Author Archives: Ewan Hoyle

Opinion: Being tough on drugs means being pro-reform

The Sunday Times is claiming to have knowledge of the results of Jeremy Browne’s drug policy “grand tour”. In an article today, Put that in your pipe, Mrs May, the paper describes many conclusions expected to feature in the final report which will bring great cheer to the ordinary Liberal Democrat member:

“A review ordered by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, and due to be published before Christmas, is expected to suggest Britain could benefit from emulating two American states where the use of recreational cannabis is legal. The Home Office report is also expected to call for

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 23 Comments

Opinion: The media have failed the public over the Woolwich atrocity

At least two brutal and disturbing hate crimes have been carried out this month. Each of the two I will draw your attention to left an apparently innocent man dead from knife wounds. And each victim was apparently selected on the basis of what they were wearing (a Help for Heroes t-shirt) or what they looked like.

These attacks differed in only one important feature, in that one of the attackers had something to say and sought help from passers by in order to communicate his message to as many people as possible.

Without the assistance of others, the ambitions at …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 51 Comments

Opinion: The doping scandal that wasn’t

Two doping scandals hit the headlines last week. One was very serious, apparently very long-running, and seemingly ignored by the sport’s governing bodies for a great many years. The other culminated in Lance Armstrong finally being stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles.

In case you’re puzzled, I should inform you of the apparently entrenched practice of dosing up on an addictive stimulant drug before top level football matches. Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Neville have all admitted recently that they take this drug before matches and have been doing so for some time. They don’t seem to think

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

Opinion: Don’t mistake the bodyguard state for a nanny

Richard Reeves has had a go at trying to describe a path for the Liberal Democrats to follow in order to escape from our current political mire.

It’s an interesting read, but peppered with many more sentences that made me groan than nod along. I take particular issue with his characterisation of minimum alcohol pricing and cigarette sales restrictions as indicative of the “nanny state” at work. The nanny state slaps your wrist as you reach for the cookie jar and says “no”. The nanny state stands between homosexuals who love each other and want to get married. The nanny …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 23 Comments

YouGov poll shows huge support for Lib Dem drug policy

Last year’s drug policy debate at conference ended with near-unanimous endorsement of the policy motion “protecting individuals and communities from drug harms“, but since then Liberal Democrats seem to have been passing up every opportunity to publicise our new policy.

When Theresa May dismissed the advice of the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Lib Dems were silent. When Ken Clarke said the War on Drugs was failing but that decriminalisation wasn’t the answer… Lib Dems were silent. When an audience member of question time last week asked if it was time to control, regulate and …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Changing demand without changing supply puts prostitutes at risk

It is with some concern that I read of proposals to criminalise paying for sex in Scotland.

Prostitution is a catch-all term that describes arrangements that should make the state very concerned indeed – trafficking of children for brutal sexual exploitation for example. There are also arrangements that the state has no business interfering in – the work of a self-employed, financially comfortable escort making very good money to supplement another income in an environment over which he or she has control.

Changing demand by criminalising the purchase of sex will have a number of unintended and undesirable consequences.

Firstly, we should consider …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Time Banking: A simple route to community spirit?

Ever since my unsuccessful council by-election campaign in November I’ve had a burning desire to ask more positive questions of the electorate in the run-up to my next council election in May. What kind of volunteering might you be interested in getting involved in? What kind of skills do you have that you might like to pass on to others in the community? What interests and hobbies might you like to share with your neighbours? I had notions of gathering this data together and then signposting voters to voluntary groups or suggesting they get together with others who share their …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments
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  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Nov - 9:08pm
    @ JoeB, I normally agree with Stiglitz but not this time. A two tier, or a multi tier, euro wouldn't really solve anything. In every...
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 18th Nov - 8:51pm
    And that is why people voted for Kennedy in 2005, Clegg in 2010 and now Corbyn.
  • User AvatarGlenn 18th Nov - 8:49pm
    The cut price less sonorously Machiavellian British Kissinger, but only because he as a squeaky voice.
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Nov - 8:46pm
    @ Andrew Melmouth, You could be right about John Lanchester. There are those who do understand what a complete cock up the introduction of the...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Nov - 8:21pm
    @ Christopher Haigh, 88% of economists would have said, prior to 2008, that the GFC could never happen. @ Andrew Melmouth, The problems of the...
  • User Avatartonyhill 18th Nov - 8:09pm
    Mike Read is right - I'd forgotten quite how poor our 2010 results were in many places. I'll leave it to those who know more...