UK’s Incredibly Unpopular Deputy Prime Minister Turns to Drugs

Picture: World Economic Council (CC)

“Daniel-san, must talk. Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do ‘yes’ or karate do ‘no.’ You karate do ‘guess so,’ get squish just like grape. Understand?”

- Mr Miyagi

It’s a shame Nick Clegg is the UK’s classic example of a politician who breaks promises[1] because his new stance on the drugs laws, reported here by The Guardian, should be applauded:

Divisions between David Cameron and Nick Clegg over Britain’s “war on drugs” emerged on Friday after the Liberal Democrat leader said that current policy was not working and accused politicians of “a conspiracy of sience”.

Committing his party to pledging a major review of how to tackle the drug problem in its 2015 election manifesto, Clegg claimed Britain was losing the war “on an industrial scale”. He said Cameron should have the courage to look at issues such as decriminalisation or legalisation of drugs.

FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN

A recent Disinfo article predicted this had all the hallmarks of becoming an election issue in the UK but unfortunately our Deputy PM’s party The Liberal Democrats aren’t popular enough to be make that so. It won’t just be paranoid pot smokers who don’t trust him either. For most people “committing” is not a trait associated with Clegg. I first heard the word “quisling” in relation to him, ironically before the election when his “centre left” party teamed up with the “right wing” Tories to form the current Government. His party will be irrelevant at the next election and simple demographics will sweep Labour to victory[2].

Publicly I’ve been advocating decriminalisation in the UK since at least as far back as 2002. On air I used the wise words of Mr Miyagi to illustrate the point. Our middle-of-the-road policy is incredibly dangerous. It’s depressing to be annually proven correct. A recent edition of The BBC’s ‘Question Time’ illustrated two alternative solutions to the so-called war on drugs. On one hand you had conservative commentator Peter Hitchens. His suggestion is to ‘actually make it a war’ as, according to him, decriminalisation has happened here in all but name. He argues we should lock people up for even the most minor infringements of the law. In that world even so much as a scratch of cannabis under your fingernails would get you hard jail time.

In pre-austerity Britain I used to find it tricky to argue against this logic. “Lefty” opinionator Will Self attempted to nail the opposing point of view but his words were, I think, discredited by his widely-known drug problems, which he felt the need to reference. Most Disinfonaughts know the truth is that this issue isn’t about “liking drugs” it is about “funding criminals”. I don’t like dangerous extreme sports but I’ve no desire for our Government to attempt to ban them. Nowadays it’s time to admit, like America is doing, that we no longer have the money to pander to such subjective moralistic whims as the drug laws. Unfortunately I doubt that will come in the UK now and, over the next few years, this problem will continue to become more and more damaging for our wider society as criminals inevitably become proportionately richer than us.

Personally I believe the UK’s riots in 2011 were mainly carried out by “street gangs” and, as one of the journalists credited with first reporting the story, I feel qualified to comment. At the time it was obvious social media was being used by loosely organised groups to encourage people towards certain areas. Such low level petty crime outfits are almost entirley funded by the £billions made in the illegal drugs market, particularly from so-called soft drugs. In my opinion not tackling this problem puts more riots into the UK’s future as we walk on down the middle of Mr Miyagi’s metaphorical road. Next time though the rioters will be more aware of their combined strength and I don’t doubt our politicians will be on holiday again[3].

If not in actuality then certainly metaphorically.

“Squish” indeed.

Nick Margerrison.

[1] This article has been re-written after it originally appeared on my personal blog for a UK readership. A little explanation on this point; Clegg famously promised to scrap Higher Education “tuition fees” then admitted he’d misled people once in power. Politically this will ruin him once the national elections take place.

[2] Tory supporters are outnumbered by Labour supporters who, over the years, have generally had more children. I don’t vote for any political party. None of them impress me and I’m not inclined to, as most people do so by voting “for the lesser evil”. I do not want to support evil, thanks.

[3] When law and order collapsed in most of the major cities in the UK during the summer of 2011 it was a notable co-incidence that almost all our top politicians were on holiday.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tenchi.ruby Tenchi Ruby

    Just hurry up and do it.

  • Tchoutoye

    With Nick Clegg’s approval rating plummeting and his LibDem party threatening to become smaller than the Euro-skeptic UKIP party, thus losing its position in the coalition, his move seems a desperate attempt to boost his electoral appeal.

    Politicians are finally waking up to the reality that drugs are a lot more popular than they are, as can be seen by the fact that in Colorado the cannabis legalization proposition received 40,000 more votes than Obama.

  • BuzzCoastin

    my how times have changed
    now failing politicians are pandering to the drug vote

  • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

    i’ve really been appreciating these articles from Mr Margerrison on UK politics, US politics I often find hard to really grasp because I cannot look around and find the impact these things have in the same way I look at the country I live in. There are some really dodgy things happening here that even me in my current state of political ignorance can observe, and seemingly little awareness publicly both within and outside of the UK.

  • PURPLE CROW

    WE DO NOT APPEAR TO BE AT WAR ON DRUGS, ALL THE POLICE DO IS TO RUN AROUND ARRESTING SMALL TIME DRUG DEALERS.WHAT A WASTE OF TIME BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING.MAKE ALL THE DRUG USEING LEGAL BUT ARREST ANYONE WHO SUPPLIES DRUGS AND GIVE THEM 10 YEARS FIRST CONVICTION. POLICE GET 20.
    POLICE HAVE DRUG DEALERS ALL OVER THE PLACE.THE DEALERS OWN THE BUILDINGS AND THEY ARE POLICE FREE AND ALLOWED TO CONDUCT BUSINESS. WHY !
    THERE MUST BE CORRUPTION FROM BOTTOM TO TOP.WE ARE JUST FED RUBBISH INFORMATION.HOW IS IT DAVY BOY GOT THE TOP JOB WHEN NOT KNOWN FOR POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS AT UNIVERSITY. SOMETHING GOT HIM THERE. WHAT ORGANISATION GOT HIM IN. HOW CAN WE CHANGE THIS DRUG MONEY SYSTEM.?

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