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Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Loony O'Clock at last

First, an historical note for our foreign readers. The Official Monster Raving Loony Party is a real British political party and not simply a colloquial term for Tony Blair's "New Labour" party when in power.

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party is a registered political party established in the United Kingdom in 1983 by musician and politician David Sutch (1940–1999), better known as Screaming Lord Sutch.

[From Official Monster Raving Loony Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

A few years ago, in a blog post about the stupidity of minting 1p coins, I noted that:

When the Monster Raving Loony Party was first launched in 1964, two of its policies were votes for 18 year-olds and all day opening for pubs (both of which are now law). The other one was putting Parliament on wheels and taking it round the country. Give them time.

[From Digital Money: Extending debit]

Well, it looks as if the time has come. The Houses of Parliament are falling down so MPs need to find somewhere else to "manage" the country from. Personally, I think it might be better to put Parliament into abeyance for five years while Parliament gets its makeover and then have another election, but if not going to do that, then we're going to need a plan for a temporary talking shop.

Other moves being considered include leaving the palace for good, selling it off and building a new parliament - possibly even moving out of London.

[From Houses of Parliament could close for five years under £3bn plan to repair crumbling Palace of Westminster | Mail Online]

Now would be the perfect time to implement to Loony proposal: put them on a soon-to-be-surplus-to-requirements Virgin train and they could spend a month in each major city of the nation on a rotation. Problem solved. It wouldn't do them any harm to spend a bit more time in Barnsley (if Barnsley has a railway station - I was just using it as an example).

Remember, another of the Loony manifesto commitments for many years has been to abolish income tax. Give them time.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Woking Way

Although I only smoked marijuana once and I never inhaled, I am an acquaintance of people who do. People who, I might add, hold down very responsible jobs and pay a large amount in tax. When last in Amsterdam, I went to a "coffee shop" with a friend of mine. I stuck to beer, but my friend bought a pack of pre-rolled joints and smoked one. Absolutely nothing remarkable. There were plenty of other people in the coffee shop at that time of night, many of them American to judge from the accents, and the street outside was packed with people going to and from bars, clubs, restaurants and so forth. Unlike Woking on a Friday night, no-one was fighting, vomiting in the gutters or walking around dressed as a prostitute (in Amsterdam, the prostitutes have their own retail area). In every respect, the coffee shops represent a pragmatic solution to the management of recreational self-medication, which is why it is completely bizarre of the Dutch to institute the new system of residents-only grass.

The plan is that starting from January 1, 2013, people without a special ID will not be allowed to make purchases of cannabis in the city Coffee shops. ID in the size of the credit card with the picture of the owner would be issued at request to all adult inhabitants of Amsterdam, while tourists and visitors to Amsterdam would be excluded from applying for this permit.

[From Amsterdam Coffee Shop News 2012 |]

I'm surprised that they are allowed to do this under EU Law (what happened to the Single Market?), but even before this moronic edict takes effect, it is already having the entirely predictable consequence.

Unsurprisingly, what has happened is that drug dealers, who previously had dealt only in hard drugs, are now also selling marijuana illegally.

[From Freakonomics » Drug Dealers in the Netherlands Now Selling Marijuana]

Why the Dutch want to make Amsterdam more like Woking is completely beyond me but anyway I will make a prediction about it right here right now. Next year, some drug dealers will make more money selling bogus ID cards than they do selling the grass. I sometimes wonder if drug dealers don't have the most effective lobby in Parliament.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]