Monday, March 05, 2007

Freud ..not that one


Following the super debate on Education Key workers and so on, I have to admit I felt in the end that I was occupying a false position. I do not believe that it will ever be politically possible to get rid of Public Schools .While the thought experiment is interesting ,David Allen was right to say ,we have to deal with 'what is' and not as Croydonian calls it ,( with typical heavy sarcasm ) ,“Year Zero”. Reading Phillips Johnston’s Report on drugs legislation this morning ,an apposite quote popped up in another context….

“As Professor Anthony King, the commission chairman, observes in his introduction to the report: "The question for policy-makers is never, 'Where do we go?', but always, 'Where do we go from here?' "

Phillip Johnston predicts the beginning of limited Liberalisation, citing David Cameron’s easy ride on spliffification ,as evidence that the public are prepared to take a more sensible approach. The following two quotes sum up the difference between the real world ,and the absurd pontifications of one of my most hated organisations , the UN.

“Some years ago, the UN set itself the goal of ridding the world of drugs by 2008, a target that has become more, rather than less, fanciful over time....

....In the late 1960s, there were a few thousand drug addicts at most across the United Kingdom; today there are a quarter of a million problem users, who damage not only themselves but the very fabric of society “


The Freud report(ho ho), on Welfare is going to be most significant to the electoral hopes of the Labour Party ,and thereby the Tories . I predicted ,with less than stunning foresight, ages ago that Labour would start to contest the middle ground ,and we are now beginning to see the signs .

If the below mentions are the tone of the report ,and it is indeed going to set the agenda for the “First 100 days”, then David Cameron has much to fear. This is is exactly what Tony Blair was saying ten years ago, and we must keep reminding people what a lie it was , and is.

“The proposals are expected to include a new requirement for single parents to seek work once their youngest child reaches 11, rather than the current age of 16. John Hutton, the Work and Pensions Secretary, confirmed”

In the context of lone parents, I think we should be prepared to say if we are going to provide more help and support to get back to work, then we will expect you to take up that help and support."


Mr Hutton confirmed that the proposed assistance for the long-term unemployed could include "confidence-building measures" such as help making themselves presentable for job interviews. But he played down reports that this could include tattoo removal, saying: "I'm not sure that's where we need to focus our effort."


Ed Clarke said...

As you correctly note, Blair promised welfare reform 10 years ago.

Matthew Parris noted that nothing that Brown has announced on welfare has come to anything either.

As Brown might have equally said about himself "I won't ever believe a word you say again"

Newmania said...

Thanks Ed that is excatly what I think of it ...don`t you like dannielle then

electro-kevin said...

Morning N.

I see no problem with private education - I'm also fully supportive of parents who give their all to get their children into good state schools through sacrifice (though why there should have to be 'sacrifice' beats me) but I dislike the hypocrisy of those who do this whilst pretending to the rest of us that they don't. (Cameron/Blair)

Regarding Phillip Johnston:

'The beginning of limited liberalisation.'

Cheek of it - 'beginning'indeed. And can there be such a thing as 'limited liberalisation' especially when such liberals cleverly position themselves to be the judges of what is 'sensible' or not (please read the original text).

I have had a recent exchange with the Assistant Chief Const Notts Police about his belief that heroin ought to be available on the NHS - it seems surreal to me that we've come to this level of liberalism.

As for public attitude becoming more 'sensible' regarding cannabis and accepting of Cameron's foibles I don't think so. The issue appears to have been withdrawn from the public eye by Blairist type manoeuvering. I would have been the first to defend Mr Cameron if he'd had the decency to say "Yes I did it and I was wrong." but he slimed his way out of it instead.

Newmania said...

Now I do not agre with you there Kev but I`m at work so I will have to defer my splenetic rebuttal.

( First time actually)

Newmania said...

1 Kev I take your point but it is not a sacrifice for many of the beneficiaries .Sorting puplis by wealth seem to me to be the worst possible way and the sort of "sacfrifice" involved is another word from the majority.Overall I remain in favour of the lottery/ academic draft system . Parents can still help their childen they just can`t buy them advantages.

On drugs there are a great number of soft drugs in use across the population , almost all the harm caused is due their being illegal. If people neither harm themsleves or others there is a,limit to how much I like the sate telling them what they should.

I favour cautious liberalisation myself .
Cameron cannot say that he has gone as far as he can .He has to try to seak to many different people at once.

So all in all not on the Kev team today.


CityUnslicker said...

re work, as much as Danielle is pleasing to the eye, my lunchtime blogging at work leads me to be underwhelmed by pictues such as this!

I don't look at The Hitch in the day for the same reasons.

I am glad you came to your senses on education at last; you were in danger of talking yourself into socialism....

As for drugs, time to legalise I think, the other policy has not worked has it?

Newmania said...

Sorry CU I did wonder , I have to avoid anything that makes any sound and have been caught out horribly once or twice.

Won`t happen again ..I felt a bit uncomfortable about it anyway

David Allen said...

N, not meaning to be heterophobic here, but this pic of Ms Lloyd is not exactly 'worksafe' _ this is just the kind of pic that would get my IT dept. to put your blog on an 'Access Denied' list, which would definitely detract from the gaiety of my lunch hour!

Ellee said...

Boys will be boys, now what do you think about the spot of bother Recess Monkey is in? I wonder if he will show up at the Adam Smith Institute social media event tonight? How can he recover than this?

Newmania said...

Ah right ok thats decides it I `ll delete that and learn from the experiment

Newmania said...

Well Ellee I regret that now actually .Its not soemthing I will do again

electro-kevin said...

Thanks for the response N. I don't have a 'team' BTW, very much a Johnny-no-mates unless you hadn't worked that out already. Not true, actually - there's often a crowd around me (ha ha).

Wealth buying education . Why ever not ??? What has government to do with private education ? And won't these people simply buy it abroad anyway ? No point in wasting energy on this issue and I'm especially thankful for the graduates of this system if they wish to remain in the country having given so generously to the state system for nothing.

Regarding drugs dependancy: sloth & social dependancy are extremely harmful and destructive as well as costly to the taxpayer.

-CU says the laws against drugs have not worked and I would say this is because punishment was not applied harshly enough because drug addicts are seen as helpless victims.

-The sole purpose of narcotics is intoxication, which is not the purpose of drink or tobacco.

'David Cameron has to speak to many people ...' Wasn't that exactly the problem with Tony Blair ?

Ellee. Poor Recess Monkey ! I don't know what he's done but with a blog name like that (I'm in stitches)it would be pretty bad for me not to forgive him. Still not as good as 'No longer anonymous' which I think is brilliant.

Newmania said...

Wealth buying education . Why ever not ???

Well thats what we were discussing above,.....

Cost to the tax payer - Not as costly as obesity or drink or driving or rugby ( per head). This is no arguement ,for anything and not all drugs exist outside a social context as you very well know.

Blair = Cameron. - There are points of similiarity but political competence is not the same as lying. They are both competent

Helpless Victims - Hardly , Cocaine use is notably confined to higher income groups who are anything but. Confusing it and its effects with crack Cocaine is the sort if thing I would like to see cleared up .I do not want class A drugs or indeed most legalised i would legalise Cocaine and some common types of soft drugs on balance

I don`t think you can have laws against thing on the basis you don`t happen to like them .
I should say i am not a drug user and i would be exceedingly cautiosu about Liberalisation.

While I do not want to see law abiding people banged up I do agree with you in general that prison works and it is the inadequacy of the punishment that is the problem.

Punchy post Kev you are taking no prisoners today

Steven_L said...

'The sole purpose of narcotics is intoxication, which is not the purpose of drink or tobacco' electro-kevin

Intoxication isn't the purpose of drink? What are you on?

'Confusing [cocaine] and its effects with crack Cocaine is the sort if thing I would like to see cleared up ... I would legalise Cocaine and some common types of soft drugs on balance' (newmania)

Unworkable, let's say you legalise cocaine and I can buy it from the pharmacist, all I have to do is spend another £2 on a bottle of ammonia and I can make crack myself.

Perhaps Singapore have the right idea, they string their dealers up.

Realistically all you can do is get that strict or legalise and tax them, or keep things how they are where there is a black market worth millions.

Newmania said...

That is a good point Stephen I must admit, several in fact

electro-kevin said...

Response to Stephen I. I'm off out so I can't write much.

Stephen asked me 'what are you on ?' with regard to my comments on alcohol.

I thought that was really funny.

Will reply later.

David Allen said...

Yes, N & E-K, prison works _ and I've no doubt that Singaporean-style punishments would dramatically reduce drug use and drug-related crime. However, starting from HERE, the British people have no stomach for that kind of approach. Not least because nearly everyone would find a much-loved family member, friend or co-worker behind bars or strung up. Nor do I want to pay the extra taxes to keep hundreds of thousands of extra people in prison. I'd rather they were working and paying taxes.
Heroin and other opiate addictions should be fairly easy to manage thru the issue of drugs on prescription. It used to happen and allwed the 10k or so of heroin addicts in UK in the late 60's to work and function relatively normally _ at least not commit crime to many times the value of the drugs they consume (given that fenced goods always sell for a fraction of their replacement cost.) So, I would take a much more 'liberal' line on heroin than 'skunk' cannabis for instance, which has profound neurological effects _ especially on the young, who use it most. At least heroin always offers the potential future opportunity for someone to get weaned off it. But if you have fucked your brain with cannabis in your teens and induced some para-psychotic condition, then that is with you for life and cannot be undone. Yet 'we' continue to see heroin as the worst of the worst, and cannabis as something to be soft-peddled....

Arthurian Legend said...

Newmania, how would your approach to private education change if all the schools for Elliot round your way without exception were lousy, there was no propsect of a good church school (even if you sucked up to the vicar), and your net family income was around 20k higher, putting the prospect of a private education for Elliot comfortably within reach?

electro-kevin said...

Since you ask, Stephen I, mine's a Hobgoblin (or Jack Danniels at home.)

Did you know ...'s an offence to be drunk in a public place ? Not disorderly, not incapable, just plain old drunk. So this means that anyone who drinks alchol to get drunk and then makes their way home is behaving illegally. (Unbelievable I know) So the law discerns between someone who's had a beer and is intoxicated and one who's had a beer and is not. Actually my dictionary shows a difference too:

intoxication n 1 the state of being drunk.

It would be a bit unfair on the ladies at the Women's Institute to suggest that they had taken their sherry in order to get intoxicated.

On a more basic level, why do we have so many different beverages if their sole purpose is to intoxicate ? It wouldn't be something to do with taste would it ? I agree that alcohol can act as a relaxant, but most people do not drink to get drunk.

Everyone who takes a drug does so to artificially alter their state of consciousness, it has nothing to do with the flavour and that's the difference.

Regarding drug taking being normal I don't agree with that either (not pertaining to anything said here). I only know two people who are users of cannabis and they are both trembling all the time and unable to think as sharply as they once did.

I saw the film Layer Cake once and the premise of this was that everyone secretly wants a bit of it (drugs). I think this was wishful thinking on the part of the directors and that they were seeking to lead opinion through the medium of film.

Nope, the vast majority of folks I know are anti drugs whatever.

They are also against binge drinking. I'm ashamed to say I like my beer but I do know when to leave - I just go on the internet instead which is a pity.

electro-kevin said...

And to David Allen,

I exchanged ideas with a senior cop recently (putting it mildly) who had suggested NHS funded supplies of heroin. I was unhappy as at around that time one of my lads had to wait weeks in considerable pain for surgery to the point that I took him to hospital and refused to leave until they admitted him.

Basic treatment is being rationed and nurses are being fired at the moment. I'm not sure the money's there.

I'm not a string-em up merchant but I think there's a lot to be said for a short dose of 'cold turkey' and rock breaking.

Newmania said...

Kevin.Some drugs are no worse for you than drink . You may have views about them but I don`t think you or the state has a right to impose them ion the free choices made by self reliant adults of perhaps equal intelligence to your own.That is the slippery slope of the thin end of the wedge.
I admit that it would hardly be high up my agenda but as more and more of the law abiding polulatuon are criminalised the current dispensation has become unworkable and in places farcical

My experience is entirely different to yours and very many of the problesm related to drugs would be solved by legalising them.

Your beguiling descriptionf social contexts for innocent drinking remknd me of the way that many people use soft drugs.

I wouldn`t pretend it is something I feel strongly about though its a question of the balance between freedom , social cost and so on.

Newmania said...

So, I would take a much more 'liberal' line on heroin than 'skunk' cannabis for instance, which has profound neurological effects _ especially on the young, who use it most

David the development of skunk in London is a direct result of its covert and clandestine nature. In a legal regulated enviroment information and control would be available.

As always your views have great common sense IMHO . I am by no means enthralled at the prospect of legal drugs I think under careful ccircumstances a limited amount of freedom might solve some of the problems.
Its very much a case by case thing though

Newmania said...

I'm not sure the money's there.

Kevin heroin would cost nothing if it wasnt illegal ,that is the whole gain. It would stop all the ancillary criminal activity and allow help information and control.
I do think of this your reaction is somewhat trigger happy myself . You must surely see there are convincing reaons for looking in this direction even if you thinmk the downside is to great

Or not ?

Newmania said...

AL-Newmania, how would your approach to private education change if.....blah blah...s thing ...blah blah.....for Elliot comfortably within reach?

Thats an easy one which I have already dealt with several ways.

1 How would your attitude to theft change is you saw a large lump of gold and knew you would get away with it ..lets call it governent gold so its theft from society ?Does this orove anything ? NO

2 Why not move? Because you can`t afford to move to a nice area? Aaaaaahhhhh. You see?

3 How would my attitude ot monoplies change if I owned one . Considerably. They are still unfair and by that I mean inefficent and contributing to human misery ? My arguemnt is essentially that Public schools are like Monoplies . Early in the development of a "market" for skills they corner the opportunities with greater finance and prevent competition.

electro-kevin said...

With respect I think that the idea that drug dealers will resort to more innocent business such as crochet, or garden gnome manufacturing once their trade has been depleted is optimistic.

They'll go into extortion and kidnapping and such like.

My belief is in the 'line in the sand' theory - that people (like children) feel more secure with defined boundaries of conduct. It's not being judgmental, it's about keeping a lid on things. The boundary is best set a little way back from the point of danger for the reason that people will always push against it (good on 'em).

I've never been harsh with my drug taking friends, this is because they at least do it with some respect for the law by keeping it hidden; in fact their trust of me I value very much and I understand why a sympathetic attitude exists.

Back to your 4.30 if I may:

Mr Cameron's 'political competence'simply would'nt have been needed if public opinion was pro drugs; nice to know that the senior Tories realise this at least. (I used the word 'sliming' and not lying BTW) But I still maintain that he would have been better thought of for being direct and condemnatory ...

... is he condemnatory ? If not, then why not be open about it now ?

electro-kevin said...

'Some drugs are no worse for you than drink'

I know, N.

Psst ! What I actually favour is a blind eye approach to some of this. And I'd rather dealers were dealing soft drugs than kidnapping or extorting, so why change ?

The boundary thing ...

... so we move the boundary and it starts getting pushed again - what next ???

Oh - Alzheimers drugs cost next to nothing either, unfortunately they seem to be unavailable to law-abiding taxpayers.

Newmania said...

With respect I think that the idea that drug dealers will resort to more innocent business....

See American Prohibition and its effect .

- that people (like children) feel more secure with defined boundaries of conduct.

I am not a child .Are you a social parent?

competence' simply wouldn’t have been needed
Competence is always needed and on this subject there are a very peculiar views on this . Bizarre in fact

'Some drugs are no worse for you than drink'
I know, N.

Then why deny it ?

Psst ! What I actually favour is a blind eye approach to some of this.

Agreed that is already happening but there is a limit to it.

... so we move the boundary and it starts getting pushed again - what next?

An assumption you make about the behaviour of rationale adults that I do not believe is that case

Oh - Alzheimers drugs cost next to nothing either, unfortunately they seem to be unavailable to law-abiding taxpayers.

Well that’s another subject

electro-kevin said...

Just one of those points:

I do think that most people are kids at heart, yes.

I most certainly am.

electro-kevin said...

...And another of those points


The issue with both drugs and alcohol is one of moderation.

My point wasn't to deny harm - I have always believed that both are harmful. I just don't happen to think that legalising another harmful activity helps and at least alcohol consumption & delirium is not necessarily axiomatic.

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