Drink Confusions

The drink law reforms are the subject of much hypocrisy – the Tories are moaning about drunks and opposing removing regulatory restrictions on free enterprise, Labour is de-regulating for a free market in a way that will permit more anti-social behaviour. The Lib Dem’s Charles Kennedy seems strangely absent from the debate. LibDem policy is to allow alco-pops for 16 year olds (and their European leader, Chris Davies MEP, would throw in a spliff, a few E’s and line of cocaine no doubt).

The Basher Davis camp likes to make snide hints about David Cameron’s £27,000-a-year from a chain of bars when it isn’t alluding to Ken Clarke’s proselytising for fag exports to the third world at British American Tobacco. (Though no one has yet mentioned Basher’s time as a director at Tate & Lyle, which was the recipient of £127m in EU sugar subsidies last year at the expense of tax-payers and third world sugar exporters).

Sean Gabb, the maverick libertarian propagandist, quotes Dr Magee, the Bishop of Peterborough, who in the debates over the 1872 Licensing Act said, “England free better than England sober”. Guido will drink to that!




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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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