Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
WonderBoy

Parliamentary committee today

15 posts in this topic

Just watched the committee taking evidence from, amongst others, Nicki Adams of the ECP. She was utterly brilliant. She spoke a lot, clearly from knowledge and experience, as did Hillary (?) from the UKNWSP. They both came over a great deal better, I think, than the 2 women from the Poppy project and the woman from Object.

Especially when asked about proper academic studies the women from the Poppy Project couldn't really come up with straight answers to straight questions. They looked weak.

Nicki Adams just came over so well, clear, knowledgeable and articulate, but without any of the 'I'm an expert and a woman so you better believe me' tone that many of the people on the other side have. Presumably because she actually knows about prostitution and she actually cares about women in the sex industry.

Two things:

1. They must need money for this, in the absence of any anonymous donation system, I'm just going to send £150 (the average punt cost for me) in an envelope to the ECP. Wrapped in a piece of paper it shouldn't be visible to post office workers. I'd urge you to do the same. Some may go missing, but most will get there. I think they need help with their campaign. They are at:

Crossroads Women's Centre

230a Kentish Town Road

London NW5 2AB

2. I've written to my MP, anonymously. He hasn't spoken on this issue and isn't on the committee, but at least he knows my opinion and how my voting will change if he supports this measure. I'd urge you all to the same, and probably as importantly, to write to the other members of the committee. Who I think are these:

(1) Chairmen: Sir Nicholas Winterton and Hugh Bayley

(2) Members: Mr Ian Austin, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, James Brokenshire, Mr Simon Burns, Mr Alan Campbell, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mr Vernon Coaker, Mrs Nadine Dorries, Jim Fitzpatrick, Dr Evan Harris, Paul Holmes, Ms Sally Keeble, Miss Julie Kirkbride, Mr David Ruffley, Lynda Waltho and Phil Wilson.

As usual, just write to them at:

Name of MP

House of Commons

LONDON

SW1A 0AA

I don't know if it helps to put 'Policing and Crime Committee' in there anyway.

I DON'T think it's the the programming sub-committed. I think that's the one that sorts out what they'll do when.

As a matter of fact Vernon Coaker didn't pipe up once.

The meeting seemed to be chaired very well. All pretty well mannered. He let people speak and only hurried them along as they were running out of time.

Again, I urge you to write to the committee members, your MP. And to JS, HH, FM if you so wish, if you keep it polite they might read it and might even start to think straight.

Remember, there are 635 MPs. Some will be against, some will be in favour, if we can influence the ones in the middle then this may well get defeated. That's democracy.

Link here:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3296&rel=ok

They started hearing evidence from and Nicki Adams etc. at about 1.30 into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry (actually, worry!), Vernon Coaker will have the last word in the committee deliberations, as he did during the debate for the 2nd reading. His line will be "we want to reduce demand, this is how we'll do it, how else can we do it?".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and the obvious answer will be that just because there isn't an easy solution it doesn't mean you can pass bad law. You want to save forced women, so make sure it's in there that control must include force. Then he'll have to deal with how to answer the obvious questions on why this offence should have strict liability, when another guy could pay for sex with a 13 year old and not have strict liability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Nikki Adams and Hilary Kinnell came over very well. It all depends how well briefed on the subject members of the committee are if they are going to sort out sense from nonsense. I can imagine one well-meaning response being, 'Well, x and y said this, but on the other hand a and b said that, perhaps it's worth giving this legislation a whirl to see what happens...'

Edited by Mr. Bloom
typing errors

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Dr Evan Harris is there and he'll make sure they get our side of the story. Nearly died laughing when his first question to the witnesses(all women) was "so, just to get this straight you are all in agreement against any legislation that further criminalises the women". I like the way this guy's mind works :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Things aren't going well. Met Commander Allan Gibson, who had told the Commons Home Affairs select committee in December that it would be very hard to enforce the law, didn't say any such thing this time around. In fact, he said he was happy with everything in the bill. Those in the committee who should be opposing the bill didn't ask him the necessary questions on this issue.

There's certainly nobody in the committee to take the place of David Davis or Keith Vaz and ask the really probing questions. Some questions were asked, but not enough, IMHO.

The transcripts are here:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/policingandcrime.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Things aren't going well. Met Commander Allan Gibson, who had told the Commons Home Affairs select committee in December that it would be very hard to enforce the law, didn't say any such thing this time around. In fact, he said he was happy with everything in the bill.

Well you could hardly expect him to do anything else really, after all it is now officially "cock on the block time" and anyone with anything between their ears knows that a word/vote against the relevant section of the bill is going to be taken as a word/vote for prostitution, and that is going to make a lot of people think at least twice before speaking/voting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Things aren't going well. Met Commander Allan Gibson, who had told the Commons Home Affairs select committee in December that it would be very hard to enforce the law, didn't say any such thing this time around. In fact, he said he was happy with everything in the bill. Those in the committee who should be opposing the bill didn't ask him the necessary questions on this issue.

There's certainly nobody in the committee to take the place of David Davis or Keith Vaz and ask the really probing questions. Some questions were asked, but not enough, IMHO.

The transcripts are here:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/policingandcrime.html

Well it is a concern he didn't say anything but the prostitution clauses weren't discussed as far as I can see looking at the transcripts. Certainly when the question was asked they had only been talking about arrest warrants and dealing with troublesome youths etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and it's David Davies. Not Davis. two different people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well it is a concern he didn't say anything but the prostitution clauses weren't discussed as far as I can see looking at the transcripts. Certainly when the question was asked they had only been talking about arrest warrants and dealing with troublesome youths etc.

Yes, but why weren't the prostitution clauses discussed when Allan Gibson was available as a witness?? Those who are supposed to be against the bill should've known about his earlier statement and steered the discussion so that the topic should've come up again! It's not clear if the policemen will be back to give further testimony, but if not, this was then surely a big missed opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh and it's David Davies. Not Davis. two different people.

Yes of course! I had suspected something like this when Davies looked quite a bit younger in his pictures than Davis as I'd remembered him, but didn't have the time to check. On the other hand, the political views of the two don't seem to be too different, especially with respect to civil liberties, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, but why weren't the prostitution clauses discussed when Allan Gibson was available as a witness?? Those who are supposed to be against the bill should've known about his earlier statement and steered the discussion so that the topic should've come up again! It's not clear if the policemen will be back to give further testimony, but if not, this was then surely a big missed opportunity.

I just checked. In the programme, the police do not appear anymore as future witnesses. Today, it's only Liberty, the Bar Council, Home Office (JS?) and Department for Transport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just checked. In the programme, the police do not appear anymore as future witnesses. Today, it's only Liberty, the Bar Council, Home Office (JS?) and Department for Transport.

I watched the debate today and Section 2 cropped up quite a bit. A few valid points were made by a couple of the female comittee members on the fact that some WG's choose this profession by chioce. The Bar Council had reservations on the strict liability offence (as did Liberty) and also control for gain aspect and have offered to come up with alternative wording.

Vernon Coaker added that it's not the govenments intent to abolish prostitution and the 'contol' aspect is not intended to cover girls working in pairs / collectives or with a maid ( is this a new stance of his ?? )

The whole of the committee debate can be seen here:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3313&rel=ok

This afternoons continuation debate starts at 1pm and can be watched live here :

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3314

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I watched the debate today and Section 2 cropped up quite a bit. A few valid points were made by a couple of the female comittee members on the fact that some WG's choose this profession by chioce. The Bar Council had reservations on the strict liability offence (as did Liberty) and also control for gain aspect and have offered to come up with alternative wording.

Vernon Coaker added that it's not the govenments intent to abolish prostitution and the 'contol' aspect is not intended to cover girls working in pairs / collectives or with a maid ( is this a new stance of his ?? )

The whole of the committee debate can be seen here:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3313&rel=ok

This afternoons continuation debate starts at 1pm and can be watched live here :

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3314

Well if that's VC's take on the intention it needs to be reworded, and I can't see "control for gain" remaining in the proposal without a clarification.

"Control for gain" is a specific offence listed under the SOA 2003. The requrements for proving this offence are merely that a person has directed the actions of the prostitute in the expectation of financial gain for themselves. It's pretty obvious that if the agency boss or maid is found guilty of controlling for gain, then a judge would be perfectly reasonable to rule that the client has breached this new law.

As for strict liability, the bar council's evidence pretty much kills it. If it wasn't already in trouble then it has to be said that they can't ignore the opinion of a legal body of their standing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just watched the committee taking evidence from, amongst others, Nicki Adams of the ECP. She was utterly brilliant. She spoke a lot, clearly from knowledge and experience, as did Hillary (?) from the UKNWSP. They both came over a great deal better, I think, than the 2 women from the Poppy project and the woman from Object.

Especially when asked about proper academic studies the women from the Poppy Project couldn't really come up with straight answers to straight questions. They looked weak.

Nicki Adams just came over so well, clear, knowledgeable and articulate, but without any of the 'I'm an expert and a woman so you better believe me' tone that many of the people on the other side have. Presumably because she actually knows about prostitution and she actually cares about women in the sex industry.

Two things:

1. They must need money for this, in the absence of any anonymous donation system, I'm just going to send £150 (the average punt cost for me) in an envelope to the ECP. Wrapped in a piece of paper it shouldn't be visible to post office workers. I'd urge you to do the same. Some may go missing, but most will get there. I think they need help with their campaign. They are at:

Crossroads Women's Centre

230a Kentish Town Road

London NW5 2AB

2. I've written to my MP, anonymously. He hasn't spoken on this issue and isn't on the committee, but at least he knows my opinion and how my voting will change if he supports this measure. I'd urge you all to the same, and probably as importantly, to write to the other members of the committee. Who I think are these:

(1) Chairmen: Sir Nicholas Winterton and Hugh Bayley

(2) Members: Mr Ian Austin, Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods, James Brokenshire, Mr Simon Burns, Mr Alan Campbell, Mr Ian Cawsey, Mr Vernon Coaker, Mrs Nadine Dorries, Jim Fitzpatrick, Dr Evan Harris, Paul Holmes, Ms Sally Keeble, Miss Julie Kirkbride, Mr David Ruffley, Lynda Waltho and Phil Wilson.

As usual, just write to them at:

Name of MP

House of Commons

LONDON

SW1A 0AA

I don't know if it helps to put 'Policing and Crime Committee' in there anyway.

I DON'T think it's the the programming sub-committed. I think that's the one that sorts out what they'll do when.

As a matter of fact Vernon Coaker didn't pipe up once.

The meeting seemed to be chaired very well. All pretty well mannered. He let people speak and only hurried them along as they were running out of time.

Again, I urge you to write to the committee members, your MP. And to JS, HH, FM if you so wish, if you keep it polite they might read it and might even start to think straight.

Remember, there are 635 MPs. Some will be against, some will be in favour, if we can influence the ones in the middle then this may well get defeated. That's democracy.

Link here:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=3296&rel=ok

They started hearing evidence from and Nicki Adams etc. at about 1.30 into it.

the transcript is here

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmpublic/policing/090127/am/90127s05.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0