18th December 2006
BRITAIN SHOULD NEVER LEGALISE PROSTITUTION THE WAY THE DUTCH AND GERMANS HAVE DONE.
Let's get the caveat out of the way from the off. The five women murdered in Ipswich were tragic, lost souls who met a grisly end. I sincerely hope whoever killed them is caught, charged and convicted.
No one with a shred of humanity would wish upon them their ghastly lives and horrible deaths. But Mother Teresa, they weren't.
And I know this might sound frightfully callous in the current hysterical, emotional climate, but we're not all guilty.
We do not share in the responsibility for either their grubby little existences or their murders. Society isn't to blame.
It might not be fashionable, or even acceptable in some quarters, to say so, but in their chosen field of "work", death by strangulation is an occupational hazard.
That doesn't make it justifiable homicide, but in the scheme of things the deaths of these five women is no great loss.
They weren't going to discover a cure for cancer or embark on missionary work in Darfur. The only kind of missionary position they undertook was in the back seat of a car.
Of course their friends and families are grieving. That's what friends and families do. But they should also be asking themselves if there was anything they could have done to prevent what happened.
If you discovered your daughter had gone on the game to feed her heroin habit, wouldn't you move heaven and earth to get her off it?
Frankly, I'm tired of the lame excuses about how they all fell victim to ruthless pimps who plied them with drugs. These women were on the streets because they wanted to be.
We are all capable of free will. At any time, one or all of them could have sought help from the police, or the church, or a charity, or a government agency specifically established to deal with heroin addicts. They chose not to.
The tortuous twistings of the sisterhood over the past week have been a joy to behold. The 30-year old Spare Rib T-shirts have been brought out of mothballs and we've been treated to the All Men Are Bastards/Rapists/Murderers mantra from assorted Glendas who ought to be old enough to know better.
We've heard the well-rehearsed arguments for legalised and regulated prostitution, as if we were living under the Taliban. The fact is, we've already got de facto legal brothels on every High Street.
They're call saunas or massage parlours.
As I remarked when the Labour MP Joe Ashton was once caught in a Siamese "sauna" in Northampton, he must have been the only man in Britain ever to go to a massage parlour for a massage. It doesn't get much more glamorous than that.
These five women were on the streets because even the filthiest, most disreputable back-alley "sauna" above a kebab shop wouldn't give them house room.
The men who used them were either too mean to fork out whatever a massage parlour charges, or simply weren't fussy. Some men are actually turned on by d isgusting, drug-addled street *****s. Where there's demand, there'll always be supply.
This wasn't a case of women going on the game to put bread on the table, or to look after their "babies".
That's what the welfare state is for. They did it for drugs.
The gormless Guardianistas simply refuse to confront this blindingly obvious reality. They would rather deify celebrity druggies such as Kate Moss and Will Self than face the truth that hard drugs wreck lives.
What I find most objectionable about all this is the attempt to make us all feel responsible for the murders. There is a nasty whiff of Lady Di about the enforced mood of mourning, with even the Old Bill coming across like hand-wringing archbishops.
At Ipswich Town's home game on Saturday (they beat Leeds United 1-0), there was a minute's silence. We were supposed to believe that this was a true reflection of the community's sympathy.
I don't buy it. Most people went along with it in the spirit of emotional correctness and through fear of getting their heads kicked in if they didn't.
There was only one thing missing, but don't bet against it.
When Blair gets back from saving the Middle East, don't be surprised if he turns up at the funeral of one of these unfortunate women to deliver a lip-trembling, tear-stained eulogy: "She was the People's Prostitute".
Grim echo of a PD James book
14th December 2006
The Suffolk Ripper murders have an eerie resemblance to the novel Devices And Desires by P D James
There are striking similarities between the Suffolk killings and a novel by crime writer P D James, sources close to the case revealed yesterday.
Officers in the inquiry have said privately that they are STARTLED by the parallels between the five murders and her novel Devices And Desires.
Some fear the Suffolk Strangler could have been inspired by the 1989 thriller.
In the current case, all five victims have been found in remote rural areas after apparently being killed at night.
In Devices And Desires, East Anglia is haunted by a serial killer who murders five women under the cloak of night.
Their bodies are typically found in remote country areas. All have been strangled.
As a result of the reign of terror in the novel, women are increasingly confined to their homes or need to be accompanied out at night.
The fictional killer's first victim is a prostitute - but he then moves on to attack a teacher, a secretary and a schoolgirl, among others, just as police now fear the Suffolk Strangler may extend his attacks.
The killer in the novel also shaves off his victims' body hair - as did the murderer of 16-year-old Natalie Pearman, thought to be a victim of the strangler 14 years ago (the link between that unsolved case and these ones has just been established).
In the P D James book, the culprit is known as The Whistler because witnesses hear his sinister whistling at the scene, as he busies himself over the bodies of his victims.
The tune was he whistles is a Sunday School hymn - with the words 'Now the day is over/ Night is drawing nigh/ Shadows of the evening/ Fall across the sky'.
He finds his victims by parking his vehicle on remote roads, then walking in shadows.
He dresses as a woman in a long mac and wears a wig. His other special trick is to takes his dog with him. He slips off the lead at the last moment to strangle the women.
The man also mutilates his victims by cutting a letter L on to their foreheads. In the novel, a second killer copies The Whistler in a bid to evade detection.