Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The rationale for the War on Kings Cross?

I've drawn an interesting line between current events. Call me cynical.

1. Council anti-cluster rules applied to KX sex industry

2. Police raid KX adult shops, confiscating X-rated material (presumably their staple stock-in-trade. If any go broke they can't be replaced by another sex - oriented premises because of 1.) Note: 'Child pornography' used to justify the raids but none found, yet undercover cops maintain the campaign.

3. Many of these shops are linked to brothels so if they go broke so may the brothels (who employ many drug addicts, thereby reducing drug-related crime by shifting users to another suburb).

3. A new condition on the four-year continuation of the 'trial' of the injecting centre is that if its usage rate declines to 75% it will be 'reviewed'.

4. A central reason for the location of the MSIC is its proximity to the sex industry.

5. Intended result: Kill the red light district, close the MSIC and all the drug addicts disappear into other areas and become less visible, less detectable and with less support. Problems of Kings Cross displaced to other suburbs. Social fallout and drug-related crime might rise but it will be further underground and less visible politically.

6. Kings Cross real estate prices rise. Developers and NIMBYs rejoice.

Items 1 to 4 are simply factual. Items 5 and 6 are my conclusions. I can't think of any plausible alternative explanations. If I am correct, there needs to be a debate between having a visible red light district or having those activities spread around other suburbs. It's between diversity and uniformity, as there would be less difference between Kings Cross and other suburbs. This in turn will only accelerate the exodus of all the interesting people from our increasingly boring city.

I am told they succeeded in doing this in New York, killing 42nd Street. Now all the same stuff goes on via Blackberry and email networks.

I know if I had a 15-year-old daughter gone off the rails I'd rather have her hitting the Cross to be picked up by the ubiquitous street outreach teams than locked in a suburban room being sold via Blackberry.