« Newport's Olympics | Main | Sexey and lusty »

July 24, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Grant Tucker

This is one of the reasons I really admire Alan Duncan; because he support decriminalisation of all drugs.

Lets move into the 21st century, and wake up and realise the war on drugs in an unwinnable one.

If drugs were heavily taxed and well regulated, crime levels would significantly drop and tax revenue would increase.

Kay Tie

"Druggie Dave"

I thought that kind of insult was beneath you. Can't we discuss this a little more seriously?

Paul Flynn

One of the fascinations of the otherwise hideous prospect of a Cameron Government is what Druggie Dave will do with drugs prohibition. I had several conversations with him when he was a backbench member of the Home Affairs Committee. The Committee Chairman Chris Mullin wrote approvingly about his sensible views in his diary at the time.
Cameron and Alan Duncan know what the solution is. Will they have the guts to introduce practical reforms?


re: Iain Dale's Diary

The results of his survey while higher than many official ones, indicating perhaps a greater willingness to tell the truth, still seem somewhat low or perhaps I just meet a lot of the wrong people.

Drug prohibition like censorship belongs to paternalist politics which focus on keeping things deemed bad from the lower class majority. It is what I associate with the right wing, not a true democratic left.


The clue is in the BNP having few economic policies, it is a racist, right wing party, but they need to attract working class people so they dangle lures in their attempt to drive a wedge between the working class people, who have most in common, set them at each other rather than against those who profit from them but share if anything the minimum they can possibly share with those who generate the value.

It is the same as the nazi's did and their financing very much came from capitalists, if the BNP were to become successful, their financing would also come from the wealthy.


None of the policies, even the most draconian of tax regimes, make millionaires leave.
Millionaires leave, because they enjoy being millionaires and it means more to them than nationality, heritage or anything else.

This is a weakness in them rather than anything else, but in a society wedded to capitalism their spoilt brattism tends to be indulged despite the fact that no matter how liberal a tax regime there is, they will still complain and still threaten to leave when it suits them.

How many complaints have we heard throughout history about any and all social legislation, abolishing slavery will destroy business, forcing employers to shorten the working day, pay sick pay, pensions, paid holidays, to not employ children, minimum wage, maternity leave.
Each one has been hailed with cries of impossible and how much damage it would do to business, the amount of damage it has done to worthwhile business is of course, none.

You choose what you wish to call compulsion, anywhere that there are laws there is compulsion as well as anywhere that there is not.
Capitalism also requires compulsion, but it is the compulsion of starving or living on the streets that makes the majority kowtow to the monied,
the state, in our case, with its social welfare systems and national health systems partially balances the unequal relationship and the wealthy hate it for that, the tories being their primary representatives, although new labour have done a fine job for filling in for them for the last few years.

Movements like temperance become associated with politics representing the working class by simple virtue of the fact that the issues they attempted to address(often wrongheadedly) are ones that had the severest and cruelest impact on the working classes. It is not indicative of general puritanical attitudes.

Kay Tie

By the way, Huw, don't worry about the drug thing you said. All part of the rough and tumble of Internet discourse.

On the topic of drugs, take a look at Iain Dale's blog. He's shocked at the number of cocaine users who read his blog! Ah bless - an open-minded Tory suddenly has his eyes opened to the prevalence of drugs. It's actually rather nice to watch him change his views in real-time in public.

Kay Tie

The BNP isn't a party of the right - its few economic policies are of the left (nationalisation of key industries and utilities, for example). Of course, left and right are breaking down as useful descriptors. For me, the BNP are nasty on all levels - authoritarian, racist.

I hate all authoritarians and welcome the coming Tories only insofar as there is a libertarian streak in the party that seems to have the upper hand. We shall see what really happens.

It is true that the left also has a personal liberty streak - much welcome - but this has always been subservient to the authoritarian part, mostly because the economic and social policies of the left require compulsion.

As far as Puritanism is concerned, the Labour Party has it deep in it's roots, particularly the Temperance Movement. The whole focus on "equality" is similarly driven by Puritanism: constantly looking at other people and disapproving of what they are doing. Reducing poverty and increasing social mobility isn't addressed by making millionaires leave. Thus we get the 51% tax rate on high earners - raising no more money but punishing the wealthy for the sake of it. Sumptuary Laws by another name - Puritan laws.

Paul Flynn

The electoral system favours Labour. we can get an overall majority with a smaller share of the vote than the Tories need. It's a system that the Tories defend. Even when they had 20% on the Welsh vote in 97 and next General Election they had none on the 40 Welsh seats. That's the first past the post fairness that the Tories defend.

Labour benefits with concentrations of support in 250 seats. The Tories votes are more evenly spread.


"KayTie you veer so wildly from apparently rational to the utterly bizarre I sometimes have to wonder if you have a drink or drug problem"

That I should not have said, but cannot now edit. Instead I can only offer my apologies for the suggestion of drink or drug problems.

What I should have said and would rather have said, is that you veer so wildly from rational thinking to utterly bizarre unsupportable and paranoid views that it becomes impossible to take you seriously.


KayTie you veer so wildly from apparently rational to the utterly bizarre I sometimes have to wonder if you have a drink or drug problem.
There is nothing puritanical about the generality of people with left wing views, they do however tend to have a belief that when making plans or policy that greed and narrow self interest are not the best way to make decisions that affect everyone.

I guess that is the primary difference between them and you.

As for New Labour supporters voting BNP if you have given your support to a party that stands for nothing at all, then drifting off to the far right in search of any meaning at all is unsurprising and of course futile and self destructive.

Old labour needs to get its act together and if they cannot take their party back, as they cannot, then they need to form a new socialist party to give those who want a better life for all someone to vote for.


They don't actually need 40% of the vote to have an overall majority, New Labour had 55% of the seats from 35% of the vote in the last election.

Nonetheless by-elections generally give greater swings to opposition than the general elections do.

The tories do however only need a 6.5% swing to get an overall majority.

Lastly, anyone voting for either party is voting for more of the same.

Kay Tie

"To get an overall majority KayTie the Tory need more than 40% of the vote."

In a largely two-party system, maybe. But when the opposition votes are split across multiple candidates, that's no longer true. The by-election is proof of that. Of course, UKIP and the Greens haven't the resources to mount a similar campaign in all constituencies.

In any case, it's not clear which main party the smaller ones take votes from: Labour supporters seem naturally attracted to the green ideas (if you're a Puritan and looking for a new outlet for your disapproval of others, environmentalism is right up your street). Similarly, the BNP appeals to the unthinking Labour voters who normally vote for anything with a red rosette (let's face it, thinking and voting BNP don't go together well).

"Nothing is certain. the voters might well be repelled in May 2010 by David Cameron's slash and bush the public services rhetoric."

I never knew Cameron was planning to cut public services and to then re-employ people to plant shrubbery. Is this the new party line on Tory policies? Makes a change from "do nothing party."

Paul Flynn

To get an overall majority KayTie the Tory need more than 40% of the vote. They failed to get that in Norwich North. It's always dangerous to draw lessons from by-elections, but the clear lesson from this result in that dis-illusioned Labour voters are not flocking to the Tories. They are staying at home or voting for small parties. It's the same for the LibDems who must be be bitterly disappointed with this result - due possibly to the fact that their candidate has a moat.

Nothing is certain. the voters might well be repelled in May 2010 by Cameron's slash and burn the public services rhetoric.

Kay Tie

The swing to the Tories in Norwich was 16%. That's not "hung Parliament" territory, unless you mean a mass hanging of Labour ministers (at this swing Darling would lose his seat).

You also are not in any position to say why the Labour vote collapsed. I doubt that all of it was due to Dr. Gibson's treatment. You need to look at some detailed polling to see how people voted before and after.

I am sure that the local activists drifted away - there were reports that Labour couldn't even get enough people to deliver leaflets. You can see on this blog how Labour party members feel. When the election comes, how many will help to try and put your pitiful ministers back in to office?

Paul Flynn

Sorry I could not let readers of this blog know about the visits to Newport of David Milliband, Ben Bradshaw, Dawn Primarolo, Jim Knight, Tessa Jowell and John Healey. There were so many that Jessica Morden and I could not welcome them all.
I welcome your optimism Grant

Grant Tucker

Nice to see Cabinet ministers dropping in on Newport, we must be one of the fastest growing city in the country with the most potential. It seems that they are recognising that potential, only wish I was there to here Mr Milliband.

Governments are famous for losing by-elections its nothing new, the media shouldn't look to much into this. I have a feeling Brown may do a John Major and win the next election, even though everyone thinks Cameron will win like Kinnock. Lets hope Cameron, the smug toff, buggers off and lets someone more intune with the people take his place.

The comments to this entry are closed.