The Jacqui Smith porn show

Posted: March 2, 2011

Ahead of Jacqui Smith’s radio documentary about the UK porn industry, the former Home Secretary – who famously claimed for pay-per-view porn films on her parliamentary expenses – has been writing in The Independent about her experiences making the programme.

“My view of porn has been that it is bad for the people who make it and for those who watch it – for men, women, relationships and broader society,” Smith said, describing her attitude before she started her investigation.

Her quest began with a visit to last year’s Erotica, which she incorrectly describes as a trade show, and her next “weird outing” was to watch porn on a laptop. She went on to meet a number of Britporn representatives, which prompted Smith to say: “I’ve changed my view on those who work in the mainstream industry,” though she added, “Of course I understand that I was talking to those at the most ‘legitimate’ end of the industry.”

Smith’s piece goes on to discuss the ‘sexualisation of children’ and she warns: “A global industry whose profits are threatened by the Internet will inevitably find other ways to make money – that means ‘adult industry; products and attitudes coming increasingly onto our high streets and into mainstream entertainment.”

Smith writes that she spoke to Culture Minister Ed Vaisey regarding Internet Service Providers adopting an ‘opt-in’ approach to Internet porn and she concludes with: “There’s a real opportunity for some social responsibility from the porn industry. Why not fund some real sex education in our schools, promote some safe sex messages and invest in relationship counselling for those who really can’t tell the fantasy from reality?”

The full article can be seen at www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/jacqui-smith-my-view-of-pornography-2229430.html

Smith’s programme – Porn Again – will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live on Thursday 3rd March at 9.30pm. It will be followed an hour later by the Tony Livesey Show in which Smith will take calls from listeners.

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