Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Objecting To Human Rights

So firstly to say it is fantastic to have Chasmal back writing on the blog, especially for me as it means I can wander all round the ideas I have had but had put off. And this one has partly been fired up because the fact people are realising that Object are a hate group not a human rights group. I want to go through some of the ways that Object and especially their leadership counters the claim that they have anything to do with Human Rights.

So lets start at the very beginning of the declaration of human rights and article 1. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.". Well yes shouting rapist or loser at people who have a different point of view is obviously in line. Abusing people who work in industries that Object disapprove of is definitely in Sisterhood and trying to deny people the right to work by campaigning to close clubs definitely sisterhood... oh wait I am being sarcastic and didn't realise it.

Now article 2 sets out that everyone is entitled to being covered by human rights, yes Object selective treatment of people is not in line with Human rights but everyone involved should know that because Anna moved to Object from Amnesty International. But well wild accusations being cast at protests doesn't really seem to sit with it. Yes protest about what you don't like that is a freedom that we all have and we can all exercise, I would like to protest, at an Object Protest, to Object. But attacking individuals simply because they choose to act differently and enjoy things that Object don't then that really is not in the spirit of the declaration.

I want to jump to article 5 as 3 and 4 don't apply. "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.". Now maybe I misunderstood what the implications of being called a wanker, a loser or a rapist  but personally I really, and I do mean really, think that those terms are degrading not just to me but to any and all the people those terms were being hurled at. If you want me to respect your opinion, even if I disagree with it, then please try to show me some respect in return. However judging by the vitriol come from Object at that protest at XbizEU we will never be able to see a like for like level of respect.

Article 6, "Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.". And by extension that should be as individuals we treat other individuals as a person, now at this point no doubt the Object supporters will cry out Objectification. Really that is the only argument that Object have left that even remotely works. But can anyone Objectify a person for any length of time once they have engaged with them conversationally. I have seen quite a few naked women over the years and yet I have never objectified any of them once I have started to talk to them. I can sit in a room of scantily clad women and it is nice but I don't see them as body parts. I recognise them as human beings something Object would do well to remember when they call other women losers!

I just want to pick up on two more articles because it is such a massive area of failure by Object you could write a chapter of a book about it. So article 12 "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.". Well having seen the attacks on my reputation and my honour just on Mumsnet before being banned you can work out what is wrong when dealing with Object. I mean really how can a group claim to be a human rights group when they attack people verbally the way they have done in the past. I am so fed up with seeing the hate pour out of them and they have the gall to call themselves anything other than a hate group.

Finally (for the time being) Article 17 which is in two parts (1) "Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others." (2) "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.". Now this applies to businesses as well as physical property so when you see people wanting to deny legal businesses the right to operate then article 17 applies. I won't go on as anyone with half a brain cell could figure out what is wrong with Object and Article 17.

So I could go on, there is plenty more that Object do that raises the question why are Object an anti human rights group? I will leave people to mull over this as next time anyone says Object is a Human Rights group I want people to tear the arguments apart. I have no issues with people exercising the freedom of their beliefs but making claims about what you are does lead to the expectation that people will question the claims.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Learning to Laugh at Object

For those that have been in one way or another subject to abuse by Object, they are no laughing matter. That said, I think the best way forward is to make Object a laughing stock, so yesterday I found a cartoon and did some editing, hopefully you'll see the funny side, but what is frightening, is that the above is probably an accurate representation of how Object members really see things...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

OBJECT at Spearmint Rhino 2 - Dancing With Myself.

So this is how it started...

We all saw that Object were planning Round 2 at Spearmint Rhino, with another demo planned for the Paul Raymond Awards on 24th November and Tony and Brute and I started to swap e-mails about the possibilities presented.

I took the view that the evening would be a good opportunity to grab our own footage of Object going crazy and our interest was piqued by the posting below from one of their supporters on their Facebook page...

This was an indication that Object planned to be really stupid and try force entry to the awards and throw stink bombs around. The Facebook page for the event indicated 27 Objectors had signed up for the protest with others indicating that they be might attending.

So Brute and I decided to meet and film the protest and our preparations were underway. I downloaded Windows MovieMaker so as to edit the footage and get it on the blog as quickly as possible. My I-phone was fully charged, Brute brought along his handcam and we agreed to meet at 6.30 and find a great vantage point.

Its been a long time since I was in Tottenham Court Road and I had a distant memory of a pub next door to Spearmint Rhino that I thought would make a great place to film from. Except that I discovered that it didn't exist anymore and had been replaced by a branch of 'Japanese Canteen'. But never mind, I learned of a pub across the road (The Court) and Brute agreed that it would be perfect to mix in with the regular drinkers and watch proceedings from across the road...

I arrived early and walked down Tottenham Court Road to see what was going on. It was a busy night, with lots of people and as I walked past Spearmint I noticed that the organisers of the Paul Raymond Awards had been doing their homework - crowd control barriers were placed on the pavement ready for deployment. So I crossed the road and went inside The Court to wait for Brute.

I had hoped that the pub would be full of Object supporters waiting to start their protest, but amazingly I was wrong. It was actually full of people from the porn industry waiting to go across the road for the awards. Immediately I was concerned, I started to wonder what would happen if the hordes of screaming Object protesters found the pub and its customers and started their protest early. My plan was to film Objects activities, not be the subject of them...

So Brute arrived on time and we started to wait for Object. I noted that Spearmint had opened its doors and that there was a large queue waiting to get inside the venue. I also noticed the police in attendance as well. It seemed that everyone was there, apart from Object. At just past 7pm, when there was still no Object, Brute and decided to go and look for them. We walked around a bit, confident that we couldn't miss the hordes with their placards descending on the venue.

We saw nothing and then it occurred to us - what if the demo instructions on the Object Facebook page were in fact misinformation? Brute and I hurried up to the protest meeting point at Warren Street Tube, bearing mind that it was almost 7.15 at this point. Did Object plan to arrive from another direction or from multiple directions, maybe in small groups so as to frustrate the security arrangements put in place by the event organisers?

"There they are!" cried Brute.

I looked around expecting to see at last 30 placard and banner bearing Object members outside Warren Street Tube.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I saw Roz Hardie and 6 supporters. If you look really hard, you can kind of see them in the middle of the above photo. Kind of... So at this point we were unsure how to proceed so we crossed the road and waited by a large Christmas tree to ponder the issues.

"They're following us", Brute muttered. "Look behind you".

I turned and saw that the Magnificent 7 had decided that no one else was going to show and had decided to cross the road and walk down to the venue. It was then I got a glimpse of a somewhat disappointed looking Roz Hardie, I can say she was disappointed because she walked within 3 foot of me. In our plans, we imagined following behind a horde of protesters, filming them as they screached obscenities, but they all seemed very downcast

"Back to the Pub?" I ventured and Brute agreed.

It was almost 7.30 at this point and by the time we had a drink and wandered outside to see what was going on, the Object protest was in full swing...

As you can see the reality of the protest failed to meet our expectations. Brute and I then wondered if more protesters were going to arrive and decided to go back inside to the warm of The Court. Most of the porn people had left at this time, so apart from chatting about this and that, there wasn't a lot we could do.

We gave it another half hour and went outside again. It was at this point that Object tried to start one of their famous chants and a somewhat desultory "Object! Not Sex Objects!" was heard but only for about 15 seconds before they decided to keep quiet. I have to say that Brute and I decided to give it a miss and went to Shoreditch and The White Horse, there was however time for another photo...

So this is the new reality of Object protests. Kept two shop widths away from the entrance of the venue, crowd control barriers at the ready (not that they were needed) and the police. Lets summarise...

The above is a frame grab taken from the Object protest Facebook page.

'28 went' - No I think about 12 people went at the most.

'.....the council who want the club not to have a renewed licence....'. Really Roz and how do you know that? I do understand that you have lots of links with public sector employees, but if what you are saying is correct, then Camden Council have already decided the outcome of the next Licence application. Is that the case Roz?

For Object the Paul Raymond protest was in many ways a failure, but for the rest of us, it was a quite a result.

As hardly anyone from Object turned up, no one was subject to abuse like they were at the XBIZ EU event. If you want to see what Object can be like when they are fighting the patriachy, then please follow this link. Actually you see some nice photos as well of Object making vile and unfounded allegations with their placards at the same event here.

Clearly the management of Spearmint Rhino and the organisers of the Paul Raymond Awards felt it was time to manage the risk presented by Object, hence the presence of the police. But I wonder if Roz Object felt the same way, because at XBIXZ, Object were out of control. At Paul Raymond a few weeks later, well, the approach was very different...

Ultimately, Object are now seen as a potential risk to public order and that is a reputation that they richly deserve and before I sign off, I want to make another point. Object are desperately hoping that they footage of their mini riot at XBIZ goes away. Certainly they don't want to talk about it and would rather no one else saw it. Well. I have decided to make sure that as many people as I can find out about what happened and I will be doing it on this blog throughout December.

To help hold Object to account, please visit the article at the Pervlens.com blog here. Its an excellent article about the XBIZ protest and has good great photos. The excellent Sex and Censorship blog also covered the protest and please link to it from here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Designer Feminist Monthly - Object

I thought it was about time that 'Designer Feminist Monthly' caught up with Object....

OBJECT at Spearmint Rhino 1 - Mama Weer All Crazee Now....

It's Chasmal here, back for my first posting for absolute ages and this time I will not be going away again. My retirement is well and truly over. So without delay, let's get to business...

So, as we all know, Object decided to protest outside the XBIZEU Conference in September and better still decided to try and disrupt the event that the organisers held later at Spearmint Rhino. This would have been one of the first major field exercises ran by Objects' new CEO Roz Hardie and much fun was had by all. That said, the most fun was probably had by the person that filmed the protesters and released the footage on YouTube...

Object have always categorically denied that they are or indeed have ever been abusive to their targets. Well, this video proves what we have always known, that Object are essentially a bunch of abusive thugs with a frightening 'gang' mentality.

The abuse that you will see and hear was aimed at men and women who entering Spearmint Rhino to attend the XBIZEU event that evening and I must admit I would not have liked to been subject to the attention of these thuggish supporters of Object. What was truly amazing though was the various photos that started to appear on Object members Twitter feeds, one of which I have copied below...

I am unsure if this photo was taken before or after the protest, but from my viewing of the video it seems likely that it was before...

Although I haven't been blogging, I have been keeping in touch with what Object have been up to and I have started wonder if the group has started to change, both in terms of its people and attitude to protest. It seems to me that there is an increasing element of those that favour more direct action, those that are happy to push the boundaries of acceptable behaviour in public. This means that someone, sometime is going to get hurt...

Something that struck me is that in the past, Object have campaigned to have clubs closed down because children might at some point walk past the club and be corrupted. The behaviour of the protesters at Spearmint Rhino protest makes hypocrites of them all, because if there were any children in the area of the protest or in the residential flats above the venue, they would have heard and seen and group of 'human rights' activists screaming 'You're a Fucking Wanker' to members of the public as they tried to enter a club.

Earlier this year, I met with one of the dancers that was subject to campaign of abuse by Object. She told me in very clear terms about the anonymous phone calls and threats made and I need you to understand that my dancer friend without any doubt, linked the abuse campaign to a member of Object. Roz Hardie and her gang may scoff about this claim in the same way they tried to deny that the events portrayed in the video actually ever took place, but now the truth is really out there for all to judge.

Watch the video and then tell everyone you know about it, because it more than anything represents the truth that lies at the core of Object.

Finally, I want to say that Tony and I are sharing the blog and we of course welcome contributions from interested third parties with something to say...

See you soon...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Object and the Continued Hate

Normally I don't put out short pieces but wait till I have more to say but today.....

So we all know Object are busy hating on people but now we have video proof of their behaviour (here). What is important here is this message has been shouted at dancers in the past and if not for the protection of stigmatised dancers we would have had more reports of the abuse that Object hurl at those they dislike. Wonder what they would say to me in a wheelchair as I am sure I must be a rapist and a loser!

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Have the Fireworks Finished yet? A mid November Round Up

So this is a bit of a round up of things over the last couple of weeks and of course my wit and observations, only without the wit.

Firstly I want to pick up with the recent ruling in Halifax where it seems striptease is a lot more tease and a not quite so much strip. The club had asked that a condition of it's license be waived and that dancers be allowed to remove their G Strings when performing private dances. Now there are clubs within 20 miles of including Leeds where there are more clubs without the restriction you will find in Halifax. Now given this you would think if you are going to allow a business to operate you would allow them to compete on an even footing with other business in the locality. But of course this would not be the UK world of striptease without different conditions on clubs based of the sensibilities of the local council. This is one of the reasons the dance industry has so many detracters because there is now standard practice and no accepted best practice. So dancers will get totally different experiences in different clubs and this will reflect on how they deal with customers.

Bournemouth Coucil and in particular Councillor David Smith gets our attention next. Seems a guy got drunk before going into Spearmint Rhino, waved 3 credit cards around and ran up a £7,500 experience. Now this was a while back and wehave had one license renewal without this being mentioned but now it seems as the councillor can't find anything else to use to try and shut the club he is using something that is old hat to try and lever something out of the club. The guy actually signed agreements that he was not being coerced into spending this money and one sort of wonders if the gentleman concerned was having a hard time explaining his expenditure to his girlfriend. Crazy that when someone does something stupid with their credit cards no one worries normally but the moment a guy sign consent forms and authorises his credit card in a club it is grounds to close it down???? There seems to be something very smelly here as the club went through it's license renewal last year without any issues but now this has been dug out of the archives to try and stop a renewal over a year after the event.

Now we saw police raids on the strip industry in Scotland a few months ago where the biggest issue was men working illegally, a dancer with an offensive weapon and one worker with some canabis, no dancers or female staff had any employment issues so everything went quiet. And now we have had clubs raided and closed again, dancers have been interviewed and fingerprinted in Aberdeen and other raids taken place. Now I don't know Steve MacDonald who owns several clubs but the police do seem to be targetting him which is strange when you consider he is the chair of the Association of Adult Entertainment Venues which represent clubs in Scotland. Actually not that strange that he is targetted but the claims that his clubs have been financed by crime. Now the police are claiming as the venues are licensed they have the right to "inspect" venues but not sure teams of 50 officers are really needed unless they are expecting vicious attacks from howling mobs of dancers? Seriously what is going on up there? Now I may be a little paranoid but that doesn't mean the police aren't trying to intimidate the clubs. I would love to see where all the crime information has come from as I am sure Mr MacDonald would. However the Scottish Government do seem to have a coordinated plan to scaremonger the clubs out of existence.

Now we can go TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex for my non UK Readers), as it seems a lot is going on. Foresters which has been an old fashion strip pub for years is finally going to go with redevelopment plans for that part of Southend, however an application for a venue in Southend Town Centre has been put in, the period for support or objections has passed and given the expected closure of Foresters one could expect the license to be granted but that would just be to easy. Also an application for a venue in Benfleet has been sent in to Castle Point Council for a venue on Manor Trading Estate. Objectors to this have cited a dance school as a reason to not grant a license but realistically most people would agree a trading estate would be a non central propostion and I would think the dance shool could tout for business to teach dancers at the club. So it seems that Essex is getting a little hot under the collar at the moment.

Next readers of the blog will have seen in the comments of my last piece Object intend to protest the after party for the Paul Raymond Awards which will be held on 24 November at Spearmint Rhink in London. Object are particular upset because a website called fake taxi is up for an award as the word fake is something they don't understand it seems. However nothing like a little rabble rousing by Object as they don't get column inches anymore. This time we hope the police will arrest and charge anyone who is protesting without notifying the police as long with anyone who attempts to force entry or use stink bombs (as suggested by one prospective attendee). It is coming up to Christmas perhaps I should buy Roz a dictionary and highlight the word fake? We look forward to pictures and videos of the event.

And finally I wish the ELSC and Sexual Freedom Awards all the best as they are holding events that I would have loved to attend but my health is not what it should be and I am really limited at the moment with the amount of time I can spend out.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)
twitter @StriptheIllusio

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Not Enough Even At Two Decimal Places

So we are tending to see less about clubs as more and more councils have made their decisions about if the new regulations should be applied so I will be a little quieter than in the past until such time as something is worth reporting. Typing to boost my own ego is not something that I want to do but when the need occurs then obviously I will respond.

So Birmingham, a city of over 1 million people has decided that a limit of 8 at the present time is what they should have with councillor Sam Burden wanted to reduce the number more but they have taken note of the issues in Leeds in trying to reduce the number of clubs and have taken some advice from their legal services about grandfather rights. Now the consultation for this massive and diverse population had a total of 52 responses, this including from "stakeholders" who still seem to think that after all the work and results of Pentameter I and II that clubs are havens of trafficking. If only stupidity could be used to rule out responses rather than the council just answering the issues in the report.

So the 52 response had a comment field and apart from the reference to trafficking  which the council pointed out the police had no issues with we also saw the tired claim that clubs promote sexual violence and I want to put here in the blog the council response "West Midlands Police have been included in this consultation and have, as yet not provided any evidence to suggest SEV premises contribute to the number of sexual assaults." Bit of an OMG moment that the police having seen the death of Lilith and no doubt with the ability for people to ask for FoIs have decided honesty is the best policy. So 52 people responded and yet only 23 comments were made. Interesting to note the Violence Against Women and Children Steering Group have offered to help gather information and evidence to prove that clubs are bad it seems.

Having read the documents associated with the meeting which was broadcast on the council website (thanks to SEV Licensing for the link here) I have to say there are some very "moralistic" statements being made in the comments fields along with some awful attempts to make claims of things that have no foundation in the real world. If a club is shown to be causing problems then this blog is not here to cover up issues but to encourage best practice. But when the stupid and the misinformed can influence decisions based on"facts" which have no value then the consultation process seems just a little flawed. I did find it amusing that the consultation has not been closed by the council so you have to wonder just how accurate the data was given how few people responded.

Something you see the blog regularly comment on is the fact that so few people actually complain, the response of 52 to the consultation including three people elected to represent the people of Birmingham yet the people of Birmingham seem to not be bothered to limit clubs. The opposite position could also be held to be true but with the Stigma of responding and being required to enter your name in that response the worry of being "outed" as a supporter of clubs would weigh heavily, perhaps a disclaimer that no names would every be disclosed would have garnered more responses. Certainly a response of 0.005% of the population can hardly be considered an opinion, it is little more than a blip on a deviation curve.

Finally readers of this blog would have seem on the last blog piece a link in the comment field to pictures of Object campaigning against XBiz. Now remember the challenge to them to stop people misusing the term rape, the pictures (here) do show that rhetoric, hate speech and misjudged abuse are the tools of people whose arguments hold no value. Still be and shouty with no regard for the law is I guess one of the best things we can now expect from Object as they are disorganised and desperate to raise their profile to the heady heights of being called a hate group.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

More Random Thoughts of an Obvious Madman

So I have google alerts for all sorts of terms dealing with SEVs around the UK  and striptease/lap-dancing from around the world. I have seen the comments fields become battlegrounds and the use of language on both sides we should do better than. The arguments though have become tired mantras from those who operate on a belief system rather than working from empirical data.

After the fall of Lilith you would think people would refrain from the clubs cause rape and sexual crimes claims but in a discussion about Fantasy in Cheltenham with a handful of debaters there was the claim of rape from some who also claimed they had the info from the police.uk database. When I asked for the parameters of their research and what distance around the club they were seeing as an area of affect they suddenly went quiet and disappear while a new name joined in.

Personal insults please me such as when I can only type with one hand, sad, lonely, embittered, unloved, rape apologist, smelly, desperate and the list runs on but I often see these things thrown out me. Which is good because when you attempt to insult you become no better than a troll and bully or would if it had any affect on me. I was bullied as a kid so this is nothing in fact I wear it as a badge of honour that the arguments have gone so personal attacks are the next best thing. It is a win in my book.

Apparently according to some dancers are the opposition to feminism and are uneducated, poor, desperate for money, owned by the patriarchy and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Those are the standards that are always rolled out along with the dancers hate their job, they are trafficked and they are being bought by men. Last one first with we are paying for a performance but the arguments get more ridiculous the longer you engage and respond until it becomes a moral argument based on their belief system that hs no right too influence people who do not follow that belief system.

Bottom line the research by Leeds University and Kent/Loughborough Universities shows a lot of the stock arguments are just pointless. But with a belief system people can ignore the truth if it does not match what they want to believe. Often I have found myself with all the valid arguments on my side and that is when the personal attacks begin. At that point it becomes obvious that people who want to close clubs down have no data which could justify it so need to make out that I am such a horrible person and because of that clubs must be in the wrong. Thank you for that I will take it as a win!

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

As Springsteen Said

It's TonyN here and have to say first a big thank you to Adam at the Horns yesterday who made my visit that much easier. Great to have a place with a disabled toilet and even if I have to get the wheelchair in via the side entrance it was a nice feeling getting out. Was also good to remind myself of why I still write this blog even if it is not as often as I would like but more often than I would hope. Whilst meeting with friends a discussion arose and hence you are going to get my understanding of why strip clubs are beneficial to women! I can hear a rad fem or two choking on their skinny latte over that.

The benefits are two fold and I want to first visit something that is uniquely British so to speak because of the no contact rules in the pubs and clubs. In the immortal words of Bruce Springsteen "You can look but you better not touch". So how does this help women in general? Fairly obvious really is the need for self control, the hands down by the side or behind the chair or under the backside the fact is there is no physical contact allowed. I know when I first started to go to the strip pubs my hands were a lot less self controlled but with current regulation guys are learning greater self control. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone and I am sure that it takes a little time for the lesson to sink in. Imagine a kid in a sweet shop (candy store for american readers) being told he can look at all the wonders but he is not allowed to touch any of them. The level of self control that guys are now under in clubs is probably benefiting in other aspects of life just that no one has ever tried to quantify it. I know that some people will not want to believe that guys are capable of learning to control their desires and urges but if you think of the reduction in rape in Newquay and Camden it does ask questions that scientists are better qualified to answer than this blogger.

Secondly guys who go to strip clubs are less likely to objectify women. And I can hear the cat calls about this one but with over 20 years experience in clubs I can promise you that this is a truth that no one has spoken of. Sure when you first meet a dancer there is a level of objectification but seriously how long can you deny the dancer's humanity? They live, breathe, work and do the same things as so many others and apart from a stigmatised job they are no different to any other person you would meet. So from initial objectification there is a shift into the recognition of humanity and the treatment of the dancer as a person. When the lesson learnt about this in the clubs is applied to the outside world you find guys who are much better at relating to women and accepting them. If you think that I can move from objectification to acceptance in a minute or two even the woman I am talking to is in lingerie then you realise that guys who go to clubs are much more likely to accept women as equals. The power dynamic within pubs and clubs is swings and roundabouts but there is always the level of being unobtainable that the dancer always has because there is never any contact.

I guess the key factor is the interaction between dancer and customer, the initial attraction is not a sustainable commodity and some of the best dancers I have ever met relied much more on their personality and humanity than on looks. The ability to accept men in all shapes and sizes is a wonderful thing and dancers never see my wheelchair first, in a lot of ways it only registers when I can't get into the private dance area. I can't speak for every customer but I will say that objectification of a human being fails the moment you start talking to them and accepting them as a human being.

So clubs teach us control and to bypass objectification which is surely amongst the goals of the feminists? Perhaps if they champion the clubs we would see more benefits rather than the bitter disagreements we have now.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Guess Whose Back?

Hi it's TonyN here back after taking the summer off and trying to not get too worked up by the stupidity of people talking like experts on a subject they know nothing about and judging people they have never met. Also my health has been a little flaky so wanted to get my head back in the right place to take the idiots and bigots who are clueless out there.

First I want to comment on the rejection of a license application in Scarborough. The rejection wasn't over the letter of complaint but because of issues with the layout creating issues for customers and dancers along with a few health and safety concerns. The line from the council though was good "However, in a statement the council said; "Most of the representations against the application from the members of the public did not demonstrate any grounds for refusal, so it is important to note these were not taken into account when the committee made its decision.". The SEVlicensing blog (link on the side bar) has a good take on this.

Next I want to point the blog readers to a wonderful piece about lessons learned from Striptease. I don't want to copy the work so rather than me rattle on I suggests readers go here to read it.

Well in Cheltenham the consultation has finished and I am wondering what the turn out will be like. I would expect less than 1% of the voting public to respond but you never. However this is still likely to drag on becauseit is not scheduled to be reviewed until October. And I do think the press should be a little less biased but hey stock photos can be made to sell a negative image and the Gloucestershire Echo has been busy show it's puritanical attitude. And just before I published this I got notification via e-mail of the latest piece of shoddy journalism where less than 1% of the population of Cheltenham has filled in the consultation but that is an overwhelming result it seems (here)

And a little light-hearted piece the way the news goes. Seems Perfect 10 in Preston has had to call ghost hunters in. Seems the manager has been experiencing a few bumps in the night when she has been opening. Personally I think it is the ghosts of old customers trying to get the best view. Not sure about the male ghost hanging out by the ladies toilet, still as sceptical as I am you never know in this world as given the choice I would probably haunt a corner spot of some bar.

Sorry for the blank in the Summer but it has helped me get my head in a good place and now it is time to get back to troll hunting.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Well it is only an Estimate

Well been a little while since I posted, partly because the weather has made me drowsy which combined with pain killers just meant I could not focus as well as I would like, certainly noticed spelling and grammar fell apart whenever I joined in with local on line debates. I feel that I can go anywhere in the UK therefore I will join in for  those debates in the places other than London. Also I have been playing with figures and trying different key figures to see how it would apply  to the amount of times guys spend in SEVs.

I have to thank SEVLicensing as that blog has picked up on the fact 3 clubs have been granted licenses. Baby platinum has been approved in Wigan, interestingly on that one the clause stopping the removal of the g string has been altered so it can be removed during a dance but must be replaced as soon as the dance finishes. Second Obsession has been granted a license in Liverpool, challenges had been made based on the fact the area is the gay quarter and some felt a club would distract from the area, this given there are already 4 clubs in the vicinity. Third club is Tokyo in York, which has had the usual rants from York Feminist Network which was even copied in on some of the 11 objections. Two objections were from Hamptons by Hilton but neither of those was from the manager herself. Plenty of action in the local online press and the arguments did seem to fall apart very easily.

This entry was originally just going to be about private dances and the number of dances and customers required for the industry to exist as it is. I will make it very clear the numbers are based on estimates using averages. The average number of dancers per club, the average number of dances paid for per visit. Also average number of shifts performed by each dancer at a club per week. I have used 240 clubs which is the approximate number in 2009 when Leeds did it's research into dancers. I used the average earnings found in that research, of course considering the difference in earnings between say diamond dolls in Glasgow and Spearmint Rhino in London there is a massive plus or minus possible. Add to this dancers who will work multiple venues against those who only perform at one. Even down to the fact I have estimated the average year is actually 48 weeks of work even though many dancers I know off will happily take 2 months off.

So I assumed 8000 dancers in the UK as many work more than one venue, some dancers obviously only work the one but if that was the case we would need 14,000 dancers roughly to supply the industry. Based on the figures supplied in the research for Leeds University of average earnings of £240 per shift each dancer would need to perform 75 dances a week based on a 3 shift week. Now if we have 8,000 dancers that equates to 600,000 private dances in a week. And if dancers work on average 48 weeks we end up with 28,800,000 private dances a year.

So it sort of makes an impression on just how many guys are needed to support the industry. Now the way I work it with the number of dances in 240 clubs I estimate as a bare minimum we would require 960,000 customers. Realistically though we are looking at close on 2,000,000 customers will at some point each year visit a club from the once a year to those who do 3 or 4 times a week the number is still a large amount of the adult population. So many people who if asked may say they don't go even though they do. Yeah there are those who don't go but perhaps when people talk about the industry they should realise there is a silent majority that clubs could mobilise as they did in Tower Hamlets and Portsmouth to defend the industry. Perhaps we as fans of the dancers need to vocalise our support more and when we may be affected by a license renewal/applications we actually get active and fight to support what we love.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com) speaking for the millions and millions of fans out there in the UK.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Shame Online Papers can't be used for Chip Wrapping

So over the last couple of weeks I have seen the failure of the press to provide accurate information. We all know sex sells and a good story about any SEV is worth a photo or two of a scantily clad lady while the headline seems to say this is terrible we must get rid of it and protect the community. Facts have no place in these articles but are there to hide partial or "misinterpreted" quotes along with subjective rants hiding moral judgments. And that line I have no moral objection but means you do have a moral objection but you are trying to hide that and come up with an excuse to not allow a club, the moment you throw a but into the conversation you are painting a sign look at me I am modern and have realised the world has moved on since 1958.

So first award on the journalism stake is a man labelled by brute as clueless (which may be rather kind to be honest) Ryan Barrell whose piece for Tab an online Uni paper (here)  had me wondering if it was tongue in cheek at first. Obviously when attending a strip pub and sitting in the corner not intending to enjoy yourself you sort of are setting yourself up to fail at the outset. The fact that he seems to be taking "friends" word for the place begs the question just how much exposure he has to clubs to be able to judge any as "the seediest". Certainly when I asked him on twitter how many clubs/pubs he had been to so that he could make this judgement no answer was forthcoming. No really surprising when you read the language used it comes across as a mixture of prude and rad fem. Certainly judging by his pictures on his twitter feed he is a right foodie and is desperately seeking approval. Sort of junior hipster with a hint of wannabe popular. Still he has managed to make me laugh as he acts like he is knowledgeable in the subject of striptease which hints that maybe he has a secret life? Or else he is just very judgmental with no facts to back his case and I could find seedier without even thinking so really what a joke (note I am being polite here).

Haringey not exactly a hot bed of action considering the council adopted a nil limit and because no clubs exist in the borough no one fought it. Well one bar decided to have a burlesque evening and judging by the on line report the world is about to end in fire and brimstone. According to the Haringey Advertiser there was outrage that women danced and kept their clothes on(maybe not as many at the end as the beginning). Well the outrage was a local bulletin board which when I checked had 5 complaints, the paper and a councillor on it; not exactly an outrage more of a storm in tea cup. Still Haringey being Haringey the bar owner has had a warning. Which considering that the lodge has continued to operate using burlesque suggests that the councillors in Haringey do not understand that in Burlesque no nipples get shown (nor the lower bits) and thus an SEV would not be required. I should point out that the Haringey Advertiser in it's banner states An Independent Family Owned Newspaper, which means exact what? A woman in Leotards and high heels is not exactly a naked image but the press and council have turned it into a horror show (Rocky!).

Now dear friend to this blog Tim Wheeler seems to go out of his way to court controversy (or be an idiot your choice) as noted previously he is prone to make comments that when you examine them make less sense than normal. Well he has struck again, not this time on striptease but it is so amusing I had to share. During the world cup semi finals there was an advert for Dawn of Planet of the Apes which contained violence so Tim Wheeler does a what about the Kids cry because it was shown at Half Time. Now the issue for the we're not football fans out there is the game kicked off at 9pm UK time so the advert would not have been shown before 21:45 which to the best of my knowledge is after the "watershed" in the UK (children expected to be in bed). Also it was a school day the day after so you would expect that youngsters would have gone to bed. Also the film is rated 12A so any child could watch it with an adult. But don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant by a member of the BBC. We have even seen Wheeler comment on a team shirt that has the Logo TITZ on it which of course is a district of Duren in Germany or a German company, but no its an outrage. Maybe he is the light relief story reporter trying to make a name for himself?

Have to say the press have a habit of misreporting, misquoting, misleading and generally being a misery. I would expect it in the Guardian with the feminists there being behind Object but more and more we are seeing headlines about clubs that bear little relation to the truth but want to scaremonger. I e-mailed the reporter who quoted(?) Cllr Udall and not really any surprise but no reply thus far. And the biggest miss of all is the misrepresenting of a handful of complaints as a baying mob with pitchforks, we see 5 complaints or 8 complaints and this is suppose to be masses depending on the paper/councillor.

This is your friendly blogger commenting on behalf of the thousands of dancers and millions of customers in the UK.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Well So Much for Peace and Quiet.

Well it has been a busy few days and on this blog piece we have a couple of councils that may be actually taking note of what is going on around them rather than applying rhetoric and guesswork to what is going on.

As mentioned in my twittering post Worcseter has been running a consultation. Of course this has got local press coverage but it appears the press have been editting the comments of at least one councillor who I recently wrote to. He replied and a screenshot of that reply is below. And I think most people are concerned about the welfare of the dancers, this blog has no time for anyone who abuses dancers which is why we spend so much time addressing radical feminism. Councillor Udall is quoted as saying trafficking exists in the UK but as we know the striptease industry has not found any trafficking in any venues. So judging by the councillors comments we start to wonder what was said in the interview and what was made up. At this point I intend to try and contact the journalist involved to get a take on his position. Certainly there seems to be a gap between what the councillor says and what he has been quoted as saying.

Now on to Cheltenham where a new club Fantasy has been given permission to open on a vote on the licensing committee on a vote of 5 to 3. Now the antis have kicked up a stink in particular the salvation army and the 655 signatures it gathered. Now I can bet my regular readers are guessing like me what was in the content of the petition would contain moral objections and we all know the guidelines say objections made on moral grounds should be ignored by the council committee. However there have now been anonymous hate mail aimed at the councillors and I do hope the police take action on this. It is strange that the threats all come from the side of the good moralists, whereas us dirty perverts seem peace loving hippies in comparison. What does make this amusing is the councillor applied the letter of the law to the application and are attacked for doing their job, sort of says a lot about some aspects of those protesting who will willing ram the law down people's throats when it suits them but the moment some uses it as intended to grant a license then it is all wrong. That would be assuming they actually understand the legal aspect.

And we haven't said much about Tower Hamlets but they are popping up all over the place on the political front, seems that ejecting a member of the press that doesn't like Lutfur but the one that had me really sniggering was the article in the Telegraph (here) where the sleight of hand for remaining mayor was ridiculous (thanks Brute for this). Whilst our interest is in the venues remaining opening in Tower Hamlets we will keep our eyes on those who seem to be on a course to try and close legitimate businesses.

So considering how quiet it has been we now see a little more cropping up, there is the second club in York applying for a license which I am trying to get more information on certain aspects as our friends the York Feminist Network has popped their heads up even though it seems the university is in favour of clubs. Hopefully I will get some more in depth info.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Scotland Home of the Brave?

People may remember there has been a consultation in Scotland about how to regulate SEVs. Well the results are in and make interesting reading (pdf here). In fact in part is shows the bias that the Scottish Government has towards pushing their own agenda no matter what the public thinks.

"In total 1,017 responses were received. Of these 941 were largely identical in substance and reflected a campaign organised by the Scottish Association of Licensed Adult Entertainment Venues. It is presumed that the majority of these responses were from those who work in the industry together with customers."

This is taken direct from the summary of response where 92% of respondents wish clubs to remain open. The way the statement is written has got my hackles up as if it was Object organising a campaign or a similar group I can see that being perfectly okay but the clubs, dancers and patrons decide to write and the council just want to point out what everyone else had said even though it relates to less than 8% of responses. Not sure in the long term how it will pan out but so far not happy.

There are whole areas of questions I could make comments but I want to pick a couple of choice ones that gave me the giggles "the regime would need to be supported by inspection and monitoring arrangements by staff trained in violence against women and gender equality". Now given that Eaves commissioned the Lilith report you do feel that people with this "training" will see violence everywhere. I also loved the comment about the high quality employment Scotland needs. Struggling a bit to not laugh my head off.

I note that the wording across the report seemed to suggest that 92% of opinions were not as important as fleshing out opinions of the minority. Given the fact that the only "report" previously in Scotland is the Bindel one for Glasgow that is totally useless and just a voice for the opinion of Ms Bindel, shoddy methodology but it seems to echo the opinions of a handful who unfortunately seem to be MPs and Councillors. Obviously this was just a summary and we can but hope that when the report in fully is put out the majority view is recognised.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Police Raids... And the Rad Fems Were Bitterly Disappointed

Normally I don't post things so close together but something came up and it just has to be put out there to let the world know. What am I rambling on about?

Well it seems the police and immigration officials in Scotland "swooped" in to raid 3 Lap Dancing Clubs. The raids took place on Friday 13th in the evening. The clubs Diamond Dolls, Baby Dolls and Club Earth are all owned by Stephen MacDonald. Officers were looking for victims of human trafficking, illegal workers and drugs so we can only imagine the overly aggressive handling of the situation but would be happy if anyone can provide more information on the raids.

So the raid in Glasgow resulted in 2 offences. First was a lady in possession of an offensive weapon, no idea what the weapon was but I would see it as protecting her personal safety however the police obviously need some results after all the money spent. Another Lady was found to be in possession of a small quantity of cannabis, one guesses by the description this amount would normally warrant a cannabis warning but not sure of Scottish law on this either. The fact it was just reported and not an arrest certain suggests no more than personal use.

So the estimate on the number of officers used is around 200 including a raid on Mr MacDonald's home. Now I can't be certain but I would guess if the police hit 3 or 4 night clubs in Glasgow they would have turned up more drugs, more weapons and more likely to have found staff working illegally. Because here is the real result from the raids... No illegal staff arrested and even more importantly NO VICTIM's of trafficking. We hear things around the web and fingers being pointed at clubs for trafficking etc and yet now after these raids, the whole thing turns out to be a myth.

So after that embarrassment for not only the police and immigration but also for any and all "feminist experts" who link clubs with trafficking they now have to rethink their understanding. If any "feminist experts" like Ms Bindel would like to comment I would love to see what they make of the issues raised by the failure of the raids.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hmmm Some Twittering's

So I was pointed at twitter by Reason where Tim Wheeler of the BBC commented on a club advertising on the side of a bus. Now the advert contains images in silhouette (here) and is less suggestive than your average M&S clothes advert. Now unless the advert is braking the terms of the club license I can't see the issue, however things seem to be in people's heads making images dirtier than they really are. The reason being of course is that people apply moral judgments based on their personal subjective opinion. And I do wonder if the BBC should be commenting on censorship considering the way they protected IDS on question time. Journalists trying to censor legal adverts based on a point of view says to me that they need to look at themselves.

And speaking of twitter I have been taking a bit of a break from it as it has a habit of causing me to swear at the computer. However I decided as I was on to have a scan of the Object twitter feed and noticed that a while back a picture was posted saying that as part of the 10 year anniversary they should celebrate the dancers they have rescued. I was a bit WTF at that as the only one I know of co-authored a book with Object to promote their opinion pieces. Just how much did that "save" cost? We have seen grants given to Object but never seen completed projects as Object seem to jump bandwagons every 5 minutes. I tweeted the question at them from that picture but I am expecting the usual being ignored because the question can't be answered.

Black Cherry is applying for it's SEV license in Worcester. At the moment a consultation period is under way and due to end 27th June. Anyone who lives in the area can e-mail the council at wrsenquiries@worcsregservices.gov.uk certainly considering the usual local press hysteria the club may need support. Wouldn't be the same without a scare mongering headline selling the concept sex takes place in the venue. Laughable as readers of this blog will know but nothing like paving your way for a move from the local press to the BBC.

At this point a little sad news  that Victoria pub in Hayes has had it's licenses revoked. The Victoria was raided by the police and cocaine dealing was found leading to the arrest of 9 people. I am saddened that we have lost a venue for the foreseeable future but this blog has ALWAYS been about clubs operating within the law and about the possible beneficial results in the lowering of sexual crimes from venues being in an area. So a message to all venue owners I know that times are hard but if you allow criminals to operate from the venue you face the very real risk of losing your business. Now I have been told that the dealing was taking place from the toilets which people could access without going through the bars. However the license holder is responsible for the building and what goes on in them. Without more intimate details of what happened people will have to make their own judgments but at this point we have to say farewell to one of the more traditional venues.

There is one thing I would like readers of the blog to do if they can and that is to ask just how many dancers they "rescued" on twitter. I am sure there are organisations that gave Object grants that would love to know what the money went on.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Social Rituals, an introduction to the customer dancer dynamic.

So I have been quiet for the last couple of weeks one because the industry has been fairly quiet but two because I have several things ongoing including studies on the World Science University website. I have also been looking at the comparative nature of crime around SEVs and nightclubs, from what I have seen it would make a fantastic study for someone working in the sociology departments of a university interested in this field. You have clubs located in high crime area alongside nightclubs but when a SEV is located away from nightclubs crime and especially violent and sexual crime drops. When you look at night clubs in the same town or city though their crime rates are much higher than SEVs. Given the vocal calls by Object and the like to close SEVs with the disproven claims of causal links to sexual violence you would think there would be calls to close night clubs. Strange that Object has never seen the wood for the trees with this.

So why are SEVs less likely to have sexual violence around them? These are only personal thoughts and I would be interested to see what others think of my crazy thoughts! Those of us who at some point in our lives been fairly regular to lap dancing bars or strip pubs understand there are social rituals in which we become educated. Hardy, Kingston and Saunders published in 2012 about the social rituals and fun for dancers. This logically extends into social rituals that define behaviour between dancers and customers. Obviously there will be a minority who do not engage in the social rituals that create a non threatening behaviour pattern but the number is small. Amongst those who are not or have not attended clubs often enough to understand the social rituals behaviour patterns will be different. Depending on the length of exposure to clubs and who they have attended with guys will recognise social rituals at a different rate. The social interaction in their peer groups, reactions of dancers, bar staff and bouncers will all define the development as individuals in clubs.

So given a climate where acceptance is based on understanding and obeying rules that seem to deliberately provoke customers you start to realise that clubs may be acting as a pressure valve that teaches men to accept their desires and know that they cannot take them beyond a certain point. The self control of sitting watching a performance of a dancer within feet of you without being able to do anything is actually a really good lesson in self control not just in terms of sexual behaviour but in life in general. The fact that clubs are so rarely closed or even challenged (legitimately) over sexual violence in and around the club you begin to see a picture where the social rituals including zero contact are a positive rather than the negative that those people who do not understand club dynamics would claim.

The scientist in me, trying to get out, sees several areas that could be researched that would be interesting but unfortunately it is not down to me to decide what is and isn't researched. Perhaps any sociology researchers that read this blog (and I know a few of you do) could consider looking at why customers from clubs that are no contact do not commit the sexual crimes as claimed in the past. Given that in fact we have seen reductions in Newquay and Camden surely the implication is that SEVs are actually good for the community. Men that may have issues in speaking to women or self image issues are accepted the same as any other man and are never discounted out of hand. The social ritual of acceptance helped me after major illness and a long period in hospital. Dancers don't care about what you look like, they do not judge men based on looks but are positive in their dealing. Yes we understand it is a fantasy but sometimes a little bit of acceptance goes a long way in rebuilding or building an individual's confidence to deal with life.

So from this guess I am saying that the so called rape claims and no go areas in fact are not valid. I am sure on occasion there will be an idiot making stupid comments outside a club but you get a lot more of that outside pubs and night clubs but we never see any calls for the banning of pubs and clubs. And sociologists if you are looking for research then the social rituals between dancers and customers and the positive message it sends would be one I would look forward to reading (and yes I am sure they will be one or two that ruin the perfect result). If anyone wants to follow up off the comments field my e-mail as always is at the end.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the 4th Be With You

TonyN here on a sunny Sunday morning and getting my geek on. So the past few months we have seen a constant attack on clubs and some attempts to close them. Also we have seen in the past couple of days some of the crazy that goes with the moralistic minority that want to decide for people how they live their lives. That is not directly related to dancing but I will cover it at the end.

An article recently appeared in a Manchester Matters on line paper, nothing new there apart from it was a piece about striptease and had the views of a dancer and also that "Human Rights" organisation Object. You can read the piece here. To be honest we get the fact that Object has to claim to be Human Rights, the moment they come out and admit that they are a lobby group it turns into an epic fail for them. As you can see from the comments Brute, Edie and myself have all commented. The only thing I would say is that in some ways the call for legislation is correct in as much as there needs to be a standardised approach and if a club is to be closed either a breach in the conditions or a proper consultation. A tiny proportion of the population is not a representative figure for a council to act on, when you read 27 letters sent in for places with populations of over a million it just suggests a we can't be bothered attitude by the council.

So a little while back we were reporting that the Platinum Lounge in Chester had lost it's license. Well it seems that we have another reprieve, as reported here. So the council did not follow it's own constitution in it's attempt to close the venue. Now this is only a temporary breathing space but it does show that the councils just make things up as they go along, which anyone who has worked in local government will tell you is pretty much standard policy unless their is a long term plan to get what one councillor wants. Can see the clubs that are under threat rushing back to the minutes of council meetings and checking them against the procedures that are suppose to be followed. I wonder how many mistakes have been made.

So thinking of comment sections and pages where members of Object post I am getting rather tired of finding one to engage with and then finding that they actually don't want to discuss, debate or look at both sides of the situation. Hearing a lot about the mynameisnot which is dealing as a hashtag on twitter about some of the street harassment that some women face. Not detracting from the hashtag but just to point out to some of the people I have tried to debate with mynameisnot "pornboy", "dirty old man", "ba*****d", "kiddie fiddler" and a bit like my real life mynameisnot "Oh my god what happened to you" nor is it "I hope you don't mind me asking but". I try to treat everyone with respect and hope I never behave boorishly, guess after a lot of the name calling that goes with having this sort of view I am a bit jaded when people get onto the name is issue.

Finally I want to pick up on a horrible hashtag #PGPDVice who are the Prince George Police Department in Maryland who are intending to live tweet an undercover sting of prostitution. Now this blog central focus is/was and always will be striptease in the UK but occasionally you read something and it is wrong on so many levels you feel you have to comment. Now originally the police were saying that they were targetting prostitution and had a picture of a woman being led away in handcuffs. Now the imagery and original discussion sounded like women were going to be the targets and there was a massive backlash on twitter where a lot of people had an opinion (including myself). Then the mission statement crept to say that they were only targeting customers and intend to help the trafficked women out. In fact they claim they have previously helped loads of trafficked women in the past but strangely there seems to be nothing to back up this claim. And this is where I got a bit hot under the collar about it. The fact that women choose to do what they want with their bodies and I would never make a moral judgement on this but it seems that the only reason anyone does "that sort of work" is because they are trafficked or coerced. The problem is if you allow that sort of sloppy belief system to influence decisions it will be applied to other adult work industries and hence we get on to a slippery slope. This is just a personal belief but long term shoddy thinking is our worst enemy. One final thought on this is a sting is supposed to be a surprise not sure how that is going to work now as it is all over social media.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Consultations! If We Have To Have Them Then Let's Be Consistent

So we need to talk about consultations. A couple of events have happened over the last week or two and it has caused a few people to think. To be honest there have been discussions behind the scenes with Edie, Brute, Chasmal and myself about the issue of consultations and whilst we don't have a proposal yet I can see us seriously working on concepts in the future.

So what has caused the discussions? Well firstly Birmingham, they had a consultation along the lines of Leeds about the number of clubs to try and keep the number below 12. So one of the UK's largest Cities as the public for a response and gets a grand total of 41 responses, of which 27 want to set a limit. Now this is a population of over a million people and the people wanting to limit clubs is 0.0002% of the population. Such a ridiculously small figure and yet there is still the possibility that the council will be able to pass legislation based on this.

As pointed out about this on the SEV Licensing blog (here) the agenda refers to violence around the clubs. Yet we have seen previously that when clubs are co located with Nightclubs the violence/sexual crimes are much greater than when clubs are not near the nightclubs. Also it seems the press just can't help themselves and have to use scaremongering by inflating figures and disregarding the fact that the clubs are located in the same area as nightclubs, bars and take-away's. This sort of poor reporting unfortunately can influence politicians as the facts are not checked and policies can be made based on misinformation. I am sure there will be more about this coming out as the council decide what they are going to do.

Next we have Bolton which seems to have implemented a nil policy with exceptions for existing venues, now this came as a bit of a surprise because as far as I knew there has not been a consultation about this which is suppose to be mandatory. I know that this is being checked by Brute so when the information becomes confirmed we will add to the story. But if councils can act without a consultation then there will be long term issues. Strange because Bolton are working on the basis we have to have a policy so lets make it a nil one. If councils can do things unchecked then we would see blanket bans for the simple reason that the councillors would never want to be seen as enjoying adult entertainment. Amazing considering the number of people in the industry but there is still a stigma.

I do want to say when we have seen larger responses to consultations that have been put out to the public clearly the response tends to be in favour of the clubs. However it does seem that councils do not want to publicise consultations for fear of the people coming out in favour of the clubs so they push through ones that no one knows about. Somethings we only find out because the consultation details get published in the social media for the Anti brigade and of course if we spot it we will highlight it. But clearly when a minute part of the population of an area respond to a consultation there is an issue. Did the clubs even know that something might affect them. And if councils can put in place policies without consultations or against the wishes of the public there is major issues.

So perhaps it is time that the government did something about the consultations and more importantly made sure that if the public want clubs councils cannot close them using claims based round citizen panels which are never an accurate reflection of the general population. Or because the Council think they know best causing situations like the nil policies in Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Marathon Day I Exercise my Fingers

So the blog has passed 100,000 page views so firstly and most importantly I would like to thank those who started this journey with us both as readers and supporters. I would also like to thank Object, UK Feminista and all the councillors who have made fools of themselves (in my eyes anyway). I was hoping to do some blockbuster statement that would surprise everyone but for certain reasons I am having problems with my pet project and at present the only real figure that came as a surprise to me is that I estimate that there are around 2,000,000 private dances every year. Now that is a lot of worn down heels if you ask me. If I can get the figures to make sense then I hope to expand on that at some point.

First thing I want to mention to people is that there is an event as part of the troublemakers season at the Bishopgate Institute in London on the 8th May (here) about Raunch culture. Now the speakers are Barabara Haigh a a former Bunny girl and Sarah Mathewson of campaign group Object (nice that the BI didn't mention human rights). It is on a Thursday evening so if people want listen and if allowed question Sarah maybe? I would suggest any dancers not working that evening that can get there a strong showing may upset the apple cart so to speak. Object have broadcasted on their facebook page so people if you got the time maybe now would be good to show support for the industry we love.

Okay now onto the various bits and pieces that are a concern. Certainly I am concerned and upset by the treatment of the Lodge by Oxford council who suggested the club move, it moves next to a night club which runs the risk of trouble and in fact the Lodge bouncers have help the club next door from what I have been finding. Yet the club gets shafted as "New" plans suddenly appear this year about redeveloping the area. I would suggest the council knew all along and have been working to close a legitimate business because of one person in the form of Bob Price saying he doesn't want a club like that in his City. Personally the whole business stinks to high heavens and how a judge did not at least question the council behaviour I nwill never know. The Lodge looks like putting on Burlesque from now till Xmas when it seems it will close.

Next stop in my whirlwind tour is that Wildcats is mounting a second appeal. Once again the whole issue or councils be carte blanche to do what they want based on a belief. As this blog has stated before the only mandate the council got was from the citizen panel which is not a public consultation but a self elected group. Certain we are not sure about the make up of who responded to the question from the CP as the details from Leeds council have disappeared. Certainly on the TWO public consultation the council did NOT get a clear mandate but hey why let facts bother you?

Finally I would like to visit good old Tower Hamlets just like the Auditors did last week. The council has passed the SEV licensing and will be adopting schedule 3 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 from 1 June 2014. This after letters from two law firms stating that the council does not have the power to take the decision and even if it did the report put forward by the council does not set out a legal basis for the decision. Worth noting as well that the response to the letters basically ignores the questions and comes over as if we want to do something then we can. Which given the current issues facing the council and what has lead them to this point actually comes as no surprise. Nice to see the council is still insisting on funding 70 - 100 private dances a year per club and pub for it staff though which is what the money for investigating the clubs seems to be for. Shoes, ladies, shoes... you will not see Churches or the like on the council employees, most will be wearing marks and spencer type suits and ladies I am sure you can better identify the quality of watches. Bad habits I saw a lot of with council employees is to tuck their identity card in the top pocket of their shirt.

One thing that has struck me about Tower Hamlets is that the Panorama programme pointed out that funds may be being used to encourage religius groups to get their adherents to support the mayor, now I could never prove that the slow pressure building on the clubs is part of the mayor acting to encourage religious leaders in the area to back him but when you consider what was claimed by the BBC it would certainly not be beyond the realms of possibility that other acts by the mayor could cause religious groups to back him. So is this another attempt at getting support and have the council fallen for it?

As always you can comment or e-mail me on tonyprince@acdcfan.com


Friday, March 28, 2014

And the Fiasco's Go On

Well been quiet but  a couple of things have occurred that need to be brought up. I was planning to do a review of what we have covered as we are about to hit the 100k mark for page views on the blog but the activity must revolve around current interests.

So according to Rania Khan Tower Hamlets has finally taken a nil policy even though they never got a clear mandate for it and it revolves around a bit of a con that they put in the earlier consultation around boundaries. This blog warned that this would be the ploy and that using what seemed an innocent question worked to cause a lot of issues. but we now have a nil policy with exceptions. Now the claim is that the council will only judge existing venues on merits but I wonder how long before the council try to push their luck and close a venue. Now the minutes haven't come out yet so this may get edited.

Will say it is a nice little earner for the council as the fee for each venue is £9,070. A big chunk (£2625) is allocated to compliance visit costs. Which depending on venue and time of day works out as 100 dances a year roughly with a bit of beer and the occasional glass for a dancer. So for all those lovely ladies out there here are a few tips on what to watch for in compliance officers. And not sure what the compliance officer will do in the case of the Swan.

Shoes and watches, most dancers will know exactly what I mean by that. Poor council employees are usually struggling with a mortgage, kids etc so expect a wad of cash flashed but they don't look like it should be theirs.

Tired eyes.... over a year they will see 300 dances or so. Too much in too short a time gives an overload on the senses.

Flashing the cash too quickly. They will be wanting to entrap dancers but have a limited time so they will act like really big spenders.

There will be other more subtle signs like forgetting to put away their council id card.They will also be worried in case regular council employees come in as they could identify them. Depending on venue and its relative location to the council buildings. So please dancers do not give those guys an excuse to close venues. Force the council to show that they have another agenda.

So across London to Camden and Spearmint Rhino who have been told that the council are withdrawing their license. Rather than go back over the power couple and their collision course with the venue which we commented on here. Just to bring you up to date we now have a fifth member of the licensing committee who is Labour and you have to feel that with the couple pressing for a vote with them we will see constant issues. Now I am sure when SPMR get the official notification they will appeal as it is all about curtains that create a private booth which is what the council don't want along with CCTV in the toilets by the sounds of it which the council do want.

So off we go to court, I cannot see the SPMR flagship rolling over and playing dead. And they will continue to operate up until a judge says the council are right which is definitely not certain. And even if the judge does I can see the place adapting to the regs. The power coule will find excuses to try and shut the venue every time and even claiming that Tottenham Court road is a residential area.... I mean really the 100 club and all the shops and bars are so obviously residences. However the Fitzrovia area has some people that want to try and close the place down (probably over property value in their eyes) and no doubt they will be supporting the two councillors behind the closure attempts. I will say these two are the most socially media savvy Councillors I have come across so far with very little connecting them to anything suggesting they are applying personal morals and yet reading the statement made by Thomas as chair of the committee it does come across as moralistic in my humble opinion.

Anyway this will no doubt rumble on just like the Tower Hamlets fiasco. And not that this blog should be saying we told you so, but on Tower Hamlets we told you so.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Object Recruiting New CEO

A little fun from blog founder Chasmal

In a move that we find surprising, Object are looking for a new CEO to replace Anna van Heeswijk. But who will they find that can live up to the standards that Anna set? We've been thinking about it and if we were a betting shop, these are the odds that we would be offering.....

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Object's Resources on Lap Dancing, Not Really Improving

So this week saw an interesting turn of events when Object decided to re-promote themselves via Mumsnet by writing a piece about the Channel 4 programme Strippers. Now I am not going to write about the programme as the superb Plastic Dolls Head blog has written about them here and here and as a former dancer the blog has great validity talking from inside the real world rather than the fantasy that Object thinks exists. What I do want to discuss is the result of Object posting on Mumsnet.

Well the usual attitude from the usual crowd so I wasn't expecting much, however a liberal feminist who is on Mumsnet, and has a neighbour who is a dancer, also posts in the feminist section of Mumsnet decided to ask a question. Sausage (screen name) has swapped e-mails with myself and reads the blog so when Object tried to big themselves up she asked why there was still dead links on their lap dancing resources page including the dead Lilith report. Now I tweeted etc at Object back at the beginning of August 2013 about the issues with their page and surprise surprise I was ignored. If does seem though that if the feminist section of Mumsnet ask questions then finally a response in that they have updated their page twice in the last 4 days. The first time they deleted the Lilith report from their resources as it does not exist and they had the dead links removed. Object has also done a second up date to find new links for the reports that were dead so now I intend to look at what after all the time trying to help them that links had died we see what they now think is relevant.

So at the top of list is that joke of a report by Julie Bindel which has been commented on here and here.

The we have the Mindy Bradley report which focuses on the poor and women of colour working in American Clubs which as we know have a different set of rules. Importantly she is not worried about women overall just a specific demographic in the industry.

We still have the report It’s just like going to the Supermarket: Men buying sex in East London which is a study on street prostitution in Tower Hamlets. Having read the report there is nothing referring to sex in clubs just a vague passing reference to the fact that some men who go to SEVs may pay for an Escort. Interestingly they do not comment on the number of men who may not and given how the sample was obtained by adverts in papers the response would be tainted by the type of person who would respond to that.

Okay Holsopple I have said before and will say again the report has no relevance to SEVs in the UK in 2014 but as Lilith is dead they have to hold on to this to try for the claims of violence.

Now on to the Industrial Vagina by Sheila Jefferies, which merges so many arguments that the message is all adult entertainment is wrong. Having not read the book don't know what she says about UK SEVs though. However not expecting much reference at all to the current UK position.

The next two links both go to a page on Spinifex that has nothing to do with Striptease, guess someone didn't check their page editing.

And on again to Raphael and Shapiro dealing with the violence of prostitution in America. Still can't see the relevance to the clubs but there is this desperate attempt to link violence to SEVs even though the figures show that this is not the case.

Scottish Executive report which is the rehash of the disaster that in Bindel's 2004 "work" (and I use the word work in the loosest possible terms). Reads a bit better given the quality of its foundation.

Next is suppose to be a link to work by Rebecca Stark next but links to an ethics book on Prostitution and Pornography which is a moral judgement if it is the work they meant.

Finally Jennifer K. Wesley work in West Florida dealing with dancers who were/are abused, but doesn't identify the percentage of dancers who have this issue and thus implies it is the whole industry. Standard practice to create an image by using specific target research data to create a squiffy view of the industry. And of course this is Florida so we can see how it applies to the UK.

To be honest it looks like Object are not really any better off and the whole of the UK argument hinges on the appalling work by Bindel. The rest is an attempt to imply violence and prostitution inside UK SEVs. So even after removing the car crash that was Lilith the page still  has all sorts of rubbish with no relevance to today's clubs.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Reminder and Suggestion:- Don't Take Your License For Granted

So after all the pressing for Johnson's bill it didn't get heard on Friday. But that combined with some recent news out of Birmingham (thanks Melon Farmers for this) about letters pouring in against a new club did make me think.

So how comes when the local press claim 8 whole letters poured in didn't we hear more? And if such a massive number of objections can cause an application to fail we see issues about just what people power can do when councillors let their morals do their thinking for them. So perhaps we are seeing people power at work.

So this is a message to dancers, customers and clubs never assume that a club is safe. When license renewals come up there will be letters from objectors so now is the time not to be lazy or we wont have venues to go to. The councils have to redact the name and contact details of anyone who writes in so any worries that people who don't know about your hobby/work/interest are something you no longer have to worry about.

Clubs this short para is for you. Mobilise your customers and dancers, speak to your suppliers and ask them to support as loss of jobs will interest councils. Also local businesses that may get work from your customers such as restaurants, taxi firms and even hotels. Take note of what councillors are on the panel and especially if they are connected to groups that would oppose the club/pub. Any new clubs starting up there is a lot of this that will apply to you, the councils are driven by the vocal minority as it is the only voice they hear. So lets start making our voices heard.

We should all be aware that councils are driven by what the public want, if more people speak out on behalf of the clubs the less likely councils will act to close them. We see e-petitions pop up that get over half the signatures from outside the area of the club so lets see local support. If clubs get shut down on a handful of letters then a real flood of real people writing real letters will make a difference. The fact that boiler-plates are the stock tool for those writing in against clubs shows that these are people that don't think for themselves that they are told what to think.

So perhaps not the best call to arms but laziness is going to be one of the reason we lose clubs. Get active, get aggressive and don't make assumptions that everything will be just hunky dory. Letting the sheeple win is not something we should be proud of or even let happen.

Was thinking on twitter this AM about the number of tired arguments out there that are produced by rote by the anti club brigade. What about the kids and what about the church is one that really gets me, considering the incidents with sexual assault by the religious hierarchy perhaps they would be better closing religious centres to protect the kids. Also even though we have seen lilith debunked by just abut everyone we still see veiled references suggesting sexual violence around SEVs, the maths show the lie behind that argument but it will continue to be trotted out even if police have no objections. And speaking of the police you always see the claim of anti social behaviour, now if a SEV had loads of that I would guess the police would be asking to close the club, strangely I can only think of a couple of cases and if venues don't look after the locals then they will get stiffed eventually. And that sort of leads into the no go area, which if there is CCTV and security sounds like the sort of place you would not be scared of, however it is a perception in peoples' heads, I remember walking through Brixton in London at 2am with a friend who was terrified they would be attacked but nothing happened. No go areas in general are a lot less real but changing peoples perceptions takes time. Friendly security that interacts with the public and puts out a positive attitude to the public will help clubs.

Okay not where I was going when I started but a reminder of what dancers, clubs and customers face. If we want to have SEVs operating in a few years then we have to start acting now. And yes before I forget a few lines in this were meant to be in the sarcastic font.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Diana Johnson MP, how local is ‘local’?

I would like to thank Brute for writing this article and his work in getting the FoI.

Some readers of this blog may be aware that Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston-upon-Hull North, made a speech to the House of Commons on the 28th of January, outlining a Private Member’s Bill which proposed making the adoption of Sexual Entertainment Licences (SEVs) mandatory for all local authorities with regard to striptease venues.

As part of her speech to the House, Johnson quoted three letters which she said she had received from ‘local residents’. I was unaware of there being any striptease venues within the Kingston upon Hull North constituency, and some of the content of these letters seemed strangely familiar to me, so I decided to investigate matters further by sending a Freedom of Information Request to Kingston upon Hull City Council the following is their reply:

"Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Information Request - 000304/14

With regard to your Freedom of Information request received on 7 February 2014, please find our response below.

'I am making an enquiry under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, and I would grateful if you would provide me the following information:-

• Details of premises within the city currently licenced for striptease (either under the Police and Crime Act 2009, or the Licensing Act 2003);

• Details of any premises which were licenced for striptease (under the Licensing Act 2003) over the last ten years, i.e. from February 2004;

• Records of any official complaints made against the above premises, either to Kingston-upon-Hull City Council or Humberside Police.'

The only two premises that have been licensed for striptease are Fantasy Bar (now the Honey Trap) and Purple Door.  There have been no official complaints made against either of these premises.

We hope that you will be satisfied with our response and should you require any further information then please do not hesitate to contact us."

The Honey Trap and the Purple Door are both clubs in the city centre of Hull, which comes under the neighbouring constituency of Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle.

Johnson’s Bill is due for a second reading before Parliament this coming Friday, the 28th of February; thankfully, it has little-to-no chance of becoming law. However, the content of the above speech has sparked off a few questions for her in my mind, starting with: is a ‘local resident’ the same thing as a constituent; and if not, what constitutes ‘local’ in this context?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Oxford, a Look Back In Anger

So the battle that the Thirst Lodge has been fighting has taken a turn for the worst. An appeals judge Lord Justice Lloyd Jones has decided the council can decide to close a venue even if they have previously granted a license and there has been no change of use in the area. This could be a dangerous precedent that could affect clubs and pubs around the UK.

Now this has been part of a battle that has seen Cllr Bob Price Leader of Oxford City Council who said in 2010 he did not want lap-dancing clubs in Oxford. He called lap-dancing “dubious and exploitative”, adding: “It may not be unlawful, but it’s not something we want here.” Which is very not in my back yard and makes the assumption about the rest of the general public who never really objected to the club license except for a small handful from the Oxford Feminist Network.

Back in 2011 when the church close to the club tried to have the license removed found that Deputy District Judge Gary Lucie threw out the church’s appeal after finding there was no public nuisance, the church’s activities rarely overlapped with Thirst Lodge’s opening hours and crime in the area had fallen since the club’s change of use. And we note the last part of the statement that crime had fallen!

Now because of all the fuss the owner decided to move the club to a new location. You would think the council might have said at the outset that they didn't think the location was suitable but they were happy to let the club reopen in its new location of Oxpens and grant a license. Strange that one year later they announce plans for the future for the area and also decide the Lodge was no longer suitable for the area. Oxford Feminist Network did claim a survey showed that women in the area were being verbally abused by the club customers even though the club is sat next to a night club and it would be hard to tell which club is to blame. Plus of course there seems to be a lack of police reports, you know with the claims of being verbally abused but only on a person's claim which remember we have seen Object in the past encourage people to use.

So here we have a club that moved because the council was making noises about its old location. Now I can't see a club moving to a new location without being told they will get their license, yet the council neglected to mention that plans were being worked on for the area. I have said it before but to me this was a deliberate ploy to shut the club by getting it to locate near to a night club so any issues from the night club becomes the Lodge's problems. I just cannot see the club moving in isolation and personally I think the council pulled a disgusting maneuver as in my years in local government I saw how long it took to get plans like the work planned for Oxpens. It was, to me, a deliberate ploy to close the Lodge and after £100k of investment the 1 year of operation and the attempts to close the place needs to be questioned.

Okay I am rehashing old ground but this sends out a message that will affect clubs all over the UK. Now what gets me is the fact that not even 0.1% of the population of Oxford complained so this is not about what the public wants but about what a very small minority want. Shame that the council didn't ask the locals what they thought.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)