Vulgarity and the House of Commons

There’s a fair amount of chatter regarding Claire Curtis-Thomas’ bid to place “lad’s mags” on the top shelf of newsagents. I’m still figuring out a logical way to approach the subject, but a side note of interest is this quote:

Ms Curtis-Thomas said descriptions of sexual acts in the ‘Dictionary of Porn’ in an April edition of Zoo magazine are “so graphic and repulsive I am prevented from quoting it on the floor of the House of Commons.”

I think this is more rhetorical trick than real statement – it seems unlikely she would have read them out anyway – but is there any truth to it? Are there things she wouldn’t be allowed to say in the House of Commons? If so, that’s stupid.

In related matters, Lord Tebbit thinks that Jonathan Ross asking David Cameron:

Did you or did you not have a wank thinking ‘Margaret Thatcher’?


an obscene attack on – and I use the word literally, obscene – on Margaret Thatcher.

I think some people need to lighten up. Also, it would help if they watched the interview and saw the context of the query. Interesting question, though: is it ever offensive to have somebody fantasise about you? Even if you’d rather they didn’t, or even if it’s in a stalker-esque manner, isn’t the act inherently flattering? Maybe if they were misrepresenting you, but then it wouldn’t really be a fantasy about you…Not sure. This links in with lad’s mags, in a way.

Incidentally, JR’s (extremely good, imho) interview with DC is available on the BBC website, but the offending segment has been cut out so you should watch it here and here instead.