One advantage of the House of Lords is that it is possible for members to raise issues that may be delicate, and others may not wished to be raised, but which deserve consideration. Sometimes they are raised from somewhat unxpected sources.
On Monday, Health Minister, Earl Howe, was answering a question from Lord Fowler on how to tackle HIV and AIDS. One issue raised was that of testing. The formidable Baroness Trumpington then got to her feet to put a supplementary:
“Baroness Trumpington: My Lords, following on from the previous speaker, perhaps my question is appropriate. The Minister knows my interest in this subject but would not the legitimisation of brothels be a great help, with regular health checks therein?
Earl Howe: My noble friend makes a serious point. This is not a subject on which I or, as far as I know, the Government have a fixed view, but I will ensure that her question is fed into our deliberations on the sexual health framework document.”
Legalising, or legitimising, brothels raises all sorts of questions, both ethical and practical, but it is an issue that deserves to be discussed.