Open Cities Afterthought about Baby Oil and Ice

A note in Private Eye no 1281 (4-17 February 2011, p13) leads to this follow up of the Open Cities post 28. Hackney Council in London’s East End voted a nil policy on sex establishments which will get rid of the four existing strip clubs, although 76% of people in the area opposed such a move in the council’s own survey. Would it have something to do with the fact that two of these clubs are run by women? Moreover women who were in the ‘business’? If the licenses are not renewed under the powers of the Policing and Crime Act 2009, they may disappear, while brothels masquerading as massage parlours in the same area will remain unaffected. The police established that crime and anti-social behaviour near the strip clubs did virtually not occur, unlike around late night bars. The unions estimate a job loss for locals of some 450 in an area of high unemployment. The new act does not give a right of appeal and license refusal does not have to be justified, surely an incentive for corruption. Once these still legal businesses are criminalised at the cost of women’s safety, they escape local authority control. Is this the meaning of open cities?

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