Saturday, 22 November 2008

Jacqui Smith: Encouraging People Trafficking

If anyone is still in any doubt that this Labour (mal)administration holds its own electorate in utter contempt, Jacqui Smith's much-discussed and much-ridiculed new legislation on prostitution should dispel that quite convincingly.

The Home Office believes that the new measures will shame men who pay for sex by “removing any ambiguity from possible offenders' minds about the potential consequences”.

Ministers are hoping that yesterday's changes, which will also allow kerb crawlers to be prosecuted for a first offence, will help to change the culture surrounding prostitution.

And the moral/healthist/environmental scare behind this particular slice of righteousness is ...

... to highlight the connection between prosecution and people trafficking, of which about 4,000 women in Britain's sex industry are victims.

All very admirable I'm sure. People trafficking should definitely be tackled, it's abhorrent and any moves to halt its progression should be hailed. But one must wonder how much Jacq the Ripper (H/T Leg-iron) really cares about the young girls being trafficked, or how committed she is to actually catching those responsible.

A London police unit dedicated to tackling human trafficking will close after the Home Office withdrew £2.3m funding support.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the Human Trafficking Team will disband in April 2009

Yes, you did read that correctly. Jacqui's own department earlier this month stopped paying the Metropolitan Police for tackling the supply of trafficked prostitutes that her new law now purports to protect.

It wasn't like the unit wasn't getting results either ...

The news comes just a week after the human trafficking unit saw the successful prosecution of a gang of six men who trafficked young girls and women into the country and forced them into a life of abuse and prostitution.

This is all-too-common Labour authoritarian bullshit. Except this isn't Blair-ite bullshit, it is exclusively manufactured under the management of Brown and his puritannical front bench nannies. Blair's approach was to legalise brothels, thereby protecting the working girls and controlling the criminal elements that preyed on them. Jacq the Ripper has scrapped that completely and gone the other way, criminalising the customers while simultaneously allowing the criminal elements free reign to further harm the girls themselves. How fucking stupid is she?

Not stupid at all if you understand that she doesn't give a shit about the girls or trafficking, she just wants to stop a practice of which she disapproves. We've seen it all before and it always follows the same formula. Those engaging in a lifestyle choice with which Labour disagree must be 'shamed' as in this instance, and also the instance of those that like a drink. With smoking, the term is denormalisation.

Each of these is backed up, chess style, with an implied insult just waiting to be fired at those who disagree. If you think ID Cards are wrong, you surely agree with innocents being blown up. If you disagree with the smoking ban, you wish to inflict cancer on bar staff. If you object to separate queues for alcohol, you advocate kids binge-drinking.

And if you think her new rules on prostitution are wrong and ill thought-out, you must therefore wish to see young girls being abducted and forced into brothels against their will.

No, Jacqui, your withdrawal of funds to the Met Police show you up to be a Class A danger to girls who are trafficked. The sum total of funding for the entire country to tackle this menace is a paltry £1.7m. I repeat that. £1.7m FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY for a WHOLE YEAR! A budget like that is barely enough to keep an office of 7 or 8 well-trained coppers, with accompanying resources, going for the year.

But why should she care as long as a few men paying for a service, that the estimated 80,000 voluntary working girls choose to provide for financial gain, are shamed and their lives destroyed? Job done in her tiny illiberal mind.


AloneMan said...

The most laughable bit is that which says this legislation will "remove any ambiguity from possible offenders' minds about the potential consequences”, which is the very last thing it will do. If you pay for sex with someone who assures you they haven't got a pimp, you'll be OK - as long as she hasn't. If you pay for sex with someone who assures you they haven't got a pimp when she has, you're commiting an offence. And how the hell is someone supposed to know if she's telling the truth ?
You're right, this is designed as a back-door criminalisation of prostitution.

PS - Good result today.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"If you pay for sex with someone who assures you they haven't got a pimp when she has, you're committing an offence"

Yep, but as Smith has no doubt been advised, this goes against the legal concept of Mens Rea, whereby intent to commit has to be established. (might be worth a post on its own perhaps)

It's a huge scare tactic. Any accused with a decent lawyer should beat the rap. Unless Mens Rea has gone by the wayside along with the right to trial by jury.

PS - it was indeed, didn't expect that tbh. :-)

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