Letter: Video nasties: the case for protecting children, a false advertising analogy

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Sir: So at last it's out - the Emperor has no clothes. Children not affected by visual images? For years I have been writing children's books in tandem with TV drama precisely because I know the opposite to be true. For too long too many of us have kept silent on this issue. That dreadful whiff of censorship, the fear of being thought illiberal - or worse - nannyish. I, for one, am now ready to risk it.

When we shorten the flex of an electric kettle to keep it out of a small child's reach we do not call that interfering with civil liberties. We do it, even if there is only the slightest risk of harm.

If we are prepared to protect children from bodily harm, why should we be squeamish about protecting them from moral and spiritual harm?

The injuries, though mostly invisible, are deep and real. If I were given the opportunity to burn every video nasty in the land tomorrow, I'd do it. There, I've done it. I've come out. I am a nanny.

Yours sincerely,


Eakring, Nottinghamshire

5 April