Coalition policy on sex: A return to the bad old (VERY old) days?

Government-approved sex industry: A "gentleman's" club - possibly as Conservative MPs understand them. Indeed, some sitting members may have posed for this very portrait.

Government-approved sex industry: A “gentleman’s” club – possibly as Conservative MPs understand them. Indeed, some sitting members may have posed for this very portrait. Picture: As attributed.

We seem to be returning to the days when our so-called betters dictated to us that the mere sight of a lady’s ankle was enough to inflame the blood and led to lewd, lecherous and scandalous behaviour – before the hypocritical old nobs headed off to the “gentlemen’s” club for an appointment with ‘Lady Lola’ or some similarly-named professional whose main talent was wrapping her own ankles around her ears.

We know that David Cameron wants to inflict a so-called ‘Pervert Database’ on us, in which anyone wishing to view indecent/pornographic images has to register that intention publicly.

We also know that this attitude is hypocritical, if only because he won’t apply the same censorious mentality to, say, Page 3 of The Sun in case it upsets Rupert Murdoch – and Cameron knows he can’t win a general election if Murdoch isn’t on-side.

Now we can see that, even while the government cracks down on internet pornography, it is actively promoting live sex work (in the flesh, as it were) by advertising jobs in the sex industry on its Universal Jobmatch website. Jobseekers can be sanctioned if they fail to use this site, so it seems likely there is a high chance they will be exposed to this sort of thing.

So it seems the government wants to force porn addicts away from indulging their obsession in the comfort of their own home and into “very professional and discreet” clubs. Could there possibly be a money incentive in this?

To make these clubs enticing, the government’s jobsearch site is advertising for female “table top” dancers who need a “good sense of rhythm”.

According to Iain Duncan Smith, Universal Jobmatch is used for five million jobsearches every day (caveat: it’s a LieDS statistic and you can’t even trust him to tell you where he got his education).

Cameron’s stated aim is to protect children but there is nothing to stop people under 18 from applying for the jobs. It is even possible that Job Centre Plus staff may try to force teenagers into them, with the threat of benefit sanctions if they do not acquiesce.

Cameron’s claim is that internet porn features “vile images that pollute minds and cause crime”. It’s most likely a fair comment (this writer can’t claim to have been polluted in that way).

But suppose he’s right; statistically speaking, it’s undoubtedly possible that some of the people who look at online porn may go on to commit crimes – possibly sex crimes.

Suppose these people, unable to look at their filth online, instead attend one of the clubs advertising for “very well groomed” table top dancers. They’re likely to have a frustrating night, with real, naked bodies only inches away from them for as long as they can stand it, and no (legal) outlet for the urges this may create in them.

The club closes; they get turned out onto the street, possibly on their own, possibly with friends. What are these potentially-criminal porn addicts likely to do if they see a lone woman, possibly a dancer from the club, with nobody nearby to help her if she gets into trouble?

I don’t know.

10 thoughts on “Coalition policy on sex: A return to the bad old (VERY old) days?

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  2. chibipaul

    I thought this was one of Tom Pride’s blogs

    Evidence that this bunch of tossers in charge of Her Majesty’s Britannic Fruitfarm really are barking loopy ape shit nutjobs when news really sounds like someone is taking the piss

    Which of course they are I suppose
    Yoda preserve us

  3. fuckthetories

    Perhaps Cameron ought to apply porn filters to Universal Jobmatch. There has been more than a few job ads for work in the sex industry, all since hurriedly taken down.
    I’m reminded of Victorian Prime Minister William Gladstone. Speculation centred on two aspects of Gladstone’s social life. He was the only prime minister to stalk the streets of London seeking to reclaim street prostitutes from a life of vice. Equally controversially, his friendships with notorious courtesans such as Catherine Walters and Lillie Langtry invited charges of hypocrisy.

  4. beastrabban

    Mike, I had a conversation with CJ in Cheltenham about this a little while ago. The argument used to be that if you had legalised brothels, then prostitution would be regulated and respectable women would be kept safe from the attention of perverts, who would be getting their sexual gratification elsewhere. The argument was first raised by Bernard Mandeville in his ‘The Fable of the Bees’ in the late 17th- early 18th century, and later by some Tories under Maggie. The evidence for this, apparently, is that there is a much lower incidence of rape in European countries where prostitution is legal, such as Germany, and Japan, where a woman is safe walking late at night through the massive red light district in Tokyo.

    The evidence from Australia, where a number of provinces set up legal brothels in the 80s, is that it doesn’t work. The official, legal brothels attract a number of illegal, unlicensed sex workers and brothels, with their clientele, and the results are that women are not safe from the attentions and attacks by perverts in that area. I realise that, ahem, ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs’ are not brothels, but the same concerns and arguments apply.

    As for pornography, yes, it is hypocritical to denounce porn, while leaving the Sun’s page 3, and presumably similar pages like it in the Star and Sport untouched by regulation. There is also the question of what counts as pornography. A lot of movies will have a sex scene, some quite explicit. Does this mean that a movie with such a scene such as, say, Fatal Attraction, or even films like Nuns on the Run, which has a piece of brief female nudity, constitute pornography, and that those watching them are somehow perverts, who have to be monitored for the good of society.

  5. Big Bill

    Won’t Universal Jobsmatch fall foul of the government – mandated ISP filtering if it continues to show sex-related jobs? How is a claimant, possibly with vulnerable children in the household they wish to protect and the filter system perpetually on therefore, to search for jobs on UJ when their ISP won’t let them see it?

      1. Big Bill

        They could link to such sites though, couldn’t they, for purposes, purportedly, of illustration? UJ could become a porn/paedo portal. If they weren’t reported I doubt the DWP would have any idea this was going on. Besides which, the filters are clumsy and have a broad sweep. They won’t be efficient enough to focus solely on pornography itself, all related matters will be excised from search results too. Given that inefficiency, one wonders too what Google and other search engines might have to say about the filters tampering with their search results. Searchers using Google might well find perfectly relevant sites missing from the results and any number of irrelevant ones allowed in. Cameron, in his desperation to control and censor all and any opposition, is opening the door to chaos.

      2. Mike Sivier

        We all knew THAT was happening!

        You’re right that nothing changes on UJ without it having been reported first; therefore you may well be correct in your other conclusions.

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