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British Board Of Film Classification

Volume 302: debated on Tuesday 9 December 1997

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11.27 pm

I wish to present a petition for the reform of the British Board of Film Classification and the introduction of a system of classification for television programmes. [Interruption.]

Will hon. Members leave the Chamber as quickly and quietly as possible?

The petition, which is signed by 27,000 people, states:

To the honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
The humble petition of residents of the United Kingdom sheweth—
The announcement by Her Majesty's Government of an intended review of its policy towards film and television signifies the growing acceptance that degrading and violent images can indeed desensitise and trigger acts of violence by both children and adults.
Wherefore your petitioners pray that your Honourable House will:
  • 1) Reform the British Board of Film Classification, which is currently funded by the film industry and ipso facto not independent.
  • 2) Establish, as part of such a reform a mechanism and office whereby specific film classifications might be routinely challenged by members of the public.
  • 3) Establish a system of independent classification for films and other programmes shown on terrestrial and British-based cable television…
  • 4) accept, on behalf of the British people, a responsibility to produce energetically, through European and international treaty, ways of enforcing publication of programme classification on satellite television companies…
  • And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
    I thank the Movement for Christian Democracy, a non-party political group, for the work it did in gathering this petition of 27,000 names. I commend it to the House.

    To lie upon the Table.