• Sodom and Gomorrah: Reports of their destruction have been exaggerated.

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    Above, Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed in the background of Lucas van Leyden’s 1520 painting “Lot and his Daughters”

    The Old Testament reports that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Quote: Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; (Genesis 19:24).

    According to the Torah, Sodom and Gomorrah were situated on the Jordan River plain in the southern region of the land of Canaan. The plain corresponds to the area just north of the modern-day Dead Sea.

    Apparently not it seems!

    It appears that Sodom is on the Central Line east of Oxford Circus and Gomorrah can be reached on the Northern Line south of Tottenham Court Road!

    How did the Editor of this organ come by this revelation you ask!

    Well, through the dubious offices of BBC3 is the answer. Last night on the TV, between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM there was a documentary, “Prostitution: What’s the harm?” which gave a disturbing and depressing account of the attitude of mainly young people towards prostitution.

    It appears that the years of taxpayer funded amoral sex education lessons which concentrate on the mechanics of sexual activity alone have had a corrosive and crippling effect on the country’s youth. It appears we have brought forth a generation which attaches no shame, disgust, disapproval or guilt about indulging in such activities.

    The “sex industry” is one of the growth areas of the British economy.

    The programme had a frank interview with a young woman operating in this industry. She was quite open and honest about her trading activities (she sees what she does as very much a work activity and as such approaches it in a methodical and organised manner) and it appears she is equally as open and honest with the inspectors of HM Inland Revenue. This young woman employs and accountant and is a High Rate taxpayer!

    As well as revealing the state of decay of public morality, the programme also showed the law as being hopelessly out of date. It posed the question, “What are the politicians going to do about it?” The answer they came up with was the obvious one: Nothing. It showed that this burgeoning industry is being “regulated” by the police.

    The police do this by particular enforcement of the law. They will prosecute brothel keepers when they discover that “organised crime” are behind it. This generally occurs when there are reports of trafficked girls being forced to work in these brothels, or when evidence of coercion comes to light. In cases of them receiving complaints from neighbours, the brothel in question is raided and closed down. If there is evidence of trafficking and/or coercion the brothel keeper is prosecuted. If not, and the girls appear to be working voluntarily and the brothel was not “a disorderly house” but and orderly one, the keeper is not prosecuted.

    This of course is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs as it should be Parliament that makes the Law and the Police to enforce it without fear or favour. As to the level of penalty born by the offender, that should be the prerogative of the courts.

    Of course, there has to be an important rider to this: Enforcement and Punishment must have overall public consent. Here we would have a disconnect. Clearly the publicly quoted attitude of “the man (and woman) in the street” would be for prosecution in most if not all cases and a meaningful sentence (imprisonment) imposed by the courts. Yet, it is also clear that many such respondents would actually (in private) be themselves clients of prostitutes.

    What is clear is this: Strict enforcement of the law, with meaningful penalties (imprisonment) handed down by the courts would be an attempt to impose the morality of 1956 (Sexual Offences Act 1956) on a population raised in a completely different society. The proverb; “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” Is most apposite here.

    So, what should be done?

    Should brothel keeping be regulated and legalised?

    Well this organ’s response would be mixed: “Yes and No.”

    What is absolutely clear is that the country should NOT go down the German road of full legalisation. In Germany we have the appalling state of affairs of unemployed persons having their benefits stopped for refusing to take up work in brothels!

    We know that when the good Lord was on Earth He made it His business to visit such establishments. Not as a client but with a view to persuading those working there to cease and desist!

    We therefore know the Almighty’s views on the matter. This organ therefore does not propose to legalise the activity. That does not mean however that the state should abrogate all responsibility for it’s proper regulation.

    The British Gazette therefore suggests the following:

    That the Law relating to brothel keeping and prostitution be repealed and replaced with a law making it an offence to offer in money or monies worth for sexual services and also to offer sexual services for money or monies worth WHEN not in possession of a valid Qualifying Private Heath Insurance Certificate.

    It should also be an offence to allow a person to offer or receive sexual services in premises when that person does not have a valid Qualifying Private Heath Insurance Certificate.

    The requirements of what would be a valid Qualifying Private Heath Insurance Certificate could be specified in the Schedule of the Act.

    What the British Gazette suggests is this:

    - That those offering sexual services to the public should be required to be fully insured against such eventualities as treatment for sexually transmitted diseases but also for consequential and contingent liabilities as well.
    - That those procuring sexual services to the public should be required to be fully insured against such eventualities as treatment for sexually transmitted diseases but also for consequential and contingent liabilities as well.

    The monitoring of this would of course have to be dealt with by the providers of the insurance and their agents. In this world of computerisation and “chip and pin” devices, this is an involved but quite straightforward activity to organise.

    Each policy holder (be they a supplier or a procurer) would possess insurance and would have to abide by the terms of that insurance. Failure to comply with ALL the terms of the said insurance would bean that the policy would be invalid and they would be committing the offences of supply and procure without valid insurance.

    Such terms would be set by those underwriting the policies but we would expect these terms would involve regular tests at clinics or GPs for “STIs”. The frequency of such tests would presumably vary with the frequency of activity. For a prostitute working “full time” such test and examinations would be quite frequent. For a customer making frequent visits to a brothel, again we would expect a frequency of examinations and tests. We would expect monitoring of these activities by use of the ubiquitous “chip and pin” device.

    So, how would it work in practice?

    OK herewith a scenario.

    A man goes into a “massage parlour” to procure sexual services. He climbs the stairs, goes through a door, enters a reception area walks up to the counter. A woman (the madam) sitting at the reception desk asks him how he is and whether he has made an appointment (with one of the prostitutes). He says no and the madam then says; “Well we’ve got the following girls available.” The madam then uses an intercom or otherwise communicates to those prostitutes without customers to walk into the reception area. The women (generally scantily clad) come in in turn and introduce themselves to their prospective customer, immediately retiring without.

    Let us say the man has spotted a prostitute from whom he wishes to procure sexual services. He informs the madam of his choice and the duration of the appointment he would like. At this point the madam would ask; “Have you a Health Card?” To which the man would reply; “Yes.” He would produce same and be asked to insert it in the chip and pin device and enter his PIN. When the “transaction” has been processed the particular girl would be summoned and she too would enter her card into the same device. The man would then be asked for payment. This could be in Cash (usual when the man is married or otherwise in a relationship) or by Credit Card – if he does not care – when a different chip and pin device would be used.

    The result of this would be de-jure regulation and de-facto legalisation through the auspices of the UK’s insurance industry.

    The justification of such regulations is obvious. Since it is the custom for married men procuring the services of prostitutes not to tell their wives about this, there is a responsibility to ensure the safety and heath of the wife (against STI’s). The state has a duty to protect these women who are at risk of being the innocent victims of their husbands philanderings.