Corbyn’s call to decriminalise the sex industry: Are you having a knee-jerk reaction?

[Image: Mark Thomas/Rex/Shutterstock.]

This came out of nowhere – but, considering the subject matter, that is probably appropriate.

Here in the UK, traditional attitudes against what Mr Corbyn called the “sex industry” are very strongly ingrained.

Those of us who still practise a particular religion will frown on it as a matter of course, and the rest will associate it with grubby transactions in back alleys, brothels and the like.

Even sex shops, while legal, are places where customers traditionally try to hide their identities, due to shame at what they’re doing.

But there are benefits to health, and also to law and order, if the trade is decriminalised.

And nobody’s going to force people to visit a sex worker if they don’t want to.

What are your opinions?

Jeremy Corbyn has said he is in favour of decriminalising prostitution. The Labour leader made his position clear during a session with students at Goldsmiths University as he went on the campaign trail for May’s election.

Corbyn is thought to have had a longstanding view in favour of decriminalising sex work but this appears to be the first time he has confirmed his position in public since becoming Labour leader.

Asked for his opinion on whether sex work should be decriminalised, he said: “I am in favour of decriminalising the sex industry. I don’t want people to be criminalised. I want to be [in] a society where we don’t automatically criminalise people. Let’s do things a bit differently and in a bit more civilised way.”

Source: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I favour decriminalising the sex industry’ | Politics | The Guardian

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19 thoughts on “Corbyn’s call to decriminalise the sex industry: Are you having a knee-jerk reaction?

  1. toocomplex4justice

    The number of sex workers that make a living from their trade is huge. It indicates that 1 in 3 men regularly use their services but all are ashamed to talk about it as well as potentially losing their family. Being a man is sometimes like being chained to a maniac. We can’t see anything wrong with recreational sex so long as our partner doesn’t indulge. Those who protest the loudest are probably the biggest cheats. It’s hard enough to be a man. It’s harder to be a sex worker so why make it even harder with hypocritical laws written by men whose whores probably suffer more than most. All the tax that could be raised can’t be overlooked because the chancellor is concerned that his master/dominatrix won’t beat him hard enough if he/she has to pay tax, but for that inclusion into society they should expect the full protection of the law and healthcare while trading.

  2. Gary Bowman

    Considering the people Osborne is alleged to have associated with will he be supporting Corbyn on this one?

  3. Dez

    Paid Sevices rendered has been around a very long time and should be revisited to bring in line with modern thinking. Takes up a lot of police time, which they have not got. Would need robust regs to ensure kept under control and encroaching into the public domain. Shouldn’t need a lot of political debate most of their customers are judges, police and of course the odd MP dressed in female underwear. Their services are now calculated as being part of the UKs official income so lets have some taxable income out of it.

  4. Jane jacques

    If it helps protect those who work in this industry then yes. How will it fit in with sex trafficking and slavery?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Depends how it is framed. If consensual sex work is placed within a legal framework, it should free more resources to investigate those crimes.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That has already happened.
      It was a big scandal with Universal JobMatch, when it first went online. Nobody screened the job ads, so there were vacancies of all kinds in this area, starting with strippers and moving on through ‘escorts’ to more exotic vocations, if I recall correctly.

  5. John

    Criminalized or not, the trade is and was NEVER going to stop. I have mixed feelings about it, and the only thing I don’t like to see is girls standing on street corners. Some girls claim that they genuinely enjoy what they do, however the girls that don’t, I feel very sorry for. This was always going to be a controversial issue.

  6. boromoor

    Decriminalise and legalise aren’t the same thing; if it’s just decriminalised there’d be no crimes committed but the girls can still be exploited, legalise it and they’d have some protection. If it were legalised it could be regulated, premises inspected,medicals carried out, earnings taxed etc. It would also reduce a lot of the other criminal activity associated with sex industry and hopefully stop a lot of girls being trafficked for sex.
    The laws against prostitution are merely for appearances, they will never stop the industry and only make life difficult for they girls, so what is the point of having them?

  7. peskirabbit

    Decriminalisation seems to me to be a good idea except……..I am uncertain exactly what this means, as opposed to actual legalisation? To what extent might it pave the way to people being forced to apply for sex worker jobs or be sanctioned?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      If you’ve ever used Universal JobMatch, chances are you’ve already been asked to take such a job.
      The worst part of this is that I am not joking.

      1. peskirabbit

        One way or the other, Corbyn is certainly here threatening the power of some very very unscrupulous people…..I mean the “hidden” ones rather than the obvious “legal” unscrupulous people….and he really doesn’t need any more enemies! However this is an extremely important as well as a complex issue, I just hope he realises quite what a can of worms it actually is.

  8. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ

    I seem to remember reading that in the early 20th C, a Tory lady MP was horrified to learn that the British authorities in Hong Kong provided regular health checks for local prostitutes to help control sexual diseases.

    She immediately started a campaign to get such a DISGUSTING practice (the health checks paid for with BRITISH cash) banned. She succeeded, on the basis of not condoning immorality, and condemned the girls and their customers to a huge increase in disease and deaths.

    Another Con effort to exterminate plebs.

  9. mohandeer

    Prostitution is as old as religion, both sexes. I do think we should target the user rather than the used ie the Kerb crawlers etc. However, the prostitutes should have rights under the law that protect them and a refuge even as a house of ill repute would afford many a home and if legalised medical aid. It’s the 21st century and we need to move on. It is not illegal to be LGBT now but it was for too long. Let’s not make the same mistake with prostitution. But for the Grace of God……. for far too many runaways and homeless God is not there, He won’t put a roof over their heads or food on their lap trays so who else is there. A society who invites all to share, not one that excludes.

Comments are closed.