i Editor's Letter: Household porn blocks

 

 

The Prime Minister, flush from his  success in shaming Google and Micro soft to finally tackle child sexual abuse  online, has some advice for British men. They must, he says, sit down with their partners to decide whether they continue to have access to pornography in their home. “They’re going to have to have a discussion, aren’t they?” he declared. (He may be interested to know that ever more women are turning to porn...)

Two separate issues were being conflated yesterday, which we have tried to separate for you in our coverage. One: Mr Cameron’s victory in  forcing the web behemoths to act on  images of child abuse, a crackdown that will be mirrored around the world.  There are limits to what effect it will  have, but still, a tangible achievement. Political capital used to bully global conglomerates.

The second, separate issue is porn blockers in every home – dangerous territory for a government to invade. You can be certain some of Mr Cameron’s ministers will be cursing his moral mission, since they will all now be asked if they plan to still allow porn – from the erotic and smutty to the depraved – into their houses. For the record, we now know that the  Cameron households have porn blocks.

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I bring no ideological baggage to the bedroom tax row – it is difficult to defend taxpayers having to subsidise people to live in homes that are bigger than they need. But the bedroom tax does not work. It is not delivering the £500m saving to housing benefit, according to early analysis. It is unfair and pernicious. Some of those people trapped with nowhere to move are being driven further into debt or poverty. Today’s story about a man with kidney failure who is being penalised for having a “spare” bedroom containing a dialysis unit is shocking. There appears to be no will in government to reform the policy, and the Conservatives and Lib Dems will be punished at the ballot box.

i@independent.co.uk

Twitter.com: @olyduff

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