Friday, 23 October 2009


I just had to reproduce this post from Mr Salter's site here: and in view of its amazing content a little light fisking is called for:

Salter Represents UK at Stockholm Conference on Human Trafficking

no he doesn't. If he had he would have had to be sent there by the Queen.

Reading West MP, Martin Salter, last week flew to Stockholm in his capacity as a Member of the Home Affairs Select Committee to represent the British Parliament at the annual Inter-parliamentary Conference of Justice and Home Affairs Committees which was hosted by the Swedish EU Presidency.

Manage to find the terminal for Stockholm? Foreign travel not being your thing unless it is to Canada or India. Although come to think of it plenty of Swedish people go fishing, I went to Stockholm by sea in 2006 and I saw them doing it - pack your rod when you went?

The theme of the conference was “a balanced approach to legal security and combating organised crime, with a special focus on trafficking for sexual purposes”.
The conference heard presentations from the Head of the EU’s Organised Crime Unit, the Swedish Chancellor of Justice, the Head of the Swedish National Police and specialists in anti-trafficking work.

and what about the committees represented there, presumably from EU member state parliaments? What contribution did you make, Mr Salter, on behalf of the committee you were there to represent, or indeed on behalf of the country you have said you were there to represent?

Sweden has particularly tough laws which make it a criminal offence to seek sexual services from people who have been trafficked and which deliberately to set out to criminalise the customers as well as those working in the sex industry.

It does indeed, what UK perspective, or indeed Select Committee view, is there on these matters that you were able to share with the meeting? And in what language? To be fair, I imagine that English was one of the languages used by the meeting, and that interpretation services were available. Is your speech published on a website? Are translations available that I might share with my French colleagues who have an interest in these matters?

Martin Salter said:
“This was my first EU trip in nearly thirteen years in Parliament

Shame on you. For a number of years all back bench MPs have had the opportunity to visit other EU countries to inform themselves about how things are done there, to meet parliamentarians and government from those countries, and generally to learn. Was fishing in India more fun?

and I found it absolutely fascinating.

Jolly good. Tell us more. Johnny Foreigner friendly? You once referred to Latvia, which is a little to the south and east of Sweden, as "far-flung", even though British men go there for stag nights. They would go to Stockholm too if it were cheaper. Reindeer meatballs? IKEA? In what did this fascination lie?

The conference highlighted the very real differences in approach to complex and difficult issues such as prostitution and human trafficking with the tough line of Sweden being in marked contrast to the more relaxed attitude prevalent in countries such as Holland, Denmark and Luxembourg. Personally I found myself more inclined towards the Swedish position as it seems to me that if prostitution is to remain illegal then the customers cannot remain immune from prosecution.

OK, your personal view is what it is, but was the conference there to hear your personal views?

I also see the sense in trying to limit demand

Limit demand for sex workers' services? What? Bromide in the tea, government issue? Men to be placed under curfew? What nonsense!

reduce opportunities for criminal gangs to profit from the obscene trade in trafficking human beings for sexual purposes”

and the proposals you put forward for this on behalf of the UK Parliament's Home Affairs Select committee were what exactly? Do tell.

BTW, the late Stieg Larsson wrote a splendid trilogy with the above as a theme, and it is an unputdownable read in both the English and the French translations if you cannot read Swedish, find it here

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