Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Time To Mutiny

Even after the events in Portsmouth, the drugs lobby is being given airtime instead of jail time.

In any radio or television discussion of drugs, one person, if that, will be in favour of the continuation and enforcement of at least the current law. All other participants, even when there are six of them and always including the moderator, will want there to be no drug laws of any kind, and will openly behave as if that were already the case, often claiming that that behaviour is fundamental to their acclaimed artistic creativity.

There is no more case for this than there would be for all radio and television discussions of child sexual abuse to feature one person, if that, who supported the continuation and enforcement of the current age of consent, while all other participants, even when there were six of them and always including the moderator, wanted there to be no age of consent at all, and openly behaved as if that were already the case, often claiming that that behaviour was fundamental to their acclaimed artistic creativity.

After all, like the drug laws, the current age of consent of 16 rather than the previous is 13 is widely flouted, that flouting is actively celebrated across elite and popular culture, that law is rarely enforced (only a footballer runs any real risk of being prosecuted for sex with a postpubsecent underage girl, and only a Catholic priest runs any real risk of being prosecuted for sex with a postpubsecent underage boy), and it is not as old as most people think that it is.

There cannot be a “free” market in general, but not in drugs, or prostitution, or pornography, or unrestricted alcohol, or unrestricted gambling. That is an important part of why there must not be a “free” market in general, which is a political choice, not a mere law of nature. Enacting and enforcing laws against drugs, prostitution and pornography, and regulating alcohol, tobacco and gambling, are clear examples of State intervention in, and regulation of, the economy.

We need a single class of illegal drug, including all of those which are currently illegal, with a crackdown on the possession of drugs, including a mandatory sentence of three months for a second offence, six months for a third offence, one year for a fourth offence, and so on.

Moreover, the age of consent should effectively be raised to 18, by making it a criminal offence for anyone to commit any sexual act with or upon any person under that age who was more than two years younger than herself, or to incite any such person to commit any such act with or upon her or any third party anywhere in the world. The maximum sentence would be twice the difference in age, to the month where that was less than three years, or a life sentence where that difference was at least five years.

No different rules for “positions of trust”, which are being used against male, but not female, 18-year-olds looking after female, but not male, Sixth Formers visiting universities. And no provision, as at present, for boys to be prosecuted at any age, even if they are younger than the girls involved, whereas girls have to be 16. The law on indecent images is also enforced in totally different ways in relation to boys and girls of the same age, and even to boys who are younger than the girls. That must end.

Thanks to Margaret Thatcher, children under the age of consent can have abortion or contraception without parental permission. That is an argument for banning children under the age of consent from having abortion or contraception without parental permission. Unless they decided as adults to seek to make contact with their children, then the financial liability of male victims for pregnancies resulting from their sexual abuse ought also to be ruled out. Talk about victim-blaming. And how can anyone be convicted of non-consensual sex, who could not lawfully have engaged in consensual sex? If there is an age of consent, then anyone below it can be an assailant. But a sexual assailant? How?

Convictions under laws predating these changes ought to be annulled along with those of men whose homosexual acts would not be criminal offences today. Labour should vote against that unless it also annulled, not only all convictions in the above categories, but also all convictions and other adverse court decisions arising out of Clay Cross, Shrewsbury, Wapping, and the three Miners’ Strikes since 1970. This would set the pattern for all future feminist and LGBT legislation. Without a working-class quid pro quo, then Labour would vote against any such legislation. Alongside the DUP, the Conservative Right, or whoever. It is not Tony Blair’s Labour Party now.

But whether or not Labour or any other party would, unprompted, do any of these things, there needs to be at least one MP in the coming hung Parliament who would at least insist on putting each of them to the vote. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

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