However, this problem demands much attention. The British Gazette would have preferred to give the answer “No” as we must be informed by the consequences of another liberal reform in the 1960’s – the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Now let us be clear – these are very different issues but the long term effects of legalising homosexuality – that were probably not imagined by many of those MPs who voted for legalisation – illustrate how society’s values can change dramatically over time. This is best illustrated by the case of the Scottish hotelier who refused to let a room to two homosexual men. Measures were taken against his business by the authorities. Sixty years ago measures would have been taken against such a hotelier had he knowingly allowed and encouraged two such men to use his hotel for sex. In other words, on this issue society’s attitudes have been virtually reversed. The old saying that; “…the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there…” is most apposite here.
The British Gazette feels it is important that parliament should see to it that the law of the land takes a very firm and principled stand here. This is still in theory a Christian county. It still has (for the time being) an established church whose supreme governor is also head of state. It therefore should never be the case that society’s values should be allowed to reach such a nadir that prostitution should ever be considered a proper and respectable career choice for a young woman – or young man. The idea that in the future we could have colleges of further education offering NVQ courses in “massage parlour management” or “escort management” or even, in “escorting” must be an anathema to all right minded decent folk.
This is the principal concern the British Gazette has about the full legalisation and regulation of prostitution: That those running the then legal sex work industry would seek to make the practise respectable. This may seem not only an outrageous but also an absurdly impractical suggestion. However many would have said the same of homosexual activities in the 1960s. Witness how the world has changed.
Having said that the British Gazette must interject a word of warning here: we are all mortal and this means that we cannot stop those who come after us changing the country as they see fit. The sad fact is that human beings do things which whilst legal (this depends in which legal jurisdiction they do it of course) is not moral. Religious authorities would point out that such acts are likely to be sinful. A classic case is Adultery. In the UK adultery is legal but is disapproved of.
Herewith a link that described where adultery is still an offence – this includes the USA: http://www.theweek.co.uk/62723/adultery-laws-where-is-cheating-still-illegal
The British Gazette fears that if prostitution was to be fully legalised and officially regulated there would be the danger – in time (50 years) – of such a situation described above coming about. The British Gazette would remind its readers that Christ made it his business to seek out and persuade prostitutes to quit being prostitutes. Since the Almighty in His infinite wisdom is of the opinion that being a prostitute is not an acceptable career choice, the British Gazette would not support any attempts to make it so!
That said, legalisation if tightly controlled and regulated could help counter one of the worst excesses of the trade in human trafficking.
Proposals to legalise prostitution however must overcome an established politically correct myth.
Readers will of course be familiar with the politically correct myth that CO2 is a threat to life on Earth. There is also a myth asserted most vociferously by the politically correct – especially feminists – that no woman voluntarily becomes a prostitute and that such women are ALWAYS the victims of crime through drug addiction and/or human trafficking.
This quite simply is FALSE. That is not to say that there are many women who are coerced and/or forced into prostitution through drug addiction and/or human trafficking. It is PRECISELY because the British Gazette wants to see this exploitation stopped and the perpetrators punished that we support the legalisation of prostitution.
Were prostitution legalised it would be a much more straightforward task of apprehending the law breakers – which would include the clients of those prostitutes.
What then does the British Gazette envisage as a legalised scenario?
We are of the opinion that any woman (or man) wishing to become a prostitute should be duly registered and licensed as such and that they can only practise their trade in registered and licensed premises. They and the premises would have to be examined and inspected. The regulations would of course exist to ensure that the prostitutes were performing this trade voluntarily and were not subject to exploitation and were not drug users. The regulation however should extend further than this. Not only should the premises and prostitutes be subject to regulation, the operators and owners of such should be subject to such to ensure that they are not unfit persons.
In addition, the clients or “punters” should be subject to registration and licence. This is to ensure that these characters are subject to the same checks for sexually transmitted infections as the prostitutes. Use of modern credit card technology means that such visits can be recorded and those “punters” who visit such establishments frequently can be examined frequently.
Then of course there is the question: Who pays for this?
Of this the British Gazette is under no doubt that the vast majority of it’s readers would shout; “Not the NHS!”
We would wholeheartedly agree.
Those individuals wishing to pay for sex should have to pay for the consequences of such. Which should mean checks for STI.
Tight regulation of such activity would make it easier for the authorities to apprehend those unlawfully carrying out such activities.
Legalisation of prostitution and of brothels would of course raised serious and controversial questions in relation to where such establishments are allowed to set up. Most local councils will object to any and all such applications anywhere.
There are two solutions to this:
1. Anonymity and contrived breeching.
2. Forced approval.
Anonymity would mean that the government agency regulating and inspecting brothels and the prostitutes working there would only concern themselves with enforcing the regulations and licence provisions and would not involve or concern themselves with planning issues which would be a local authority matter.
This would mean that in most cases the brothel keeper would NOT inform the local authority about the change of use of the premises they had rented.
A probable scenario would be this: A co-operative of prostitutes would form a limited company called say “XYZ Self Storage Ltd” and this company would rent an office/warehouse unit on an industrial estate. The warehouse would be transformed into a brothel and the small office and reception area would be an office and reception area. Clients would arrive and depart.
Were a local authority to discover this they would of course act and close the premises down as change of use had not be requested – for the simple reason that it would be unlikely to be given. It would be important that such prosecution would not be subject to the provisions of POCA nor would the conviction of the owners/operators result in their imprisonment or de-registration as this would make the whole exercise pointless.
Forced approval would mean that a brothel keeper would be able to appeal a local authority decision to refuse change of use consent and this would mean a politician at Westminster would have to overturn the wish of elected local councilors.
Clearly, anonymity and contrived breeching is the practical way to proceed.