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Having lived in India, Indonesia, Kenya and other recent adopters of democracy, I’m no stranger to the untidy realities of parliamentary government. And while the mother of parliaments has not been setting a good example in recent months, one of the legislative backdrops to the expenses scandal tells us more about parliament’s true strengths and weaknesses. To find out more I have been talking to Catherine Stephens, a sex worker who, like many in her trade, has spent time hanging around Westminster. Lately Catherine has been there on parliamentary business, trying to knock some sense into the nation’s laws on prostitution. And she scored a significant victory on 19th May at the third reading of the current policing and crime bill.
The legislation covers gang law, airport security and what the government can do with your DNA—as well as