Rights of online porn users should not trump those of children

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Opinion round-up: protecting kids from porn, the Car-Boot-Sale Olympics, and why Abu Qatada must stay

LAST UPDATED AT 10:14 ON Mon 23 Apr 2012

CHILDREN SHOULD COME BEFORE PORN USERS
MELANIE PHILLIPS ON ONLINE SEXUAL CONTENT
The civil liberties of pornographers are being placed before those of children, writes Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail. As any parent knows, it is inordinately difficult to keep an eye on what children are accessing on their computers and phones and hard-core internet pornography is very easy to find. A cross-party report published last week warned that "a whole generation were having their minds affected by images of depravity". Yet the companies making this material available have so far been irresponsible and even contemptuous. The Internet Service Provider's Association has the "gall to bleat about the threat to freedom of speech" if pornography was filtered out as a default setting. This is nonsense: adults would still have the freedom to "opt in" if they wanted to view the material. By refusing to properly police this material the companies – Sky, Virgin Media and BT – are "complicit in child sexual abuse".
 
OLYMPICS WILL BE SECOND RATE
JANET STREET PORTER ON NAFF LONDON 2012
Everything connected with the 2012 London Olympics looks "totally naff", writes Janet Street Porter in the Daily Mail. The rubbish logo which "any ten-year-old could improve on"; the "pitiful one-eyed mascot"; the "laughable bit of metal posing as a torch" – all are second-rate. Britain produces the best designers in the world, people like iPod creator Jonathan Ive and designers Tom Dixon and Jasper Morrison, but 2012 will go down in history as the "Car-Boot-Sale Olympics". The 70-day torch relay route has clearly been drawn up by "lobbying from local MPs, and threats from sponsors and the rich who want it to go past their stately homes". The 28 police officers assigned to guard the torch on its odyssey have been issued special kit and, bizarrely, are to "receive counselling to help them cope with being away from their homes for 70 days". The whole thing will cost a fortune, disrupt traffic and interrupt normal activities such as going to school and "learning something to try to get a job".
 
WHY ABU QATADA SHOULD STAY IN BRITAIN
JOHN RENTOUL ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LAW
Abu Qatada should stay in the United Kingdom because we have respect for the concept of "innocent until proved guilty" writes John Rentoul in The Independent on Sunday. When David Cameron said last week that he wished he could throw Qatada on a plane and personally take him to Jordan the Prime Minister encapsulated the "paradox of human rights law". Qatada is not the sort of person we want around, he is not British, so why can't we just sling him out? The short answer is "because we are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights". British lawyers helped draft the convention and the UK was a founding signatory in 1950. It's the European Court of Human Rights that is the problem, interpreting the convention in ways that the drafters never intended. There is no reason, for instance, that Qatada couldn't be tried by a British court, especially now that the convention rights have been incorporated into British law in the Human Rights Act. Part of the point of the act, long ago when the right-thinking consensus was in favour of it, was to reduce the need to go to the Strasbourg court.
 
MANCHESTER UNITED NEED REINFORCEMENTS
JAMES LAWTON ON FERGUSON'S FLAWED SQUAD
Manchester United's 4-4 draw with Everton yesterday revealed real weaknesses in Alex Ferguson's team, writes James Lawton in The Independent. The failure of the team to close down a match which would have all but sealed the title was staggering. "United are not supposed to show such frailty". Paul Scholes could not control the pivotal stages of the game and Michael Carrick was "at a loss" as to how to shut down a battling Everton side. What is more, United's defence, under constant pressure from Fellaini, Pienaar and Jelavic, "revealed itself to be unfit for purpose". United remain "in the most serious need of a major re-seeding". While Nani, Rooney and Welbeck are all performing brilliantly, the rest of the squad is looking the weakest of any United side for years. At the very least Ferguson must use this summer to buy two defenders and two midfielders. · 

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