Britain’s film regulators have spent the last several years trying to re-classify some of the greatest family films ever made. They have been called to task for their judgement not once but twice.

Instead of loosening the apron strings like you would expect, British Board of Film Classification was tightening them. They seem more interested in ostentatious wakery than any other reason.

Jaws, a solid family favorite like The Empire Strikes Back, has been elevated from a U rating to a PG. Jaws was raised from PG level to 12, making it suitable for children 12 years and older.

Jaws has been pushed up from PG to a 12, meaning it is suitable only for children aged 12 and over

Jaws is now a 12 (from a PG) and suitable only for kids aged 12 or over.

Britain's film censors have been busy re-classifying some of the best-loved family films of all time

Britain’s film officials have been hard at work reclassifying family films that are beloved the most.

Why did the movie suddenly change so abruptly? It is to warn that violence will be shown in the film. You would think that the fact that it is about a shark killer might have already alerted viewers.

Other victims of the BBFC’s new censoriousness include Raiders Of The Lost Ark, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, and Ghostbusters — yes, Ghostbusters!

Progressives say that all of these films now are considered more “problematic” than they once were.

These decisions will make you look at the calendar and think: Christmas! What about April Fool’s Day, though?

The reason Ghostbusters has attracted their concern is because of a ‘ghostly sex scene’ — the blissfully absurd clinch between a demonically possessed Sigourney Weaver and nerdy little Rick Moranis. The scene is still hilarious, almost 40 years after it was first shown.

It has now been upgraded to a 12, from its previous PG rating. It is utterly bizarre that the panjandrums at the BBFC would think that such a silly movie can be too disturbing for a child as young as 11. They do, however.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, has also been made a 12A due to 'regular scenes of fantasy battle involving stabbing, slashing and arrow impacts'

Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring was also made an A12A for its’regular scenes of fantasy combat involving stabbing slashing and impacting arrows’

The Empire Strikes Back, from 1980, previously had a U rating – suitable for all aged four and over

The Empire Strikes Back, from 1980, previously had a U rating – suitable for all aged four and over

A second bizarre decision was to go after the age-old family favorite Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It was once a child-friendly and cosy U certificate. However, the boy who shouted “Not bloody likely!” has made it a PG. at a Nazi soldier.

Why does the BBFC go so far into the distant past? Bedknobs And Broomsticks first appeared in 1971. There have been many changes in attitudes since that time. It seems strange to choose the offensive of shouting at Nazis.

This all shows how frighteningly detached the media Establishment from reality is. Perverse to worry about Bedknobs and Bedsticks classifications while children live with open sewers of the internet polluting minds seems counter-productive.

Today, social media gives children access to the most explicit pornography in a matter of seconds. The British Board of Film Classification recently conducted a survey that found seven-year-olds had seen porn. This was in addition to more than half of the 11-13-year-olds. Two-thirds of all 14- to 15-year olds saw it.

The internet is a dangerous place where many young people are victim to exploitation and poisoning.

Ghostbusters has received a similar upgrade from PG to 12A due to a sex scene

Ghostbusters was upgraded from PG to 12A in response to an sex scene

The real-life stabbings and shootings of teenage boys that are a regular occurrence in modern Britain’s streets is replete with drill music. YouTube is free to download endlessly repeated hymns about’shanking (stabbing), and’shooting’. No age verification is required.

This list could go on. Far-Right groups. Jihadist recruiting platforms. Self-harm sites. These sites are highly influential and potentially dangerous. They are all easily available.

The BBFC, however, is obsessive about looking through old movies to find any offensive material for today’s socially conscious warriors.

It’s true the classification board doesn’t have any jurisdiction over the internet — nor indeed does anyone else, it appears.

Social media has become a chaotic environment. No one seems to be able to navigate between the horrors on the internet and the fundamental principles of freedom of speech. Maybe that is why the board decided to give new grades to old films. It looks like they have some purpose.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, from 1981, was PG for its video issue but last year's cinema re-release saw it rated 12A

Raiders of the Lost Ark began in 1981 as a PG-rated video issue. Last year, however, the movie was released again and it received a 12A rating.

The reason for this is to “keep up with society’s current trajectory”, they say. This is a flawed way to view it. But what if society seems to be moving in the opposite direction as with regards to pornography. The BBFC censors shouldn’t be out of sync and going against the grain.

It is not the problem that they seem to be kowtowing to contemporary mores. They actually engage in reclassifying older films according to current values.

Institutions such as National Trust are not allowed to disclose any connection to slavery on their property, just to make sure no one is offended. These people seem to be more concerned with flaunting their current credentials than they are in protecting others from the truly horrible and disturbing.

Fair enough, sometimes re-classifications of BBFC do make good sense. D. W. Griffith’s 1915 epic movie The Birth Of A Nation was awarded a U certificate when it first appeared. For obvious reasons, it has steadily moved to 15 certificates today.

It is described bluntly by the British Film Institute as a “racist epic”, a landmark in early cinema, and a divisive event. No wonder it’s not likely to be seen on mainstream screens any time soon, although at least it hasn’t been banned — and nor should it be.

It is a disgraceful thought that BBFC should reclassify a movie like Ghostbusters in the same fashion as Birth Of A Nation.

Because they are more concerned about proving their exquisite rightness of thought than anything else, Flash Gordon, the absurd 1980 sci-fi film has been upgraded to an A12A. This was due to “discriminatory stereotypes”.

Ratatouille on Amazon has a U certificate but according to the BBFC it's now a PG, due to 'comic violence and mild bad language'

Ratatouille on Amazon has a U certificate but according to the BBFC it’s now a PG, due to ‘comic violence and mild bad language’

True, Ming The Merciless is the villain in the film of East Asian descent. It is a puzzle. What is the point of having East Asian villains in one’s life? How do you deal with them? One doubts that there are any sane rules on such matters — if there were, we wouldn’t be facing such daft decisions.

The efforts of BBFC appear just as old as their judgments. Since the entire process of classification is muddled in contradiction and confusion,

Take Ratatouille. This animated film is about a cheeky Parisian Rat. You can stream it on Amazon. However, the U certificate says it has a U rating. The BBFC states that it is now a PG due to ‘comic violent and mildly offensive language’. If ‘comic violence is a problem’, then every Tom and Jerry movie should also be made a PG.

The guardians of cultural safety, as they are called, should be either up to date and do a great job or none at all.

What we have at the moment is a farrago of mixed messages and the usual lofty elite handing down pronouncements, telling the rest of us what we should and shouldn’t watch — and think — while doing nothing to stop filth and violence being seen daily by our young.