Prostitutes and Burlesque Dancers vs the Evil Council

I wish there was a film with that title. Anyway, I digress.

I am now back to normal after my extended period of night-time toil. Apart from the swine flu and more stories about expense fraud, I didn’t feel like I had missed much. Sure there’s lots going on – terrorism, war, famine, general planet-wide misery and so on, but there’s nothing that would have affected me if I had had the day off.

Except I missed two marches in London I would like to have seen. Normally marches are full of concerned people complaining about injustice, or anarchists up for a bit of pointless violence and MacDonalds bashing, or even poor bastrards just trying to get home and being bullied by identity-less police. These were different.

Prostiutes march through Soho to give thanksThe first was a march by prostitutes through the streets of Soho to give thanks to the local residents’ support. Apparently the government (boo! hiss!) were trying to close down a lot of the rooms that the girls use in Soho to have sex in. The ones up some stairs that advertise models. Apparently.

The evil government were against this and would seem to prefer that the girls left the safety of these protected and safer environments and walked the streets instead, to be attacked and controlled by pimps as they are elsewhere. Or maybe they genuinely thought that if they closed these places down then prostitution would end. Whatever they thought they are idiots. Anyway, the residents of Soho formed a coalition with the ‘working ladies’ and claimed this was part of Soho’s charm and these girls have been doing this since Soho began and they are an integral part of the area. The fact that they can also get laid in their lunchbreak is a bonus that was curiously omitted. Good on everyone involved because they won the case and the goverment backed down. So the ladies dressed up in all sorts of exciting outfits and marched through Soho just to say thanks to all who supported them. These girls are now safer, and the residents of Soho are happier. Hooray for justice!

burlesque dancers march on town hallNow Soho is a good 15-20 minutes from my flat, so I can forgive myself for not being there. Plus, if I found myself in Soho on a Sunday morning I would probably not even be in a state to stand or see. The other march I missed though was in my own borough of Camden. Or ‘Scamden’ as the Oscar Wildean local wags refer to it. In this case it was a protest march as the council (more boos and hisses) were trying to get the burlesque troupes to pay the same amounts as strippers when it came to licences. Or taxes. Or something. Not quite sure as I was staring at the pretty pictures too much. Anyway, the ladies said it is different from stripping in that – and this seems pretty crucial – they don’t strip off. Sure they writhe sexily around in lingerie but it is more arty. It can also be quite fun and ok to take the wife to.

I hope they win! I pay a bucketload of council tax and really think that councils should be spending more time on things like crime and violence and getting sodding tourists in Camden to walk faster, than all this. They are essentially trying to close or tax things that people who live there actually like rather than sort out stuff they don’t.

Maybe I should start a march. A march for people who think burlesque dancers shouldn’t be targeted and prostitutes should be safer and legal. Those who think a bit of seediness and/or sauciness adds to the character of an area. I suspect however, that myself and others concerned with these issues wouldn’t be quite so aesthetically pleasing. So I won’t.

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