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Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Our theatrical "grande dame" is getting herself in the news a lot lately and on subjects she would be better off keeping quiet about.

It has just come to my notice that Dame Helen thinks prostitution should be legalised - that somehow this would help prostituted girls and women.

Helen "the Queen" Mirren really needs to learn some home truths. In those countries where prostitution has been legalised - for example Holland and Germany - illegal prostitution continues to flourish. Brothels were legalised in Melbourne, Australia more than 20 years ago. Since then the number of unlicensed brothels has increased more than three times.

There is no evidence that legalising prostitution keeps the women safe. There is, however, plenty that shows it results in an increase in demand for men buying sex. $11.3 billion was spent in Australia last year on prostitutes and strippers. The trade there is growing at the rate of eight percent a year.

The demand for buying sex in increasing in the UK. This in turn leads to an increase in trafficking women to meet the demand. I would hope that Dame Helen would condemn this vile trade whereby women and girls are forcibly coerced into prostitution. Ending the trafficking of women and legalising prostitution do not mix. The choice is either one or the other.

The only realistic way to end trafficking women is to reduce the demand for sexual services. There is only one way to do this - criminalise the act of buying sex so that punters think very hard about what they are doing.

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