Sunday, 26 July 2015

More sex and drugs

For a small group of people our parliamentarians manage to get themselves into a lot of trouble.

Today we learn that Lord Sewell, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, is being investigated by Scotland Yard for his cocaine use.  He has been caught on camera in a sting by the Sun newspaper snorting cocaine from rolled up £5 notes while engaging in sex with a group of prostitutes.

Lord Sewell, a member of the now notorious Dolphin Square Set, until his resignation today, was paid a salary of £84,525 plus £36,000 ‘expenses’ and can be heard on camera complaining that “things” – meaning the remuneration package – “are not as good as they once were”.

These are the people who have decided they have a God-given right to pass laws over us.

Nevertheless, I don't suppose it will cause him lasting reputational damage; cocaine snorting is a required skill in merchant banking and at The Bar.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

ABC unsure whether to air cannabis commercial

A TV commercial advertising cannabis that was due to be shown on Monday evening was postponed until today (Tuesday) but has now been postponed again.

The problem is that, while the commercial would be legal if broadcast and watched in the state of Colorado, radio waves do not stop at the state line.  The ABC network is concerned that they might inadvertantly break federal law.

The Global investment network Bloomberg, debated the "billion dollar industry" on its web channel today.

You can watch the commercial on Bloomberg and on


Durham Police turn blind eye to cannabis growing

In a move, which will be seen as a further step towards decriminalisation, Durham Police has said it will only go after people growing and using the drug if there is a complaint or if they are being “blatant”.

While the force has insisted it will continue to tackle large scale cannabis farms and other areas of criminality associated with the drug, those who grow and use the cannabis at home will not be actively pursued.

The move comes in the wake of comments by the force’s Chief Constable, Mike Barton, who has argued that investigating and prosecuting drug addicts is “waste of police time”.

Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg a former policeman himself, told the Northern Echo newspaper: “Cannabis use is still illegal and smoking it is still a crime, but if you are caught, you will get this opportunity to stop reoffending.

“By and large we are saying it is not the top of our list to go out and try to pick up people smoking joints on street corners but if it’s blatant or we get complaints, officers will act.”

He added: “It’s about keeping people out of the criminal justice system and reducing costs; it’s about being more productive with the way we approach things. It’s also about seeking to prevent future use by keeping people out of prison.

“My position is clear – I support decriminalisation of users and support debate around the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes."

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The people who govern us

The saga of senior establishment figures sexually abusing young boys, as with the recent admissions by many politicians that they have smoked cannabis, is always portrayed in the press as being 'historical'.  Using this phrase is a way of saying 'all this happened in the past and the past was another country'.

Well, it is now proving to be the case that these nefarious activities are continuing into the present day.  All this guff about 'historical' crimes is all a smoke screen.

Today it is revealed that two serving Members of Parliament have reported one of their colleagues to the police.

Allegations include that the MP had young boys "delivered" to his room at a hotel near a police station and abused others at a hospital’s mental health unit.

One victim was left so terrified he fears for his life if he ever speaks out. The MP allegedly showed a liking for "young ragamuffins" and also displayed an "unhealthy" interest in the two young sons of a local councillor.

“Several people who have never met one another were all telling me the same, or similar, stories of corruption, indecency and paedophile offences."

Let's see if the police and MI5 can keep a lid on this one.

Friday, 10 July 2015

How many Brits does it take to...

In recent weeks, in recent days, even, we have had a succession of ‘celebrations of public empathy’: the signing of Magna Carta; the birth of (yet another) princess: Victory in Europe Day anniversary; the events to mark the shootings on the Tunisian beach; the event to mark the tube bombings on the London Underground 10 years ago; the christening of (yet another) princess.  Today it is the event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and, unless they squeeze in something else during August, we can look forward to the celebrations to commemorate the end of the Second World War in September.

The British people have become ‘celebration junkies’ and the more people who have been killed at some date in the past, the greater the celebration.  It’s all rather pathetic.  Do all these people lead such sad and empty lives that they have to bandwagon-jump onto someone else’s happiness – or better still – grief?

 For one moment I thought...but then no - they were firing blanks.

Prince Edward looks very smart in his RAF uniform.  It’s a far cry from when he tried to join the Royal Marines and his fellow cadets got so fed up with his whinging that they took him out into a field one night, stripped him and shoved mud up his arse.  He then had a bash at film making (making films about...yep...his family).  Even this he ballsed-up, and so mummy had to give him a job in PR.

Eddie, the (bald) Eagle.  Not even sufficiently masculine to grow hair.

The flypast.  Almost Britain's entire air force (we have 22 airworthy Typhoons) and (notionally) 98 antiquated Tornados - half of which are worn out and are subject to flying time restrictions.

'looking forward to 2017 and the 20 year anniversary to mark Diana's death.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Oregon works round new half-baked cannabis law

On 1st July Oregon became the fifth place in the United States where all adult citizens could possess and smoke cannabis legally (after Colorado, Washington State, Alaska and Washington DC).

However, in the wacky world inhabited by lawmakers, while it is now legal to grow plants it is still illegal actually to sell the stuff to the general public.

Inventive Oregonians are getting round the law by holding events (some with, say, a $40 admission fee) in which cannabis is given away for free.

Smokers now eagerly await 1st October when it is hoped and expected that the law permitting sales will be introduced.

More on...
Global cannabis debate
Political sex scandal

Friday, 3 July 2015

Global cannabis laws update

In a ruling little noticed by the rest of the world, Canada's Supreme Court has made a move towards further legalization of cannabis.

In June the Court ruled unanimously that medical marijuana can be legally consumed in products such as cookies, brownies and teas, a decision that "outraged" the federal government.

The high court said in a 7-0 decision that limiting medical consumption to dried pot infringes on liberty protections under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The decision was yet another rebuke of Prime Minister Harper's government's tough-on-crime agenda.

The original legislation enacted in 2001 (when Canada was one of the first countries to legalise medical cannabis) permitted the possession of dried buds if prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner.

Elsewhere - in Colorado - the state government reports that it has made a $50 million (£32 million) profit in the first year by taxing legalised cannabis sales.

Meanwhile the city of Vancouver is getting itself into a mess over partial legalisation.  It is now permissible for licensed shops to sell cannabis but production remains illegal.  The Vancouver Sun newspaper complains that the remaining laws concerning growing cannabis are antiquated and long overdue for scrapping as they were the result of racism against the Chinese immigrant population which was much mistrusted by the early twentieth century white settlers.