Firstly yes it has been a long time since anyone put brain power into the blog but there is a good reason. I am sure Chasmal will be filling us with his wit at some point but basically the original issue this blog was created to combat has disappeared, I am sure there will be something else to fight and we are still keeping our eyes on councils to make sure the crazies don't get away with changing things without someone noticing. Certainly been watching consultations and hopefully I will get information that I can write about in the near future.
However right now I want to raise issues with the language many councils use in their formal documentation about clubs, the policies and guidelines that to be honest a lot of people would TL:DR (too long didn't read) and guessing most people would read the executive summary and the conclusion which leads to a very misleading interpretation for people would just glance at the documents rather than check each and every point. So what are the things that are bugging me so badly that it could actually inspire me to write something? It comes down to the wording in the definition of SEV which is in every single policy document councils produce.
Every single policy document that I have read (which covers nearly all of England and Wales) mentions Live Sex Shows. Now I have been going to venues for the best part of 30 years and in that time I have to say I have not seen anything that could be classified as such for the last 20 years. Even back then it was rare to see anything naughty at any venue apart from odd Sundays. Now I am sure that stag events would be much more along those lines but when we are talking about licensed venues I don't see how it is possible to have something you could describe as a live sex show and maintain the council policies. In the guidelines for clubs it clearly states in every policy document dancers should in no way allow any penetration or stimulation of the dancer's genitalia. And yes the language the council uses clearly forbids any form of sex show so why would they put it in the description of SEVs?
So I am sure everyone can guess exactly the other issue I have with the policy documents. Yes every single policy document mentions Lap Dancing... and every single policy guideline for dancers forbids contact between customer and dancer. Now unless there is a new definition of lap dancing that I haven't heard then it has been 14 years or so since any form of private dance could be classified as a lap dance. So we have two very strong and totally inaccurate descriptions of SEVs that every reader of policy would see at the outset, but it takes someone who is willing to read pages of councilese to realise that, in fact, the description in no way reflects what happens at clubs.
Now as to why that particular wording is used I am not sure but I do feel that it does automatically creates a belief about what happens in clubs that is in fact a fantasy. Yet it is a fantasy the councils seem to want perpetuate, perhaps to cover anything they miss but in my mind they use the wording to create a negative view of the clubs in a deliberate way. Now it may just be one or two councils that used the wording and it has been copied but I struggle to see how any councillor can approve a policy that is NOT a reflection of the reality of the club. In the future it will be a point I raise about any license or policy that a council produces which does not reflect the reality. If you are going to put the word lap dancing in a policy document and then ban it the council needs to make it clear at the outset as those people who fight against the clubs have images in their heads that do not relate to reality. And yes they have probably never been in a club so they truly have no idea of what happens.
Now I don't answer as fast as I use to but if you have anything you want investigated obviously you can post it here or you can e-mail me. There will be no writing without something we feel is necesssary to at least discuss.