Kevin Myers: Prosecuting 'victimless crimes' fills our prisons and turns the State into a morality policeman
Published 20/05/2010 | 05:00
THERE may possibly have been a more absurd campaign than Operation Quest, the garda drive against "vice", (as we journalists like to call it). Possibly other gardai were deployed on equally sensible projects, like outlawing unseasonably cold weather in May, or putting No Entry signs in the path of volcanic ash from Iceland. Meanwhile, hundreds, perhaps thousands of garda hours, were put into this preposterous drive against brothels. Result? A couple more prisoners have now been bunged into our insanely overcrowded jails.
But no doubt the vengeful and punishment-addicted prudes who think that the State exists to impose their own moral order on society are probably well-pleased. Meanwhile, another batch of brothels has surely opened up to replace the ones that have just closed.
No society has ever been able to contain two things: one is the wildly imprudent thing that is male sexual desire, and the other is the willingness of some women -- and indeed, some young men -- to cater to that desire for commercial gain. This is the story of all human societies everywhere. You don't like it? Pity. Because it's the way things are. Filling prisons with adults for victimless "crimes" which are only crimes because you particularly dislike that kind of activity is merely turning the State into a morality policeman to enforce your view over private-conduct between consenting adults.