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By Jason Michael

Brexit Britain is the laughing stock of Europe. The international press is describing the London government as incompetent and out-of-touch. What are the members of the Cabinet doing about this mess – they’re having a wank.

What’s the harm in looking at a little porn at work? Most of us tend not to browse pornography at work for a number of reasons. Few of us have private offices where we can knock one off in peace without upsetting our co-workers. Others don’t engage in onanism at work because we actually have jobs to do. Then there is the possibility that if we’re caught fiddling with ourselves on the company dime we’re more likely than not to be given the boot. But surely, if no one minded and the boss encouraged that sort of thing, we’d all be at it; beating ourselves silly like frustrated Bonobos to our work computer screens whenever the urge came upon us?

This is certainly the line Damian Green’s apologists are taking. Following a routine inspection by the police his government issue laptop was found to contain copious amounts of porn, some of it described as “extreme.” We’ve been given no examples of what sort of material this is, and “extreme” is a subjective term. So we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and describe this as a lot filth some police officers would deem beyond the pale of their own pornographic tastes. At first he denied it, and this never helped matters. But, then, who wouldn’t deny it? What we are being told – for the time being – is that it wasn’t illegal material. It didn’t include images of children, animals, or abuse – unlike the case of former Scottish Labour councillor Sean Morton.

If it wasn’t illegal, his supporters and a number of commentators online are saying, and if it didn’t involve paedophilia, rape, or bestiality, then surely there is no harm in an adult man viewing it at work and on a work computer. There are a number of problems with this defence. Damian Green, the First Secretary of State of the United Kingdom – the de facto Deputy Prime Minister, with one of the highest levels of security clearance in a state armed with nuclear weapons, has been accessing unsecured nefarious websites on a government laptop at a time when we know the Russian foreign intelligence services are on the prowl. That is a problem.

Mr Green is not employed by a double glazing company in Milton Keynes. He is in the employ of the British state and he is paid by the British taxpayer; meaning that you and I are funding what is clearly a porn addiction. There is, as we are continually reminded, no magic money tree. In the year to March, according to data from the Trussell Trust, almost 1.2 million people in the UK were forced to turn to foodbanks, almost a ten per cent rise from the previous year. We – that’s you and me – are paying for pornography for a senior member of the British Cabinet; a man who earns more than £74,000 a year and who claimed a further £152,153.79 last year alone, when people the length of Britain are being driven to foodbanks in record numbers. Aye, that’s a problem too.

We also have the question of moral decency, quite aside from the aforementioned ethical and moral problems. The morality of porn is difficult. Considering the global proliferation of the internet and the ubiquitousness of smut on it, and indeed the wide spectrum of what constitutes porn, it’s clearly not a simple black and white moral issue. One would need a degree in philosophy to navigate the questions involved. Interestingly enough Damian Green graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1977 with a degree in philosophy. Of all the members of the British government, he is the one I would have expected to have understood Kant’s categorical imperative of not treating people as a means to our own ends, but as ends in themselves. That he doesn’t is a problem for me.

Where does this come from? Green knew his laptop was regularly and routinely inspected by the police and the security services. What sort of moron would knowingly fill up their browsing history and hard drive with porn when they knew it would be gone over forensically by the police technical bureau and some suits from GCHQ? Only someone who knew they were protected and beyond the reach of normal consequences would do this. Think about it, this means we are looking at a culture of deviance, permissiveness, and protection at the highest level of the British government. Remember, the only problem for him was that it was leaked by the police.

Green has spent his whole life in a culture of privilege marked by the very same deviance, permissiveness, and protection. As a child he attended the exclusive boys’ school, Reading Grammar. Over half of the members of the British government – 56 per cent to be exact – went to exclusive independent boarding schools well known for their traditions of licence, fagging, and sexual favours. “I think rapes certainly wouldn’t have been called rapes,” said former Sunday Telegraph editor Peregrine Worsthorne of his time at Stowe School. “I have never been raped. There was a system of sexual favours, but they never happened with violence. A lot of buggery went on, and things in that area.” Old boys look after one another. They don’t call it rape and they certainly don’t go telling tales out of school. Damian Green was among friends.

Should we have a problem with Green having a tommy tank at work – in the House of Commons, on a government laptop? Yes we should, and for a whole load of reasons (excuse the pun). Besides the obvious hygiene issues, it is a serious risk to national security, it is a waste of taxpayers’ money, and it betrays a very British upper-crust culture of using people as instruments for one’s own selfish sexual pleasure. Personally I don’t care what sort of online sex floats his boat, be it vanilla bettys-big-boobs.com or powerful men being urinated on by male prostitutes. What bothers me, and what should bother you, is that right now – at the most crucial stage of the most dangerous situation Britain has been in since the summer of 1940 – this country is being run by a shower of incompetent sexual deviants, incapable of thinking of anything other than their own mickeys. Yes, I have a problem with this.

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Emily Maitlis normalising porn at work for the BBC


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2 thoughts on “Damian Green, Porn, and Britain’s Deviant Establishment

  1. Imagine that ethical pornography actually exists – porn that is free from sex trafficking, coercion, drugs, revenge, minors, threat of violence, collapsing self esteem. I think that finding ethical porn in among all the other exploitative stuff there is like someone looking for a unicorn in the woods behind my house.
    The searcher will have viewed a lot of dark exploitative stuff before they ever find some elusive “ethical” porn. The fact that it is “only pixels on a screen” is a convenient, lazy delusion which cannot justify or wash off the moral stain from viewing this stuff. Viewing it is what creates the demand for it. I find it sad that we are even having a debate about Green’s future (and the way this is being drawn out it suggests he will staying in post for now).

    Liked by 1 person

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