Myth: There Has Been a Debate About Sex Work in Ireland

There has never been a debate about sex work in Ireland.

A group of wealthy, powerful people within the NGO sector formed a lobby called “Turn Off the Red Light” with the sole objective of using the issue of sex work to garner even more power and money.

The PR was very clever, claiming to being lobbying to “decriminalise” and “support” sex workers…

…in the 21st century who could resist that and retain any cred at all? As long as you could gag the real sex workers so they never had a chance to explain  that “Turn Off the Red Light” were only “decriminalising” and “supporting” sex workers in the same sense that the Third Reich was “resettling” Jews.

Who would really care though anyway? Sex workers…less than 2000 in Ireland, are such a tiny proportion of the population. There is no real way to make those people, mostly mums, and, by extension, their children, really matter to anyone.

So they got away with it, presenting a Pimp, a fraud and someone who is totally dependent upon them as “the true voice of sex workers”.

I admit, I lost my nerve at crucial points. I am a recluse who finds any dealings will people traumatic, that is one of the reasons why I was a sex worker, to create and protect the seclusion I need for as much of the time as possible.

I let the ball drop when I turned down a last minute opportunity to appear live on Vincent Browne in early 2012.

I couldn’t handle the aftermath, let alone confronting three hostiles on live TV, because do not delude yourself, Theresa Whitaker of SWAI is just as hostile to sex workers representing themselves as anyone in “Turn Off the Red Light” and, behind the scenes, far more concerned with protecting “Turn Off the Red Light” than sex workers, as I experienced at first hand.

(I have some emails I can collate to do a little mythbusting there :o) )

Why wouldn’t she be? After all whatever law transpires SWAI and Ruhama will be carving up the resources and funding between them just the same.

It would be nice, even supernice, if there were really an NGO that supports sex workers and their rights, but there isn’t, and pretending there is will not change that.

…and SWAI conspired equally to silence sex workers. So even if I could take the aftermath of live TV there is no way I could cope with the meltdown of confronting three people I know to be morally bankrupt, predatory liars in live TV.

But I should have found a way to do it anyway.

I refused to appear before the Justice Committee once because I did not want to be used as a token who could be dismissed as none representative on the grounds of autism and time out of sex work. I also freely admit that I could not cope with the meltdown of confronting more than one member of the Justice committee with prior knowledge of the degree of hypocrisy and deceit at play in their expressed attitude.

But I should have found a way to do it anyway.

I refused to appear before the Justice Committee twice to send two Irish women in my place, who were cut out at the last moment in favour of a Romanian with links to “Turn Off the Red Light” as well as Romanian organised crime and her similar friend. But also because the only way I could have appeared would have been an endorsement of SWAI, which requirement, oddly, as soon as it came down to two heavily loaded Romanians disappeared without a trace…

But I should have found a way to do it anyway.

People have no idea…in the beginning there was no intention by the Department of Justice to include sex workers in the consultation at all, on the assumption that “the NGO sector can speak for them” (it may seem bizarre but that is the usual assumption made in all Government consultations). I personally challenged that and got the concessions that allowed sex workers to submit to the Department of Justice consultation and attend the Department of Justice Conference.

In the beginning Justice Committee staff were great, horrified by the senseless SPAMMING from “Turn Off the Red Light” but that changed into an insurmountable stonewall of lies that was never going to let us speak for ourselves nor even acknowledge the worst of the fraud presented to them by “Turn Off the Red Light”.

Make no mistake at least some members of the Justice committee knowingly endorsed deliberate deceit while refusing to hear the truth. Maybe that is understandable in a missile crisis…but when you are talking about the lives of a couple of thousand woman and their children, it is as chilling as it is inexcusable.

I have never seen “Turn Off the Red Light” tell the truth about anything…not hyperbole, just hard fact…they created the consultation with lies and the entire consultation has been focussed on deliberating in terms of those lies without anyone ever checking a single fact.

“Turn Off the Red Light” is heavily backed and funded by the same Magdalene Laundry Orders that shocked the world by their unlawful imprisonment and abuse of adult women even in recent memory, and again by their refusal to compensate the victims or even apologise…

…and “Turn Off the Red Light” wants funding to do it ALL OVER AGAIN, with a new batch of victims…

In all of this the Justice Minister stood out as someone who just “got it”, as I, and everybody I know does and wanted to see real justice done, or at least kybash some of the more blatant distortions.

Often that has been the only hope that kept me going…that someone who did not even know us “got it” too and was willing to stand up for what he could see for God knows what reason…maybe just honour? Or maybe the rigid Jewish proscription of “Lashon Hara” “ill speech”, the lies that harm and poison our world for everyone.

“Turn Off the Red Light” would make a good synonym for “Lashon Hara” because that is all it is made of.

We lost the Justice Minister today. “Turn Off the Red Light” will win as the first move in a domino effect that, in the end, will come to resemble National Socialism in Germany in the 1930s…if only it was limited to “Turn Off the Red Light” but the same mindset is endemic to the whole NGO sector and pretty much anywhere people how access to power over other people’s lives.

“Turn Off the Red Light” was just the only place it was possible to fight without risk of collateral damage. “Turn Off the Red Light” are exclusively harmful to everyone but themselves.

I am not like most of you, I do not, and cannot, have friends, loves and family to buffer myself against the society I live in, so now it is just me, drowning in a sea of toxic lies afraid of the backlash from seeing the truth (as I always do) let alone telling it.

That is all I see in every aspect of the world I live in. It makes me afraid to wake up in the morning…and the only hope is that the pendulum will swing again, but not in my lifetime.

Really, seriously, every morning when I wake up and check the propaganda @turnoffrl on twitter those same blatant lies, and the ground they gain despite how blatant they are make me feel suicidal.

If that is the world, what is the point in living in it, somebody please tell me?





7 thoughts on “Myth: There Has Been a Debate About Sex Work in Ireland

  1. I think a lot will really depend on the view of the civil servants in DoJ (Whip Paul Kehoe was certainly singing from the same sheet as Shatter in that speech in 2013,presumably courtesy of DoJ mandarins) – certainly TORL will ratchet up the propaganda to put more pressure on the new Minister .Hopefully,Varadkhar gets the gig as he is favourite – would be concerned at Flanagan with his roots. A bad day indeed.
    Hopefully, Norway’s white paper by an independent sociological company due to be released next month will confirm the criticisms made by this legislation’s critics , prompting a Norwegian u-turn.

  2. I hope there is some hope…but, to be honest, I could not really see it, even before this.
    I feel so overwhelmed by the lies and the ground they gain…it is triggering PTSD from childhood abuse – the kind that comes from the day when you are brought forcibly face to face with the face that no matter how “good” you are it is no guarantee you will not be punished.

    I have told the truth scrupulously. I have braved things that terrified me, found ways to control parts of me I did not think I could control and, in return, I have been stonewalled, I have been accused of being a “pimp”, and worse things and people like me are to be punished hidden under the flimsiest of excuses at the behest of the worst kind of liars and cheats and there doesn’t seem to be a way of making anyone see the truth or make it right any more.

  3. I’d still be very hopeful if its Varadkhar that gets the nod – he appears to be an individual of integrity andi don’t think would be won over by hysteria alone. Heard on the radio that Coveney and Frances Fitzgerald may be in the running also : If its FF , then it is certainly a fait d’accompli : Coveney ,based on his performances in Agriculture would be thorough and so i’d certainly welcome him.

    What is most important though is to contact the likes of Clare Daly,Joan Collins,Wallace and RBBarrett etc to emphasise the commissioning of an independent (Non Irish,Non Swedish) sociological company to a detailed ,deadlined study (akin to current Norwegian govt commissioned company) of the reality of the Swedish prostitution scene.The citing of much evidence from the PSNI’s utterances to Sweden’s own trafficking Reports together with many countries here-to-fore rejection of this legislation certainly can warrant such an approach, new Min of Justice willing.

    I can only imagine the stress involved in listening to lie after lie after lie with complete deference from the media.TBH, a significant majority of the Irish population can see through their propaganda but TORL have considerable access to many in power keen to look good and play safe regarding prostitution.

    The JOC was always a farce but the biggest mistake by those opposing the Swedish Model was not moving heaven and earth to get Pye Jakobsson to appear considering her presence at the Oct 2012 Conference. Fatal .

    We’ll know more tomorrow apres appointment but certainly the ULA (McGrath excluding) pushing for independent research sociological group on the reality of Sweden is the best route to go.

  4. The upside of FF is that it can be quite soothing to have all one’s enemies in the same place…
    Pye’s non appearance before the JOC was a far more exquisite mind-fuck than that…SWAI wanted to put her in with me in place of the two Irish sex workers I lined up…I put the kybash on that fast…it would have sacrificed all possibility of sex workers speaking for themselves (and I DO NOT endorse SWAI for any reason, they will be as bad as Ruhama in a few years anyway, that is how Ruhama rose, “helping” us fight the ’93 law)

    Pye should have been invited in her own right, but not to as a way block Irish sex workers speaking for themselves, much less to leave the way open to claiming Irish sex workers have nothing to say for themselves.

    But it doesn’t matter…Rupert Everett could have shown up with a poledancing troupe and the same decisions would still have been made behind the scenes. NOBODY attended the JOC consultation with the intention of actually LEARNING anything…it was just a formality. TORL have the power to push politicians around any way they like. For one thing if they p*ss TORL off they p*ss the ICTU off and nobody can afford to do that.

    I honestly think the only way to win this is to have more to hold over the politicians than TORL do…or find the dirt that will bring TORL crashing down…and that dirt *MUST* exist somewhere. It’s just a question of finding it. If people would only work together, put in resources, hire investigators we could find it and expose it.

    Pointing out the truth and reality has got us nowhere for years.

  5. For me, the integrity of the incoming Minister is key. He’ll be well briefed by DoJ civil servants but also in relation to dealings with the similarly sceptical David Ford in NI – I’d be very confident of a genuine impartial view with preferably Leo or Coveney (Vardkhar’s commendation of the whistleblower implies that he’s nobody’s particular lackey) and there can be no objection to an impartial deadlined study of the Swedish sex trade if said Minister is thorough. The key thing would be relentless promptings by ULA for the necessity of such report.
    Fitzgerald so far appears to be a complete TORL convert – would be completely gutted if she gets it.Almost certain that such legislation would be pushed through on the tide of feminism.

  6. Fitzgerald is dangerous, she is even more entrenched in (and dependent upon) the NGO power culture, in different areas, than TORL is, if anything she will actually manage to make them worse. It’s unthinkable…and unlikely, it would mean dismantling a huge section of her person fiefdom. (…and I don’t care if she knows I said that, do her no harm to be forced to concede some of us non-humans are well smart when we try!)

    Varadkar has really blotted his copybook on women’s rights already, not sure how that will play, could be very good or very bad…

    Coveney is someone I have never noticed, which means he must be harmless?

    IF the Northern Research is presented before any legislation there is a chance to push for the adoption of that research in the south or similar…but the bald truth is that whoever is Justice Minister will have already made up their own mind in strict accord with their own best interests and it would take a cruise missile to change it.

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