Thursday 31 May 2012

Hitchens vs. Snowdon

As I mentioned in a previous post, I debated with Peter Hitchens about the existence or otherwise of a war on drugs at the Institute of Economic Affairs recently. The full video is below.

The Art of Suppression is now available on the Kindle here (UK)and here (USA). It should be available from other Amazon sites as well.


Anonymous said...

I've just watched the first hour of the video, Chris. Quite a 'hang 'em and flog 'em' type, isn't he? It's a good job that he is not a judge!
He seems to believe that the only reason that prohibition of alcohol in America failed was that it was approached from the wrong direction. Rather than attack the supply side, they should have attacked consumption by flogging and hanged drinkers.

On the other hand, he thinks that the smoking ban has been a great success. He seems not to understand that the smoking ban in public places is just another form of supply side attack. Swingeing fines on business owners (pubs, etc) is not a lot different from similar penalties on brewers and saloons. The only real difference is that they have left out the brewers angle (the tobacco companies), contenting themselves with a propaganda and financial attack on them.
He ruthlessly plays the sentimentality card, doesn't he?

One thing that I do applaud him for, however, is that he 'does not believe any of this SHS crap'.

You did a good job there, Chris. No wonder you were content to sit quietly during the questions time, and allow Hitchens to confuse himself.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, I have always thought Hitchens arrogant,
but both his arrogance and vanity have inflated substantially.


Barman said...

Just finished watching it...

Well done Chris - you put your points very clearly.

As above, letting Hitchens blather on instead of arguing with the idiot worked well for you.

I'd never realised until today what a ghastly character Peter Hitchens is...

Tim Almond said...

The problem for Hitchens is that he's all bluster and no facts.

The reason why Sweden raised the maximum sentence to 6 months is that you can't do a body search in Sweden for a crime that has a sentence less than 6 months. In reality, possession will get nearly always getyou a fine of between 50SKR and 1000SKR depending on your income. So, at worst, about £90.

The Thought Gang said...

He's very pleased with his 'the prohibition isn't doing any harm because there is no prohibition' line. It plays especially well where there is general acceptance that the laws as written are not strictly enforced.

The issue is that he's taking the lack of enforcement against users as evidence of there being no prohibition, whereas the harms we might seek to reduce stem from the laws against those who manufacture and supply.. against whom the laws are, rather more strongly, enforced.

Or have I just not noticed the opium section in my local ASDA?

Becky Johnson said...

Prohibition here in Santa Cruz County, California is alive and well. The CAMP program provides Federal funding annually for helicopters to fly over public and private property looking for illegal grows, disturbing grower and non-grower alike. When a grow is found on public land, they issue press releases blaming the "environmental destruction" on "illegal Mexican drug cartels," raising the specter of xenophobia, violence, and organized crime. All is done to create fear and loathing of a mildly euphoric weed in order to justify further police excesses and privacy concerns.