Twitter was buzzing last night after comments by former Harper top advisor and campaign manager Tom Flanagan about child pornography. In response to a question, Flanagan said Wednesday:
On the child pornography issue, since that was brought up... I don't look at these pictures. The closest I ever came to it ... it's a long story but I got put on the mailing list of the National Man Boy Love Association and I started getting their mailings for a couple of years, so that's about the closest I ever came to child pornography, so it is a real issue of personal liberty, to what extent we put people in jail for doing something in which they do not harm another person...
A video of the comments, made during the Q&A of a talk at the University of Lethbridge Wednesday night, is available here.
It so happens that Tom Flanagan was Stephen Harper's 2004 election campaign manager, when the campaign put out the notorious press release entitled, "Paul Martin Supports Child Pornography?" The release was retracted (although Harper refused to apologize.)
The progressive blogger 'Dr. Dawg' wrote briefly about Flanagan's position on child pornography several years ago:
An aside from Indian-fighter Tom Flanagan:
But that’s actually another interesting debate or seminar:what’s wrong with child pornography — in the sense that it’s just pictures? But I’m not here to debate that today.
And here, revealed in all its splendour, is the concept that lies at the rotting heart of social relations under capitalism--commodity fetishism. The rupture between consumption and production has become so wide that a picture is no longer a picture of someone, but just a fantasy aid. An object for sale.
Let's have that debate, Tom. I guarantee it'll be the last we hear of you.
Flanagan is a regular commentator on CBC TV's Power and Politics.