Monday, March 17, 2008

Invasion of the body: snatches

It seems that some people are getting themselves in a tizzy about all the Olympic construction workers who will be flooding in (and, no, for once, it's not the BNP).
The imminent arrival of thousands of construction workers for the 2012 Olympics could cause a surge in prostitution and the spread of sexually transmitted infections, health experts say. Olympics chiefs are being urged to address the impact of the predominantly male construction workforce, which is likely to total more than 100,000 over the next four years.

More than 1,000 people are already working on preparing the site, with a further 2,000 scheduled to begin arriving within weeks as work starts on the stadium. Health organisations are warning that thousands of prostitutes, including trafficked women, are likely to arrive in the run-up to 2012.

Oh, noes! Doctor Crippen maintains that all of this is a filthy slur on construction workers...
This article is derogatory about construction workers. Are they any more likely than any other group of workers to require the services of sex workers?

Not necessarily; however, there may be reason to believe that itinerant workers of any trade are more likely to use prostitutes.

However, let us look at this from another perspective: if we did the sensible thing and legalised licensed brothels, we would not be looking upon all of this as a potential disaster but, rather, as a potentially good thing: a chance for the brothels to turn a healthy profit—after all, it seems quite likely that prostitutes are about the only people who are likely to make any money out of the looming disaster that is the 2012 Olympics.

Just think: we could have legal, licensed brothels turning over a profit (and paying tax); where the girls (and boys) are cared for, given regular medical check-ups (which are paid for by the brothel and not the taxpayer) and are protected from drug-pushing pimps and violent clients. Plus, of course, the bottom would fall out of the illegal trafficking market or, at the very least, police would be able to focus more resources on that problem.

What's not to like? Both the clients and the prostitutes themselves would be safer, healthier and happier.

So what does our government do?

Naturally, NuLabour is going the very opposite way, with Harriet Harman attempting to arrest anyone who's ever seen a damn prostitute, let alone used one.

When will people learn that prohibition simply doesn't work and that, as with drugs, the harm done by prostitution's illegality* does more damage than it would were we to make it legal and manage it safely?

UPDATE: Kim du Toit, coincidentally, writes about prostitution too and comes to the opposite conclusion. He writes from a moral standpoint, rather than my utilitarian one: however, I think that he is wrong.

Kim thinks that men and women who engage in such an act (and, for the record, I have never utilised the services of a prostitute) must feel crappy afterwards. But that, as far as I am concerned, is an issue for the two individuals concerned to deal with, not the state.

Prostitution happens; it has always happened. Since this is the case, we should make it as safe as possible and the best way to do this is to bring out from the underground and into the light. This ensures that both parties, but most especially the woman, are as comfortable and safe as they possibly can be.

Shouting that this offends your morals, it's a disgusting practice and that you hope it goes away isn't actually going to have any effect. It hasn't throughout the rest of human history: why should it be any different today?

The answer is, of course, that it isn't.

* Prostitution is not, technically, illegal. However, soliciting and living off immoral earnings are, thus precluding (at present) legalised brothels and ensuring that being a prostitute is, to all intents and purposes, illegal.


Anonymous said...

Why the fuck do we need foreign building workers anyway?

The Olympics are years away, why don't we just train some people!!

asquith said...

Because clunking fist wants them to stay on benefits.

The Remittance Man said...

All this concern about prostitutes and so on is actually just a smoke screen. These campaigners couldn't give a damn about the working girls; indeed I suspect they despise them for "betraying the feminist ideal" and not living up to their own well-brought-up middle class ideas about "nice" people.

Prostitutes are simply a convenient device that enables the nannies to claim more taxpayer dosh and increased powers to intrude into people's lives and nag them silly.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Well yes, brothels etc should have been legalised long ago. The whole thing makes you weep for the sheer stupidity.

No doubt Nulab will waste abother £1 bn on 'Community-outreach-sexual-awareness-oh-god-don't-do-it-with-her-she's-a-dirty-tramp-half-my-salary-goes-on-private-education-for-Quentin-and-Jocasta-guidance-awareness-counsellors'. Or something.

Anonymous said...

My apologies, I got unduly excited. I thought "living off immoral earnings" was about MPs salaries and expenses, and "soliciting" was to do with publishing manifestos in order to entice people to vote.

Dr John Crippen said...

Not necessarily; however, there may be reason to believe that itinerant workers of any trade are more likely to use prostitutes.


But DK, you missed part of my point

1. Do itinerant workers include MPs and MEPs

2. Is the taxpayer paying for free condoms?


jgball said...

They don't seem very good at dealing with the consequences of their fucked up policies either.

Nick said...

Also, the whole moral many consenting adults have cheated on their partners, slept with someone out of spite or got the person drunk enough to do so.......

plus at the moment I'm not doing well with just my personality!

Also, check out this press release from Progressive Vision on abandoing the Olympic Games.

JuliaM said...

"The Olympics are years away, why don't we just train some people!!"

You have to train prostitutes...?!?

Henry Crun said...

jgball 12.24

I know you shouldn't laugh but the incident in the daily mail piece took place outside BJ Car Valeting.

Vicola said...

If Harman was to get her way and arrest everyone who'd ever had dealings with a hooker I suspect that the benches of the house of commons would be rather sparsely populated. Besides, it's typical of Nu Labour's victorian attitude that sex workers are a bad and dirty thing that and they need wiping out by the state. The sooner that the bunch of self righteous twats get a grip adn realise that not all fun things (drinking, smoking, eating lardy food, shagging, driving etc) are evil and corrupt and leave us the fuck alone to get on with life then the better off we'll all be.

jgball said...

henry crun 6:59
You shouldn't? oops! I wonder if he thought it was an optional extra or the package deal.

Vindico said...

You are spot on DK. Prostitution should be legalised and regulated for the benefit of prostitutes, and the state has no place in frustrating voluntary transactions between two consenting adults by imposition of morality.

However, I am most disappointed that you have not undertaken some market research to strenghten your argument ;-)

lettersfromatory said...

Prostitution encourages human trafficking on a mass scale - just look at the way Holland is turning away from legalised brothels (so I'm told).

Tim Almond said...

Any idea how many migrant workers are expected to be working on the site?

I thought part of the reason for this was how many jobs it was going to create with our taxes?

nbc said...

Who decides whether earnings are immoral or not?

Guthrum said...

As a construction 'worker', has anybody stayed in some of these construction compounds, I have, most of the guys I have worked with and for in Africa and Europe, are so knackered at the end of the day, a few beers and an early night for sleep is about it. ninety nine point nine per cent are working bloody hard to bring home a decent wage packet for their families. They are not sex crazed animals that inhabit Harman's sordid mind

ade said...

Kim thinks that men and women who engage in such an act (and, for the record, I have never utilised the services of a prostitute) must feel crappy afterwards.

I can assure the reader that this is absolutely not true. Knackered? Yes. Crappy. No - unless you've spent the night on the piss, of course, but that's just an ordinary hangover.

bintyd said...

Yet another pro-prostitution post by DK, with the usual caveat that no, he has not paid for sex. It is no surprise that all commentors are men and probably have not slept with prostitutes either and have little or no experience in the field of which they are talking. DK, the countries you have used as case studies in such arguments before actually say the opposite about legalised prostitution, primarily that it does not remove gangsta' pimps and crack'd out hoes, actually they stay there because they already have the infrastructure and customer base there, they just go "legit" (a euphamism for "smackin' da hoe" behind closed doors). Drugs remain a massive problem within the industry itself (I'm talking about crystal meth, heroin and crack - not the fluffy feeling weed gives you - their teeth fall out and their arms go necrotic due to the needles) but noooo, drugs are fine according to you! DK not everyone takes drugs as carefully as you do, they get hooked and spend most of the day curled up in a ball unconscious, leaving their illegitimate baby to die of cot death because they're terrible mothers and were too stoned off their head to look after them... Oh and human sex trafficking goes up significantly with a large proportion of that in underage girls, but that wouldn't factor on your radar because it doesn't fit into your libertarian ideal (dystopia). If drugs and prostitution and all of the other ridiculous things you suggest should be ligalized, were, then I guarantee that there would be largely negative results. Your moral relativism cannot provide the basis for "the good life" ,whatever that may, be because you have no basis to question anyone else, no moral framework to condemn. You are an idealist who is too short sighted to see the logical conclusions of the policies you propose.

gary said...

you will miss them when they have gone!


Serf said...

Kim thinks that men and women who engage in such an act (and, for the record, I have never utilised the services of a prostitute) must feel crappy afterwards.

I had a boss who would indulge in the services of working girls (upper end of the market) every time we travelled. Judging by the look on his face when a foriegn trip was looming, I'd say crappy is a bit off.

That said, I think I would feel crappy, but then I don't utilise such services. Kim is making a classic mistake. His sample group for his study (ie him) is one that does not include users of the said services. Therefore his result is skewed.

monoi said...

Byntid, and you're calling DK an idealist ?

I would say you are a moron. The situation is more liberal in some countries, but not that liberal. So you really can't say what legalisation would really mean.

What we know is that the negative outcomes (because yes, not all is rosy in life, and not all would be rosy with legalisation) would never ever cost the amount of money and efforts deployed in supporting prohibition, or the consequences we have to live with.

Live your life the way you want, leave others to do as they choose and suffer the consequences. It would not cost a lot to help those that need.

JuliaM said...

"It is no surprise that all commentors are men..."

Hey! Not true....


Do we have no builders of our own?why do we need another 100,000 foreign scumbags with thier violence and diseases,why can not the indigenous population,you know those vile racists that call themselves ENGLISH have the opportunity to work in thier own country?

Anonymous said...

Legions of workers (from anywhere) will be needed because there will be a God-almighty scramble at the last minute (circa 2012) to finish these unnecessary stadia for the even more unwelcome Olympic Games, at a totally unacceptable cost. This frantic activity and cost is so one nation can say "Ooh look, our drug-filled athlete beat your drug-filled athlete"