Media savvy

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Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers 

We do not want drug legalisation by the back door. But at the very least let’s have the debate. Two years ago the PM rejected calls for a Royal Commission on drugs policy. It’s high time for a rethink.

Sun editorial, 8 August

The Sun newspaper, which has in the past been a keen cheerleader and bootlicker for the Blair creature, the Iraq and Afghan Wars and for David Cameron, now wants a ‘rethink’ on drug laws. Well, you can’t rethink till you’ve thought in the first place. Its pretext for this irresponsible tripe is an interview with Nick Clegg, in which he claims we’re too tough on drug possession… The idea that this regime is too tough, and needs to be softened, could only find a home in the head of someone as dim as Nick Clegg.

Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 10 August

For many, an arrest for possession at a young age can start a chain reaction that leads first to drastically reduced employability and then to a higher likelihood of becoming engaged in the underground economy of drug distribution, often the only job available. Once this happens, it becomes almost a fait accompli that that person will spend a serious portion of his life rotating in and out of the system.

Eugene Jarecki, Observer, 3 August 

Only poor people are weighed and measured by how much they cost the country. In fact, all of us, one way or another, represent a cost: whether by living too long or studying too much or mismanaging complex financial products. Each of us could have a price tag stuck on our heads that the rest of society could then resent us for. But for some reason this is not thought at all relevant unless you have cost the wrong kind of money.

Zoe Williams, Guardian, 18 August

The chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service says people who end up in jails like Barlinnie shouldn’t be called ‘convicts’, ‘criminals’ or ‘offenders’ because it might stigmatise them and hamper their rehabilitation… Where do they find these people? I’m all for rehabilitation in jail. There’s not enough of it. Most prisons are grim warehouses. But resorting to euphemism to describe prisoners is absurd. Before people can be rehabilitated they must face up to their crimes.

Richard Littlejohn, Mail, 26 August

Is it really such a good idea to ban the e-cigarette if it helps people to give up? You can’t help but suspect that what is really going on here is that some people are so fanatical about not smoking that they refuse to tolerate something that looks like the real thing even though it isn’t. I’m no friend of smoking these days but this just looks petty and vindictive.

Virginia Blackburn, Express, 28 August

An imposed period of sobriety may help people gain some insight into how much their alcohol use is damaging other aspects of their lives. Making such a discovery voluntarily is hard, because the pressure to drink in our culture is so vastly underestimated.

Deborah Orr, Guardian, 1 August