Denis Macshane asked at Business questions yesterday about the possibility of a parliamentary debate on prostitution, particularly about the issue of curbing demand. Although it's not recorded in Hansard (I wonder why?) he was forced to break off in the middle of relaying the tale of a 12-year old, sex-trafficked from the Balkans, because of sniggering from the Conservatives on the benches opposite. This came as he gave details of how the girl was abused by her first client, a man in his late sixties, while a guard stood outside the door.
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke about the prostitution problem in Bristol during the Second Reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - and got exactly the same response. It was as if Beavis and Butthead had been allowed into the Chamber. And I was speaking about highly-visible soliciting by drug addicted prostitutes outside school gates at the time.
Maybe they think of prostitution as a kind of jokey Cynthia Payne, Personal Services, luncheon vouchers for randy vicars kind of issue. Maybe they're just overgrown public schoolboys and the mention of anything "rude" sets them off. Or maybe they're just idiots.