Time to Legalise Prostitution – and Drugs 33

Prostitutes have to get murdered before they get treated by the media with any dignity. We need to consider carefully the lessons from the cruel exposure, yet again, of their vulnerability.

Prostitution is massive in the UK. Estimates of the number of prostitutes varies, but the lowest serious estimate I can find is 30,000, while the figure most commonly quoted is 80,000.


What is beyond doubt is that the number of customers for these prostitutes runs into millions – a significant proportion of the adult male population of the UK. Yet this massive industry operates entirely in the shadows. It is not actually illegal, but it is hedged in by legislation that forces it to operate secretly. Means of granting discretion to customers without the need for initially meeting up in dark dangerous abandoned streets, are likely to lead quickly to prosecution.

Our current laws on prostitution are the product of Victorian prudery, and have been reinforced by the still narrower zeal of political feminists who wiish to restrict the uses of female sexuality.

The semi-legal status leaves prostitutes lurking in the dark, and often subject to the attention of pimps, traffickers – and sometimes murderers.

Of course, we need economic policies which provide good opportunities for everyone, so that prostitution is a choice. But for women who wish to be prostitutes, they should be free to work openly, in good conditions, at home or in safe establishments, in security and with access to medical services. Sex workers should be able to pay tax like anybody else.

But the other thing which is plain is that the sex workers of Bradford are often in the industry to fuel their drug habit. Here there are stark parallels in the legal position on drugs and prostitution, born of the inevitable counter-productivity of legislating for personal morality. The legal classification of drugs has very little relationship to the harmfulness of the drugs themselves, but are rather a strange inheritance of historical social factors. The last government was continually in conflict with its own scientific advisers who pointed this out.


It is the blanket and unnecessary illegality of drugs that provides the criminal world with its main source of revenue, destabilises entire producer countries and denies society the benefits of quality control, hygiene and taxation.

It would take a politician of rare courage and vision to take on the tabloid press on these issues. Unfortunately we don’t have any of those.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

33 thoughts on “Time to Legalise Prostitution – and Drugs

1 2
  • Antonio Lorusso

    Craig is correct about the difficulty involved in this, but is wrong about who the biggest enemy is. The tabloids would be a problem, but the real enemy are the people so blinded by their opposition to the immorality sex work that every time a prostitute is murdered they say or write something along the lines of “she deserved it”.

    Hell will freeze over before these people would stand by and let parliament properly decriminalise sex work.

  • Dan

    Granted their are many social and political factors involved in a topic like this but we are in a global debt crisis, we need to generate new revenue streams ?” Why not use drugs as a source of income? Granted those that are class A/B should never be sold, but what about those recreational drugs [Class C], why not allow for the sale these drugs, while taxing it to the hilt ?” something for which we Brits are good at doing.

  • TJ Hooker

    I will never use a prostitutue. I would feel too ashamed to enjoy it, and I would be concerned about whether she had washed properly between jobs! However, I am all for legalisation on of prostitution. This is because I think men in the west are increasingly looked down upon by women. Men are “weak”, “only interested in one thing”, “perverts”. I find this utterly ignorrant of the male condition and deeply hypocritical. Men are judged as all being not only sex-orientated and therefore amoral by default, but are also held responsible for their commonly-held instincts. I personally would like to see women showing more respect for men by not dressing like prostitutes unless they are in the trade, and by being more conservative regards flirting behaviour. Legalising prostitution is a more realistic target though, and it might just serve to morally decriminalise the strength of sexual feeling in men more generally.

1 2

Comments are closed.