Aberdeen Strip Club Application Refused

Shooters, a snooker hall in Aberdeen applied for a change in its license to allow stripping in a separate part of its establishment. After fifteen letters of objection were sent it – including at least two from other strip establishments! – the city council rejected the application “considering the effect of the amenity on the local children at schools, churches and youth groups.”

The objections from the competition – other strip clubs – included worry that it would reflect ill upon the good name of their own establishments which were nearby. Are snooker hall clientele so rowdy that they would cause disrepute upon other establishments? Or is this just a shrewd business deal? “No, let’s not have more competition on the market of strip clubs and allow us to have a monopoly on the post-snooker market!”

But in the end, the council decided on the age old “for the sake of the children” argument. If it’s next door to another strip club, you can hardly claim that it would be more damaging to the children!

You can read about the little-reported news item here and here.

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The CPS and the MET down but not out – Don’t expect Commonsense or Justice anytime soon..

The prosecution of Simon Walsh for offences under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, has come to a close having (rightly) failed. Yet there is no indication that the CPS or the MET have any intention of reconsidering the manner of their enforcement of this law; leaving aside the fact that the legislation is severely flawed and overtly intrusive.

Recent actions have exposed what might be described as a pitbull mentality in the ranks of UK law enforcement, that is very much at odds with public perceptions of what is and is not acceptable. The image of the pitbull with egg on its face is somehow rather less absurd than recent CPS actions and the legal arguments offered in the pursuit of those actions.

Things have moved on since Tiger porn and other CPS fiascos. We are now in a realm where the very motivation of prosecution is coming into question. It has been publicly suggested that the prosecution of Simon Walsh was not only vindictive but may also have been a malicious, determined, targeted and (unfortunately) successful attempt at his ruination; his aquittal in this regard is quite meaningless.

This case proves all too painfully that one does not have to be guilty or found guilty to be ruined and that anyone whose private life could be linked to porn (by personal design or otherwise), is a potential target and has good reason to be afraid. The ineptitude of legislators coupled with the flagrant disregard for the individual’s right to privacy and a sustained misrepresentation of “public interest”, courtesy of the CPS, has presented a golden opportunity for anyone with a malicious axe to grind. The prevalence and scope of Internet porn is such that significant numbers of individuals could be harbouring images that have been forgotten or of which they know nothing about; images that if found, could result in prosecution and with it, ruination, regardless of final outcome. One wonders just how easy it has become to remove an “undesirable” individual with nothing more than an anonymous tip-off of the right substance in the appropriate place. The worst case scenario may no longer be conjecture, it could actually be with us now.

Ironically, those most likely to suffer are those who feel they have nothing to hide. Serious collectors of porn (and especially that extremely small minority, the genuinely dangerous) will vet their collections and will employ computer applications that clean their machines leaving no recoverable trace of legally contentious material. They will seek to hide what they can’t bring themselves to destroy and will likely use novel methods to this end; methods that may well escape detection. Meanwhile, that ancient Powerpoint presentation that came from a mate a few years back, happens to contain something that falls within the CPS’s definition of extreme porn. All of a sudden and quite possibly in connection with an entirely unrelated matter, M. Average is suddenly seen as an unemployable sex fiend; even if acquitted.

This is not a time to take a sledge hammer to your computer and meticulously break every CD or DVD you have ever created that might contain something contentious. It is time for all reasonable people to demand the repeal of all laws that criminalise consensual imagery of legal acts and laws which place the burden of proof on the defendant. Juries have demonstrated that they are unimpressed with this legislative idiocy and it’s costing tax payers a veritable mint. And lets not forget the insidious vetting intended to protect the vulnerable, but which can destroy an individual’s career with neither corroborable evidence nor any hearing and most certainly without the scrutiny of a jury.

Regardless of whether you view, like or loath porn, your taxes are paying for this madness and you have every right to be angry.

 

Embedded within this article are links to articles and other resources, detailing the facts of the above case, such as are known, along with commentary upon the implications of the trial and Mr Walsh’s acquittal.

Posted in Extreme Pornography, Legal, Sexual Freedom | Leave a comment

Anti-Prostitution Campaigner to Challenge Saunas in Edinburgh

You remember back in April the minor uproar caused by someone asking why Edinburgh City Council condones prostitution in saunas? Well, the fellow has made the papers again.

City faces legal challenge over ‘brothel’ policy (Scotsman 21 July 2012)

THE Capital’s “blind eye” policy towards sex-for-sale saunas is facing a challenge in the courts.

A campaigner has pledged to appeal against every sauna licence granted by the city council.

Mike Anthony claims councillors have been breaking the law for years by approving saunas which are effectively operating as brothels.

Earlier this week, he sought an interim interdict to stop the council granting any more licences. The bid for an immediate block on council approval for the city’s saunas failed, but the civil action will continue through the courts.

Mr Anthony said he would fight individual applications for renewal of the public entertainment licences as they came up.

There are around 15 licensed saunas in the Capital. Mr Anthony has lodged objections to 13 renewal applications which are due to be considered by councillors in the next few months. If the licences are granted, he can appeal against the decision to the sheriff court.

He said: “I’m going to appeal every sauna licence. So long as there are pimps running the saunas, this is just a licence for criminality.”

The one good thing that may come out of this is a discussion about licensing brothels legally. While prostitution is legal, brothels are not. So with no street prostitution and no brothels, prostitutes and their clients face a legal maze. The optimist in me hopes that this will simplify prostitution laws and regulations – for the better. The realist in me says it would be a tough fight to get that.

Please support your local sex worker rights group! Write to Edinburgh City Council and explain that consenting adults should be free to pursue their own sexual adventures and commercial activities!

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NCSF Survey on Consent

The USA group The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is conducting a survey on consent in an effort to help decriminalise BDSM.

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) wants to hear from you! Please take our Consent Counts survey and tell us what you think about consent: www.ncsfreedom.org/survey.html

As part of decriminalizing BDSM in the legal codes, we need to be able to articulate a clear definition of consent that the BDSM communities believe in. The results of this survey will assist in the creation of a statement on consent that will be presented for the consideration by the BDSM communities at LLC in Seattle in 2013.

NCSF needs your input on defining consent. What do we mean by consent? When is consent invalidated? Does “safe, sane, consensual” still work as a community creed? Are there behaviors that the BDSM communities don’t accept? What is your experience with consent in the BDSM communities?

To participate in discussions of consent online with kinky people both in the US and around the world, join our Consent Counts group at https://fetlife.com/groups/46202 NCSF is committed to supporting and encouraging people to discuss ethical consent so we can move to a more thorough understanding of what consent is, and to provide better education for people who are interested in exploring their sexuality.

NCSF has actively participated in changing the social discourse of BDSM since 1997. The term “consenting adults” is a commonly accepted standard for sexuality today due in a large part to our work. NCSF has pledged to continue to lead the change in political discourse until all consenting adults need not fear prosecution or victimization because of their sexual behavior.

 

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Festival of the Erotic Arts – Edinburgh 22nd-24th June 2012

If you haven’t already, get your bum down to the Festival of Erotic Arts in Edinburgh!

From the website:

About

The Festival of the Erotic Arts is the UK’s first showcase dedicated to the multi-disciplinary art forms which make up the Erotic Arts.

The event launches in Edinburgh, Europe’s premier festival city, and features a gallery-based visual art exhibition,  exotic twisted cabaret show,  short film showcase, workshops, erotic ball, talks & readings, an arts and crafts fair and performance art revues.

The event takes place over the weekend of the 22nd to the 24th of June 2012

Our Aims

The Festival seeks to create a nationwide platform to promote and showcase the work and creativity of erotic artists in all forms.

We aim to create a place to view art and performance rarely seen in mainstream galleries or theatre in a unique setting which celebrates the multi-disciplinary nature of the Erotic Arts.

The event is a sleaze-free, sex-positive celebration of a thriving artform.

Help support sex-positive arts in Edinburgh!

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