Thursday, April 29, 2010

After the reform

Kathryn Ryan has a long talk with Prostitutes Collective National Co-ordinator Catherine Healy. Subjects include the many benefits that have followed the legalisation of prostitution (safety, honesty, human rights) as well as the state of prostitution in NZ (pimps are rare, self-employment growing steadily).

Apart from the occasional brothel opening near a school, which upsets the censorious Soccer Mums for some reason, the Tim Barnett sponsored law has greatly improved the hard life that is the women's lot in the oldest profession.

There's some lessons to be learned by the social conservatives in there. The sky did not fall and the streets aren't ankle deep in hookers. It's the same lesson they should have learned after the Homosexual Reform Act in the 1980s. Working with reality is a more honest and effective approach than the moral tub thumpers who prefer to demonise and endanger the vulnerable.

Just like the gays and hookers, I hope one day NZ will come to its senses on the stupid, dangerous and futile drugs laws. But I'm not holding my breath. Too many holier than thous, too many well-funded vested interests protecting their budgets from competition (breweries) or obsolescence (police), too much inertia in parliament. But one day this country will be honest with itself, and we will all be the better for it.