Tag: Drugs

Military Morality

Bugger.

And there was I thinking that the military was a bastion of middle class, middle england values, whose members would no more indulge in the seven deadly sins than Marks and Spencer would sell premium sex toys next to the baby food. The Army, Navy and Air Force are renowned for taking feral working class oiks whose career paths would otherwise include a little light fingering, assault as a matter of ritual (and avoiding picking up the soap in the showers at HMP Dartmoor), and then turning them into highly trained, disciplined, single minded targets for every passing jihadi with a rucksack and bitterness. Officers, of course, being drawn from the ‘respectable’ middle classes, already know the score and how to keep their little peccadillos from being dragged out of the shadows, blinking into the harsh light of justice. They are the moral backbone of the military, whose first principle is of course ‘don’t get caught’.

 

Our fabled military then is a supposed home to a solid conservativism, one which would no more recognize impropriety in the ranks than it does Imperialism in Whitehall.

 

And yet…turns out someone (and 8 of his shipmates on a nuclear submarine) likes a toot of Colombia’s finest white stuff, while two of his superior officers breach the ‘no touch rule’ designed to prevent intimate relations on board. There is now panic in the rest of the fleet as the Defence Secretary, Micheal ‘Fiddler’ Fallon, wants all submarine crews to be drugs tested. Is he mad? That’s like lifting manhole covers in London hoping to see sweet scented pink ribbon wrapped bouquets of roses instead of a fleet of fetid, feacal flecked fatbergs clogging the arteries of the city. What does he think will turn up?

 

Who does he think joins up and why they do so? The Royal Navy in particular was built on Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. Hearts of Oak joined up to serve King/Queen and Country, to go to other countries and shag their women, bomb their brothers and shout loudly for more beer. They went to avoid having to do the shitty zero hours, low paid, dead end bullshit jobs back home. Alcohol is the lifeblood that makes it tick over. Pusser’s Rum was the oil lubricating the penile pistons in whorehouses from Devonport to Sembawang. Adultery is always an option, especially now that Wrens go to sea.

So, there is of course a stonking great elephant here, wearing a big red sash called hypocrisy. The Navy is not the Church of England at sea.

 

If you ever find yourself in a huge metal tube, cut off from the outside world for very long periods of time with the coming apocalyse in nuclear form as company, and you don’t sniff a little, swig a little or shag a little to avoid facing up to the insanity of your situation…I fear for your soul.

What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe

What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe

If the law is an ass, drugs control law is a lobotomised mule

“The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) calls on the international community not to oppose Bolivia’s move to denounce and re-accede to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs with a reservation on coca leaf chewing”. 

The international drug control system is based on a series of UN conventions which have prohibition at their core. These conventions can be seen to rest on assumptions drawn from a particularly Western interpretation on the use of certain substances that is morally rather than evidenced based. 

Cracks are appearing in the global ‘consensus’ on drug laws, policy changes are being called for and seem to be accepted by just about everyone except elected politicians and those of a morally puritan persuasion (the ‘Daily Mail’ tendency), i.e. those who fear change regardless of its effects.  

There are innumerable victims of the ‘war on drugs’ – not the least are indigenous peoples whose way of life  practiced for centuries is threatened by, frankly, an imperial mind set that imposes its own moralisng on a cultural practice it cannot understand.

I am not a cultural relativist, this is not about accepting all cultural practices as sacrosanct. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is just wrong (sorry, that is not true…all wrongs ought to have a rationale for why they are wrong, I don’t believe in some ‘natural law’). However chewing coca leaves is a harmless cultural practice that international law should just accept.

Why? Why accept chewing coca leaves and not genital mutilation?

I guess this is where Mills’ libertarian ethic of harm applies. If a cultural practice does not involve social harms then we have little right in banning it. The individual ought to be free to chew coca leaves regardless of its effects. The society in which that practice is located should have a view but should also appeal to some form of universal human right.  The difference between the two practices is that the individual can choose to indulge in chewing leaves but cannot choose FGM.

Bolivia should be allowed to accede from the 1961 convention to protect the rights of its peoples in this respect.   

For a discussion on FGM see Michelle Goldberg on relativism and FGM on the excellent 
http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/   website

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