Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free Bård Hoksrud

Yes, I know the headline is flippant - he hasn't been imprisoned and of course he won't be, either. But it's my blog and I'll be flippant if I want to.

Brief recap: Progress Party MP Bård Hoksrud was in Riga recently and made the mistake of visiting a brothel, where he paid an employee for sex. I call it a mistake because he is married, and had not agreed on this visit with his wife beforehand. The visit to the brothel, not to Riga. ;-) I feel really bad for his wife, this must be so upsetting for her.

But for the media, it's a goldmine. Because, get this, here in Norway it's illegal to pay for sex. It's legal to sell it, just not to buy it. Screwy, I know. But it's even crazier than it sounds - it's even illegal for Norwegian citizens to pay for sex in countries where it's legal to pay for sex. You know, like in Latvia, say. So now that Hoksrud has been busted for this, he has committed a crime ... it will go on his criminal record and he has to pay a fine of 25,000 crowns. And he will go down in history as the first Norwegian ever to be sentenced for this crime. Poor guy.

How did he get busted, you ask? Well, he went on this trip not as an MP or as a party representative, but as a private citizen. Yet he traveled with two, or was it three, members of the party's youth organization. Not sure what's up with that, but he's relatively young, 38, so I guess they're his friends. Ahead of the trip, someone tipped off our biggest commercial TV channel, TV2, that Hoksrud was going to be using prostitutes while in Riga, so these damn hyenas sent over a camera crew that filmed the man with a concealed camera. They interviewed the prostitute and I don't know what all. Now they pretend to be proud of themselves. Scum.

So, talk about questionable tactics ... and for something so irrelevant to the general public. Not that I had a lot of respect for TV2, or the media in general, before this, but now it's definitely dropped several notches. If only they would be honest and admit that they do it for the ratings ... but no, it's for the public good. Gag me with a spoon.

One of the most annoying things about this is that pretty much every reporter you can find says that it's total BS what the Progress Party is saying that the media is out to get them and is giving them a much harder time than everyone else. Of course not, it's because they really are worse people than others, so they bring it on themselves. And then on the Daily Review tonight - this Hoksrud thing was the lead story - there's another piece of news about a mayor somewhere in ... Oppland county, I think? ... who's being charged with the sexual abuse of a minor. Supposedly he's been having sex with a girl who was only 13 when it started. Bad and wrong, totally. But was he named? No. Was the town named? No. Was his party affiliation given? No. Remind me again, how many hours did it take before Trond Birkedal's name was splashed all over the front pages ... ?

Anyway. This post is basically to say that I think TV2's methods are completely beyond the pale and that I think it's horrible how Hoksrud has been put in the metaphorical stocks after this happened. The law against buying sex is ridiculous, and it's absolutely idiotic that it supposedly applies in other countries too. Yes, I do get the argument that those who make the law should also follow the law. But some laws are just wrong. I wish I could say that I think that as a principle, I think the law should be obeyed, regardless of what it is ... that this is essential to the functioning of a civilized society ... but I don't really have any principles, and I break another law every day with a clear conscience and never a second thought. It's a bad law, it should be broken. And I can certainly not accept that Norwegian law should trump the laws of other sovereign states in the territories of those states.

Hoksrud was against the law from the start, is still against it and voted against it when it was passed in Parliament. As, IMO, every sensible MP ought to have done. (And maybe did ... >:-) I am absolutely not a Progress Party fan, but I am totally with them on this one. Would our politicians really accept this in reverse? In Spain, for instance, the age of consent is 13. Here in Norway, it's 16. Is it OK for a Spanish citizen to come to Norway and have sex with 14-year-olds? If not, why? That's the law in his country, after all. But no, it wouldn't be OK, because Norwegian law applies in Norway ... just like Latvian law applies in Latvia, and under Latvian law it's perfectly legal to pay for sex. So that this is even an issue is ridiculous.

What should be the case under discussion here, and what TV2 should be looking into, is who tipped them off and why. Does someone want to get Hoksrud out of politics, and if so, why? Someone clearly has a grudge against the guy ... and it's someone pretty close to him too, obviously. Now that's something I find interesting. But obviously that doesn't sell as well as a sex scandal. >:-(

A pundit was on the Daily Review tonight too, discussing the whole thing with some talking head from TV2 ... he said that the problem here is the techniques the reporters used, and that even though 'no one condones what Hoksrud has done' they totally crossed the line by following him like they did. Which, yes, was a gross invasion of his privacy and they should be prosecuted for it. But I want to say that I for one do condone what Hoksrud did. I have no problem with it. It should be legal. Yes, it was wrong of him to hurt his wife's feelings as he has no doubt done ... but that is the only thing he has done that any of us can condemn him for. But just paying for sex? I personally would never be a prostitute and my instinct is that it must be a pretty shitty job (but I know I'm wrong in some cases), but if one party is willing to pay and the other party is willing to sell, then I really don't see the problem.

Hoksrud was on the news too, and he was interviewed by some NRK reporter who stuck a microphone in his face while he said all the usual things about how he was so sorry and it was a crazy mistake and he's never done such a thing before. The reporter actually had the gall to ask, 'Can you say with your hand on your heart that you have never paid for sex before?'

Hoksrud was all contrite and said he totally accepted culpability, etc. But what he should have said was, IMO:

That's none of your fucking business, bitch!!

It's none of any of our business. This is between Hoksrud and his wife. I don't know what political life in this country is coming to if this is seriously as big a deal as all that. The guy is human, OMG, stop the press! >:-( Aside from the fact that I would never vote for his party, if I was in his constituency, I would seriously consider voting for him now.


Paz said...

Similar laws here, the Swedes started it off, tho' I think our law has only been used to stop child sex tourism, so far. Maybe the guy wasn't mentioned because she was a minor, protect her identity and all that.
George Carlin " Why should prostitution be illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that's perfectly legal to give away. I can't follow the logic on that at all. Of all the things you can do to a person, giving someone an orgasm is hardly the worst thing in the world. In the army they give you a medal for spraying napalm on people. Civilian life, you go to jail for giving someone an orgasm. Maybe I'm not supposed to understand it".

Leisha Camden said...

Those damn Swedes ... !!!!

Leisha Camden said...

You are theoretically right that they are probably trying to protect the girl. But the other guy that I mentioned, Birkedal, one of the charges against him is that he had sex with a minor (who he gave alcohol to first). But his name was everywhere. Although of course he was from the Progress Party so they used the separate set of rules that only applies to those awful people.

I don't even like them myself but I can't help feeling more and more sympathy with them, because it's really getting so obvious. Some guy from the Socialist Left has been convicted of pimping, more than once, and stayed active politically afterwards, and that's hardly been in the media at all. Different rules. It's so unfair. But George Carlin is king of the world. ;-)

KAS said...

Really? FrP are vile. No sympathy. I love that the media are piling on them! :-D

Leisha Camden said...

The question isn't whether it's fun to watch idiots being pummelled, the question is whether it's beneficial for our society that our media is so set against one political party that they tar and feather them as a matter of course. And the answer is no.

Things aren't wrong because the Progress Party say them ... they're wrong because they're wrong, regardless of who says them, if they even are wrong. And you'll notice that when Labor say things now that the Progress Party was vilified for saying 10-15 years ago, suddenly it's acceptable. Fuck that shit.

KAS said...

I don't agree with you on this one.

I can't find it in my heart to feel any sympathy for a politician who visits a "massage institute" in Latvia. What did he think would happen if he were found out?

Very little our media do/print is ever "beneficial for our society". I don't see how piling on FrP makes the media any less beneficial than they already are.

Leisha Camden said...

It doesn't make them any better, but IMO it does make them worse. Dagbladet for instance have put themselves in the position that nothing they write about the Progress Party can ever be trusted. Like Pravda in the 60s writing about the US. o_O

IMO it's not about sympathy for Hoksrud, it's about the fact that the focus of this story, and that people seem to be interested in it, indicates something wrong in our society and with us as a nation. We shouldn't 'feel sympathy' for him - we really shouldn't care either way. The fact that this automatically becomes a scandal in the media is a bad sign. There are SO many other things that the fourth estate should be using their power to uncover. Including the situation for young women in the Baltic, for those who may feel sorry for the prostitute.

You're right, hardly anything the media do is any good. They all suck monkey balls. Your average reporter is worthless pond scum and I can hardly think of a single news outlet worth a penny of my hard earned cash. That is exactly the problem. They are actively trying as hard as they can to reach the bottom of the barrel. I think it would be better if they tried to make themselves useful. That's the whole point.

We'll just have to agree to disagree about the merits and demerits of Bård Hoksrud. :-)

jennifée said...

I agree with you that TV2's tactics are despicable, that there should not be a law against paying for sex, and that public figures, even politicians, should get to keep their personal lives out of public view, however morally despicable they are acting. I also agree that breaking a law you disagree with is not necessarily morally wrong - you yourself are an excellent example of that.

BUT, to me, MPs are not allowed this leeway. MPs, in my opinion, do not get to place themselves above the law-giving body they are democratically elected to be a part of, to follow a law or not follow it as it suits them. I expect them to vote against what they disagree with, and to do what they can to change what they disagree with freely and openly - this being an excellent example: - but to respect the voters and the system they are a part of enough to accept that they are bound even by the laws they themselves voted against.

Of course, I am also personally offended by this guy's lack of morals (though I'm not sure how offended I should be, given that I don't trust all of what the media says he is supposed to have said) - he cheats on his wife, his idea of a "good time" is apparently to see a prostitute, and, perhaps worst of all, no wonder the Progress Party gets a bad reputation if this is the kind of culture the older politicians, who should serve as ROLE MODELS, introduce to their youth party members as perfectly acceptable.

So, yeah. While I agree that he has been treated wrongly, I can't manage to feel especially sorry for him.

Leisha Camden said...

The fundamental point for me here is that I cannot accept that anything other than Norwegian law should apply in Norway. Regardless of who you are, if you are in Norway, Norwegian law is supreme and absolute. As a consequence, I also cannot accept that anything other than Latvian law should apply in Latvia. I absolutely refuse the idea that any Norwegian government can regulate anything that happens on the territories of other sovereign states. Therefore, IMO, Hoksrud has not committed any crime. So whether or not it's wrong to break a bad law doesn't really come into it. He hasn't broken any law at all as far as I'm concerned.