I was almost irritated enough by this story (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8335189.stm) to write a letter to my MP, but he's probably tied up naked in a wardrobe (bought on expenses) somewhere with an orange stuck in his mouth.
So I'll bung it in here instead, because it'll fill some space if nothing else.
Dear Mr. Johnson
Please excuse any poor typing in this letter - my keyboard has been partially disabled by a small blob of Lebanese Hashish that fell from a Camberwell Carrot I was constructing last week. Obviously I tried to suck it out (waste not want not), but I just ended up with a choking mouthful of pocket-fluff, which is weird, because this keyboard doesn’t fit in my pocket.
Anyway, I wanted to comment on your sacking of Professor Nutt, the science expert dude you appointed to advise the government (God rot its socks) on the subject of recreational pharmaceuticals. That’s Druuuuugs to you sir. On the face of things, it would appear that Nutt is failing to live up to his name, while you, Johnson, are definitely living up to yours.
The thing is, Al; may I call you Al? Does it help if I let you call me Betty? Even if I’d rather not be your long lost Pal? (Apologies to Paul Simon). The thing is, what you have in the shape of old Nutter, is an expert. That’s someone who knows more about something than you do (I suspect there’s a lot of people who fit that bill). Now, old Nutt, he says - if I may paraphrase - that Bob Hope’s less dangerous than fags and booze. He’s probably got a point, ‘cos that’s his job, you see. (Personally, I’d rather take Bob Hope on a road trip than Phillip Morris and Johnnie Walker.) And what you wrote to him is “I cannot have public confusion between scientific advice and policy”. There, my old fruit, we agree. But that may be as far as it goes.
Lemme ask you a question, Al. Has it occurred to you that the reason there’s a mismatch between policy and scientific advice, is because the policy’s a bit Pete Tong? Eh?
The rumour we are seeing round these parts (these parts being anywhere outside the House of Commons) is that Golden - I’m sorry, I mean Gordon, Brown is neither a Smoker nor a Midnight Toker, but may well be a Joker. Let’s face it, an unelected prime minister’s gotta be having a bit of a chortle, hasn’t he?
Isn’t it about time you lot stopped pandering to popular opinion, or enforcing your own toffee-nosed holier-than-thou views on the general public just because you can? Is that just wishful thinking on my part? You can’t keep banning shit just because you, personally, don’t like it. Handguns, Fox Hunting; relatively harmless dope… Where’s it going to end? You keep messing with people’s lives on the flimsiest of pretexts for the odd vote here or there (which you clearly don’t need, see Golden Brown’s unelected status) or just because it feels good. I might not like these things either (nobody asked me), but chat with the experts and you’ll get a majority opinion that many of your banning measures (a) are based on false pretexts and (b) wont address the problems in any event.
Besides which, can’t we please have some ‘government lite’ for a while? Minimal interference in our daily lives? That might even buy you some votes! Have a read of my old pal Niccolo Machiavelli’s masterwork. He asks the question whether a prince (and I do you more service than you deserve by comparing you lot to a prince) does better by being loved or feared. The government’s recent actions mean that’ its neither loved nor feared; just laughed at, distrusted and despised.
Credit the populace with some intelligence, and treat us with some respect. We don’t expect you to always tell us the truth, you’re politicians so that would go against the grain. But when everyone can see you’re taking the piss, that’s irritating. Listen to your experts. And remember, if you’ve bought a dog, then stop trying to chase the postman yourself (when they aren’t on strike because you’ve screwed up the Post Office that is).
Anyway, my ride to the pub’s due any minute, and I’m off for a pint to wash that bloody fluff down. While it’s still legal.