Backlash continues to encourage citizens to write to the Lords with regards to the controversial provisions (criminalizing the possession of extreme violent pornography) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.
There is only until 30th April left to fight this Bill and we’re urging everyone to write to a Lord.
Lords who support amendments are listed under “Contents” in Hansard here. More of them are needed to turn up on the 30th.
Lords whipped into supporting the present Bill are listed under “non contents”, whose minds might yet be changed by sensible arguments.
The Tories abstained. Persuading them to exercise their vote and preserve freedom of expression would also make a difference. Do it now.
One concession so far
The Government promised one change when the Lords debated amendments to the Bill on 21 April.
The Minister conceded “I recognise that it would be anomalous for a person to be committing an offence by possessing an image of an act which he undertook perfectly lawfully. We intend to introduce at Third Reading a defence” for this.
Baroness Miller warned “the Minister is in danger of leading his Government into becoming the thought police”
The Minister had admitted “We are targeting that material not on account of offences which may or may not have been committed in the production of the material, but because the material itself, which depicts extreme violence and often appears to be non-consensual, is to be deplored.”
Baroness Miller made the point “If someone viewed over the internet a third party having sexual intercourse with a sheep, would that carry a greater penalty than someone actually having sexual intercourse with a sheep?”
She went on “The Minister has not really answered any of the issues that have been worrying your Lordships this evening. In light of the fact that the Minister has made absolutely no concessions at all” she withdrew her amendments in order that she could bring them back on Third Reading.
Only one Peer who appears to have taken up the Minister’s invitation to visit Charing Cross police station to view examples.
Lord Faulkner (a Labour appointment) 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”.
He decided “I really cannot imagine that any useful purpose is served by creating criminals out of the people who possess them.”
The saga continues. The Government have let it be known they will ensure the Bill receives royal assent by May 8.