Colonel Bonkers

What the papers say - thread for articles on prostitution and legislation

22 posts in this topic

nice, balanced piece.

we should start 1 single thread to keep track of all media comments on this proposal.

If the trend continues, we will see items in observer, time, possibly even in newsweek and business week.

Pure speculation from me: most of these publications will have their share of punters and possibly even part-time escorts on their staff. pure speculation of course.

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They go badly wrong in the first paragraph, which is as far as I read. Since when has prostitution been a low-paid job? Amazing that the Economist of all people should get that wrong.

Also in the first paragraph: "In the past two years police have rescued 251 women whom they believe were trafficked to Britain for sexual slavery." Where's the evidence? I could believe there are that many sex slaves in the country, but I'm very sceptical that the police have found and rescued that many. What they've actually done, under intense government pressure, is to pull 251 women out of parlours, flats, etc. who have been trafficked in the sense of the SOA (i.e. been assisted to travel for purposes of working as a prostitute in an illegal setting such as a brothel).

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They go badly wrong in the first paragraph, which is as far as I read. Since when has prostitution been a low-paid job? Amazing that the Economist of all people should get that wrong.

Maybe for those you see it is well paid, but for many it is what keeps the wolf from the door, and is not that particularily well paid. I know many who work in small brothels who might only get 2-3 clients a day if they are lucky, and walk away with less than £100.

Also in the first paragraph: "In the past two years police have rescued 251 women whom they believe were trafficked to Britain for sexual slavery." Where's the evidence? I could believe there are that many sex slaves in the country, but I'm very sceptical that the police have found and rescued that many. What they've actually done, under intense government pressure, is to pull 251 women out of parlours, flats, etc. who have been trafficked in the sense of the SOA (i.e. been assisted to travel for purposes of working as a prostitute in an illegal setting such as a brothel).

I would'nt dispute that figure. It probably is rather too low. The police beleive it is. There is a suspicion that many won't admit to being trafficked and coerced

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Back in 2004 Beth of Kettering started up a site to deal with the Paying the Price consultation by the Home Office and within that, I started up a Mediawatch thread that pulled all the different media outlets' coverage into one place in an organised way. Elrond eventually took responsibility for that (and did a damn fine job too).

So maybe the same model could be used here.

no need to invent the wheel again:

http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/ssp4p.htm

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Maybe for those you see it is well paid, but for many it is what keeps the wolf from the door, and is not that particularily well paid. I know many who work in small brothels who might only get 2-3 clients a day if they are lucky, and walk away with less than £100.

Yes, I'm sure that's true of many WGs (and not true of many others). And pay per day is certainly an important number. On the other hand, pay per hour actually spent with clients is still very high even for the lower paid end and those who don't have many clients. I don't know about you, but one of the things many people dislike most about work is the time it takes up, so this is a big deal, even if the time you're not working has to be spent sitting in a parlour. Certainly, a blanket statement, as was made, is just seriously inaccurate.

I would'nt dispute that figure. It probably is rather too low. The police beleive it is. There is a suspicion that many won't admit to being trafficked and coerced

I could believe it if I saw the evidence. I hope I can be forgiven for my skepticism when breathtakingly misleading statements about prostitution from officialdom, NGOs, the media, and others are the norm, not the exception.

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non consensual sex is rape.

There does appear to be a massive concentration of trafficked women in Eire.

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It cannot be de-criminalised as it is not a criminal offence.

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It cannot be de-criminalised as it is not a criminal offence.

True, but activities such as keeping a brothel or soliciting are illegal; bearing in mind that it only requires 2 or more sex workers to be operating in the same building (not necessarily at the same time) to constitute a brothel, & it is these activities that would be decriminalised.

This would also remove a lot of the bite from the "controllong for gain" aspect that is so ambiguous in the proposed legislation.

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In the following number there were two letters on the subject. Neither of the writers was impressed.

A red light

SIR - Regarding your leader on a proposed law in Britain that will "half-ban" prostitution ("An amber light", November 22nd), I too do not believe for a moment that prostitution can be eliminated by legislation. But limiting a ban to those paying for sex with a woman "controlled for another's gain", such as a pimp, will doom this new law to failure. Instead of the relatively simple prosecution of a "punter", police will be faced with a full scale and expensive vice-inquiry to establish "control" and "gain". Good intentions marred by ineffective legislation are the hallmark of this government.

Martin Jauch

Former chief superintendent, clubs and vice unit

Metropolitan Police

Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

SIR - Given that some countries have already nationalised the world's second-oldest profession (banking), why not nationalise the oldest? The industry would become fully regulated; the prostitutes could then work decent hours under close supervision, have regular holidays and be free from abuse by pimps.

Governments could use the huge revenues that prostitution generates to bail out even more banks (the vice industry in Australia alone is growing at a rate of 8% a year: the country spent $11.3 billion on prostitution and strippers in 2007). As well as being the oldest profession perhaps prostitution is also the most honest, given the recent shenanigans by all those involved in the credit crunch. We are all civil servants now.

Mike Gallagher

London

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Another assumption made by the article is that when the police say that 8 out of ten of the women working in London are trafficked, that the police havce the numbers right - in fact they are just mouthing the inaccuracies that Bindel and pals are promulgating to further their agenda

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Another assumption made by the article is that when the police say that 8 out of ten of the women working in London are trafficked, that the police havce the numbers right - in fact they are just mouthing the inaccuracies that Bindel and pals are promulgating to further their agenda

Where and when have the police ever said eight out of ten are trafficked?

Bindel has used this to justify her claims: "an International Organisation on Migration conference paper from 2002, which mentioned Metropolitan police clubs and vice unit (CO14). It said: 'According to information from this unit, the number of trafficked women from central and eastern Europe to London has increased considerably over the last five years, but the unit cannot provide exact figures. CO14 state that their intelligence surveys of premises used for prostitution in central London indicate that between 70% and 80% of women working there are foreign, the vast majority from the Balkans, especially from Kosovo and Albania.' Similar information from the Met police appears in Paying the Price, a 2004 Home Office consultation paper on prostitution. Both documents note the difficulty in establishing precisely the numbers of women trafficked into prostitution." (source The Guardian)

What the police actually said is that 70%-80% are foreign, not 70%-80% are trafficked. Bindel shamelessly conflated two separate statements into one that suited her agenda.

Incidentally, anyone ever encountered a WG from Kosovo or Albania?

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Where and when have the police ever said eight out of ten are trafficked?

Bindel has used this to justify her claims: "an International Organisation on Migration conference paper from 2002, which mentioned Metropolitan police clubs and vice unit (CO14). It said: 'According to information from this unit, the number of trafficked women from central and eastern Europe to London has increased considerably over the last five years, but the unit cannot provide exact figures. CO14 state that their intelligence surveys of premises used for prostitution in central London indicate that between 70% and 80% of women working there are foreign, the vast majority from the Balkans, especially from Kosovo and Albania.' Similar information from the Met police appears in Paying the Price, a 2004 Home Office consultation paper on prostitution. Both documents note the difficulty in establishing precisely the numbers of women trafficked into prostitution." (source The Guardian)

What the police actually said is that 70%-80% are foreign, not 70%-80% are trafficked. Bindel shamelessly conflated two separate statements into one that suited her agenda.

Incidentally, anyone ever encountered a WG from Kosovo or Albania?

Not only does she equate the fact that a sex worker may be foreign with them having been trafficked, but she takes a Met statement, relating specifically to those areas of London which fall under their juristiction, & applies it to the whole of England & Wales.

It should also be noted that, in all of the Government statements issued onn these proposals & the report of the Parliamentary Review of prostitution law, the same logic is applied; in that, they claim that a similar percentage of sex workers are foreign = trafficked & that those who aren't trafficked must be coerced into the industry. This isn't surprising when one considers that the Review relies very heavily on Poppy Project's "Big Brothel" report; co-authored by Bindel & which makes the same sort of unfounded claims, but also that Bindel was allowed to set the terms of reference for the Review.

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Maybe for those you see it is well paid, but for many it is what keeps the wolf from the door, and is not that particularily well paid. I know many who work in small brothels who might only get 2-3 clients a day if they are lucky, and walk away with less than £100.

I would'nt dispute that figure. It probably is rather too low. The police beleive it is. There is a suspicion that many won't admit to being trafficked and coerced

100 a day aint that bad is it.... Tesco dont pay that.... unless your managment...

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What the police actually said is that 70%-80% are foreign, not 70%-80% are trafficked.

I think it's even worse than that! They say they surveyed '...premises used for prostitution in central London' - which does not mean all of them or even a representative sample! If they only surveyed those premises they suspected of being involved in illegal (not necessarily forced) trafficking, then no surprise if they came up with 70%-80%. It's just the kind of thing they'd want to publicise! It may be that there are many other '...premises used for prostitution in central London' that were not surveyed and which would have shown no connection to any form of trafficking, illegal or otherwise. Very shoddy methodology, methinks!

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........ Very shoddy methodology, methinks!

But it's all shoddy methodology. For example, the claimed government statistic that 4000 women have been trafficked to work in prostitution started off as "anything up to 4000 women….". Mind you, that's somewhat better than the 25,000 declared by Dennis MacShane a year or two back! The only "real" figure to date is the 240 or so women discovered to have been trafficked by the two pentameter exercises.

Hopefully, if Smith's proposals are brought before parliament they will be thoroughly scrutinised by the likes of John McDonnell (who, to date has been singularly unsuccessful in getting any sensible answers out of the Home Office) - unless, of course, it squeezes through the way the ludicrous bill outlawing the possession of "extreme pornography" has!

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From today's Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-crackdown-on-prostitution-expected-to-close-1200-brothels-1210067.html

Whilst stating that these are police estimates, the article makes it clear that it is actually reporting Home Office estimates; evidenced by the misrepresentation of the results of Pentameter 2 (claiming that 800 brothels containing trafficked women were raided by Police last year, when this is actually the total number of establishments raided & is not reflected by the results of the both these operations which claim to have identified 255 victims of trafficking).

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From today's Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-crackdown-on-prostitution-expected-to-close-1200-brothels-1210067.html

Whilst stating that these are police estimates, the article makes it clear that it is actually reporting Home Office estimates; evidenced by the misrepresentation of the results of Pentameter 2 (claiming that 800 brothels containing trafficked women were raided by Police last year, when this is actually the total number of establishments raided & is not reflected by the results of the both these operations which claim to have identified 255 victims of trafficking).

Whats more interesting is the estimate of 1200 brothels to be closed per year, and 300 punters to be prosecuted a year. This show the total lie that this government are trying to protect women. And shows the high profile campaign on criminalising men is actually window dressing.

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Whats more interesting is the estimate of 1200 brothels to be closed per year, and 300 punters to be prosecuted a year. This show the total lie that this government are trying to protect women. And shows the high profile campaign on criminalising men is actually window dressing.

Very true but, let's be honest, this legislation has very little to do with its publicly stated aims & everything to do with the, oft repeated, beliefs of JS, HH, & their favoured lobbyists.

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