Corbyn, Osborne, And The Harlots

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn caused a storm last week by calling for the decriminalisation of what he called the sex industry. Fellow MP Harriet Harperson said prostitution was exploitation rather than an industry, the exploiters being men who pay for sex, of course. She said women should be protected, and men prosecuted. But what does she know? As if any man in his right mind would pay her for sex.

Whether or not it is the oldest profession, it does no good pandering to either feminist claptrap that equates prostitution with rape, or with high-minded Christian morality. Corbyn’s reference to the sex industry is misleading because prostitution is only a tiny part of the modern sex industry, which includes everything from tasteful modelling to extreme pornography to fetishes that most people would not regard as sex. The vast majority of the women – and men – who work in the sex industry have nothing whatsoever to do with prostitution; some are technicians such as cameramen and website programmers.

Having said that, what Corbyn is suggesting is very sensible. Prostitution is not illegal in the UK, although soliciting, kerb crawling and brothel-keeping all attract the attention of the police. The people Corbyn was talking about are the street walkers, the women at the very bottom of the profession – not that there is a top end. Unlike “escorts” and such, most of these women are engaged in this trade because no employer in his right mind would give them any sort of job. There are many people like this, most of them men. The real solution to this problem is basic income, but Working Tax Credit which has been around for some time could be the answer. Chancellor George Osborne has championed this as a route out of poverty for the underclass, so why not those with no class as well?

A young George Ooborne pictured with a prostitute

A young George Ooborne pictured with a prostitute

If prostitution were not simply decriminalised but legalised, prostitutes could set themselves up as self-employed and still receive both housing benefit and council tax rebates; this would enable them to climb out of the poverty trap, better themselves, and eventually for those who wanted it, to break out of prostitution altogether.

There are all kinds of objections that would be raised to such a suggestion, but prostitution is a fact of life; it is also a victimless crime whatever rubbish is espoused about it by either Harriet Harman or the man-hating Catherine Mackinnon. Although most people would agree it should be kept out of residential areas, totally legalising prostitution (including brothel-keeping) would be a step in the right direction, and would also go a long way towards solving associated problems such as the murders of prostitutes by serial killers, and the profession’s drug culture.

Those prostitutes who became successful could also pay tax, something with which George Osborne would surely not take issue, especially as he had no qualms about associating with (and perhaps even patronising) prostitutes in his misspent youth.

This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of

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Alexander Baron