Saturday, 30 July 2011


Judge Mary Jane Mowat 

 This is a most extraordinary business,  a judge  saying to a  man  convicted  of collecting pornographic images of children that she did not blame him for being attracted to children and going on to say that many teachers were so attracted but did not act upon their feelings either physically or by the use of imagery, before suspending a twelve month sentence on the former teacher.

It seems to me axiomatic that one should not, indeed cannot be blamed for being attracted to something or someone, for who knows what is at the root of such feelings nor how we are  to master them? Wiser heads than mine have cudgelled themselves to no avail in seeking  the origins of sexual attractions and most of us, I guess, are thankful that our own fall into a fairly conventional spectrum, although the definition  of what is conventional sexual behaviour  has altered most radically in my lifetime;  homosexuality, in my childhood, was a serious criminal offence, bondage, domination and sado-masochism used to be deemed shocking and repellent, now their accoutrements can be purchased in High Street stores - somebody, large numbers of somebodies,  must be buying them.  This is not to say that paedophila, too,  will in time  become legal and acceptable, it is one of those aberrations, like incest and cannibalism, which most instinctively know to be wrong, by any conceivable yardstick but Judge Mowat is correct in drawing the distinction between an aesthetic obsession and an offence aganst a minor.

There is an argument that the very perusal of such stuff  creates a market for it and hence instigates further abuse of children,  that looking at certain types of images cannot be other than criminal;  I am not sure about this, I saw some child pornography when I was virtually still a child myself and it shocked me rigid, and I have never seen any since nor even wanted to in an inquisitive, curious sense, it gave me the fucking heebie-jeebies and I expect it would most people;  those who seek it out, therefore, I imagine, are for some reason already enmeshed in that  dark obsession,  and no-one, not even themselves,  knows why.

I cannot imagine that at some stage in their lives some people say OK, I'm gonna be a beast, that's what I wanna be, I wanna look at pictures or videos of little children being buggered and worse, and if I get the opportunity or can hook-up with some like-minded people I wanna actually do some of that shit, even though everybody will hate me, I'll go to jail and get knifed and scalded and the public are gonna wanna hang me up from a lamp post and cut my balls off, one at a time.  Surely nobody in their right mind, consciously decides that - out of Life's huge erotic cornucopia - they want to devote their lives to the unspeakable, there must surely be stuff, events beyond their control, maybe in childhood, maybe in puberty, maybe in Holy Deadlock, maybe subliminally, from consumer culture,  from the great company which is skymadeupnewsandfilth, which prompt such deviance and which cannot be expunged without profound and lasting psychiatric care.  But looking at images and  the commission of  sexual offences against children are separate aberrations,  the former  may be a condition wholly involutary, originating from familial or societal pressures and influences beyond the control, beyond the ken of the so conditioned;  the physical offences, though, are the result of free will, are chosen. In the latter case we may properly say, I would never do that shit, never, but in the former we must say, well, Thank God,  there but for fortune, whatever happened to him could've happened to me.

Now your whoreson nonce, of whom I've known a few, will argue his blamelessness -  the little tart led me on, I didn't know she was only twelve or ten, she wanted to break up my marriage and so on but he or she cannot claim that they did not know they were doing wrong and Judge Mowat was, I feel, entirely correct.  She passed a sentence, not actively custodial but still of huge, restrictive, deleterious  and punitive weight which reflected a proper concern for the use of such imagery whilst ackowledging, bravely, that many, otherwise blameless, feel unnatural attractions  and are habituated to materal which is undeniably an offence against Decency and in its preparation a serious criminal offence.

The scale of offences against children - and not only by the men in frocks - is huge, in positing degrees of culpability and in considered sentencing Judge Mowat serves all who would see it decline.


Larry said...

...and yet they still protect sheep and other livestock.

PT Barnum said...

On this, unusually, we disagree, Mr I. While there is a chasm of difference in the tangible act between abusing a child and looking at images of a child being abused, it is an ugly fact that a proportion of child abuse occurs in order to produce commercial images, and that domestic abusers use images of their home victims to demonstrate good faith to enter into trading relations with others of their kind. And those trading relations apply to both the images and the children.

No one (these days) blunders naively into possessing a large collection of such images. It either has a hefty price tag or is exchanged within closed networks which take time, effort and a substantial contribution of images to break
into. So I find it very hard to see this man as anything other than a perpetrator-by-proxy or as someone who has yet to be revealed as a practising abuser and not 'just' a voyeur.

(I exempt from all this the ludicrous scaremongering around Mothercare catalogues and Nativity play photographs, as well as the recent prosecution of the man who had an extensive collection of anime child porn, during the making of which no one was harmed.)

But your point about sexuality is far harder to resolve. Do we have to accept that paedophilia is as natural, inate and inevitable as homosexuality, zoophilia, masochism and masturbation, all of which have been equally condemned through history? And if we do, how do we do it? Legitimise some kinds of adult-child sexual relationship but not others? The power differential and lack of informed consent could never be overcome. Cull or castrate anyone who showed any sign of such tendencies? We're not yet that barbaric, surely.

And yet we ostracise and pillory these people at children's cost. They lurk, they play the long game, they have a better grasp of child psychology that 99% of parents and teachers. Perhaps Ancient Greece had it right. Give it legitimacy and fresh air and it can be controlled and limited. Maybe.

call me ishmael said...

It was a posting easily miunderstood,mr ptb. I don't think we do have to accept paedophilia, I think, if we would prevent it, we have to understand it and that is what Justice Mowat is trying to do. And I don't think ancient Greece endorsed what we understand as child abuse, rather, they permitted, rejoiced in, older men consorting with youths, as an acceptable, piquant adjunct to heterosexual marriage; Wildean antics, not Sidney Cook-style abuse - depravity, torture and murder, although we need mr the dyers garden or some other classicist to set these things out fully for us; it is not my cup of tea, any of it, but such liaisons are now both legal and commonplace - we need only look at the house of commons for proof of that, Lord Mandelstein and Mr Hague being prominent practitioners, users of what we might term rentboys, I think it is as obnoxious a misuse of power in the homosexual elite as was President Spunky Bill's in the heterosexual, but both - as with Greel homosexuality - are a longway from child abuse and we confuse the two at our peril and I do not cinflate child sexual abuse with homosexuality, zoophilia, masochism and masturbation.

I do not know how images of child abuse are trafficed, if they are, as you say, only available through closed networks of cognoscenti, or if they are widely and freely available, I suspect it is the latter, althoughI have no wish to know for sure. Nevertheless, intuitively, I would maintain that there is a difference between a voyeur and a dyed in the wool perpetrator - i have metioned before, not entirely flippantly, that possession of images of the death camps does not make one a Nazi, a Holocaust perp manque; on the contrary, I have an image of Auscwhitz around here somewhere, a series of very ordinary looking brick buildings, yet hosting some of the vilest activities in history, it is just an aide memoire - am I, at one remove, a practising Nazi, am I complicit?

Now, I do not make this enquiry facetiously, of course I am not a Nazi and indeed, the presence of such an image is a reminder of the evil of which we are capable and not an endorsement of it. Yet there are others to whom the same image would be a glorification of heroes cruelly misjudged by history; should we ban all pictures of the Holocaust, it is, after all, a far worse crime than your average child abuse case?

Granted, I am not comparing like with like, granted the likelihood is that this gentleman, fucked-uo beyond my powers of imagination, had his kiddy pics as a means to sexual gratification but his crime, and crime it is, is coincidental, owning an image of a crime is not the same thing as committing the crime and should be judged and punished differently. And that's what happened.

Jailing him, in some rancid Rule 43 nonces wing, as you say, would in all likelihood increase the risk to children. The judge, thankfully immune to the shrill blandishments of Ms Woods and her squalid ilk, got it right. She will probably be removed.

Dick the Prick said...

I worked for 2 years in a town centre boozer with great regulars on early doors missions and the funniest line I remember from that place was 'have you got owt with animals in?' I'm giggling now - if you meet a pervert always useful to check their ID?

call me ishmael said...

Aomeone should make a film of your life, mr dtp.