A few small observations on media and other coverage of the Ipswich unpleasantness which so dominates the airwaves and press.
a) the attitudes of a Reclaim The Night march back in the Eighties are now entrenched in editorial positions. The working girls are almost becoming street heroines, the punters are the scum of the earth, and while there may be a shortage of punters at present, there's no shortage of journalists wanting good interview.
b) I'm pretty sure last week I heard Eddie Mair on R4 ask a senior police officer "The pimps are asking for an amnesty - are you prepared to offer this ?" - the first time I've heard the BBC acting as intermediary in this way.
c) a number of bloggers and journalists seem unclear on the law. Prostitution has never been illegal in the UK, but soliciting in the street is, as is 'controlling prostitutes for gain' e.g. pimping/poncing, and as is 'keeping a brothel' where more than one prostitute works.
d) some writers who rarely if ever write about the many, many victims of murder are for some reason writing about these victims. Street heroines again.
e) if anyone can point me to the remarkable column I glanced at yesterday, which said the murders were the fault of a society which "either puts women on a pedestal or considers them whores", I'd be grateful.
f) I'm going to take a punt on the killer and do some outrageous stereotyping, based on my deep knowledge of a couple of Ruth Rendells and an episode of Morse. Once upon a time in a place like Ipswich you'd have looked for the strange, withdrawn farm lad - still at home aged 33, good with animals, bad with people.
Most of the native farm boys have been made redundant, replaced by young single Catholic lads a long way from home.
g) I lived in Bradford during the Ripper years and knew one of his prostitute victims (not professionally). It should be unnecessary, but I suppose I'd better say that I disapprove of all murders, no matter who the victim.
Hamas, Qatar and the West: the anomalies
3 hours ago