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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Now, it's not normally a topic one would read about on this blog. The subject has been covered in many other articles preceeding this one.
But, we in the UK are being, in this one's editorial opinion, un-necissarily censored.
MSN Chatrooms, three years ago, used to be stimulating sources of conversation between adults, especially in the Religion and Philosophy Room. In it's wisdom, that room, along with all other MSN chats, have been shut down, for the protection of children who were being 'groomed' by paedophiles.
Now this, in itself, is certainly not a bad thing.. The use of the net to seduce children is abhorrent, and controls were needed to put the stopper on this type of activity.
But to shut down an entire network of communication?
One finds it odd, that it's only MSN that has taken this action. AT&T and Lycos/Yahoo chatrooms are still open and available, and one has yet to even suspect anyone of trying to seduce a child on either of them.
Chatters themselves have reached a point of sophistication, wherein they police themselves, and anyone trying to be even covertly seductive to one suspected of being a child, is immediately reported to monitors.
This should be the rule in all cases.
We all know there are bad people out there who would molest children, and who would go into chat pretending to be that which they are not. But again, chat has evolved, and those who partake in discussions in rooms such as Religion, or Philosophy, can smell a child a mile away, and will have them removed.
There are chatrooms for kids, and they should be monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But those designed for adults, should be left to adults.
It is time MSN reconsiders it's position of censoring itself out of existence in the UK. There are few enough places available wherein intelligent conversation can take place, without having one of the biggest denied us.

Meanwhile, on the political front, it is suspected Tony will announce the date of his retirement at the next Labour Conference. There's a lot of pressure on the man to step aside, although God knows who will take his place and face David Cameron in the next General Election.
Labour is down to 31% public approval, it's lowest since Tony took power, and one can be sure the struggle to fill the vacuum of his leaving will drop public support even more. This is a sad situation for this country, for it means we'll need to adjust to yet another regeme, and adapt to it's new policies. This, while we have thousands of soldiers abroad, and thousands of national issues, economic and social, to be dealt with. We will be in turmoil, at least for a while, and this we cannot afford. Not even for a second.

Keeping a close eye on Kofi Annan's visit to the Middle East. It's a certainty Iran will pay lip service to appease the rest of the world's concerns about the development of a nuclear weapon. But it is also a certainty Iran will continue with it's program to produce such a weapon.
Rock and a hard place ain't in it..

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