Well, you probably don’t. Maybe you do, though: some people clearly do. Perhaps you do but you wouldn’t admit to it in public. Either way, Rhoda Grant’s proposals to make you a criminal if you choose to do so have fallen at the first hurdle, perhaps unexpectedly. Most of her Labour colleagues signed up to support it, but were only joined by one other MSP: Murdo Fraser, from the Scottish Tories’ evangelical wing. One might have expected the puritans on the SNP benches – folk like John Mason – to have signed up. The fact they didn’t suggests the SNP leadership were strongly against Grant’s bill, whether on grounds of principle or presentation.

This proposal caused a lot of anxiety amongst sex workers and former sex workers, and a divided response amongst those who identify as feminists. Personally I agree with the Ladyfest Glasgow submission to Rhoda Grant, and will simply quote from their document.

You write, “currently in Scotland, it is possible for a consenting adult to have sex with another consenting adult in return for payment without any offence being committed by either person”. We would be profoundly alarmed to see the principle of consenting sex between adults, that occurs in private, being criminalised for any reason (or, based on the evidence you’ve provided, none.) As a collective that includes trans* women, queer women, and sex working women, we have good reason to be highly suspicious of any state-originating discourse that sees the starting point of “it is possible for a consenting adult to have sex with another consenting adult [ … ] without any offence being committed by either person” as an opportunity for change.

On the topic of the fight against HIV-AIDS, you appear to have missed the recent landmark report joint-authored by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which found, “where sex work has been decriminalized, there is a greater chance for safer sex practices through occupational health and safety standards across the industry. Furthermore, there is no evidence that decriminalization has increased sex work”.

It goes without saying that we at Ladyfest Glasgow are not epidemiologists, or experts on public health. It is therefore all the more troubling that we appear to be better informed about these issues than you. The complete lack of mention of the issues surrounding HIV in your consultation document suggest either, a) you don’t think these issues are relevant to a discussion of sex work, b) you’re not aware of these issues, or c) you didn’t include a discussion of them because you couldn’t find any evidence on this topic that would back up your poorly informed crusade. None of these options suggest that you’re the best person to be legislating on these issues.

Actually, maybe just read the whole thing if you’re interested. Personally I think the priorities should be protecting sex workers from disease, violence and exploitation, alongside providing support for sex workers who want to get out of the business. There’s no evidence this bill would have done anything to deliver on any of those objectives, and in fact plenty of evidence from the UN down it would have aggravated many of the existing problems.