Moral chaos

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What a strange city I live in: the Chief Constable has to defend the actions of Police Scotland in taking steps to enforce the law, while the council wishes to permit criminal activity (your report, 25 October).

If Edinburgh City Council wishes brothels to operate freely, it should lobby to change the law, not flout it.

Many seem to focus entirely on concerns about the risk of violence faced by prostitutes working outside brothels. It is true that men who use prostitutes are likely to treat them with contempt, and that mistreatment is common, both in and out of brothels.

But sex work has negative physical and emotional effects regardless of its context, and consequences for clients are often not good either. Then there is the effect on family life and children.

Prostitutes are professional adulterers, oblivious to the havoc they wreak in marriages and families. Add to this the inevitable pressure and coercion applied to vulnerable young girls to maintain the supply side of the industry.

And then there’s the wider harm to the ethos of society caused by tacit approval of the commodification of sex.

Our society has lost the plot with regard to sexual morality, utterly unable to articulate the unique function and meaning of sex, viewing it as a mere coincidence of reproductive function and leisure activity.

“Sex workers’” campaigners are therefore pushing at an open door, especially in Edinburgh.

Richard Lucas



As the word has now been hijacked to mean something else (joining “gay”, “marriage” and “reality TV” among others) and since neither Michael Fry nor Sir Stephen House enlightens us (Perspective and letter, 25 October) where do I now go in Edinburgh if I wish to enjoy a genuine sauna?

John Birkett

St Andrews