Himagain

Fionna MacTaggart Interview, The People, 14/09/2008

30 posts in this topic

MacTaggart's been at it again, with her selective reading of the Mori/IPSOS poll:

PAYING FOR SEX TO BE BANNED BY GOVT: Crusade to end shameful slave trade

Unfortunately, it is impossible to comment on this item, but I have taken the liberty of sending the following to the journalilst concerned:

Dear Sir:

I am writing with regard to the above cited interview, with Fionna MacTaggart MP, which you have published in today's People.

You appear to have taken at Ms MacTaggart's propaganda at face value & have made no attempt to investigate the veracity of her statements before going to press. If you had taken this simple step; the results of the Mori/IPSOS opinion poll are in the public domain, http://www.ipsos-mori.com/_assets/pdfs/prostitutiontoplinejune.pdf, with a summary to be found at: http://www.ipsos-mori.com/content/publics-views-on-prostitution.ashx, you might just have realised that the MP for Slough has been somewhat selective.

As will be seen, should you follow the above links, Ms. MacTaggart statement, that,

"A new survey commissioned by women's minister Harriet Harman showed 58 per cent of people back the proposals.",

only becomes viable if one takes into account that it is based on question 8 of the survey, which reads,

"Some people have argued that if paying for sex were illegal it would reduce the

number of women and children being trafficked into this country from abroad and

forced into prostitution. Would you support or oppose making it illegal to pay for sex as part of an attempt to reduce trafficking of women & children from abroad into prostitution in the UK ?"

However, this is contradicted by the response to question 1 of the survey:

"It should be made illegal to pay for sex - this would mean that men who pay

for sex with prostitutes commit a criminal offence?

The only definite conclusions that can be drawn from this survey are that, when the questions are not loaded in favour of Ms. Harman's agenda, the British public doesn't view the prostitution as being a problem, nor do they accept the stereotype of all sex workers being coerced victims; as the response to questions 3 & 4 demonstrate, the majority of those surveyed accepted that women (we'll forget that Ms Harman always ignores the male & transgendered sex workers/clients) could & should be able to make a reasoned choice to earn a living from prostitution & that there was a case for accepting that sex workers do fulfil a need within society.

The statement that,

"At present, it is illegal to sell sex in the street, although hookers can work from brothels".

in your piece is simply wrong. Prostitution as such has never been illegal in England & Wales . However, it is illegal for two or more sex workers; why you choose to utilise the needlessly derogatory term, "hookers" I leave to your own conscience, to operate from the same premises; regardless of whether they work at the same time, or even from the same flat within a block, as this constitutes a brothel.

Even should a brothel be raided by the police, it is the management, receptionists & maid who will face prosecution & not the sex workers themselves.

Perhaps you are unaware that at the same time as advocating the criminalisation of those who purchase sexual services, Ms. MacTaggart has proposed legislation that would make it legal for 2 sex workers to establish a "mini-brothel"; with or without the services of a receptionist or maid. Does it not seem hypocritical that she should be saying that it will be okay for sex workers to create for themselves conditions that are proven to enhance their safety, whilst at the same time planning on arresting anyone who partakes of the services they have on offer?

Again, by presenting unquestioned, Ms MacTaggart's assertions that,

"Women who enter prostitution as teenagers are often threatened and bullied so they are kept in it.

"They have very little choice or control over their lives, so we should target the men who have money instead."

You are presenting radical feminist dogma as fact, whereas, there is a wealth of properly scrutinised, empirical academic research; by such internationally recognised authorities on the subject as, Professor Julia O'connell Davidson, Rosie Campbell, Doctors Jane Scoular, Teela Sanders, Michael Goodyear & numerous others that demonstrate that this is not the case &is a situation that largely applies to the on-street sex market, which only constitutes 10 - 15% of the UK industry.

Finally, the statement that there are 18,000 trafficked sex slaves in the UK is a fabrication. The Home Office best estimate is that there is may be a total of 4,000 trafficked people working within the sex trade in the UK . The figure of 18,000 is in fact the estimated total number of sex workers within the UK , & the misuse of this figure is a continuation of a trend that was started by that well known academic work, "The Daily Mirror".

Although facts don't sell as well as myths, surely the public has a right to expect journalists to do more than regurgitate misinformation & to, at the very least, be sceptical of the information contained in Government sponsored reports, when it is being presented by those members of the Government who have most to gain from such reports?

Sadly, your item has failed your readers on both of these counts.

What's the betting it doesn't get published?

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Fionna has cooked her goose now anyway by attacking Brown, means she will allow a Tory Govt to replace Brown's.

However, it's about time these Newspapers, Surveys and Politicians stopped asking loaded and fallacious questions.

A "loaded question", like a loaded gun, is a dangerous thing. A loaded question is a question with a false or questionable presupposition, and it is "loaded" with that presumption. The question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you have beaten your wife prior to its asking, as well as that you have a wife. If you are unmarried, or have never beaten your wife, then the question is loaded.

Since this example is a yes/no question, there are only the following two direct answers:

  1. "Yes, I have stopped beating my wife", which entails "I was beating my wife."
  2. "No, I haven't stopped beating my wife", which entails "I am still beating my wife."

Thus, either direct answer entails that you have beaten your wife, which is, therefore, a presupposition of the question. So, a loaded question is one which you cannot answer directly without implying a falsehood or a statement that you deny. For this reason, the proper response to such a question is not to answer it directly, but to either refuse to answer or to reject the question.

Some systems of parliamentary debate provide for "dividing the question", that is, splitting a complex question up into two or more simple questions. Such a move can be used to split the example as follows:

  1. "Have you ever beaten your wife?"
  2. "If so, are you still doing so?"

In this way, 1 can be answered directly by "no", and then the conditional question 2 does not arise.

In our case, the FACTS do not support in any way the level of trafficking or child abuse cited as the underpinning of this prejudiced and poisonous legislation that these left wing power mad politicos are proposing.

Therefore the Answer to "Should we stop trafficking of human beings?" or "Should we take all reasonable steps to stop child abuse?" should be met with a resounding "YES!!" but the link to prostitution is flimsy at best in the main and existing methods of controlling prostitution can deal with thos aspects.

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She also said that there are at least 18,000 sex slaves in the UK which is also blatant lies..

They just can't stop lying can they..

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I would suggest there may be some but have no more "proof" than she does, and I can't call her a lying cow on here. I bet there are nearer to 18 than 18,000 though by "the man on the Clapham omnibus"'s standards and would be happy to bet her £1,000 I am right.

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A far more important point you should make is that as far as the police are concerned a person is trafficked if they are helped to come to this country in order to work in someone's brothel or for their agency. The Sexual offences act 2003 makes no mention of sex-slavery. I'm curious as to whether this is where even the 4000 statistic comes from. Fiona MacTaggart et al seem determined to equate trafficked with slavery, but that's not what the legal definition is, and since it's the police etc who are providing the raw data, I'm smelling a rat.

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A far more important point you should make is that as far as the police are concerned a person is trafficked if they are helped to come to this country in order to work in someone's brothel or for their agency. The Sexual offences act 2003 makes no mention of sex-slavery. I'm curious as to whether this is where even the 4000 statistic comes from. Fiona MacTaggart et al seem determined to equate trafficked with slavery, but that's not what the legal definition is, and since it's the police etc who are providing the raw data, I'm smelling a rat.

Ah, but my point was that point the findings of the survey were being misrepresented & that we were presented with the ridiculous situation of one tabloid newspaper taking as gospel the fabricated scare mongering of a rival tabloid newspaper.

Besides, the definition of trafficking has nothing to do with people being brought into the UK to work for a brothel or agency. In fact it is worded in such a way that if you or I were to give a sex worker a lift to their place of work we would, technically, be guilty of a trafficking offence. Seriously.

In fact, I think that it is this catch all interpretation that has enabled MacTaggart & co to be able to make the claim that there are 18,000 trafficked women working in the industry; face it all working girls have at some point to travel to or from a working venue & this, by the interpretation of what constitutes trafficking detailed above, means that they must be trafficked.

But this interpretation means that attention & resources are directed away from the genuine victims of trafficking who are the very people that our elected members (& yes, in the case of HH & her cronies, you can think of this as a double entendre) should be concentrating on & not consenting adults who choose this industry as being their way of making a living.

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Ah, but my point was that point the findings of the survey were being misrepresented & that we were presented with the ridiculous situation of one tabloid newspaper taking as gospel the fabricated scare mongering of a rival tabloid newspaper.

Besides, the definition of trafficking has nothing to do with people being brought into the UK to work for a brothel or agency. In fact it is worded in such a way that if you or I were to give a sex worker a lift to their place of work we would, technically, be guilty of a trafficking offence. Seriously.

In fact, I think that it is this catch all interpretation that has enabled MacTaggart & co to be able to make the claim that there are 18,000 trafficked women working in the industry; face it all working girls have at some point to travel to or from a working venue & this, by the interpretation of what constitutes trafficking detailed above, means that they must be trafficked.

But this interpretation means that attention & resources are directed away from the genuine victims of trafficking who are the very people that our elected members (& yes, in the case of HH & her cronies, you can think of this as a double entendre) should be concentrating on & not consenting adults who choose this industry as being their way of making a living.

I think you've missed my point. The definition of trafficking for sexual exploitation as defined in the sexual offences act 2003 is how the police measure whether or not to charge someone with trafficking and whether or not to log a prostitute they've located as "trafficked". So it has EVERYTHING to do with bringing a person into this country to work in a brothel/agency. And yes that was my point re: the numbers involved and where they've come from. The article in the people said 18000 trafficked sex slaves, as if the two terms went together, but the statistics supplied by law enforcement will be working to the legal definition which only requires that they were aided in their travel here. Fiona MacTaggart is trying to give the impression that trafficked=enslaved which in the vast majority of cases is not true. The 167 rescued women in Pentameter 2 were almost certainly just the ones the police felt fitted the legal definition of trafficked. So Fiona just quotes the stats whilst relying on the public to equate trafficked with locked in a room and raped into submission. I've also written to the journalist involved telling him about the things you mention and about what "trafficked" actually means. I challenged him to query this with Fiona MacTaggart and ask her what definition the statisticians used when arrived at whatever figure she's quoting this week.

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Well done.

The public are being lied to. In the propaganda, the size and nature of the trafficking problem is deliberately exaggerated. They take advantage of ignorance to mislead the public into the belief that the sex industry largely consists of trafficked victims and hope that their facts, figures and proposals will be accepted without question. There is nothing worse than ill-informed opinion. The public gets most of its information from the media, it is therefore the responsibility of journalists and editors not to allow themselves to be misused and the public mislead in this manner.

A wider understanding of the truths about prostitution is necessary. The public need to be aware that quoted figures are no more than wild guesses. Even figures about the numbers 'rescued' relies on the definition of trafficking and are inflated by false claims to having been trafficked.

The figures produced by the survey are also questionable. For example - How many of the 56% who would support making paying for sex illegal if it reduced trafficking think that selling sex is already illegal?

(I notice that supporters of proposed criminalisation of purchasers have dropped the if it reduces trafficking bit).

The fact that a far better solution would be to decriminalise prostitution needs to be realised. Then it would be simple matter for suspected trafficking to get reported and enable the stated aim to be achieved far more successfully.

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The fact that a far better solution would be to decriminalise prostitution needs to be realised.

Do you meant the legalising of brothels (and possibly allied activities such as controlling prostitution for gain etc.) and soliciting?

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Do you meant the legalising of brothels (and possibly allied activities such as controlling prostitution for gain etc.) and soliciting?

It is time for this country to realise that the situation for the last fifty years has not eradicated prostitution and it is time for some common sense to applied. The existing laws which make running a brothel etc. should be repealed. Brothels should be treated as an ordinary business covered by ordinary employment legislation (including the recently introduced legislation covering migrant workers), planning rules etc. I do not mean that brothels should be specifally licensed.

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It is time for this country to realise that the situation for the last fifty years has not eradicated prostitution and it is time for some common sense to applied. The existing laws which make running a brothel etc. should be repealed. Brothels should be treated as an ordinary business covered by ordinary employment legislation (including the recently introduced legislation covering migrant workers), planning rules etc. I do not mean that brothels should be specifally licensed.

Including rights to notice, unfair dismissal etc? It would be interesting for WGs to have pensions too..........

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Including rights to notice, unfair dismissal etc? It would be interesting for WGs to have pensions too..........

Why should it not? WGs should have the same rights and protection as other workers.

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Including rights to notice, unfair dismissal etc? It would be interesting for WGs to have pensions too..........

*Imagines arrangements for "Disciplinary Panel"*

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It is time for this country to realise that the situation for the last fifty years has not eradicated prostitution and it is time for some common sense to applied. The existing laws which make running a brothel etc. should be repealed. Brothels should be treated as an ordinary business covered by ordinary employment legislation (including the recently introduced legislation covering migrant workers), planning rules etc. I do not mean that brothels should be specifally licensed.

Ah, I see, thank you, and soliciting?

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Ah, I see, thank you, and soliciting?

By soliciting do you mean offering to pay for sexual services?

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By soliciting do you mean offering to pay for sexual services?

By soliciting I mean a prostitute approaching a member of the public in a public place and offering him/herself for the purpose of prostitution.

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By soliciting I mean a prostitute approaching a member of the public in a public place and offering him/herself for the purpose of prostitution.

In that case yes it should be permitted. Why should WGs not market their services? As far as I am concerned it is too bad if anyone is offended by such an offer. They can decline, just as they can to people handing out leaflets or inviting them to participate it surveys etc.

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In that case yes it should be permitted. Why should WGs not market their services? As far as I am concerned it is too bad if anyone is offended by such an offer. They can decline, just as they can to people handing out leaflets or inviting them to participate it surveys etc.

Thank you.

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Telemarketing OK too?

"Good evening, Mrs Thwaites? Is Mr Thwaites available? I would like to inform him that he has won two passion filled hours with the whore of his choice at your local brothel. All he needs to do to claim this prize is to sit through a one hour lapdance and presentation. Both of you would need to be present for this and have evidence of income plus home ownership to qualify!".

:P

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The fact that a far better solution would be to decriminalise prostitution needs to be realised

Prostitution is legal.

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Prostitution is legal.

he did not write legalize he wrote decriminalise

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he did not write legalize he wrote decriminalise

You can't decriminalise something that ain't criminal, you fool..

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You can't decriminalise something that ain't criminal, you fool..

look dumbo, when you want to be a smart ass get your facts straight first...

It probably comes as news to you but there are a number of activities which

aren't legal, brothel keeping is one of them.

The only country which has decriminalized prostitution is New Zealand

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Handbags??

Can't you two debate without name calling?

Please try as we would hate to lose you.

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