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Lib Dems to ban Harry Potter movie posters?

Liberal Vision, the outlet for the remaining liberals in the Lib Dems, is commendably critical of Jo Swinson who has ludicrously proposed to ban "airbrushing of models for campaigns aimed at the under-16s".

Ms Swinson is one of those MPs who has moved apparently effortlessly from full time education to Parliament, with only the briefest of appearances in the real world in between.

This explains a great deal. Only someone straight out of school could come up with quite such a ludicrous idea. For a law of this kind to work, you have to be able to define "campaign", you have to be able to define "model", you have to be able to define "airbrushing", you have to be able to define "directed at" and you have to be able to prove that the directing is at under-16s.

Can you really define "model" in such a way as to catch Kate Moss for Top Shop, but not Rupert Grint in the poster for Harry Potter and the half-blood prince? If Kate Moss turns up for the Top Shop photo shoot with a big zit on the end of her nose, do they have to leave it in the pics? It's absurd.

The future of modelling under the LibDems


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Reader Comments (9)

These control-freaks have no sense of reality. They think life is like the 6th form debating society: "this house would ban air-brushed models".

Aug 4, 2009 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

There are already laws about what can be advertised to children (sugary foods etc.), so clearly there are already legal definitions which can be used for this kind of legislation.

Also, you write as if it's only Jo Swinson who has come up with this proposal, whereas actually, as many of her recent interviews explains, she chairs the Lib Dems' women's policy working group who took evidence from a range of experts in the field over a period of months. So Ms Swinson's age and experience is not really the issue here.

Aug 4, 2009 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterElaine

There's a medical name for this tendency to ban things the patient doesn't like:


And looking at the photo she could do with photoshopping herself.

Aug 4, 2009 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes


Would a more worldly wise chairman have found more pressing issues to talk about, or perhaps have come up with a less illiberal approach to the solution?

Aug 4, 2009 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The immediate motivation for this is a poster where a flat chested Keira Knightly had her bosoms enlarged. Photoshopping also added scenes of war like arrows flowing through the air. Why don't the arrows offend?

The whole thing is fantasy. It's hard to see why the boob job is the only thing that offends the Jo Swinson. I can't count the number of films where a stick thin female manages to overpower a dozen burley muscle men using only martial arts. And like Ginger Rogers they do the gymnastics in high heels, backwards. Of course this nonsense is excused as empowering women.

I'm glad I'm a man and have the brains to recognise the difference between reality and fantasy. I know that you can't jump through plate glass windows and come out unhurt or do a million other pratfalls that men in action films routinely do. How sad to be a female that can't think for themselves and needs constant protection lest they be exposed to images that somehow magically become irresistible pressures.

How strange that independent women resort to arguments that at a fundamental level agree with the misogynist case that women are too weak to be left to decide for themselves.

Aug 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTDK

That picture reminds me of someone. Here he is before the airbrushers got to him:


Y'know, guys, like under-16s do sometimes need protecting from life's ghastly realities.

Aug 4, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterVinny Burgoo

I hope that Elaine is being sarcastic - but it doesn't work on the internet.

If she means what she writes I wonder if she could expand on the "a range of experts in the field". What exactly is this field ? Airbrushing pictures ? Advertising ? Are they experts in what my children should see or not see ?

I suspect that they are just serial tut-tutters who want to ban things based on their own likes and dislikes with no real expertise in anything expect talking.

Aug 5, 2009 at 2:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Thanks for the link, BH.

Aug 5, 2009 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJulian H

Bish writes: "found more pressing issues to talk about".

Maybe this is a tacit admission that feminism and the wimmins committee have achieved all of the bigger goals and are now just mopping up the smaller goals - crossing the Is and dotting the Tees.

Aug 5, 2009 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

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