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In case it has escaped every ones attention there is a general election going on in the UK. It was decided this year to have a “Three leaders live debates” shown on national television and they had electrifying results. Both the Liberal Democrat Leader and his party were given for the first time as much publicity as the leaders of the Labour party and of the Conservative party. The British public if opinion polls are correct have responded with enthusiasm to a party that offers change. By supporting the Liberal Democrats the British electorate can deny the two main UK parties the chance to be elected with a majority of seats but no mandate from the British public. Neither the Labour nor the Conservative party like what has happened because potentially the stranglehold they have had on the British political system could now be at an end.
This general election is our big chance to end this monopoly of power of the two big UK parties. If the Liberal Democrats win sufficient seats to hold the balance of power they will demand a move to proportional representation. This will be a chance for future British governments to actually reflect the diverse political opinions within our country rather than the country having to endure a government that the majority of the population do not support.
The Labour government have governed Britain for thirteen years. They have involved Britain in an illegal war and created three thousand six hundred new laws many of which undermine the civil liberties for which Britain was famous. As well as an unjust war in Iraq and Afghanistan this labour government has also waged an equally unjust war against the sex industry and in particular against prostitutes. They have created new or amended old laws that have alienated and stigmatised an already unjustly criminalised sector of our community. This has been done despite the views of the British public which opinions polls repeatedly illustrate want prostitution legalised and regulated and prostitutes protected, not placed in greater danger. This election is our chance to show our anger at what they have done.
Of the three main British parties the Liberal Democrats have always shown themselves to be the most amenable to sex workers. They even have candidates standing in this election who either work in the sex industry or who have publicly supported sex workers in their struggle for rights. Of course not all Liberal Democrats are sex worker friendly but as a party they are by far our best chance for justice.
The Conservative party have not shown themselves to be particularly friendly to sex workers especially since David Cameron their leader increasingly allied himself to the traditional bogey man of British Politics; family values. Despite the back to basics family values ticket historically being the downfall of all parties this idealism of the Victorian/Edwardian family unit still sadly seems to be a popular choice for Conservative leaders especially; even if it does not reflect the reality of modern Britain. The conservatives however are divided. The libertarian wing of the Conservative party do support in general sex workers rights. It should also be pointed out that despite david Cameron’s fondness for family values there has been no indication yet of any further oppressive polices from the Conservatives should they form the next government. I also think that we should remember that the Conservatives mostly argued against amendments concerning further criminalisng of prostitution contained in the 2009 policing and crime bill and that they voted against that bill. The conservatives however have not said anything publicly that would indicate that they would reverse the changes made in the policing and crime bill 2009 and therefore there must remain a large question mark over how supportive they would be to sex workers if they do form the new government. Therefore the Liberal Democrats would still be the more positive choice for sex workers.
As for the labour party; there are some labour candidates who support sex workers but they are very few; or at least there are too few within the Labour party prepared to stand up and say publicly that they abhor the unjust laws that persecute prostitutes and that they would reverse the new laws introduced by their party. The labour party has offered sex workers nothing in this campaign other than more unjust legislation should they cling to power.
I urge sex workers and our allies and our clients to join with everyone who believes in justice to either vote in this election for the Liberal Democrats or to vote tactically. Our objective has to be to deny the Labour party seats. If that does mean voting for a conservative candidate in a seat where it is a straight battle between Labour and Conservative then we must do so. Ideally however; I would urge that sex workers vote Liberal Democrat where ever possible. The Labour party deserves to be taught a lesson they will never forget. If we as sex workers loose this chance to vote for change then we may never have the opportunity again. There remains an outside chance that with out tactical voting our unfair parliamentary first past the post system may allow the Labour party to hold onto sufficient seats that will allow them to form a government. With sufficient seats but not the popular vote they could cling to power which will be a disaster for sex workers and for a Britain that is free and just. A liberal Britain that reflects the reality of our modern and forward looking society is possible but not under Labour or even under the Conservatives.
Vote Liberal Democrat and support sex workers and support change on Thursday.