We hope you're aware of the current proposal to criminalise possession of what is termed "extreme pornography" but which for the most part will be images of consensual BDSM activity in the UK. The Spanner Trust has been working with an organisation called Backlash to fight these proposals.
If you were unaware of these plans or want to get up to speed with what's happening we suggest you first visit the Backlash web site (http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/)
There is only one month left to fight these plans and we're asking people to take some time to write to a couple of members of the House of Lords to ask them to oppose the plans in their current wording. Anyone is allowed to write to any Lord.
If you check out www.theyworkforyou.com, you can try to find Lords who might be sympathetic... or just write to ones on your area.
Two Lib Dem Lords have laid two separate sets of amendments to try to limit the reach of the plans - including a suggestion they be dropped altogether.
You can see the new wording here: http://www.backlash-uk.org.uk/bill80401.html
The thing now is to:
Time is of the essence as the latest this might be debated is April 30th and the government want it to be law by May 9th.
Unfortunately, we can't suggest which Lords might be on-side. We've found support in unexpected places. The more people we can get to write to as many Lords as possible, the more chance we have of forcing some proper debate and hopefully getting some more changes - if not the whole thing dropped.
There are more than likely many Lords out there who have still never heard the arguments against these plans, the extensive reach of these proposals and have never heard the views of Liberty, Justice, the Joint Committee on Human Rights or other opponents.
We really need to reach out and get these Lords on board too.
The Tories - to date - have been fence sitting.
We need to help them choose their side. The same goes for the crossbenchers.
One way of getting the message to a lot of Lords quickly is to write to the Whip's offices.
Get in touch with Elizabeth Hanna (Lib Dems) email: Hannae (at) parliament.uk and Flora Rose (Tories), email: RoseF (at) parliament.uk and ask if they will circulate your message to the front benches and other peers who might be interested.
Many Lords are non party affiliated and sit on the Crossbenches. The contact for these is Julian Dee in the Convenor's Office, email: deej (at) parliament.uk
The Crossbenchers also have their own website http://22.214.171.124/ where they list individual interests which could be useful for you.
Please spread the word to as many people as possible by email, on web forums, on social networking sites, etc.
Some Lords have published their e-mail addresses. A list is available at http://www.seenoevil.org.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=638
But it would be far better if you'd contact Lords who aren't on e-mail, either individually at the House of Lords or via the Whips' and Crossbench offices.
Thanks for your help and support.
Best wishes, Derek Cohen
Spanner Trust Chairman