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Prostitution - the oldest dilemma?

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Dec 06, 04:57 PM

prostitute203i.jpgPolice fear a serial killer is operating in Suffolk after the discovery of the bodies of five prostitutes.

Prostitutes are often among the most vulnerable members of society, working to fund drug habits or out of desperate poverty. Their trade is also illegal and operating outside of the law leaves them even more vulnerable.

Illegal and anti-social it may be, but prostitution it is not going to go away - there currently are an estimated 80,000 sex workers in the UK. The question is how does society accommodate it?

How do we protect women working on the streets while separating prostitution from attendant crime - such as drugs and violence - and maintaining safety for the rest of us?

The government is still considering a proposal to allow groups of up to three women to run small brothels, but is it time to just legalise prostitution completely? Or are safe tolerance zones on the streets the answer?

There is opposition to all the above proposed solutions. How many would honestly want prostitutes and their clients operating near where they live - whether in brothels or in safe zones? So what is the answer?

We have pulled together online resources examining the subject here.

What do you think?

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 06:22 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • JJacome wrote:

Its scandalous that we still criminalise activity such as prostitution and drug taking and in the process put control of these industries (and their profits) in the hands of criminals.

And why does the media only pick up on the murder of these women so infrequently? On average, a prostitute is murdered every 2 months in the UK (probably because they are forced to operate outside the law) - yet the media only seems to care when it involves a serial killer. It seems rather sick really.

  • 2.
  • At 06:34 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • David L. Stockdale wrote:

The desire for sex will go away at the same time as we loose the urge to eat.
Prostitution should have been legalised many years ago. Legal and registered brothels should be established which would ensue that the women who ply that trade are much safer and could be medically scanned for sexually transmitted deseases.
It would also be easy to keep a record of all those who frequented them and so minimise the chances of the women being abused and harmed.
The people who fight against such a practical approach to this problem are blind to reality.

  • 3.
  • At 06:35 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Adrian Powell wrote:

Let's be honest, sex is a commodity and there are people who supply, and people who purchase.
If we were more enlightened, as they are in Europe, we would understand the need to provide the 'trade' with controls and regulations, and so give more protection to sex workers.
If we could get down off our 'moral' High-ground, I'm sure that as a civilised society, we could provide this trade, particularly its women workers, with the protection they need, and in so doing maybe we would see fewer of them murdered!

  • 4.
  • At 06:38 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Paul Alker wrote:

Justice is needed for these victims, irrespective of drug dependency or life style.

Prostitution is the oldest profession, and it will never be eradicated. Prostitution should be decriminalised and "tolerance / safe zones" should be created. At present, the construction of criminality drives prostitution away from "safe" areas and puts prostitutes (of whatever gender) at greater risk.

Also, a national murder squad is needed, similar to that of the NCIS, bringing together all the expertise and manpower under one remit.

A radical and frank debate is needed; and a rethink on how this trade is policed.

Sharky 57

  • 5.
  • At 06:51 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Rev'd Brian Surtees wrote:

Attitudes change slowly- years ago I was involved when the partner of a street working prostitute was murdered - she was devastated but the Victim Support scheme refused to assit her because she was a prostitute - and it is not just the press but (in the past at least) the police who gave lower importance ot people who were victims of crime but also identifiable as being the wrong side of the law in other ways.

In the present cases I wonder if I am alone in regretting that the word "prostitute" has been used so widely and so often to identify the victims - Sex workers they may have been - but above all they were women and how much better it would be to simply say "Five women have been murdered" than to persist in always drawing attention to the way they earned their living.

I am not saying the information should be surpressed but far better (IMHO) to say "Jane Doe has been found dead and the police suspect murder. Ms Doe was working as a prostitute in the Ipswich area" and then simply refer to her by name or as a woman.

  • 6.
  • At 06:54 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Stitt wrote:

Clearly a radical rethink of the legal status of prostitution and narcotics is long overdue.

We seem to want to cling to the idea that Britain is a truly Christian state complete with the accompanying morality and black and white policy making. How many people actually attend mass regularly? Politicians seem to legislate with a vision of Britain that possible never really existed.

When I deliver a lecture am I not selling a part of myself? Isn't David Beckham selling his physical abilities every time he takes to a pitch? These poor women who are regularly attacked are as valid as any human beings. Legalise, regulate and licence brothels. Look again at our drugs laws. Put the criminals out of business, get the girls off the streets and into a safe environment.

Did I detect Tony Blair whimping away from expressing any opinion when questioned on this issue by Ming Campbell today? As long as our politicians lack the backbone to break with outdated views of these issues those women will be at risk.

  • 7.
  • At 07:01 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Michael Thoimas wrote:

My reaction to the suggestion that we should call these women sex workers is to say that they are not workers in the sense that I mean by worker,and to call them professionals as I have heard the BBC say today is to debase the whole concept of professionalism(already debased I agree by professional fouls by footballers who are really cheats.)
The term prostitute has implied contempt and that is right.It is a disgusting business,literally;we and they should be ashamed of it. Let us not use words to conceal its real nature.,but rather to explore what can and should be done about it.

  • 8.
  • At 07:04 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Brian J Dickenson wrote:

The time is long overdue to make brothels legal, it is totally reprehensible that we continue to treat prostitution as a criminal offence.
The main objectors to this would seem to be the religious bodies. How two faced this attitude is when one considers the frequency of church people being exposed as paedophiles etc.

Prostitution has been around since there have been men and women. It will never be stopped. Take it away from the pimps and criminals, bring it into the light, let it be organised so the women and their clients can be safe. Also the women could be medically examined on a regular basis, so hopefully stopping the transmission of diseases, at the same time maybe helping them to stop drug taking.

Another plus would be that they would then be able to be taxed like any other worker.

  • 9.
  • At 07:06 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Rick B wrote:

Heroin should be available on prescription. That would cut down on the number of prostitutes who do it merely to pay for their addiction.

  • 10.
  • At 07:26 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Kathleen McMullen wrote:

The oldest thing about this is women's continuing unequal social and economic status, despite all the campaign work pursued by (middle-class) feminists over the years.

  • 11.
  • At 07:31 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • merle esson wrote:

The murder victims are human beings first and prostitutes second. All citizens of a civilised society deserve equal protection. To my mind five women have been murdered; it's none of my business how they made their living. And it's no wonder that a Jack the Ripper kind of slaughter takes place, when we have so dismally failed to lift that trade out of a Dickensian gutter.

  • 12.
  • At 07:51 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Richard Roe wrote:

"working to fund drug habits or out of desperate poverty."

Let me think ... end the criminalisation of drugs and end poverty?

Late Victorian Britain was 'great' despite the widespread and lawful use of narcotics. And have not the political classes always promised to end poverty? How long do we have to wait?

This evening I attended an infant nativity play. The children were delightful and full of enthusiasm. How dreadful the world they will be thrust into, one stuffed with unnecessary disparities in wealth and power. (Necessary only if the market is king.) God save them – some of them, anyway, are going to need his help.

  • 13.
  • At 08:39 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Suzi Q wrote:

Is it not significant that every comment says that these woman need protection and that prostitution should be legalised? I abslutely agree with Rev Brian Surtees, why does the media not refer to them as women? They are normal human beings who, for whatever reason, work as prostitutes. As Peter Stitt says we all sell part of ourselves don't we? When will the politicians listen to what the population at large is saying, and protect these vulnerable human beings?

  • 14.
  • At 08:50 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Doug Sharp wrote:

Legalisation of prostitution would be a 'Boon' for the Exchequer. Tax the workers (income tax) and charge the 'Client' V.A.T.

  • 15.
  • At 09:53 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • averil wrote:

Hi there,Well its a terrible thing thats happened to those girls,But hey ,they shouldn't be on the roads doing what they do.

  • 16.
  • At 09:54 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Tracey wrote:

Five bright happy young women develop drug habits which lead to debt, poverty, prostitution and, ultimately, to their deaths. Solution: leagalise prostitution. Am I missing something?

  • 17.
  • At 10:59 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • daiz wrote:

Wow, what sense the experianced policeman was talking. First post here but this guy has totally inspired me to get out of bed and congratulate the man for his rationale. The woman who worked in the home office is so out of touch it's untrue. I think she just wants to bury her head in the sand and wish it all away. She is such a hypocrite also, she says she cannot tolerate the idea of government handing out substances which kill, what about tobacco ? Dinasaur thinking, she needs to wake up, put her obvious disgust to one side and get with the programme.

  • 18.
  • At 11:02 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Paul wrote:

The interviewed ex police officer is absolutely right with his argument. Leaving the supply of drugs to to criminal organisations is fraught with danger especially to the users. Surely his comment about taking the initiative and supplying and controlling drug use by the state and removing criminal undertones is a reasonable and sensible solution. It was interesting that the minister really did not have a strong reply and that Jeremy Paxman was unusually attentive of the argument

  • 19.
  • At 11:02 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Beverley Warburton wrote:

Legalising drugs and prescribing drugs of ALL CLASSES will surely reduce the number of new addicts - children and the adult vulnerable are targeted by pushers in order to create a market. By disincentivising the drug pusher, the number of addicts will be reduced and money we currently waste on policing drug associated crime can be used to help improve inner city conditions. Why oh why can our politicians not see that the policies we have pursued for decades do not and never will work.

  • 20.
  • At 11:04 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Kevin wrote:

It got quite frustrating at the end: an experienced former Chief Constable talking sense on the need of drastic and urgent changes in anti-drug legislation, and an expired politician dishing out more of the old flat-earth same, spiced with pathetic phrases, such as "I can't bear the idea..."

  • 21.
  • At 11:05 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Kevin wrote:

It got quite frustrating at the end: an experienced former Chief Constable talking sense on the need of drastic and urgent changes in anti-drug legislation, and an expired politician dishing out more of the old flat-earth same, spiced with pathetic phrases, such as "I can't bear the idea..."

  • 22.
  • At 11:06 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • J K Toff wrote:

Halleleujah! Someone who finally talks sense about legalising drugs, or supplying legally to users. Fiona McTaggart – listen, please to the commentator – he is one of the very few making sense! Alcohol also kills and the social consequences of alcohol addiction are numerous – but I don't hear you saying it should not be available. As long as there are big bucks to be made out of drugs there will always be people willing to sell them –

  • 23.
  • At 11:06 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • sam wrote:

the government minister earlier was saying that the government shouldnt be giving out drugs. I'm a single mum, luckily I'm not addicted to heroin or crack. However, I am addicted to alcohol due to the harshness of bringing up two boys on my own. Is the government then going to illegalise alcohol on the same grounds. The government should be doing everything possible to keep these vulnerable young women safe

  • 24.
  • At 11:09 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • kevin taylor wrote:

With regard to the use of drugs and prostitution.
The police officer is, in my view correct to advocate the supply of drugs to addicts, be controlled by the government.
The arguments against this do not hold up under scrutiny.

If the government took control of supply, the following would happen.

The true number of addicts could be identified.
The quality of drugs issued could be monitored.
The criminal element and therefore the glamour of taking drugs would disappear.
Addicts would no longer have to steal or prostitute themselves to get their fix.
Vulnerable children could be identified much sooner and their needs taken care of.
The likelihood of other children or people becoming enticed into drug taking, would be drastically reduced.
Existing drug takers could then be encouraged and targeted to enter into some form of detox.

Sincerely, Kevin Taylor
Plymouth. Devon.

  • 25.
  • At 11:11 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • A Wallace wrote:

I dont want drug addicts legally driving cars, buses etc, mending my gas fittings, pulling my teeth or operating on my mum. I say execute all drug dealers and imprison all users for fixed 12 months on cold turkey. That might have an effect. I would also remove the right for the legal profession to make a career out of it at the tax payers expense.

  • 26.
  • At 11:12 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • Benjamin wrote:

Yes, these are human beings that have been murdered, and that should be our foremost thought. However, they were involved in a dangerous trade with obvious risks. To suggest legalisation does not automatically guarantee safety - legalisation brings with it rules and regulations, that would of course push some into a 'black market', again putting themselves at immense risk. The vast majority of these women are forced into this trade for reasons of drug abuse amongst others. Let's get to grips with these problems - much harder than a simple legalisation of prostitution, but far more productive. And is it only me that thinks the most important argument against legalisation is one based on morality?

  • 27.
  • At 11:14 PM on 13 Dec 2006,
  • nico verhoeve wrote:

it is a shame that these human beings got to sell there body for the desperate need of a fix. the gentleman who spook on newsnight has it right: describe these people heroin so they don't have to go out anymore and give them clean needless.
heroin at last is a painkiller

  • 28.
  • At 12:06 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • gloria wrote:

Government run brothels should be introduced a.s.a.p. but more importantly the addictions and poverty which cause girls to become prostitutes should be tackled sensibly, i.e. hard drugs should be given to them, alongside a humane and workable drugs programme. They should be given a liveable income, counselling (most are victims of child abuse), suitable job/education training and the option of moving away from their dealers and pimps. Without a 'workable' system in place the drug dealers and pimps will continue to profit from our indiginous working class white girls. Although Mrs McTaggart herself is obviously a fool I believe the Govt. know what to do but will further procrastinate because it is a matter of money and they fear sensational headlines from the British press. These girls and also boys are mainly from working class families who have had generations of unemployment - a legacy from the Tories! I voted for Labour to help alleviate the damage caused by these heartless politicians, (remember Ann Widdecombe supporting the prison policy of 'chaining to the bed' women prisoners giving birth. The prostitutes are getting younger and this is an immoral reflection of our elected Government's refusal to listen to sensible arguments and fast-track policies. Remember, you never see a rich prostitute on the streets!

  • 29.
  • At 12:17 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Paul Alker wrote:

Great programme tonight on such an awful crime and subject.

Like I said earlier, and I think the cop stated; decriminalise prostitution and put drug abusers on programmes so they are not at risk. Rehabilitation can come next, not death.


  • 30.
  • At 12:18 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Tom wrote:

Prostitution is very broad term. It ranges from high class, expensive courtesans to the girls that jump in a car with stranger. Some are very much in control and are exploiting their clients. Some are running very successful businesses that contribute well to the economy. Others are vulnerable and exploited by clients, pimps, drug dealers, and any other lowlife that can get in on the act.

Of course we need to grow up and deal with these problems. But we must think clearly and not allow drugs and prostitution to get mixed up. They are two completely different issues, even if the working girls at the bottom of the pile are often entangled in both. That is more to do with our failure to tackle the relatively new business of drug supply than anything to do with the oldest profession.

  • 31.
  • At 12:29 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Gramsci's gal wrote:

Prostitution used to be the oldest profession and now it is being turned into the newest trade - by boring old farts who have nothing better to do than talk to a computer at midnight - how do we know how the girls/women should organise themselves?? And why No 26 thinks we are after his mum is very curious indeed given the context of this discussion!

  • 32.
  • At 03:15 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Susanna wrote:

The plain fact is that prostitution is the last resort for anyone in freefall after failing to thrive in today's society. Drug addiction is a symptom of distress, pain-killers taken to blot out emptiness of modern life, and therefore addiction to them should always be treated as a physical/mental health issue.

For those intent on legalising prostitution, they should firstly ask themselves honestly "Would I be comfortable if my daughter or sister was a prostitute?" I think most would probably admit they were not, if they were honest.

  • 33.
  • At 08:16 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • liz wrote:

The law should be changed, but legalisation of prostitution would just condone and make it acceptable to buy sex. It would promote sex tourism (as in Amsterdam, Prague, Thailand) and legalise the victimisation and control of extremely vulnerable women, in many cases children and sometimes boys and young men.

The law should criminalise the men who visit prostitutes and control them (pimps) instead.

This would make prostitutes victims of crime, which would make it easier to help and protect them and offer them support and new opportunities in life. The idea that young girls enjoy selling their bodies is a myth dreamt up by their inadequate clients. Prostitutes are guilty of nothing other than trying to escape a desperate situation. Men that visit them are merely scratching an itch, getting a conveniently cheap thrill, cashing in on social injustice in the most abhorrant way. The fact that they haven't already been criminalised and that it's so rarely suggested, is a reflection on the outrageously casual way that prostitutes are dismissed as no longer human.

It's time the social stigma and the justice system condemned the guilty not the innocent.

  • 34.
  • At 08:16 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Sam Clarke wrote:

Firstly I would like to send my condolences to the families of the girls that were murdered.
What people must also remember there are male prostitutes that need protecting as well. It has too long been a taboo and must be opened to national debate, it's just a shame that 5 youngwomen had to die so tragically to bring this subject to the nations eyes.

  • 35.
  • At 08:17 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Andrewartha wrote:

Serial, spree? Multiple murder as an act of communication.

We carry New Labour's piety like a cross. They are becoming UNREALISTIC on this issue. It is a new kind of fame, a new, awful, righteousness that is stalking the land here, having mud thrown in its face. In this interview we saw its futile flowering.

They have the power? The drug-dealers, the asbo kids and now the killer are showing them who has the power.

  • 36.
  • At 08:39 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Tracey M. Taylor wrote:

The people who are for legalisation may have some good points and they are quite convincing. While we are on this matter, should be also legalise paedophilism, rape, murder so that we can control and keep these criminals safe too?

  • 37.
  • At 09:33 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • jotunheim wrote:

Who could speak better of these ladies than Hamlet whose fate was to die young and violently ?

" Good my lord,will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstracts and brief chronicle of the time: after your death you were better to have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live."

After listening to the comments made following the article I was unsurprised to find Fiona MacTaggart roll out the same tired arguments for prohibition that have failed for seventy years in the case of drugs and since time began in the case of prostitution. Both should be legal. The women who choose prostitution in full knowledge should be allowed to do so safely and legally, those who are forced into prostitution by an addiction should be receiving their pharmaceutical grade, clean, drugs by prescription.

Many high ranking police officers share the view but it was refreshing to hear Tom Lloyd openly proposing the legalisation and government regulation of drugs. He is quite right to say that legalisation is the only logical step forward. It is not a perfect answer because we are dealing with individuals, there is no one perfect answer, but it is the only course of action that will allow the government to control what are supposedly 'controlled' drugs. Under prohibition the minimum legal age to buy drugs is £10.

  • 39.
  • At 09:51 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Andrewartha wrote:

"While we are on this matter, should be also legalise paedophilism, rape, murder so that we can control and keep these criminals safe too?"

Why not indeed? Because it's possible to reduce the harm on those fronts. But the drug front has been lost in all but name.

It's this sad holding up of the flag that characterises the legally-minded, holier-than-thou approach. We're all to be seen in hell before they'll change course. Now these few girls have been put through hell.

As to detailed practicalities, we could learn from the restriction-cum-education approach we use on alcohol.

  • 40.
  • At 09:59 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

It was refreshing to see Tom Lloyd talking such sense, it's a crying shame there aren't more police who actually know what they are talking about. And it was utterly unsurprising to see Fiona MacTaggart spouting the same old moralising rubbish that hasn't worked for the past 70 years and will not work for the next 70 years (or 700 for that matter). The solution to these problems are as clear as the nose on your face - legalise drugs and prescribe to addicts on the NHS, removing the need for crime to fund a habit (using heroin made from opium bought direct from Afghan farmers, solving that problem too, and providing the NHS with a ready supply of diamorphine, which it is currently short of). Legalise prostitution in regulated brothels to make it so women don't have to walk the streets and deal with pimps, and once regulated brothels are set up police street walking properly, introduce custodial terms and massive fines FOR THE CUSTOMERS, NOT THE WOMEN, for anyone operating outside the regulated framework.
As for the comment by Tracey M Taylor above, I would suggest she takes note of the old saying It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

  • 41.
  • At 10:28 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

To compare prostitution and drug use to paedophilia, rape and murder is not only wildly innacurate, it is also grossly offensive and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the issues.

I doubt this comment will get approved since my last one didn't, even though it was significantly more informed and less offensive than Ms Taylor's. Obviously my views do not tally with the weblog author's. Censorship is not a pretty thing either... If you do not wish to have people commenting freely and honestly, you shouldn't invite comments.

  • 42.
  • At 10:41 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Andrewartha wrote:

It's possible, but inadvisable, for politicians to lose contact with the reality, at grassroots, they're ostensibly trying to improve. They can end up hostage to words, to their "legacy". Perhaps puncturing, through seeming irreverence sometimes, these castles-in-the-air, is a more noble cause than building and pointing at them.

  • 43.
  • At 11:05 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Susan Hample wrote:

Everywhere in Europe, where prostitution and drug use have been "legalised", the result has been an improvement in the lives of sex-workers, and a drop in the use of drugs.
Is it not time for our lawmakers, especially in the light of so much tragic loss, to admit that sometimes we Brits can learn from other nations. Many of our police officers seem more enlightened on this subject, and support calls for legalisation.
Note to Chancellor: by legalising and openly registering prostitution as a trade, then society can tax the profits.
As for the drugs trade, in Holland, legalisation, education, and control have been shown to not only bring harm reduction to the users, but also to bring a substantial lessening in usage.

  • 44.
  • At 11:07 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • ernest bartlett wrote:

The awful events of the past days highlight our imorral society, sexual acts by unmarried people, are parraded before us daily in the media, they are even glorified, they that commit such acts are fornicators and will one day come under the righteous judgment of God, unfortunately we are living in a society, that fears man more than God, unless we and our nation turn from these things, we will be in grave danger
Ernest Bartlett

  • 45.
  • At 11:23 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • passing thru' wrote:

Well said 34, 35, 40, thank you.

  • 46.
  • At 11:57 AM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

With reference to Ernest Bartlett's comment. I'm afraid you are sadly mistaken, the events of the past days highlight the fact that the criminalisation of prostitution serves no purpose other than to put the must vulnerable members of society in danger. And the reason many of them are vulnerable is due to the outdated drug laws which put the control of drugs in the hands of criminals, unscrupulous people who care nothing for their 'customers', only for the money they can make from a black market commodity for which there will always be a demand. Your view is as archaic as it is ill informed. The blame for the deaths of these poor girls lies firmly on the shoulders of Tony Blair, John Reid and all others who believe that the state has any right to dictate to people what they can do with their own bodies, sexually or chemically. They are not matters of protecting the public (which is what the law is there for) they are matters of personal morality, and that has no place in jurisprudence.

  • 47.
  • At 12:11 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • jotunheim wrote:

Chris of Comment 40 has no right to tell Tracey M Taylor she reveals herself as a fool and should keep her mouth shut. particularly not in this blog, and not if his name is Christopher or even if he is a Christine or Christabel. This blog is not about silencing women.

  • 48.
  • At 12:50 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Rory Meakin wrote:

When consenting adults have sex it should be their decision alone.

Whether someone has sex with me solely on account of my irresistable attractiveness or instead because I offer a payment is of no legitimate concern to the state. Sellers should be able to rely on the law to ensure payment is made for services rendered. And buyers should be confident that they are not being missled and basic standards are being maintained. And earnings from prositution should be taxed like any other in order to fund this.

Anything less than full legalisation moves the market into the shadows of crime, away from the light of the law.

And no, I wouldn't want my daughter or my sister to be a prostitute. But if they were, I'd want them to have the protection of the law from real crimes.

  • 49.
  • At 01:20 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • bi-ambi wrote:

for heaven's sake #47 - to say that no woman talks rubbish is not doing us any favours, how can we criticise what men say if we won't take criticsim ourselves??? hey, hunny - tek-it-lak-a-maan!

  • 50.
  • At 01:21 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Chris wrote:

jotunheim should get his/her priorities right. Tracey makes a crass comment likening prostitution and drug use to paedophilia, rape and murder, I pull her up for it and I'm the bad guy. I don't care if she is a woman, her comment was totally out of order and if you can't see that then you're as bad as she is.

  • 51.
  • At 02:35 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Victor Chambers wrote:

My comment is not about legalising prostitution or not. It is important to respect the dignity of human persons, to value their lives even if they are prostitutes, drug pushers, etc. Certainly, I am not promoting crime or prostitution, rather,I am looking at it from the point of view of respect for human life, and valuing the dignity of persons even if they are the worse sinners.

  • 52.
  • At 02:52 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • jotunheim wrote:

Dear Chris
Re: Comment #49

If you win the argument, as in my opinion you do, you don't need to tell the "little woman" to button up or zip it, or be seen and not heard, all of which are variations on the old sayings. There are many women who think we are all boring old farts sitting talking to computers all night
(see Gramsci's girl #31 ). They won't join the online community and give us their wisdom if we come the old male chauvinist pig whenever they speak up.
Remember what Tony still says: "Education, Education, Education".

  • 53.
  • At 03:15 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Claire Pugh wrote:

The thing is in a country where people like to take the 'moral' high ground a profession such as prostitution or proscribing people with class A drugs is that it would be seen as morally reprehensible for the government to gleen taxes for these activities.
Of course one could argue that its immoral to let the practice of illegal prostitution continue with all its links to physical and drug abuse...
Although there is now pressure from the media and activists as a result of the recent murders I would be very surprised to see legal brothels in this country.

  • 54.
  • At 03:29 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Andrewartha wrote:

Part of the problem is what we consider to be "success". It rankles deeply with some winners to face the fact that they have physical needs, to have the image of invincibility spoiled, whether by a tabloid revelation or a custard pie. Is this why they'd like to wipe prostitution out?

Labour should be about caring for people, not pandering to this peculiar "affluenza" and its property priorities.

It's over thirty years since I was 21 and took it in my head to go off to Soho with some money I'd been given - and treat myself. What's coming to mind is how those girls could make me laugh, and how the people I've voted for so much and believed in, no longer do.

  • 55.
  • At 04:16 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Derek wrote:

I also send my condolences to the family and friends of these poor murdered girls.

I've read through the website of the IUSW, as linked. They seem to have given a great deal of thought to the issues involved, and pragmatically considered what might do the most good.

As a summary of how I understand the IUSW information:
a) What should be allowed in law is any non-injurious sexual behaviour between consenting adults, regardless of how some people may personally feel about others sexual preferences.
(My opinion is that UK law seems spectacularly hypocritical in this regard.)

b) What should not be allowed by law is the use of force to obtain sexual gratification from someone unwilling to engage in sex, or someone incapable of making adult decisions. That covers economic leverage, mental or physical intimidation, and violence. In this comment, the use of force includes plying someone with legal or illegal drugs (such as alcohol, heroin or date rape drugs) to alter their decision making capability.
(My personal feeling is the UK legal system has no motivation to deal with this issue as the people who create our legal system feel safe from these problems; so law making bodies create unwieldy and ineffectual laws, and the judicial system can then feel that there is latitude for uncertainty. The result is that serial sex attackers are rarely prevented from doing harm until they are caught for murder, or other form of extreme violence which even our legal system cannot ignore.)

c) That sex workers should be recognised as professionals in their chosen area of expertise, and not treated as social or legal inferiors by bigots or an unwieldy legal system. That sex workers should have the same rights as any other worker, including representation by a Union; and that help schemes and training should be available to help people leave the sex worker industry (which does not involve prostitution alone).

I hope I haven't misrepresented the IUSW position in any way, but please read their website before taking issue with how I have presented them. As all these comments do represent my own feelings, by all means have a go at me.

Finally, granting consenting adults legal protection for their sexual activities is not in any way condoning paedophilia, rape or murder (this is all covered by paragraph b above), and I regard those who push such views as scaremongerers and bigots.

  • 56.
  • At 05:14 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Paul Evans wrote:

I would ask anyone who seems to have no problem with prostitution, would they still feel so liberal if it was their sister or mother selling their bodies each night for drugs or just to be able to live. Real life isn't like Pretty Woman and nor do all prostitutes look like Julia Roberts. Legalising it would not remove the criminal element.

  • 57.
  • At 10:17 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Derek wrote:

The comment below are a response to Paul Evans previous post:

Perhaps you haven't read the previous posts. Rory Meakin states as part of his post "And no, I wouldn't want my daughter or my sister to be a prostitute. But if they were, I'd want them to have the protection of the law from real crimes."

I wholeheartedly agree with his position; it seems quite sensible to me and something we should aim for.

As to your statement "Legalising it would not remove the criminal element", I am unclear exactly what you mean. The current UK laws involving prostitution seem quite confused; they deal separately with criminalising offering sex for money, running a bordello, selling sex but not offering it, kerb crawling and so on. The various bits of legislation are not coherent, and this allows organised criminals to exploit unwilling women as prostitutes through the leverage of fear of the law, drug addiction and violence.

Legalising the sale of various sex services would clearly making them legal; by definition this removes the criminal element from the selling those services.

If you mean legalising prostitution would not remove the involvement of organised criminals, well, that is a possibility depending upon how the legalisation was enacted and enforced in law.

  • 58.
  • At 10:23 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Bob wrote:

Isn't Marriage just legalised prostitution ? you get looked after by the wife (cooking/cleaning / laundry and of course sex - well sometimes ! ) in exchange for working 40+ hours a week for a wage.

Whats the difference in paying for cooking, cleaning services or indeed
sex ?

NONE ! time it was legalised

  • 59.
  • At 11:20 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Oh my god. Now there are plans to pay the Ipswich Hookers tax-payers'/charity money as compensation for not being able to work the streets at the moment. What a joke this country is.


  • 60.
  • At 11:31 PM on 14 Dec 2006,
  • Martin wrote:

Oh my god. Now there are plans to pay the Ipswich Hookers tax-payers'/charity money as compensation for not being able to work the streets at the moment. What a joke this country is.

Carol Lever: isn't it a bit early to be downing the Christmas sherry?


  • 61.
  • At 07:46 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Anne Wotana Kaye wrote:

Heard on the BBC News that the police were investigating the sighting of a fat man driving a BMW car. I'm not saying anything, But it makes one think. . . . . .????!!!!

  • 62.
  • At 11:30 PM on 15 Dec 2006,
  • Maria Byars wrote:

My condolences to the families of these young women. What a heart-breaking, terrible thing for them to go through.

I find many of the comments here short-sighted. Legalisation of prostitution will cause many changes in the legal climate that must be considered, and will not simply introduce protection by the law. If prostitution becomes just another job, it logically widens the pool of viable options for job-seekers. As post number 7 mentions, it’s a misnomer to call prostitution a profession. More people would presumably be ‘qualified’ to prostitute themselves than work as dentists, electricians, lawyers, plumbers. If legalisation (which will probably have to be accompanied by a re-branding of prostitution) succeeds, job centres would be obliged to promote prostitution as a viable job that wins out over unemployment and the dole.

Perhaps this widening of the pool of potential prostitutes would be considered a benefit by some, but I dread the day any girl walks into a job centre after leaving school with no qualifications and having no previous work experience or training, just trying to find her feet in the world, and is advised to try prostitution. Think about how many times you’ve taken a job quickly just to make ends meet: what if the recurring option, advertised and marketed professionally and legally, was prostitution? What if there was pressure from all angles for you just to take what came along? Prostitution is never going to be the equivalent of working in the local supermarket.

  • 63.
  • At 06:33 PM on 16 Dec 2006,
  • Derek wrote:

Can we expect the legally protected professional selling of sex (with all the social, legal and medical safeguards that might be accorded such a profession) to be more attractive as an occupation than the illegal selling of sex (associated with forceful expoitation by professional criminals, drug addiction, and the high risks of sexual disease, violent abuse and murder)?

I'd guess the reasonable answer is 'yes'. Is that a valid reason to keep such an occupation illegal, thereby keeping the risks, suffering and criminal profits?

The health and safety of both the sex worker and his/her client should be considered in any legalisation of sex work, so I think it would not be a case of just filling out a form to be allowed to legally trade. Therefore, it's unlikely that a job center could offer it as an occupation any more than any other occupation that has professional health and safety responsibilities.

Anyway, I have read stories in the media of people paying off their large student loans through prostitution; so it seems government policies exert a degree of finacial pressure which some relieve by resorting to prostitution, with all its current risks and lack of legal protection. No need to burden the job centers.

Of course, any real improvement depends upon having a government that takes constructive action based upon
a) the experiences and recommendations of people who have/had first-hand dealings with these issues,
b ) also on the policies, legislation and enforcement that have proven effective in other similar countries.

I, too, watched the discussion between the senior police officer, the ex-sex worker and the woman MP (who had at one time been a Minister at the Home Office) and I am not optimistic.

I'll paste my comments as they were at the time, as I think they are pertinent to the overall debate over the way any such legislation could go in the UK:

"Well, both the police officer and the former sex worker offered some constructive comments, apparently seeking workable improvements rather than perfection. I'd consider that to be a realistic approach which could quickly bring a steady series of social advances; and for the purpose of this comment I am regarding reducing murder, violence and professional criminal involvement in the drugs and the sex trade as social improvements.

However, the politician couldn't bear to think of some of the things that were suggested. I imagine most politicians probably wouldn't be directly or frequently affected by any of the sex/drugs/criminal issues being discussed so, of course, having to actually think through the consequences of what the policeman and the sex worker were suggesting would probably seem unpleasant compared to a politicians cushioned lifstyle.

And that was the frame of mind I was in when she said "preparing legislation is a slow process", but what I heard was 'we are so isolated from the problems that we can afford to take our time, consider every unlikely possibility and finally will come up with an ineffectual piece of legislation that will not adequately address the problems, and will make it clear to those who have to deal with the problems that our remote musings are superior to their real experiences. Welcome to party politics.'"

  • 64.
  • At 07:17 PM on 16 Dec 2006,
  • Anna wrote:

Why is there a name for the women who are involved in this and not for the men ?

  • 65.
  • At 08:10 PM on 17 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Stitt wrote:

I thought I was a "right-winger" until I read some of the comments in this string.

Mr Evans is totally correct in his assertion that, if his daughter were a prostitute, he would like the law to protect her. Indeed, most of the people who have posted comments have been reasonable and "down to earth" people. I would go further and say that, if my daughter decided, with 100% knowledge and understanding of the situation, to rent her body out for sexual purposes, I would support her and expect that the law would regard her as being as valid as any human being. What has the undeserving English icon Jordan sold? What did the Spice Girls sell? Many of these girls are acting out of necessity and not out of choice, at the start they did not have the 100% knowledge and understanding of where they were going. Crack or heroin is an undeniable, irresistable master and driver.

My problem is with the Christian right that just says "no" to any possibility of legalisation of prostitution or drug administration on grounds of what they refer to as "morality". I also have a problem with the feminist ethos of Fiona MacTaggert which forces her to say that she could never accept a legalised brothel because of ideology, it is the "exploitation of women".

Firstly, I couldn't give a damn about anybody's ideology, that is a convenience. Secondly, as a committed Christian, I could not give a damn about anybody's religious view, that is also a convenience. Women are being murdered here, it is not an academic or theological discussion, this is real life. Women are being abused and murdered in alarming numbers every year because they are engaged in what we term "prostitution".

I lived for a time in the red light district of Hull and I had the privilege to meet and talk with some of the girls working the streets. Many of them were highly intelligent, most were incredibly socially adept, all were decent human beings, most had a problem with crack cocain. The youngest of the recently murdered girls was the same age as my daughter and, as a Christian, I see her as being as equally valid as my daughter. The differences between the two girls? Chance and circumstance.

I cannot, as a Christian, judge these women. As a political and social animal, I cannot impose my ideology upon them and the world in which they live. Where are these Christian extremists and feminist ideologs coming from? This is the real world and what is important is the safety of the women, not whether a particular policy feels and sits comfortably with one's conscience. It's not "one's conscience" that is being murdered, it's a particularly vulnerable group of human beings and our society (if it is still a society) should be rallying round and supporting these women as equals within the law.

The bottom line is that the current system is not working and these women are being exposed to danger. The government must look with fresh eyes and produce a radical new approach to prostitution and drugs, otherwise we will witness the same disgusting story unfolding in another few years' time, the next time a psycho emerges.

I pray to God they catch this killer soon. The images of that poor girl on the train shortly before she was murdered are haunting. She belonged to a family, there are people who love her. Let all you so called Christians think about that when you start judging so called "prostitutes". They could be our kids but for the opportunities our finances allow us to give to our little boys and girls.

  • 66.
  • At 01:54 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • chris wrote:

Peter, thank you so much for your post, hopefully I will encounter a couple more wise men this xmas!

  • 67.
  • At 06:12 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Susanne Janssen wrote:

I think it´s time Britain woke up to reality. In my country we have had legalised brothels for years, in Cologne which is famous for being liberal there is the largest in Europe. Every man visiting has the security that the women have to have a health certificate in order to work. The girls have the security of working in nice conditions with doctors on hand, they can socialise with men in the bars there and take a lot of time to assess them.

The punters have to pay 50 euros to get in so that keeps out the riff raff, no one should work on the streets of Middelsborough or Ipswich for 25 pounds an hour. I think the government is making it as painful as possible for prostitutes in England. They should at least be made to feel comfortable in their job. Everyone has aspects of their work that they don´t like but to make it as worse as possible in order to discourage it is not the answer. This only intensifies the problems. I don´t ever work for less than 150 euros.

  • 68.
  • At 08:37 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Henry Martins wrote:

I fully agree with the last comment. This is not my real name.

I think it is very wrong to associate stigmas to prostitutes. Many of them are sensitive and loving people as was stressed above.

I don´t think it is right to say that men using prostitutes services should be criminalised, many of them are otherwise respectable people as said above. I´m sure that the comment was made from a respectable woman with a respectable job.

Talking to a lot of working women in my life, there are women who are forced into it, and the immigrants who come from Eastern Europe to earn money to study etc but this is not always the norm on the continent. Some women do literally make the decision to become prostiutes as a lifestyle choice becuase they want to be different to be intimate with lots of men and know how they operate or becuase they like sensation of sex. It may seem disgusting to some women particularly female city high fliers and so on with good jobs but in my unbiased opinion this is the truth. Sadly this is not the case in England beucase of the governments handling of the situation.

Prostiutes provide an intimate service to often vulnerable men, many are on the edge in some way, and the intimate companionship of a prostiute client relationship, even if they don´t have any form of sex and just talk, may help them to get their lives back in order. Some of them may be loaners, shy lonely, totally unconfident people, nice people who are afraid to ask women out because they are shy. There are some men who are 26 or 27 and had no partner at all and are perfectly okay, but curious as to what sex is becuase they see it every day on TV. Sometimes these men just need a hand up from a woman who just says yes for once, and ignores the fact that they seem boring or strange in some way. Once they have this experience they become more confident and normal again. This service was valuable to me and I now have a proper girlfriend who I want to marry. The pain has gone and there is joy in my life and it´s all thanks to the working girls.

They should be treated with respect, not made to do things they don´t want to do and if they do have sex with people they should be treated like the queen, becuase they do a wonderful job of helping people, a hand in the darkness.

They should be paid more in England 150 euros is about right and also made safe in large brothels with all mod cons, Sauna, whirlpool.

If the right women are treated with respect, it can sometimes be enjoyable and rewarding for them like any other job and people could earn a lot of money doing it like they do at good establishements on the continent.

The best experience I had with someone was a person who said she did
nude modelling as her day job and just worked their on fridays for fun!! Yes, desk job women there are women who do enjoy it. They just need to be treated like the queen.

This is a true story, my godfather was a priest and my sex education teacher and he said that he hoped it would one day be legalised, and it would be so simple that you can "have your hair cut here and your willie done there" and that is how it should be. There is no need for all this discraceful idealism with regards to prostitution.

Many of my prostiute friends have told me that not every woman could do what they do, but that there are some good times as well as bad. I still think there has to be some sexual chemistry between a man and a woman even in this kind of relationship. It´s just that working women must always see the best side of the men they work for, doubts which normal women automatically surpress

  • 69.
  • At 09:11 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Anne Wotana Kaye wrote:

Apart from many moral reasons which wouldn't count today, there is one fact which really concerns me. All the postings dwell on the fact that the women are inspected by doctors, are free from STDs, and in some countries have a certificate vouching that they are disease-free. But what about the punters? A man can walk in with undetected syphillis and infect the woman he pays for. He can also spread other diseases, and I am sure the doctors don't perform physical examinations and take blood tests after every customer. In any case, many diseases take time to manifest themselves in the host body, and by then countless men can be contaminated and go on to infect wives, lovers and other working women.

  • 70.
  • At 09:15 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Anne Wotana Kaye wrote:

Apart from many moral reasons which wouldn't count today, there is one fact which really concerns me. All the postings dwell on the fact that the women are inspected by doctors, are free from STDs, and in some countries have a certificate vouching that they are disease-free. But what about the punters? A man can walk in with undetected syphillis and infect the woman he pays for. He can also spread other diseases, and I am sure the doctors don't perform physical examinations and take blood tests after every customer. In any case, many diseases take time to manifest themselves in the host body, and by then countless men can be contaminated and go on to infect wives, lovers and other working women.

  • 71.
  • At 09:21 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Anne Wotana Kaye wrote:

Apart from many moral reasons which wouldn't count today, there is one fact which really concerns me. All the postings dwell on the fact that the women are inspected by doctors, are free from STDs, and in some countries have a certificate vouching that they are disease-free. But what about the punters? A man can walk in with undetected syphillis and infect the woman he pays for. He can also spread other diseases, and I am sure the doctors don't perform physical examinations and take blood tests after every customer. In any case, many diseases take time to manifest themselves in the host body, and by then countless men can be contaminated and go on to infect wives, lovers and other working women.

  • 72.
  • At 10:00 PM on 18 Dec 2006,
  • Henry Martins wrote:

Dear Anne

There are plenty of people who go out clubbing every night and have UNPROTECTED SEX get pregnant and all sorts of things men and women whom I know, all the professional sex I have been involved with has been protected.

  • 73.
  • At 02:04 AM on 19 Dec 2006,
  • Peter Stitt wrote:


You deserved the praise for talking good human common sense as a Father.

What intrigues me further and prompts me to make a third posting here is the reference to STDs.

My last physical relationship was some time ago but I recently went down to get a full "all over" test at the very excellent Lansdown Clinic in Hull. I see this as simply responsible behaviour. Before embarking upon any new relationship I would like to know I am not likely to infect the woman involved. Why is there such a stigma attached to such tests in this country, I know that many European countries provide such tests on a routine basis as a sensible provision given the cultural climate in which we now live? As somebody just mentioned, loads of people are going to nightclubs and then having unprotected sex every week in every British city.

The nurse who conducted my blood tests told me not to tell too many people I had been in for the tests. I knew exactly what she meant, insurance companies and employers discriminate against people they perceive to be promiscuous. That stigma again: if you go for testing for STDs you must be promiscuous and high risk. Ironically, my recent history makes the Pope look like some sex fiend and yet, due to being responsible enough to get myself checked out, I am judged to be a high risk, promiscuous individual.

We should introduce a certification programme so people take regular checks and can provide documents providing some assurances as they enter a brothel. No system is failsafe but this would go some way to ensuring mutual safety in that situation.

The main thing is that Britain has to stop denying what it is doing, pretending that unprotected and irresponsible sex is something that happens somewhere else, in someone else's family etc, that the UK is terribly Christian in its behaviour. Let's get rid of the stigma that surrounds sex in this country and then people can stop behaving like social lepers. A general debate is required.

  • 74.
  • At 02:08 AM on 19 Dec 2006,
  • chris wrote:

Susanne - surely the point is to devise a system that scoops up the riff raff because riff raff will still want sex even if they can't afford the legal brothel and anyway posh sex for sale already exists - if you can tap into the stockbroker market, one client a night pays £hundreds (no, I have absolutely no experience of this). What gets me is how little these girls earn - £18-50/hr was quoted, I don't know how many penises that would involve but street sex workers' wages don't seem to have kept pace with inflation. (I realise most of us don't earn that much but I'm thinking - for the nature of the job, and compared to the 'real' professions).


We are all animal – men perhaps more demonstrably than women – yet everyone is sure they are human; whatever that is. The error lies in the belief that a “higher brain” with complex functions, such as language and abstract thought, elevates the whole mass of pure animal which, out of evolutionary imperative, carts round the higher brain. In reality the carrier-body, remains stubbornly animal. Bodies sweat pheromones, they are aroused by visual “releaser” (attributes of other bodies). Tall men accrue advantage from their tallness alone, and the beautiful can literally get away with murder more easily than the ugly.
In all hierarchical situations, the animal is busy finding its place in the pecking order, and far from the higher brain running the animal, as suggested above, the animal of us often hijacks the greater facility for, deception, seduction, coercion and domination that the complex mind offers. Post puberty, men are sexually driven, and to date, I have seen no sign that this can be diminished by a cultural mind-set. I will not speak for women in this respect, although it is clear that they have “cultural control” over their expression of any maternal urge. With this one exception, I suggest the animal in us is running the show.

The higher brain likes to pretend we are “human”. “Quality folk” are presented as cerebral and refined. Then we come across the sexual chicanery that seems to go with many men of high office – dominant in their animal selves – and the myth is dispelled.
Courtrooms put on a grand show of rationality. But many a judge has been exposed – in more ways than one – as a frequenter of the fleshpots; the urban “water hole”.
The police are found watching seized pornographic movies and the vicar is served more than tea by his housekeeper. Suburban estates swing and STDs, in the respectable over-fifties, soar. President Kennedy? Prime Minister Major? We have declared men and women “the same” for all useful purposes, yet visit any pet shop and you will find the guinea pig sexes in separate enclosures; and the rabbits. What luck our warships are not “manned” by guinea pigs! They would sink under the weight of progeny.
Not only do we stupidly address the behaviour of our animal in high minded terms but we equally stupidly refuse – in the name of “equality” – to recognise how different the two sexes are as animals and, by extension (down blokes) how limited we are in our ability to understand the workings of each other. If you want to get an inkling of this, listen to discussion of how the members of mixed juries perform (and their explanations why) in rape trials. This is one of the few areas where reality intrudes.
So: somehow, even in today’s opportunistic, bullying atmosphere of politically correct feminism and New Man-ism, we have to resolve to bang our heads together in the interest of progressing to a greater state of wisdom regarding the animal nature of
so-called humans. There is an urgent need to focus on the truth of that difference in all walks of life. We are animals, most of what we do is animal-natured; the animal deserves respect and appropriate management.


Prostition is the biggest abuse in the world today that needed to take a proper care cuz it's womanhood abuse.I will like to write a short scprite concerning prostitition and can you to sponsor it?

  • 77.
  • At 11:20 AM on 31 Jan 2007,
  • Prudence Black wrote:

This comment may seem a little over due, but is a personal dilemma/interest.
Why is Prostitution illegal when pornography is legal? Surely both ‘workers’ are paid for the same act; sex with a stranger. Prostitution is unsafe is simply because it is illegal, perhaps if it was legalised it would not fund ‘organized crime’. Obviously there are complications but there must be some way of satisfying everyone.

  • 78.
  • At 12:21 AM on 01 Mar 2007,
  • Lee Parkinson wrote:

Hmmmm....Why has nobody answered the real question here? How many would honestly want prostitutes and their clients operating near where they live?

For all who have gone off on a tangent and agree for the legalisation of prostitution for one reason or another..I hope you would offer your street for the choice of the brothel or display windows..I hope if it ever did become legal that they prostitute next door to you and your children and future childrens children to admire the displays in the window like Amsterdam style. Maybe your family could profit from prostituting your own daughters.

Its all about behaviour. Humans for years have proven we can behave when its required, but it has to be self managed. It is well known by all, prostitution is not acceptable behaviour yet we find still have a minority which is based on historical fact as a justification. If we didnt have people to justify it then it would go away, not entirely, but to a level of self management. The more rules we apply the worse it will be. Football put fences up to protect against bad behaviour, it got worse! They pulled the fences down and we were guided to behave in the correct manner and now there are much less problems.

Making prostitution legal will not remove the problems associated with the game! The problems will change to a different set of problems. We have to fix it at source and we already know this. It takes time either way to change, these women already within the industry need guidance out of it, whilst education at an earlier stage will reduce the amount deciding to take it up as life long ambition!!

The same goes for the majority of societies problems, and it stems from the poorer levels of society ignored by the rich, until it affects them! or they are forced into a moral dilema politically, usually for media titilation or pollitical gain. Its all about the money.......

  • 79.
  • At 02:28 AM on 01 Mar 2007,
  • Graham Tattersall wrote:

Our government is STUPID !

All over the country people complain about kerb crawlers, girls working the streets and express fear about ordinary members of the public being approached on the street by people looking for prostitutes. The solution to all these problems is to make "STREET WORKING ILLEGAL" and REQUIRE all Prostitutes to work indoors, in Licenced Brothels.

Prostitution shouldn't be a crime, nor should purchasing their services.

The only REAL CRIMES connected with Prostitution are the Abduction and Smuggling of girls and the use of drugs and violence, by Pimps, to FORCE girls to work for them, or turn them into addicts in order to maintain control over them.

In other words most Prostitutes are VICTIMS of CRIME, not PERPETRATORS of CRIME !

A Criminalised Industry like ours is forced to operate underground, making life HELL for the girls and making the finding and arrest of the REAL CRIMINALS almost impossible.

Superior Health Checking systems could be set up to look after the interests of our sex workers .... and protect the Public as wel, helping to dramatically reduce the spread of Aids and other STDs, IF the industry was legalised.

Legalised Brothels should be registered like any other business, and their "Managers and Owners" licenced, making it harder for "Organised Crime to control and benefit from them. Brothels would need to have "Employee and Public Liability Insurance, thus offering further badly needed protection for the workers and their clients.

For a girl or young woman to be expected to work on "dangerous streets" that normal people would go out of their way to avoid, especially at night, is CRIMINAL.

Prostitutes are HUMAN BEINGS after all and 99.9% of ours are British or European Citizens, and as such they are ENTITLED to a certain level of Protection, Support & Benefits, but in this country they are DENIED these RIGHTS.

We should be ASHAMED that we treat them SO BADLY !

Our government can introuduce DRACONIAN, UNNECESSARY and sometimes even ILLEGAL, "Anti-Terrorism Legislation", almost at the "drop of a hat" and yet Blair has said that new Laws to improve the protection of sex workers may not even get onto our Statute Books before NEXT YEAR !!!

By which time, GOD KNOWS how many more girls will be MURDERED or BECOME SERIOUSLY ILL, or will be ABDUCTED and SMUGGLED into Britain.

Although prostitution is actually legal, the services that go with it are not. Maybe now would be a good time to legalise brothels and make them (brothels and prostitutes) pay taxes.

Prostitutes should be contributing to the Treasury (thus lowering the burden on the rest of the population) and we should, in return, be making the streets safer for them.

They do a hard (excuse the pun) job because they have to deal with people who may treat them horribly. Everyone deserves to be protected and every citizen should pay their way.

as a sex worker in New York City, I am sick of the media and general Internet portrayel of prostitutes as drug-addicted, desperate individuals who have no other alternatives. Many of us are well-educated professionals or former professionals (any number of books come out every year about young women Ivy League graduates who turn to this business because, simply put, this is where the money is) who still make more money in the "industry" than at most full-time jobs. These women include those with advanced degrees. The problem is inadequate pay, child care, maternity and sick leave, unemployment insurance, overpriced housing, (in the US mainly these are the rampant issues; we don't have most of the same social programs in place that most European countries have) and lack of community support in general for young women. Also, men pounce on women in general in public; there is no end to the "attention from men" in the streets, subways, restaurants, busses, et al, yet within a week we never hear from these men again. Virginia Woolf wrote, "Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for." And finally, if someone makes a conscious choice (not under drugs or restraint with no third party influence) to be a sex worker, who is this person hurting, if everyone involved is a consenting adult? Police should be trying to catch these violent criminals who are harming innocent people, and not those who simply are making a living in the privacy of their own's a running joke that the Republicans prosecute sex workers and then sneak in through the doors at night.....

what more can I say? Prostitution should be decriminalized. If taxes need to be paid on income earned, it makes sense if every other job is taxed.....

  • 82.
  • At 04:20 AM on 09 Apr 2007,
  • Peter Stitt wrote:

I agree Laura (from New York), like I said in my original posting, whatever job we do we are selling something of ourselves and I do not see the line between intellectual, emotional or physical self. It is all the selling of self.

I also think that society is in complete denial of the reality of its situation. Someone brilliantly referred to millions of Brits going out ever weekend and having unprotected sex and calling it a "social life". If that is not morally wrong then why is prostitution morally wrong? Britain accepts that as "youth being youth".

My personal belief is that everybody should have the right to decide their own sexual behaviour (paid or otherwise) and hypocrites should not judge them for their activity. Whatever they do, they should have equal rights as citizens to protection by the law.

Sexually, I have done things in my life that would have outraged my Mother (I've done everything!) but I should still be afforded equal treatment in law and from the media. Hey I am a wanna' be rock'n'roll star with Emperor Stitt and the Ordinaires: of course I've been a bad boy!

Hey Laura, say hello to your friends and family across in New York and God bless you in your career and in your life. The God I was taught about does not condemn people, how can I even criticise?

  • 83.
  • At 01:35 AM on 21 Apr 2007,
  • Peter Stitt wrote:

Mr Parkinson,

I would have no problem with a brothel opening in the building next door to mine.

Yes there will always be street prostitution due to the drug element in the equation but the problem would certainly be reduced with the legalising of brothels.

And before I am accused of being morally bankrupt, I try to live according to the teaching in John's Gospel in which the very appropriate line "The first will be last and the last will be first." is repeated on numerous occasions. Before we make sweeping judgements and start casting the first stone, as it were, we ought to look for the log in our own eye.

A prostitute is more welcome in my home than anyone who would judge a girl who is involved in prostitution. She is the more honest of the two.

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