NEWS: Ban on advertising of ‘war toys’ sought by Opposition MPs

Labour MPs have demanded a ban on the advertising of ‘war toys’ and warned that such ads could lead to a repeat of the Dunblane massacre.

Labour MPs have demanded a ban on the advertising of ‘war toys’ and

warned that such ads could lead to a repeat of the Dunblane massacre.



A Commons motion attacking pre-Christmas TV ads for such toys has been

signed by 37 MPs - 35 Labour, one Liberal Democrat and one Welsh

Nationalist.



Tony Banks, the Labour backbencher who tabled the motion, said: ‘If we

are really worried about the levels of violence in society and we

seriously want to deal with it, then we have to get at the very roots of

violence. It’s not just about stopping people having guns in gun clubs,

it’s about stopping them wanting guns.’



The Commons resolution said that encouraging boys to want war toys and

other violent games was ‘the start of a process of brutalisation that

leads on to all the undesirable behaviour patterns exhibited by so many

males later in life’.



It called for a study into the possible link between war toys and male

violence and urged parents to boycott toys or games portraying violence

this Christmas.



The strong support from Labour MPs suggests a Labour government would

come under pressure from its own backbenchers to take action to ban such

campaigns if it wins the general election.



However, the Labour leadership is likely to reject legislation demands,

preferring instead to urge toy and game manufacturers to show restraint

in their advertising.



Under Tony Blair, Labour is developing a more ‘hands-off’ relationship

with the advertising industry and is expected to abandon its 1992 pledge

to bring in a statutory code of advertising practice. But it may want

the existing voluntary code strengthened to restrict advertising

targeted at children.



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