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poliphilo: (Default)
I just started doing one of those online surveys on burning issues of the day, but gave up at question three.

Question 1. Abortion? A woman's choice.
Question 2. Death Penalty? Degrading to the society that operates it.
Question 3. Prostitution? Hmmmm....

I've never been to a prostitute. 1. Because I don't have the nerve. 2. Because I hate the whole business of paying people for personal services. I wouldn't be happy employing a valet or butler or a housemaid for exactly the same reason.

Liberte, egalite, fraternite (sororite)- them's my slogans.

Taking it away from my personal hang-ups, I think prostitution is always going to be with us and trying to stamp it out is cruel and pointless. Instead society ought to arrange things so that those who work in the industry have decent working conditions and fair pay. Prostitutes should have control over their lives and the gangsters who traffic and enslave (some of) them should be treated as worse than murderers.

Hm, I was going to say I didn't have an opinion, but it seems I have one after all. Several opinions in fact. For what they're worth.....
poliphilo: (Default)
They were talking about "political incorrectness" on Sky last night. It was really just an excuse to show otherwise unshowable clips of people telling racist, sexist and homophobic jokes. I didn't stick with it.

I hate the phrase. It's one of those Orwellian things like Ministry of Peace. It gives victim status to the oppressor. Hey, the political establishment disapproves of me so I must be some sort of rebel. No. Political incorrectness is always about kicking down. It's the strong having a go at the weak. It's white guys with fat faces defending their castle.
poliphilo: (Default)
Our friend Khadijah (who is support worker with Social Services)was in Royton yesterday morning and three times she had guys crusing past in cars shout racist abuse at her.

Royton is the suburb of Oldham where I used to be a vicar. It's a "nice" area- upwardly mobile, and almost exclusively white.

Race relations are edgy round here at the best of times, but it looks like they've got edgier since the London bombings. Leastways Khadj has never encountered anything like this before.

She said she wanted to go up to the shouters and say, "Look, I'm a nice person. I'm doing a useful job here. What makes you think you can talk to me like that?"

Her boss would like to pull her out of Royton, but she doesn't want to go. "If I leave," she says, "they'll have won."
poliphilo: (Default)
Our society locks people up just for possessing drugs. It can't be right.

Why do we do it? It's a 20th century aberration. In the 19th century you could buy opium over the counter. Most of the great Victorians were sozzled or high most of the time. People were sorry and/or disapproving of the hopeless addicts, but they didn't consider them criminals.

To punish someone for having a rock in his pocket (for his own use, dammit- I'm thinking Gil Scott Heron)- that's barbaric.

A generation or two down the road people will look back in disbelief. It'll shock them the way we're shocked at Jim Crow or the Magdalen laundries. They'll think, "how could they be so cruel?"

Scapegoats

May. 9th, 2004 10:35 am
poliphilo: (Default)
I feel sorry for Lynddie England. She was nobody- a cog in a machine- and suddenly (because she thrust her grinning mug into some dodgy photos) she's branded for life as The Unacceptable Face of American Imperialism.

We are tough on female celebrity criminals. Here in Britain a woman called Maxine Carr is about to be released from prison. She was the girl-friend of a notorious child-murderer and as such might be considered (in a minor way) to be one of his victims. But she made the mistake (probably believing in his innocence) of lying to the police to give him an alibi. And now she has been demonized and the disgusting tabloid newspapers are going to be pursuing her for ever and a day.

Carr looks a lot like England. She is puckish and slightly built. Why do we choose these poor, dim, powerless females to serve as our scapegoats?

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