners for access. Its certainly more helpful than its initiator, the Sarah's Law media lobby. Were this meets with objectives of The Coroner and Justice Bill, louder-than-news journalism in papers like the Daily Mail and Daily Record and associative links with full-colour buy ads dance invite to vomit. Community power for form might, for example, find weight in informing the underlying vehicle The Sex Offenders Register, by categorisation of paedophiles and streakers. That seems like a measure in which justice might be done through both.



(Esther Addley's in The Guardian, Saturday 2 September 2006 explores "Jane's legacy" interviewing her bereaved elderly mother and the pro-censorship crusade)



Dedication: Violent ghosts, we remember loss. Living, belong. Self-publish, co-author.

No comments: