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The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

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Class A Drugs are not as bad as fags
HITS: 2488 | 17-06-2004, 22:23 | Commentaire(s): (0) |
 (Votes #: 0)

The nearest moment to a wobble in Cameron’s effortless rise to the top came when he failed to answer questions about any drug use in his past. As a member of Oxford’s notorious Bullingdon Club in the1980s – a group which has spawned a generation of cokeheads on the one hand and neo-con politicians in Britain and the New Europe on the other - Cameron clearly expected his decision to keep his pre-political private life “private” would be accepted with deference. In fact it took a host of commentators to knock it into Britons’ heads that past use of Class A drugs are a qualification for representing the “future not the past” in post-modern Britain.
Cameron presented questions about any past drug use as unwarranted intrusions into his privacy, but that overlooks two key points. When it had suited Mr Cameron to parade his private life, for instance, the distressing disability of his young son, Ivan, he seems to have had few qualms about making political profit out of it. Secondly, drug use is not primarily a personal and private question. In all the hullabaloo about whether David Cameron smoked dope or snorted cocaine or even ingested heroin, no journalists took up the wider question: What was Mr. Cameron’s attitude to calls for drugs liberalisation?
The strange silence about David Cameron’s likely drugs policy while so much attention was focussed on speculating about any possible youthful follies was all the odder for two reasons. First of all, in David Cameron’s speeches there may not have been much content but the word “policies” was repeated as part of his forward-looking, future-orientated mantra. And secondly, Mr Cameron had been widely reported as backing the downgrading of some currently illegal narcotics and opening up “shooting galleries.” Only a few weeks before the Luntz launch of Cameron’s campaign The Independent reported, “David Cameron, the Tory leadership contender, believes the UN should consider legalising drugs and wants hard-core addicts to be provided with legal "shooting galleries" and state-prescribed heroin. He also supported calls for ecstasy to be downgraded from the class-A status it shares with cocaine and heroin and said it would be "disappointing" if radical options on the law on cannabis were not looked at.” [1]
Interviewed at lunchtime on SKY News on 24th October, David Cameron was asked again about illegal drugs, but only whether he had taken them during his time as an adviser to ministers like the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont. Again he refused to answer whether he had used drugs before entering Parliament in 2001. He did however launch into a policy proposal: he emphasised that the Tory Manifesto for the May general election written by Cameron and his colleagues had committed the Conservatives a large increase in publicly-funded rehab programmes. The interviewer, Kay Burley, asked Cameron three times about his own experiences with drugs – real or imagined – but failed to follow up on the policy question.[2] The real question is whether a Tory Party led by David Cameron would downgrade or legalise hard drugs. It is quite clear that lucrative public-private partnerships would be needed on a vast scale if cheap and legal heroin and crack cocaine were available. Not only would providers of rehab make a killing but so would the companies granted a license to produce and distribute legal drugs.
Similarly, Cameron – until recently involved as director of his step-in-laws clubbing and bar business – was a supporter of New Labour’s open all hours policy on access to alcohol. Many Conservatives found the idea of 24-hour opening hours obnoxious even if some saw the need to relax closing times from 11pm to say midnight. Anyone familiar with Britain’s brutal booze-ridden streets can accept that excessive alcohol consumption fuels more random violence than drug abuse, but should either be promoted?
David Davis’s failure to make an issue of Cameron’s drug policy was a suicidal self-denying ordinance. The low turnout in the members’ poll with scores of thousands of Tory activists not voting probably reflects disillusionment with Davis’s failure to stand up to Cameron’s blackmail on the personal drug use issue. Once Tory big hitters had been removed by MPs reacting to the “Newsnight” stampede, then many activists switched off.
Cameron and his acolytes have made it clear that he backs a neo-Leninist approach to traditional supporters like party activists and Daily Mail readers – Better fewer but better. Anyone following the Cameron agenda could not avoid his desire to ditch not only old policies but old supporters. Yet the despised “wrinklies” who make up the bulk of the Tory Party’s membership were obviously “on something” because they formed the great majority of Cameron’s electors. None of them seemed to notice that the sous-texte of his rhetoric about youth and broadening the base of the party was his determination to ditch not just the old guard but the elderly rank-and-file too– once they had signed their suicide note by electing him. Cameron is terribly politically correct, o no hint of xenophobia is to be tolerated in his party but the elderly ought to be aware that senophobia is not just tolerated in New Tory ranks, derision for the old is the essence of the new-look party. One of Cameron’s Conservative Future activists, Nik Vaughan, could hardly wait for the pensioners to tire of clapping Cameron’s election before telling ITN, “We are finally flushing out the blue rinse brigade.”[3]
Once the darling of the elderly Tories himself, ex-Daily Telegraph editor and official Thatcher biographer, Charles Moore, revealed his OE tastes when he told readers of the unofficial party paper, “Despite being an unabashed Thatcherite” – something Mr Cameron ‘s snide remarks about believing “society” and taste in music makes clear he is not “my guess is that younger people will identify with Mr Cameron today. ‘Well,’ they will say, ‘if he did take drugs, that makes him no different from many of us…’ It is a far, far more normal thing in the 21st century to have taken drugs as a student… than to earn a six-figure salary selling tobacco to teenagers in the Far East, which is what Mr Clarke does.”[4]

It’s the War, Stupid

“International terrorism… I will never play politics with that issue. I will do what is right for the country.” David Cameron’s acceptance speech[5]
Maybe the hanging-and-flogging brigade backed Cameron because of his stance on the war. After all, he has repeatedly echoed George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” without feeling the need to switch on the safety catch of his metaphorical revolver. This may please old-style Tories, but the real cheerleaders for Cameron on this issue (as on so much else) comes from renegade leftists now the New World Order’s diehard defenders.
Ex-Communists have rallied to Cameron as once they did to Tony Blair. For instance, the son of a CPGB bigwig and NUS boss in his own right, David Aaronovitch, told Times readers:
“But if you want to track the Cameronian journey, and understand that he is, if anything, an anti-populist, you have only to look at his views on Iraq. In February 2003 he opened his article for the Oxford Journal in the inevitable way: “Has the case for war fully been made? My answer is ‘not yet’. I have received dozens of letters and e-mails from constituents — with some 60 against war and just a handful in favour. But our job as MPs is not just to listen to our constituents; it is to question the Government — and to make our own judgment.”
“By August this year, and with the Iraq war less popular than ever, Cameron made a speech to the Foreign Policy Centre” and in it Aaronovitch found “a passage of analysis about the global threat that might have been written by Paul Wolfowitz or Tony Blair, rather than Douglas Hurd or Ken Clarke. ‘Jihadism,’ Cameron said, ‘feeds into the bewilderment, alienation and lack of progress felt by many in the Muslim world. The corruption of many states in the Middle East. The lack of democracy. The concentration of power in the hands of elites whose lifestyles are noticeably un-Islamic.’ In other words, until those regimes are democratised, we will always be at risk from fundamentalism. So, we in Britain, “share a responsibility . . . to promote change, reform and liberalisation”.
Cameron, in his own write, is a reforming neocon. Here’s a passage worth quoting to anyone who says they don’t know who he is. “Just as there were figures in the 1930s who misunderstood the totalitarian wickedness of Nazism and argued that Hitler had a rational set of limited political demands, so there are people today who try to explain jihadist violence with reference to a limited set of political goals. If only, some argue, we withdrew from Iraq, or Israel made massive concessions, then we would assuage jihadist anger. That argument . . . is as limited as the belief in the 1930s that, by allowing Germany to remilitarise the Rhineland or take over the Sudetenland, we would satisfy Nazi ambitions. A willingness to cede ground and duck confrontation is interpreted as fatal weakness.” Aaronovitch concluded that Cameron’s speech on August 24, 2005, to the Foreign Policy Centre “There, for those who want it, is the beef. “[6] But there is a link between Cameron’s old-style support for biffing and his apparently soft-line on spliffing.
Blair’s wars have had the undoubted impact of freeing up the heroin trade. From Kosovo to Kabul the profitable by-product of Blair’s crusades has been the facilitation of drugs smuggling by toppling regimes and undermining border controls which put some limits on the smugglers. Yet Cameron whose concern to wean drug addicts off their dope at public expense is endlessly rehearsed has endorsed the very conflicts which have helped to flood Britain with heroin.[7]
It was striking that leading Tory neo-con, Nicholas Boles who is the very model of a new-look Cameron candidate designed to appeal to the young and counter-cultural failed dismally twin the once safe Tory seat of Hove in the May election. Despite being an early openly gay Tory, Boles lost in a famously post-modern dope-smoking constituency where 500 same sex couples had applied for civil partnerships as soon as the registry offices opened to them in December, 2005. Perhaps his blind support for Blair’s wars turned off the target constituents.[8] The so-called Camerounians may want to play to the touchy-feely slightly dopey section of British society but their target group is not enamoured of their love affair with precision bombing and intervention.


[1] See Marie Woolf, “ Tory contender calls for more liberal drug laws” in The Independent (7th September, 2005),
[2] SKY News, 1.20pm (24th October, 2005),
[3] ITN News, 4.16pm (6th December, 2005),
[4] See Charles Moore, “If the Tories have a drug problem, it's their addiction to past quarrels” in Daily Telegraph (10th October, 2005),
[5] ITN News channel ((3.19pm, 6th December, 2005) The ex-Communist student activist, Alistair Stewart assured viewers that “it was a remarkable speech, delivered as at Blackpool without notes” He had earlier referred to George Osborne’s “barnstorming” attack on Gordon Brown the day before,
[6] See David Aaronovitch, “Policy? David Cameron has lots. He’s a new Neo-Con” in The Times (22nd October, 2005) @ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,17129-1837542,00.html,
[7] For the Foreign Office’s own figures for the leap in the opium harvest in post-Taliban Afghanistan from 200 tons in 2002 to 4,100 tons in 2004, and for the fall in Class A street prices since 1997 see Jason Lewis, “True legacy of the Afghan invasion… heroin at £10 a fix” in The Mail on Sunday (16th October, 2005),
[8] For the merging of pro-war left and loser Tory right in Hove, see http://talkpolitics.users20. donhost.co.uk/index.php?m=20050503.

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