I don’t know exactly how many new criminal offenses Britain’s Labour Party has now introduced since taking office, but the total is well over 3,000, and the rate has been running at twice the rate of that in the equivalent period under the last Conservative governments. Now it turns out that the British government is looking at making prostitution illegal (in a typically British compromise, prostitution itself is not illegal in Britain, but, as the BBC explains, many activities related to it “such as kerb crawling, brothel keeping, pimping and soliciting” are). The reason, supposedly, for this latest proposed incursion by the British state into matters best left to consenting adults is “human trafficking.” Now, that’s a deeply unpleasant trade, but it is, rightly, already illegal, as are the violence and extortion that come with it. What’s really driving the proposed change to the law are feminist, moral, and (in a sense) aesthetic objections to the idea of prostitution itself. Now those objections may be well-founded (in my view, some may be, some may not), but campaigners against the oldest profession should be honest enough to admit that it is where they are coming from. Instead, what Brits are being offered is “a “very big debate” on the issue involving groups such as the Women’s Institute, community organizations, Church and other faith groups,” in other words a ‘debate’ between participants who almost certainly already see this issue the same way, in other words, the usual statist sham.
Judging by the BBC report, at least one big government loving Conservative, a man who clearly does not believe in the ability of individuals to decide such matters for themselves, has also signed up for this. It remains to the center-left Liberal Democrats to argue that Sweden’s recent ban on prostitution has not helped reduce human trafficking and it’s left to a prominent member of Britain’s anti-EU UKIP (an authentic, if cranky, party of the right) to point out that a better response to that particular problem is tighter border controls. But that latter change, of course, would contravene EU rules and, when it comes to choosing between the victims of human trafficking and the dictates of Brussels, we all know which Britain’s Labour will choose.