Saturday, 28 September 2013

Policing Minister, Damian Green, blames victims of abuse.

Damian Green MP - Minister of State for Police and Criminal Justice

There was a program on the BBC's Radio 4 this morning called iPM which was about child porn on the internet.  The blurb said "A man convicted of viewing images of child abuse tells iPM why he wasn't sent to prison, but sent on a course instead. The Policing Minister tells us that all people who view images of child abuse should go to prison".  These people - the BBC and the Minister - all sound as if they are being profound and thoughtful but really they are running a perverse agenda.  Psychologically speaking one of the effects of abuse is that the abused person has their perception warped.  These people are 'conforming' to the cultural and social expectations imposed on them by an abusive culture.  Therefore their perception is warped and you can hear it in their pretentious, non-compassionate, prejudicial attitudes.  Anyway I was moved to email the program at with the following.

Hello Eddie Mair and Jennifer Tracey

Saturday morning's iPM was about child pornography on the internet and I was a little horrified listening to Damian Green's moralising.  Of course as the Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice he is on a bit of a safe bet to express simplistic polarising dictates.  (In fact he might be hard put to keep his job if he didn't.)  And I entirely agree that the subject is a serious one that needs consideration and debate.  But what I can hear beneath his words is a 'not so subtle' passive-aggressive, rather sanctimonious, judgemental prejudice.  There is a reason why I find this important enough to communicate and it is because when the Jimmy Savile abuses were finally discovered nearly everyone expressed utter bewilderment at how such an excess could be entirely missed.  I think these things are missed because we are, as a culture, sanctifying ourselves with a simplistic moralistic attitude to some prejudicial construct of the 'other' who is wrong.

I know this might be controversial and provocative but I suspect the impetus to interpret the observer as party to the crime is actually the fear of recognising the crime.  It is a similar error to that in 'blaming the messenger'.  The mistake is to think that if you destroy the messenger you will eradicate the message.  In the case of child pornography on the internet it seems too difficult to deal with the perpetrators of abuse and so the viewer is targeted as the easier option.  It is, of course, a profound mistake because it promotes cultural blindness.  No one is allowed to see the crime and so it becomes the collective illusion of the emperor's new clothes.

I suspect people who agree with the Right Honourable Damian Green imagine that by eradicating the audience they will cause the crime to cease to exist.  This is flawed thinking and there appears little or no evidence to suggest this approach has ever had any success historically.  Worse than that, the evidence seems to suggest that this approach drives the abuse underground where it escalates.  People are understandably anxious about the pain and injustice of child abuse and feel that something should be done about it.  Unfortunately it seems that finding someone to blame and punitively incarcerating them reduces the anxiety but does nothing about the crime.  This is how people 'feel better' and conclude they must, therefore, be doing something right.  But it is very close to how 'blaming the victim' works.

Overall I don't imagine anyone will bother to consider what I have said.  It probably seems too hard to comprehend.  But this is the conceptual paradigm of the thought police.  And much as I genuinely expect Damian Green regards himself as a 'good' person I do worry that he is inadvertently making the situation worse.

In summary it is obviously an injustice to blame the viewer of the crime.


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