A recent announcement has added to my confusion.
It seems the government have given up their ‘if in doubt, legalise it’ approach to policy making, at least for the moment anyway. It’s fitting that this change of heart was announced by an MP by the name of (Mac)Taggart. Ms Mactaggart let slip in several unguarded moments during an interview with a national newspaper that the government plans to launch a crackdown on street prostitution and kerb crawling next month. It’s official: Huggy Bears days are numbered.
Drawing on her experience, aided by an education in the gritty halls of Cheltenham Ladies College, Taggart is taking the fight to the drug dealers, kerb crawlers and abusers on the mean streets of the country. All of the Richard Gere types out late night cruising for a date face having their driving licences confiscated and being named and shamed in the local press.
I’m not quite sure how this last one will gel with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act or meet the ‘proportionality’ test, bearing in mind that a large number of kerb crawlers have partners and children who could face being unfairly punished by the sins of the father. Still, I’m prepared to bow to Taggart’s superior knowledge in this area, considering she was the Chair of Liberty prior to joining The Big T and his crew in Westminster. That’s the Liberty who aim to ‘oppose any abuse or excessive power by the state against its people’ and who want ‘to protect and promote civil liberties and human rights’. Not the fabric shop.
I didn’t quite understand her desire for police to use our power to confiscate driving licences more though. That’s something only a court can do, not us. I’ll put this one down to her being new to the job. I wasn’t clear on the idea of the police setting up safe houses for the soon to be redundant prostitutes either. I can’t see Mr and Mrs Smith being too pleased that I won’t be able to sort out their little tiff because I’m on cathouse sentry duty for the night.
With a distinct lack of reality TV shows and natural disasters to cover this week, the press had their say on the subject. The country’s second most popular newspaper did its best. Asking the government to listen to plans to set up licensed areas; like the ‘tolerance zone’ that operated in Edinburgh for a few years maybe? After all it is true that the numbers of street prostitutes decreased by two thirds in the area. Once it was closed down that is.
This could be why other British cities have rejected the idea too. Still, it works in Amsterdam so it must be able to work here then? Well stonings, decapitations and lethal injections work in other countries too. Maybe the editorial comments will be clamouring for these next? I can’t see them sneaking these ones past Liberty though. They just don’t have the same contacts as Taggart.
So, it looks like we’re in for a clampdown in the New Year. Great, I love a good clampdown.
There’s always a big overtime budget.