Only a sexless leftie freak could see the logic in Jacqui Smith's latest policy idea. In essence, she wants to allow police to name and shame men who are seen kerb crawling, by printing their identities in local newspapers and on posters. Leaving aside the fact that this is a colossal waste of time and resources, what we see here is yet more prying into your private life. I don't think men visiting prostitutes is a particularly good idea, but if that's what they want to do then I'm not going to stop them. And if they want to tell their wife/partner, that is a matter for them and them alone. This scheme essentially turns the police and the government into arbiters of private sexual behaviour. What's next; a man from the Home Office coming to check how many times you thrust when humping your wife?
The other plank of this policy is to make it an offence to pay for sex with a woman who is 'controlled for another person's gain'. In other words, it will be a criminal offence to pay for sex with a prostitute who is 'managed' by a pimp or drug dealer. Yet again there is a lack of logic here. First of all, this technically covers brothels which are run by collectives of women; in fact the English Collective of Prostitutes (quite possibly the most amusing Trade Union in the world) has said as much. Secondly, it creates yet another situation where word of mouth is going to be the only evidence in a court of law. All a man needs to do is say: "I asked her if she had a pimp and she said no", and he's got a perfectly valid defence worked out. I suspect an astoundingly low rate of conviction as a result. And, leaving aside the problems it will probably cause for the prostitutes themselves, it also shows how Jacqui has completely missed the point. A large number of prostitutes are foreign, and are controlled in slums and ghettos by foreign pimps who usually double as people smugglers. But the ones who are UK-born and bred tend to work as prostitutes to pay for a drug habit, booze or even just food and shelter. Prostitution is a social problem created by social conditions, and you don't cut it out by making criminals of the men who use them or by making it much harder for the women to earn money. That'll just drive it even more underground where working conditions will get worse and their outlook will become even more bleak.