Media savvy

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

We more or less turn a blind eye to the users of illegal narcotics, concentrating our indignation on those who sell them. Would drugs be trafficked so profitably if we prosecuted users with the same zeal? Perhaps not. Prohibiting alcohol (as they once did in America) encourages gangsterism. It’s the same with drugs. But a society of drinkers can more or less function normally. Can the same be said of one in which all drugs are freely available? Our fear that it can’t – that great swathes of our young would become unemployable zombies – keeps narcotics illegal. 

Peter McKay, Mail on Sunday, 15 September 

What I don’t understand at all is what decriminalisation of drugs will do for addicts. I mean not only active addicts who are locked in compulsive drug use, but also those millions of potential addicts, most of them children, who have not yet picked up their first drug and could go either way.

Melissa Kite, Guardian, 16 September 

[The Centre for Social Justice’s No quick fix report] is a muddled, shrill and selective document, determined to bring together issues such as binge drinking, heroin addiction, legal highs, cannabis smoking and alcoholism, which have different levels of seriousness, patterns of use and potential for harm. Yet at the heart of it lies a truth: Britain is a nation addicted, not necessarily to drugs or alcohol per se, but to excess itself.

Leo Benedictus, Guardian, 2 September

Despite the dangers, our appetite for destruction seems voracious. Perhaps it has always been so. Aldous Huxley and George Orwell could not envisage a futuristic Britain without drugs, be it 1g of Soma or a bottle of gin. Yet nothing has quite prepared us for the rise of the legal high generation. We can’t stop them getting the drugs. And more worrying, we still don’t know what, in the long run, the dangers of this Brave New World will be.

Joe Shute, Telegraph, 5 September

The Scottish nation as a whole, thanks to English taxpayers, has never had it so good. English money is propping up the most welfare, drink and drug-addicted nation in Europe.

Simon Heffer, Mail, 19 September

Poverty and addiction have a thousand mothers, none of them sloth. Surviving the streets and hustling for the next fix is some of the hardest work around.

Chris Arnade, Guardian, 9 September

Some people have moved [because of the bedroom tax] but most haven’t, and those people will eventually find their debts unmanageable and become homeless. This cannot come as news to the devisers of the policy, and if it is not news to them then it must be part of their plan.

Zoe Williams, Guardian, 11 September 

Nothing more graphically illustrates the warped, destructive values of Labour and the Left than the manufactured outrage over the so-called ‘bedroom tax’. There has been a barrage of increasingly hysterical propaganda against this measure, which has been portrayed as a vindictive attack on the poor carried out by heartless Tories for purely ideological reasons. Despite all the noise they generate the frenzied protesters cannot disguise the weakness of their case.

Leo McKinstry, Express, 12 September 



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