Sarah Teather MP writes: Share your views on the Bailey Report

You may well have seen the press coverage of Reg Bailey’s report on the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, published earlier this week. While some of the coverage was the sort you’d expect from the conservative-leaning press, most of it was more balanced and thoughtful.
As Minister for Children and Families, I’ve been closely involved in this work and I’m really pleased with what he’s come up with. It demonstrates Liberal Democrat values and approaches, and has already started to make a difference in practice – which is what matters.  
As we all do when we are out campaigning, he started by listening and asking what people thought. He spoke to parents and young people to find out what they are genuinely concerned about, not what we, as politicians, think they should be concerned about. Parents responded that they don’t want government to interfere in family life, but that they do want more support in navigating the rapidly-changing technological and commercial world. So the report recommends that parents should have a stronger voice in advising the broadcasters and regulators, and that it should be easier for parents to complain when they are concerned about a product or programme.
His recommendations build on the goodwill he has found in retailers, broadcasters and regulators, to respond to parents and their concerns. They don’t leap in to “ban” certain items from sale or “crack down” on certain TV programmes or music videos. Where necessary he’s suggested changing the regulations (on age-rating for music videos), in response to a widespread perception that there is a recently-grown hole in the regulatory framework. Legislation remains as a backstop – but the assumption is that broadcasters and retailers will respond positively to his recommendations. The good news is that many of the representative organisations have already said that they welcome this reminder and will review their practice – the report is already making a difference.  
Anything to do with families, family policy and family life risks being controversial space for a politician to enter. Reg Bailey’s report has shown by listening to parents, and responding sensibly, it’s possible for government to support small but significant changes in our society. I’d be really interested in the views of Lib Dem Voice readers on Reg Bailey’s recommendations, and how we can continue to make sure that every child gets a fair start in life, and every family gets the support it needs to thrive.

You can read the Bailey Review in full at the Department for Education website.

The Advertising Association has announced how they intend to help their industry implement the Bailey Review’s recommendations.

Share your own views in the comments thread below:

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Why was a political campaigner with an ideological viewpoint chosen to lead the review, rather than an academic with expertise in the area and a detailed understanding of how to evaluate and rank evidence?

    Oh and everything Dr Petra asks:

  • I agree with Dr Petra, and with this:

    “Overall, it seems to me that there are two very basic problems with the Bailey Review.

    One is that the review is an utterly dishonest attempt to give a preconceived quasi-populist, illiberal moral agenda a wholly unmerited and unwarranted veneer of legitimacy.

    The other is that its an utterly incompetent attempt to give a preconceived quasi-populist, illiberal moral agenda a wholly unmerited and unwarranted veneer of legitimacy.

    Its not that there aren’t some genuinely serious and complex issues here, rather its the case that the Bailey Review epitomises HL Mencken’s still-relevant observation that:

    Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”

    Why is any LibDem touching this piece of evidence-less, imaginary friend-believing populist rubbish. You should be ashamed of yourself for endorsing yet another imaginary moral panic.

  • The principles of liberalism demand that before we take action to curtail freedoms in the name of protecting children, there must be good evidence that the curtailment will actually reduce harm. This report is not terribly strong on the evidence, relying too heavily on opinion. I think we need higher standards than this.

  • Chris Brace 9th Jun '11 - 6:45pm

    The internet section of The Bailey report is a severe mixture of wishful thinking and foolishness. Anyone who tells you that Internet filtering of this type is working or possible is either rankly deluded, or grinning at very large amounts of money that they see in their very near future. The only workable form of support is parents monitoring their childrens internet use in person, any other approach is easily avoidable by anyone who has more than basic computer knowledge.

  • I too think that describing it as LD values is wrong. As a parent of young children though, and being merely in my 30s I agree that restrictions should be put in place. There is no real watershed in place, flesh is more and more evident on the internet, films and magazine racks. This doesn’t require science to back it up – merely some common sense. “Social science” is a misnomer in any case.

  • Ruth Bright 9th Jun '11 - 7:56pm

    I have two young children and have always tried to dress them in a straightforward, age appropriate, non-stereotypical way but I agree with the other posts that the Bailey Report (and its sibling the new guidelines agreed by some major retailers) should make scary reading for Liberals.

    According to Bailey it is intrinsically sexual for a liitle girl to wear diamante. Eh? So we might have to legislate against girls’ T-shirts from Primark decorated with a bit of diamante but presumably a mini-Boden (ie posh) T-Shirt
    with beading on it for a ten year-old is OK. It would be fun to see how one would frame legislation to outlaw diamante
    on children’s clothes but allow beaded embroidery. According to these reports girls under 14 shouldn’t wear black underwear (however plain and modest), nor should they adorn their clothes with political slogans.

    Sarah, Sarah for goodness sake stick to salvaging Sure Start and don’t waste your precious time on this Victorian drivel.

  • I am not a party member, but I have voted Lib Dem on several previous occasions, including the last election, and I was very positive about doing so. I have in the past considered joining the party and have not done so because of my involvement with a range of campaigns across the political spectrum.

    Support for the disgraceful, embarrassing, shockingly non-rigorous Bailey Review is exactly the kind of which would keep me from ever doing so. It is an absolute disgrace, a waste of public money, a direct attack on liberal values and a complete rejection of any purported attempt to to formulate evidence-based policy.

    I realise that being in government means having to make compromises, and I have no problem with that. I don’t feel those compromises should extend to the political equivalent of shooting yourself in the face, and I rather worry that the overt and excessive level of support for this nonsense will end up being just that.

    To Sarah Teather: please consider doing some additional research into the existing field and communicating with qualified professionals, as this appears to have been lacking from much of the procedure so far. I can only hope that this would encourage you to rethink your position, as I would like to be able to continue to support you as an MP & Secretary of State, and the party as a whole. If the Liberal Democrat Party is going to cease to offer any real alternative to Conservative & Labour, I don’t see the point in bothering.

  • My personal view is that that sort of thing is firmly parents’ territory and the state should do little to censor artworks.

  • This review is a disaster, look at any message board of a news story in this week of kids being sexualized tabloid hysteria and you will see sensible parents outraged at being told they are sexing up their kids if they let them wear the ‘wrong’ clothes, and concerned parents wondering why this review was written by the unqualified, partisan Bailey. You’d be better off backing Dr Petra’s criticisms of the review.

    Dana Venell, HEAD of S.P.O.K.K.
    (Stop Stop Pimping Our Kids)
    (A Facebook page that was originally set up to laugh at the titular Channel Four show, and has since expanded its remit to mock Reg Bailey)

  • Ruth Bright 10th Jun '11 - 8:50am

    Simon – I think if you were daft enough (as I was) to endure several hours of Wednesday’s Commons’ debate on
    “Women and the Coalition” you would have seen just how little influence Lib Dem women MPs have.

    On matters of family and parenting Cameron is a thousand times more likely to listen to the unelected and unaccountable Mumsnet than he is to listen to us.

  • Also, this highlights the Bailey review’s hypocritical and incoherent stance on gender stereotyping. You should read it.

  • If Sarah endorsing this deeply illiberal report isn’t a sure sign that our MPs are sacrificing their principles for a seat at the top table I don’t know what is. A very sad day for the party and for Sarah’s reputation within it.

  • LondonLiberal 10th Jun '11 - 10:34am

    Reading the above i bet sometimes i bet our ministers are sorry they even ask! (but good on you for engaging, sarah)

  • @Jennie
    “written by a Christian fundamentalist”
    “I am sick to the back teeth of small-minded religious nutters trying to control my daughter’s life”

    I think that disagreeing with the report and it’s lack of evidence base is one thing (and I agree with a lot of that criticism) insulting the author (who was asked by the Government to produce it) is another. I could, for example, accuse you of being the type of irresponsible parent that has led to the moral decline of the younger generation. I’d probably be wrong and would be basing it not on evidence or experience and I would be a hypocrite and hugely wrong to do so………

    The Mothers Union is not a fundamentalist organisation, there are plenty of them (from all faiths and none) and I think they do their faith or beliefs plus society in general great harm. In my local church the MU do great fundraising works and generally provide supportive and not prescriptive services. For example they are currently getting viewpoints from those of us who believe that there should be a religious aspect to civil partnerships where the inidividuals wish there to be one. In fact the people that passed me the questionnaire felt (as I do) that there is no theological barrier to celebrating a loving homosexual relationship in the exactly the same way as a heterosexual one. In other parts of the world they have been the only enabling force for women against a fundementalist or misoginistic society.

    My view is that some of the findings are common sense but are already policed by good parenting, others unenforceable and more still that show that the terms of reference, available resources and information gathering have all been wanting.

    The choice of author was a mistake of Government, not the individual and therefore it is they not he that should bear the brunt of any insults. I would have thought that a prominent panel chosen for experience in child protection, family court, education etc, given appropriate resources for the task, would have been a better approach.

  • Having read the report, and having no children I don’t think the recommendations go far enough! – Familys and children should not be allowed to eat in pubs – I have no imperical data to suggest that children are probably going to become binge-drinkers, but ban ’em anyway! Oh, and children under the age of 16 should be forbidden from going to the beach – They should not be subjected too wanton exhibitions of exposed flesh and near nudity. As for zoos? Don’t even get me started, exposed too rampant scenes of frantic coupling – AND the chimps aren’t even married! At least there’s one benefit – For all us ‘non-children’ owning people, it’ll be a lot quieter and relaxing 😉

  • @Duncan Stott
    “However, the Bailey Report is biased by attitudes that are obviously associated to Christian fundamentalism. This makes its author’s religious views entirely worthy of comment.”

    OK, which views are ‘obviously’ associated with Christian Fundamentalism and also please provide some factual basis to show the author is indeed a Christian Fundamentalist. The organisation he heads is anything but, and is in fact a pretty mainstream Christian body. Some of the views may be shared by fundamentalists, Christian, Muslim or any other religion. But they are also shared by most of the Tory party and just about everyone over 60 you care to speak to.

    The Mothers Union believe that marriage is the best environment to bring children up in, I don’t agree that is necessarily correct. But that does not make them fundamentalist, they provide support for those that are not married, they do not think they will all “burn in hell”. That view is also shared by a large section of society of all faiths and none.

    Also, whilst the authors views may be worthy of comment, the quote was “small-minded religious nutter” an insult not a comment. This is akin to commenting on a homosexual author by calling him a pervert. It’s not a comment it’s a transference of someone’s own prejudice. Not every religious person with an opinion is a small-minded nutter.

    Christian fundamentalists give my faith a bad name. As I have pointed out, before stating he is one let’s see the evidence. Otherwise you are committing the same omission I believe the report has, and that is reaching conclusions without enough evidence.

  • David Allen 10th Jun '11 - 5:27pm

    I don’t very much care whether he’s a fiundamentalist Christian or a non-fundamentalist Christian. The point is that he’s a Christian activist who does not merely believe in his faith, but also believes in working to promote his faith within society, and to increase its influence over the way we all live our everyday lives.

    That’s a perfectly reasonable belief for an individual to hold. But it should disqualify the holder from being employed to make official recommendations to Government on what its social policy should be.

    The same would apply to a militant Islamist. The same would apply to Hugh Hefner. Indeed, the same would also and equally apply to a militant opponent of organised religion who believed in working to denigrate religious faith and prevent its influencing the way we live our lives.

    Government should treat people, of all faiths and none, equally. It is none of its job to promote the Christian faith.

  • I find the increasing trend of anti-religious bigotry in this Country deeply disturbing. The fact that people can feel they can air such views, without apparently feeling shame, worries me.

  • @Steve, your point would be more valid if Christians were truly being persecuted, which they are not. Atheists in this country have never gone around killing Christians, for example, but Christians have been happy in the past to have atheists killed. Religion has been responsible for some of the most brutal human rights abuses throughout history, not to mention dictatorship and genocide. Both of which are rather illiberal. Judaism/Christianity/Islam are all totalitarian systems; it isn’t enough that you believe, you’re expected to give in completely right down to what you wear and who you have sex with (as well as how you have sex).

    Religion, IMO, is one of the most illiberal and dangerous belief systems in the world.

  • David Allen 10th Jun '11 - 5:56pm

    Steve, are you calling me a bigot? Did you read the bit where i said that a militant opponent of religious faith should be equally disqualified from writing government social policy? Do you still call me bigoted when you’ve read that?

  • @David Allen,
    I agree with your comment above. Apologies if you thought I was referring to you.

  • @David Allen
    “The point is that he’s a Christian activist who does not merely believe in his faith, but also believes in working to promote his faith within society, and to increase its influence over the way we all live our everyday lives.”

    Yes, he’s a Christian and his job makes him an activist for families, yes like every Christian he should believe in promoting his faith, although that is not quite the word I would use. What I don’t see any evidence for is that he is trying to increase its influence over our everyday lives. The Bible says nothing about most of the issues this report tackles.

    You accuse him, indirectly, of being militant, or at least you say that militant Muslims, like him should also be ineligible. Again where is the evidence ? At what point has he called for some type of theocracy ?

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I can find no evidence of him being the type of agressive Christian militant that I find as offensive as those who do not share my faith.

    What you seem to be advocating is removing interest groups and activists entirely, or is it only faith based ones? If the former, then no Gay rights campaigners can be involved in issues surrounding bigotry against homosexuality. They after all wish to influence how the law affects others (and they’re right to do so). How many reports have been commissioned from those passionate about the issues they relate to ? How many times have the Lib Dems used reports compiled by those with an interest, even a passion in the content. Does it make them all less valid ?

    This individual, and I don’t agree with his report, does represent an organisation that has campaigned for children’s rights throughout the world. I believe in the separation of state and Church, but not the gagging of either. I see no reason why the Mothers Union should not be approached during a report such as this, along with many other groups. I would not have chosen Mr Bailey as the leader of the project, but I wouldn’t have precluded him because of his faith.

    As I stated in my first comment, attack the report not the faith of its author. There is nothing in there that an atheist grass roots Tory would not applaud. It looks to me like it was established with an end product in mind.

    Faith can never be forced onto anyone, and people should never be forced to accept or live by the values of any faith. But most faiths do share a significant number of values with non faith groups. I wouldn’t say that I think Murder is a bad thing because of my faith, if I lost my faith tomorrow I would still find it abhorent.

  • Simon McGrath 10th Jun '11 - 9:57pm

    Having read the report and some of responses I am rather astonished by some of the comments. Many of the objections seem to be based on Bailey’s religion ( or what people assume his religion is). Apart from possibly the restrictions on clothing what on earth is there to object to in the recommendations. Jennie what is there you don’t like in the list of recommendations below apart from the one about clothes?
    putting age restrictions on music videos to prevent children buying sexually explicit videos, and to guide broadcasters over when to show them
    covering up sexualised images on the front pages of magazines and newspapers so they are not in easy sight of children
    making every customer make a decision at the point of purchase over whether they want adult content on their home internet, laptops or smart phones, rather than receiving it automatically
    retailers to offer more age-appropriate clothes for children and sign up to a code of practice which checks and challenges the design, buying, display and marketing of clothes, products and services for children
    restricting outdoor adverts containing sexualised imagery where large numbers of children are likely to see them, for example near schools, nurseries and playgrounds
    giving greater weight to the views of parents above the general public in regulating pre-watershed TV
    providing parents with one single website to make it easier to complain about any programme, advert, product or service
    banning the employment of children under 16 as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing, and improving parents’ awareness of advertising and marketing techniques aimed at children.

  • “covering up sexualised images on the front pages of magazines and newspapers”

    Did he mention newspapers in his review? I don’t think so… I doubt he’s going to recommend Mr Cameron does anything to upset Mr Murdoch. Let me quote him from yesterday’s Mumsnet chat –

    Q – Instead of “Modesty Covers” (ugh, what a coy term) could you not recommend the lads mags etc covers are emblazoned with “THIS PUBLICATION OBJECTIFIES WOMEN” In large, friendly letters?

    Reg Bailey – Great idea (smile emoticon)

    We also know that things like six packs on the front of mens’ fitness-type mags make many boys feel inadequate too, so we’ll need more than one slogan!

    Is he joking? I’m scared to guess, but I don’t want a world, and I don’t think we need a world, where half the magazines on sale have ‘modesty covers’ because kids might see them. There is no evidence at all that seeing a lads mag cover harms kids, but Reg just says ‘well they might so put ”em in bags.’ And it’ll be gay mags next like it is in the States, where they cover up Elton John holding a baby.

  • @ Simon McGrath

    I appreciate what you say in the first part of your comment, I too have no issue with the author, but with the content of the report.

    In respect of age restrictions on Music video content – Where do you draw the line? What some may consider ‘explicit’ others may view as OK – I’m in my 40’s as many parents probably are, and I remember watching Top of the Pops as a kid, the days of Pans People etc – If you watch some of the dance routines from back then, then these certainly would receive the censors stamp and very possibly an 18 cert! My sister had posters of the ‘fad’ of the time male star on her wall – Some of these would or could be considered ‘sexualised’ as no doubt some of mine – Olivia Newton John in her leotard springs to mind! – The report seems to imply that we live in a world which has stepped over the grounds of decency – We haven’t!

    Covering up sexualised images on mags – Where do you draw the line? Bodybuilding/Sports/Athletic mag/Swimming/Football/TV listing guides – I suspect that if one magazine is targetted, then ‘censor’ creep will start – Pretty soon there will be a call for all magazines to be behind sleeves due to the vocal calls of a minority over the ‘social’ majority.

    Billboards – The same issue, what is considered as a place where children will see them – Travelling to school on the tube? Passing them sat on a bus? – Again ‘censor’ creep will avail no doubt once a precendent is set!

    Internet access – Given that there are now so many servers/providers/software this is the responsibility of parents to ensure that appropriate content is viewed, not delegating responsibility to others – If a parent has a pond in their garden, you would not expect the installer to be held responsible if their child falls in? If parents are concerned about content being viewed on mobile phones, then buy the child a phone that does not have internet access – Indeed if during the week the week the chil is in school, why allow the child to have a phone during school time – There was life before mobiles, and many of these ‘parents’ grew up in that time!

    Giving greater weight to parents views – Why? I pay taxes and national insurance, I have no kids, but I fully appreciate the need for my taxes to pay for schools/playgrounds/recreation areas/child benefit/child tax credit on top of the BBC LIcence fee, cable subscription etc – Why should I be expected to subsidise or be censored?

    The ultimate issue is, if you are or want to become a parent, then you should take this responsibility seriously – You have certain obligations to ensure that you protect and look after your children – As did my parents, they guided, taught and explained to me right and wrong, if there was something they felt I should not see on TV, they turned it over, or explained that I needed to be older – If a serious issue was being presented, I would be allowed to watch, but after they would ask if I had any questions, or indeed explain to me what I had seen – Not just let me watch, then complain that I was being subjected to ‘inapproprite content’ and blame corporations/advertisers or demand the government imposes censorship to remove their responsibility.

  • @Simon McGrath: who do you want to be deciding what people can and can’t look at? I would suggest, as a starter, you read up on the problems of Internet filtering for sexual content that have been encountered when others have tried it. Problems include the censorship of scientific literature, works of art, news and, in many schemes, information sites for LGBT youth.

    And those are just the practical problems, to say nothing of the in principle objections to censorship where this report does not bring rigorous evidence to bear that this is necessary to prevent harm.

  • @Adam
    Good points on Internet filtering. Responsible parents know that it does not work and even when using local programs check their (younger) childrens usage. A good example of their “sledgehammer” approach is that I could not follow the links to some of the reports on this thread from within my office, where the only filtering is aimed at known malware sites and pornography.

    Good bit of selected quoting. He went on to say in the next paragraph:
    “We also know that things like six packs on the front of mens’ fitness-type mags make many boys feel inadequate too, so we’ll need more than one slogan!”

    Which, along with emoticon, shows a tongue in cheek answer to what was probably a tongue in cheek question.

  • @Steve Yes, I quoted that bit too! Read my post again.

    And I did suggest he may be joking – though it would have been an ideal time for him to clarify how far he would like to censor mag covers, not make a joke about how ‘yes, we’ll need lots of modesty covers haha!’ (paraphrasing)

    Oh here’s blog enrty for today if anyone’s interested -

    It’s like funny and satirical and stuff…

  • Simon McGrath 11th Jun '11 - 8:58pm

    @dan – I think there is a real difference which everyone understands between pornographic magazines and TV listing magazines. For goodness sakes no-one is suggesting that they not be sold just that people who don’t want to see pornographic covers don’t have to. What is illiberal about that?

    There seems to be a misunderdtanding about what the report is suggesting on the internet. It is suggesting making it easier for parents to control what their children see. No-one (adult) would be stopped from seeing anything.

  • i agree with Chris Jenkinsonis there any report of who are these parents that permit their children to wear inproper clothes. Maybe the teachers can contribute to this rather than filling endless paperwork abou the class lesson.

    The thought about putting in the same bill the childrens’s clothing and the sexualisation through media is patronising in my opinion. Children’s clothes has to do with the children and their parents media has to do with freedom of speeach ideas arts and so many other things. It seems like an attack to liberal freedoms

  • Ruth Bright 12th Jun '11 - 1:14pm

    Chris and elln – I suppose a lot of the clothing is bought out of peer pressure and generally wanting one’s child to fit in with its friends however abysmal their collective taste!

    As a number of commentators have pointed out though, it’s a shame that Bailey hardly mentions commercial pressures on boys. I sent my four-year-old to a football event recently in an ordinary T-shirt and shorts and he was teased for not having an official team kit. The England kit for an infant costs a whopping £35.00. I will probably succumb to buying said kit so he fits in better with his peers but I resent the pressure on my child to wear “the right thing”. I do not, however, conclude from this that infant sized football kits should be banned!

  • @Simon McGrath: We’re talking about “sexualised images”, not pornography. This is — like pornography — extremely flexibly and subjectively defined, culturally determined, and presumably to be decided by a quango. There are arguments that can be made for making the world sanitised and “child-safe” where anything that mentions s*x (and violence, or are we just worried about sex?) is kept behind modesty covers, clickwalls, and closed doors, and criminalising anyone that violates these standards. But I think we need much more evidence that this would actually do some good before taking that step.

    @Sarah Teather: Any chance of responding to some of the comments made here?

  • @Simon – There is no evidence that children seeing lads mag covers does them any harm. None. And you think these covers are pornographic? Please look at this comparison of lad mag covers with magazines for women, and see which, if any, would be most likely to be damaging for a child (that can read, ie any over 5 or 6).

    The point being, the review has less to do with child welfare and more to do with a certain demographics desire to see lads mags (then porn) gone (because they hate it, less so because its bad for kids) , amongst other things.

  • I should say, some of the report seems sensible — such as making it easier for parents to provide feedback and discussions with industry and advertisers. But I’m still seriously concerned at the lack of rigorous definition of “sexualised” material, the lack of good research to demonstrate that this will help, and the potential for restriction of freedom of expression.

  • Whatever content had gone into this review and whoever had written it, there would have still been a large number of people screaming that their personal freedoms were being threatened by what it was recommending. However, I will admit that I am considerably less concerned about what children wear and what magazines they might see when out shopping with their parents.

    I do agree with internet filtering being provided as an option because streaming unwanted filth into families homes that may damage their children doesn’t seem particularly particularly “liberal” to me. Giving parents the option to turn it off to protect their children does. Sorry to those of you that like your filth – you would still have the option to say “no” to filtering when your place your broadband order.

    It is almost impossible to ignore the fact that nearly every day there is another news story about child abuse being discovered and paedophile rings being uncovered. If we really want to protect children from sexualisation, we need to be trying to find out more about what is causing this and seeing if there is some sort of preventative action that can be taken.

    I did read the report and although I agree with the sentiment behind it, I do feel it was a report written to achieve some “easy wins” in terms of turning over the responsibilities for change to retailers, service providers etc. David Cameron, in his letter, was very happy with this approach because it didn’t require the government to take any action.

    Personally, I think parents should decide what clothes they are happy with their children wearing, which pop videos they are happy with them viewing and to explain about the lad’s mags which have been around for a very long time. However, hard core violent internet porn that includes material encouraging abuse against women and children should not be pushed into families homes – give parents and others the opportunity to say “no – we don’t want this – turn it off please”. And can we find out why child abuse and paeodophilia is so common now as it just may be possible to do something to protect children from direct abuse from adults – filtering the internet may help reduce the risk of this too as according to the media, many abusers find / groom their victims via the internet. And concerning this, I think that the government has a role to play, even if they would rather stay out of it.

  • Malcolm Boura 2nd Jun '12 - 5:46pm

    The Bailey Report is not just most of the things stated above, it is positively dangerous. Essentially it is advocating the prudification of society despite the very strong evidence of how catastrophic that will be for chidlren and young people. Of course you won’t find that in the report, it is essentially a one way street. He only looks for evidence that the thing he dislikes is harmful. He does not look for evidence of benefit. He does not even consider the possibility that his recommendations may cause harm. He deliberately does not define pornography and possibly justified concerns about extreme pornography are now being used to ram though sweeping internet censorship.
    If the censors allow you can download the British Naturism Response to the Bailey Report from
    As one of the authors of that response I can tell you that it was extremely difficult to remain diplomatic. If one on my school students had handed in work like that they would have been told to do it again. Errors of logic are matters of straightforward mathematical fact, not opinion, and some parts of that report are worthless. Given that such elementary errors of logic have been made, how can the rest of it be trusted?

  • Malcolm Boura 2nd Jun '12 - 6:05pm

    Lucy Evans wrote “I do agree with internet filtering being provided as an option because streaming unwanted filth into families homes that may damage their children doesn’t seem particularly particularly “liberal” to me. Giving parents the option to turn it off to protect their children does. Sorry to those of you that like your filth – you would still have the option to say “no” to filtering when your place your broadband order.”
    I agree entirely but that is not what they are doing. They are intent on censoring large swathes of the internet that are beneficial, not harmful. They are encouraging the attitudes which are associated with appalling outcomes. It is not coincidence that the most prudish western countries have ten times the teenage pregnancy rate of the least prudish. The picture is similar for all the international comparisons and for all the body-shame and body-abhorence related indicators, everything from breast feeding to anorexia. More prudish, invariably worse outcomes, often enormously so. The same pattern is even detectable within the UK.

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