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In praise of porn

If Labour returns Richard Desmond's money it will be the right deed for the wrong reason. Pornography brings order to nature

By John Lloyd   July 2002

The Labour party’s acceptance of a ?100,000 donation from Richard Desmond, proprietor of Express Newspapers and a range of pornographic magazines, has been presented as morally repugnant. Three cabinet ministers-Harriet Harman, the solicitor general, Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary and Clare Short, the international development secretary -have objected. They all claim to speak for women, whom they say will be affronted by the party being in debt to a pornographer.

The gift’s acceptance was wrong, not because Desmond is a pornographer but because he owns newspapers. Newspapers are in the same arena as politics: increasingly, the media defines politics. If…

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