The law on drugs and prostitution

Lord Norton

The calls for a review of drugs law are becoming more numerous and from a wide political spectrum, as this post on conservativehome by Bruce Anderson demonstrates.   The more the momentum develops, the more difficult  it becomes for government to continue adopting a Nelsonian stance on the issue. 

I have also previously commented on calls for a review of the law on prostitution.  I was struck by a comment of Baroness Trumpington.  Having become a star on YouTube, the 89-year-old, who worked in Bletchley Park during the war, was interviewed for the latest issue of The House Magazine.  She said she was determined to see, for health reasons, the legalisation of brothels.  “We’re crazy not to”, she said, adding: “I went round one in Singapore, though it was very hard to tell which was the man and which the woman.”

14 comments for “The law on drugs and prostitution

  1. Tini
    21/11/2011 at 11:14 pm

    Prostitution is an issue which really needs to be Lords led. The current legislation is outdated and unhelpful, but an elected MP would not want to touch it with a barge pole. The Baroness is right, but it takes somebody like her to raise the points needed for coherent change.

    • Lord Blagger
      22/11/2011 at 11:23 am

      but an elected MP would not want to touch it with a barge pole.


      Really. What about the expenses claim for ‘Larissa’ to do some cleaning once a month?

  2. Gareth Howell
    22/11/2011 at 8:52 am

    There is no need to legalize brothels since there are so many massage parlours about any way.

    Quite apart from that two girls who are prepared to take the trouble to agree on partnership, can run their business together from their own home, provided it is discreet, entirely in keeping with the law.

    Until same sex partnerships were legalized that was not possible.

    Whilst two girls earning together, may well be able to afford to buy their own home one, alone almost certainly would not.

    Legalizing brothels where large numbers of people would be gathered together would only promote poncing and pimping, and living on the earnings of many women, in a thoroughly evil way.

    It is the street girls who have the image of being on drugs, and that may not be entirely accurate either.

  3. Twm O'r Nant
    22/11/2011 at 12:02 pm

    The calls for a review of drugs law

    In calling for it, would it not be wise to consider the nature of good and evil rather than the letter and word of the law?

    I am reminded of the Bishop who enquired during the blood contamination bill recently
    whether one human may drinks another human’s blood orally, on the NHS, or compensated for it, as a consequence. The reply was positive.

    On this occasion I (bold font I) am enquiring
    as to the nature of good and evil in doing anything at all with the current state of affairs.

    I am entirely reactionary on the subject, of prostitution, which may only be co-incidentally linked to drugs use.

    It is linked by the concept of the “trick”,
    non provision of intercourse in the case of the whore, after taking the money, and the provision of damaging/pathogenic substances in the case of the little white sachet of powder.

    The two together may be a powerful trick indeed.

    The nature of good and evil is that neither should be encouraged, but that merely because the two are sold together, is no case for legislating for both at the same time, or even considering that they are any more than co-incidental.

  4. Croft
    22/11/2011 at 1:05 pm

    “We’re crazy not to”, she said, adding: “I went round one in Singapore, though it was very hard to tell which was the man and which the woman.”

    I feel there must be more of a story to this than that excerpt tells 🙂

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      22/11/2011 at 10:32 pm

      Croft: I’ll leave it to you to ask her!

      • Gareth Howell
        23/11/2011 at 9:01 am

        As one very beautiful 25 year old woman remarked to me the other day,

        “I am an Enthusiastical* (enthusiastickle?)”
        and I thought to myself,

        “Now THAT she does for God!” and
        “She knows what is good for her!”

        *For all the eunuchs in the vicinity, that refers to enthusiastic amateurism.

        Amateurism is an interesting thing, which may only amount to boot money after the game or even a hot dinner, or a night at the local five star hotel.

        Enthusiastic(al) amateurism, and even professional prostitution may be done in the name of God,so you certainly would not tax that.

        Tini wants to work with the devil to tax that.

        I fail to see how you can promote brothel keeping to raise taxes, and not be thoroughly ashamed to have anything to do with legislation which encourages making money out of many women’s degradation.

  5. Gar
    22/11/2011 at 2:48 pm

    I hesitate to lay in to one nearly nonagenarian, but can we not rid ourselves of the scourge of sycofancy to senile geriatrics, pretending to be young conservatives, and daring with it.

    Quit the chamber Ma’am, have the good grace to hang up your dancing boots. It is not a pretty sight, whatever Lord Norton and his silly harem, may think about the daring ,or the boots.

  6. Tini
    22/11/2011 at 3:54 pm

    And it is awkward humor like that, and the comment below from Gareth which are why no one will touch it. It takes a brave politician to open themselves up to the jokes and comments that would inevitably ensue. Coupled with this the public don’t want ‘their’ MP ‘s hours taken up by something that ‘doesn’t affect them’.
    Proper licenced brothels would reduce people trafficking, protect some of the most vaunerable women, allow for better health screening, and allow tax revenues to be collected.

    Whether you like it or not it is an important debate that needs to happen. Just because it seems distasteful doesn’t mean it should be swept under the carpet.

  7. Jake
    23/11/2011 at 12:03 am

    Prostitution, as with drugs use, happens. Both have happened throughout Human history. You can either deny it happens and fight a ‘moral crusade’ against any aberrations of this ‘moral law’ or just look at the data and accept Human nature.

    But one thing governments can change is the harm on those involved and society as a whole by REGULATING these activities. To pretend that abstinence for either is an effective and humane policy in light of millennia of evidence, in my mind, is criminal.

    If you cant stop these activities, even with the threat of death (as with e.g. Iran/China and drug violations), you should aim to reduce the harm to the users, which reduces the harm to society as a whole.

    Both of these topics are serious and any delay by politicians because it is a ‘touchy subject’ is inexcusable.. lest we go back to the days of trying to chemically castrate a war hero for being homosexual… (and never issue an apology).

  8. Twm O'r Nant
    24/11/2011 at 4:33 pm

    I can see every reason for running a moral campaign against drug abuse, but to equate drug abuse with prostitution is surely a mistake…Jake.

    On the basis that she is aware she is committing a crime at a certain point in her day’s work, whether on her back, or in her soliciting boots, she is certainly prepared to ally herself nominally with the drug dealer, usually the toughest man on the block.

    Lord Norton is then considering the culture of crime and the chain of command of the criminal trades, which I have no experience of, and cannot comment on, except to say that I know that most pubs have drug dealers attached to them in some way these days.

    My own belief/ethos is very rarely to touch alcohol of any real % value,(none made by anybody else) and that made by, yours truly. Then I know what I am getting and the percentage poison in it.

    It is all about “consumerism” and our general preparedness to buy more or less anything from anybody, sometimes merely because we have the Money in hand to buy it, whether it comes from Colombia, Morrocco, Afghanistan or Timbuctoo.

    Indeed that may amount to the main reason for those evil men who use trafficked women, to do so, that they are the ultimate consumerists, of women and poisons.

    Anything foreign is good.

    Some people then take the approach of growing
    their own, my own approach, except that my poison is a little cider every day, from apples grown in the garden.

    Theirs is hasheesh/grass in the loft, which suggests they are only doing the growing BECAUSE it is a crime, and not nearly as much for the pleasure of the produce.

    • jake____
      25/11/2011 at 11:18 am

      @Twm O’r Nant, my point is that running moral campaigns against either is futile. At no point throughout Human history has moral campaigns, bans or outright oppression eliminated either of these activities. I’m not saying that they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but merely that they are risky and that they happen.

      They are also, often, ‘consensual crimes’ where consenting adults agree a price for a commodity or a service (prostitution of course, involves a lot more non-consensual exploitation). No victim, no crime – with drugs especially. How many other crimes without victims can you name on the books?

      My point was that BECAUSE these activities are both risky and consensual, the role of government should be to minimise the harms in whatever way the evidence says works best. My main knowledge is in drug reform, and the evidence has demonstratively and repeatedly shown that prohibition does NOT work and does not achieve its intended goals whilst creating myriad problems in its wake. I feel prostitution is another ‘vice’ that would benefit from regulation rather than oppression for the same reasons.

      p.s. “I know that most pubs have drug dealers attached to them in some way these days”. Correction, ALL pubs have a drug dealer attached to them – Alcohol is a drug, just because it was not included in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 for “historical and cultural” reasons does not make it any less of a psychoactive substance.

      • Twm
        26/11/2011 at 6:45 pm

        I know that most pubs have drug dealers attached to them in some way these days”.
        Correction, ALL pubs have a drug dealer attached to them – Alcohol is a drug, jus

        Of course; I should have said “illegal drug dealers”

        Looking at the meaning of “Vice” :

        Christian Theologians consider that a certain kind of “Pride” is the worst of them, so prostitutes may not be so bad after all.
        They may well be good practicing Christians.

  9. MilesJSD
    26/11/2011 at 8:56 am

    The underlying limpet-mine camnpaign against both healthy and progressively-positivising individual-human-development management and use of the Private Sector’s drugs and its Sex-industry is

    the lack of ongoingly progressive education and health-building activities, designed appropriately to each level of the Population, by Government, the Colleges-of-Expertises, and the Private-Sector’s Education, Religious, and Community organisations.

    Drugs have to reach the individual consumer via skilled-channels including those built-into the individual’s mind-body-spirit.

    Likewise with “Sex”, it most certainly needs skills, appropriately to all parties and especially to the two active-particpants or ‘performers’ thereof; but given the under-developed level of the demand-market side, the most urgent, important, and long-term vital Law that needs to be passed and enforced is that all prostitutes be both formally-trained and registered, and thereupon be re-titled as something like “intimate-relationship-surrogates” –

    as the saying generally ‘closes’
    “Jesus – if it really is the oldest profession in the world…”
    then surely it does need longterm skilled health-and wellbeing-huilding, for both the client and the practical-educator.

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