British PM Cracks Down on Sexualization of Children ... Politely
The London Guardian reports Prime Minister David Cameron backs legislation designed to get tough on people who would sexually exploit children. However, he says change must come through being "social responsibility, not state control."
So, under the proposed legislation, retailers would be asked not to sell salacious so-called "lad's mags" in brown sleeves. Members of the Advertising Standards Authority would consider ways to discourage billboards near schools. Oh, and music videos would be rated.
Originally, businesses had 18 months to clean up their acts. Or else.
The Guardian reports Cameron has decided that was a bit hasty. Now, according to the newspaper, he appears to want to drop the iron fist entirely and just keep the velvet glove.
The proposals are the result of an independent report by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union, a Christian charity.
"I very much agree with the central approach you set out," the Guardian quotes a letter from Bailey to Cameron. "As you say, we should not try and wrap children up in cotton wool or simply throw our hands up and accept the world as it is. Instead, we should look to put 'the brakes on an unthinking drift toward ever-greater commercialization and sexualization.' "
Bailey recommends banning the sale of "sexy" clothes and T-shirts with suggestive slogans. He also urges the government to take legal action if guidelines are not followed.
The Guardian reports Cameron doesn't endorse any specific recommendations and stops short of putting any sharp teeth in the law.
"I note that many of the actions you suggest are for business and regulators to follow rather than for government," the Guardian quotes from his letter. "I support this emphasis, as it consistent with this government's overall approach and my long-held belief that the leading force for progress should be social responsibility, not state control."
Nonetheless, the power of the British empire is not be trifled with either. The government is setting up a Website where parents can complain if they feel a program, advertisement, product or service is inappropriate for their children.
Take that, you blaggards.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.