Monday, August 03, 2009

Lib Dems in call for yet another ban.

As 'on the money' as ever the Lib Dems pop up this morning calling for yet more bans, - this time they want to outlaw Photoshopped images.

The Independent has this today:

"The party is calling for a ban on the use of altered or enhanced pictures on publicity material aimed at the under-16s as part of a wider drive to boost the self-esteem of young girls. It also wants the introduction of new rules insisting that advertisements aimed at adults disclose how much images have been airbrushed or digitally enhanced."

Well before I go any further, and for the avoidance of any doubt and to make sure the self esteem of young politicians everywhere is not 'damaged' I should point out immediately that this picture of 'Calamity Clegg' is digitally enhanced. It is not really Nick Clegg, it is his face pasted over an old photograph of the actress Doris Day in the film Calamity Jane.

Being a bit less sarcastic the Liberal Democrats continue to display an alarming aversion to showing any Liberal tendencies at all. I thought this Labour Government were bad but compared to this lot they are saints.

The Liberal Democrats would, if allowed, outlaw an awful lot of things, far too many to list on here. Clearly all Governments need to ban things, most laws are in effect a ban on something or other; but the Liberal Democrats have turned 'calling for a ban' into an art form.

If you type "Liberal Democrats ban" in Google you get 814,000 results ranging from the crazy to the laughable. Among things that would become banned in Lib Dem land are: the Billy Smarts Circus, MacDonald's, carrier bags, Range Rovers, flying the Union Jack, all alcohol, all second homes, happy hours, Convents, Evian water, white vans, cigarette machines, patio heaters, light bulbs, petrol cars... the list goes on, and on.

And like today's call for a ban on airbushed photographs they all share one thing in common, they treat the public as idiots.

I don't doubt that some young teenage girls suffer low self-esteem when they see Keira Knightley looking slender and perfect, but as the father of two teenage girls my experience of their age group is that far from low self esteem the opposite is true; because of the 'all must win prizes' culture in our schools many young people have totally unrealistic high expectations of their abilities which their eventual attainment in real life can only fail to live up to.

And if either gender is especially at risk of suffering low self esteem it's boys, not girls, they are the ones being forced to occupy a world where society is trying to strangle their natural instincts such as aggression and competitiveness and where their traditional role of breadwinner for their family is being increasingly supplanted by the State.

No-one is suggesting nothing should ever be banned, but the balance has to be struck between what may or may not be good for us, and freedom.

And anyway I use up all my carrier bags as rubbish sacks.


Anonymous said...

The ban on flying the Union Jack is law - only the Royal Navy may fly the Union Jack. Anyone on land may fly the Union Flag.

‘Conservatives to ban’, gets 2,430,000 results off google and if you believe everything you read on the internet, you would conclude that the Conservatives want to ban amongst other things:

plasma televisions, electoral goods with stand by, Khat (chewed by Somalis), protests near parliament, new thermal generation, Council of Europe Flag (founded by Winston Churchill), Harry Potter for glamorizing witchcraft, and free parking at supermarkets.

Isn't creating an impossibly beautiful woman, by photoshop and airbrush, just as wrong as making untrue claims about a product that the ASA would jump on.

Bad Argument Police said...

But, Anonymous, you've rather missed the point. The Conservatives don't claim to be liberals. Duh!

Bad Argument Internal Police said...

Last time I checked, David Cameron considered himself a 'liberal conservative'. Is this not a sentiment Marcus Wood shares? The public should be told.

Marcus Wood said...

"Conservatism is a political and social term from the Latin verb conservare meaning to save or preserve"

I presume a 'Liberal Conservative' is someone who wishes to save and preserve our liberty, and that is certainly how I would describe my own political position.

Anonymous said...

21. Protect children from body image pressure by preventing the use of altered and enhanced images in advertising aimed at under 16s, through changes to Advertising Standards Authority rules. We would work with industry regulators and professionals to find ways to ensure that children have access to more realistic portrayals of women (and men) in advertising

22. Help women make informed choices by requiring adverts to clearly indicate the extent to which digital retouching technology has been used to create overly perfected and unrealistic images of women

The first thing that should be noted is that nowhere do the words “airbrushing”, “Photoshop” or “ban” appear. The clauses are much less prescriptive than the media’s hype might have lead us to believe.
You shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspapers Marcus.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not Perez Hilton is backing the Lib Dems on this!