Archive for the ‘Book Censorship’ Category

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bookmarks 0300x0070 logoFar-right protesters have ransacked a socialist bookshop in London. The owners of Bookmarks say masked attackers wrecked displays and tore up books.Posting on Facebook and Twitter, Bookmarks said staff were closing the shop on Bloomsbury Street in central London on Saturday evening when about a dozen people descended on it.

A far-right protest against censorship of the website Infowars took place in central London on Saturday at which protesters were seen with the same placards. Others wore Make Britain Great Again caps.

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Books sample trigger warning labelSensitive snowflake students will soon need trigger warnings for some of the world’s most famous literature, an award winning author has claimed.

Julian Barnes was stunned to learn young university pupils had been critical of the behaviour of book character’s like Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

Students in the US called the protagonist, Emma Bovary, a bad mother based on her affairs, her lifestyle longing to escape dull, provincial life.

The 72-year-old told those gathered at the celebration of the Booker’s half-century on Sunday:

I don’t know where to begin to unpick that.

As for students asking to hear in advance the bad things that happen in Titus Andronicus.

We might as well have a trigger warning on all great works of literature.

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Here’s a thought for the ‘progressive’ politically correct left. Perhaps it was their tactic of yelling ‘racist’ at anyone who dares criticise immigration, that caused Brexit. The left’s censorship effectively pushed commonly held views on immigration under the carpet. Now if these views had been allowed to be aired, then perhaps David Cameron would have realised that the referendum was not such a good idea, and not called it in the first place.Perhaps censors everywhere should be reminded that censorship may block the airing of views but it doesn’t stop people from holding those views.

hope not hate logoThe New Statesmen is reporting about a campaign group called Hope Not Hate, that seems to hate free speech.

The group has spent a couple of weeks seeking out examples of texts denying the Holocaust sold on the Waterstones, Foyles, WHSmith and Amazon websites. The group has published its findings in a paper called Turning the Page on Hate , and is urging the retailers to remove these texts, which range from what are deemed dangerous to Holocaust denials to far right books.

Since the campaign began, Foyles appears to have removed numerous works from its website. However, its chief executive Paul Currie said:

This is a difficult scenario for all booksellers given the width and scale of publishing and the perennial issue of censoring from all aspects of life what people can read.

WHSmith also appears to have removed some books from its website since the campaign launched.

At the time of writing, Waterstones retains the works Hope Not Hate listed. Waterstones’ owner James Daunt told Hope Not Hate, What should we censor? he asked rhetorically, refusing to remove the titles:

It is not our position to censor this listing beyond the existing measures we take to exclude self-published books that may potentially be offensive.

Index on Censorship’s chief executive Jodie Ginsberg. Encouraging bookshops not to stock certain content because it’s considered hateful I think is problematic, she explains:

When you’re suggesting [the removal of books from] some of the largest bookshops in the country, which are the ones most people can access, then you are limiting people’s access to information… Anything that limits people’s ability to find out information is a threat to freedom of expression.

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niamh smythIrish book censors have not banned a single magazine and have blocked just one book in the last ten years. Now a member of the Irish Parliament has called for the Censorship of Publications Board to be shut down.

Fianna Fail Arts and Culture Spokesperson Niamh Smyth said: This is one quango that should be whacked. She was referring to a political campaign slogan whack a quango, to shut down quangos. Smyth added:

The ongoing existence of a Censorship Board that doesn’t censor anything is bringing the concept of censorship into disrepute at a time where we need it more than ever.

The only time the board has been heard of in ten years was the ludicrous submission of Alan Shatter’s novel Laura over something to do with abortion.

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"Lady Chatterley's Lover" Trial: Regina Versus Penguin Books, Ltd. For a quarter of a century, from 1960 until 1985, Jeremy Hutchinson, Lord Hutchinson of Lullington, who has died aged 102, was the finest silk in practice at the criminal bar. He defended Lady Chatterley , Fanny Hill and Christine Keeler (Keeler in the flesh), the atom spy George Blake, and then Brian Roberts, the editor of the Daily Telegraph, and later the journalist Duncan Campbell in two cases that led to reform of the Official Secrets Act.He added a service to the arts by ending the cultural vandalism of Mary Whitehouse, whose attempt in 1982 to prosecute the National Theatre for staging Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain collapsed after his (and the Old Bailey’s) most remarkable cross-examination.

… see an excellent article from theguardian.com outlining some of Hutchinson major successes.

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Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate The leading book publisher in Australia, Allen & Unwin, has dropped a book about the influence of China’s Communist Party in Australia’s domestic affairs, due to censorship pressure from China, or maybe from  the fear of Chinese action against the publisher..

In a decision likened to the recent decision by Cambridge University Press to restrict access to sensitive China-related articles, the release of the forthcoming book, Clive Hamilton’s Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia into a Puppet State was shelved by the publisher over concerns about potential legal action by China.

The author and a prominent Australian academic, said the decision by Allen & Unwin demonstrated the extent of the shadow cast by Beijing.

It is believed to be the first time that a publisher has suspended publication of a book in a Western market because of fears of potential pressure from Beijing.

We as Australians living in a free society should not allow ourselves to be bullied into silence by an autocratic foreign power, Professor Hamilton told ABC News.

In a statement, Allen & Unwin said it decided to delay publication following extensive legal advice. Clive was unwilling to delay publication and requested the return of his rights, as he is entitled to do, it said. We continue to wish him the best of luck with the book.

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Pond Dipping 1Pond Dipping 2

Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP) has defended dubious scenes in one of its children’s books after a reader noticed a little background dogging.

On one of the pages in the story, a group of gay looking men can be seen disappearing behind a bush, shortly before an old lady’s glasses are illustrated popping off in shock at what she sees behind the bush.

Responding to the reader, OUP rather unconvincingly tweeted:

Interesting spot but some of the pages are missing from this title! We can reassure you nothing untoward is going on behind that bush.

There are pages missing in the original tweet, which takes the images from Pond Dipping out of context.

The pages in between show some dogs chasing each other, children running and a man carrying a mysteriously large bag.

The book in question, Pond Dipping , was written by Roderick Hunt and illustrated by Alex Brychta, as part of a long-running series describing the adventures of children Biff, Chip and Kipper.

The article for some reason doesn’t mention an alternative meaning of ‘pond dipping’. See definition from urbandictionary.com :

The act of pissing in a love mates mouth then teabagging (the insertion of one man’s sack into another person’s mouth) him.