THE year is 2032. Britain is a vastly different place. You can now choose from 12, instead of four, sizes of recyclable mug at your local coffee house — which, helpfully, also now tend to function as arms of the county council, after cutbacks.
White bread carries a public health warning, and it has become commonplace to chew coagulated “locally reared” pig’s blood, due to its “antiageing properties.”
The Conservatives are still in power, having rejigged constituency boundaries so they now only need about three votes to gain seven MPs, and all the other political parties have since lost the will, leaving the Stark Raving Loonies as his majesty’s official opposition.
Lots of people are shit poor now after many job losses to automation. Most of the robots are made in Japan and there is a concerted effort from the last wings of the far right (Paul Nuttall in a thatched cottage in Shropshire) to call for British jobs for British robots.
Officially there is still a welfare state but only one office — on the far peak of Snowdonia. In order to complete your registration, you, for poorly delineated reasons of administration, have to get there via paraglide. Which is considerably more difficult if you’re trying to go uphill, rather than down.
Middle-class people have managed to keep their interesting jobs in medicine and the meedja, but of the working-class people who can still be bothered to get up in the morning, they mostly subsist on growing kale in buckets and selling it outside their Swedish build-it-yourself houses — to the middle-class people, who appreciate just how much lovely, fresh British organic produce they can get cheap these days.
I’m 45 now. I used to be a feminist, but that whole political racket got shut down after Russell Brand decided he was going to become our notional leader (suffice it to say we’d been having problems) before subsequently deciding that feminism’s actual problem was it own existential invalidity. I decided to agree with him.
Indeed, traditional feminism had not the zip or nous of newer forms of women’s politics and, after a while, I realised it certainly had nothing sensible to say on some of its newer frontiers, the final of which were prostitution profiteers, who I realised — after I stepped away from the brain fog of political philosophy — were one of society’s most discriminated against groups. An abject violence that had previously been long ignored, or even valorised.
As one profiteer rights campaigner and old-time escort agency owner, Indigo Pantyhose, astutely noted: “First they came for the pimps, and I did not speak out, because I was not a pimp…”
But the new wave of pop feminists in the mid-teens of this century were galvanised to support this disenfranchised demographic. They understood that social stigmatisation of pimps and madams resulted in their effective prohibition from making profits out of prostitutes. And that this was an injustice.
However they also understood that most parochial-minded people would not understand this fully, so in their campaign literature they tweaked it so that the profit and organise liberation laws looked as though they were designed with prostitute safety in mind. And the public mostly didn’t notice or give half a damn — too busy as they were reading back issues of Jack Monroe to find out ways of making one tin of beans stretch into one week of dinners to pay much attention.
So with old feminists finally and thankfully curried into history and the general public’s consciousness increasingly lost in the textural considerations of poverty chic, The Pimp Movement won the day and prostitution profiteer empowerment was solidified on May 15 2022.
There would be no restrictions on where they could place their brothels, how large they could make their buildings, how many “self-employed” prostitutes they could house and how much profit they could make. They were free.
The increased competition in the industry improved it no end. Chains of brothels run by different new prostitution enterprises competed with each other to corner each urban market, dragging up the overall quality of the industry.
They made the prostitutional product more enticing to a wider range of consumers by providing an endless bounty of every kind of woman, usually under the age of 40 and easily available post the final stages of the welfare state overall. And of course, where deficits occurred, more women could be easily shipped in via catalogue from elsewhere.
And, in order to not impoverish poorer clients, they offered many women on a house prices, orange jacket, “no-frills” basis. Sadly for Indigo, her own business model was too old school and “pre-criminal” and she failed to keep up. She went bust and became a soothsayer in Margate, last I heard.
I used to work for the chains, but being in my mid-forties, I am now too old and ample. For a while I tried to work with a few friends, in a few apartments, here and there, as thankfully, the 2022 law also made that legally viable — one of the other positive offshoots of The Pimp Movement.
However tenancy laws always made it difficult to run such a business from a private rental. You have to be using the property predominately for residential purposes, seek permission from the landlord and avoid heavy footfalls to the door, making it impossible to stay in one place for very long.
Oh, we discussed renting a commercial venue (which on average cost about 4,000 bags of kale per month), and setting up properly, but decided it was too much of an expensive fuss and bluster and went our separate ways.
There is no taboo for the punters any more, and women mostly accept that it’s just something men have to do to keep their marriages going. And if they don’t, and they get stressed about it, they have to go to the head doctor to get some pills to chill them the hell out.
Of course that is good for the mega brothels because punters no longer feel any angst about going into them, but it does mean independents like myself have somewhat lost our cachet. I must admit I do struggle to make money from one month to the next, and I worry, as I age, what the future will be like.
Still. At least, as I say, profiteers have been emancipated from stigmatisation. The last frontier has reached its peak. The human population, generally, has been liberated from the vicissitudes of political engagement. No-one worries or cares what you’re doing, or how you are, or what you’re feeling. Yes, in poverty or in super-wealth, from the fuss and frustration of civic community, we are all now freed.
Originally published in The Morning Star
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