Sturgeon Introduces Minimum Alcohol Price, Scots Defiantly Drink More

This time last year, Scotland introduced minimum unit pricing for alcohol. The logic behind the policy rested on a study by Sheffield University that claimed a minimum price of 50p per unit, as was legislated for in Scotland, would “reduce alcohol consumption in Scotland by 3.5% or 26.3 units per drinker per year.” Expenditure on alcohol was only predicted to rise by the negligible amount of 0.7%. How did the expert predictions fare..?

Actually expenditure on alcohol has risen by more than fifteen times their prediction – 10.7%. As for the number of units consumed, the thing they were trying to lower… units consumed increased by 1%. Now in whatever the opposite of evidence based policy is, the Welsh Government is looking to implement the same failed policy. Governments should leave people to drink their mojitos in peace…

Feminist Campaigners Secretly Filmed Strippers

Feminists have continued their crusade against women being able to make their own decisions by trying to shut down a legal strip club with covert filming. One group hired two male undercover investigators to film naked and semi-naked encounters with women in Sheffield earlier this year, and Guido is told this is happening across the country. Actively working to intimidate independent women because they work in an industry they disapproves of, in the name of ‘Women’s Equality’.

The United Voices of the World union which represents many of the women working in the industry has claimed that the Women’s Equality Party is behind the covert filming and demanded that the group “cease its campaign of harassment and intimidation against dancers” and delete “what could amount to ‘revenge porn’ of naked women, obtained with the explicit aim to undermine and harm them.” Under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

“The non-consensual sharing of any explicit film or photograph showing an individual depicted in a sexual way or with their private parts exposed, where what is visible in the image would not be seen in public”

… is a crime.

United Voices of the World added that the filming “without explicit and direct consent and in clear violation of their right to privacy, is not just immoral — it is unlawful.” Awkward…

UPDATE: A previous version of this attributed the filming to the Women’s Equality Party. They tell us it is not their doing. Some members do support the campaign.

Andy Burnham’s Spin Doctor on Heroin & Cocaine

A spin doctor to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has been sacked after failing to declare he was facing drugs charges. Paul Gilfeather, a media adviser to Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester was last seen in public attending the Mayor’s Christmas party in December. According to a report in the Manchester Evening News, a week after the party the 46-year-old admitted possession of heroin and cocaine. You didn’t have to be on drugs to work there…

Shadow Cabinet Minister’s Son Found Guilty of Possessing £2,000 of Class A Drugs

Ishmael Osamor, son of Shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor, has received a community service sentence after being found in possession of some £2,000 worth of Class A drugs. Ishmael works as a press officer in his mother’s parliamentary office and also became a Labour Councillor in Haringey last year following the controversial deselection of two sitting Labour Councillors. Although Osamor has not declared this in the Register of Members’ Interests – which is a breach of the rules by her.

Councillor Ishmael was caught with 30 grammes of ecstasy, 7.5 grammes of cocaine, 5.7 grammes of ketamine and a bit of cannabis with a total street value of between £1,690 and £2,500. Because prosecutors accepted his claim that this haul of drugs was for “personal use” the judge did not jail him. If he had been taking the drugs to last year’s Bestival event in Dorset for profit he would have got for 4 years jail time. Guido doffs his cap to Ishmael who must have an incredible constitution that would put Keith Richards in his prime to shame. That much ketamine would knock out an elephant, 30 grammes of ecstasy would put a rugby team into rapture for a week and 7 grammes of cocaine is quite some pace for a weekend. Bestival had one drug related death last year...

Refurbished Sports & Social Bar Limits Number of Guests

Guido hears that alongside the transformation of Parliament’s infamous Sports and Social bar into ‘The Wool Sack’, Parliamentary authorities have sneakily reduced the number of guests allowed to be brought into the bar by a passholder from six to just two. Passholders on the Parliamentary estate can still take up to six guests elsewhere…

This move appears to be an attempt to crack down on rowdy behaviour after the bar faced closure last year over a glassing. Guido isn’t convinced about this move. From his experience, it usually isn’t the guests who make the trouble…

Saj Legalises Cannabis for Medical Purposes

Sajid Javid announced today that medicinal cannabis will be available on prescription from the NHS as early as this Autumn. “Senior clinicians” will be able to prescribe cannabis derived medicinal products to patients who are deemed to have an “exceptional clinical need.”

Based Sajid. There’s a new Absolute Boy in town…

Political Prospects for Pot

William Hague coming out for legalising cannabis is a welcome new development, though he isn’t the first former Tory leader to do so. Back in his groovy WebCameron days David Cameron told Guido “If it can be proved that there are real benefits, medicinal benefits and scientific evidence for it, I would be relaxed about that… my decision would be to licence it if it could be proved to have benefits.” Home Secretary Sajid Javid was convinced by the scientific arguments to grant an exception for Billy Caldwell. What are the prospects for the exception becoming the rule?

The international context is important. With many US states decriminalising medical cannabis it is becoming more acceptable at government level. In Europe the experience of more liberal regimes can be shown to have improved rather than worsened matters. Countries are granting licences for medical cannabis more readily – Malta is introducing legislation to enable it to become the EU’s leading medical cannabis exporter. The spirit of the age is for liberalisation.

The normalising of cannabis use beyond dope smoking teenagers is becoming more widespread. Many people now have the personal experience of an auntie or granny who uses weed to deal with their arthritis pains, never mind those with more serious conditions like MS and cancer. This social development has made the perception of cannabis use less negative.

Domestically we now have a generation of politicians who have used and are familiar with the reality of cannabis use and don’t see it in the demonic terms that non-user politicians of the past might have. With the departure of Paul Dacre from the public stage they also no longer fear a monstering from the Daily Mail if they do speak out in favour of a more liberal, rational policy. Think tanks are now pointing to the tax raising potential of legalised cannabis. The stars are aligning for decriminalisation, though judging by the reported rows in cabinet, one Tory leader stands in the way…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Legalising Cannabis Could Save Taxpayers £900 Million

Boozy Brocialism Bunfight: Labour Row Over Plan to Ban Alcohol From CLP Meetings

A new frontline has emerged in the Labour Party culture war: younger members are calling for a ban on alcohol from CLP meetings to ensure the party can “become truly inclusive of women and other minorities”. They’ve come a long way away from the days of working men’s clubs and union brothers deciding things at branch piss ups. Nona Buckley-Irvine, LSE student union boss turned Unison officer and Labour candidate in Crawley, says it is time for an end to Labour’s “lad culture”:

Alcohol has no place in decision-making – but at Labour Party meetings, members are permitted to drink. In my own Constituency Labour Party, I have witnessed the corrosive effect that alcohol has on party culture, and if our party is to become truly inclusive of women and other minorities, it’s time we ruled out this practice. It was only upon returning to my home CLP having spent five years in London, including as general secretary of LSE students’ union where I tackled lad culture at the university, that I realised how outdated the practice was. Much like the young, middle-class men at the LSE, older men would drink, shout over one another and over women, and speak at length with no particular point to make… It became all the more evident when I tried to put through a motion banning alcohol, and councillors stood up and walked out the room when it was proposed, shouting down the chair and shouting down a young woman like myself. In fact, the second time it was proposed, the motion was denounced as “evil and wicked”.

Take that, brocialists…

Ed Balls Parties With Trumpettes at Mar-a-Lago

Pictured at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort yesterday… Ed Balls. The former Shadow Chancellor was partying with socialite Toni Holt Kramer, the founder of “Trumpettes USA”, and Tina Hillstrom, an actress who is part of the “Real Women for Trump” campaign, and who Ed follows on Twitter. Toni and Tina spent the weekend at Mar-a-Lago celebrating Trump’s one year anniversary as President. Ed looking almost as orange as the Donald…

Sports and Social Closed Indefinitely

Bad news for parliament’s junior boozehounds – the Sports and Social bar has been closed indefinitely, not because of handsy MPs but because two older Commons staffers had a brawl there last night. Police were called at 6.30pm, at which point a 57 year-old man was arrested for GBH and affray and a 64 year-old man was taken to hospital by ambulance. He had allegedly been glassed in the face. The authorities have wanted to close Sports for a while, typically punishing the young staffers who mostly drink there for the behaviour of a few more senior people twice or three times their age. This looks like the excuse to do it. Players?

UPDATE: The word in Parliament is the victim of last night’s fight in Sports is a Hansard editor and the alleged glasser is a regular who always sits at the bar.

Sheffield Hallam MP is Neighbour from Hell

Guido just spoke to George Morton who was very coy about his neighbour, Jared O’Mara MP. George is a fan of music, in fact he is the principal conductor of the Sheffield Rep Orchestra, he just isn’t fan of loud music all night. Unfortunately his next door neighbour Jared has been partying too hard and too loud. Is upsetting neighbours wise behaviour for an MP from a marginal seat?

“So, Boris Can Wait…” Tory Karaoke in Full

Tory conference finally saw the energy and passion it has been lacking this week courtesy of the InHouse Communications karaoke night. Partygoers witnessed peak Matt Hancock as he took to the stage to sing Happy Birthday to himself, before performing a high octane duet of Don’t Stop Me Now with Therese Coffey (watch above). James Cleverly and Kelly Tolhurst attempted Don’t Go Breaking My Heart before Clevz redeemed himself with a more impressive rendition of Twist and Shout, complete with memorable hip action. Will Quince demonstrated surprising depth as he had the room hand-waving to My Way. Nigel Evans gave us Delilah, David Mundell just about made his way through 500 Miles and a Brexit-backing cross-party trio of Paul Scully, Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ian Paisley Jnr had the room rocking to Sweet CarolineThen it was the turn of the Lobby…

Faisal Islam took great pleasure in adapting the lyrics of Don’t Look Back in Anger to belt out “So, Boris can wait” – just the latest MSM smear. Dan Hodges and Glen Owen teamed up with Number 10 Sunday Lobby specialist Kirsty Buchanan to murder Mr Brightside. An emotional David Wooding, one arm raised aloft, sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, the only time he’ll be able to do that in Manchester. The night ended with Number 10’s Richard “Tricky” Jackson nailing You Raise Me Up. Hic…

In Vino Brexit Veritas

Cracker of a Sun story this morning quoting David Davis saying he plans to quit in 2019 and that this is his last big job in politics. Barnier will be spitting out his croissant when he sees the line mocking his ambitions to be EU President. DD was great value at the well-stocked ConHome party on Sunday night after a long day of lunches and dinners. You know how it is, bad day at work, your office rival is on manoeuvres, the boss is a nightmare, you get smashed and tell your mates you want to quit…

Acid Corbynism

Only one place to be at 1am in Brighton: Momentum’s “Acid Corbynism” bash:

Quiet voices in the conference hall this morning, please.

H/T Ashley Cowburn, Patrick Maguire

Lol-Ney Simply the Best

Simon Hughes and Sarah Olney singing Simply The Best at Lib Dem conference. Since Simon and Sarah both lost in June it seems the voters disagree…

Vaz Slips Out in Rolls Royce

An amazed co-conspirator spotted Keith Vaz leaving parliament in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce. Could the commissions from his washing machine sales be more lucrative than we thought? Of course if it was a benefit in kind from a generous benefactor he will remember to declare it in the register of interests…

I, Hypocrite

The miserabalist left-wing film director Ken Loach is joining the chorus of anti-Israelis trying to get Radiohead to abandon playing in Tel Aviv.  Thom Yorke says Radiohead have performed in Israel for 20 years and “we don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America”. Quite.

The pernicious cultural boycott that the left is seeking is part of their effort to demonise the only Western-style liberal democracy in the Middle East. Nevertheless you can still enjoy Hollywood movies in Tel Aviv cinemas. You can even enjoy left-wing art house type films. In fact if you pop down to the Lev Cinema in Tel Aviv you catch the afternoon showing of “I, Daniel Blake” directed by, err, Ken Loach…

Watson at Wimbledon

In the Royal Box mixing with minor royals and tycoon Martin Sorrell, who just about manages on a million-a-week pay, so a lot of cream on his strawberries. Watson is doing the season; Glasto, Wimbledon…

Hypocrisy of DUP-Hating Europhiles

Frustrated Remoaners have been decrying the Tory government-propping DUP as homophobic because they oppose gay marriage. Yesterday Angela Merkel voted against legalising gay marriage in Germany saying “it should be between a man and a woman”. Where is the outrage from the usual Europhile loudmouths?[…] Read the rest

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