This is an unfortunate position, for two reasons. First, many quite respected artists have mingled art and sex quite freely in the past: perhaps Mr Starmer is unaware of the works of Aubrey Beardsley (NSFW)?
Second, the offence under existing child abuse law is "strict liability": the intention of the creator is not an issue, giving rise to cases such as that of Dr Marcus Phillips, who was found guilty of creating indecent images, despite a court acknowledging that there was no sexual intent. Either Mr Starmer is being disingenuous, or does not know his law very well.
He also confirmed that the law should catch "any pornographic image scrawled on a piece of paper": even, presumably, an image that an individual created for their own use and no other.
Last word goes to Miss Willott. Speaking to us at length, she said: "The Coroners and Justice Bill as a whole is a real hodge-podge of measures, with many ideas in it that seem to have been only half thought-out.
"This is the case with the sections on possession of Cartoon images... We are being asked to choose between two conflicting world views: on the one hand, there is a belief in the 'slippery slope', that looking at images habituates individuals to the actions involved and can increase the risk to children; on the other it is argued that these images act as a release and actually reduce the incidence of harm.
"It is worrying that we appear to be legislating on this subject without hard evidence either way – especially when getting it wrong could have such serious implications for children. We have passed laws against possessing indecent images of children, because such images are evidence of harm committed: that is clearly not the case with CGI imagery, and before we criminalise it, we should be prepared to come up with evidence of harm caused by the impact of seeing that image.
As for the streaming issue, Miss Willott felt that this was further evidence of things not being thought through. As far as she was concerned, "the Law as it is written would not criminalise people for looking at images. It is about possession. If the government wishes to take the further step of making it illegal to look, then they need to change what the Bill says.
"Even so, it is not at all clear that the technology to do this sort of thing exists: they would be criminalising an action that they cannot police, which is not good law-making practice." ®