Tuesday, 21 March 2006


Poor old Beazer is ill today, struck down with a nasty case of populism. This might just be the stupidest thing I can ever recall him saying.

I'm far from a Libertarian, but here's my take on this. Blocking porn, and spam, and other subjectively "undesirable" content, is a great service for an ISP to provide, and should be an important bullet point on the brochure that arrives in Mr & Mrs 2.3-kids Jones' letterbox on a Thursday. It is a vendor's value-add selling point, and legislators should steer well clear of it. Talk about making content filtering the legally-obliged default for internet service provision is just silliness. As for "its too hard to install a content blocker", that's patronising and insulting. Back me up here, John.

And anyway, what is Labour trying to achieve with this? The only creditable reason I can see is that it's an attempt to convince ISPs to offer abovementioned glossy bullet point more, but my cynical side doesn't buy it. Surely they don't really believe this is an important issue? Is it an attempt to wedge the big 'L' social conservatives from the few remaining small 'l' liberals in the government? Please! If the small 'l'-ers didn't poke out their little heads over the farcical changes to sedition in the terror legislation, why on earth would they do so over porn? Populist social conservatism is the new black in Australian politics, and liberals are judiciously ducking their heads. Kimmy, I know you're a caretaker, but for God's sake show a little ticker.

I got this via Chris, who we can all only hope will resume blogging at some point.

Update: I was being a bit harsh. Social conservatism isn't the new black. Looking like a moron while talking about net porn is the new black.

Update: I asked a question on Bartlett's blog, and he replied with an article. He's more conservative and less cynical than I am, but he still throws the "wedge" word out there.

There's also a good post over at Electron Soup.

I feel I'm dignifying this non-issue more than it merits. I'll post something else in a moment to get off of it.

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