Apologies for the absence of posts recently - I've been enjoying a (well-earned?) holiday.
I gather that I'm not the only one... Mandy Pandy has apparently been spotted in Marrakech (incidentally, not his first time there...). Some of Guido's co-conspirators have even suggested that he might have been enjoying some of the, ahem, adult entertainment that Marrakech offers.
Well, clearly the Bishop isn't in a position to judge the truth of the matter - nor, as a libertarian, does he care if Mandy or anyone else indulges in such activities, provided they involve consenting adults. But, if this was what Mandy was doing, and given
Or, as anyone outside the Labour Party knows, will the legislation not work? There was an excellent article by Hannah Fletcher and Claudia Fromme in the Times on this, back in November. In particular, it points to experience in Finland, where, 'Since [similar] legislation came into effect, there has not been one single prosecution', because it is impossible to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that a client knew that a prostitute was trafficked.
Perhaps this is all part of Labour's ongoing attempts to turn England into a police state? The failure of the legislation will mean that 'beyond reasonable doubt', the backbone of a fair and just legal system for centuries, will be changed - no doubt, to 'if you support Labour, you're a victim and we'll pay you vast amounts of taxpayers' money, and, if not, you're an evil criminal who doesn't understand social justice, and we'll send you to the gulag'.
Perhaps the Prime Mentalist is more like Stalin than Mr Bean, after all?
Getting back to the subject in hand, I think it is worth reflecting on some of what the article says in detail...
When Richard Gere picked up Julia Roberts in his Lotus Esprit in Pretty Woman, it was the start of a great Hollywood romance. The classic prostitute with a heart of gold, she was transformed almost instantly into a glamous sex kitten, equally at home shopping on Rodeo Drive, decorating his arm at the opera in San Francisco or stamping the divots at a polo match. And, of course, there was a fairytale ending in which the corporate prince rescued the fair maiden as she promised to “rescue him right back”.Well, yeah. I mean, does anyone seriously think that prostitution is glamorous? Pretty Woman is a shit film, and hardly compares to reality (for a start, Richard Gere [edited for legal purposes! ;-)]). Seriously... (I guess they had to do this, as such sensationalisation seems to be a requirment even for broadsheet journalists these days... But forgive them - the rest of the article is unusually balanced and fair).
But if an English Gere — perhaps a hedge-fund manager trying to find Notting Hill in the dark — attempted a similar stunt in the brave new world of Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, he wouldn't be handing out strawberries in the hotel penthouse but having his mugshot taken at the nearest police station.
Andy Hayman, former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, thinks that the new proposals are ludicrous. “The police have so many other priorities, such as knife crime,” he says. “They don't want to hound prostitutes who obviously need the money, or their clients, unless they are causing serious problems.
“What these women need is help. Many of them are drug addicts or behind with their rent; they already have criminal convictions so they can't find another job. They don't need to be forced farther underground. Most are already very co-operative, and they are great informers. Coppers will ignore this one.”
Wow! The police being sensible? Perhaps Inspector Gadget despairs too much? Although it is an ex-copper talking... And they probably should go after the people traffickers....
"This is an disaster for many working women,” says Virginia (not her real name), who works in a sex parlour in southeast England that is run by a middle-aged couple. “These measures will make our jobs far more dangerous. The couple I work for are not pimps, they check my clients and make sure I'm safe. The sex between my client and myself is a consensual act.”
Nicky Adams, a spokeswoman (NB not 'spokesperson' - naughty, naughty!) for the English Collective of Prostitutes (NB note that 'union' seems to be a dirty word here - perhaps this explains Labour's hatred for them?), adds:
...prostitutes are now terrified of ending up with the most unscrupulous pimps. “All this will do is hound the decent parlour owners. The Government is trying to take the moral high ground but it's a low blow for women who are struggling to make ends meet, whether they are from Croydon or Croatia.”
But, as Harperson argues, isn't prostitution just, well, wrong? If women demean themselves by being prostitutes, why should we want them to be protected? After all, if we can get murder and rape figures up, then we can put all men (the raping bastards!) in prison and have a much better world! And we don't want any pretty Eastern European women here, showing how ugly many British women are! After all, how's a girl to get a girlfriend against that sort of competition?
If only women would simply look and dress like Harriet or our dear Jacqui (especially in her knife-proof vest, and with her protection squad, vital for any Labour Minister given what they've done to this country), then no man would want to fuck them! And then there would be no prostitution.
Except for rent boys in Marrakech, accessible only to senior Labour Ministers. Nothing wrong with that - after all, gay and Labour, now that's a minority group that deserves the full protection of the law...