Saturday, March 15, 2008

Film Classification Bill latest

Briefing: Julian Brazier MP is to be congratulated on the way his bill has raised awareness of the issues. In the nature of things a Private Members Bill is unlikely to become law. See the previous post here.

From Christian Concern for our Nation: More than 4½ hours of Parliamentary time were taken up with the second reading of this Bill on 29th February 2008, which is more than that allocated to some major Bills. The the second reading of the Bill took place on Friday 7th March 2008.

This Bill was introduced by Mr Julian Brazier MP over concerns about classification and guidelines for classification of videos, DVDs and computer games and the need for parliamentary accountability. The Bill aims to make the British Board of Film Classification more accountable to Parliament and the public. The Bill seeks to allow Parliamentary scrutiny of the senior appointments to the BBFC; to examine their guidelines and to set up an independent appeals body of 12 volunteers to review videos DVDS and computer games that are already in circulation or that are in the process of being classified. Such reviews will be triggered by an Early Day motion signed by at
least 50 MPs. Currently, it is only the industry itself that can appeal against a classification of a video, DVD or computer game and there is no way of allowing anyone else to do so.

The Bill seeks to address the growing concern in the country about the rising
tide of violence and the classification and portrayal of violence in videos,
DVDs and computer games.

Last year, the Conservative party made an unequivocal commitment to: “review the
regulatory framework relating to films and video games to ensure that violence
and misogyny are not directly promoted to young people. This should include the
role of the British Board of Film Classification”.

Media Watch UK, a campaigning organisation, commissioned an independent survey
by Communicate Research, an independent polling organisation. The research it
published on 28th February shows that 76 per cent of people support the tighter
regulation of violence in films and games, and on TV; that 68 per cent believe
such violence to be linked to actual violent crimes; and that 80 per cent
believe that the BBFC process for approving films should be transparent and
accountable to Parliament.

See, which details the poll

The Government Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, the Hon. Margaret Hodge,
indicated that the issues behind the Bill need to be addressed. She said that
the Government had already commissioned a review on this issue by Dr Tanya
Bryon, who is due to report this month. Tanya Byron is leading the Government's
inquiry into the effect of violent videos and internet porn on children. The
aim of the review is to ensure children can play video games and use the
internet safely. See

Please pray that this Bill will influence the Government to deal with issues of
concern about classification.

Full details of the Bill and debates can be found at:

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen