READERS’ LETTERS: Hypocrisy shows war on drugs was a ‘hoax’

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Madam, – Now the majority of the candidates in the Tory leadership election have confessed to past illegal drug use, a troubling question arises: Was the ‘war on drugs’ a hoax?

This is all the more so given that the majority of MPs come out of the same metropolitan socially liberal milieu.

For many years the ‘war on drugs’ was used as the principal justification for any number of intrusive and deeply illiberal measures in both policing and financial regulation.

Legal duties were placed on every banker, lawyer and accountant in the country to spy on their clients and to inform the authorities of anything ‘suspicious.’

And yet at the same time, the drug trade has not gone into decline.

The stabbings which disfigure London and other major cities and end so many young lives prematurely confirm that the drug business is well worth fighting over.

Also, while we have been supposedly fighting this ‘war on drugs’ for decades, the police have retreated from the streets and sentences for serious crime have plummeted.

If our MPs believed that drugs should be legal, why didn’t they say so.

If they didn’t, why did some of them take them?

It is high time for a clear out of the hypocritical MPs of all parties.

Otto Inglis.

6 Inveralmond Grove,

Edinburgh.

 

Illegality makes drugs tempting

Madam, – I refer to your article “Drugs deaths at emergency levels” (Courier, June 8).

I am no doubt not the first to advocate the legalisation of all drugs, in my opinion even for teenagers.

Their sheer illegality is a major source of temptation: as the character Mark Renton said in Trainspotting: “We’d have injected ourselves with vitamin C if they’d made it illegal.”

Drug-related crime is now well out of hand.

Organised crime is raking it in more than ever, and no doubt “influencing” not a few politicians to keep it that way, as occurred, for example, during Prohibition in the 1930s.

Ever watched The Godfather?

George Morton.

Gauss Strasse. 108,

Stuttgart.

 

Action is louder than tweets

Madam, – I was pleasantly surprised to see a tweet from Perth and Kinross Council advising us all that ; “Air pollution affects us all but has the most impact on young children, the elderly, and people with existing lung or heart conditions. Make simple changes to the way you travel on #CleanAirDay”.

This call to arms is very welcome and coupled with the Climate Emergency that is upon us means that we all need to take immediate action.

My question to Perth and Kinross Council is just what actions are you going to make to reduce air pollution in our city?

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling great shame and embarrassment when I see Atholl Street feature in the annual “most polluted streets in Scotland” table.

How about we look into the following and implement them as soon as possible:

l Ban all heavy goods vehicles from the city (if goods must be transported by road to here then a transfer hub where goods are offloaded on to smaller electric vehicles should be built on the outskirts of town).

l Only allow electric/hybrid powered buses on our streets.

l Only allow electric/hybrid powered taxis and cars on our streets.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list but it is a start and given the human and environmental consequences it is something we should be taking very seriously.

So Perth and Kinross Council, other than a Clean Air Day what is your plan?

Stewart Riddick.

20 Oakbank,

Perth.

 

Are new city offices needed?

Madam, – In The Courier there was an article regarding the proposed demolition of the Overgate office accommodation citing lack of interest in office space (Demolition of enpty Overgate office block will remain on hold, Courier, June 13).

Can someone therefore please explain why our City Council is continually pressing the need for more office space, especially around our newly created Slessor Gardens.

It is surely time that we utilised the existing empty units which blight our city.

Some joined up thinking is definitely required.

Peter Gilmore.

30 Lethnot Street,

Barnhill.

 

SNP defaults to attack mode

Madam, – Keith Brown, SNP deputy leader, has emerged as his party’s attack dog against any who question that party’s policies and pretensions.

He attacks Audit Scotland, the country’s legitimate watchdog charged with scrutinising the effectiveness and appropriateness of government departmental policy.

Audit Scotland recently judged the Scottish Government’s new Social Security Scotland agency did not have “a clear understanding” of what was needed to “deliver all remaining benefits in the way it intends”, and had not explained how much implementing the benefits would cost.

At a Holyrood committee meeting, Brown weighed in against Audit Scotland, calling it “intrusive” and “counterproductive”, and questioning the cost of Audit Scotland’s inquiry into social security provision.

The last thing the SNP wants is a body that scrutinises its performance in government.

We can expect more attacks on it from a government that is fast assuming a divine right to rule and outrage that anyone should try to hold it to account.

Jill Stephenson.

Glenlockhart Valley,

Edinburgh.

 

Cost to be saved close to home

Madam, – It appears the House of Lords is busying itself in advocating the scrapping of the triple lock of free bus passes, winter fuel payments and free TV licences for the over 75s whilst they enjoy subsidised comforts on a lavish scale.

I have always maintained this Upper House is an outdated, overstocked and largely unnecessary entity.

It is crammed with those with rank and privilege and steeped in nepotism and reward for friends and political socialites.

Money wasted on its upkeep could more sensibly be spent towards more deserving outlets and needs, just as those it is attempting to jettison.

To pursue such a course is a disgrace to the nation and to each member.

David L Thomson,

24 Laurence Park,

Kinglassie, Fife.

 

Independence is unaffordable

Madam, – For some time now I have been predicting that Scotland cannot afford to become independent.

Suggestions that independence will lead to our country becoming one of the sixth wealthiest nations in the world are obviously untrue.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has been reported as saying an independent Scotland will face a £1 billion shortfall in its resources, which cannot be settled by borrowing.

Over three years the debt will have to be settled either by raising taxes or cutting expenditure eg free bus pass, free medication, free education and many more .

A A Bullions,

6 Glencairn Crescent,

Leven.

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