Safety First

Some interesting closing speeches in the Max Mosley case. The News of the World's counsel, Mark Warby QC, seems to have attempted - as he has throughout the case - a forensic version of that paper's eternal pose, claiming to expose vice and degeneracy while simultaneously drawing attention to it. Most quotable was his characterisation of the evidence given by Mosley and the Chelsea four:

There was an attempt to present it as some kind of worthy activity attended by the most strict health and safety precautions as though it was all being carried out under the guidance of the Bondage and Sadomasochism Regulatory Authority.... There was an attempt, we suggest quite deliberately, to turn it all into some kind of farce, or to make it sound like a tremendous giggle.

Whereas of course it was "truly grotesque and depraved". Warby then turned to the judge, made his excuses, and left...

On the other hand, if the articles published in most quality newspapers over the weekend are to be believed, the idea of a BSRA (motto: regulations will be strictly enforced) may not be so far-fetched. This from Saturday's Independent, for example:

"People who don't know about it think it's seedy," Tracy says. "They think it's all about sex. But it's really about role-play, humiliation, being trampled on and belittled. It's about mutual pleasures, not sex." She sounds genuinely indignant when she tells of a chap who came into Peaches the other day and asked for a hand-job. "I told him," she said, "You've got the wrong idea completely'." Yes, says Dave. "It's not just a quick jump, like a massage parlour. And you've got to be a member. We don't want the council turning on us. We've been here for two years." Dave is very keen on health and safety. Amid the instruments of torture is a notice saying, "No smoking please as this is against the law".


valdemar said…
I can't help feeling that the bloke who writes 'Family Guy' has somehow taken control of this topic. I keep expectig an evil baby to jump up and say something pithy. But to most of us it is, indeed, a bit of a giggle. I don't get the appeal of S&M, though some of the gear is cool. Why this particular form of role-playing is worse than dressing up in Civil War gear at weekends is not at all clear to me.
The Heff said…
I am remonded of a quote by Stewart Lee which I will badly mangle here: "I was at an S&M dungeon the other day. There were people whipping one another and pissing on their chests. One man had too much to drink and was sick then thrown out. It's interesting to see that even in the most unusual parts of society, basic standards of decency are maintained".

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