Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sexy beast

Our wonderful Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has apparently been watering down some laws. Or, rather, a specific law that was disgustingly wrong in the first place.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been accused of back-tracking on a pledge to criminalise men who pay for sex with women forced into prostitution.

The criticism follows the government's decision to modify new legislation aimed at protecting those who are the victims of pimps and traffickers.

The wording defining which women would be covered by the law has been changed.
...

Clause 13 of the Policing and Crime Bill was originally drafted to create an offence of the purchase, or attempted purchase, of sexual services from anyone "controlled for gain by a third party".
...

However, the home secretary now proposes to replace "controlled for gain" with "subjected to force, deception or threats".

Much as I loathe the Home Secretary and would love to take any opportunity to give her a kicking, I don't quite see what the problem is here: as far as I can see, the new wording does, in fact, cover far more women than the previous phrase. After all, if a woman is "controlled" then it will be done through "force, deception or threats", won't it? That covers pretty much every base, I think.

Of course, some people might argue that it won't then cover women who voluntarily use pimps—but then, the law definitely shouldn't be involved in that process. Now, I know that it is inconceivable to the fucking morons who make our shitty laws that someone would voluntarily use a pimp, but there are, in fact, proven economic gains—and therefore an incentive-driven rationale—in doing so (tip of the horns to Timmy).
A pimp isn't, contrary to what many believe, someone who holds a prostitute captive and steals whatever pitiful amount of cash she manages to earn by degrading herself. The relationship between the two is, rather, an economic one and a voluntary one at that. One which, like all voluntary exchanges, benefits both parties to it.

OK, so perhaps you'll not accept that statement from me but what about from Steven Levitt and Sudhir Alladi Venktash, two of the very few economists who have ever actually tried to understand [PDF] the subject?
In Roseland, there are no pimps and women solicit customers from the street. Just a few blocks away in Pullman, all women work with pimps who locate customers and set-up tricks, so that the prostitutes rarely solicit on street corners. Under the pimp model, there are fewer transactions, but the prices charged are substantially higher and the clientele is different. Prostitutes who work with pimps appear to earn more, and are less likely to be arrested. It appears that the pimps choose to pay efficiency wages. Consistent with this hypothesis, many of the women who do not work with pimps are eager to work with pimps, and indeed we observe a few switches in that direction over the course of the sample. Pimps are limited by their ability to find customers, however, so they operate on a small scale.

Higher wages for less work and a reduction in risk. Pimps are therefore beneficial for the prostitutes which is why they choose to work with them.

So I ask again, what's wrong with pimps?

It's not as if politicians don't employ agents to promote their work, is it?

If we are going to try to bring in a law of this type, we want to protect those women who are being forced into prostitiution, do we not? We do not want to criminalise those who are voluntarily working with a pimp, i.e. those who, in the eyes of our fuckwit legal minds, might come under the heading of being "controlled for gain by a third party".

So, believe it or not, Jacqui Smith might actually be doing a good thing here—well, the entire fucking law is deeply flawed and unpleasant but, given that, this is a rather better wording.

Naturally, some vested interests are really not happy.
Women's charity Eaves said the law had been diluted, but the Home Office said it still aimed to deter men.

"We want to send a clear message to force sex buyers to think twice before paying for sex," the Home Office said in a statement.

Why? If two people wish to enter a transaction, voluntarily, then what business is it of the law? Fuck all, I would suggest.

What this law actually does is to put the burden of proof onto the punter to ensure that the prostitute is not trafficked; and I am not sure how a punter is supposed to be able to prove that the woman wasn't trafficked. Or, for that matter, that she was (unless some stereotypical evil bastards are standing over her).

As with so many of NuLabour's many thousands of laws, this one is utterly unnecessary. We already have laws against slavery, and coercion, and imprisonment. Why the fuck do we need this piece-of-shit law? And make no mistake—this is a piece-of-shit law. Why?

The law should be clear and simple. If one cannot know whether or not one is breaking the law, then the law is clearly unjust.

So, if one cannot know, when one hires a prostitute, whether she is "subjected to force, deception or threats", then one cannot know if one is breaking the law—thus the law is clearly unjust. quod erat demonstrandum.

However, as usual, it's worth looking at this charity doing the lobbying—Eaves, which describes itself thusly:
EAVES PROVIDE:
—ACCOMODATION, ADVICE AND SUPPORT DIRECTLY TO WOMEN AND CHILDREN ESCAPING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WOMEN TRAFFICKED INTO PROSTITUTION AND DOMESTIC SERVITUDE.
—LOBBYING AND RESPONDING TO GOVERNMENT PAPERS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ISSUES.
—RESEARCHING AND HIGHLIGHTING ISSUES AROUND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN INCLUDING PROSTITUTION, TRAFFICKING AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

Since they are busy lobbying the government for unjust laws, I am already inclined to tell Eaves to fuck off; now, I just want to know how much of our money they are sucking up. Well, they have a total funding of £5,220,603 and I can't believe that all of that comes from people shaking tins on the street so, as usual, it's time to examine the latest accounts. Shall I provide a summary? Yes, I think I shall.

First, Eaves runs its accounts under several project headings: Supported Housing, Domestic Violence, Lilith Project and POPPY Project. Proper, voluntary income for all of these was a total of £116,321.

Now, the grants—Supported Housing first...

Next up is Domestic Violence...
  • Supporting People Grants—£1,116,826

  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea—£20,000

  • London Councils Children's Project—£45,023

  • London Councils Legal Project—£14,000

  • Sure Start: Westminster—£60,661

  • Westminster City Council—£59,772

  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham—£23,116

  • Total—£1,339,398

And now the Lilith Project...
  • London Councils—£150,000

  • Criminal Justice—£30,104

  • Total—£180,104

And now the POPPY Project...
  • London Councils—£148,200

  • Total—£148,200

So, as a grand total, Eaves and its various projects receive a grand total from the taxpayer of...
  • Grand Total—£3,608,395

  • Out of the total funding of £5,220,603, the taxpayer provides 69.12%.

So, Eaves is most definitely belongs on fakecharities.org, since it fulfills all of our criteria.
  1. Does the charity receive more than 10% of its income from the tax-payer AND/OR receive more than £1,000,000 a year from the tax-payer?

  2. Is the charity engaged in lobbying the government and/or influencing government policy?

If the answer to both of these questions is 'yes', then the charity goes on the database.

So, Eaves receives over 69% of its funding—£3.6 million—from the taxpayer; further, it is not only lobbying the government to make bad law—it is lobbying the government to make it worse.

Now, I am sure that Eaves does some good work but, nonetheless, I feel that I must deliver a message: get your fucking hands out of my pockets and stop lobbying to restrict my freedom, you terrible bunch of illiberal, theiving cunts.

Fuck me, I am so fucking sick and tired of these disgusting little bastards...

14 comments:

Tim W said...

It always seems a little odd that the government prefers to most firmly target those who provide demand in sex-sale cases, but those who are suppliers in drug cases. Whilst action in either is clearly illiberal, it seems curiously simplistic to assume all prostitutes are innocent victims of nasty men, whereas drug dealers are always evil killers of blameless addicts.

john in cheshire said...

I don't see why prostitution isn't legalised. No amount of legislation is ever going to stop either women becoming prostitutes, or men seeking sex for cash. So, why not legalise it, and make it safer for all concerned? And the fake charities wouldn't be needed, so they could pack up and sod off. So many potential benefits, seems stupid not to do it.

timb said...

The accounts are fab. Redundany cost of £38,500 in 2008 but numbers went up from 77 to 81, 2007 to 2008. Go figure.

UB41 said...

Thanks for highlighting DK - I wan't aware as to the %age of taxpayers cash these "charities" were taking.

On the subject of that law, do you think Jacqui feels she has been "subjected to deception" by Richard?

Maybe his next home will be the slammer lol

Devil's Kitchen said...

john,

"I don't see why prostitution isn't legalised."Technically, prostitution is not actually illegal.

However, "soliciting" and "living off immoral earnings" are (thus precluding the existence of legal brothels).

DK

Anonymous said...

This law severely endangers women and I'll tell you why: if a woman is held against her will in a brothel, the only contact she will have with the outside world is through a punter.

Think about what that means, please. It means that the only opportunity she has to alert the authorities to her situation is by appealing to her punter.

The Israeli experience bears this out. Israel has an epic problem with brothels controlled by criminals and filled with Russian and East European sex slaves. The secrecy surrounding them means that the only time the police can get good information is when a punter comes to them and tells them what's going on. A punter can only do that because he knows that, in Israeli law, he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

Under the new law, if a British man goes to a brothel and finds out that the girl is being held against her will by Albanian, Russian or Chinese gangsters, he will automatically incriminate himself if he informs the police. Even though the punter in this case was clearly ignorant of the girl's status and even though he immediately did the right thing by moving to liberate the girl, the punter is still a criminal and he will face time in gaol for his "crime".

This law closes off the only door that these trafficked sex slaves have. It ensures that the only possible opportunity for liberation is destroyed. It is a "Look Busy" law that will hurt trafficked women and help the gangsters who hold them prisoner.

If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if Labour had taken backhandes from the pimps to pass this law. As it is, I do know better: I know that Labour is simply full of morons and ideologues who never have thought through the implications of any of the umpteen million policies and laws they've rammed down our throat.

Congrats, Jacqui Smith and Harriet Harperson. You've criminalised the clients of sex workers and are going to get Russian and Chinese whores killed. I hope that's a price worth paying to satisfy your instinctive hatred of men.

captainff said...

DK said "and I am not sure how a punter is supposed to be able to prove that the woman wasn't trafficked. Or, for that matter, that she was (unless some stereotypical evil bastards are standing over her)."

Not sure about your own particular preferences but the thought of 'performing' with an evil bastard standing around watching is the reason I never pursued my teenage dream of being a porn actor.


Well, that, and a hair trigger.

:D

Anonymous said...

@DK

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 more or less does away with a lot of the old "immoral earnings" system. As it is now, I understand you can only be charged with living off immoral earnings if you also "control prostitution for gain".

This is effectively a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card for the prostitutes themselves and their families.

Anonymous said...

Devil, ever entertained the idea that feminist policies in government are wholly totalitarian? The very domestic violence industry (which is an exuse to tax and impinge on civil liberty) is just one symptom of this, as are attempts to criminalise men (but not women) of prostition. Wake up, go read some angry-harry or no-maam (on blogspot) as you desperately need to fine-tune your knowledge of this area. Feminism=totalitarianism.

Anonymous said...

You could read Steve Moxon's [i]The Woman Racket[/i].

Verity said...

Many women who grew up under NuLabour and went through the NuLabour school system are illiterate and would be unable to gain employment anywhere even if disciplined enough to work regular hours.

Women who solicit on the street are a bloody nuisance because they attract kerb crawlers, but other than banning soliciting on the street, who gives a monkeys? Except those after control, like quangoes, the socialist government, fake charities and their ilk.

Anonymous said...

you have not even scraped the surface of this.

look at the foreign immigrants, who are threatened with deportation- presumably until they confess they are trafficked, and claim asylum.

Or the prostitutes who will get threatened with some minor misdemeanour- unless they shop their pimp, and claim they have been beaten up.

Nice call on Eaves

JonnyN said...

I'm sick and tired of these 'charities' lobbying. It's turning the charitable sector into an arm of central government in the same way that has already happened to the public sector. Soon there will be barely anything left without government funding and they will point and say, as they already do with healthcare and unemployment benefit, "look, without the government there would be nothing."

tris said...

How does anyone prove any of this?

If you're using the services of a prostitute, do you have to ask for certification that she is not being run by a cruel and evil pimp...

No personal interest, you understand, just intellectual curiosity.