Monday 6 March 2023

Really Helped?

I cannot imagine that anyone might ever do anything in the hope of becoming like Prince Harry. But will he be arrested for his Class A drug offences should he ever return to these shores? Has his United States visa been revoked? And when he was so out of it that he thought that he was having conversations with a pedal bin, then he was surrounded by some of the most carefully vetted Police Officers in the world.

They often are. Last May, Michael Gove was described in edited Fleet Street copy as having been on “ a cocaine binge. He and Boris Johnson, who is no longer an American citizen, have lied on their United States visa applications, as has Harry. They are not the only ones, although presumably no one will bother in future. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng was obviously off his face at the funeral of the late Queen. The Truss Government was so awash with cocaine that it scandalised the servants.

Intentionally or otherwise, and for all his faults, Jeremy Corbyn threatened to destroy that Blairite lifestyle by creating an economic order in which no one would have felt the need to become a drug mule or, say, a rent boy. Therefore terrified of economic equality, the lifestyle liberals turned on him as they had not turned on any other politician in living memory. And here we are.

Not only does cannabis cause one third of psychosis cases in London, but what authority does Sadiq Khan have to decriminalise it? There have only ever been three Mayors of London. If the office were vested with this much power, then imagine what the two previous holders might have done with it.

I have been both to university and to prison, and I have still never taken an illegal drug in my life. The treatment of such behaviour as normal is based on extrapolation from the wildly untypical experience of the people who decide these things. Drugs-based blackmail is fundamental to political power in this country.

Any economic arrangement is a political choice, and there cannot be a “free” market in general but not in, among other things, drugs. Radical change would be impossible if the workers, the youth and the poor were in a state of stupefaction, and that baleful situation, which has been contrived in the past, is being contrived again today.

We need a single category of illegal drug, including cannabis, with a crackdown on possession, including a mandatory sentence of two years for a first offence, three years for a second offence, four years for a third offence, and so on. (I no longer believe in prison sentences that include the possibility of release in less than 12 months; in that case, then your crime was not bad enough to warrant imprisonment, which the possession of drugs is.) We need to restore the specific criminal offence of allowing one’s premises to be used for illegal drug purposes. And Peter Hitchens’s The War We Never Fought should be taught in schools, as pro-drugs propaganda is routinely.

This is not a hopeless cause. When I say that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair’s Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

The opinion polls bear no resemblance to real votes cast, and even the Labour poll lead has halved since Sunak took over. Halved. The Labour vote has gone through the floor at all but one by-election since Starmer became Leader, with one of those recording Labour’s lowest ever share of the vote. Council seats that were held or won under Corbyn have fallen like sandcastles, taking control of major local authorities with them. That is the bread and butter of the party’s right wing, who are not otherwise the most employable of people.

With nearly two years still to go until the next General Election, Starmer’s personal rating is negative not only nationally, but in every region apart from London, and it is still in decline. Starmer’s dishonesty is becoming a story. He lied to his party members to get their votes, so he would lie to anyone else to get their votes. We are heading for a hung Parliament. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.