Osborne’s First News Line

It’s George Osborne’s first day in charge of the Evening Standard and he has been given an appropriate welcome on Derry Street, where a group of cab drivers have laid out a ‘huge line of coke’ on the road outside. A gag that’s had Standard hacks snorting into their coffees…

H/T Felicity Morse

UPDATE: George twists the knife with his first front page:

UPDATE II: Osborne’s first leader says Brexit is “an historic mistake”, derides as “unrealistic” claims Britain has a strong hand, repeats the Juncker briefing uncritically as if it is gospel, and blasts Theresa May for an “election campaign [that] amounts to no more than a slogan”. Subtle…

Magic Mushrooms Could Boost Economic Productivity

According to a Reuters report magic mushrooms could boost economic productivity and make investors money. Recent clinical trials of psilocybin mushrooms, the psychedelic fungi, show it helping mental health patients without causing significant side effects.

As well as health gains for individuals the positive ramifications for society are huge.

The cost of mental illness globally was as much as $2.5 trillion in 2010 and could more than double by 2030, reckons the World Economic Forum. Using those numbers, medical journal the Lancet has argued that investments in mental-health treatment have high returns. If $10 billion were invested every year from now until 2030, the net present value of enhanced economic productivity might be $400 billion.

Investing in psychedelic medicine could be both profitable and increase productivity. Two clinical studies of cancer patients with depression or anxiety found meaningful improvements in mood without serious adverse reactions. Laboratory work on the use of trippy pharmacology had been similarly problem-free in the 1960s. In 2005 New Labour criminalised harvesting and using naturally growing mushrooms. Maybe the prospect of boosting economic productivity might reverse that decision…

From 2005: New Labour Attacks Pagan Minorities 

See also: Food Of The Gods: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution

From Poppers to Puff: Blunt on Blunts

blunt

Bongs are bubbling over at CLEAR, the UK’s largest cannabis reform group, as Crispin Blunt  joins their advisory board as political advisor. Having spoken out in the Commons on his own use of poppers, the Tory MP was perhaps a natural choice to lobby for legalisation of weed, a few days ahead of a parliamentary report being published. CLEAR is the largest drug policy reform group in the UK with more than 685,000 registered supporters.  Its aim is “to promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors”.  Far out, man…

The evidence for the use of cannabis in alleviating the effects of diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s and multiple sclerosis is prolific and compelling. Crispin is getting blazed up about the issue:

“It is wrong that people with a range of conditions are missing out from medicinal benefits because of the UK’s out-of-date drug laws. We need a new approach and a sensible regulatory system…”

Let’s just hope MPs don’t make a hash of the upcoming report…

Red Red Whine

ub40

Jeremy Corbyn is appearing at a press conference with UB40 this morning, and it’s a fitting endorsement in more ways than one. The eighties reggae band are of course themselves famous for an acrimonious split. After years of costly legal wranglings and bitter battles in court, the two competing factions of UB40 continue to perform separately but under the same name. One UB40 splinter band now calls the other “Judas“, which is incidentally one of Labour general secretary Iain McNicol’s banned words for the leadership election. The Labour of Love…

The similarities don’t end there. While Corbyn motorcycled around communist East Germany, UB40 visited the Soviet Union, earning condemnation from the United States. The Labour leader shares their view of the monarchy – UB40 describe “Queen and country” as “propaganda, spin and lie”, while Jez is an avowed republican who won’t sing the national anthem. Food for thought. 

Who do UB40 hate more than anyone else? They say Tony Blair is “Uncle Sam’s poodle in need of a shrink”. Corbyn even agrees with UB40 when they say “ganja… every man got to legalise it”. Jez paraphrases: “it is now time to decriminalise possession and cultivation”. First-hand experience of splits, past flirtations with communism, costly legal battles and hatred of Blairites – UB40 are the perfect warm-up act…

Keith Vaz Told Commons He Was “Surprised” MPs Used Poppers

vaz

Look back at Keith Vaz’s interventions in the Commons debate on drugs in January. Just eight months ago, Vaz told the House of his “great surprise” at revelations MPs had used poppers:

“The shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown), has said—this was a bit of shock for me after 28 years in this House—that Ministers have stood at the Dispatch Box having had poppers. I think that is what she said and it was a great surprise to the House. She obviously knows more than I do about such issues”

Lyn Brown definitely does not know more about poppers than Keith Vaz. 

Vaz, a fan of cocaine and poppers-fuelled gay sex parties, then told the House that he opposed liberalising drugs:

“I have great respect for my hon. Friend, who was a distinguished member of the Home Affairs Committee. I know that his position is to liberalise the law on drugs, but that is not my position and nor is it that of the Committee.”

He vowed to vote to ban poppers if they were proved to be harmful:

“Without equivocation, I give him a guarantee that if the review decides that poppers are harmful, I will be the first in the Division Lobby with him, supporting that view.”

The pinnacle of slippery Vaz’s shameless hypocrisy? There will be more…

White Sniffs of Dover

Dover’s Mayor, Neil Rix, has been caught on video snorting an unknown white powder off a toilet cistern. Kent’s wannabe Rob Ford claimed he’d been drugged and coerced into making the tape and blackmailed after it was produced. He amusingly says it could have been “sherbert“. Who gave him that line?

Act That Tried to Ban “Poppers” Bites

blunt-poppers

Crispin Blunt will be breathing a sigh of relief today, as figures released by the Home Office reveal the Psychoactive Substances Act stopped 332 “headshops” selling the contraband and shutdown 24 altogether, with 186 arrests. The act gained notoriety earlier this year when it was revealed that the government was to attempt a blanket ban on then “legal highs”, including popular “poppers”. This led to a memorable intervention from Crispin Blunt, saving “poppers” from the ban and a potential two years in prison simply for possession. He didn’t stop the government banning hundreds of other substances, though, flying in the face of increasingly pro-drug legislators in Ireland, Europe, and even the USA. If only they could take something to broaden their thinking…

Another U-Turn: Poppers Unbanned

Victory for Crispin Blunt as Home Office minister Karen Bradley confirms that the government no longer considers poppers a psychoactive drug:

“I understand that the Council has now advanced its understanding of the psychoactivity of the alkyl nitrites group under the Act and concluded that only substances that directly stimulate or depress the central nervous system are psychoactive under the Act. Having given due consideration, the Government agrees with your advice and interpretation of the definition. We do so in the understanding that “poppers” have these unique indirect effects. Our understanding is that this approach does not have any further implications for the operation of the Act and that other substances that the Act intends to cover are not affected.”

That sound you can hear coming from the parliamentary estate: “Wooooooooooooooo!”

Bryant’s Osborne Coke Joke

Chris Bryant has a good line. “I’m delighted that finally the Chancellor has realised the dangers of Coke…”

Crispin Pleads for Poppers

blunt-poppersThis afternoon could see the the banning of amyl nitrate “poppers” – a psychoactive substance popular in the gay community and with clubbers. Crispin Blunt is worried about the government banning poppers and has emailed fellow MPs:

From: BLUNT, Crispin
Sent: 20 January 2016 13:06
Subject: Psychoactive Substances Bill
Importance: High

Dear all,

This afternoon there may be an amendment moved to support the Home Affairs Select Committee’s recommendation to exempt alkyl nitrates, also known as “poppers” from the Psychoactive Substances Bill. The relative paragraph is 45 of their first report:

“We accept the evidence given by Professor Iversen, the National Aids Trust, and the Gay Men’s Health Collective on alkyl nitrites, also known as ‘poppers’. Professor Iversen said ‘poppers’ were “not seen to be capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a societal problem” and therefore we recommend they should not be banned. If in the future there is any evidence produced to the contrary, then ‘poppers’ should be removed from the exempted list or controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act”.

I am very concerned about this measure which would have the consequences outlined in paragraph 43 of the Home Affairs Select Committee report.

If amendment 5 is put, I will be voting for it, and I hope Colleagues will join me so that they might at least not be party to a grave error of judgement by the Government.

Yours ever,

Crispin

Guido understands that inhalation of poppers at the point of orgasm results in an extended woooooohhhh!

UPDATE: “I use poppers, I out myself as a popper user, and would be directly affected by this legislation.”

Ireland To Decriminalise Drugs

ireland

Guid O’Fawkes is pleased to report that the Ireland is to decriminalise drugs for personal use. From 2016 the possession of small quantities of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, will no longer be a criminal offence. Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the chief of Ireland’s National Drugs Strategy, has spoken of the need for a ‘radical cultural shift’ in how drug use is viewed. Ahh, the green, green grass of home…

Delingpole on Druggy Dave

James Delingpole recalls “a beautiful sunny afternoon in the summer of 1985”, where he, a young David Cameron and another James “are sitting cross-legged in an oak-panelled room high above one of Oxford’s grandest college quads stoned out of their brains on marijuana”.

“Check that out!” says Dave. His father’s a wealthy stockbroker; like the other James, he went to Eton; he’s very good at tennis, he’s got a gorgeous girlfriend called Fran and he speaks in the richy, fruity voice of one who knows he is born to rule.

“Check what out?” I say. Of the three, I’m the least posh. I only went to a ‘minor public school’ and I speak with a slight Birmingham accent.

“That amazing drum sound,” says Dave. “Where the beats all go close together and kind of merge into one.”

“Oh yeah. The flam” says James, who knows his music.

“Yeah the flam,” agrees Dave. “Maybe that’s what we should call ourselves: The Flam Club.”

“And what exactly is the purpose of the Flam Club, exactly?” I ask.

“We sit around getting stoned and listening out for the flams on Supertramp albums,” explains Dave.

Read the full account over on Breitbart here

Lord Coke Won’t Face Charges

lord sewel

Developing…

Who Squealed?

The hunt is on to find out which current Tory MP and contemporary of Dave at Oxford squealed. Guido makes no allegations about any of those listed below for information purposes only…

  • Michael Gove: He was a gossipy young wannabe journalist at the time and enjoyed a wild university experience himself. Most famously Gove was accused in the Cherwell student newspaper of participating in a “five-in-a-bed romp” while president of the Oxford Union debating society.
  • Rory Stewart: According to lifelong friend Felix Martin, Rory was a leading member of the Piers Gaveston Society”, the debauched Oxford club at which Dave allegedly did the deed. A few years younger than the future PM, though…
  • Boris Johnson: A former Buller man and also reportedly an alumnus of Piers Gaveston, Boris was famously snapped with Dave in the picture they tried to ban. Is there another more revealing photo in existence?
  • Ed Vaizey: Was at Oxford at the same time as Dave, where he was known as “Tubby Teddy” or “Fat Eddie“. Like Dave, also one of the Notting Hill set.
  • Mark Field: Two years above Cameron, the Tory backbencher was news editor of Cherwell and renowned for his own youthful exuberance. When he ended his term as Junior Common Room president, Field apparentlyran round the college quad between the strokes of midnight singing the Red Flag, naked except for a pair of boxer shorts, his bare skin coated in baby oil“.
  • Mark Harper: A couple of years below Dave, Harper is a fellow Brasenose College alumnus, and was another PPEist. Now Cameron’s chief whip…
  • Nick Boles: A year older than Cameron at Oxford, where he was a young Tory activist and another Notting Hill setter.

So, whodunnit?

Pic via @GeneralBoles

#PigGate #SnoutRage: Internet Reacts

According to Lord Ashcroft and a single-source unnamed Tory MP, David Cameron placed “a private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig’s mouth during an initiation at Oxford. This is how the internet responded to the news:

The packed out Lobby briefing this morning is going to be about hamage control…

Corbynistas Already Planning Victory Rally

There might be a month until the ballot closes, but that hasn’t stopped some excitable Corbyn supporters from organising a mass “victory party” for their man on September 12:

Nearly 1,000 people have already signed up to attend the event, which sounds just great:

Will they be flying the red flag through the streets of London, or are they a tad premature?

Burnham’s Big Pharma Fudge

You might have thought the Shadow Health Secretary would want to have his say on the brewing Pfizer scandal, which has seen the drugs giant accused of overcharging the NHS for epilepsy treatments. Surely this is an opportunity for the Labour leadership candidate holding the health brief to stand up to those big nasty drugs corporations?

Guido has invited Burnham’s people to comment several times over the last 24 hours, but alas they did not want to give a line. Only a cynic would think that silence has anything to with Burnham’s campaign director being uber-lobbyist John Lehal, managing director at Insight Consulting Group, whose clients include… Pfizer. Pure coincidence, Guido is sure…

Lord Sewel Full Statement Text

LORD-COKE

Lord Sewel has this morning contacted the Clerk of the Parliaments indicating his intention to terminate his Membership of the House of Lords with immediate effect. In his correspondence to the Clerk Lord Sewel issued the following statement:

“I have today written to the Clerk of the Parliaments terminating my membership of the House of Lords. The question of whether my behaviour breached the Code of Conduct is important, but essentially technical. The bigger questions are whether my behaviour is compatible with membership of the House of Lords and whether my continued membership would damage and undermine public confidence in the House of Lords. I believe the answer to both these questions means that I can best serve the House by leaving it. “As a subordinate, second chamber the House of Lords is an effective, vital but undervalued part of our political system. I hope my decision will limit and help repair the damage I have done to an institution I hold dear. Finally, I want to apologise for the pain and embarrassment I have caused.”

The Sun reveals this morning that he’s blown £12,000 on sex parties with hookers over the last three years…

Met Police Raid Lord Coke’s Dolphin Square Flat

Well that escalated quickly…

Harman Horror at Penile Drugs Injection

Guido was having a Friday afternoon peruse of the Southwark News when he suddenly crossed his legs and winced:

Southwark council leader Peter John recalls the time Harriet Harman visited the Ayelsbury council estate with a local councillor:

“They were in a lift and a man was injecting drugs into his penis.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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