Book banning in UK and Canada?

As far as I know, we don’t have any banned book list here. I could be wrong ofcourse but wouldn’t the government print a list and let everyone know?
Does the UK and Canada have a banned book list like the US (and China and other countries for that matter)?

Are you saying that the U.S. does have a banned books list?

The U.S. can not and does not ban books. Some individual local school and library systems have removed books from their holdings, but those books are still generally available even in those localities.

Could you clarify?

Certain types of pornography, be it book, magazine or video, are not allowed to be shown, purchase, imported, owned, etc, in Canada.

Basically child pornography. In some cases, such as The Story of O the book will be allowed, but the last chapter, which feature child porn, is “surpressed” meaning it’s not printed in the book - basically a synopsis of the outcome is there instead.

Indeed, just about everything under the sun is routinely available in the US. Just try to buy a copy of Mein Kampf in Germany. Last week it was on display at the local B&N downtown.

Of course, that doesn’t stop the odd holier-than-thou soccer mom from being shocked (shocked!) that her darling precious is reading scandalous pornography like The Wizard of Oz. Although such obnoxious cretins sometimes manage to get books removed from school libraries or curricula, it’s not like they disapear from book stores or public libraries.

It’s legal as long as it’s not obscene, or an incitement to violence.

“Obscenity” was famously defined by a judge as “I can’t tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it.”

Bestiality and child porn are illegal, beyond that it’s up to customs to decide what you can and can’t bring into the country.

Not too very long ago foreign magazines were censored in Ireland. So if you bought a copy of UK Cosmo or Marie Claire - the UK versions being what we routinely get here - you would see the ads for the abortion clinics were blacked out.
Abortion is still illegal in Ireland, of course, but to the best of my knowledge, they don’t black out the adverts any more.

We got the right to information and the right to travel back in the early 90s.

However, Cura, the Catholic Crisis pregnancy Agency has decided it will no longer give out the Positive Options booklet. A government booklet with phone numbers for ALL agencies dealing with Crisis Pregnancy, including, of course Marie Stopes.

However, I know several GPs that have the Marie Stopes website and phone number in large print on a poster on the surgery wall, so women can get the information, even if they don’t want to ask for it (which they technically have to do to make the provision of information legal).

There is no banned booked list in the US. Local libraries may remove books on the request on patrons. A widely circulated list of the most requested books to be removed is here . The top five incude the well known subversive tracts

  1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

The number one is "Impressions Edited by Jack Booth et al. " - any one know what it is?
The UK is more complicated. The UK has stopped trying to ban books for indecency ever since the infamous Lady Chatterly trial, though has laid into the odd magazine since then. It has banned books for revealing state secrets such as “Spycatcher”, but has realised that in the days of the internet and international publications that it doesn’t work. The odd book is still removed for indecency such as recently a David Bailey book that had naked children in it, but it wan’t banned as such, I suspect a quiet word was had to the distributors and they removed it “voluntarily”

From here it implies that impressions is a reading book.

The small-minded fools at Canada Customs have a history of banning books and magazines from being imported. They like to target smaller bookstores such as Little Sisters, and then let the same books go to larger bookstores.

So the list of banned books that I often see on the web and in newspapers, are for school and libraries only? I was under the impression that some states had official lists?

Have you an example? I’ve never seen such a list.

I don’t think it has anything to do with how big the retailer is. Little Sisters’ shipments got extra scrutiny because they’re a gay bookstore.

Long before Little Sisters’ struggle with Canada Customs started to get significant press, my first exposure to Customs’ censorship was its effect on comics and graphic novels – some titles ordered through the mail from the U.S. wouldn’t show up, or, even more bizarrely, copies would turn up in retailers with pages blacked or ripped out, with an explanatory card from Customs taped to the inside cover. I remember getting a copy of a Heavy Metal magazine from 7-11 that had four or five pages excised from an installment of Druuna, presumably for BDSM imagery.

At any rate, the courts determined that Little Sisters was being targeted because they specialized in gay and lesbian material, and acknowledged that this was a systemic problem with regard to specialty bookstores across the country, specifically mentioning Pages and the Toronto Women’s Bookstore in Toronto and Crosstown Traffic in Ottawa. The decision noted that specialty stores that exclusively sold het porn were not specifically targeted for extra scrutiny, while a “gay” store routinely suffered the extra burden having shipments held or even destroyed, in many cases over titles that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at Barnes and Noble, like Jean Genet’s Querelle.

Nah, “Banned Books” lists are maintained by people who are concerned about freedom from censorship, and are more properly called a Challenged Book List. For a book to wind up on a list like this, it just needs someone to kick up a fuss about it. To try to keep it off the shelves. It doesn’t need to be outlawed.

Here’s a Canadian Challenged Book List, which lists 100 books that have met with attempts to remove them from schools or libraries, and details the reasons for, circumstances of, and end result of the challenge.

Even such lists seem a strange concept here. I’ve never heard of them outside of America (this is the first place I’ve seen Canadian ones), and doing a UK-specific search for ‘banned book list’ gives only 20 hits.

It’s certainly possible that there’s groups who campaign along such lines in the UK, but if they produced the list Larry Mudd linked to, they’d be laughed outta town. Many of the titles are long-standing uncontroversial set texts for high school exams.

The uppity asshates aren’t the ones producing the lists, it’s usually non-morons like the American Library Association.

Well, OK, but does any such list exist for the UK? (The closest I know of is a handful of church schools banning Harry Potter books.)

According to the National Association of Christian Educators, it’s “a deadly, occultic reading series that can permanently harm your child!”

The Impressions series is anthologized stories for different grades of readers. The basis for the objection was that some of the stories were “anti-christian.” Here’s a link to the record of that little drama.

Bwahahahaha! Sob.

Gorillaman, for the most part, these nutbars are laughed off. I think lists like this are compiled to remind people of the whole “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” thing. Some books are on there because a single mouthbreather got their panties bunched up over a particular book and were summarily shrugged off.

The implication that comes with these lists is “Yes, people who try to have books banned are often laughably ignorant people – but we have to take them seriously enough to make sure they don’t succeed, or we’ll be poorer for it.” The more absurd the objection, the better for the list – it illustrates the way things can go if we take these people too seriously (or perhaps not seriously enough.)

Seeing something like Margaret Laurence’s The Diviners on the list (and noting that there are still a couple of provinces that have it off their high school curricula) is something that provokes a visceral reaction in many Canadians. Grrrr.

Indeed, and in this thread:

there is a link to the yearly list and other materials put together by the American Library Association concerning books challenged (and sometimes removed) from various venues.

And our own administrator Guadere did the artwork and website!

The ALA is a private organization, who has as part of their mission statement a dedication to freedom of the press and the freedom to read any book or publication you want. So every year (I think it’s every year) they highlight the issue by putting together a list of challenged books, and some other promotional materials.

Damn! typoed the name. Should be Gaudere, of course. Sorry about that, chief!

I supposed I can understand this point of view…perhaps the best British comparisons for Britain are complaints to the BBC - a few freaks always pop up. And the supposed furore over Jerry Springer the Opera was amusing, because it was a miniscule group that realised the only way their complaints would even be counted was by putting them in writing to the BBC. Awwww bless, as if the Beeb didn’t have the resources to rebut them.