Tuesday, June 23, 2020

TonyN 1965 - 2020

It is with much sadness that I have to tell you that TonyN has passed away. His death was from natural causes and occurred earlier this year.

Tony was the driving force behind this blog and his unwavering commitment to fighting prohibitionist forces helped save clubs throughout the UK. He had an awesome ability to research and analyse data that you will find reflected in the articles he wrote for StrippingTheIllusion.

Not many of you will know that Tony was burdened with severe health issues and had been for some years. It was very difficult for him to get far from his home, so the times we met for an afternoon beer in The Horns will remain in my memory. Despite the challenges posed by his health, Tony was always optimistic and upbeat about life. His Twitter page was full of links to music he wanted to share and news about his gaming activities. He made the most of what he had and lived as full a life as possible. If more people were like him, the world would truly be a better place.

Just before I learned of his passing, I was listening to music and this song was playing, so I leave a link below in memoriam to my friend. I am sure there is more I could and should write, but I intend to leave things here.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

There are a couple of elephants in the room we need to deal with before I take a look at how “accurate” the Not Buying It pdf is on the “sleaze”. Firstly is the statement made that Julie Bindel is an expert on striptease. The would be like saying I am an expert on Veganism while I stuff my face with a bacon butty. The report commissioned back in 2003 for Glasgow council saw Ms Bindel publish a book about striptease. The laughable thing about this is that when councils commission reports they nearly always tell the consultant the nd goal required and work backwards. How would I know this? I commissioned 6 IT project with consultants and every time I told them the end I wanted and they worked from there. Given Ms Bindel's stance on any for of sex work the result could have been written well before any research was actually done. So this claim of an expert may her been stretched a little and Ms Bindel's honesty about her study has been questioned about this before here and here. Ms Bindel's research has been criticized heavily on other work in the big brothel for the Poppy Project 27 academics and other researchers involved in research into prostitution, who complained that the study had been conducted without ethical approval or acknowledgement of existing sources, and had been co-written by a researcher with anti-prostitution views This was taken from wiki and immediately highlights the issue with her work.

Second elephant is the history of Not Buying It and their previous incarnation as Object Now Ltd. They had no issues either not telling the whole truth or giving the length of time they rammed Lilith down everyone's throat they they were quite happy uses resources that were not fact checked. We get the same in the previous blog entry where they identified two US venues as being in London. The sort of laziness brings everything they do into question. And we today look at the first screen shot which shows NBI busy talking about videoing by customers and state clearly they view it as revenge porn. Strange that they are busy denying that when challenge about their behaviour, at best it is two faced laziness and like many I view it as revenge porn unfortunately there is not enough money in NBIs bank to make it worthwhile pressing a claim.

From the mouth of babes

Not sure how this has anything to do with clubs as the guy has obviously been to places where you can't touch which is what NBI want

One thing I noticed was NBI try to paint the fantasy that a man holds as an issue with a strip venue. A man elects to hire a Working Girl and nothing is said about where and when but it is interesting to note that he clears states he wants to enact the situation at the club but to do what he would not be allowed to at the club by touching and more. Can anyone tell whart any club or dancer has done wrong at this point? It seems like a linkage by fantasy rather than any fact.

Women assualted for doing what NBI want

The fact that dancers refused customers any form of sexual contact and were assaulted for it is terrible, firstly that any customer has that level of entitlement and second NBI are busy blaming others for customers attitudes when the portrayal of venues by NBI increases the factors of entitlement and NBI are busy telling everyone clubs offer these services. It is obvious that at least 3 clubs don't and if NGOs stop portraying SEVs as bump and grind joints man would not feel the same level of entitlement.

Really This is what club's fault?
Now we see a guy asking for a recommendation of clubs that offer extras. The fact there was nothing else associated with the PunterNet request display indicates that no one recommended a venue with extras. You would think with the number of venues in London there would be plenty if the claims NBI make were anywhere near factual.

I suspect this was from the defunct Flying Scotsman which operated in the old red light district of Kings Cross
Now we look at the study from Ms Bindel where dancers were interviewed by who knows who without informing the dancer. So we get expectations that seem to marry up with the beliefs of NBI yet you can see by the answers that nothing extra is being offered and the expectation is set up by something else, quite possibly NGOs trying to shut strip venues. Perhaps if feminist stop the stigmatizing language the behaviour would minimise and stop affecting dancers.

Objectification Much?
Here we have something that is just pure assumption, it deny's the dancer any agency and more portrays the dancer as nothing more than a machine that cannot reason for themselves. One minute dancers are nothing more than tools of the patriarchy, then brain washed victims and also infantile humans who cannot recognise what is being done to them. All three would be labelled as objectification if done by a man yet not so it seems if other women do it.

Minimal sample size and how many were just bigging it up after many beers?
Now it is straight away clear that although knowing that the Flying Scotsman was a strip pub in the old red light area of Kings Cross it was often portrayed as a club with the same license conditions. The key thing that the linking to Bindel's report is a lot of the interviews were done by sight rather than questioning the interviewee so it becomes guess work by the people who did the interview rather than solid face. The concept that an interviewer could over loud music could guess what a man was asking a dancer seems ludicrous. We have no idea what interviewers asked male customers and did they deliberately select the most drunk men? The figures were never broken down so we cannot challenge the validity of them. Perhaps Ms Bindel could share the exact breakdown of the conduct of the research.

The US scene is totally different to the UK but hey thats just a fact
The fact that NBI are busy trying to make people view venues as the same as American explains why they are busy trying to use American figures and incidents as though they affect the UK in the same way they affect the USA. For me this is part of the NBI throw enough poop at things and something is bound to stick.

Now this is just one PDF and not even a full break down but I wanted to be as accurate as I can be. There are more documents and a lot more poorly thought out screen shots to entertain us. I call Ms Bindel's work for Glasgow a piece of fiction and if she wants to take me to court over my statements please do I have enough facts to feel that the claims made by Ms Bindel are not the truth and the report for Glasgow had an end result set out before the research even started.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Nobody is Buying It, You Can't Even Give It Away

Before I start there something that I want every reader to go check out, I have swopped messages with dancers and feel that I shouldn't steal their voices it is best if everyone takes a few more minutes and reads what the union has put out. It is something that I personally find absolutely abhorrent and having talked to a few dancers the whole thing stinks. What has everyone up in arms? Women's Equality Party and our buddies at NO One is buying it sent in investgators to catch venues out. But the thing is the investigators recorded the dancers on Video. Forgetting the moral issues which comes close to revenge porn there is a legal issue of a lack of consent. Read the article here on United Voices of the World.

So sitting here about to embark on a rather long blog piece as a rebuttal to Dr Sasha Rakoff's claims for Not Buying It listed under striptease sleaze on their website. I would suggest you screen shot a copy in case they decide to remove the offending piece. Now the blog has been quiet because there hasn't been much stupidity out there that has been worth putting the time and effort in. The clubs are getting their licenses renewed, a lot with zero challenges and only a few with any real risk. So been sitting down investigating something that because there are not enough data points so there is no way I would made a claim of anything. However it seems that others have decided to make a serious mess and then get that mess in the Times. It is the old throw enough and hope it sticks approach (cheers Brute).

Andrew Norfolk is a senior reporter at the Times and worked on breaking the story about abuse in Rotherham and the grooming gangs. It is obvious he maintains a relationship with victims as the latest poster girl for Not Buying It is Sammy Woodhouse and if a reporter doesn't fact check his source before publishing in a national newspaper then there is something wrong. I will be writing to the Times pointing out the standard of the source material. However Sammy was involved in the grooming and then went into stripping. Obviously it is an industry that can affect people but lots of industries employ people without checking their mental state. I belieeve Sammy has a book out which is an echo of the Object approach to campaigning before they crashed and burned.

So this is going to be very dry, boring and full of simple maths but it is important people understand just how poorly people have put claims together that make no sense and are really poor mathematically. To start with Not Buying It (who I will use NBI in future for) asked Professor Phil Hubbard for the number of venues out there as was told between 150 and 190. Now to make a claim of a problem sound like a real issue use the term a third sounds a lot worse than just over a quarter. However if NBI are making claims based on 150 venues then I will use that too unless they want to base on a different number of clubs. See when someone uses a scale or a baseline in mathematics it makes sense any person who continues to discuss the issue should keep it the same.

Before I even start making points on the claims made by NBI first I need to look at the ensure the basic maths are dealt with and that the approach ensures no duplications and that venues that are no longer open are not included as NBI claim the figures are for the current industry (eg part of the 150). Obviously generic claims are harder to analyse but I will try to get this includes the issue with TENs that are going to be involved. The “fact sheet” refers 65 news paper reports that haven't been fact checked in the slightest.

So after reading through and checking for venues that are currently operating and removing duplicate entries for venues we are down from over 60 to 25 venues actually with anything to answer. Which when you cut something in half it is not a good sign to start with. Perhaps the best sign of the standard of research and fact checking is the last three items listed about two clubs in Worcs. The Rivera Show club and Platinum Premier. Now if anyone took 30 seconds to check the details they find that the Worcs concerned is in fact in Massachusetts, USA. Now I don't know who did the work and who got paid but Sasha I would want my money back.

There is another entry for Worcs about the actual venue Black Cherry was raided by Police acting on local intelligence for modern day slavery. If this was the case I would be up there with my pitchfork. However it seems the Owner and the manager were both released a few hours later without charge. I read the same article and I would never make a claim about Slavery when no charges have been brought. Perhaps the manager and the owner should be thinking about action both against the Times as well as NBI. In case they don't see this article I may just drop them an e-mail. Anyway this would drop the figures to 24.

Included in the list of reasons that clubs need to be shut down is the Griffin in London. I was a little surprised as there was no legal issue about the club just the opinion about the pub from an online mag. It wasn't the author's cup of tea so he called it sleazy. Not sure that can be counted as an actual legal issue so as far as I am concerned we are now looking at 23.

Now comes four stories in the press that are variations of a theme. Three have the dancer attacked and one has the venue attacked. The reason for the attacks is the clubs following the rules and dancers not performing sex acts.  Following the rules should not be abuse from the club. The club and the dancers are doing exactly what the councils expect of them. I don't know why guys go in expecting sex? Might have something to do with the claims made by NBI. In the future any dancer who is attack should hold NBI partially responsible as the stories and claims NBI make will set an expectation. And trying to create claims of abuse when the dancers follow the rules annoys the hell out of me. So we are now at 19 which is less than a third of the claims made by NBI on their PDF currently having value.

There is one that doesn't quite fit in this as a customer got handy and was reprimanded by the club, the fact he was a Lib/Dem candidate for MP in Tower Hamlets. Once again the dancer and club followed the rules but it seems if it makes it into the paper even if the story is about the club and dancers following rules there is still a story to deal with. But someone saw an article and rather than checking what happend they put it on their PDF so then there were 18.

There are two clubs I cannot be sure are open or closed, I am looking into this and it may change the figures even more. Also there are two venues where brawls took place outside, in both cases the only link to the fight is the fact it happened in the street that the club is in. I am trying to confirm if the club was involved in any way. There is one where a fight broke out inside and spilled into the street, Still if you compare it to night clubs it is nothing. I will leave the figures in so this would take it down possibly to 16. Still 18 until we learn more. I wouldnt argue about an issue if the fight breaks out inside.

Finally there are two stories where the venue has agreed to amend practices with the council so whilst the stories have value the venues are working to correct the issues. I would call the total 16 but just to be kind I will leave it at 18 with the possibility for it to go as low as 14 actual incidents over the last ten years.So clubs will work at ensuring dancer and customers are protected to save their licenses. Just going shut them all down, make thousands of women unemployed and claim someone might find work for them. It is not going to happen the only way to protect dancers and provide them with meanngful employment is to make sure the clubs and dancers understand how the rules need to work.

I have struggled with the claims of reporters working undercover in venues. Apart from the issue of dancing and performing on stage there is the issue of reporting, not being able to go back and say nothing going on. I mean what Editor would accept that and there would be no report. So call me concerned but it would be hard to trust those reports. Especially after reading some of the things Andrew Norfolk has got up to in making sure he gets a big byline.

So even if we take 150 venues as the standard we are working to it would being the actual figure to under an eigth instead of over a third. Just how NBI can justify such a mess I am not sure. Even worse is the case of the Times publishing a story that not only hasn't be fact checked it also has issues could leave to claims of defamation of character. So we are deinitely down to under 12.5% of the industry and could fall below 10% depending on feedback

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

And This Really is a Peach

So after a long hiatus, TonyN here. We have been quiet lately, as there has been nothing important to post about. There have been small bits and pieces but nothing that would have a significant impact on the Strip Industry. So it has taken some pretty important news from the Wirral to get us up and around. So what is this earth shattering news and why is it so important to the industry? Well Peachez is a strip club that opened some months ago, it seems without the necessary planning permission. The club had been running without any incidents for over 6 months when the Leader of the Council decided it was time to close it down. Now according to the bloggers at Wirral Leaks, Phil 'Powerboy Pip' Davies. the council leader, has an ego and by the sounds of it a big ego at that. Certainly if you want to find out more about some of the shennigans I would suggest WirralLeaks as a good place to start.

Now Peachez was operating legally with a SEV License issued from the Council back in October 2017 as there were no indications of any license breaches and as followers of the blog know you cannot apply moral judgements on venues. Now the councillors Phil Davies and Jean Stapleton decided to use planning laws to close the venue by declaring it as unsuitable for the location. So Peachez appealed and the national planning inspectorate had to make a decision on if the club was suitable. And this is where it gets exciting and has much wider impact. Well the directorate has ruled in favour of the club and it said it creates a positive impact on the night time economy.

Now Phil and Jean must be fuming as they have not only failed to close the club, they have created a National Precedent that other clubs can use when councils argue inappropriate locations. See the council not only lost the decision but they were ordered to pay Peachez costs. And knowing how tight council budgets are, having to spend large chunks of change to try and close a club and fail you can expect a lot of councils to go well not going to risk our money knowing how the ruling stands.

So some of the arguments from Cllr Davies, Cllr Stapleton and Ms J Wood MBE are all much of a muchness. Arguing exploitation is one thing but every employee is exploited by their work in one way or another, more important would be to discuss the issues with the dancers to protect them rather than denying women the choice. And yes no choice is made in a vacuum but talking to those involved rather than making judgements would seem far more sensible.

I did note in the various articles that there was a reference to domestic violence, however no actually proof was presented just chinese whispers hinting at the Lilith report without coming out and saying it as we know just how debunked the Lilith report was and the fact there is no linking venues to domesstic violence. Now Ms Woods works at the rape survival unit and that is why she has her MBE, I have nothing against her and praise her work with women struggling with a horrible situation, however her position gives her influence. If you take time to read her twitter you can see the type of person she is, as an individual, from the retweets. Especially the retweets from someone calling themselves Nordic Model, now they reference strip clubs as places that are full of trafficked women and children. Of course we know in the clubs investigated under Pentameter and Pentameter 2 no victims of traffcking have been found.

But of course facts are not important when talking about clubs people are too busy passing moral judgements and trying to hide them as legitimate issues. The use of planning to close venues has been shot down unless there truly is an issue and at this point I suspect councils will have to accept clubs and the postive impact they have on the night time economy , at least for the time being.

So we now have morals not being acceptable as a reason to close a club and the whole issue of using planning applications to refuse or close existing clubs. Council have really tight budgets and thanks to Wirral Council leader letting his ego get away from him and trying to close a legal business we now have a legal precendent. And as to the arguments that Davies, Stapleton and Wood have put forward we have no idea who decided to try and recreate the fear mongering that was behind Lilith but that doesn't wash as there are no causal links between clubs and sexual violence.

One other thing that was quoted was the increasing numbers of venues, now I haven't checked for a while but by my count we have gone from over 300 to under 180 which is a 40% drop in venues around England and Wales. So as you see people making all sorts of claims none of which are based on any sort of facts. But thanks to the egos working on a vacuum of information we now have a better position for clubs around the Country.

TonyN (tonyprince@acdcfan.com)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Designer Feminist Magazine Summer Special

With everything that has been going on, I thought it might be an idea to drop in on our friends at Designer Feminist magazine. It seems they have a new agony aunt...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Why We Love Sheffield Labour Students

Because the simple truth is that they do....

It's a inconvenient truth for Sasha and the SWERFs that strip clubs feed families. The tragedy of this is that if the prohibitionist agenda succeeds, those families are at risk. Dancers come to the UK from across the globe, from countries that do not have what we take for granted in the UK in terms of the NHS, benefits and access to opportunity. Every time a club closes, strippers lose their jobs and have to either find another club or try and get another job that does not have the potential to pay anywhere near as well.

Over the past twenty years I have come to know many background stories about why young women became dancers. Many  see the job as a way of funding the chance to see the world as it is, for others the UK is just a stop on such a journey. Many are funding a degree or a creative/business endeavour. I know a girl that dances because the money she can send back is building a home for her parents that they own as opposed to rent. I knew another girl that bought her parents house for them and paid for her sisters university education. There was another that is paying her mothers medical bills among other things. Behind every dancer there is a story of someone struggling to make their own and other peoples lives better.

Clubs do feed families, but that's not all. They house them, they educate them and return them to good health. Whoever designed the above poster said in four words as much if not more than I have ever done with this blog.

Oh, before I go, as we can see below the SWERF attacks continue and Sheffield Labour Students continue to make the attackers look small minded and stupid...

Continuity Object

Object ceased to be a viable campaign group sometime before its dissolution in January 2017. It was about this time that TonyN and I decided that there wasn't much really going on and that the blog could take a rest. In some respects that may have been a bad decision as I failed to consider what might have been happening in the wreckage of Object. So lets do an update and see what happened...

Well sometime last year, they rebranded as ObjectNow and created a vastly improved website. There seemed to be an issues in the background that lead to the demise of the original company and happily Janice Williams, the new leader of Continuity Object explains what happened below...

Wow! They certainly had a torrid time and by the looks it Janice wants us to believe its all down to Anna and Roz, which somehow I doubt, but never mind. To be honest, I had forgotten about Object and then something happened to remind me they existed.

Good old Jan decided bung Sasha some money for her judicial review crowdfunder, which surprised me because I didn't think they had two pennies to rub together. Anyway, I decided to take a peak at their Twitter account and found it strange...

As you can see, Jan was very busy closing her accounts with the Co-operative Bank, because apparently they refuse facilities to 'all-women' organisations'.

Sorry? Can you run that one past me again please?

The Co-operative Bank discriminates against all-women organisations? 

The bank that markets itself as an ethical bank, that seeks to avoid investing in companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuel extraction, genetic engineeringanimal testing and the use of sweatshop labour, are you trying to say it discriminates on the grounds of sex?

Well that's clearly not true as I know that in 2005, the bank closed the account of Christian Voice due to its views of the LGBT community being incompatible with the banks policy on diversity and dignity. So to see what was going on I dug a little further and found this on the banks website...

So, perhaps unsurprisingly, Jan put some spin on this because it seems the group that were denied facilities were an all female group, but one that has 'issues' with the transgender community. I started to wonder if Jan and Continuity Object have the same views and found this on their website...

What Jan fails to define is what she means by 'more' and I believe she leaves this undefined for good reason. Nonetheless, a quick peak at their Twitter page and it is possible to get an idea of where they are coming from, but if you don't fancy it, here's a nice frame grab....

I cannot safely define where legitimate expression of opinion stops and hate speech starts, but tweets like the one above nevertheless make me ask the question. The key issue is, to what extent does this transgender exclusive activism intrude into the campaign against clubs and dancers? 

Well, we know that Jan and therefore Continuity Object made a financial contribution to the TimesUpForStripClubs crowdfunder and are listed as being part of the 'coalition and so that's interesting. Furthermore, if I was running a crowd funder about a particular issue, I would be disinclined to accept a donation from a party whose politics I opposed. So maybe we have the first sign of SWERF campaigners with TERF tendencies.

I decided to do some more digging to see what else I could find around various sites and found this nugget reposted on the NotBuyingIt twitter account. Its about SR Sheffield.

Just the name Posie 'Dangerous Thoughts' Parker intrigued me, so I decided to see just exactly how dangerous her thoughts really are...

Sounds dangerous to me... 

Really agreeing with the dangerous angle now...

In my last post, I made the point that I sensed a dark heart in the TimesUpForStripClubs coalition and I have to say that I am very uncomfortable with a lot of what I uncovered over the past few days...

The coalition includes Object and we can see on their Twitter account the kind of views they espouse, which kind makes me wonder how widespread these views are. NotBuyingIt retweeted Posie Parker and I am not remotely comfortable with what she has to say either. The point I am struggling to make here is that both within and on the boundaries of the coalition, there seem to be some deeply unpleasant people who seem to have moderate to severe issues with the transgender community.

Speaking of hate, the repercussions of the SR licence renewal are still being felt by anyone that dares to speak out against the SWERF agenda. See below and note the patronising comment about 'pocket money'. 

I suppose the question that needs to be answered is the one I want to ask Sasha Rakoff about how closely her views regarding transgender rights are in alignment with those of people such as Posie Parker and Janice Williams...