Tuesday, 25 February 2014

PIE and Shirley

I am old enough to remember the "underground" press of the 1970s, the National Council for Civil Liberties, and the Paedophile Information Exchange, whose affiliation to the NCCL (a fairly mainstream organisation even then) was highly controversial at the time. However, the culture then was different. People on the left often believed in civil liberties and freedom of expression in a way that they do not tend to now, being too busy boycotting and divesting Israeli universities and fizzy drinks to exchange much that is useful in the way of ideas. Therefore, those who believed in "child love" (as I seem to remember it being called) were tolerated (and were very careful to call their organisation an "information" exchange, rather than, you know, porn swapping or anything of that sort.) It should be remembered that the PIE was never mainstream, and was always controversial. Some associated with it wanted the age of consent to be reduced to 10 - which is what it was in Victorian times, let us not forget - others made more general statements condemning persecution of people because of whom they loved. Now all this has come back to smack Harriet Harman, then chair of the NCCL and now deputy leader of the Labour Party, in the face. I feel sorry for her. She, like some now-elderly former DJs and television presenters, is suffering for having been around long enough to live through a radical change of culture.

Shirley Temple died the other day at the age of 85. She was possibly the most famous Hollywood child star there has ever been, and unlike most child stars she appeared to have come through the system relatively unscathed. Like most, however, her career more or less disappeared when puberty arrived. Unlike most, she went on to a political career and a great deal of respect internationally. When she died a couple of clips were shown almost universally, of her aged about three. She was not dressed provocatively, but sugar-sweet in frills. However, even those clips give pause, especially the one shown here, which shows her interacting with older men in ways which would be at least questionable today. Some of her films are never shown now, and some of what is still able to be shown is quite shocking by today's standards. Grown men pawing at a little girl for the entertainment of the public? OK in the 1930s. Not now. Good.

Oh and Shirley was curly. Vive la curly.


Anonymous said...

Not sorry for HH. Has dealt with it in a terrible and cack-handed way as 'demon Daiy Mail is out to get me'.
Dearie me. Oh golly Miss Molly.
Maybe. But they have a big point indeed. Shami Chakrabati was right in the way she handed it - threfore no sweat. HH handled it appallingly, as did Ed M and so sweat and red faces all round - and just yuuk.

Anonymous said...

Even more so now P Hewitt's cringe-worthy letter from the seventies has come to light