River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Ron’s Rambles

November 2017

Welsh Language I can understand the desire of the Welsh to ensure that their language does not disappear completely but I fail to understand why they consider it so important that all children should spend time learning the language. I did not understand when they tried to make it a compulsory part of all Welsh school’s curriculum I felt that the poor kids had enough to learn without being burdened by a language which, to all practical purposes, is useless, apart from being able to start speaking it when a stranger walks into a pub so that you can make them feel unwelcome. Even worse now they are introducing more schools where all the lessons are to be taught in Welsh. Why? This will make the use of all the valuable school books that are printed in English more difficult, and the number of school text books that are available in Welsh must be quite limited. Teaching in Welsh and trying to make Welsh the first language must surely reduce the chance of achieving a high educational standard on an international scale and it will impose an unnecessary potential obstacle to mutual understanding with their English neighbours. National pride may have its place but nationalism can be very unattractive.

Sex Workers (I don’t know why we no longer call a spade a spade) I saw a programme on this topic the other day in which three ‘sex workers’ were interviewed. It seemed that they were happy enough doing what they were doing except that they were afraid of the occasional violent client. They had each suffered from at least one violent attack, they complained that, whilst prostitution was not illegal, there were a number of laws in relation to the way in which they operate that made them vulnerable to breaking one or more laws. In particular, it seems, it is illegal for more than one prostitute to operate from the same premises because it then becomes a brothel which is illegal. They objected very strongly to this law because it meant that they had to work alone and that made them much more vulnerable to a violent assault. In 2016 the Home Affairs Select Committee had considered this problem and had recommended a change in the law to legalise brothels (possibly of a limited size). To date the government has paid no heed to their recommendation. Later in the TV programme there was a discussion involving a female MP, a feminist and the leader of a sex workers association. The MP and the feminist were strongly opposed to a change in the law, they argued that if brothels were legalised they would become the preserve of organised crime that girls, usually imported from abroad, would be forcibly put to work in them and that they would, in effect, be sex slaves. They professed concern for the safety of sex workers but claimed the only way to keep them safe would be to introduce a law to make it illegal for men to pay for sex. I was astounded at their naivete, did they really think they could put an end to a trade that has persisted through millennia by that means. I can think of no more certain way of ensuring that criminals would take control than prohibition. I had previously seen a TV programme which investigated what went on in countries where brothels were legal (note my only knowledge of this subject is obtained through the media). There was, I believe, a series of these programmes but the one I saw related to Prague. They focused on one large brothel, in fact it was run like a hotel in which the girls rented a room for a night - at a cost that required them to have several clients before they could afford to pay for the room. The hotel was fairly luxurious with a smart bar where anybody could buy drinks or food, and where the girls could meet clients. It provided a safe environment for them to work with a strong security provided by the ‘hotel’. The hotel proprietors themselves were not directly involved with prostitution. A number of the workers were interviewed in this programme also and it revealed that there was no coercion, that they worked entirely independently and were often students paying for their studies, or mothers providing for their families. The whole situation was quite contrary to that which the MP and feminist had feared. Of course such establishments might offend the morals of many people, but pretending that this trade is not going on already is no justification for trying to keep it brushed under the carpet and continuing to put girls in danger, they are entitled to protection, the same as any other. The present situation is such that girls subjected to violence who call the police may find themselves being accused of breaking one or more of the laws relating to their trade with the police pursuing that line rather than seeing them as victims and pursuing the culprit. We all know that there are at present many girls in this country that are prostitutes against their will, either being forced by being terrorised by evil men, or by being first addicted to drugs. They are slaves, often being sold to other evil men. The numbers are said to run into four figures. This abhorrent trade is a blot on our country, there should be much greater effort expended in stamping it out, but the licensing of brothels would not make this problem worse it would enable police and health authorities to know where they are and would make it easier to identify and clamp down on those that were illegal. It is time for the Home Affairs Committee’s report to be acted on.

Boys and Girls I note that there is a growing movement to reduce the distinction between boys and girls, I have read of experiments dressing very young girls in boys clothes and vice-versa, giving boys girls toys and so on. Children’s clothing is no longer to be identified as being for a particular sex. I understand and sympathise with the need to bring about greater equality between the sexes. I also understand the need to ensure that girls are not encouraged to believe that they are not suited to careers in science and engineering. At the same time I think it is quite ridiculous to try and ignore the fact that they are not the same - boys are different to girls.

Ron Watts

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