The UK Council for Child Internet Safety will draw up a list of approved sites offering advice about topics such as sex and drugs
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Friday 23 October 2009
What has the Green Party been up to this week? You probably don’t know because its opponents have not been breaking into BBC studios, writing letters to the BBC demanding its censorship nor has it had a high profile national campaign launched against it.
Thursday 22 October 2009
A torpor has settled on Parliament. A siesta. What a long goodbye it is. They’re leaving early and arriving late and very often not turning up at all.
Thursday 22 October 2009
Tuesday 20 October 2009
The House of Commons is a foreign country: they do things differently there. At least, that’s the impression that many voters have formed in the wake of the expenses scandal. However, there is one, crucially important, respect in which we need Parliament to be privileged. We desperately need Parliament to be free to debate matters in the public interest – even where so-called ‘super injunctions’ have been used to gag the press.
Sunday 30 August 2009
Friday 31 July 2009
Censorship can be useful. Here is the proof. A long-lost comedy by the French playwright Edmond Rostand, creator of the nasally challenged romantic hero Cyrano de Bergerac, has resurfaced in the archives of the French government theatre censor.
Sunday 05 July 2009
Authors are prone to notoriety. Any printed display of opinion is bound to raise questions, and then there's the matter of censorship. In this case, censorship in America – something Kathleen Winsor (1919-2003) discovered the hard way. Winsor was a smart, energetic sports columnist who subsequently became fascinated by the Restoration period. After years of research, she produced a sprawling fifth draft of a novel around 2,500 pages long. Her publishers hacked it down to a more manageable size, just under 1,000 pages, and it appeared in 1944 as Forever Amber. The epic was a love letter to London, a bodice-ripping romp through plague and fire, taking in the society chatter and politics of the times. There were a few mildly titillating passages, and the book was generally well received by critics, who saw parallels between the enduring Restoration wives and their wartime counterparts. It didn't hurt that the attractive author, then 24, was seductively photographed for her press releases.
Friday 26 June 2009
Friday 26 June 2009
The only book in my parents' bookcase which was turned the wrong way round with the spine hidden was Tropic of Cancer (1934) by Henry Miller. Their idea was, no doubt, one of caring parental censorship: they didn't want the novel that led to the rewriting of US laws on pornography to fall into my 13-year-old hands. Copies had to be illegally smuggled into the US until the 1960s and a publisher did ten years in jail. Given that my parents were liberal leftists and their bookshelf also included texts by Erica Jong, Aldous Huxley, Jean-Paul Sartre and Vance Packard, I realised that the hidden book had to be pretty radical. I stole it and hid it under my bed.
Monday 08 June 2009
Tuesday 14 April 2009
Following the furore over the deranking of various adult-themed books from Amazon's various websites, it's taken until the end of the Easter break for Amazon to come up with an explanation – leaving plenty of time for people to falsely and anonymously claim that they were responsible.
Thursday 19 February 2009
Wednesday 11 February 2009
With the death of the celebrated American publisher Richard Seaver, a small literary mystery has been cleared up. In 1965, as editor at Grove Press – the avant garde publisher of everyone from Jack Kerouac to Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Henry Miller and the Marquis de Sade – Seaver published that minor masterpiece of masochism, Story of O, by the pseudonymous "Pauline Réage" (who was revealed in 1994 to be the French editor and journalist Dominique Aury). Equally secret was the true identity of the translator, the poetically named "Sabine d'Estrée". Now his widow and business partner, Jeanette, has confirmed that Seaver translated this book of bondage from the French, as he did 50 other titles. In 1988 the couple founded the independent publishing house Arcade, whose proud boast was that they had "brought to the North American reading public works by 252 authors from 31 different countries," and in doing so defied provincialism, prudery, censorship and social and literary convention.
Monday 05 January 2009
China has launched a crackdown against major websites that officials accused of threatening morals by spreading pornography and vulgarity, including the dominant search engines Google and Baidu.
Tuesday 09 December 2008
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster