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  1. #1
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    Default Good article

    Northern Ireland does Something Very Stupid <<< click here for article

    It’s always a little difficult for an Englishman, even one with an extra Irish citizenship (as your author does), to criticise an Irishman for being stupid. That century or more of their being the butt of bad jokes about imbecility creates a certain sensitivity to such an accusation. But this is still flat out a stupid thing to be doing:
    Paying for sex is to be banned in Northern Ireland after members at the Stormont assembly members backed the move in a landmark late-night vote.

    The proposal to outlaw purchasing sex is among a number of clauses contained in a bill aimed at amending Northern Ireland’s laws on trafficking and prostitution.


    Paid-for consensual sex is currently legal in Northern Ireland though activities such as kerb crawling, brothel keeping and pimping are against the law. The proposed ban is similar to the model operating in Sweden.


    The human trafficking and exploitation bill was tabled before the assembly by Democratic Unionist peer Lord Morrow.
    Trafficking and exploitation are already illegal: making voluntary transactions between consenting adults illegal will not make their incidence any less. Far from it, driving currently legal activity underground will produce more of those already illegal activities rather than less.

    At the grander level this is horribly illiberal: the touchstone of any possible liberal society being that consenting adults, when their activities do not harm any non-consenting people, animals or things, get to do what they want. A society that decides to regulate adult sexual activity is not and cannot be described as liberal. It can be anything from Puritan to authoritarian but liberal it cannot be. And we’ve made hugely welcome strides in the direction of that liberality over the decades: for example, from the illegality of homosexual activity to the widespread acceptance societally of same sex civil partnerships. Plus, of course, the more general idea that what people do in their sex lives is up to them. Quite why anyone thinks that the intercession of a £50 note into the proceedings makes any difference is extremely difficult to fathom. It’s still the entirely voluntary playing out of the Tab A and Slot B scenario that we all agree consenting adults are entirely at liberty to perform as they wish.


    At the more detailed public policy level there will obviously now be calls that England should follow suit. To which the correct answer is, as above, no it shouldn’t. But even if you don’t find a defence of adults being allowed to be adults convincing there is another. Which is that we really should take advantage of this devolved administration stuff to wait and see what happens. It’ll take a few years for this change in the law to filter through to human behaviour. Time which could usefully be spent actually looking at what happens. Only after we’ve done that will we know what does actually happen: and only once we do know what happens that’s the first time that we can or could usefully discuss whether it’s a good idea or not.


    It’s definitional that of course consenting adults should be allowed to consent. But even if you don’t believe that let’s wait and see what actually happens here, eh?
    Last edited by CurvaceousKate; 23-10-14 at 11:03.

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  3. #2
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    Thank You Kate,
    This is what happens when the Religious Right Assumes Power, It is Management by Fear of The Nanny State, We in the South are no Strangers to it as you know. Legalise and Regulate, Give resources to State Agencies(Not NGOs) whose Brief it is to Control Traffickers is the Intelligent, Humane, Practical answer. I keep saying this and will continue to do so as long I can. My First Question is, Who has the Resources to Challenge The Human Right to Privacy this Religious Law Denies. The only winners in this situation are the well organised Traffickers who must be Smiling

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    Correct me if I've got things wrong, but I understood:

    The Swedish model wasn't originally introduced as an anti-trafficking move, rather it was based on a particular strand of feminism's ideas. These seem to relate to sex as a form of "male violence". Now, "sex" is a modern shorthand for "sexual intercourse" where the "intercourse" bit means that it is a sort of dialogue between two people: sexual intercourse isn't something that a man does to a woman (or whatever relationships you choose), but rather something that two people do together. How then can it be considered "male violence" if both parties consent to the activity?

    The Swedish model seems to have been taken over in relation to trafficking and coercion, and used as a legal formula by those in the "rescue industry". But even the rescue industry is problematical.

    The Magdalen Institutes began in the 18th century, to "rescue" women who had "fallen" (biblical); women were brought to centres where they were expected to learn a trade, and have a good dose of religion stuffed into them. On Sundays, the great and the good who paid their subscriptions to the Institutes could come and inspect the inmates as if these women were in a zoo. After several years, the inmates could be allowed out on conditions, to take up an honest trade (the honest trade was always less well paid than their previous work), but if they were recidivists they might be further incarcerated—or simply ignored as people whom it was impossible to re-educate. These Institutes were the moral and social forerunners of the modern day prison system.

    But, "rescue": people don't always get asked if they want to be rescued, and some seem to have rescue forced upon them. You could see this as a form of control of these women, making them conform to social mores. And the idea of control of women is surely based on patriarchy, where the man owns the woman as his "chattel", and can thus require of her what he will.

    In an odd way, I feel that the feminists who began the Swedish model are similarly acting as patriarchs, attempting to control (other) women, though this isn't how they would see it. But they do not or cannot see that other women can have "agency", that is freewill to do as they choose, even if this is nonconformity.

    Lord Morrow's campaign seems largely to be emotionally based, with ghastly stories of survivors. Now, such survivors seem to me to have been coerced and trafficked in the usual meaning of these words, and forced to work against their will; no one would ever condone this. Yet this is conflated with others who are voluntary entrants, so that all sex work must be a "bad thing", and that any woman (it usually is women) clearly must have a pimp behind her. Again, the idea of a pimp is patriarchal, the need for any woman to be controlled, for she, poor dear, really can't do this for herself.

    Add a good dose of religiosity; sex, the Church says, is only proper between a man and his wife, therefore they should be married (and we can marry you for a consideration, and make things pure and good). Behind this lies the idea the as woman was made from man, woman isn't somehow complete, a whole person. And this patriarchal idea seems to ultimately derive from settled agriculture, the concept of "property"; it's something with a very long history.

    End demand: well, "demand" is a physiological need, rather like food and shelter. It's not something that most people can control, in the same way you can't control your thirst or appetite. Indeed, there are suggestions that when "demand" is repressed, then sooner or later a volcano will erupt. (That is, rape and violence; or activities in industrial schools etc.) The ancients seem to have recognised that damming demand was problematical; they didn't have a problem with brothels etc as facilities to prevent eruptions.

    I very much doubt that the original Swedish feminists saw their actions as being, IMO, based on patriarchy; likewise, I can't imagine that Lord Morrow and his allies realise just how antique their ideas are, and how totally inappropriate to life in the 21st century these are.

    Apologies for all this. </rant>

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    If it weren't so entirely unjust and downright dangerous, this new puritanism would actually be fascinating.

    The general disgust about sex work extends to both religionists and certain strands of feminism, who seem happy to join forces if a common cause is involved. The sight of Ruhama, a deeply Roman Catholic organisation, making common cause with the Protestant fundamentalists of the DUP, is bizarre to say the least.

    Although this bill was proposed and propelled by the DUP, it's success wouldn't have been possible without the support of various self serving NGOs, the Roman Catholic church and the Republican movement. The irony being of course that all three of these movements have very recent or current examples of appalling sex abuse within their ranks. Yet they all seek to deny adult consensual sex where a financial element is involved.

    With the DUP, we don't expect any better. If they thought they had the remotest chance of success, they would seek to ban homosexual acts (again). They fight fanatically against abortion and equal marriage. Many members honestly believe the earth to be 6000 years old. Gay men giving blood, gay adoption and 'blasphemous' plays really are issues for these people. So we really can't be surprised when they get squeamish about sex work (sorry but I'm not going to dignify the fig leaf that this is something to do with human trafficking -- at least Sweden had the balls to admit the real reason).

    But with Sinn Fein, perhaps we expected a little better. A seemingly progressive, left-wing party with a record of supporting LGBT rights, equal marriage and a relatively open mind on abortion, we might have thought they would at least look at the facts on sexwork, rather than listening solely to the hysterical, contradictory and often bizarre propaganda of the NGOs. And there seemed to be hope when SF at Stormont reserved their position afew months ago, to await further research.

    That research arrived on October 17th in the form of an indepth study conducted by respected academics from Queens University Belfast and covering the experiences and opinions of sex workers and clients locally. It was and is a realistic insight into sex work here and much of it is very familiar to anyone even slightly involved in SW in Ireland.

    Surprising therefore that before the report was even published, SF jumped into bed with the DUP and declared their support for clause 6. What had made up their mind? Perhaps their own indepth research? Or a realisation that the DUP fantasies of countless women chained to radiators servicing dozens of men a day (men who could apparently find these women while the police couldn't) were actually true?

    Nothing so profound or even honourable. Apparently SF HQ in Dublin issued a diktat that the party were to side with the DUP. Perhaps for political expediency (supporting sex work isn't a big vote winner), perhaps in light of a recent high profile rape case, or perhaps due to some sort of side deal with the DUP, SF decided that sex workers rights and safety were expendable and simultaneously showed their political colours. In other words they're as unprincipled and easily swayed as any other party on the island. What a surprise.

    The only NI party with any backbone on the issue (save for the Green Party, NI21 and one independent) were Alliance, whose justice minister David Ford took a principled stand based on the facts and withstood endless flak from the DUP for months for the temerity of putting safety, rights and facts over prejudice and ignorance.

    So clause 6 has passed, sex workers have been betrayed and the future is uncertain. The misguided moral crusade will roll on, fuelled by greed, lies and very deliberate ignorance. And sex workers voices will be excluded at all costs. Organisation and strong voices are needed to combat the upcoming campaign in Britain and to help Irish sex workers cope with the new realities.

    Few things are now certain, other than the fact that actual proven human trafficking figures will not fall from their current incredibly low levels. In the future, these failed anti--sex work laws will eventually be repealed as various govts realise they are ineffective, counter-productive and dangerous. I confidently predict that one of the last countries to do so will be Ireland.

    So to go back to the OP, ''Northern Ireland does something very stupid.'' Nothing new there, just one more trophy for the stupidity cabinet. Well done everyone. Now can someone pass the expenses forms?
    2014 in Northern Ireland:

    Number of reported attacks on sex workers 70

    Number of sex trafficking cases ZERO

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    I find it very difficult to find accurate information. Lord Morrow and others refer to people with appalling stories...but it's not clear to me how much of this I can rely on. There does seem to be elements in the "rescue industry" who are nothing like they claim to be; and suggestions that some of their spokespeople aren't what they seem to be. See, for instance:

    http://harlotsparlour.com/2014/10/23...ttee-stormont/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empirical View Post
    I find it very difficult to find accurate information. Lord Morrow and others refer to people with appalling stories...but it's not clear to me how much of this I can rely on. There does seem to be elements in the "rescue industry" who are nothing like they claim to be; and suggestions that some of their spokespeople aren't what they seem to be. See, for instance:

    http://harlotsparlour.com/2014/10/23...ttee-stormont/
    I would tend to believe Gaye Dalton. There is no pretence or cloak and dagger with her, you get what it says on the tin.
    Last edited by CurvaceousKate; 24-10-14 at 09:01.

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    I do not like being told what I can do with my body, nor my bodily functions. If I need a piss, and there are no toilets around, what must one do?
    If you meet a girl and both get intimate,,,,(we used to call it heavy petting) what does one do.

    Can total lack of violance and total honesty, be a crime

    Of course we get the goverment we choose, and so we can only blame ourselves

    Sorry but am mentally messed up

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    Quote Originally Posted by bollocks View Post
    I do not like being told what I can do with my body, nor my bodily functions. If I need a piss, and there are no toilets around, what must one do?
    If you meet a girl and both get intimate,,,,(we used to call it heavy petting) what does one do.

    Can total lack of violance and total honesty, be a crime

    Of course we get the goverment we choose, and so we can only blame ourselves

    Sorry but am mentally messed up
    I'm not sure I agree. Certainly in England I know I went from being someone who valued my vote and would always do so, to complete apathy and indecision, because there was no one I really felt I believed in to vote for. How can you vote for a party you don't believe in? I think the general apathy towards voting has nothing to do with lack of interest or understanding, but like myself. When there is no one you have faith in, then what is the point?

  15. #9

    Default End Demand... sounds familar

    GUEST VOICE: Mistress Matisse on the “End Demand” Campaign

    “End Demand” is a slogan coined by groups who advocate for the total abolition of all sex work. They want to do this by greatly increasing the number of people arrested on individual prostitution charges, and by intensifying the criminal penalties for either offering or agreeing to trade sex for money, even if both parties are consenting adults. If you think the End Demand strategy sounds a lot like the failed War on Drugs, you’re correct. It is also ruinously expensive, based on moral propaganda rather than fact, and it also destroys people’s lives for no purpose.

    No one wants human trafficking, or for minors to be forced into prostitution. Yet conflating consensual adult sexual behavior with these real, terrible crimes only muddies the problem. Rape is wrong, and it is an extremely serious problem in our society, but too often women who file complaints and seek justice for rape are ignored or silenced. While their rape kits sit untested, End Demand-ers want to direct limited public resources finding and incarcerating people who did consent to sex, because they consented for the wrong reason?

    The basic assumptions of End Demand are simply wrong. Most sex workers began sex work as an adult, and because of economic necessity, but not by force or coercion. Sex worker rights advocates do not say that sex work is a perfect job that’s always fair and positive. But you know what else isn’t a perfect job? Working at a fast-food restaurant. Driving for Uber. Cleaning toilets. Standing outside Home Depot, hoping a builder picks you up. Sex work is about labor, not about sex, and any labor system has the potential to be exploitive. But as income inequality rises, and criminal justice systems remain heavily tilted against the poor, arresting someone because they’re trying to pay their bills is both misguided and cruel.
    Full article:
    http://seattlish.com/post/1006783838...the-end-demand

    And here's how the Canadian version of the Swedish Model is working out. Not.

    Why Canadian Sex Workers Won't Report Rapes to the Police

    Earlier this month, there was a media outcry in Canada about reported gang rapes of sex workers in Newfoundland—but police have yet to begin an investigation. In fact, the warning about the 20 or so rapists came not from the police, but from an outreach organization. And not a single sex worker was quoted in the initial articles about the gang rapes.

    The reason the cops haven't looked into the matter is the same reason the media couldn't get statements from sex workers in the province: They're afraid to talk and risk being stigmatized in a tight-knit community. They’re backed up against a wall by a leering three-headed beast: criminal charges, violence, and public scrutiny.

    In many ways, it’s not a new story. In a country in which government is cooking up laws that will clearly hurt sex workers, of course they don’t want to speak up and report their rapes. New Canadian legislation called Bill C-36, which could become law in a matter of weeks, would further aggravate the problem by introducing harsher penalties for prostitution, driving more sex workers underground. The law is, in many ways, a big step in the wrong direction.
    http://www.vice.com/read/two-weeks-a...-heres-why-932

    The best that we can hope for is that Clause 6 in Northern Ireland is such a failure and waste of money that the DoJ down here are persuaded not to copy it. Lots of folks will suffer in the meantime.

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    It'll be the same as the internet porn filter brought in at Westminster, under the guise of stopping kids accessing porn. They really are stupid enough to think that a shitty ISP level filter sill stop a teenager getting porn on the internet. Wat.

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