21 December 2006

Pimp my emissions

Harriet Harman has drawn an interesting conclusions from the recent murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich - that the police should devote their resources to clamping down on the clients of street sex workers. Presumably because a similar approach to other vices - such as jailing drug addicts to correct behaviour - has been so successful. "It would be better to target the men who paid for sex rather than criminalising women" she is reported to have said.

Certainly it's hard to disagree with criminalising sex workers, but this surely marks the final delusion of a government that believes it can legislate people into behaving the way they should. The fact prostitution is known as the Oldest Profession doesn't deter them - as if enacting a new Alchemy Law would suddenly increase the production of gold.

The fact that some men pay in cash for sex with consenting women, to me, is no worse than big polluting corporations trying to buy carbon quotas on the sparkly new trading floor of the Carbon Emissions Market. Are those who sell their carbon allowances to serial polluters any better, morally, than people who choose to sell sex? And what does that make those who buy carbon allowances?

Emissions trading is officially "a key instrument in the drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Sex trading, apparently, is the unacceptable face of capitalism. One man's pimp is another man's facilitator of carbon emission reduction initiatives.

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