Killjoy

The Tories certainly don’t have a monopoly on humourless killjoy politicians. With Simon Crean in the news, however, you don’t really need reminding of this. Nevertheless this Reuters story about the WA Labor government provides further confirmation:

An Australian state has pulled funding for a sex workers’ support group after it published a pamphlet teaching prostitutes tricks to make sure customers keep coming back for more.
The pamphlet by the Phoenix organisation in Western Australia gave sex workers tips such as “always act like you enjoy it” and “don’t wear shoes in bed”. It was called “Regulars”.

A spokeswoman for the Western Australian health minister, Bob Kucera, said an audit of Phoenix also found it was using state government money to publish a magazine the minister considered to be virtually pornographic. …

It all sounds like eminently sensible advice to me. Especially stiletto heels. They could do the customer a nasty injury.

Update – Looking at the Phoenix website, maybe there’s a rather more serious side to this story. The pamphlet and newsletter targetted by Kucera appear to be a quite small part of Phoenix’s support, education and health services. It’s an arm of Family Planning in WA. Given that sex workers are a high risk HIV/AIDS group, and that prostitution currently remains illegal in WA, cutting off funding to an organisation like this looks downright irresponsible, even if their newsletter was “virtually pornographic”. What did Kucera expect it to contain – bible readings?

We don’t hear much about WA political affairs in other parts of Australia, even from the numerous WA-based bloggers. Is the Gallop Labor government really as redneck conservative as this incident suggests, or is Kucera just an isolated dickhead?

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2021 years ago

Speaking from experience, Ken?

Robert
2021 years ago

You’re right — this is a dangerous and stupid decision brought about by pressure from conservative lobby groups. Kucera has pissed off a lot of his colleagues, and it’s not something that will go away in a hurry (especially when you consider the draconian Prostitution Control Bill).

The magazine might well have been “virtually pornographic”, but giving advice to prostitutes on how to ensure their client is satisfied is a health issue, given the risk of violent assault if things don’t go well.

Yobbo
2021 years ago

The people who made the magazine probably should have given it a bit more thought when they considered where their funding was coming from.

Even better, they should have claimed it was art, and got an bigger grant.