Times are tough all over. And that last thing any free market economy needs as the world pulls out of a global economic meltdown is for a meddling government to get its hands all over employees from a certain sector with a bunch of obtrusive bondage in the form of regulation.
Take lap dancers, for instance.
This plucky subset of service employees in England is feeling backed into a corner as a bill seeking increased regulation of their establishment licensing makes its way through Parliament. The ladies are none too happy about the government interfering in their daily grind, and they showed up at the Houses of Parliament Thursday make it known, reports Bloomberg News:
Lap dancers from across Britain staged a protest outside Parliament in London over plans to toughen licensing laws, saying thousands of jobs are at risk.
"We are looking at over 30,000 unemployed women," said Chris Knight, spokesman of For Your Eyes Only, which has 139 clubs in the U.K. ìNo other industry would have this legislation forced on them. It is to satisfy the moral minority; they think we are the devil incarnate."
Lawmakers are debating whether to close a loophole in the 2003 Licensing Act that has allowed the number of lap-dancing clubs to double to 300. Opponents argue there are too many clubs and that they are inappropriately located, sometimes near schools. Under the proposals, lap-dancing clubs would have to apply to trade as "sex encounter" establishments, alongside sex shops and X-rated cinemas, which face more stringent restrictions. The current law puts lap-dancing clubs in the same category as pubs and cafes.
About 40 women gathered outside Parliament today, holding placards saying, "we are not sex workers" and "keep your laws off our bodies."According to The Christian Institute, the protesters managed to straddle government locations, setting up a small camp outside the Prime Minister's residence at No. 10 Downing St. as well.
"I am not saying that the industry is perfect," said Donna Roper, 20, who has worked for two years at the Medusa club in Birmingham. "But nor are they - look at their expenses claims," she said, gesturing toward Parliament where lawmakers were embroiled in an expenses scandal over the summer.
In true British fashion - keeping a stiff upper lip and soldiering on.