Touting, Hawking, Photographing, etc.

Part of Nottinghamshire County Council Bill [Lords] (By Order) – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 13th February 1983.

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Photo of Mr John Golding Mr John Golding , Newcastle-under-Lyme 9:45 pm, 13th February 1983

I can explain what that means. When there are two Labour Members and one Conservative Member the photographer comes along and says, "I'll take a group photograph first." That is what I often call purporting to take a photograph. If the newspaper's proprietor is a Conservative, the photographer will say that he wants a photograph of the Conservative candidate with Miss World, on their own, in a corner. That is what I call taking a photograph. It is simple. My hon. Friend cannot be very experienced in the ways of local newspapers and photographers if he does not know the difference between the two.

Many is the time that I have posed for photographers only to find that they are purporting to photograph. When I toured the country as a Minister, my advice to Labour candidates was always that they should stand in the middle. If they do not stand in the middle, they will be purportedly photographed. They will be cut off. If there is a candidate at the end of a row he will be cut off. However, if he is in the middle, the photographer cannot cut him off. One has to learn the distinction between being photographed and being purportedly photographed. I have learned it the hard way.

In a sense, the clause divides on the basis not of class, religion, political philosophy or sex, but of beauty. The clause divides the ugly from the beautiful. Those who are beautiful may not object to being photographed.

I do not claim to be in that category, and I am against photographers who as a race always manage to take me speaking with my mouth open. That is the only photograph that ever appears. My hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) and I do not have many things in common, but the one thing that we have in common is that we are plagued and misrepresented by photographers. Admittedly, we have had a rough deal from nature, but we have had a rougher, harder deal from photographers, which has added to that disability.