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@ VoN Your comment is STUPID. Maybe a single spliff “never hurt anyone” but that can lead to rather more spliffs and then to increasingly addictive drugs as further “excitement” is increasingly sought and eventually leading to crime to fund the expensive habit. I know. I’m an addict. My addiction is nicotine. It started with just one illegal fag – complete with a coughing fit. I persevered and 50+ years later I’m still an addict. It was “cool” to smoke much as it is now likely to be “cool” to smoke a spliff, or sniff cocaine, or smoke, eventually inject, heroin. Interestingly nicotine smoking has never led to crime to fund this particular drug habit but current tax levels may very well soon change that. Also interesting is that the tax paid by smokers (and alcoholics) more than pays for the NHS treatment which they, so far, still receive. Am I suggesting legalising and taxing drugs? Most emphatically not. Evidence suggests that nicotine can have serious health consequences but research also suggests that this may well be gene related. Prior knowledge could inform the choice but that is not available. One thing I DO know is that druggies, and even alcoholics, are often on benefits which partially funds their addiction with, for many, the rest of the cost funded by crime. Nicotine addicts get no such discriminatory and favourable treatment. It also seems that hard drug addiction has serious health problems for all, including death, and even “spliffs” can lead to mental health problems. Now. “when I were a lad” we were all poor and we most certainly did experiment. In those days we were all kept on the straight and narrow by fear of the law. Those who strayed often ended up in Borstal – a sort of “boot camp” with education. No one was proud of that – unlike today when being awarded an ASBO is a “badge of honour”. Some came out of Borstal reformed and went on to become good citizens. There is no doubt that having been to Borstal DID affect their life-choice . We all knew that so no sympathy. Some of course were unreformed and continued to live a criminal life. FAR less a proportion than now though. The “liberal do-gooders”, like you VoN, have seriously changed, for the worse, the quality of life in the UK. Alcohol? Well the weekend drunks really shouldn’t be charged just £80 as standard. They SHOULD be charged for the real cost of the policing (for which I pay) which must be at least £500 and likely more. They should also get a criminal record. In my village there is no such disruption but WE pay for the drunks in Newcastle both through PAYE and Council Tax. Possession of a “spliff” or the means to construct, should result in a criminal record and a huge fine. Wow wouldn’t the legal profession lose a lot of members?
As always Melanie you talk perfect sense and I'm amazed that so few have commented. It used to be said that Brown was a Clown well Huhne is a cloon. (depends on your accent - partially) I happen to be totally disbelieving of "anthropogenic global warming". This world has always warmed up and cooled down again and the physics are still not totally understood. I do though rather think that the unbridled increases in global human population, particularly in certain areas, does place serious pressure on the finite resources of this earth. Did I read that in circa 1900 to 1930 word population was 2.5bn and is now 7bn? May have got the dates wrong but you get the idea. The "refugee" population of Gaza was about 1/4 million in 1948. Today, 63 years later it is 1.5m and rising - all on the back of free food otherwise known as aid. I rather think that China has the best idea. Dismissing exploitation of shale gas is just perverse but Huhne IS perverse. I could say more but let's wait for the CPS. I don't want legal challenges. It is just totally silly that the UK, the provider of what - perhaps 2% of CO2 emissions worldwide - should try to correct the problems of the whole world very expensively. When thinking of Huhne I think of Don Quixote. Huhne despoils our "green and pleasant lands" with his expensive and inefficient windmills. DQ probably had the right idea - strike them down and Cervantes Saavedra was probably prescient. The sooner this cloon is gone the better. I read of the energy companies making "silly" profits. I read elsewhere that their profits are just 2.5%. Mmmm. As a retired management consultant I would say that a return on capital of only 2.5% is just a breath away from bankruptcy. I happen to be a retired OAP. 3 or 4 years ago my heating system failed. I meant to get if fixed but, being lazy, I never quite "gotaroundtuit". Actually I wanted to totally change the heating system and that meant that other things needed to be done first - and I'm lazy now that I no longer work. Last winter was the coldest I can remember in 67 years. I spent quite a bit of time in the smallest room - my home office not the lavatory - with just an electric fan heater, a computer, and my files or books. Otherwise I sat in front of the TV with my very inefficient coal effect gas fire and wrapped in a "slanket". Know what? My energy bill halved. Maybe I need to do nothing. My house is well insulated and south facing and the internal temperature is always at least 10 degrees more than outside. Often far more. It never got less than 10C. I'm lucky in that I prefer cooler.
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Apr 5, 2010