Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/214/8624

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2001

Lilley The Pinko?

PETER LILLEY and the right wing London Evening Standard and Telegraph, leading members of the Tories, more often seen as the party which locks people up, have called for the legalisation of cannabis.

Jane James

This follows on from Brixton police effectively decriminalising cannabis - people found with small amounts of the drug will no longer be prosecuted. The government has told customs officials and police to give up hunting for cannabis smugglers and dealers.

Lilley wants to popularise the Tories after their humiliating election result. He calls for licensed premises where small quantities of cannabis can be bought in line with the Telegraph's campaign for a 'Free Country'.

These right wingers claim to care about the devastation that heroin brings to many working-class communities, arguing that if those wanting to buy cannabis can avoid using pushers of hard drugs it will reduce the chance of them buying heroin or cocaine.

What the Tories mean by a 'free country' is one with the 'freedom' to sack workers, pay low wages and profit from privatising our public services. Once cannabis is legal, tobacco companies are likely to become the new dealers, using resources far greater than the current pushers to persuade people to smoke it.

Peter Lilley is no champion of people's rights. As Secretary of State for Social Security in the last Tory government he cut benefits for the disabled, unemployed and asylum seekers.

Benefits for single parents were frozen and the retirement age for women raised to 65. The Job Seekers' Allowance (forcing the unemployed to accept the worst of jobs or lose benefits) was his creation.

But it must be hard to rebuild the Conservative Party when a Labour government is continuing Tory policies. Surveys show that between 70% and 80% of the population favour relaxing the cannabis laws.

Labour seem to be slowly relaxing drug policy even though Blunkett promised to "rid the country of the plague of hard drugs" when he became Home Secretary. Some Tories see this as an issue where they could appear radical.

Recent research shows that the "war against drugs" is being lost. As prosecutions and seizures increase so does the availability and use of drugs. In other countries where cannabis is legally sold, then there is a fall in the use of harder drugs.

While the rich and others with affluent lifestyles use heroin and cocaine mostly for a leisure pursuit, the dealing and use of hard drugs in many working-class estates present a different picture. Here it leads to wasted lives through constant use and addiction as well as rampant crime as users steal to feed their habit.

Trevor Phillips, black deputy leader of the Greater London Assembly argues against ending prohibition of class A drugs because black youth find that there is money to be made from drugs "thus learning that if he wants the Mercedes or the gold chain, here's an alternative to study and work."

But many youth (black and white) use drugs in the first place to forget their problems. Many people turn to dealing to improve their lifestyle when decent jobs are at a premium, even when people get a good education. No prospects and alienation from society breed a drug problem whose consequences for working-class communities is appalling.

Capitalism is firmly to blame for the conditions of many working-class youth and their communities. Capitalism will profit from the misery they bring by being the worst drug pushers.

At present they push alcohol and cigarettes; they would gladly do the same with cannabis too. We are not in favour of profits being made out of selling cannabis.

Doctors should be able to proscribe heroin to addicts and there should be facilities for testing drugs and balanced advice on their use. People should not be criminalised for taking drugs and there must be rehabilitation for addicts.

Such reforms could ease life for drug users and their communities but capitalism and its defenders like Lilley merely want to make profit from addiction and dependency.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 July 2001:

Unite Against Racism

Racist Match That Sparked Growing Anger

Support the Merseyside firefighters: Defend Public Services

Lilley The Pinko?

Northern Ireland 'peace process': Sliding Into Sectarian Conflict

Solidarity with Turkish political prisoners

Stop The Ilisu Dam!

Racism: Oppose The Bosses' Divide And Rule


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 July 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Drugs:

triangleTories wreck our NHS

trianglePrescription and dental charges to rise again - fight for a free NHS!

triangleGreater Manchester: patients are people not guinea pigs!

Working-class:

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleSocialist Party Congress 2017 reports

Tories:

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Benefits:

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2