Keith Vaz

 Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim



17th July
2010
  

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Keith Vaz submits another games related Early Day Motion

Keith VazEarly Day Motion EDM 340

Submitted by Keith Vaz

That this House

  • notes with grave concern that despite the 18 rating that the most violent video games carry, some children and teenagers are still able to acquire them;
     
  • congratulates the work of Mothers Against Violence with regard to their campaign to increase parental awareness of violent games;
     
  • urges the Government to support the promotion of parental awareness of the violent content of video games which are 18-rated; and
     
  • calls on the Government to urge Pan-European Game Information to take further steps to highlight the inappropriate content of these games for under 18s.

 

10th November
2010
  

Update: Vaz Strikes Out...

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Keith Vaz raises another anti-games EDM after a trivial newspaper comment about the Malmo gunman

Counter  Strike Source PC DVD Keith Vaz has widened his blame game in Swedish territory. He has posted the following Early Day Motion before the British parliament

VIDEO GAMES AND SHOOTING 27.10.2010

That this House notes with concern that the recent race shootings in Malmo, Sweden have been associated with the violent video game Counter-Strike; further notes that the internet-based, first-person shooting game that pits a counter-terrorist team against terrorists was previously banned in Brazil and in 2007 was associated with US College Campus massacres; recognises the potential impact of violent video games on those under 18 years; and calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 years is controlled and that parents are provided with clear information on the violent content of certain games.

The background is that police in the Swedish city of Malmo have confirmed that an as yet unnamed 38 year old man has been arrested in connection with a series of gun attacks on people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Prior to the arrest, local police had suspected that more than a dozen unsolved shootings over the last year, in which one person died and eight more were wounded, may have been the work of lone gunman. The man arrested at the weekend has now been charged with one count of murder and seven attempted murders.

So how do we get from racist nutjob shooting at the local migrant population to a three-year old video game?

It appears to have been The Times that decided to have a bit of dabble in stirring up a faux moral panic by quoting the opinions of a Mr Ahmad al-Mughrabi in its coverage of the story…

I am sure that this is down to some crazy kid who plays that sniping game Counterstrike all day. I don't believe in the lone Nazi theory

So who is our mysterious Mr al-Mughrabi? Is he a police officer? A city official? A representative of the Swedish Justice Ministry?

No, as far as anyone has managed to ascertain, to date, he's just some bloke that The Times picked off the street at random and that's all the evidence that Keith Vaz needs to put down an EDM and start banging on about violent video games, yet again.

 

14th January
2011
  

Brain the Size of a Fivepenny Bit...

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Keith Vaz turns up at a pro-gaming parliamentary event

Dead Space 2 Limited PS3 Keith Vaz surprised a few parliamentarians when he turned up an event in support of gaming.

Parliament Games Day was organised by pressure group Gamers' Voice to bring together politicians and the industry to promote the cultural and economic strengths of British software.

Vaz told Eurogamer: I've never been against games. I've been against violent games that are able to fall into the hands of young people who are perhaps not able to understand the implications of what they're doing.

I don't oppose games, he inisted. I just think it's very important that people respect and acknowledge the age limits. And the campaign has always been about ensuring there is proper labelling so that people know exactly what kind of games they should have.

Asked if he was happy with the new games classification system – still waiting to be passed into law – Vaz said he felt it was moving in the right direction . When we started this campaign the age limit was the size of half a, I think, a 5p coin, which was very small, he explained. Obviously we want to see what PEGI does, but the more that they can draw to the attention of young people the need to respect the age limit better – and if you're over 18 you can do what you want. No-one wants to stop you playing your games.

 

14th January
2011
  

Update: Playing Waiting Games...

Handover of games censorship from BBFC to VSC delayed

Ed VaizeyThe rollout of the new PEGI video games classification system will miss its current April 2010 deadline and will not be introduced until July of this year at the earliest.

The Video Standards Council (VSC) will then take over administration of producer assigned games ratings using PEGI symbols and classifications.

The Conservative culture minister Ed Vaizey has admitted that: There's been some technical delays to iron out a few kinks – nothing fundamental, nothing serious. And we'll crack on with it as fast as we can.

mcvuk.com believes that the delay is due to the time it will take to obtain European parliamentary approval.

 

27th January
2011
  

Update: Game Rules Too Complicated...

Handover of games censorship from BBFC to VSC delayed at least until September

clock graphicIndecision over whether games featuring video content still need a BBFC certificate has temporarily derailed the implementation of PEGI ratings.

The handover from the BBFC to the VSC will not now occur until September at the very earliest.

A new government proposal states that interactive entertainment which features linear content (such as trailers) would require a BBFC rating. That means a game that features a video in it will need to have both a PEGI and BBFC label on the box.

UKIE representing UK games producers condemned the proposal, saying in a statement:

Any dual labelling is contrary to the principles that were established in having PEGI introduced into the Digital Economy Act and if this proposal were implemented we believe it would only cause unnecessary and potentially harmful consumer confusion.

 

24th November
2011
  

Updated: Vaz Called to Nutter Duty...

Inevitable parliamentary motion to whinge at the new video game, Modern Warfare 3

Call Duty Modern Warfare DVD Keith Vaz, perennial whinger about computer games has compiled his usual parliamentary motion call for more censorship of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Early Day Motion 2427

Primary sponsor: Keith Vaz
Sponsors: Jeremy Corbyn, Alan Meale, Bob Russell*

That this House:

  • is deeply concerned about the recently released video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 , in which players engage in gratuitous acts of violence against members of the public;

  • notes in particular the harrowing scenes in which a London Underground train is bombed by terrorists, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the tragic events of 7 July 2005;

  • further notes that there is increasing evidence of a link between perpetrators of violent crime and violent video games users; and

  • calls on the British Board of Film Classification to take further precautions when allowing a game to be sold.

Supported by Martin Caton, Mike Hancock, Kelvin Hopkins,  Dr William McCrea, Sandra Osborne and David Simpson

Update: Counterstrike

24th November 2011. See article from parliament.uk

Counter Strike Tom Watson gamely proposes to amend the Vaz EDM by replacing it entirely.

EDM Amendment 2427A1 - CALL OF DUTY 3

Primary sponsor: Tom Watson
Sponsors: Julian Huppert, Kerry McCarthy

That this House notes:

  • that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 an 18 classification, noting that 'the game neither draws upon nor resembles real terrorist attacks on the underground;

  • further believes that the game has an excellent user interface and challenges the gamers' dexterity as well as collaborative skills in an outline setting; and

  • encourages the BBFC to uphold the opinion of the public that whilst the content of video games may be unsettling or upsetting to some, adults should be free to choose their own entertainment in the absence of legal issues or material which raises a risk or harm.

 

3rd December
2011
  

Update: Banging On...

Keith Vaz calls for a debate on violent computer game censorship

House of Commons logo Business of the House
House of Commons
1st December 2011

Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)

Could we have a debate next week about the harmful effects of violent video games? Last week, the university of Indiana published research that showed that regularly playing those games resulted in physical changes in the brain. At a time when parents are thinking of purchasing video games for Christmas, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it is important to hold a debate on this matter? This is not about censorship---it is about protecting our children.

George Young (Leader of the House of Commons, House of Commons; North West Hampshire, Conservative)

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman, and I know that this is an issue that he has pursued with vigour for some time. I cannot promise a debate next week. Home Office questions, I think, will be held on 12 December, but in the meantime I will draw his concern to the attention of the Home Secretary.

Last week Game Politics pointed out that the research cited was in fact supported by the Center for Successful Parenting, Indiana. This is in fact a nutter group with a website that is designed for parents to learn about the negative side effects of violent video. See article about the cited research from melonfarmers.co.uk .

 

19th January
2012
  

Update: Addicted to Whingeing...

Keith Vaz kicks off yet another Early Day Motion to take a pot shot at video games

yellow neural connectionEarly Day Motion 2606

Primary sponsor: Keith Vaz
Sponsors: Bob Russell

That this House is deeply concerned by recent research which suggests that frequently using the internet or videogames can have a physical effect on the brain, similar to that of drugs or alcohol; notes that both neuronal connections between brain areas and brain functions including emotions, decision-making and self-control are affected; calls for further research to be conducted into these serious findings; and further calls for the NHS to provide effective support to those who suffer from internet or gaming addictions.

 

12th February
2012
  

Update: Indian Tirade Mission...

Keith Vaz has another knock at the Top Gear Christmas Special about a trade mission to India

shit for your companyKeith Vaz has had another knock at the Top Gear Christmas Special that featured a few jokey comments about India.

Vaz has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament saying:

That this House is deeply concerned by recent events which have served to undermine the excellent relationship between India and the UK;

  • notes that the Top Gear India Christmas Special, featuring the unhelpful comments of Jeremy Clarkson and Dow Chemicals' sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics in particular have had a very negative reaction in India;
     

  • is concerned that Indian student applications to UK universities are falling;
     

  • is disappointed by Britain's failure to secure the fighter jet contract from India despite the efforts of successive defence ministers;
     

  • and calls on the Government to re-energise this vital, special and enduring relationship which ought to be one of the closest and most beneficial in the world.

 

26th February
2012
  

Update: Fear of PEGI...

Keith Vaz has a parliamentary knock at PEGI games ratings

pegi fearKeith Vaz has been casting doubt on PEGI ratings suggesting that these require further government scrutiny

As usual Vaz has voiced his concerns via an Early Day Motion 2761 in Parliament saying:

That this House notes that:

  • Tiga, the trade body representing independent UK video games developers, has come out in support of targeted tax relief for the games industry;

  • encourages tax relief for small and medium-sized enterprises for its role in generating and safeguarding jobs, especially in these current difficult times;

  • remains concerned that regulation of the video games industry is lacking in comparison to other industries; is anxious that the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) classification of video games is taken as seriously as the British Board of Film Classification by both retailers and shoppers;

  • wishes the public was more aware of the risks to children and young adults;

  • and calls on the Government to place more scrutiny on the PEGI classification system.

The only signature supporting the motion so far is sponsor Mike Hancock.

 

30th April
2012
  

Update: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3...

Recommended by Keith Vaz in yet another parliamentary EDM

Call Duty Modern Warfare Xbox Early day motion 3014: VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES (No. 2)

Primary sponsor: Keith Vaz

That this House is reminded of the consequences of the ineffectual Pan European Game Information (PEGI) classification system for video games following the testimony of Anders Breivik about the tragic events in Norway in July 2011;

  • notes that in his submission of evidence to the court Breivik describes how he trained for the attacks using the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ;

  • is disturbed that Breivik used the game to help hone his target acquisition and the suggestion that the simulation prepared him for the attacks;

  • is concerned that PEGI as a classification system can only provide an age-rating and not restrict ultra-violent content; recognises that in an era of ever-more sophisticated and realistic game-play more robust precautions must be taken before video games are published; and

  • calls on the Government to provide for closer scrutiny of aggressive first-person shooter video games.

Signed by:

  • Bottomley, Peter Conservative Party Worthing West

  • Hopkins, Kelvin Labour Party Luton North

  • McDonnell, John Labour Party Hayes and Harlington

  • Russell, Bob Liberal Democrats Colchester

  • Vaz, Keith Labour Party Leicester East

 

 Update: Call to Nutter Duty...

Keith Vaz asks in Parliament whether Anders Breivik's use of video games for combat training will result in further restrictions


Link Here 23rd May 2012  full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim

Keith Vaz House of Commons, Questions re Culture, Media and Sport, 16th May 2012.

Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department has any plans to place further restrictions on the content of video games following the testimony of Anders Breivik.

Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)

The Government is currently moving towards strengthening the laws in respect of video game regulation. We have recently announced our intention to designate officers of the Video Standards Council as the authorities responsible for the classification of video games. When that process is complete, it will for the first time be a legal requirement for all video games suitable for those aged 12 or over to be classified. It will be an offence to supply a video game in breach of its classification. In addition, there is one extra safeguard in the UK that is not part of the general Pan European Games Information scheme that we will be using: in the UK, there will be the option of refusing classification where a video game cannot fit within the published PEGI criteria. If a game that |s not exempt has no classification, it will be an offence to supply it to anyone.

Keith Vaz:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many representations his Department has received from the Pan European Game Information Service in relation to newly-published video games.

Edward Vaizey:

The Pan European Games Information system is the mechanism by which video games are rated. The bodies that implement the scheme are independent of Government and have not made any representations about newly-published video games

 

 Offsite Article: Political Games...


Link Here 30th October 2012  full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim
Keith Vaz turns up at Westminster games day and claims he isn't against games

See article from eurogamer.net

 

 Commented: Poking their oar into the Home Affairs chair's affairs...

Keith Vaz meanly outed as a buyer of sex by the Sunday Mirror


Link Here 7th September 2016  full story: Keith Vaz...Keith Vaz in votes for knighthood claim
Keith VazKeith Vaz use to feature frequently on Melon Farmers due a series of ludicrous whinges blaming video games for all Britain's ills. He has wisely kept quiet on the topic for the last few years though.

Now he has rather rudely been by outed as a gay customer of sex workers by the Sunday Mirror. This rather conflicts with his chairmanship of the influential Commons Home Affairs parliamentary select committee which is looking into Britain's laws governing sex work.

He conceded on Sunday that he would have to relinquish his post as chair committee, at least temporarily. Although he said he would not be making a formal announcement until he meets the committee on Tuesday, he effectively confirmed that he would have to stand aside when he issued a statement saying he did not want to be a distraction .

The Labour MP also condemned the conduct of the Sunday Mirror, saying it was deeply troubling that a national newspaper should have paid individuals who have acted in this way .

Vaz has not been overly hypocritical about sex work law, it is not as if he has been pushing for the criminalisation of people who buy sex. In its interim report on prostitution in July, the home affairs committee said:

We are not yet convinced that the sex buyer law would be effective in reducing demand or in improving the lives of sex workers, either in terms of the living conditions for those who continue to work in prostitution or the effectiveness of services to help them find new ways to earn a living.

Evaluations of the impact of sex buyer laws are largely based on data about street prostitution, and therefore offer little insight into the large parts of the sex industry which take place in various indoor environments, and there are indications that the law can be misused to harass and victimise sex workers, who are the very people whom the law is seeking to protect.

Vaz also argued in parliament that poppers should not be included in a list of substances banned by the Psychoactive Substances Act and in the paper he is quoted as telling the escorts that he did not use them himself.

Chris Ashford in his lawandsexuality blog points out that the Vaz evening of fun was not particularly unusual amongst the gay community:

It actually doesn't sound like that unusual night for many gay men who might engage in group sex bareback encounters, with some guys using class A drugs, many using poppers and perhaps some guys there who are sex workers (who may or may not be performing that identity). The problem here is that Vaz is married to a woman and has as Pink News noted , apparently been outed by this story. Vaz has generally taken liberal positions on sex work and so there's arguably no hypocrisy there.

However Journalist and equality campaigner Paris Lees commented to thesun.co.uk that Vaz was not totally above a bit of hypocrisy when he grilled her as chainman of the Home Affairs committee. She said:

This is same Keith Vaz who told me, last May, that he 'couldn't believe' I'd never met a prostitute that hadn't been forced into it.

I told him that during my time on the game, I never met a prostitute who HAD been forced into it.

Why is he paying prostitutes for sex if he thinks they are forced into it?

Offsite Comment: The outrage against Keith Vaz is nothing but Victorian puritanism

6th September 2016. See  article from politics.co.uk by Ian Dunt

politics co uk logoHe has a range of views on a range of topics. Some of them, like his obsession with violent games, are very silly. Some are downright morally reprehensible, such as his help in whipping up outrage against Salman Rushdie over the Satanic Verses. Some are perfectly commendable, such as his continued commitment to people lost and betrayed by the asylum and immigration system.

Regardless of their relative validity, they earned him enemies, who will now get involved in picking away at the remnants of his career. Not the least of these will be anti-prostitution groups, who were dismayed by a recent home affairs committee report which recommended decriminalising sex work completely. They are likely to use the story to discredit that report.

See  article from politics.co.uk

Offsite Comment: Keith Vaz's sex life does not matter

7th September 2016. See article from medium.com

belle de jourIn the wake of the news there are a lot of people saying uninformed shit. People who weren't there trying to rewrite Home Affairs Select Committee's hearings on prostitution. I was called to give evidence. Maybe you remember; it was in a lot of papers. Here is what really happened back in May.

All media coverage from May noted how me and @ParisLees had to stomp hard on bullshit lines of questioning from hostile MPs to get any of our points across. We went there fully expecting, and pretty much got, a beasting. Compare to the easy questions lobbed at Kat Banyard at the first hearing, who was never a sex worker and has never worked with a prostitution charity or outreach...as far as anyone can tell, her only firsthand experience with sex workers is having met me in a BBC green room once.

When I called out the committee for visiting Sweden and Denmark without meeting local sex worker-led orgs, Keith Vaz had the audacity to claim that they had. I know he was wrong; sex work organisations were shut out of the consultation visits. Why? Because Vaz had been a vocal supporter of the Swedish model. Now people are trying to imply Vaz gave us a helping hand in the results? As if.

...Read the full article from medium.com

 


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