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Trish Godman - The Criminalisation Of The Purchase And Sale Of Sex (scotland) Bill

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I posted this on Harlots Parlour, it may be of interest to those who work, live or visit Scotland.

Trish Godman was roundly defeated this year when she tried to introduce a clause into the Scottish Criminal Justice and Licensing Bill making the purchase and advertising of paid sexual services a criminal offence. Not only was the clause defeated in committee, but when she and her supporters brought their bill before the whole of the Scottish Parliament it was again soundly defeated, with only the Labour party supporting her. With all predictability she is still campaigning to criminalise the purchase of sex, with the detrimental affect this will have on sex workers in Scotland. It is no coincidence there is more danger to sex workers, and greater percentage of vulnerable street sex workers in Glasgow then there is in Edinburgh. Glasgow is a hostile place to sell sex and to buy sexual services. In contrast Edinburgh licences brothels and the police inspect them making Edinburgh a much safer place for sex workers.

Although Trish Godman is retiring in May 2011, she is still intent on getting her name on a bill criminalising the client. On Thursday 25th November she is introducing a Members bill:- The Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Bill this will appear in the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin on 25 November and will be open for consultation from 25 November until 18 February.

Instead of phaffing around wasting so many peoples time, with a bill that will seriously harm sex workers, wouldn’t it be useful that this time and money was spent helping those who are vulnerable. Just a thought.

This is a link to the consultation paper published today

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/bills/MembersBills/documents/20101122CriminalisationofPurchaseofSex.pdf

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Here we go again. :(

I need to read the Act to see what exactly she's proposing this time, one of the difficulties she came up

against the last time was ambiguity.

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Here we go again. :(

I need to read the Act to see what exactly she's proposing this time, one of the difficulties she came up

against the last time was ambiguity.

Well we could start with her own quote " I think that because politicians are dealing with people of all shapes, sizes, races and beliefs, that you cannot always put your own moral judgement on what other people do."

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Well we could start with her own quote " I think that because politicians are dealing with people of all shapes, sizes, races and beliefs, that you cannot always put your own moral judgement on what other people do."

The question I have is How official is this consultation?. When westminster conducts public consultations it's usually through a parliamentary committee or civil servants. However in this case she is the contact point for responses. Given she has clearly already made up her mind, it seems more likely that the purpose of the consultation is to serve as a rallying point for antis.

I'm doubtful that anything will be gained from a direct response. I suspect that anything said by working girls would even be included, and if it is, it will be be miss-used, selective quoted etc. I think perhaps the best response it would be better to challenge through other approaches, the media, other MSP, etc. Perhaps find previous opponents to filibuster it.

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Here we go again. :(

I need to read the Act to see what exactly she's proposing this time, one of the difficulties she came up

against the last time was ambiguity.

Is ambiguity a threesome, and therefore more illegal? :rolleyes:

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I've written to the broadsheets this morning, let's hope something comes of it.

In round terms I've said that surely we should be looking to protect the vulnerable rather than persecuting

consenting adults who partake in paid for sex. Apart from anything else, it's a massive waste of money, not

to mention resources.

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My first thought is Jesus, when will these people leave us alone? :unsure:

There are some unbelievably patronising parts in there!

"I believe that we should seek to protect the so called sexual service providers by legislating against those who pay for their services." Which planet is she from?

I'm not so clued up on how best to respond to these things but I think all Service Providers and Clients in Scotland should take a stand to see if anything can be done to stop these idiotic laws being passed.

Anyone have any idea of how best to challenge this? Who to write to etc?

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Also, if Trish Godman herself is retiring in May 2011, does this mean that this billing is rejected/defeated , then that's one less anti we are up against?

All the more reason to speak out

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I've written to the broadsheets this morning, let's hope something comes of it.

Did any publish your letters or have a journalist get back to you ?

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The question I have is How official is this consultation?. When westminster conducts public consultations it's usually through a parliamentary committee or civil servants. However in this case she is the contact point for responses. Given she has clearly already made up her mind, it seems more likely that the purpose of the consultation is to serve as a rallying point for antis.

Last time round Godman tried to slip her thing into a government bill as an "in committee" amendment. It was voted out - with all the labour members voting for it, and the rest against.

Now (if you read the bloody thing) she is trying a "Member's (stand alone) Bill". Her discussion paper / consultation is published on the Parliament's Web Site, so, it is as official as Godman is a Member of our benighted parliament. I think that in this country Member's Bills have an easier route through onto the statute book than Private Member's Bills have at Westminster - I'm going to have to do a little research here!

Godman is indeed not standing for re-election in May, and there won't be time for this to get through before the Parliament goes into General election tizzy, as she says. Apparently she has some dark horse waiting to take the file over from her - presumably he or she doesn't want to be named yet, else being known as "the punter's enemy" might cost him/her a good slice of votes!

What I don't know yet is the extent to which responses are all (or only favourable ones!!) posted for others to read. One doesn't want to give her the opportunity to say "No one has objected! The population is therefore solidly behind me!"

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i presume that margo macdonald msp together with scot-pep will again be fighting these dangerous proposals

i wonder if it worthwhile for people to respond by either spamming the consultation document or suggesting extreme ideas

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Did any publish your letters or have a journalist get back to you ?

Nope, not a sausage.

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i wonder if it [would be] worthwhile for people to respond by either spamming the consultation document or suggesting extreme ideas

I think that would be very unwise! We, here, all assert that each of us has his/her own tastes, and that it is not acceptable for me, simply because something disgusts me, or merely doesn't do anything for me, to disapprove of it!

Clegs and tapeworms have their place in God's creation, even if I can't guess where and why that might be. The same, I fear, goes for Trish Godman. We have to accept that the depraved, deprived and benighted inhabitants of West Renfrewshire ( low left from Glasgow, I think, Laura?) have elected her three times, and in a "democracy" that gives her the right to run off at the mouth, and, indeed, to propose a Member's Bill for consideration by the Parliament!

"Know your enemy" is a very good rule to live by. TG describes herself on the Parliament's web-site as follows:

Before I became an MSP I had a variety of jobs. After leaving school at 15 I worked with a charity for some time, as a waitress, in a bar, insurance collector, house mother in a list 'D' school. I then managed to get on to a change of career course at Jordanhill College and qualified as a social worker. I worked in the East End of Glasgow mostly trying to help alcohol and drug addicts. I have three sons, brought up by myself as a single mother and six grandchildren!

Because of my background I am interested in what the Parliament can do to help those who suffer mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction those who are faced with bringing up children on their own and those in debt. I have a total commitment to issues of equality and fairness.

My biographical details give a picture of personal interests. I do enjoy growing all my own vegetables, soft fruit and flowers. At the allotment there is no phone or fax - bliss! There's lots more to be done on the home front as well as internationally. I believe in the Parliament and the people of Scotland, together we can change things.

Intriguing that she doesn't mention her interest in prostitution!

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I think that would be very unwise! We, here, all assert that each of us has his/her own tastes, and that it is not acceptable for me, simply because something disgusts me, or merely doesn't do anything for me, to disapprove of it!

Clegs and tapeworms have their place in God's creation, even if I can't guess where and why that might be. The same, I fear, goes for Trish Godman. We have to accept that the depraved, deprived and benighted inhabitants of West Renfrewshire ( low left from Glasgow, I think, Laura?) have elected her three times, and in a "democracy" that gives her the right to run off at the mouth, and, indeed, to propose a Member's Bill for consideration by the Parliament!

"Know your enemy" is a very good rule to live by. TG describes herself on the Parliament's web-site as follows:

Before I became an MSP I had a variety of jobs. After leaving school at 15 I worked with a charity for some time, as a waitress, in a bar, insurance collector, house mother in a list 'D' school. I then managed to get on to a change of career course at Jordanhill College and qualified as a social worker. I worked in the East End of Glasgow mostly trying to help alcohol and drug addicts. I have three sons, brought up by myself as a single mother and six grandchildren!

Because of my background I am interested in what the Parliament can do to help those who suffer mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction those who are faced with bringing up children on their own and those in debt. I have a total commitment to issues of equality and fairness.

My biographical details give a picture of personal interests. I do enjoy growing all my own vegetables, soft fruit and flowers. At the allotment there is no phone or fax - bliss! There's lots more to be done on the home front as well as internationally. I believe in the Parliament and the people of Scotland, together we can change things.

Intriguing that she doesn't mention her interest in prostitution!

Curious that as a social worker she did not develop a capacity for empathy.

From my experience, which I am sure is far more hands on than hers, I have noted that "bringing up children on their own" and debt figure large in the motivation of prostitutes. pity she cannot bring her committment to equality and fairness to bear on the issue.

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I think that would be very unwise! We, here, all assert that each of us has his/her own tastes, and that it is not acceptable for me, simply because something disgusts me, or merely doesn't do anything for me, to disapprove of it!

Agreed, If I lived in Scotland and could participate I would keep the objection very simple and straightforward.

1) Those proposals will endanger prostitutes.

2) The government has no moral right to interfere in the sex lives of it's citizens.

Perhaps a disarming counter proposal that a sympathetic MSP could table as an amendment.

e.g. Legalise brothels of two women working together for safety.

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WT

How about proposing the authorities take a harder stance against those who DO harm, abuse, control and traffick?Get out there, stop them and deter others from commiting similar offences instead of wasting time debating the legal status of those working as prostitutes?

Seems they are only persecuting the innocent who are simply wanting to earn a living/offer a service, whilst the nasties are left to get away with it.

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WT

How about proposing the authorities take a harder stance against those who DO harm, abuse, control and traffick?Get out there, stop them and deter others from commiting similar offences instead of wasting time debating the legal status of those working as prostitutes?

Seems they are only persecuting the innocent who are simply wanting to earn a living/offer a service, whilst the nasties are left to get away with it.

There's a symbiotic relationship between religious and social moralists on the one hand and the CPS/Police looking for easy pickings under POCA.

I agree that criminals should not benefit from their crimes but it would have made far more sense if confiscated proceeds of the local "antisocial behaviours" type crime were used to fund local crime reduction schemes, and the serious fraud and heavy crime proceed went to general funds.

I find the police taxing whores pretty unedifying

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WT

How about proposing the authorities take a harder stance against those who DO harm, abuse, control and traffick? Get out there, stop them and deter others from commiting similar offences instead of wasting time debating the legal status of those working as prostitutes?

I agree those are worthy proposals. The problem I see it the antis use those same bullet points as their headlines and sound bites. They consider all punters to be abusers, all working girls to be victims, and invariable generalise in the detailed proposals.

I earlier said that I feared objections to the Bill would be miss used & selectively quoted, and for that reason suggest that anybody in the constituency who objects should keep their objections simple and straight forward. Respond to her sound bites with our own that focus to the crux.

My feeling is we should leave detailed and carefully crafted responses to the expert organisations like Scottish PEP and IUSW.

Seems they are only persecuting the innocent who are simply wanting to earn a living/offer a service, whilst the nasties are left to get away with it.

I agree in principle, I just feel that before we can have the debate about how we can stop the nasties we need to get the general public to accept that innocents and good guy and girls exist. I think we are slowly winning that debate, but we still have a long fight ahead.

The irony is that while we are collectively on the defensive, we are distracted from our own fight against the bad guys. This forum and others that take a positive stand against abuse should be (and at times has been) the front line of that fight.

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Does anyone think this will actually ever get passed? :unsure:

or am I shit scared for nothing? x

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Does anyone think this will actually ever get passed? :unsure:

or am I shit scared for nothing? x

For what my opinion is worth, I do think there is good reason to believe the bill to make illegal the purchase of sex will get through at some point unless there are enough objections made and the sex industry gets it's act together to campaign against it.

Does anyone have any idea of how many active campaign groups there are in Scotland and the rest of the UK who will be opposing the bill ?

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I would do anything I could to help campaign - IF I knew how.

If anyone has any ideas / suggestions please PM me as I don't have much clue where to start.

I hope the IUSW and Scot-Pep will be campaigning and I would be happy to help.

You are right, this industry should get together and challenge this idiocy before this gets passed without a whisper.

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I would do anything I could to help campaign - IF I knew how.

If anyone has any ideas / suggestions please PM me as I don't have much clue where to start.

I hope the IUSW and Scot-Pep will be campaigning and I would be happy to help.

You are right, this industry should get together and challenge this idiocy before this gets passed without a whisper.

My own view (and you'll understand that I'm a punter, not a "fille de joie") is that as many ladies as possible, who are 100% legal, i.e. not coerced, trafficked, drug-addicted, brutalised, pimped and so on and so forth, should write to TG, very importantly, copy to their own constituency MSP and all list MSPSs for the region, much as follows:

"I'm a prostitute! I chose this profession freely, and I pay my taxes, rather than claim benefit. I'm not coerced, trafficked, drug-addicted, brutalised, pimped and so on and so forth, and I don't know anyone who is. As an independant professional woman, I resent the attempt of someone who clearly knows very little, if anything, about my work, to make it harder and more dangerous for me. Have you considered my human right to make my own mind up about how I am going to earn my bread? If you really do want to help us, then you'd be campaigning for repeal of the common law definition of a brothel which criminalises two women who share one flat for economy, company, and above all, safety."

The copies carry a brief rubric to the effect of "I'll be reading the Parliament's web-site to see how you vote on this matter, so that I can, in my turn, decide how to vote in May 2011".

Such letters should be signed in the lady's work name, and certainly don't need to carry a home address, but might (perhaps?) usefully show the lady's web-site address.

That's my idea, anyway. I think that it is important that ladies from all over Scotland should write, to make the point that the very real problems suffered in one corner of Glasgow by a relatively small number of people are foreign to the rest of the country.

Edited by Irgendeiner

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WT

How about proposing the authorities take a harder stance against those who DO harm, abuse, control and traffick?Get out there, stop them and deter others from commiting similar offences instead of wasting time debating the legal status of those working as prostitutes?

Seems they are only persecuting the innocent who are simply wanting to earn a living/offer a service, whilst the nasties are left to get away with it.

Unfortunately, In Scotland, there's no such thing as a 'hard line' on anything. Justice is extremely soft. Soft sentencing is the by words up here. Labour began it when they took power, and the SNP have made it ten times worse. They are the only 2 parties that will have power here, so soft on crime it is.

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Does anyone think this will actually ever get passed? :unsure:

or am I shit scared for nothing? x

If it goes to a vote in the chamber, then yes it will go through. Almost all MSPs love the moral high ground, irrespective of what the voters actually think/want.

It needs to be de-railed before it gets that far.

It was the 'Nanny State' under Labour, and under the SNP it's now the 'Ultra Nanny State' and it's not going to get any better for a long long time.

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If it goes to a vote in the chamber, then yes it will go through. Almost all MSPs love the moral high ground, irrespective of what the voters actually think/want.

It needs to be de-railed before it gets that far.

It was the 'Nanny State' under Labour, and under the SNP it's now the 'Ultra Nanny State' and it's not going to get any better for a long long time.

Yes, sadly, I fear I agree with you! I've just found this: http://www.vawpreventionscotland.org.uk/what-violence-against-women

I take it that none of us have any time for "violence against women"? Good, I thought so. Me too!

But, then, I find our Scottish Government's definition of VAW:

Definition

This approach is consistent with the Scottish Government’s definition of violence against women:

"… we define violence against women as actions which harm or cause suffering or indignity to women and children, where those carrying out the actions are mainly men and where women and children are predominantly the victims. The different forms of violence against women - including emotional, psychological, sexual and physical abuse, coercion and constraints - are interlinked. They have their roots in gender inequality and are therefore understood as gender-based violence"

In accordance with this definition, violence against women includes:

* Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, within the general community or in institutions, including: domestic abuse, rape, incest and child sexual abuse;

* Sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in the public sphere; commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution, pornography and trafficking;

* Dowry related violence;

* Female genital mutilation;

* Forced and child marriages;

* Honour crimes.

* Commercial sexual exploitation including activities such as pornography, prostitution, stripping, lap dancing, pole dancing and table dancing

Read the full Scottish Government definition in 'Safer Lives: Changed Lives, a shared approach to tackling violence against women in Scotland'. This framework published in June 2009 aims to provide a shared understanding and approach to guide the work of all partners to tackle violence against women in Scotland.

Du lieber Gott!

Edited by Irgendeiner

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