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I see how this fits with the family theme but even if parts of the music industry clean up their acts others will still peddle the nasty stuff. The only benefit I can see from this is that parents might become more alert to what their kids might be listening to and talk to them about it. There has been a revolution in how children are brought up. Once it was mums, dads, vicars and teachers who were kids' main influences. It then increasingly became peers and celebs. Now children learn so much from internet-based social networking sites. Parenting has never been harder! Parenting is now more about educating children about the influences on them. That includes the music industry. Children cannot be kept in cotton wool but they can be equipped to resist bad influences.

Funny I thought Copyright Law came under the EU


I do hope Cameron is careful as the Germans want an EU-wide levy on CD/DVD-burners as in Germany and a GEMA licensing system across Europe....

NOw I close italics Editor I have mastered instead the art of rendering all text as a hot-link ! I don't think it is a good idea though !

Good post, Jennifer Wells.

David Cameron is right but dodges the real issue. The "rap" problem is concentrated in certain types of community. They need tough, no nonsense policing that will no doubt offend the offend "community leaders" and the Guardianistas. It is time for real action rather than appeasement and the politically expedient talk of "community cohesion".

Another problem lies with the police tackling soft targets rather than violent crime. The new smoking ban will divert more police time towards enforcing politically correct and nanny state laws.

A lot of this 'music' is imported from the USA. I should think most of it is, so perhaps Cameron is addressing the wrong people.

I have a horrible feeling that this was really poorly thought-through. Tim Worstall made a lot of points I'd make.


"They need tough, no nonsense policing that will no doubt offend the offend "community leaders" and the Guardianistas."

I'm not sure about that - policing by consent is very important, and the British police have been very good at that. You don't want to alienate a community by heavy-handed policing if you can help it. OTOH policing in a multi-cultural society is always going to be very difficult, since an approach appropriate to one group may cause problems with another group.

Example - Lambeth's 'softly softly' approach to cannabis use, predicated on there being no community consent within the West Indian community/ties to heavy-handed policing of cannabis use. when I accompanied a Safer Neighbourhood Team patrol in Tooting recently, they found a group of white ethnic-English smoking cannabis, who were outraged at being stopped (and in one case arrested) for cannabis smoking, since they had it in their heads that it was no longer a crime. A consistent message of enforcement would have been better in their case.

Encouraging role models is an excellent counter to the nihilism of hip hop. But changing the content? The whole point of teen culture is rebellion, from rock 'n' roll through to rave culture. The kids like it and that's why it sells so we're weeing in the wind. All is not lost though. As a persisting fan of the Sex Pistols, Crass and the Angelic Upstarts (all attacked by the Tories in the past) I have nevertheless become a well-respected pillar of society [LOL]

Its oh so easy to blame the music industry for crime. What Cameron is saying here is that if music wont be more socially responsible than restrictions should be placed upon it.

This is a very dodgy territory to go with the socially responsible message.

I've no doubt that 'gangsta rap' encourages crime through glamourising and promoting a criminal lifestyle. It's certainly not the only culprit. One thing that has disturbed me recently is the prevalence of fairly graphic posters for serial-killer movies, both billboard and on the London Underground, and TV ads likewise.

Cameron has always argued that business must be socially responsible and, of course, that includes the music industry. No business should be glamorizing violence, antisocial or dangerous behaviour.

However, Cameron is embarrassingly wrong about the copyright carrot he offered the music industry. An effective carrot might have been to promise that a Conservative government would do more to act against copyright theft. Then he might have got their interest.

Cameron could have learned all this from a two minute chat with anyone connected to IP publishing. Whoever was responsible for this speech needs the taxi driver talk.

Oh God, not a politician wittering on about music- or 'Gangsta Rap'! Dullsville. I can't listen to the stuff anyway- it's rubbish! De La Soul's more my cup of tea. Mind you, not all 'Gangsta Rappers' remain Gangsta. Just look at that one from ( i think) NWA - who did the famous 'F'k tha police'. He's appearing in 'family orientated' films for kids! Now that's Gangsta man! Now , if DC said he wanted to ban Simon Cowell produced plop, he would have had my full support!

Piece over weekend in Telegraph concerning rap music. Article said that sales going downhill as people react to the violence of rap lyrics and the violence that rap spawns. US music coys are insisting that rap be cleaned up and the naughty words expunged, or bleeped on airplay.
Clearly rap is nothing more than transient phenomena.
Music copywright is an EU issue. DC must ask Brussels nicely or get that nice man Broon to give us a Referenda.
DC can perhaps make hay that this small issue has been taken away from the UK, so what else can't we deal with.

Well said, TFA Tory - that was just what I wanted to say.

It's good that the censorship route isn't being indulged. I'm not sure what just talking will do either. But I don't really know much about this area of the music industry.

Simon Newman is absolutely right to point out that graphic violence is big money in other industries though -- particularly 'torture porn' films and videogames.

There's a cautionary tale in the handling of violent videogames. When Stephen Pakeerah was murdered, attention was heaped on the game 'Manhunt'. The Mail, Keith Vaz and others beat the drums against it and it was briefly pulled from shelves.

As it turned out, the game was owned by the victim not the killer, and both the police and the courts didn't credit it as having any relevance to the murder. But as a result, a game which had received a tepid reception and poor sales until that point now gained a massive increase in sales, publicity -- and a sequel.

The sequel has now been banned, and the game companies are making changes. I suppose once they've milked it for publicity, it will be released in a slightly watered down manner but still achieving a much wider audience than I gather it ever deserved on merit.

Meanwhile, for the violence starved, the cinema listings for any given week at the moment are likely to feature at least one new 'torture porn' film -- 'Captivity', the 'Hostel' and 'Saw' films etc.

For films and games with little actual quality, which get tepid to appalling reviews, getting banned or protested is often built into the advertising strategy of the companies. It builds curiosity – and after all, sometimes censorship does get it wrong, and something is banned of the outstanding merit of 'A Clockwork Orange' or 'The Exorcist'. But most of the time, these films deliberately shock because that's what gets attention outside a niche audience.

A lot of time and effort and money is spent promoting these things in imaginative ways. 'Manhunt 2' was recently promoted by sending bloody medical alert bracelets through the post. I recently read a news article online where the newspaper's advertising window was running a fairly obnoxious video for one of the 'Hostel' films. This as well as posters, billboards, television slots etc.

Having strong libertarian instincts, I’m quite leery about any moves in this area. But I wonder if there's not a case for a ban on advertising for films and games which are rated 18 for extreme violence. They’re mostly obnoxious and sometimes target people, by accident or design, who shouldn’t be allowed to buy the videogames or watch the films in question anyway if the rules are being enforced. Let this stuff rise and fall on the acclaim of critics and the audience rather than the crass sensationalism of a lurid, ‘edgy’ advertising campaign.

No he is right to go on about this, and not only because it will ring a bell with concerned parents up and down the land. Something awful is happening to young people, left (by us, the adults) to fend for themselves at the hands of the purveyors of a nihilism that is at *best* inimical to the development of a sense of empathy with fellow citizens. This goes far beyond clinging to the Stranglers (Paul!) (OK me too) as a force for good into adulthood. Just *look* at the faces of the young people you see on the bus, vacant-eyed, heads lolling, with their tinny little phones pumping out a non-stop diet of misogynistic hatred (for everyone to listen to). It *cannot* be doing their development any good at all. Cameron is *not* calling for laws (James M) he is attempting to do what all Conservatives should find natural: stating that those who produce this stuff have a responsibility for what happens when it is introduced into the common public space.

Cameron needs a cap to be put in his ass.

No he is right to go on about this...

He'd be right to go on about this... if his solution wasn't nonsense.

I agree with those who are wary of this.

What is Cameron trying to do here - build imagery that is related to the family values theme? Okay, but teenage years are frequently about rebellion against the social order and is part and parcel of life. Get the early years right and real problems with adolescence will reduce, starting at Rap seems silly to me.

Finally: Propose legislation to sensor music? I certainly hope not.

Just commented on this subject on the general thread - but I'll say it again on here.... I personally hate the violent and anti-female lyrics of many rap songs and really would like to see something done to control this! It most certainly contributes to the current culture of violence and the use of guns and knives by young people.

Spot on, Graeme! Oh and talking of The Stranglers, you can include me as well!

What about Death Metal? You get some really nasty lyrics and imagery there, yet the metal scene is one of the best behaved, least anti-social group of people you'll ever meet. Do we get censored too, just because of some nasty little chavs using music as an excuse to be 'gangstas'?

Thersites: yes you do. Anything that isn't Belle and Sebastian should be banned.

Seriously. If there was a visible correlation between death metal and antisocial behaviour then I would support urging Death Metal music companies to consider their wider role than making profit. But as you say Death Metal (quelle nom!) doesn't exhibit this correlation.

Again: DC isn't talking about laws. He's talking about social responsibility. Nor has he said 'it's the rap music and only the rap music'. Gang "culture", and the anti-music which glorifies it, can be seen as part and parcel of the same issue as family breakdown (for what are gangs but substitute families?). I'm obviously talking about specific types of gangs, not the Famous Five (though they would be arrested the minute they opened their mouths these days).

Music doesn't force people to behave in a nasty and unpleasant manner. I used to listen to plenty of heavy metal and it never turned me into a psychotic lunatic.

There is no doubt that the music industry does produce some genuinely vile material but it is up to the listener how they interpret and react to that material. In short, don't blame the musicians for the behaviour of their fans, no matter how unpleasant those musicians may be. Their fans have free will and could just as easily choose not to immitate that they hear in lyrics.

Mark Fulford - Cameron DID promise that a Conservative government would do more to act against copyright theft.

As for being "embarrassingly wrong" about the carrot he offered, I'm not sure how you think he is wrong (although I'm not surprised you think he is if you rely on the report above). He did NOT promise to extend the copyright term generally to 70 years - in most cases it is already much longer than that. He said that it is our policy that copyright in recordings should be extended from 50 years to 70 years.

There has been an attempt to harmonise EU copyright laws - indeed, there have been attempts to harmonise such laws around the world, starting with the Berne Convention of 1886. Harmonisation of such laws is very useful to those producing copyright works. However, there are still differences between member states. Note, however, that Cameron did not say "we will", he said "our policy is" - not quite the same thing.

Another good move from Cameron. What is going on? Has he seen the light? At this rate he will be getting conservatives back on side.

Yes - all we need now are grammar schools and tax cuts and we'll be happy

Peter Harrison, thank you, I'm happy to have been wrong on this. After "Hug a Hoodie" I should have known not to pass judgement until I'd read the full text of the speech for myself.

Sally Roberts a Stranglers nut? What splendid taste you have.

Personally I would flush most rock etc 'music' straight down the nearest toilet.

The noise itself is loud, jarring and violent, and I have no doubt that it encourages anti-social tendencies, even though my own personal experience goes no further than sitting on a tube train next to some teenaged moron with his walkman turned up full blast.

However we all know that in the Cameron-approved Blairite permissive society any form of 'censorship' is not going to get very far, especially if it is of a sort that bears down particularly on our 'ethnic' brethren. Being a Radio 3 listener I know very little about 'Gangsta Rap', but I assume few of its practitioners are of Anglo-Saxon origin.

I also assume that a lot of this stuff goes out on 'ethnic' record labels and radio stations. Somebody like Cameron is not going to cut much ice with those guys.

"However we all know that in the Cameron-approved Blairite permissive society any form of 'censorship' is not going to get very far..." - 'Traditional Tory'

I suspect that if David Cameron proposed some form of 'censorship' of offensive lyrics, 'Traditional Tory' would accuse him of trying to establish a nanny state (or similar).

As Jack Stone (I think) once said, if David Cameron became a vegetarian, 'Traditional Tory'/'Alex Forsyth'/'Mark McCartney'/'Malvolio'/'Monday Clubber'/'Wallenstein'/etc wouldn't pause for breath before goose-stepping down to the local butcher.

Well that's a pretty lame comment Daniel. Mind you, if it originated with the witless troll 'Jack Stone' that's hardly surprising.

Had he suggested that if Cameron had spoken up for the meat industry I would have instantly turned vegetarian, that would have been mildly amusing. Think about it. You'll never replace Bernard Manning.

Actually I let my wife goose-step down to Tescos for our meat. She has a better idea of what she's doing.

if David Cameron became a vegetarian, 'Traditional Tory'/'Alex Forsyth'/'Mark McCartney'/'Malvolio'/'Monday Clubber'/'Wallenstein'/etc wouldn't pause for breath before goose-stepping down to the local butcher.

(sigh) more abuse.

Argue rationally or not at all. This sort of thing might make you feel better but it does nothing to convince anybody of anything except about you personally.

"Personally I would flush most rock etc 'music' straight down the nearest toilet.

The noise itself is loud, jarring and violent, and I have no doubt that it encourages anti-social tendencies, even though my own personal experience goes no further than sitting on a tube train next to some teenaged moron with his walkman turned up full blast."

So music should be censored just because you don't like it? Personally I can't stand rap but I do not believe that entitles me to call for the banning of all rap music just because I don't like or approve of it.

So music should be censored just because you don't like it?

I didn't say that. You can listen to what you want. I exercise my own personal censorship.

Mind you we're not talking music; we're talking noise pollution.

BTW, "Rap" is not music. It is ignorant, vile and vitriolic ranting with an atonal soundtrack. It's the perfect torture for the ignorant celebs attending Al Bore's Earth Day "concert"!

I don't know, Dr Dre is quite good and I find the lyrics funny rather than offensive (who has sold 65 million records with Eminem alone). The lyrics reflect the vlioence, grimness, squalour and glamour of gangster life in LA and what's wrong with that? Should country be sensored for lyrics that talk about violent alcoholic wife beaters who also have heroic qualities? My son has lots of rap albums and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I repeat my point earler, problems arise long before kids listen to Rap songs.

Legislation will eventually become the answer since the music industry wont voluntarily soften its music when that very music sells by the truckload.

As others have pointed out, since we are against disgusting music, can we please ask companies to be responsible about girly pop records and pop pap. That sort of music makes me want to go out and cause crime...

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