Tag Archives: kerb crawling

Lambeth Liberal Democrats To Promote Brothels

Who would have thought that Ashley Lumsden, the disaster area that Lambeth Liberal Democrats call leader, would last night seek to deny his support for kerb-crawlers and instead call for licensed brothels in Lambeth in the same breath.

Lumsden apparently called for laws on kerb-crawling to be relaxed in 2004. 

Councillor Mark Bennett, one of Labour’s councillors, asked on 28 February 2007:

“The minutes of the November 2004 Leaders’ meeting of the Association of Local Government record the following “Councillor Ashley Lumsden (Liberal Democrat, Lambeth) pointed out that there was a long history of prostitutes operating in Lambeth and argued that criminalising users should be removed from the recommendations.” Given that kerb crawling provides the demand which keeps vulnerable women on the streets, and feeds prostitution that blights so many communities, will Councillor Lumsden accept that he is wrong to back the de-criminalisation of kerbcrawling?

To which Lumsden gave a long rambling ‘not-me-guv’ response which included this telling line:


“I put forward the view that genuine help for working women and men would be hindered by blanket criminalisation.”


Oops. But Lumsden’s mention of men does not make clear whether he meant the kerb crawlers, rent boys or pimps. 


I was sitting in the public gallery at last night’s full council when Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, another Labour councillor, asked Lumsden whether his party’s position in relation to kerb-crawling was to legalise it or to license brothels and whether his own position was in line with his party’s policy.


A quivering Lumsden gave a long, self-righteous sermon to the effect that he did not support legalising kerb crawling. (Remember, the Liberal Democrats turn round their policy positions like a weather vane.) 


He then shot himself in the foot by saying, and I quote: “I am in support of the Lib Dem policy of licensing small brothels.”


So a cloud of mystery remains over Lumsden’s real views on kerb-crawling, though we now know he is keen to see brothels flourishing on every street corner. 
 

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Soft on crime or just soft in the head?

One thing everyone knows about the Liberal Democrats is they’re soft on crime.  Give them a choice between the victim and the criminal, and you’ll find the Liberal Democrats making excuses for the criminals every time. 

But the Liberal Democrats have been doing some homework.  They’ve hired pollsters who have told them the public don’t like parties that are soft on crime.  So they’re out to convince you they’ve changed their ways!  Only – they haven’t. 

The Liberal Democrats grabbed control of Lambeth Council shortly after the Government introduced anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs).  ASBOs are tools that can be used to hit criminals hard and get them locked up if they break its conditions.  So, of course, the Liberal Democrats refused to use them.  For three years the Liberal Democrats failed to issue a single ASBO against those responsible for crime and anti-social behaviour across Lambeth.

Worse, they tolerated crime in their own ranks.  When one of their own councillors was found out fiddling thousands of pounds in a housing benefit scam – they protected him.   When his guilt became so obvious even they couldn’t conceal it, they span out an investigation that ran to the end of their period in office nearly two years later without ever reaching a conclusion.   The courts eventually convicted him of public theft.   And who can forget how they hired a known fraudster and let him run off with £3 million of public money, ignoring residents who came to warn them what was going on.

Back in opposition, the Liberal Democrats are showing how little they’ve learnt from their election defeat.  When the Council came up with proposals to expand the neighbourhood police teams with extra uniformed officers, the Liberal Democrats campaigned against it.   Their own leader is on public record demanding the decriminalisation of kerb crawling. 

But they’ve just found out the public don’t like parties that are soft on crime so* they’ve decided to attack the Police with fake stories about local police stations being closed down.  You can see what they’re trying to do – but they’ve got it wrong again.  They don’t seem to understand that if you want to look tough on crime, you attack the criminals, not the police!  It’s easy to laugh at Liberal Democrats, only it’s not so funny when you wake up and find these clowns are running your local council.