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 (

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 (

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 (