Delingpole on Friday: If I’m a Wanker what does that make David Cameron?

There are some things men tend not discuss with their wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters. One of them is internet porn.

We don’t discuss it – even those of us with frank, happy relationships in which pretty much every other one of our innermost thoughts is on the conversational menu – not so much because it’s the terrible guilty secret of which we feel properly ashamed. But rather because it’s just one of those Things That Women Just Don’t Understand.

Women who work in the porn industry, maybe. (And, oh yeah, all right, if you insist, women who are into porn themselves or who have been persuaded that it’s a novel stimulus for their flagging sex lives with their regular partner). But not women generally. Like real ale, like tractor mowers, like zombie Nazis and flamethrowers, porn is generally a man thing, not a woman thing. No point trying to explain these things because you either get them or you don’t. It would be as fruitless as if our women folk tried one day to explain to us in lavish detail about why handbags matter. Or about precisely how they planned to decorate their toenails. Sorry not interested don’t care.

We men, on the other hand, do care. We know not just what MILF stands for (well duh!) but even what hentai and bukkakemean (both Japanese terms which tell you a hell of a lot about Japan). We know what our personal preferred search terms are and the kind of porn that gets us off best, be it solo masturbation or toys or anal or those fake reality ones where an innocent young girl goes in for what she thinks is a movie audition only, lo!, it turns out to be a porno tryout instead….

But these, like I said, and can’t say often enough, are matters we tend only to discuss among ourselves, preferably over a few ales on one of those off-the-leash weekends when we’ve been granted special dispensation by our beloved womenfolk to go off and have Man Fun.

Why? Again it can’t be said often enough, not because we feel guilty but rather to spare our beloved ones’ delicate feelings. They’d probably misconstrue our porn habits as a betrayal; a form of infidelity, even. But it’s not that at all. It comes down to something very simple, something best explained by the old joke:

Q. What’s the difference between an egg and a wank?

A. You can’t beat a wank.

Actually that’s not necessarily and certainly not always true. Given the choice between no wank ever again and no sexual intercourse ever again, I’d definitely go with the eternal ban on wanks, any day.

Luckily, we live in a universe where such cruel choices are rarely imposed on us.

But if they were, men’s lives – many women’s too, I’ve no doubt, thinking of all the girls I know with their trusty rabbit-eared friends in their bedside cupboards – would be significantly the worse for it.

Wanking is more than just a poor man’s sex substitute. It is also a perfectly desirable and ineffably pleasurable end in itself.

And thanks to the internet, the wanking opportunities (for men especially) are better than at any time in history.

In the bad old days we had to do with Razzle or Hustler or Penthouse or Mayfair. (Or, if desperate, our mental wank bank of girls – or boys – whose features we can recall in sufficient detail to be aroused by them).

Today, though, it’s all up there for free (unless you’re really fancy and insist on paying for the extra quality) on the internet. Bish bash bosh. The work of moments. An itch scratched. No harm done. What’s the problem?

Well as far as I’m concerned – and I suspect the vast majority of normal men would agree with me – no problem whatsoever. Porn serves a useful social function in much the same way that pubs or bookmakers or lapdancing clubs. Sure, it’s true, we wouldn’t all die if they were banned tomorrow. But as I’m sure King Lear would have said if Cordelia had caught him having a quick one in front of –

 O reason not the need.

Cordelia wouldn’t have understood, of course, for reasons we’ve already established. Probably when she got a bit older she would have become a regular on MumsNet where she would have contributed enthusiastically to any discussion thread urging that stiffer regulations should be imposed on internet pornography. I expect she would have been a great fan of Claire Perry the Conservative MP who, with the enthusiastic backing of a Christian radio network, has been using junk statistics and moral grandstanding, to press the case for more internet censorship. (She’s doing it for the children you understand. And clearly, when you’re doing something for the children all rules regarding acceptable behaviour for a parliamentarian cease to apply. For example, you can casually libel anyone who exposes the vacuousness of your cause, such as blogger Guido Fawkes…)

I’m not going to go into detail about why internet censorship is counterproductive and wrong – even when it’s notionally aimed at something as manifestly horrible as child pornography. For at least some of the arguments read this by Willard Foxton and this by Mic Wright I’d be most interested to hear what our resident tech blogger James Eadon has to say on the subject.

Let’s instead just cut to the chase here. As part of a cynical, vote-grubbing exercise entirely characteristic of his principle-free premiership, David Cameron has decided to declare war on “child porn” and “rape porn.”

But in the process of creating this extra layer of utterly pointless regulation (which will of course end up costing us all yet more money we haven’t got in order – at our expense – to win easy plaudits from the Daily Mail, Cordelia and her lefty authoritarian harpie mates at MumsNet) Cameron has also successfully conflated online internet child abuse (a bad thing, clearly) with porn generally (a harmless thing, exploiting no one, serving a valuable function both as a form of entertainment and a release, and enjoyed quite legally by men – and some women – all over the world, every second of the day).

The precise details of British men’s private wanking arrangements used not to be considered something to warrant government intrusion. But David Cameron has now decided that it is. In future, he has decreed, when you sign up to join an internet service provider you will be forced to go through the humiliating process of opting in to be able to receive porn services on your computer. (The default setting will be that you have opted out).

This, I can predict, is going to result in a lot of friction in households across the land. (But not, I fear, friction of the enjoyable manual variety). Everywhere, I can imagine conversations going something like this:

She: “You accidentally ticked the opt-in box. Luckily I spotted just in time.”

He: “WHAT?”

She: “Well you can’t seriously think we need pornography on our home network. It won’t be long before Johnny starts looking for this sort of thing – in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t already.”

He: “So what if he does. Boys will be boys. He’s got to learn sometime. At school we all used to have dog-eared copies of Penthouse with the best pages stuck together….”

She: “Yes, but that was eons ago. Now it’s all donkeys and underage girls and rape porn. You’ve no idea what terrible stuff they show on the internet these days.”

He: “Well you’ve no idea, clearly. Where did you read all that rubbish? MumsNet?”

She: “And since when were you the great internet expert…Oh my God. You don’t? Surely you don’t…..”

Thanks Dave. Thanks a bloody bunch.

14 comments on “Delingpole on Friday: If I’m a Wanker what does that make David Cameron?

  1. Simon Roberts
    July 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    UK Governments have been trying for some time to find ways to control the internet.

    Some years ago I was working for a company providing IT services to a government department. They were forever complaining that ISPs weren’t cooperating with their desire to have an “off” switch for anything that the government found inconvenient. Whenever I asked why they wanted to control the internet (although I already knew the answer) I got the inevitable responses “porn” and “terrorism” and occasionally “fraud”.

    The internet is the first form of communication that is global, free and allows one-to-many conversations. As such, politicians hate it. When was the last time you heard politicians speaking of the internet in positive terms? That’s right, never.

    The Government doesn’t give a toss about any potential impact on the innocent or it wouldn’t constantly find ways to let sex offenders (and others) out of prison at the earliest possible opportunity and preferably not send them to prison at all.

    I know that I’m stating the obvious here, but this is about control. I’ll state something even more obvious – it is the parent’s responsibility to oversee what their children do on the internet.

    Arguing that Little Johnny will find ways around any controls you impose is merely to admit that you are unfit to be a parent. Start taking your parenting responsibilities seriously and stop blaming other people for your inadequacies. If you don’t know about internet filtering – learn.

    • Simon Roberts
      July 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      PS: That domain name doesn’t work james, did you mis-spell it?

  2. john miller
    July 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Ahh, progress…

    1960 – Lady Chatterly’s Lover trial
    1968 – Last Exit to Brooklyn trial
    1970-2000 Dear old Mary Whitehouse
    2013 – David Cameron pushes through gay marriage (which would have been considered obscene and heretical in 1960) but wants to further Mary’s laughable crusade of prissiness.

    And re Simon Roberts’ point above, just think of the millions of adults who are going to be stigmatised in the eyes of the State by likes of little Tarquin opting in to porn on behalf of the Tuffley-Twigg family…

  3. right_writes
    July 27, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Why anyone would want to look at the Daily Mail, or vote for or join the CONservative party is beyond me…

    They both remind me of the character played by Miriam Margolys (I think) in Blackadder, who was into strapping a cross on and eating a diet of raw turnips…

    All just a show…

    Whilst secretly the most devious and underhanded types.

  4. Chris
    July 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    The more I listen to Cameron, the more I despair for my country.

    Gay marriage, trying to change the laws of lineage in the Royal Family and Syria.

    All unimportant when compared to what is happening in the UK.

  5. Rastech
    July 28, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    ” But not women generally.”

    I think you would be rather surprised at the reality James.

    Porn sites are even worse for spyware, malware, and computer vira, than using P2P such as Torrent (more than bad enough).

    Let’s just say as somebody who was the guy in the area to sort computer problems out, far and away the biggest problems were with computers owned by the ladies.

    The very worst I came across was a shared house full of young ladies. It took over 8 hours to do just the first pass with the antivirus software. That pass removed over 58,000 malware and spyware, and just under 2,000 vira. It took all the next day to finish cleaning their computer.

    I told them it was the worst case of an infected computer I had ever come across, and one asked how it had happened for it to be so bad.

    Easy I said. Porn sites.

    They all went bright red and then the hilarity ensued, as the finger pointing started. lmao!

    • catweazle666
      July 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      I lost a customer through that, Rastech.

      Despite being shown the log records of the precise times, dates, sites etc. the reply I got was “my daughter wouldn’t do a thing like that! Get out of my house!”. The daughter was 14 at the time…

      Another fairly common reaction from parents when there is a teenager in the house is “the little ******, I’ll kill ‘im!”

  6. David
    July 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I cant wait until Delingpole is prime minister, more jelly wrestling, party members with lap dancing clubs, guilt free middle age wanking to teenagers in porn….he should stand for his own Who Gives a Toss party.

  7. Mark
    July 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    I wouldn’t even talk about it with my male friends – icky. It’s a bit like shaving you either do it yourself, or you go somewhere whose profession it is to do it.

  8. John Smith
    August 1, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    David Cameron has revealed that he intends to force all internet service providers to filter porn unless adults opt in. But the trouble with this sort of proposal is the danger of it becoming the thin end of a very dangerous wedge. I remember all too well the days when governments made laws to control our sexuality….when possession of a video showing….heaven forbid…a bona fide male human erection, could result in confiscation of the video and possible prosecution, whilst those producing it could recieve hefty prison sentences. I mean, what? Every adult male has experienced having one, and almost every adult female has seen one. It is a perfectly normal thing. Why should it ever have been illegal for consenting adults to show it on film and other consenting adults to view it?

    As a social libertarian, I firmly believe in the freedom of adults to do and experience, and to see, anything they like whatsoever, providing that they are harming no one else, or that no one else is being harmed or abused for their viewing pleasure. Of course, this means that, even as a social libertarian, I recognise some forms of porn as morally unacceptable, and indeed evil, and have every desire to see access to it limited to the greatest possible extent. Examples would of course include paedophilia, but also snuff porn, necrophilia, bestiality – basically anything that does not involve consenting adults. Rape scenes are a difficult area though, because many people, especially women actually, have rape fantasies which they would never want to happen for real but which they might act out as role play with a consenting partner. So-called rape porn can simply facillitate that. Trouble is, it can also fuel the fantasies of those men who actually want to go out and rape someone for real. And, potentially, some of the most extreme rape porn out there could actually involve the filming of actual rapes, which is utterly unacceptable. I guess in terms of legality, I think I would draw the line as follows – depicting rape scenes as a fantasy being acted out by consenting adults I think should be acceptable. But depicting rape as something being done to an unwilling and traumatised victim should not be.

    In terms of the law, it is important for us not to try and determine what should – and what should not – be illegal purely based upon our own personal preferences. It is easy for us to see something that disgusts us, and think that it should be illegal because we find it disgusting. But different people find different things disgusting, and some are more easily disgusted than others. And if we allowed majority preferences to determine sexual acceptability, we would quickly find the nanny state back in our bedrooms again. No, for me the test of whether something should be illegal or not should take no account whatsoever of any individual’s personal preferences, but should purely be determined on the basis of whether those performing the sexual activity, whether in real life or in porn, are consenting adults or not, and whether any porn depicts consensual sexual activity between adults or not. I am fully aware that some types of extreme pornography – eg copraphilia – could be performed by and viewed by consenting adults and thus would not be illegal by my definition. But however disgusted by such things I may be, if it involves only consenting adults, then it is not my place to judge and should be no business of the law.

    Now as to this porn filter idea. Fact is, internet service providers already give parents the option of filtering out porn content. If some are choosing not to do so it is likely in most cases that they are unaware of how to do it, and a simple explanation can sound very complicated to someone who is not computer literate. I could go along with ISP’s being legally obliged to do more to help such parents, perhaps even, if requested, sending someone around to activate the filters for them. I could go along with making it a legal obligation to have all such filters in use automatically in children’s bedrooms, schools, libraries, etc. But applying these filters across the board for everyone, unless they opt in, is a step too far in my view, and threatens to give our self-appointed moral guardians – those paragons of virtue known as MPs – the ability to restrict our adult right to view consenting adult material – to impose their moral or sexual preferences upon us, in effect. Because once a blanket filter is established with an opt in to porn as a necessary requirement, how long before our right to opt in is limited in ever more areas? First the consensual stuff that most easily arouses disgust – eg copraphilia and extreme S&M, but in the end it could end up with something as fundamental as the erect penis being banned again, whilst hardcore porn is driven underground and totally unregulated, a growth industry for criminals much less likely to include only consenting adults amongst their performers. Furthermore, how long would it be before all those adults choosing to opt in, had their names being placed on some government or police register?

    No, I don’t like this idea at all, not because of any flaw I see in it’s intended purpose, but because of where it could lead. And potentially, once in place, the scope of such filters could be extended beyond adult sexuality to censor unwelcome political views or suchlike. And that really would be dangerous.

  9. John Smith
    August 3, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I post this here because I wish to draw attention to something that I believe ought to be aired, and hopefully Mr Delingpole has access to people at the Telegraph that I do not. I give my full approval to any content here being more widely published, either by the Telegraph or anyone else. I just haven’t been able to find a suitable email address at the Telegraph to send this to.

    Firstly, let me state that I am not a Telegraph reader or subscriber, and am not really in the same place politically. I am in fact something of a left wing liberal who has never voted Conservative in my life, and until now my preferred choice of reading tended to be the Guardian, which as well as being in accord with me politically, I always regarded as being a beacon of free speech. I realise now that I was wrong about the latter and was obviously somewhat naive, as was demonstrated recently in a discussion on it’s comment pages over a pro-feminist article.

    The following article in the Guardian’s comment –
    elicited a wholly predictable debate. Amidst much intelligent debate, there was also the usual misogynistic bile from anti-feminist woman haters, as well as the women-are-holier-than-thou-victims-of-bastard-men type responses from women. But I began to notice a general trend of deletion of all comments in any way critical of feminism, not just the mysogynistic and hateful ones but even those making reasonable points in a reasoned manner.

    Anyway, using a new account, I decided to chime in with a reasonable critique of the kind of men who are sad enough to post mysogynistic stuff on Twitter, only to have my comment quickly deleted, for apparently “offending against community standards”. Anyway, I made a second comment, this time about the general issue of gender equality and issues related to it. And again it was quickly deleted for supposedly offending against their community standards. But this time I had made the precaution of saving a copy, so that if this occurred I could publish it elsewhere, and ask what is supposedly so unreasonable about it? Looks like a perfectly valid opinion to me and certainly in no way abusive. threatening, or insulting.

    Anyway, here is the supposedly “offensive” comment that I posted:-

    “I must say that – as a male who believes totally in gender equality and who respects women – that I have qualms about talk of a “manosphere”, or of a general male backlash against feminism. Yes, there are those men who genuinely still hold to the neanderthal view that they are superior to women and that women are mere chattels, there to do their bidding. These have always resented feminism and still do. But they are not really representative of the majority of us. I for one, like many men, have always believed in and supported the feminist aim of equality for women. But I always took it for granted that equality for men would be part of the deal too.

    “Fact is though – in ways both big and small – it can sometimes be men who are on the recieving end of unequal treatment. This is most obviously the case in family law, where the default assumption is almost ALWAYS that the female is the more suitable parent, and only compelling evidence to the contrary in specific cases ever seems to shift that assumption. Domestic violence towards men is treated much less seriously than that towards women. And although the fact is that the former occurs much less frequently, this doesn’t make it any less serious when it does. TV dramas, and even soaps, frequently depict women watching male strippers as normal and acceptable and a good laugh. But the concept of males watching female strippers – the exact same thing but with the gender roles reversed – is invariably depicted as sleazy and the men as sleazebags. And on that banal Big Brother show there was some controversy when a drunken female tried to pull down the shorts of a male to expose his nudity to the cameras. She was given a warning but no other action was taken. Yet we all know that if a guy had done that to a girl there would have been immediate intervention and he would have been kicked off our screens straight away. And I could give numerous other examples, big and small.

    “Now I am well aware that women are still discriminated against much more widely than men – in many more areas. And this is wrong. But those many males who are inclined to be behind feminists all the way here are frequently exasperated by their reactions when it is us guys getting a raw deal. The least we want from them is a recognition that unfairness towards men is wrong too, even though we understand that this will not be the main focus of their campaigning. But instead, when unfairness towards men is mentioned to feminists, most commonly there is one of two responses. One response goes something like “Tough! Now men can see just a fraction of what we women have had to put up with throughout history!” But such an attitude, towards many men who would be on their side, apparently relishing any injustice we experience as a kind of turning of the tables, a punishment wreaked upon us for the crimes of past men, seems to us like a desire for revenge rather than equality. The other response is to use intellectual and logical arguments, as far as is possible, to try and support, excuse, or justify discrimination in favour of women where this occurs.

    “Neither response is going to endear itself to men who fully support equality for women, and ask only that equality for men be accepted too. Much of the cited backlash against feminism by the supposed “manosphere” is a reaction against this apparent inability on the part of so many feminists to recognise that gender inequality is ALWAYS wrong, WHICHEVER, gender is getting the raw deal.”

    Now whether anyone agrees with my opinion or not, what on earth is so unreasonable – let alone offensive – about it that it merits being deleted for “offending against community standards”? What seemed to be happening there was a systematic censoring of all views in any way critical of feminists or feminism, however reasoned, with little serious effort being made to seperate considered and reasoned critiques by someone like me, who actually pretty much agrees with the main objectives of feminism, from the bigotted hate squad who just wanted to be mean to women. I repeatedly attempted to obtain an explanation of exactly why my comments were deleted and exactly what was so objectionable about them, only to have specific sets of rules referred to me, perusal of which clearly demomstrated to me that I had in no way broken them! I don’t know what kind of mods they are employing there, but surely it would take a pretty extreme feminist to view feminists as being above even the most reasonable criticism, finding any criticism at all deeply offensive. Such a person is not a true liberal at all, but a fanatic and a zealot. Anyway, I have asked for my accounts there to be deleted. I simply refuse to post on a political forum of any kind that operates political censorship so blatantly. And if even a lefty liberal like me can fall foul of the place, the censorship being deployed is clearly excessive.

    The Guardian certainly appears to have an agenda here, when even reasoned criticism is being censored as unacceptable.

    • Gareth Williams
      August 5, 2013 at 7:57 am #

      @John Smith. John, there are some things you are just supposed to believe without thinking, and without questioning. If you don’t, you are not just wrong but a bad person, and not fit for the guardian website. And you have a small penis. See here:

      You may be happier here. But be careful – once you start thinking and questioning, where might it end?


  1. Internet Porn: first they came for our filth, then they came for our freedom | The Knife and me - July 27, 2013

    […] Delingpole ‘fesses up. At least he’s open about […]

  2. Five reasons why the Conservatives deserve to lose the next election – Telegraph Blogs - July 30, 2013

    […] against all manner of online pornography. If it makes no sense, why is he doing it? Why out of a cynical attempt to win the approval of the leftist harpies at MumsNet, of course. Sorry but I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that government policy should be based on […]

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