Police and Thieves

This is a post I originally published on the Everyday Whorephobia blog two years ago. Following  the criminalisation of clients in Northern Ireland it appears that the flawed arguments of the sex work prohibitionists are enjoying a second wind. They remain however deeply flawed. One of the flaws is the naive faith in the police as agents of”rescue”. Melissa Gira Grant, in her book Playing … Continue reading Police and Thieves

The Policeman in the Bedroom

It is nearly three years since I stumbled on the debates about sex work and its legal status and following the arguments about Rhoda Grant’s attempt to criminalise the purchase of sex in Scotland was certainly an education. This was particularly true of reading the cogent, well informed responses to the consultation by opponents of the proposal. Two and a half years on two responses … Continue reading The Policeman in the Bedroom

Lord Morrow and the Balloon Man

Last year I blogged here about a Midlands sex worker called “Katie”. I was reminded of her this week when I read about the new clause that has been added to the Northern Ireland Human Trafficking Bill. In the course of the interview my friend conducted with her she talked about clients who come to see her for things other than penetrative sex. In particular … Continue reading Lord Morrow and the Balloon Man

Hoping that ToMorrow Never Comes

A look out of the window at the greyness that cloaked the Midlands today tells me that  time has moved on from last summer. Some things seem not to have changed. Unfortunately one of them is the quality of responses to consultations on proposals to criminalise the purchase of sex. Last summer it was Scotland, this time round it is Northern Ireland. I did blog … Continue reading Hoping that ToMorrow Never Comes

Don’t Dare to be Different

The desire of the state to control our sexuality seems at times relentless. We have had such things as the ban on ‘extreme pornography’ in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, the legislation under which Simon Walsh was prosecuted for possessing images of wholly legal consensual BDSM activity, we had the imprisonment of men for engaging consensual sado-masochistic activity, (the Spanner case) we have … Continue reading Don’t Dare to be Different

Long Ago in Czernowitz

Today it is called Chernivtsy and is in the Ukraine. One hundred years ago it was better known as Czernowitz, capital of the Crown Land of Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Known as the Vienna of the East it had a thriving coffee house culture, public buildings in the familiar ochre known as ‘kaisergelb.’ It also had a large Jewish community, a large part of … Continue reading Long Ago in Czernowitz

On Irish Independence

Well not quite. The Irish Independent newspaper carried an article yesterday about a campaign by a group called SPACE to have the Merseyside Model adopted in Ireland. You can read it here: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/sex-trade-violence-law-change-urged-29420788.html You can also read two comments. These were not the only comments made. A number of people attempted to make comments pointing out the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the SPACE position but … Continue reading On Irish Independence

Asserted Not Demonstrated

Once upon a time there was a university lecturer who scribbled AND in the margins of his students’ essays. This stood for ‘Asserted not Demonstrated’ and was a sign of the importance he attached to structure argument supported by facts, in other words to intellectual rigour. Last week Rhoda Grant MSP published the results of the consultation on her proposal to criminalise the purchase of … Continue reading Asserted Not Demonstrated