by Colin Campbell

What are described as “sex entertainment venues” in the Highlands could be banned at a “crunch” Highland Council meeting next week, we are told.

The only difficulty for councillors eager to get to grips with this is that there aren’t any to ban.

How do they intend to go about banning things that don’t exist?

Even for Highland councillors, this is an imaginative new way to claim expenses and waste time.

A report will have been compiled by officials on proposals for the ban. What’s it been written on, as opposed to the usual mountain of verbose documentation?
The back of an envelope?

Apparently one venue has been discovered to merit this “crunch” meeting.

There’s a place in Academy Street in Inverness called Private Eyes, which has been there for a few years.

It doesn’t look very sexy. During the day its exterior looks like the entrance to a closed down shoe repair shop, which before that might have been a 1980s private eyes opticians, which expired around the same time as Dillingers and the Blockbuster video store. No doubt it becomes a bit more glitzy at nights. I haven’t checked.

I’ve never been inside it, not for morality reasons, but because if you want to go to a “sex entertainment venue” your best bet may be Amsterdam or Hamburg or Berlin. Not Academy Street in Inverness.

And I’ve never heard anyone who has been there talk about what goes on inside either. Which leads me to the inevitable conclusion, not much.

I suppose the alternative explanation for this lack of sensational comment on Private Eyes could be that it’s such a hotbed of sex and lust that customers are either too overwhelmed or embarrassed to talk about it. But somehow I very much doubt it.

I’ll stick with my Academy Street perception of what’s to talk about. As I’d guess, not much.

Anyway, it somehow or other gives councillors something to consider banning so it at least satisfies their censorious desires.

I hope Private Eyes survives this “banning” nonsense, not least because if it has to close I’ve little doubt the women who’ve chosen to work there would be very cheesed off at being thrown out of their jobs and losing a decent income.

And we are supposed to be a “city” after all, with the wide variety of life that that involves. Puffed up councillors even believe we’re such a big city that we should have an actual Lord Provost.

But a “city” that can’t even have one single venue that offers mildly risqué entertainment to those who want it?

Some “city” that would be.


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