Harman anger gives pimp site ‘hits boost’

By Alex Stevenson

Harriet Harman’s attempt to see a US-based pimping site shut down has given it a boost in hits, its owner has claimed.

A post on PunterNet, which helps pimps sell women online and allows men who have had sex with the women involved to post their comments, claimed a “huge influx of traffic” had followed her comments.

Ms Harman criticised the website in her speech on equality issues to the Labour party conference in Brighton earlier this week.

She called on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to shut the website down, saying: “Surely it can’t be too difficult for the Terminator to terminate PunterNet and that’s what I’m demanding that he does.”

The site’s representative, writing under the name Galahad, claimed PunterNet was not breaking any laws and that it could not be shut down because of “a concept called ‘freedom of speech'”.

“It exists specifically to prevent the sort of abuse of power that you are attempting,” Galahad wrote. The governor (indeed, even the president) has no authority with which to shut down a perfectly lawful enterprise such as PunterNet.”

The site argued that “sexwork” was a “legitimate, honourable profession” and argued outlawing it would only drive it underground, as occurred with alcohol during prohibition.

“PunterNet was not the first, and is certainly not the only, website in the UK with the same subject matter,” the open letter to Ms Harman continued.

“Rather than creating the demand for commercial sex, sites like PunterNet are a response to that demand, which has existed since the dawn of mankind and certainly long before the advent of the internet!”

The article concluded: “I would like to thank you for the huge influx of traffic to my website which your actions have caused.

“I am sure that the ladies who are a part of the PunterNet community thank you as well, as they will no doubt benefit financially from the many new clients who might otherwise never have found them.”