Myth: Denise Charlton and I Have Never Had a Little Chat

Don’t be silly, of course we have…if I recall she was trying to tell me two double whiskies wouldn’t put me over the limit if I waited a couple of hours – just before I did an impromptu and compered Dyke Night 2008 when someone else couldn’t…

…oh yes, and she admired my nerve because she couldn’t do it…

Le plus qui ce change, le plus qui c’est la meme chose…

After which people kept saying “DO YOU REALISE WHO YOU WERE TALKING TO?”

…and I kept saying “No…can’t know EVERYBODY…”…and they were making “She was TALKING to Akasha, mother of us all” type noises, and barely restraining themselves from making signs to ward off the evil eye, which I am SURE was meant in a loving, caring way…and suddenly they were playing MY PERSONAL THEME (if I live a 1000 years myself I will NEVER work out how they knew that – unless a 50 year old woman clearing the floor in a little black dress on opening night of Cork Pride was more memorable than I thought?) and I got to say:

“GOOD EVENING DUBLIN!”

Anyway, 2008 *is* a long time ago for you mortals so I thought it was time we had another little chat.

Denise Charlton

Television and newspaper reports of children selling their bodies for the price of a soft drink in the host cities of the World Cup have in recent weeks given us a grim reminder of the impact of one of the greatest crimes of our time, the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation.

The horrifying images and reports are a wake-up call to our political leaders that we must not be complacent about the extent of this crime which not only exists in the shadow of the stadia of Brazil but has also reached into our own communities.

Me: Don’t be silly, and, frankly, a little bit sick.

It isn’t right to exploit Brazil’s street children (with the usual significant inaccuracy) for your own ambition when you have never spared a thought for the nightmare of their whole lives before and never will again. Of course raised in a wealthy home, as you were, you can have no conception of what real destitution and desperation feels like. It is no more real to you than the train crash in “Coronation Street”. A made up image you can use to manipulate people’s feelings until they give you what you want.

What car do you drive these days?

Can you imagine walking around Dublin city centre in the small hours, so tired you could drop, chilled to the bone, starving, having to try and figure out a place where you might be able to curl up and sleep just a little bit? I have done that, and I will never shake the PTSD (Incidentally several “Turn Off the Red Light core orgs refused me help because of unusual circumstances). Well that is HEAVEN compared to the life of Rio’s street children. Even before you factor in the death squads…but hey…good PR is good PR…they will be just as hungry, homeless and target practice whether you make use of them to get a little more power, a little more money, one more junket or not, so NO HARM DONE.

More tea?

Denise Charlton

According to official figures 19 children were found in ‘commercial sex’ in Ireland in 2012, while most of the 50 survivors of human trafficking which the Immigrant Council of Ireland have supported tell of being forced to have sex with a dozen men a day when underage.

Me:

Don’t do that dear…your nose will grow…in fact, if I recall not ONE SINGLE minor was found “in commercial sex” at all and most of those charges related to stranger abduction not anything like sex trafficking, but the law covers child abduction, and frankly when you are dealing with a *real* sadistic pedophile, if you have another book to hand, throw it with MY BLESSING, but do not turn it into a bogus statistic – you know the US state department aren’t very pleased about that.

Now I don’t want to sound funny, but I have caught you telling SO MANY porky pies over time you really cannot expect me to believe anything you claim about “survivors of trafficking”. On form alone there is unlikely to be a word of truth in it. Apart from which, with my family’s…er…INTERESTING…contacts and my own bloody mindedness and genuine, unpaid concern for anyone who is a victim of abusive control you would think I would have been able to uncover even *ONE*, boma fide, tricked and/or coerced victim of trafficking, but I haven’t.

By the way, something I cannot really understand is why it is OK for you to impose abusive control on people? To my mind it is just as bad and harmful as anyone else doing it.

Denise Charlton

On any given day 800 women are for sale online in Ireland, a trawl of websites by our researchers earlier this week found that 60 of them were in Cork.

Me:

Maybe you should get out more? I must say I would not have the stomach for trawling every sex worker in Ireland every day – I hate even soft core porn…and, of course, I am into men…

Denise Charlton

Our experience has shown they are being sold in brothels in apartment complexes, rented houses as well as flats above chippers and bookies in Cork City and the bigger towns in the County.

In addition women are also available for call outs, mostly to hotel rooms.

Sex buyers may not be aware or care but many of these women are being controlled – their passports have been taken from them, they have no money and will have sex with many men in one day.

Me:

…and you know this how, precisely? Because when I talk to, apparently, the same women they have passports, mobile phones, laptops and come here, advertise themselves and of their own free will. Their biggest fear at the moment is the danger and devastation you are trying to impose on their lives. The thing that makes them most angry are the lies you tell about them.

They do not want to lose their incomes and be forced to live under your thumb pretending to agree with a load of…well everyone is entitled to their own belief system…AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT IMPOSE IT UPON THE LIVES OF OTHERS, by force, or deceit. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if *YOU* were forced to accept living your life in terms of a half baked, irrational belief system that suited somebody else’s needs?

Can you imagine everything you have taken away from you and being forced to live in a weird religious sect where they told you black was white, all day every day, and told the world you were pretty much the opposite of everything you really are, and never let you speak for yourself and assert your truth?

Denise Charlton

We know this from extensive media investigations and the stories from the women themselves while Senior Gardaí testified in February of last year that Irish prostitution is run by criminal gangs, foreign and domestic.

Me:

Oh for goodness sake, given what your education must have cost you are not seriously trying to tell me you BELIEVE what you read in the Sunday World or see on tabloid TV?

Of COURSE you don’t…but it *IS* awfully convenient when you haven’t got any evidence.

As for the senior Gardaí, what they did was concede that there seems to be organised crime involved wherever there is money.

My brother, Felonious, I don’t think you have met him, he is something terribly important in organised crime…and he knows EVEN LESS about sex workers than you do. Last seen ranting and raving about what predators they are. Hardly the attitude of someone who regularly trades them as commodities I would have thought?

Yet you talk about sex workers as if they were barely sentient let alone intelligent. Apparently, what you say *about* them trumps anything they try to say about themselves every time.

Denise Charlton

The figures maybe stark but they do not tell the whole story of human misery which lies at the heart of prostitution. Survivors tell us of being tricked into coming to Ireland with promises of a new life only to find out they had been sold often by a family member into a life of abuse, violence and multiple rapes.

Me:

Not wanting to nitpick, but you haven’t produced any figures, stark or otherwise, and you have never produced any that checked out to source. If you MUST lie it is very disrespectful not to put a little effort into it.

Denise Charlton

As one of the 70 Irish organisations which make up the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign

Me:

Ahem…no false modesty dear, the world and his brother’s dog knows you have overall control of “Turn Off the Red Light”

Denise Charlton

we have been seeking to end this by seeking laws which target the demand for prostitution – in other words those men who buy sex.

Me:

Which are laws that attack sex workers through the actual reason why most of them sell sex, the MONEY…which will totally disempower them as human beings, as well as placing plenty of them in intolerable and desperate situations with no way out.

Have you ever thought what it would be like to have your income choked off for good? Of course you have plenty of wealthy relatives to sort that out for you but it is NOT THE SAME FOR MOST PEOPLE…

But then you know that…for you that *is* half the point. Disempower sex workers until enough of them are at your mercy to push your career to the next level.

Denise Charlton

Two years ago we achieved some success when the Government announced a Review of the Laws on Prostitution – since then nothing has happened in that there has been no conclusion and no change in the law.

Since then the one sign of political leadership has come from the Oireachtas Justice Committee under the Chair of Cork East TD, David Stanton, which in June of last year unanimously backed sex buyer laws.

Me:

I really do not think being too scared of you to ask for hard evidence or even listen to both sides is a “sign of political leadership”…well it isn’t on my planet anyway…

By the way…GOSSIP TIME…I understand there are some people trying to get a full judicial review of the misconduct of that committee consultation, that’s something interesting to look forward to.

Denise Charlton

Their recommendations followed the study of 800 written submissions and six-months of hearings and were sent straight to then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter – but so far that’s where they have remained.

Me:

On no…didn’t you hear? Alan Shatter spotted some non factual, evidence independent bits, sent some queries in, and…well naming no names you would feel sorry for *SOMEONE* as a boy if that was the best class of excuse he could come up with even as an adult.

No getting away from it, people have NOTICED it was all a bit one sided, and foregone conclusiony, and people are uncomfortable with that.

Denise Charlton

It is time now for more political leadership. We are asking Cork’s newly elected Councillors and MEPs to take a lead.

Before the recent election Cork City Council was one of 29 across the Country which backed our campaign, now we want the newly installed City and County Councils to do the same.

This local pressure is key in driving real change, such Council decisions helped ensure that sex buyer laws became the policy of Sinn Fein, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party – with many members of Fine Gael also voicing their support.

We are also asking Ireland South MEPs to ensure that a vote in the European Parliament for sex buyer laws is followed up with further action and that this issue is not allowed to rest.

Me:

No harm in asking…but it sounds like uxorious bullshit to me.

Denise Charlton

Cork has always been a strong-hold for our campaign. Trade unionists, doctors, nurses, human rights campaigners, business leaders, members of Macra Na Feirme, the Irish Country Women’s Association, the Union of Students and many more have used our website www.turnofftheredlight.ie/action to email their TDs.

Me:

Don’t forget at least two groups of impressionable teens who have been used as a conduit for propaganda. I understand one group now want to raise awareness that being trafficked is an inevitable consequence of going to the bathroom alone at an All Ireland final? (I do hope nobody “explained” all the inappropriate details about anal sex and similar Sarah Benson “explained” to the Department of Justice conference for effect? Teens really are not ready for that kind of backhanded sexual education.)

I only wish I was making that up…

Of course, none of these groups ever balloted their members, did they?

Denise Charlton

Despite our huge support there are vested interests who do not want to see the millions of euro they make from the misery of others disappear.

Me:

Steady on…the BS is getting a bit OTT now…very disrespectful to con people without even giving them a sporting chance to genuinely believe you.

Denise Charlton

Their representatives travel from academic conference to conference and university to university arguing human trafficking does not exist, that Cork has 60 happy hookers and that Gardaí, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the French National Assembly, the Oireachtas Justice Committee are all wrong in linking organised crime to prostitution.

Me:

They would be equally wrong if they all claimed the moon was made of green cheese.

I think we both know perfectly well that politics often has very little to do with what is really happening, or even what people really believe and EVERYTHING to do with gaming for personal power.

Which, one or two people do actually use for good I will warrant. I could name three key politicians right now who are only playing along with you against knowledge and conscience because it is an issue in which they can, personally, make very little impact and to challenge you honestly would cost them too much ground on other important issues where they can have significant, good, impact.

The only reason almost anyone supports you is because they are afraid of you, not because they believe you, and that snowballed as soon as you cultivated enough people in the ICTU to get the support of their boards without mandate from their members.

(Naturally, as a former street worker my pimp is standing over me dictating every word of this, because my empty, sub-human, little head could not POSSIBLY understand things like that.)

Denise Charlton

They say prostitution is a job and want us to accept that pimps and traffickers will become model employers overnight – claims rejected by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Chambers Ireland.

Me:

They? They? Who is this “they”?

Oh you mean UGLYMUGS (she is a perfidious little cow, but hardly *PLURAL* about it)…well you have got me there…what you say about her is true, she has put a lot of time and effort, and very little scruple into cutting sex workers out of representing themselves, in as many places as possible to force a position as intermediary in order to develop her own harm reduction, NGO and seize a lot of power and control however the law falls.

Anybody who would do that deserves to be hung by the neck until dead…er…present company except…er…actually, NO EXCEPTIONS.

The only thing I can say in mitigation is that she has stuck very close to the truth, whereas SOME PEOPLE…*sighs*

Denise Charlton

Such misinformation is not only wrong it is an insult to the survivors who have come forward to tell their stories in the hope of bringing about change.

Me:

You mean survivors like Fraud Moran and Pimp Reilly ?

Have you ever stopped to think what an insult their endless lies are to REAL sex workers?

Denise Charlton

As one survivor recently responded ‘You learn about prostitution in a brothel, not in a university’.

Me:

Fraud Moran who was never a sex worker, and therefore knows nothing about it by her own words. (When you are given an original, signed, sworn deposition and completely ignore it rather than looking into it you are committing at least one serious crime and heaven knows how many civil breaches).

Denise Charlton

It is time now to end the two years of delay. While we have been debating the future course of Irish law the pimps and traffickers have continued their crimes unabated. It is as easy for them to operate in Cork today as it was when the legal review was announced two years ago.

Me:

A debate is only half way through until you shut the fuck up and let the other side speak for themselves for as long, and as publicly as you have.

Denise Charlton

Cork’s politicians have a duty now to move on from these bogus debates and deliver what people want, the removal of organised crime from local communities by targeting those whose actions fuel it.

Me:

Or else what Denise?

Must I repeat myself? A debate will always be bogus unless you let the other side speak, and, in this case, the “other side” is not Uglymugsie, or Escort Ireland, or SWAI, but the ordinary, decent sexworkers you have spent years intimidating into silence.

It is their lives you are reinventing in their absence and their lives that will be smashed to smithereens by the laws. They have far more right to speak than you do.

Oh dear…I think that’s your virtual taxi pulling up…you will have to tell me all about why it is perfectly ok for you to impose abusive control over unlimited numbers of people some other time…

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