Results 1–20 of 3203 for speaker:Mr Ian Mikardo

Inner Cities (27 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: Will the Minister kindly tell me where in Docklands he is holding his lush high-profile public relations exercise tomorrow? Would it be in one of the penthouse flats being made available to my constituents at no more than £375,000 a time, or would it be in the workshop of one of the 50 or 60 small and medium-sized firms that are presently being driven out, with their employees being put out...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: It is clear from the debate so far that there are substantial differences of view about the Bill. Those differences cut across party lines. It is entirely proper that that should be so in respect of a private Member's Bill, since it is not Government legislation. As further sharp differences will he expressed during the debate, I shall begin my speech by making at least one point on which we...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: That is unworthy, too. If I have said something that impugns the Minister's integrity, of course I apologise for it absolutely and unreservedly. I shall deal later with the concept of the reasonable person and why something may be grossly offensive. The problem is that it is subjective; one man's meat is another man's entrecote maitre d'hotel. The difference is in taste—de gustibus non est...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I had forgotten that, and I am grateful to my hon. Friend for reminding me. The hon. Member for Davyhulme said that he was willing to accept all the amendments. However, my hon. Friend is wrong in saying that it would have produced a fourth Bill, because accepting all the amendments would have produced a non-Bill, in that it would have taken all the content out of it.

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: That is a perfectly fair question and it deserves a proper answer. During the course of my observations I shall give a proper answer. I said that the Bill is much more seriously flawed than the measure that we considered last year. I must justify that, because it is a strong statement. I justify it on the basis of no fewer than 16 grounds, which I shall list briefly. The first ground is...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: Hold on a minute. I am waiting to hear the Minister's argument. It is true that it is a different laundry list from that of the hon. Member for Davyhulme. This is all underwear, instead of outer wear, but it is certainly a laundry list.

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: During interventions the Minister has twice mentioned the Williams report. There is much in that report with which I strongly disagree, and much that is of value. However, it is not written on tablets of stone handed down from Mount Sinai. I do not consider that in giving my thought to the merit or demerit of a Bill before the House I am bound to make my judgment solely on the basis of what...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I am grateful to the Minister. I know that he is trying to be helpful, but I am bound to say that the good intentions that he has in his interventions follow the road to which we know good intentions lead. The hon. Gentleman's performance is not up to his good will. He is not being helpful at all. I did not say anything about the Bill coming from some outrageous rabid Right-wing lot. It is my...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I agree. The Minister was putting up an Aunt Sally to knock down the argument.

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: That is one of the many ways in which the late Mr. Ernest Bevin committed gross errors of judgment. There were many such errors. The first of the 16 grounds on which I suggest that the Bill is more flawed than that of the hon. Member for Davyhulme is that it reproduces a laundry list that is not altogether dissimilar from the one that the hon. Gentleman and his supporters abandoned in the...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: The hon. Gentleman may be right, but he is only guessing. Of course there have been substantial changes in the guidelines, but the hon. Gentleman has no method of knowing—nor have I and nor has anybody else, except those who wrote the guidelines—to what extent those changes have been made as a result of the debate, in which the hon. Gentleman and I participated, on the previous obscene...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I was asked a few moments ago what I thought should be done. I promised that I would say so before I finished my speech, and I repeat my promise. I am glad to give way, even on a repetitious question such as that. I hope that no one will complain about the length of my speech, which so far has been about three times as long as it would have been had there not been all those interventions. My...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I am not saying that. I shall not be tempted to go too far in answering the hon. Gentleman, because I am not a lawyer. I do not want to talk about things that I have no competence or authority to talk about. I can only say that I read what seemed to me to be a learned piece the other day by a distinguished lawyer who argued that there is a difference between reasonableness in respect of a...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: That is one trouble. The other trouble is that it excludes women from having any judgment at all. That is one of the problems with "a reasonable man". There has been some discussion on my fourth point, notably in the speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, South (Mr. Buchan). He referred to the whole concept. Under the Bill as drafted the makers of a film could be convicted on a...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: That is right. The hon. Member for Cannock and Burntwood is seeking, as I ventured to say in an intervention, to persuade the House to vote today to give him leave to bring in a Bill that is different from this Bill. That is not just an amendment; it is a total rewriting of the Bill. It is going back to the experience last year, when a Bill was rewritten twice.

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: The Minister said that he would not do it again, but I am glad to give way.

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I am not a lawyer, and I shall not argue about the law with lawyers. I was surprised to hear what the Minister said in the intervention that he promised not to make. The Bill specifically mentions items, and an item is not a thing taken as a whole. We do not want to repeat last year's experience of rewriting a Bill in Committee. Fifthly, the new test does not allow the court to take into...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: The scene may be designed to deter people from taking drugs, but the film's makers can still be convicted on the basis of a single scene. Sixthly, the new test does not require any viewer or reader to be grossly offended. A publisher, author or producer, or even a cameraman, can be charged and convicted even if no one has seen the material. The law could be applied by reference to a...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: I am sure that the hon. Gentleman has a point, but I rest on what the Bill says, and particularly on the two words "by him". Anything inserted by anyone in the film or documentary makes him liable. My tenth point is that clause 4(2) declares that any person who has an article in his ownership, possession or control with a view to the matter recorded on it being included in a television or...

Orders of the Day — Obscene Publications Bill (3 Apr 1987)

Mr Ian Mikardo: Well, well. The courts are saying that "offensive" means anything that causes offence. That is what that message means. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will think for a moment about that message. All that states is that anything is offensive if it causes offence. That does not take us much further. There can be many definitions of the word "gross". I think that the hon. Member for Cannock and...


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