Dear Jimmy Carter, Sir,
I have an embarrassing little problem you may be able to help me with. I don’t quite know how to put this, so, as one culchie to another, I am just gonna spit it out:
I know absolutely NOTHING about peanut farming and I live in fear of opening my mouth and making a fool of myself on the subject. I wonder if you could just fill me in on the basics?
Quid Pro Quo:
I am going to fill you in on the basics of sex work in Ireland. Firstly we have two organisations here “Ruhama” and “Turn Off the Red Light“. From the point of view of every sex worker in Ireland they are pretty much the exact equivalent of the Klan except they are motivated much less by warped courage of their conviction and much more by personal greed and ambition, for money and power.
These two organisations have been using propaganda, inducement and intimidation to force through “Nordic Model” legislation for many years, while the protests of sex workers themselves are ruthlessly spiked, gagged and silenced with well groomed tokens put up to lie in their place. If you have a little time (as I am sure you have these days) to check out what they are saying I am sure that, as a practical man, you will immediately see that the stories they are telling are not even a good match for the agenda of “Turn Off the Red Light” let alone convincing…
The sole objective of the “Turn Off the Red Light” campaign is to render sex workers vulnerable enough to force a few of them to engage to support their continued funding and influence. “Turn Off the Red Light” and Ruhama are state funded in roughly the same proportion that a US NGO would be expected to receive corporate funding (about the 70% mark). Most of this money is spent on salaries, junkets for employees and foreign travels for employees to compare bullshit with similarly corrupt, ambitious and morally bankrupt NGOs around the world.
Here in Ireland (as in most of Europe) unlike the US, sex workers are already decriminalised, so that, in Ireland all the Nordic Model will do for sexworkers is:
- Reduce or destroy the incomes they need to support their families and pay their bills.
- Give them a choice between going to the police about crime or having money to pay their bills, whereas at present they can go to the police with no risk of penalty.
- Provide organised crime with the leverage to impose overall control over the sex industry, because sex workers need to go on earning and paying their bills and they will have no option but accept any work around the Nordic Model organised crime has to offer as whatever price organised crime chooses to charge.
- Provide at least two organisations that routinely exploit, misrepresent and abuse them with the funding and leverage to exploit, misrepresent and abuse them even more.
- Deny sex workers agency, autonomy and personhood
I realise some US abolitionists may be well intentioned and only trying to save women from jail time whatever they have to do or say to do that, but that is not the case here in Ireland at all. Sex workers are at no risk of jail time anyway. The involvement of organised crime is limited and peripheral if it exists at all. There does not seem to be a conclusive record of *any* coercion or trafficking in the sex industry here.
In an Irish context all the Nordic Model will do is to harm sex workers. Ruhama and “Turn Off the Red Light” are as fully aware of this as I am and I would not hesitate to use the term “evil” to describe the hierarchy of both.
Conning an old Southern Gentleman who only wants to do good as his sun begins to set into supporting terrible evil he would abhor if he truly understood the situation is all in a days work to people like Ruhama and “Turn Off the Red Light”.
PS. Two years in to “Nordic Model” in Ireland I have been proved right on all counts and the foreign junketing has actually intensified to the point of the ridiculous.