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Piers Akerman on the Bill Henson issue... [Oct. 11th, 2008|09:17 am]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |pensivepensive]

According to Piers Akerman (Geelong Advertiser) October 10th, 2008

"CAN you imagine the screams of outrage there would have been if Macdonald's, the Colonel or Pizza Hut was invited to scout for models by the principal of a primary school in a trendy inner urban suburb like St Kilda? Furious parents shrieking denunciations of those in charge would have been demanding scalps, the judgement of the school's head would have been decried."


"Certainly, the government's appointed morals police ruled that the Henson works were art not pornography when the storm erupted in May but the question today is about a high school principal who _ without informing the parents of her young charges _ walked her playground with Henson looking for students with just the right look of vulnerability that he could use in his trademark photographs.

While Knight's artistic approach to education may be lauded in some circles, it is not her role to facilitate casting calls for anyone, be they makers of ``creepy'' photos, or agents casting for youngsters to play roles in Oliver Twist. The Knights of the education world are the reason many parents prefer to pay more for private schools where the judgement is expected to be more responsible."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piers_Akerman (as retrieved 11th. October 2008)

Piers - I think you should read what is being written about you in Wikipedia and ask the editors to make suitable corrections as I'm certain you are a really nice person who is often misunderstood - especially by those who find your one-sided journalism somewhat creepy.

Piers Akerman (born June 1950) is a conservative columnist for the Australian News Limited newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Akerman has had charges of sexual harassment levelled against him by employees. Five former employees, three of whom agreed to be named, said they witnessed Mr Akerman sexually harass female members of his staff.[2][3] A group of female staff at The Sunday Herald met and agreed to protect each other in the office from Akerman's advances.[2][3]

One of the most controversial episodes in Akerman's life was his alleged threat to assault the literary editor of The Advertiser, Shirley Stott Despoja.[2][3] The dispute ended before a full bench of the Supreme Court where the newspaper appealed against Stott Despoja's successful worker's compensation claim for stress-related sickleave pay. Stott Despoja alleged: "I was physically threatened by the editor while alone with him in an office in a dispute over my work." The appeal by The Advertiser was dismissed and Stott Despoja won her $4000 claim.[2][3]

Responding to rumours about his alleged abuse of alcohol and cocaine, cited in both the New South Wales Parliament as well as the Australian Federal Parliament,[5][6] and in a Sunday Age article about him in 1991,[2][3] Akerman, who is clearly overweight, replied: "My appearance belies that story, don't you think?"

Akerman is a climate-change sceptic who argues fiercely against any suggestion as to human-driven global warming, although he has no credible background or knowledge in the relevant sciences.

Personally I'm not that much in favour of private schools especially those run by religious orders with a clergy renowned for seemingly continuous accusations of child abuse.

bob of blogspot and former resident of the "trendy innner urban suburb of St. Kilda"

BTW: St. Kilda is a beachside suburb. I suggest you take a tram down St. Kilda Road someday.

From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-11 04:32 am (UTC)

Bill Henson contrary to what Ms CRoggon was suggesting, has had his worked banned by virtually every major gallery in Europe, his kiddiefetish material is very illegal in London,

if you can't lawfully sell it in London, it has to be 'Oz' or 'Jap' art, it isn't mainstream. You can pick up a Henson print for under a 1,000 bucks in France these days, they won't put it on the wall or anythng.

He isn't Orsson Welles, he isn't even Andy Warhol.
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[User Picture]From: bobbain
2008-10-11 08:54 am (UTC)

I wouldn't know about the prices for Henson's art works in Europe but if it's possible to purchase it then it isn't illegal. $1,000 sounds quite a good price for a photograph but I doubt if the intent of the photographer is anything other than artistic expression. As some of his work isn't related to children I find it a very broad statement to suggest that his work has been banned in every major gallery in Europe.

The United Kingdom is a very conservative country which has had enormous difficulties adapting to their admission into the European Union and adapting thier outdated censorship laws to modern day Europe. Until recently material that is legal in every state of Australia would be have been confiscated by Customs officials in the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland is now far less conservative when it comes to censorship and more attuned to Europe and the principles of libertie, egalitie and fraternitie espoused by the French and exported (by the way of the Statue of Liberty) to the puritan states of the American Union.

As I explained to Hetty Johnston during a very brief conversation at the Museum of Contemporary Art unlike the United States Australia does not label pornographic material confirming that the participants are over the age of consent. I believe we had some agreement in respect of this point and I do have Hetty's business card such that I can follow through on this point if I feel it's appropriate.

Thanks for your observations.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-12 07:31 pm (UTC)

How much is a Henson worth?

"wouldn't know about the prices for Henson's art works in Europe but if it's possible to purchase it then it isn't illegal. "

There is a demand for out of jurisdictions auctioneers desperate for their end of very little, it is possible to sell in France I think, David Hamilton may have moved to there as well.

A Henson print is not much of an investment it is so difficult to move sell or store. What happens if you get a job in London?

It can't be stored under bond, it's a crime to own it, it's akin to heroin or cocaine, one can't ask Her Majesty's C&E, for a docket for child pornography, it doesn't work that way.

There is probably an element of chance, the police have to find a Henson print, before they can prosecute. A Henson photo is likely to be viewed as a more serious than a Hamilton image.

Dark, sinister, more like CP and less like art.

'Loam argued that the images were artistic and that works such as Hamilton's were freely available through the online businesses of High-Street shops including WH Smith, Waterstones and Amazon. The jury remained unconvinced, however, and Loam was convicted of possessing the lowest grade of indecent images. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper after the ruling, Detective Constable Simon Ledger said that he believed that this case would have far-reaching implications. He said: 'It is no defence in law to say pictures of naked children are artistic. The fact that he (Loam) has been convicted demonstrates they are not legal. Anyone who has David Hamilton's books can be arrested for the possession of indecent photographs.''

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From: (Anonymous)
2008-10-12 07:39 pm (UTC)

The ECHR, a short lesson.

"The United Kingdom is a very conservative country which has had enormous difficulties adapting to their admission into the European Union and adapting thier outdated censorship laws to modern day Europe."

Child porn is illegal in quite a large chunk of the EU. The USA ( FBI) would also prosecute some Henson images.

It is a devolved issue, as is age of consent, and things like that, the ECHR is unlikely to get involved. The Brits are passing stricter laws at the moment, and that is entirely compliant with ECHR considerations.

Australia is more like Japan. Your artists are insane. Where else could Henson prowl primary schools looking for victims!
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