Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Twisted Knickers

Over and over again on BOM we come across situations where one bunch of commissars orders us to move in one direction, while another is marching us the other way entirely.

A classic example was National Chip Week, where the British Potato Council quango told us our patriotic duty lay in eating more chips, while at the same time the State Obesity Commissariat was spending at least a billion ordering us to do no such thing.

It's currently happening in another great area of human frailty- commercial sex.

As we know, Commissar Harman and other assorted wishful thinkers now want to outlaw the oldest profession. Let's set aside the fact that they'd simply drive prostitution further underground and increase the attendant criminality. Instead, let's remind ourselves how the government actively recruits people for the sex industry.

A few months ago we blogged the following story in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle:

"An escort agency specialising in dominatrixes advertised for girls at Jobcentres. The ad was placed in the Gateshead and Byker branches by escort agency Raw Angels saying the girls would be paid £200 a shift and training would be given. It stated: "We are looking to recruit female escorts. Hours are negotiable and rates of pay are very high and no experience is necessary."

This is not an isolated case. Yesterday we were reminded that a Cardiff Jobcentre advertises for women to strip for web cams on Internet sex sites for £8 an hour. According to the advertisement, the role involves "explicit dialogue" and "performing for clients' or customers' fantasies" (see ad above if you're interested in applying).

Most of us gasp with incredulity, but the DWP spokesperson says:

"Under the Employment and Training Act 1973 Jobcentre Plus is required to provide a service to both employers and job-seeking customers.

All vacancies, including sex industry vacancies, will be advertised by Jobcentre Plus as long as they are legal and providing in the case of the sex industry vacancies that they specify that applicants must be over 18."

There's no way that Reed or Manpower would promote such jobs, so why does their public sector competitor have to? The Major and I like to think we're pretty broadminded and we have no problems with internet sex. None whatsoever. But WTF should we pay taxes to promote it?

Ms Harman doubtless agrees with us on that. What a shame then that she can't apply herself to untwisting the commissariat's own knickers before trying to tighten the elastic in everyone else's.

PS Yes, we're just as appalled at the wave of human trafficking apparently supplying Britain's sex trade, and we're just as appalled at the Ipswich murders. But unless we've got it wrong, both of those things are already very serious crimes. And if the police and immigration people did their jobs properly, and if we had some serious penalties, we might just stand a chance of dealing with such problems directly.


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