Posts Tagged ‘George Osborne’
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.
The Ritz has paid no tax whatsoever in 17 years!
Of course, Cameron and Osborne wouldn’t comment. They reserve their condemnation of tax avoidance for Jimmy Carr.
How to make a twat of yourself over a pussy.
Ms May really is the most dimwitted, out of touch dinosaur, eclipsing even historical relics like George Osborne or Alan Johnson.
Quite how she ever became Home Secretary I do not understand. She appeared from nowhere and was immediately elevated to high office. The most obvious explanation isn’t credible because, without wishing to be unkind, she’s not exactly a honey trap is she?
The Human Rights Act is, in any case, very much a British creation. It is simply false to blame it on Europe. It was drafted by British legislators and, in general, is a proud and noble achievement. The very last thing we need is to abandon it on the say so of some third rate politician. It isn’t going to happen anyway. Ms May is just being used as a stool pigeon to appease the Tory right. She’s a muppet – sorry, I mean a puppet. Actually, I mean both.