Posts Tagged ‘George Osborne’
Jo Cox is a martyr to British democracy. Why have we had taken from us one who was clearly so worthy when so much of Parliament is comprised of the venal and self-serving? Many MPs will not even meet their constituents if they do not like the questions they have to ask. I have too much experience of MPs refusing to meet or assist their constituents who need access to medicinal cannabis. Some are cowards who avoid controversial issues and disrespect their constituents’ views. Jo Cox was the very opposite and we must hope that some good comes from her sacrifice.
I saw my own MP, Oliver Letwin, just a couple of weeks ago and I wandered into this picturesque folly on the side of a church in Beaminster and there he was, no security, no entourage, not even a friendly bobby on the door. He saw me through the window and called me in. Is such informality, such casual access to a senior government minister, to be lost, even in deepest, rural Dorset?
We have no reliable information yet on the killer’s motivation but I see that has not stopped almost instantaneous and divisive speculation. What is certain though is that the febrile atmosphere of this referendum campaign has brought more tension and division into our society than I have seen before.
I said this to Oliver when I met him. His response was that this is democracy and the very nature of a referendum. That is true but I do believe that the tactics used on both sides of this campaign have engendered far too much hate in Britain. For many this has caused great fear and confusion, particularly for the feeble minded or those that are easily led and can have their emotions inflamed by rhetoric.
The disgusting behaviour of the stinking-rich oaf Bob Geldof, abusing hard working and courageous British fishermen who have seen their livelihood devastated by the EU. The vile UKIP poster of a queue of migrants released just a hour or so before Jo’s murder. Nigel Farage is greatly to be admired for his determined and principled work but this poster is a mistake and inflames racial tension.
Most of all though, I blame this almost hysterical upsurge in hatred on Cameron’s Project Fear. He and Osborne told people we would be alright if we left the EU and everything would be be OK, we could make our decision without fear that either choice would be a catastrophic mistake. Immediately though they have engaged in a campaign of terrorism, predicting chaos, disaster and mayhem if we vote to leave. Osborne’s scaremongering about a post-Brexit emergency budget was the nadir of Project Fear. He has stepped so far over the line that he will never command the trust of the British people again.
I have already submitted my postal vote and it is #VoteLeave. I know it is the opposite of what Jo Cox would have voted but I pay tribute to her as a politician who stood for democracy and, in my view, that is what this referendum is about. It’s not ‘…about the economy, stupid.’ Neither is it about immigration. It’s about self-determination and being governed by people we elect, not faceless, unaccountable bureaucrats.
A House of Commons full of MPs with the sincerity and good faith of Jo Cox would be my ideal. I believe that is what we should work towards, not abdicating our responsibility to some out-of-touch superstate, not led into servitude by a self-serving, elite of privileged politicians who rely on fear and scaremongering and try to intimidate us into a vote that is not freely chosen.
These two lowlife posh boys have now gone right over the edge into bare faced deceit and lies.
As if all their taxpayer-funded scaremongering wasn’t enough, they are now blatantly misusing our money to further their personal political interests. They have ordered the Governor of the Bank of England and senior NHS executives to support their ‘Remain’ campaign. They have used the civil service to prepare inaccurate and misleading information intended only to support their arguments and further their political careers.
Perhaps this should come as no surprise in view of the putative criminal charges concerning the Conservatives election expenses in the 2015 general election. It is clear that Cameron and Osborne believe they are above the law.
Just as Blair must be brought before the courts for the lies he told over the war on Iraq, so this pair of confidence tricksters must face justice. Whatever the result of the referendum there is no doubt that the leadership of the Conservative Party is corrupt.
The stitch-up between big business, politicians, civil servants and bankers should be crystal clear to anyone with eyes and ears. It is vital to the future of our children and grandchildren that we vote to leave the EU in a month’s time. The alternative is that we subsume ourselves forever under the yoke of transnational business, self-serving, corrupt governments intent on widening the divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’.
Intelligent people, including, to my amazement, fellow members of the Liberal Democrats, are intent on relinquishing all principles of liberalism and democracy – and for what?
All the Project Fear scaremongering, the ganging-up of the CBI, the Bank of England and all the rest of the establishment flunkies, reveals exactly what is going on. Just as we were lied to and deceived over the need for war in Iraq, we are being led by deception and falsehood into an ever-closer union that will fill the pockets and enhance the power of corporate political interests.
This referendum is not about the economy. It is about much bigger and more important principles of self-determination, democracy and freedom. I believe that such principles will also, in the end, bring us more prosperity.
Leaving the EU is most important for our children. Young people themselves must vote for opportunity. Be for Europe but not the EU. Be for co-operation but without a straightjacket. Be ourselves
The political elite wants it. The parasite outsourcing companies that suck up billions in taxpayers’ money want it. The civil servants in 28 countries want it. When you see David Cameron, Harriet Harman, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, George Osborne, Michael Heseltine all want it, ask yourself why?
It’s a stitch-up! You’re being lied to, intimidated and deceived. Independence Day is 23rd June. Make sure you make the right choice.
The budget is strategically brilliant. It makes reforms that are essential.
I think some people are going to suffer and I am particularly concerned about disabled people and students but I like this radicalism. It takes us in the right direction. It is political genius for the Conservative Party to introduce a higher minimum wage. All of Labour’s spokespeople are speechless.
I can agree with Boris that the Tube and GMB strike are vexatious and deliberately timed to coincide with the first Tory budget since 1996.
I also agree with Boris that London’s hub airport would be best sited in the Thames Estuary. We need this radicalism. It will create jobs and enormous wealth. The very idea that we should build another runway at Heathrow is, in my view, close to a war crime. It is a gross violation of humanity. It is disgusting that we should even contemplate subjecting a dense population to such violation.
So this Tory radicalism excites me. This sort of visionary, long-term politics is what Britain needs. Add a dash of liberal back in and we could be getting there.
In my view the only rational choice for the next UK government is another Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition.
The Labour Party is simply a joke. Miliband is an out-of-touch, Hampstead-socialist buffoon who was part of the team whose reckless borrowing meant that the banking crisis destroyed this country’s economy. It is ludicrous that we should even consider giving the same people another chance.
Cameron is an oily, two-faced oaf who has transformed the Conservative Party into the Bullingdon Club Party, dominated by out-of-touch posh boys with quasi-fascists like Theresa May, Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling as their attack dogs.
The only redeeming factor about the Tories is a basic competence in managing the economy. Osborne knows what he is doing but left unrestrained he would devastate our society: trashing the benefits system, care for the disabled and access to justice.
We must have the decent, fair, rational and conscientious Liberal Democrats in government with the Tories. Crucially they must hold out for a much tougher coalition agreement which will see the disgusting policies of Duncan Smith and Grayling reversed. I think it’s too much to hope that we will see the back of Theresa May but definitely, in my area of special interest, the Liberal Democrats will insist on drugs policy reform. The evidence-free, prejudice-based, self-defeating and cruel drugs policies of the past must be overturned. They have caused too much harm, suffering and promoted the interests of organised crime and the alcohol industry over common sense and the national interest.
So, in February I joined the Liberal Democrats. I was free to do so because that month the CLEAR Executive Committee resolved that we would no longer be a political party. An explanation of that decision is here.
My decision had a lot to do with drugs policy but, as I have explained above, was considered across the wider issues. I think it reflects the fact that the LibDems are less ideologically-driven, more rational, evidence-based and fair in their policies. All my life I have been a Tory voter for the crucial values of individual liberty, regulated free markets and opposed to the cloying, repressive ideas of socialism and the overbearing state – but the Tories have lost their way, their moral compass and their integrity. I will never, ever vote Tory again.
CLEAR has worked closely with the LibDems since I first led a delegation of medicinal cannabis users to meet Norman Baker, then drugs minister, in July 2014. Just a few weeks later he publicly called for a change in policy on medicinal cannabis, the most significant breakthrough in the UK cannabis campaign for nearly 50 years. This year we have worked closely with Nick Clegg’s team and the LibDem manifesto incorporated CLEAR’s policy on medicinal cannabis word for word. I had the privilege of personally briefing him on medicinal cannabis just a few weeks ago. Julian Huppert, Norman Lamb and Lynne Featherstone, also LibDems, have been of great help to the CLEAR campaign and demonstrated outstanding sincerity, honesty and commitment, uncommon qualities amongst politicians. Personally, I also greatly admire the courage of LibDem David Ward in standing against Israeli war crimes and in support of Palestine.
On the narrow issue of drugs policy, once again, Labour is a joke. It doesn’t have one. With a few honourable exceptions, such as Paul Flynn, David Winnick and Bob Ainsworth, the party is stuck in reefer madness, terrorised by tabloid editors and prefers prejudice and scare stories to science and evidence. The Tories have more individuals who support reform but the party as a whole is in a corrupt relationship with the alcohol industry and also terrorised by the tabloid press.
As far as the Greens are concerned, yes they have a sensible drugs policy (originally drafted, in fact, by Derek Williams, my colleague on the CLEAR Executive Committee) but they have no chance of any influence in the new government. Caroline Lucas did a good job on getting the drugs debate in Parliament last year but I cannot support her party’s bizarre behaviour in the illiberal ‘No More Page 3’ censorship and fracking campaigns. The Green’s attitude to fracking is as evidence-free and based on prejudice as is Labour’s attitude to cannabis. Also, CLEAR gave the Greens an opportunity to present their drugs policy to our supporters but despite repeated efforts they couldn’t get it together. By contrast, the LibDems welcomed us enthusiastically and at the highest level.
I am a Eurosceptic LibDem, which is unusual. In fact, I voted for UKIP in the last European elections and although the party itself is confused on the issue, I have talked with Nigel Farage in person at length on drugs policy and he is progressive, intelligent and pragmatic on the subject.
CISTA, the Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol party? Well, I know a number of the candidates personally and I would recommend voting for them in constituencies where the LibDems stand no chance. Overall though the party is a waste of Paul Birch’s money and I can say that with the experience of CLEAR’s 16 years as a political party. It’s great that they are bringing some attention to the campaign but it’s a futile strategy and Birch has spurned all efforts at support and assistance from CLEAR. Had he even returned our calls we would have endorsed and promoted CISTA candidates in some constituencies.
So in conclusion, for drugs policy reform, particularly for access to medicinal cannabis, but also for a fairer society where policy is based on evidence and compassion rather than prejudice and vested interests, vote Liberal Democrat!
Yesterday, on his ill judged, flying visit to Scotland, Cameron shed crocodile tears in panic about his destruction of the United Kingdom. He demeaned his office still further by using a thinly disguised obscenity, an appalling and shameful misjudgement. This fool is supposed to be the prime minster of our nation.
The truth about Dave and his cronies and their selfish, arrogant, disconnect from the majority of Britons is exemplified in the trashy new movie ‘The Riot Club’. It’s the Bullingdon Club of course, a depraved gang of posh yobboes who take alcohol, cannabis and cocaine to excess, smash up restaurants, abuse women and then sort it out by peeling a few fifties off Daddy’s wad. Key players: David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson plus assorted bankers and city conmen. The Independent sets out the roll of dishonour here.
This is why I and millions of others, previously confirmed Tory voters, will never again vote for what has become the Bullingdon Club Party. This is why Scotland should do the wise thing and skedaddle away from the UK ship that is sinking under the weight of corruption, cruelty and incompetence. Any government that is so far out of touch deserves to be brought down. That power now resides in the hands of people like Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa May and Chris Grayling should be all the warning we need.
Last August, I complained about the conduct of Yvonne Davies, a Manchester magistrate. This week, remarkably, the regulatory process worked. She was reprimanded and, as a result, chose to resign. This was the correct decision. It is impossible for someone with such an extremist opinion to judge anyone else. She is an anti-cannabis crusader and no magistrate can properly take that position.
The Manchester Evening News led the reporting which was quickly picked up by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. I telephoned the Manchester newspaper to protest that they had merely used the opportunity to re-publish all Ms Davies’ hysterical scaremongering. I’ll be honest. I was concerned the whole thing was starting to backfire, just giving more publicity to Ms Davies’ false and misleading claims.
Some cocky junior Mancunian journalist sneered so hard down the phone at me that I could feel it. When I explained about the endocannabinoid system and the neuroprotective qualities of cannabis he turned into a particularly ignorant and stroppy Gallagher brother and I realised there was no point. I wrote a letter to the editor for publication instead.
I also wrote a letter for publication to the Daily Telegraph.
Then, Tuesday afternoon, I was enjoying a brief glimpse of sunshine outside my friends pub, The Falcon, in Queen’s Park, west London. My phone rang. It was the Daily Mail and I chatted away with Nazia Parveen, the journalist, for a good fifteen minutes. The result you see below in print and the online version is here.
Trust the Mail to try and twist the story into something it isn’t. I wish I had the power to force a few people to quit. I’d start with Theresa May, move on to Jeremy Browne and rattle through Cameron, Osborne, Paul Dacre, Kathy Gyngell, Melanie Philips and by the time I got to the judiciary there’d be plenty more senior than Ms Davies with much greater reason to go (see here for a few examples).
A ‘cannabis zealot’ I am. Just as the 1st century Jewish sect who fought against the Romans, I will stand every time, in the face of whatever odds, use whatever means, to tell the truth about cannabis. It is an immense gift on our planet in so very many ways – which is exactly why it is demonised, why it is only its harms that are discussed and never its benefits.
Yes. I gladly accept the title. A ‘Cannabis Zealot’ am I.