Emma Thompson

Interesting precis here from The Times:

Emma Thompson will be in Trafalgar Square in London every day next week hoping to raise awareness of the sex industry

There was a time not long ago when \”actress on street corner\” was the sex industry rather than a way of raising awareness of it. Although to be fair, such advertising would indeed raise awareness.

9 comments on “Emma Thompson

  1. I was left to wonder just what a casual pedestrian who encounters the estimable Emma Thompson in Trafalgar Square is supposed to do having been made aware of the sex industry.

    Fortunately or otherwise, reference to The Times resolves the issue:

    “Wander into massage parlours and see if any of the girls speak English. If you live in a quiet suburban street, what’s going on with the house on the corner where the curtains are drawn and there are always men wandering in and out?”
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2507874.ece

    I think anyone minded to follow that guidance is advised to seek legal advice and, possibly, police protection as well, before proceeding.

  2. I feel impelled to mention here that it’s been 20 years since Cynthia Payne was acquitted to public acclaim of nine charges controlling prostitutes at her home in south west London:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/11/newsid_2539000/2539565.stm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_Payne

    My special interest in Ms Payne’s illustrious entrepreneurial career in the sex industry began I learned that her home and business address was located just around the corner from where my first girl friend used to live in times when the Rt Hon Duncan Sandys, at one time Churchill’s son-in-law, was still the MP for Streatham:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_Sandys

    Those were the days, my friend . .
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=X5pkkAhETYg

  3. Is it significant that the sex trafficking, girls chained to beds, etc, that Ms. Thompson is raising awareness of is a moral panic/urban myth largely created by special interest groups/single issue fanatics? Is it significant that large numbers of women are freely travelling from East to West to earn a few bob in the sex industry rather than the narrative of innocent girls tricked into prostitution with promises of work as secretaries, librarians and five-a-day officers?

    Does that matter, or should we just go with the flow of the urban myth here?

  4. C’mon. Enslavement for prostitution is certainly more than a mere urban myth. I quote here from a Metropolitan Police press release of last year relating to the residents in a suburban house just a few miles from where I write:

    “An Albanian couple accused of holding a young woman against her will and forcing her into prostitution at a house in Sutton were found guilty on Tuesday 9 May 2006.

    “Mirela Zeneli and Blendi Krasniqi kept the victim, who at the time, was 18 years-old, in the house where she was raped up to 30 times a day.

    “The victim was an orphan from Lithuania who came to England in July 2004 under the pretence that she would be employed. But within three months of her arrival she had met Zeneli and Krasniqi who forced her to become a prostitute. . .”
    http://cms.met.police.uk/met/boroughs/sutton/04how_are_we_doing/news/news_2006/albanian_couple_found_guilty_of_prostitution

  5. The above case couldn’t be more different from the charges brought against Cynthia Payne in 1987 and from which she was acquitted to wide public acclaim.

    From various reports, a Police raid of her premises in Streatham was timely and arrived when a sex party was in full swing. The only hitch from a legal perspective was that the active clientele present turned out to be mainly pensioners, retirees, some on incapacity benefits and a retired vicar or two.

    The Police were arguably right to bring the case but Cynthia Payne’s notorious operation was more by way of a adjunct to social services than anything more nefarious and the jury reached a decision to acquit her on all charges in just five hours.

    For a short while at least, Cynthia Payne became a national celebrity and, in the eyes of some commentators, more worthy of that status than many others.

  6. Well, Bob B, that’s one case but it’s a bit odd. There’s no brothel, this strange couple keeping her in their house, and it took three months before she met them? Whatever happened, it’s far removed from the image of hordes of girls being kidnapped and trafficked by ruthless mafia gangs which ms. Thompson appears to be campaigning about, which is the urban myth I was referring to.

    http://www.walnet.org/csis/news/world_2003/spectator-030405.html

  7. Well, I cited above a case from last year that was in my locality, with a link to the relating Metropolitan Police press release, but it’s not difficult to locate reports from reputable sources of a widely distributed array of other cases:
    http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/archive/2003/140_03.html
    http://onlinenews.warwickshire.police.uk/appeals/archive/2006/12/211206manch
    http://cms.met.police.uk/news/arrests_and_charges/trafficking/human_trafficking_gang_jailed
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/5119804.stm
    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?SectionID=55&ArticleID=909654

    The Home Office report, published in March this year, on the UK Action Plan on Tackling Human Trafficking, is here:
    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/human-traffick-action-plan?view=Binary

  8. Dear Ian B,
    Please wake up! I’m sure a 14-15 year old Moldovan girl that provides you and anyone else with her services has not made a consious decision of her chosen profession. It’s a matter of supply and demand and if we continue having such attitude that sex slavery is an urban myth we cannot expect things to get any better.
    This is NOT about prostitution, it’s about SLAVERY. I have work with victims before and let me tell you there is nothing and I mean NOTHING ‘urban myth’ about their abuse and degradation they have gone through and most of them are NOT past their teens.

    And, I’m sure the police are not having massive operations chasing after urban myths.

    http://www.pentameter.police.uk/

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