back to article Gov demand for Governator to terminate PunterNet

Equalities minister Harriet Harman was in a fighting mood today as she demanded Arnold Schwarzenegger terminate PunterNet - a rate-a-strumpet website she described as "TripAdvisor for pimps". PunterNet is designed to "to facilitate the exchange of information on prostitution in the UK", but is actually based in California. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So ...

    ... obviously this dozy bint has run out of websites in the UK to ban.

    It's been so long since the UK did away with such pesky annoyances as civil rights and liberties she's forgotten how non-totalitarian societies work.

    Chalk it up to yet another pronouncement from politicians that make for great soundbites but have no actual value. Oh wait - don't you call that a manifesto?

    Paris, because I bet she got a much higher rating than Harrietta Loon, and AC because it's always the safest way when dealing with power-hungry politicians.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't stand listening to her speak? Try this:

    If you replace every time she says the the word 'woman' with 'man' and vice versa (etc), she ends up sounding like an extremely sexist male chauvinist pig.

    So much for equality...

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I thought she liked the free market

    And to avoid market failure you must have a way of rewarding the good and penalising the bad (or plain illegal).

    Mine will be the one with "Economics for dummies" in the pocket.

  4. John Square

    Oh dear...

    I can only assume Ms Bee has upset Lester again...

    This article surely contains all the things guaranteed to really irk the commentard community:

    1. Harriet Harman

    2. New Labour

    3. Censorship

    4. A poor grasp on international laws and customs

    5. A chance for the American readers to talk about their bill of rights and the first amendment

    6. A prurient sexual angle guaranteed to bring out tasteless comments

    What did you do, Sarah? That's the real story here!

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Destroy All Monsters

    Yup, puzzled me too. Trying to work out WTF she was saying I accidently started with "commode" as the root rather than "commodity" and ended up in a very strange world where Harriet Harperson is a scat fetishist.

  6. Toastan Buttar


    "It's because prostitution is illegal."

    Guess again...

  7. David David David David (formerly David 22)

    Re: Re: Where the hell are the IRA when you need them?


    Assassination is a very good political tool (for some value of "good", i suppose). It is a very effective, time-honoured and traditional method of dealing with political "problems".


  8. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Re: Where the hell are the IRA when you need them?

    Alright, let me put it another way - OP, don't be an internet tough guy and start smugly throwing around suggestions about offing politicians, no matter how odious. It makes you sound like a nutcase. I'm not having that any more than I'm having hilarious prison rape quips in the threads.

    So think on.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Amateur Quipping

    What is it with these unimaginative political types constantly seizing on Arnie's least interesting tag line? There are plenty of other witticisms Harman could have worked into her speech as opposed to the tired and over-used "I'll be back". Howsabout "...And if Schwarzenegger does not take this website down, the only way he will escape my wrath is if he gets to ze choppaaah! He won't be able to drive away because ze bridge is oooout! Tonight's forecast, a freeze is coming" etc etc.

    Probably best if she steers away from Predator quotes, what with all of these assassin nutjobs posting today. "What are you waiting for? Kill me! Do it now!!! "....Nope.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For what it's worth I've know of Punternet for some time now because in my history I have built and maintained a few web sites for working ladies and they like to featuire links from their own sites to the "reviews".

    The PN site has a complaints procedure for potentialy malicious reviews and a fairly vigalent set of users who pounce on self promotion. The last time I looked there was also an active message board with regular contribution from many of the ladies featured and that is strongly against trafficing and other such activities.

    In my contacts with the women involved I've found them to be bright, articulate, take their own decisions and sometimes even pay their taxes. I am aware there are other workers in the industry who are exploited, or controlled but this stupid assumption that ALL the women working in the industry are in the same situation. If you applied HH's logic all farming should be banned because migrant harvesting workers are exploited, to say nothing of some hotel or construction workers.

    A socialist by inclination this goverrment has wound be up to no small extent, but I'm dreading Cameron.

  11. Chris P

    Not in my back yard

    Harriet Harman is another one of those goody two-shoes namby-pamby not-in-my-back-yard toss-pots by semi-democratic election. She does my swede, and would make a far more effective and useful contribution to the world if she'd left school at 17 and become one of punternet's reviews.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    she wants to close it

    before waqui jaqui's husband runs up an expenses tab there

  13. Mike Smith

    @The Moderatrix

    "Yeah... could we not suggest assassination is a good political tool? Because it's not."

    You could say that about freedom of the press, and universal suffrage for that matter.

    That isn't intended to be a snide comment. As El Reg has ably pointed out over the last few years, the government's legislative approach has been populist and ignorant, aimed at appeasing the tabloid press and the White House in roughly equal measure. Joe Public is only now seeing some of the consequences; the two coppers being nailed by an Ofsted jobsworth last week for having the temerity to adopt a childcare approach that wasn't government approved is just one example. I haven't noticed the Conservatives declaring that they would repeal many of the laws enacted since 1997.

    So how did we get here? Why did so many people vote for such an incompetent shower three times in a row? Particularly after Iraq?

    You can, I suggest, get a feel for the answer by looking at the comments posted to mainstream news sites. You see the same themes occurring over and over again – that Paw Broon was unelected, that we should leave the EU and then somehow stand alone against the economic giants, that the Scots are sponging off the English, that the English are sponging off the Scots, that becoming a teenage single mother is a passport to a life of luxury, that the country is being over-run with immigrants, that all teenagers are feral thugs, etc, etc, etc. Whenever elections are discussed, an amazing number of people insist on their democratic right to spoil their ballot papers (which means absolutely sod-all) or not vote at all, which has the sole result of the elected MP making some flatulent noise about listening more to the electorate and then forgetting all about it until the next General Election, whereupon the same thing happens all over again.

    The overall picture is of an appalling level of ignorance surrounding the political process. The twaddle spouted in the gutter press becomes many people's view of the world, and they vote accordingly. All the politicians have to do is promise what the rags demand and hey presto – a nice big majority and a job that involves little more that playing the nodding dog to constituents and walking through a doorway to vote every so often when that nice whip says so. Why the hell should they do any more than that? The minority of people who do understand the process are drowned under the flood of mob hysteria, so they can just be sent a letter full of PR piss and wind whenever they dare to object to the government's latest demonstration of idiocy.

    As for assassination – consider this, Sarah. Imagine you were listening to the 2005 Labour conference, knowing full well that the speaker would be in power for the next five years. Change the subject a little, so that the subject of their ire was something other than prostitution and far more dangerous – restricting the freedom of the press perhaps, or "restoring the moral breakdown of society" by banning women with children going out to work, or repealing the law on marital rape. Or perhaps the forcible repatriation of anyone without a job who wasn't born in the UK, maybe.

    And, after eight years, you would know the government's track record on legislation – ignore the consultation and analysis until the right set of views and figures come up, scribble some legislation on a beer mat and steamroller it through Parliament by ordering the rank and file sycophants to vote with the whip. You might have a different view on offing said speaker. I didn't say it was a good political tool. I said there might be some mileage in it; not quite the same thing.

  14. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    I can's see it... LA-LA-LA-LA

    HH only want to shut down punternet for one reason, it gives the IMPRESSION of doing something.

    This is a typical ploy used by expense-grabbing freeloading useless politicians who think that by making something 'not visible' they can 'solve' a problem. It's a bit like saying that convictions for prostitution are reduced, therefore the level of prostitution has reduced.

    Troll Icon 'cos it looks like a muppet....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Re: Where the hell are the IRA when you need them?

    I agree with the lady, political assassination is a really bad tool. All you would achieve is to legitimise whatever it was they were killed for saying.

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they kill* you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    *What? never heard of artistic license? Philistines!

  16. spiny norman

    Sterotypes #

    "If you applied HH's logic all farming should be banned because migrant harvesting workers are exploited,"

    They don't need to ban farming, they've already strangled it with bureaucracy. Apart from growing that bright yellow stuff for chip fat.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    Is there still anyone who believes that an election will make any difference at all?

  18. Jake Rialto 1

    Same old, same old

    Come on May 2010, when we can get these bastards out!...

    And exchange them for who exactly??? Oh you mean those bastards over there!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Eh, in the US, free speech is enshrined in the Constitution

    So the Governor of California, even if he cared, has not ability to shut down a web site. Neither does Law Enforcement. Neither does the President of the United States. What do you think this is, Britain?

  20. Quickbeam

    Joined up thinking

    Just hot air for the party faithful, but if the site did close down it would fit in nicely with the Minx's disingenious law.

    As I understand it it isn't illegal to spend time with a postitute provided she is not being co-erced or pimped. This you have no way of knowing as you cannot rely or her (or his) word. The offcence is strict liability. If you used the service offered and a thorough investigation after the fact turns up some evidence of co-ercion you WILL be found guilty.

    Punternet is a way to get a 2nd opinion on whether it may be within the law to use a particular prostitute, as anyone with doubts could comment on the site. Also, the workers who are not being co-erced would perhaps be more likely to make use of the site.

    Perhaps what bothers the old Harridan Harmful is that 'customers' stand some chance of staying within the law using this site. Closing down a useful source of information makes the use of co-erced sex-workers MORE likely and achieves her aims of finding more men on the wrong side of the law.

    The commenter above hit the nail on the head. Swap the words 'men' and 'women' in everything she says and see how fair it feels.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The last gasp of a dying government

    well, glad to see that with the world falling down around their ears the labour party are focusing on the really important stuff as opposed to the cheap publicity shots. Is this the political equivalent of "excuse me meister"?


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