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back to article Spinning the war on the UK's sex trade

The British Government plans to make it illegal to have sex with a prostitute if said tart has been trafficked, or is being controlled. Nor will this crime will be limited to offences committed in the UK - it will apply to what British men get up to wherever in the world they may be. Now I'm a classically liberal type, and I'm …

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Coat

The downfall of society?

Who would have thought that the downfall of society would come about thus? Not from drugs or violence (though there is plenty of violence... how wars are operated these days is getting a thorough reaming too). What's going on here? Bans on consenting adults, bans on literature (even written pr0n stories are literature) and cartoons, bans on et all.

I have an idea, why don't we take the router ACL approach, deny all permit by exception. Would I be wrong in saying religions are responsible for most of today's problems?

Where's the reset button on this damn thing?

Getting my coat and moving elsewhere.

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What Tacitus said is true

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. " - Tacitus

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IT Angle

um...

Well, it's well said, but... where's the IT angle? I mean, just about everyone I know in IT is either married or a complete wanker, and doesn't need to buy the stuff.

Or is "prostitute" some sort of euphemism for "IT contractor" and "trafficking" a euphemism for "forced to work with Microsoft products", in which case I'm all for this law.

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Unhappy

And make sure the Daily Mail is on board

Make sure that whichever bandwagon you're driving is acceptable to the average Daily Mail reader. After all they're middle class, educated and interested in politics in a way that the average Sun reader isn't. Or maybe they're not middle class, nor educated, nor have a clue about politics; just they think they are. So they'll fight for any cause they perceive as a threat to their aspirations (AKA bigotries).

Interesting that NuLaber so often seek support from traditional right-wing constituencies and on such right-wing policies: prostitution, ID cards, terrorist threats (string 'em up), immigration, wars... You know, all the things that we used to have to vote Conservative for.

Goodness knows what will happen when Tony Cameron is elected next year. Surely they can't be any more right wing than NuLabia?

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Anonymous Coward

Honk Honk

You know those ASBO driver programs on TV? They show video of a bad driving choice and the other cars are honking their horns and the commentators declares that selfish ASBO driving makes people angry and causes road rage, (and the honking you hear is to confirm it).

But the police car video doesn't record audio, the honking you hear, was added by the program makers from their sound effects dept to rage it up a bit! Then the honking is used as evidence of bad driving causing road rage.... Same when you see video from helicopters and hear tyres screaming from speeding motorists, it's not real it's sound effects!

Now none of this matters, because we all know it's not real, it's TV, an exaggerated reality made for entertainment purposes. Unfortunately the leadership these days is a bit like your crazy aunty flo, who thinks Emmerdale is a documentary.

And that's the sad thing, because once the dust has settled and the newspapers moved onto something new, peoples emotions no longer run riot. Mob mentality has calmed and people feel a little foolish. But the politician had promised tough action and so must make up evidence and distort statistics, not to get their legislation through, but to NOT LOSE FACE. They have to pretend that reality is the same as that hysterical screaming whipped up by newspapers, that they based their legislation on!

So suddenly, Linda Lovelace and her regrets are presented as fact, and women who have sex are all abused and everyone who claims to have been raped is raped and everyone who gets off with a crime was really guilty and got-away-with-it.

You just wish they'd put Aunty Flo in a home where they can take care of her and not let her watch too much TV.

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Coat

It's all about money

These laws are put through because the government is just pissed that they cannot tax it. If they could tax drugs and prostitution you'd see a crackhouse and brothel on every street corner. But since the moral 'minority' have been shouting about how vile and disgusting it all is over so many years it's been drummed into the public psyche. The governments hands are tied in that they cannot be seen to be legitimizing something that every person who reads 'The Daily Bumwipe' thinks is a vile thing.

But they still want their pound of flesh and if they cannot get it then then will try to ban it.

If they could tax the air we breath without being thrown out of power they would tax that too.

I think the old addage needs changing. There are only 3 things certain in life. Death, Taxes and people who are too stupid to think for themselves.

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Doesn't Move Me

Tim, your commentary is well argued, but misses.

The traditional voluntary 'oldest profession' is now serving as an effective barrier to our seeing or acknowledging the global contemporary sex trade's slavery, torture, and murder.

You don't think it's a big deal? Well, what would you and your editors' perception be if you were the one being enslaved and bonked every hour?

So, maybe you and your editors might consider writing a responding article to this one with the other side of the story. (Earn your boy scout points men.)

How about recommending 'getting it' through dating or friendship. By bonking 'organically'', you would be, in a small way, helping to remove some of the hellish cruelties played in our world.

(And if you're good at it, you might make some little volunteer happy.)

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Pirate

Typical

Anglo-Saxon prudishness. While Brits enjoy cackling superior to the Yanks, it's times like this that we see that both are cut from the same cloth. Oh, I already know my lot are no better than any others but then I don't go around saying they are. Go ahead, pile it on, you know you want to.

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Silver badge
Flame

Bear and Wood coverage in other news...

"Forgive me reiterating the point that I'm a classical liberal, but wouldn't you prefer not to be ruled this way too?.."

You are asking, "would we prefer to be ruled by politicians who don't use scare mongering lies to justify everything from recycling fines to large wars?"?

Would it surprise you to know that the answer is "Yes!"?

Now, how do you think we are going to manage it? It seems to me that there is no man in a white suit waiting to come to our rescue, and more and more of our rules come from Europe, where we effectively have no voice anyway. Are you suggesting a revolution?

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Thumb Up

Ahh yes why not

Liken it to the smoking ban and stir things up a bit, when in fact there is not much similarity.

The majority of people don't smoke, and most of them find the ban an exceptionally good thing.

If for nothing else it saves on my washing.

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Black Helicopters

Forgot to add...

Otherwise its a good point.

Terrorists! They will blow us all up! Ahhhhh! Let us hand out ID cards.

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Joke

Re:And make sure the Daily Mail is on board

Quote: "Goodness knows what will happen when Tony Cameron is elected next year. Surely they can't be any more right wing than NuLabia?"

You are joking aren't you?

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Something?

"I'm naturally against the criminalisation of something that no society has ever managed to extinguish". Doesn't that pretty much cover everything that is illegal? You really are quite liberal, or perhaps by something you are referring only to the sex trade?

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Flame

This is hardly new

The Tories were experts in this trick.

Get a lot of horror stories printed saying that people who happened to live in seaside towns and were forced to survive on benefits were BEING PAID BENEFITS TO HAVE SEASIDE HOLIDAYS!!!

Then rush through laws to force young people to keep moving from town to town or have benefits stopped.

Then when they quite naturally banded together for mutual aid and defence, print more horror stories about the dreaded HIPPY CONVOYS which the Tories themselves had created.

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Bronze badge

Well....

"Well, it's well said, but... where's the IT angle? I mean, just about everyone I know in IT is either married or a complete wanker, and doesn't need to buy the stuff."

Didn't Microsoft run an ad in New Zealand pointing out that that was why Linux was invented? So that geeks too could get la....? :-)

"Now, how do you think we are going to manage it? It seems to me that there is no man in a white suit waiting to come to our rescue, and more and more of our rules come from Europe, where we effectively have no voice anyway. Are you suggesting a revolution?"

Well, I am a member of UKIP....even standing for them....:-)

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Re: Ahh yes why not

What do you mean no similarity?

"The majority of people don't" ... ", and most of them find the ban an exceptionally good thing."

"If for nothing else it saves on my washing."

Sounds like it could be either.

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Stop

Liberalism?

I think the author of this piece has picked a very poor platform on which to triumph his liberalism. I too would describe myself as a liberal and I have no issue with whatever consenting adults get up to in private (or even, in most cases public!). However the key word there is 'consenting'. If someone makes use of the services of a prostitute who they know or believe is being coerced into providing those services, then I'm quite happy for a suitably heavy book to be thrown at them as, I would hope, are the majority of society, liberal or not.

Saying that the scale of the problem has been exaggerated is just a red-herring. Even one person being forced to provide sex-services against their will is one too many.

I would agree that this government is far too fond of making laws just for the sake of it, and I am somewhat surprised that there isn't already existing legislation under which such cases could be prosecuted. I would also be wary of this law being mis-applied. However those are different arguments. Liberalism is not the issue here.

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Dead Vulture

Legislation for headlines

>> You don't think it's a big deal? Well, what would you and your editors' perception be if you were

>> the one being enslaved and bonked every hour? (pk_de_cville)

PK, you are missing the point. Tim isn't against tough laws for those who force women into slavery or even tough laws for those punters who contribute to the slavery buy using sex slaves. He was merely explaining that this legislation extends much further than this - this is something which has been done for political reasons, for the benefit of the politician, not the sex slave.

You see, making someone a sex slave is already illegal. Using a sex slave is rape, ignorance is no defence. However, it is very hard to detect and prosecute, it's akin to (say) fishing for sardines with a rod and line - the results aren't going to be very good. So what the government have decided to do is to akin to starting fishing with hand grenades.

The government can now convict many more people under legislation and at reducing sex slavery - ergo headlines in a few years will read X number of people convicted using sex slavery legislation thanks to Jacki Smith. The facts that;

* some of these people could and would have been convicted using current legislation,

* some of these people weren't harming anyone (i.e. difference between trafficked and enslaved)

* the impact on sex slavery is negligable

* the impact on sex workers on the whole is detrimental

These will all be over-looked.

It is akin to the governments stance on 'Knife Crime'. Prior to 1988 you could carry any bladed or sharply pointed item you wanted, it was down to the CPS and police to prove that you intended to use the item as a weapon (i.e. carrying with intent). Then they changed the law so that you could be prosecuted for carrying most (i,e. not small folding) bladed or sharply pointed instruments in a public place, if you could not provide a good reason (i.e. shifted the burden of proof) - even if you intended no harm and could prove that - in order to make the prosecutors job easier.

However, given that the burden of proof is shifted to the individual the offense was much lesser than that of carrying a weapon with intent. Ten years later 1998, a single district judge (i.e. lawyer with min. 7 years experience) decided to misread the poorly written legislation and change the law by classifying safer lockable folding knives as 'not fold-able'. Fast forward to the present day and the press jump up and down about cautions for potential murders, and the government is looking at putting the tariffs for knife possession - on a par with carrying with in intent or even possession of an illegal firearm. How do they justify it? Well a good way is to use the increase in hospital figures for people injured with a sharp object, ignoring the fact that these may be accidents, or may have occurred in the home (attacks do), or may have been caused broken bottles or glasses (or other previously non-pointed/sharp objects), or just plain increased reporting.

His article isn't against having laws, it is against having poorly written, poorly thought out and unnecessary laws (to combat things which are already illegal - especially when the only motive for doing so is to make ease the burden on prosecutors and to get good press.

The IT angle - logical thought and consistent, high quality analysis is what IT should be all about (tenuous I know). It is just a shame it isn't what politics or the media are all about.

BTW, have you looked at what the government considers a suitable punishment for men found guilty of raping these women (or possibly raping given the way the legislation is written)? They are intending a £1,000 fine. Clearly they are aware that the laws are draconian, hence the reason for the petty penalty - i.e. They consider it on a par with driving when your photocard licence has expired. Ofcourse, that will all change if the media kick-up a stink about paltry £1000 fines - then they will up the penalty to match that of rape.

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D
Paris Hilton

Prostitution, cannabis, binge drinking,

high fat foods, gambling, the essential ingredients of a good night out, have all been targeted by Brown's government.

I think we should let Paris run the country.

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Bronze badge

Wat Wait Wait @y Eddy Ito

I can go to another country , and get high screw a hooker and come back home. As long as the hooker i over 18.

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Paris Hilton

Re: The downfall of society?

"why don't we take the router ACL approach, deny all permit by exception"

This is the approach taken on the continent by - e.g. the Napoleonic Code - so things are illegal unless permitted by law. English Common Law is based on the opposite principle: everything is legal unless specifically banned.

@pk_de_cville: you fail as a troll. Kidnapping and rape are already illegal, how about enforcing those laws rather than making new ones to address the same issues?

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Smoking

"The majority of people don't smoke, and most of them find the ban an exceptionally good thing."

The majority of people don't visit pubs regularly either. I can't help thinking that if they had surveyed the people in my local (one of the few remaining real locals amongst wine bars, brasseries, gastro-pubs and teeny pick-up joints), the overwhelming majority of respondents would have been against a smoking ban in pubs.

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Flame

I think I understand

Anyone who's ever seen Julie Burchill's likeness, or Jacqui Smith's or Harriet Harman's for that matter, know that it comes down to sheer jealously. All three know that if they went on the game they'd starve.

@pk_de_cville: I don't think you understand the idea of prostitution. For the most part the punters aren't really paying for sex; they're paying for the women to go away afterwards. If men got what they wanted at home then they wouldn't feel the need to get it elsewhere. It's surely a human right to be able to have sex is it not? Even if you look like a gargoyle and have to pay for it, if someone is prepared to do it with you for money then who's to say it's wrong? There are ample laws to cover the slavery and pimping angles. What's happening is actually a few bigoted women have got themselves into a position of power and want to persecute what they see as men's persecution of women but can't see the irony.

The problem here is that bigots can no longer round on homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and other "reformed sexual deviants". The only targets left for vilification are paedophiles and men who want to pay for sex. So there you have it: pretty much the last oppressed sexual minority is the hetrosexual male. The expression of their sexuality can be criticised with impunity; they can be called vile and disgusting and their oppressors can get away with it. Indeed they receive plaudits for doing so.

Essentially I think that, Julie, Jacqui and Harriet believe that, in fact, prostitutes sell sex too cheaply. They think all men should have to get married in order to have sex and be made pay through the nose for it. Or better still, pay through the nose for it and not get it which is probably closer to the truth for most unfortunate western males these days. Now that's what I call real sexual slavery. I just hope the emasculated men in parliament have the balls left to tell them where to stick this legislation.

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Alien

Typical BS

It's typical , happens all the time in America, both north of the line and south ..

But then again .. are we asking to those people to show intellectual honesty ?

I mean .. are you seriously thinking that those politicians can show deep , real

genuine intellectual honesty ? Come on . These are politicians after all ..

Politicials will cheat , lie an do whatever it takes to keep hold of power.

They are low lifes . All of them . What's worse .. we keep electing them ..

Do we deserve our politicians ? hmm .. thinking about it , perhaps we do.

As for the girls .. leave em be .. they need our support not hatred or laws.

.

The Alien : You got to be one to beleive you can stop prostitution.

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Bumping up unemployment

You'd think that with unemployment rocketing, the government wouldn't be looking to throw more people out of work. The Policing and Crime Bill isn't going to shut down the sex trade, but criminalising johns is going to make it a damned sight harder for girls and boys on the game to make a living. (For a sex worker's view, see http://www.wisdomofwhores.com/2008/11/12/of-sex-and-macbooks).

What's worse is that it will probably also make it harder to work against the trafficking and child prostitution which make up a small but vicious part of the sex industry. Trying to attack those corners of the trade by making the whole trade illegal is like trying to wipe out software piracy by shutting down Microsoft.

Hang on a minute...

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How long?

Ah, 6 comments before someone goes "full retard"...

@pk_de_cville: you obviously missed subtle points, so let me reiterate them for you. The article repeatedly acknowledged that sex slavery/trafficking exists, that it is a problem and that it is not something to be taken lightly.

There are two major points that tend to get missed by reactionaries such as yourself. The first is that not every prostitute is doing it unwillingly. Some girls actually choose to either through economic necessity or other reasons (a good whore will work less hours and get paid more than a cleaner). Legalising it would remove some of the obstacles and dangers to those girls (risk of arrest/abuse, drug addiction, disease, inability to rat on an abusive pimp without confessing to jailable crimes themselves, etc.). It wouldn't be paradise nor a particularly glamorous profession if brothels were legalised, but far better than it is now.

The second is that you've just parroted the exact hype that the article rails against. The real problem is not severe enough to get the amount of attention it does, and most of the things that *actually exist* are *already* illegal. The only way the trade will ever disappear, as you rightly note, is for the demand for sex to go away. That just ain't going to happen. As for "getting it through dating or friendship" - well, that's still prostitution. If one party or the other is only interested in sex and not a relationship, then one party is still being used and abused in the name of the other's pleasure.

If not legalisation, why not just concentrate on prosecuting the existing laws without pass further laws to try and make it look like something is happening (while simultaneously doing nothing and catch a lot of innocents in the crossfire)?

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Trafficking?

Well, if you're an illegal immigrant caught in a brothel, why wouldn't you claim to have been trafficked? If it means being treated as a victim?

I'm not saying there isn't any trafficking, but I am doubtful about the figures.

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Paris Hilton

Quote: As I say, this does happen but the question is, how often?

Not as often as in Italy, Greece or even Spain, but still much more often than the "esteemed" author of this article would like to make us think. I used to live in Bulgaria which was a primary recruitment ground for this scam in the late 90-es and early 2000-es (the recruitment drive has since moved further east). The total number of cases during that period has exceeded by far tens of thousands per year.

Further to this, I see nothing wrong in making "stand and turn a blind eye" a criminal offence. We should have a bit more of that. A few months I saw three youfs in an H-reg fiesta knocking down a girl on a bicycle. Instead of stopping they showed her a V and drove off. The only people to stop and check if she is all right were me and a frenchman. All the other white middle class c*nts happily sat in their comfortable cars and ignored the entire thing like not happening. Making all of them don an "Offender Helping The Community" yellow jackets and send them to clean the dog sh*t off the sidewalks definitely sounds like something quite worthy. We definitely need more of that. A lot more.

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Silver badge

@James H

"Would I be wrong in saying religions are responsible for most of today's problems?"

No, although I prefer "Organised religion is the root of all evil." ... And before you religious wack-jobs start ranting at me, please note that I didn't say "all religions are evil", nor did I say that "all organized religions are evil".

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Paris Hilton

All Men are Rapists

From Tim Brown: "If someone makes use of the services of a prostitute who they know or believe is being coerced into providing those services..."

This is a classic definition of rape and has long been illegal.

The point of the new legislation is that it makes it illegal even if you *don't know* that they are being forced into it. If you view visiting a prostitute as an intrinsically immoral thing that ought to be illegal then you won't mind catching innocent men as they are not innocent.

This comes straight from the doctrine that "All Men are Rapists" which as helpful to the debate as saying that "All Women are Prostitutes".

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Jon
Alert

"Tart"

"The British Government plans to make it illegal to have sex with a prostitute if said tart has been trafficked"

A woman who has been trafficked is a rape victim, and not a tart.

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Joke

Why an IT angle?

I only read the Register for the sex and violence, is there an IT section here too?

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Thumb Down

Time to grab a few more headlines...

@pk_de_cville

It is you who are missing the point. We already *have* laws to protect women from threats of violence and assaults and other behaviours involved in trafficking, passing new laws is not going to make matters any better.

@ Tim Brown:

> "If someone makes use of the services of a prostitute who they know or believe is being coerced into providing those services, then I'm quite happy for a suitably heavy book to be thrown at them"

And how is someone supposed to *know* this? Should the punter be required to ask "have you been forced or coerced into this" when he hands over the money? How is he supposed to know if they are telling the truth?

This is another ludicrous headline grabbing law from a Government which has lost all touch with reality and is now just legislating based on the personal views of Ministers.

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Anonymous Coward

@Liberalism

"I think the author of this piece has picked a very poor platform on which to triumph his liberalism. I too would describe myself as a liberal and I have no issue with whatever consenting adults get up to in private (or even, in most cases public!). However the key word there is 'consenting"

The problem with this trafficing thing is, we are supposed to believe that the girl is kidnapped from her country (or deceived) brought over here and force into prostitution and never tells the police and never tells any client to call the police and is kept a prisoner so she can never escape and is watched all the time and and and.... nah.

Occams razor suggests a different answer to the majority of these claims: When caught committing prostitution they blame someone else. Just the same as they do with any other crime. It's always someone else fault.

Jacqui cannot apply common sense to this and so assumes that every claim of trafficking, no matter how implausible is real. Worse, in fact, even where there is no claim of trafficking she still seeks to punish clients as though there was.

You mentioned 'consenting' but there is no way for the girl to consent in Jaquis law.

Her argument for this is trafficking (her mental image of it at least) is so serious that it's necessary to punish people not responsible for it, for some sort of indirect benefit she can't quite explain.

Face it, she's a power crazed old harpie that likes to put men in jail on the flimsiest excuse, not a fit person to hold any position of authority. The less she can identify with the person she's abusing (i.e. usually men and attractive women) the easier she finds it to put them in jail.

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What a prostitute said to me.

"I only work a couple of days a week, its entirely up to me, I make enough to live nicely and it's very safe here. I also get tested every week and I can refuse to serve a guy if I want."

Not anon because this was in Amsterdam, where it's legal. Which must mean that the rampant evil of the oldest profession will surely tear their social fabric to shreds. Any day now, for sure, just watch. Just like if we legalised Cannabis.

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Thumb Up

OMG, its the Vikings, right?

Oh Noes! Not the international shadowy world of sex trafficking!

See also;

Sextraffickers/pedophiles/Terrorists/ASBO kids/Footballhooligans/'Travellers'/TradeUnionists/Communists /blahblahblahblah /the french/witches/that untrustworthy ball of fire in the sky.

Thus has ever been the means of political control. If you wish to control people, point at something, convince the crowd its evil, wave your witch doctor wand and convince the crowd its safe.

@ Tim Brown, other bleeding-heart liberals. The point is not arguing whether or not screwing some unwilling tart is bad; anyone with half a braincell can see the bad karma. The point is how this morality issue is presented in order to coerce everyone into groupthink; most recently shown by how Bush used this method to throw some totalitarian scary rights-crushing shit around in the patriot act. here, let me demonstrate with my witch-doctor-wand-for-dummies-book;

politico: Unwilling harlots! they're everywhere! we will rescue them!

someone with half a brain : uh, no they arent. in fact, this law prettymuch hammers everyone. its pretty unjust, and actually sort of unnecessary as this is already covered under-

politico ; ARE YOU TELLING ME WE SHOULD DO NOTHING AND LET THE SEX TRAFFICKERS WIN?

At which point everyone looks at mr reasonable and the following is directly implied; Mr reasonable either trafficks in prostitutes or uses their services. Opposing the system where its morality is applied like this has become more and more difficult as the hysteria machine has been refined since the McCarthy era co-opted the media.

All of this is a side effect of running a democratic system where a politicians effectiveness is measured in the Bullshit laws and whitepapers they put forth, and their cause-and-effect massaging of related statistics.

ergo;

Politician, who needs public prominence to succeed, and has the power to change the law, in a room with a reporter, who needs Scary headlines and 'reliable' political statistics to succeed. El politico needs something scary to rail against to further his career, the reporter needs scary stories to sell newspapers. is it any wonder we lurch from one crisis to another? Even this story is part of that system; a story about the law, the scary story, the politicians.

I actually liked this story, though. I got to write about harlots.

Thumbs up. Harlots.

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Flame

Evidence?

@Anonymous Coward Posted Sunday 4th January 2009 19:59 GMT

"The total number of cases during that period has exceeded by far tens of thousands per year."

That has to be complete and utter bollocks. I'll give you the opportunity to provide some documentary evidence from some non-hysterical source but I've a feeling that I'll be waiting a long time.

"Further to this, I see nothing wrong in making "stand and turn a blind eye" a criminal offence."

This is not criminalising people who turn a blind eye. In your example it's the equivalent of chastising someone in Borneo for not stopping to commiserate with the daft girl who got herself knocked down in some slum in England.

If they ever decide to pass a law to imprison people who don't know they're stupid, you'd better watch out.

"But, but, I thought I was Mensa material ..."

"Just get in the van you stupid ..."

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Gold badge

So much to do, so little time

Isn't it amazing how much 1984 focused activity has come out of New Labour now it has become abundantly clear they won't survive the next election?

As far as I can see, this is the just the effort to lay down as large a heap of crap for their successors as can be achieved - once a law is on the books it's hard to remove it.

Ditto for ID Cards - plenty moves are underway to shove it down the throat of some unsuspecting foreigners who make the mistake to plan to make the UK their home (for reasons that are increasingly hard to fathom) so that the whole scam (because that's what it is) cannot be canned as it should.

Ah - I guess prostitutes will be the next for ID Cards! Now it all makes sense. O rnot.

IMHO, Guy Fawkes was right..

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Stop

Typical pointless government rubbish

This is an old story really, BUT - I'm all for getting rid of kerb crawlers. There's no need.

Anyone kerb crawling, give them points, fines, whatever it takes. I've done it myself, and I think potential punters just need better education. Trawling the streets at 1am is NOT the way to find a girl to have a pleasurable sexual experience with.

Anyone who has ever hired a proper escort will tell you that you never pay for "sex". You pay for an hour (or more) of the lady's time. What you get up to during that time is "between two consenting adults".

I've no idea how that would stand up in a court of law, but that's the way everyone words it. You don't buy a 'Rusty Trombone', 'figging', a 'Glass Bottom Boat' or whatever on an individual level.

On that basis, who can be guilty? Trafficked or not, you never paid her money for sex.

What angers me is that the government refuses to accept that some women actually like it. I know one escort personally (have never used her professional services), and she does it because she enjoys sex and likes the money. She's not been trafficked or forced into it. She's not pimped, she's not an illegal drug user, alcoholic, or anything of the sort. If you met her in the street, you'd never know that she occasionally met strangers in hotel rooms.

Also, she does it safe every time, no exceptions. Rates of STD's among horny teenagers is significantly higher than those within the sex industry.

If the government want a real insider's view of the sex industry (and they probably don't, because it wouldn't help their agenda), including the good and bad, they should try reading the Punternet forums

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IT Angle

Good job

Good job!

I have really enjoyed this article; it is rear to find a person with a bit of common sense nowadays.

We do, unfortunately live in a completely crazy society, where enormously stupid laws are only avoided by the enormous stupidity of the police – this, unfortunately will soon change with the advent of ever-present surveillance technology...

“Your tracker implant was intimately close to the tracker implant of a known lady of ill repute, you are hence arrested for having said with the said prostitute”

P.S. Excellent as the article may be, what is the IT angle? (apart from the geeks being known to wet their carrot in such manner)

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So what does "liberal" mean these days?

Couldn't agree more. Legislative attacks like the one mentioned seem, however, to preferably come from the self-described liberal/feminist/progressive corner, a weird bunch of junkies who are under the delusion that they are capable of bending reality to written law as long as the intention is to "do good" and "help others". So what's "liberal" mean these days, anyway?

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Jim
Unhappy

surely 167 is still too many?

By your own research you describe Pentameter 2, found 167 trafficked people - surely thats 167 too many?

Or perhaps the author does not have any daughters? He apparently surely has missed the point.

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Bronze badge

Legalising prostitution

Here in Germany, prostitution is legalised but under a number of constraints. These include that prostitutes may only work in licensed brothels, brothels may only be located in discrete locations, prostitutes must be regularly checked by a doctor, etc. As they are not demonised by the law, prostitutes can call on the police if they are assaulted and are not easily controlled by gangsters. Prostitutes have their own union, have health insurance and pension schemes.

Of course, gangsters then traffic women from abroad as they are easier to control due to their illegal status but punters don't need to risk going to these people as they can visit a legal brothel. Legalistion removes trade from the gangsters - so they are better off in Britain where everything is illegal and therefore, easier for the gangsters to control.

The other problem in the UK is that, despite assurances to the contrary, many foreign prostitutes who were trafficked are deported right back to their home countries and into the hands of the gangs who trafficked them in the first place.

Whilst the situation in Germany is probably not ideal, it is much better then that in the UK and I can only think that the the new UK legislation will make things worse.

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Anonymous Coward

Alcohol is next

Question is why the rush to puritan lawmaking? what is the point of banning everything even remotely pleasurable?

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Broad Definitions

"..I'm naturally against the criminalisation of something that no society has ever managed to extinguish. "

Ever since Cain started it off, by murdering Abel, no society has managed to extinguish murder.

So, is it the case that you are against the criminalisation of murder?

Perhaps you need to tighten up your own definitions somewhat.

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Paris Hilton

Pimps

I have met a few pimps in the UK in real life. The most unpleasant people I have ever met. Yes, that's anecdotal evidence, but whilst I applaud the principle of looking beyond the numbers and seeing exactly how they are arrived at, the Register skipped doing so on its own research on this element of the article. The reason why some women may prefer to work with a pimp is probably not because it is better for them per se, but because it may be better for them in a society where prostitution is criminalised and they have no protection from the police. Be very careful of extrapolating from some small sample in one US state, analysed by one sensationalist statistician, and taking it as a basis for comparison in the UK.

Broadly speaking, the Home Secretary is right in saying that Prostitution is not a job that most people engage in willingly (if we can avoid people arguing that circumstances short of rape can still count as not a free choice). However, the current laws do pretty much cover the circumstances where it would be right to intervene and if there are any issues, then they are local ones of enforcement and police resourcing. The current efforts at legislation are publicity driven and probably harmful.

Paris, because some people *do* want to make money with their bodies.

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Flame

Norway?

Still a marginal improvement on the more simply-worded but harsher (possibly) Norwegian law that took effect on the Jan 1st. Any Norwegian paying for sex anywhere in the world, regardless of whether the prostitute is "trafficked" or "controlled" is up for 6 months minimum in jail.

It does, in fairness, save any loopholes. But it also means that all the prostitutes in Norway will have to drop their prices and rely on foreigners as the law *only* applies to Norwegian citizens.

Easyjet fly to Oslo, yes? ;)

But still, I agree. Trying to criminalise prostitution is mindless and pointless. You just push it further under the carpet and make it harder to police. If someone's become a prostitute - for example - as a way to pay for a drug habit will this make them go to the doctors or join a rehabilitation scheme (as the Norwegian government state will be the case in their hyperbole)? I doubt it. They'll just hide away further from the law or turn to petty crime, muggings and so on to get the money for their fix.

Burying something doesn't make it go away. One day politicians will figure this out, but it's not on the horizon any time soon.

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J
Coat

@ Paul Slater

"The majority of people don't visit pubs regularly either."

True.

But I wonder how many of those don't (didn't?) go to pubs due to... the excessive smoke.

I myself think thrice before going to one, because the damn stinky shit attacks my rhinitis (or sometimes asthma) quite easily...

Off topic, I know. I'm leaving...

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Boffin

"Liberal", "Conservative" and the second dimension

People are missing the point, as intended by those making the point.

For thirty years now, we've seen the authentic conservative movement supplanted and suborned by the "Reagan/Thatcher 'conservatives'", who don't actually fit into the traditional conservative (or liberal) queues; they're something quite different.

Radical authoritarians and narcissists. They have successfully used propaganda and the power of the overweening State (anathema to true conservatives) to instigate the most massive transfer of wealth in human history, to the (now-)richest of the rich. Even when they are seen to publicly stumble, as in the current financial crisis, only the lower-level munchkins, 'ordinary people', get whacked - at least without an extremely generous platinum parachute. (Because 'golden' just isn't enough anymore.)

This isn't a 'left'/'right' issue; that's a wedge that's been used to drive propaganda. That tactic has to have been more successful than any of those pushing the buttons in the beginning would have dared imagine: anybody now who suggests that the middle and lower classes should not actively damage their own best interests is loudly shouted down - by the same people who are on the vanishingly-short end of the economic stick. And the real beauty of the system is - the people who attract the most public anger (e.g., the Bushes), while not in any sense blameless, are hardly the greatest beneficiaries of the new regime.

We can't solve the problem until we get sufficiently broad agreement on the real problem.

Where's the IT angle? Everywhere. This agglomeration of wealth, this concentration of power, this emasculation of individual liberties, would hardly have been possible without massive, state-of-the-art IT systems. C4I (command, communication, control, computers and intelligence) applied not by an answerable Government against a military opponent, but by the omipresent, omnipotent State against its own citizens. Those of us who've taken the attitude that "it's jusrt a job" or "it's a neat problem to solve" have lost sight of the effects of our actions just as surely as a bunch of hooligans shooting off firecrackers in a shopping mall to see people run.

And yes, I dealt with some "interesting problems" in my day.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Evidence?

The number of tens of thousands is based on the number of girls who had to be provided with consular assistance, repatriation and support by charities after the repatriation. The numbers are published, well known and indeed ran into the tens of thousands during the late 1990-es peak. Search for yourselves (I am quoting based on the 1998 BG report on the problem which was published long before the UK politicos decided to make it a cause celebre).

The numbers also underestimate the size of the problem as only the very lucky manage to get out and obtain consular assistance.

The unlucky do not. In fact the most unlucky end up in a concrete block at the bottom of a lake somewhere after they can no longer serve customers.

As far as your example about Borneo, it does not apply. The girl in question was laying in the middle of a UK road and the f*** white middle class c*nts were carefully driving _around_ her not to spoil their nice middle class MPVs. That is not in Borneo. That is nowdays UK. The lack of compassion and the desire to make it someone's else problem here is so staggering it is unreal...

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