Laying bare the dangers and depravity of televisual types of pornography

I'm worried about pornography on television. Not that I have any more objection to one set of grown adults watching another set of grown adults gyrating on the screen than I would have to their watching all-in wrestling.

It is a world-wide phenomenon. In Los Angeles pornography is a lucrative industry with its own Oscars, the stars drawn from young men and women who prefer it to pumping gas or nine to five in an office.

By doing the crossword of one of the highest-browed of our Sunday newspapers, I found in Ancient Greece there were two types of harlot – the high class and the ordinary brothel worker. The word for the latter is ‘pornoi’. So writing about these girls is pornoi+graphein = pornography. When in Pompeii, I’m sure you have averted your gaze from such depictions.

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But I am writing about pornography with its added modern insinuation – broadcast material which depraves/corrupts/leads to downfall. And currently there are two examples which any government ‘for the people’ should ban right away.

The first is any programme in which Mary Berry cooks. I am a type 2 diabetic. Yet I watch as she gaily ladles in 175 grams of butter twice in one recipe while the programmes’ come-on blurbs invite us into a land of milk, honey, eggs, sugar…

This completely undermines the work of the NHS and its devoted diabetes staff, who toil like King Canute to keep back the rising tide of obesity, to say nothing of eventual blindness, amputation or death.

The other form of pornography in its widest sense that I would ban is interest-slavery promotions. Currently there is one offering people a quick fix loan for a rate of 292 per cent. Ten years ago I watched this virus begin under a Labour Prime Minister, a son of the manse, who prided himself on his financial rectitude.

Do you know what a CCJ is? I didn’t until then, but it refers to a county court judgment, usually for bad debt. Yet those with CCJs and the unemployed, the elderly and the financially prodigal were invited to jump into the quicksand.

This pornography is also truly international, from the company which currently charges 1509 per cent APR to the Wall Street financiers ensnaring trailer dwellers until their own greed overwhelmed them and brought down the whole Western financial system, not least its acolytes in Edinburgh.

Can you imagine the outcry if television sold vouchers for bear-baiting, ivory tusks or rare animals? How much more should we arise and protest where human beings are involved?

Denis Frize is an English teacher. He lives in Dunblane.