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Drugs – Obama czar leading a liberal shift?

By Julian Harris
May 24th, 2009 at 10:00 am | 6 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

danceIllegal drugs have fleetingly hit the news of late, albeit squeezed by the ongoing stories about MPs expensing their own indulgences.

First we had a morning of sudden crowing from the government about increases in the price of cocaine – “this is a good thing,” so the reports went.

On form as usual, Blogger Costigan pointed out that “no, actually, it’s not.” The illegal status of drugs mean that consumers are unable to distinguish between legal brands, and are often at the mercy of dealers – hence the tampering of the products which sees old Charlie mixed with anything remotely white and powdery. Dealers are therefore making just as much money (so that the price per kilo is the same), but consumers snort more rat poison up their nostrils. Victory for government!

Second, the Centre for Policy Studies issued a new report cleverly saying that conservative anti-drug authoritarian policies are spot on, but just that this hopeless Labour lot haven’t been doing them right. Naturally the Torygraph lapped this up.

Over the pond, however, they seem to be edging in the opposite direction; although slowly, and with caution. Obama’s new drug czar has implied that a policy shift towards treatment and away from incarceration is on the cards.

One new policy over there is to stop federal authorities raiding medical-marijuana dispensaries in the 13 states where voters have made medical marijuana legal. Obama, in a rare moment of sense, has also mentioned reversing the federal ban on funding for needle exchange programmes, which are designed to prevent the spread of HIV.

Like his boss, this new czar is not a real liberal and clearly opposes drug legalisation. However, the mere shift in policy is notable. With Labour up against the ropes, perhaps now is as good a time as ever to highlight the futility of their “war on drugs”, and promote the benefits of a more liberal alternative.

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Con Hold: Bracknell

By Mark Littlewood
May 24th, 2009 at 1:35 am | 1 Comment | Posted in UK Politics

These three words will flash up at about 2am on election night across our screens.

Despite claiming just yesterday that he believed he had 75% support at the public meeting in West Berkshire, the deeply dodgy Andrew MacKay will not seek re-election.

He is not the first to step down – and dozens more may follow.

He must be made to repay the vast sums of money he and his wife (Julie Kirkbride) wrongly claimed from the taxpayer. Hopefully, he and she will do this swiftly.

Kirkbride presumably also gets plugged. She can surely never again participate in public life.

The only real pity in all this is that the British electorate may not have a chance to punish these villains.

That might have to left to our courts and our prisons.

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The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions. – Alfred Lord Tennyson

By Ed Joyce
May 23rd, 2009 at 9:34 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

As a strong libertarian I wanted to post a libertarian counter to Julians post on liberal revolution which was referred to in this site. I believe that we need to be very careful as libertarians how we deal with issues such as prosititution, lap dancing, and pornography, and also how we deal with the wider issues of sexuality where it appears that we as libertarians spend most of our efforts looking at the needs of individuals rather the couples.

http://liberalrevolution.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/can-we-just-get-off-mens-backs/

Last Saturday I was talking to a woman in a club. She was educated and articulate and worked in a situation where she was in a position of power. This was necessary for her to pay her mortgage. She needed release from that in the form of physical punishment from her partner. She wished this to be in public and not in token. Since the Spanner case

http://www.spannertrust.org/documents/spannerhistory.asp

this is now illegal. [The Spanner case was where sexual acts were given equivalence with bare knuckling fighting and long prison sentances were issued] What is the partner of this woman who loves her deeply to do in this situation. Is he to deny her and risk losing her or risk jail ? I argued with Ziggy saying that I would not go to jail for an ID card but what about fulfilling the sexual needs of someone that you love ? The importance of id cards surely pales in importance to this.

The high levels of risk that have been introduced by government legislation have led to an increased requirement for commitment between couples who need this kind of power exchange. You don’t need to be a psychologist to realised that the amount of pain recieved in a sexual act is utterly irrelevant for many couples if it leads to the happiness of the partner. The feeling of commitment which is felt by couples knowingly breaking the law for the sexual pleasure of one or both parties only warms up the heated ocean which creates this hurricane in the first place.

We need to be careful to focus on the freedom of human sexual relations which are necessary to individuals within relationships. Personally I think that its a pity that men feel the need to visit prostitutes. From the men I know who do this, which are obviously legion like all men reading this I guess, I believe that the money would be better spent on flowers for their partner (80% of them had partners) or drinks in a nightclub.

We must not allow other groups to seize the ‘high ground’ on issues of sexuality and we must target our energy on those areas which enhance relationships between couples and not on those that serve the selfish needs of the individual. We must focus our efforts on the needs of loving couples such as those jailed by Spanner and not bogged down in issues of commercialised sex while the freedom of couples to express their human need is denied. This is why I believe that Spanner related legislation is a better target for libertarians than prostitution.

Ed Joyce

A brief spot of self-congratulation: 15,000 hits surpassed

By Julian Harris
May 23rd, 2009 at 2:09 pm | 9 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

cheerleaderUpon this new cyber place of ours attracting 10,000 hits, I was going to post a comment to the effect of “Raaarrggghh! Look at us! Look at us!”

I forgot to do this.

But now I note that in our first ten days, we attracted over 15,000 hits.

These are sexy enough numbers to report, methinks.

Ten days. 15,000 hits.

Wah-hoooo!

Thank you very much for reading.

Clarification: by “hits”, I’m referring to page views.

“MPs might kill themselves” warns Tory Nadine Dorries

By Julian Harris
May 22nd, 2009 at 6:49 pm | 4 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

dorriesIn a rather peevish rant on her blog*, Tory MP Nadine Dorries has claimed (whether in jest or not, I can’t tell) that MPs “fear a suicide” among their precious brethren.

Crikey. Could the poor darlings really be under such pressure? Could an MP really be driven to a solemn walk into a heated, marble floored bathroom, to take hold of a Taylor’s of Old Bond Street Original Ivory Razor Blade, to slide it across their wrist, now naked of their Swiss watch perchance purchased at a recent UN meeting, to sink their bleeding wrist into an off-jade bespoke Habitat “Roman Sink” style basin full of warm water?

Who knows, Reader, who knows?

But thanks to Nadine, we do know who’s to blame. In her blog post, under the title “Clarification”, she states that this morbid atmosphere has arisen “because this country has never had a Prime Minister with the political courage to stand up to the British media, and award MPs the pay rise proposed.”

Ah yes, that’ll be it. They stole money for fake mortgages because they weren’t paid enough. Good.

Of course, they could have just got another job, but then they wouldn’t be serving the public, would they? No. So little option but to have the old moat cleaned, or to employ your own kids (whether or not they actually do any work).

Yes, right ho, I understand. Carry on now.

[Photo courtesy of ToryBear]

* Update: Link not working due to Dorries’ blog being taken down. For more on this, check Dizzy.