Porn in the House (of Lords)

BritishParliamentBy Lord Benjamin
Special to YNOT Europe

LONDON – As you may know if you follow political news in the UK, we in the House of Lords have been discussing something of a touchy and taboo subject lately: George Osborne’s proposal to cut tax credits.

It’s not tax credits that concern me today, though, but another subject of discussion recently taken up by the Lords, one which has been plaguing us for some time now: pornography, its effects on viewers and what can be done to address the problem.

Now, I’m not an expert on pornography, but I do know it when I see it, which is absolutely never, because I was raised by a proper Englishwoman, not some shameless American tramp or “sexually liberated” French whore.

Given my lack of direct experience with smut, I’m forced to rely on the expertise of others, listen carefully to their feedback, weigh the evidence — and then make quite sure I’ve thoroughly deleted my browser history when I’ve finished weighing the evidence.

As it turns out, apart from and above the fact it dooms your mortal soul to indulge in the disgusting, lustful sin of watching “blue” movies, there are all sorts of other horrible things it does to your body, mind, community, credit rating and property values.

As observed by Lord McColl of Dulwich, there’s a study out there somewhere that proved, incontrovertibly, watching porn massively shrinks the brain, even if the authors of said study were too stubborn to admit they intended to say there’s a certain and direct causal connection between the two.

Despite porn gradually shrinking our brains into perverted little walnuts, it turns out getting dumber isn’t impairing our ability to make more of the stuff, so now we’re stuck in this troubling downward spiral, the end of which, presumably, involves the total dissolution of human society.

Just ask the Bishop of Chester, who noted at the recent hearing “no other civilization, not even the Romans, has showed such a vast proportion of ignominy and degraded nudity and ugly, squalid, dirty, sex.”

If anyone would be intimately familiar with the history of human sexual depravity, and which civilizations and/or centuries would be more filled with such, I think we can all agree it’s a bishop, so let’s go ahead and close right here the sub-debate about how vast is our global internet porn problem. If nothing else, it’s clearly worse than the Romans’ internet porn problem, given the advances in network infrastructure made since the 1st Century.

I must admit, while I applaud my peers for taking a close and critical look at pornography, I find the extent of their expertise on the subject troubling — particularly among some of our esteemed female members, if I may be blunt.

Take my fellow Crossbencher, Baroness Murphy, for example. Her contribution to the conversation was to assert pornography “is there to aid masturbation.”

“Is it surprising that people who aren’t having sex at home go away and watch pornography?” the baroness asked rhetorically, using language I’d associate more with an uncouth Dutch sailor than a woman of her station and (former) dignity.

Worse, the baroness appeared to have direct and personal familiarity with more than one example of pornography, opining at one juncture the “sex videos” people buy constitute “pretty silly stuff” and defending it as “highly enjoyable for those who watch heterosexual pornography.”

Now, and please forgive me if I’m reading too much betwixt the lines here, but doesn’t that rather sound like Baroness Murphy prefers homosexual pornography?

If so, was the baroness referring to those videos made by the obnoxious American fellow who used to drive around from beach to beach enticing young women to kiss and fondle each other by giving them free T-shirts and promising to make them regret going on spring break by using their images and likeness in late-night television commercials, which for some reason were riddled with steel drum music?

Perhaps the baroness was merely trying to say homosexual pornography is less silly than heterosexual pornography, or speculating homosexual viewers wouldn’t enjoy seeing silliness in their erotica as much as they enjoy seeing, say, firefighters, construction workers or policemen.

As you can see, in some ways our discussion of pornography has left me more confused about the subject, rather than less — as well as vaguely physically attracted to Baroness Murphy, for reasons I’m not sure I can explain, even to myself.

Thankfully, I’m quite certain this won’t be the last time we lords discuss porn, if only with the lords’ IT department. It seems someone calling herself “Live Jasmine” has fully taken over the browser home page on the Bishop of Winchester’s laptop.

Lord Benjamin is a Crossbencher in the House of Lords, whatever that means.

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Ben Suroeste

Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of pen names) since 2002.

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