Letters: Malcolm Cox, July 7, 2015

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We live in liberal times and I do not consider myself a prude.

Yet I write in support of David Fleming (June 19) on the subject of the Setch “Sex Shop”. Surely inappropriate.

I disagree, however, in his analysis over our apparent decline in morality. Mr Fleming informs us that our problems have arisen due to the wrong message being taught from the pulpit. True Christianity, he suggests, should not concern itself with “sacred cows, climate change, fossil fuels and blaming the government for the proliferation of food banks”. All issues have a political dimension, and there are moral people within and without the church.

Mr Fleming then is clearly within the “render unto Caesar” brand of Christianity. It is safe to assume that he is of the conservative (small ‘c’) persuasion. I can just hear the irritation of Margaret Thatcher’s words, “meddlesome priests” (paraphrased from Henry II) and am reminded of that description of Anglicanism, “The Tory Party at prayer”.

And now Pope Francis has spoken out on the subject, albeit ignoring Vatican myopia on the human population and birth control.

Mr Fleming’s morality on fossil fuels is particularly sad. Dig it up, rip it out, cut it down, and trample on the rights of indigenous people. Global capitalism has an insatiable appetite, but that is of no concern. Rather like the proprietor of the sex shop, nothing matters other than profit.

Perhaps Mr Fleming might like to occasionally consider the views of his fellow Christian Giles Fraser, former canon at St Paul’s, who found himself cast into the theological wilderness after raising the churches’ tolerance of economic orthodoxy.

One wonders about Mr Fleming’s sources of daily information. I note the female posterior gracing the front page of the Daily Mail, June 25. White bikini bottom. And as we all know “It’s the Sun wot won it” for the Tories – again. Lads’ mags and tabloids are, of course, mostly right wing in outlook. Always, of course, “in the best possible taste” as that favourite of Mrs Thatcher, Kenny Everett, used to say. I recall how such journals delighted some years ago in ridiculing the likes of Clare Short and Harriet Harman when they drew attention to the objectification of women in tabloid culture.

The response from Alan Mudge (Tuesday, June 23) opposing David Fleming’s protest deserves a reply, it was frankly strange. Comparing Setch with the Reeperbahn and praising the entrepreneurial skills of Beate Ushe does not exactly impress me. While Ushe initially concerned herself with the legitimate subject of sexual health. The line between eroticism and exploitive pornography is finely drawn. Uhse flew on behalf of the Luftwaffe, she was presumably a card-carrying member of the Nazi party. Not sure I would want that on my CV.

Libertarian arguments like that of Alan Mudge cannot hide the fact that ultimately what we so blithely refer to as “the sex trade” results in female denigration.

The bottom line, if you will excuse the pun, is exploitation and profit. Concluding with a biblical note: “The poor are always with us.” So that’s alright then.

Malcolm Cox

Terrington St Clement