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August 17, 2006

Comments

NRG

Calm down, calm, down, it's only a silly season attention grabber. This is all froth to garner votes from the middle ground. The real test will come when Tories move to spell out how (or if?) they will tackle the mushrooming of the state, the crippling tax regimes, and appalling inefficient public services.

Will they have the guts to send the half a million people in non-jobs created by Gordon Brown to keep them voting NuLabour out to get something useful to do?

SBK

sorry DV but carbon emissions do actually matter to people intelligent enough to understand the ramifications of not dealing with them.

All drugs should be legalised and hence manufactured by the pharma companies. This would almost eliminate drug related crime, provide another item that can be classed for luxury tax levels. Drug use would initially surge then quickly level back. Legal highs just aren't appealing if there is no act of rebellion associated with them.

Tax cuts? For who? People for whom they'd really benefit or mainly for Middle England?

Still I agree that mention should have been made of the extremists who blight this land with their messages of hate.

Maggie


The man is a complete and utter plank. A joke. "Hug a Hoodie" just about sums him up. I wonder is there anyone else out there with any high ideals which might get us out of the mess we are in...is there any 'cometh the hour, cometh the man". No Colm you need not apply..much too short on ideas.

daytripper

while conservatives maintain an etonian dominated shadow cabinet, everyone with a brain will understand that behind the completely false facade of blairlite-cameronism lies the same arrogant cabal of elitists, whose own selfinterests destroyed what self supporting industry was left in this kingdom.

not that it should concern us northern irelanders as the basic tenets of democracy dont stretch across the irish sea, so we couldnt affect a change even if we wanted to.

andy

SBK
Wise words on all points.

Re : the drugs thing - a repeal of such unjustified prohibition would be in line with true Conservative (and libertarian) values.

dangerouslysubversivedad

Yes, and the experience of what amounted to legalising all drugs in Brixton certainly did make such a difference to crime and drug use - both things skyrocketed instead of 'surging then falling'.

Someone who I used to call a friend who used to do nothing but smoke a lot of cannabis then took advantage of the relaxation in the law to smoke lots more cannabis and then did exactly what all you libertarian types say doesnt happen - because the local PC PCs now turn a blind eye to cannabis dealers they have taken the opportunity to move onto more expensive and profitable things so she now sticks needles in her arm, prostitutes herself when she's low on cash and looks like a well-made up skeleton.

Here's a thought - mandatory life sentences for all dealers and manufacturers of illegal drugs. No dealers or suppliers = no junkies.

The idea that libertarianism of the 'legalisation' kind is 'true Conservativism' is nonsense that only libertarians believe.

aileen

DSD

a sad story. I think drugs is a major problem, but I don't really know what the answer to it is. I wish I could pretend to myself that I did. The arguements for decriminalising it make sence and yet......

Richard, London

SBK & Andy

although I would have agreed with you in the past on the legalisation of drugs, and would have done so on from an individualist and libertarian standpoint, once you leave the theory behind, you start hitting snags.

Firstly, there is no reason to think that criminality linked to drugs will end. Drugs, whether legal or not, will have a value. Look at cigarette smuggling. This is one of the biggest money spinners for East European gangs (or so I hear) and it continues because they can undercut the market. Drug dealers are not all going to abandon their enterprise with a gallic shrug.

Secondly, crack cocaine destroys lives. People start taking it for a bit of fun and next thing they know they're eating out of trash cans. Should it really be legalised, when we know it will do no one any good, just for a principle?

I agree that there would be probably be an initial increase in drug taking which would slake off in time, but I don't think there will be any effect along the lines of "now it's legal, it's not cool". If that was the case, we'd all give up drinking on our 18th birthdays! The drugs marketeers just lose one selling point, they have plenty of others. In any case, the average end user doesn't really fear arrest nowadays.

The Brixton experiment doesn't really prove anything, other than if you are going to do it, don't do it like that. The people of Brixton I think were largely hopping mad at the police for using their area as an open market for drugs.

SBK

Aileen

The real bulk of crime relating to drugs is not the crime of using the drug itself but the crimes the users (especially heroin addicts) will commit to get their next fix. I was the victim of a needle weilding junkie in Glasgow. I doubt that crime would've happened had heroin been legal and prescribed in its pure form.

Remember the dealers give away freebies until the punter is hooked then the punter will go to just about any length to get the £50 odd quid a day he needs to get his fix.

You can lead a horse to water and all that. Just because drugs were legal doesn't mean you'd have to take them. Alcohol and tobacco would both go straight into the Class A bracket if they were "invented" tomorrow.

SBK

Richard

You do make very compelling arguments. But booze and tobacco also ruin lives. More I'd wager than all illegal drugs combined. You will always get people who are too weak to resist self-destructive tendencies. But does that mean no one should have the choice?

What would be cheaper I wonder? Drug law enforcement or taxpayer funded rehab? The whole thing is a thorny issue and can be well argued from both sides. It's one of those topics that is hard to view in a dispassionate way.

Richard, London

SBK, the answer in this case is to lock the bastard up, not give him free scag.

Richard, London

We have the choice now anyway, don't we - us individualists?

Taking a Popperesque piecemeal approach to the drug question, my first move wouldn't be legalise them all, it would be bust all the crackhouses. I'm happy to pay my taxes for that.

SBK

Richard

Going after the users treats the symptoms not the root cause i.e. the dealers. Crack is arguably a special case. Like heroin the only culture associated with it is poverty and squalor. If some muppet wants to drop an E and dance to house music all night does that bother you? Or a stoner eating mars bars and listening to Belle and Sebastian?

Crack and heroin ruin lives but they are a symptom not the root cause. Is it a coincidence that mental illness and use of these drugs in particular seem to go hand in hand.

BTW that woman who was jailed today for giving her kid crack and heroin. 9 years jail? I have a cheaper solution: a Beretta 9mm and a man with a strong stomach. I can have sympathy with life in poverty but I can have no sympathy or tolerance for this kind of thing.

Richard, London

If you're looking for a man with a strong stomach, try a crackhead in need of a fix. Personally, I'd save the bullet for the Belle and Sebastian fan!

andy

DSD
Have only just looked back at this thread. A couple of things:
I actually lived in Brixton before and after the change in policing. Huge increase in drugs? Absolute rubbish. Seemed to me (and everyone I talked to) to stay the same. Lambeth police also made the point that those who were arrested were from the borough - it wasn't drawing people in like ill-informed people such as yourself make out.

Secondly - the story of your friend. You claim you know someone who was happy smoking weed, and then, when it became slightly easier for her to get weed she decides it would be a good time to move to heroin? Because thse dealers who weren't being prosecuted for dealing weed decided to move to something they would be prosecuted for?
And she jsut then decied to take heroin did she?
I find this very hard to believe.

Incidentally I've seen a lot of dealers busted in Brixton and Clapham North - they didn't get the free ride you make out.

Richard - some good points but I would echo SBK - Crack and Heroin are special cases. It would be as ridiculous to gear the entire drugs policy around those as it would be to base alcohol policy against meths drinkers.

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