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An Excellent Proposal


An Excellent Proposal

I approve wholeheartedly of Her Majesty’s Government’s recent proposal to withdraw sickness benefit from alcoholics and other drug addicts who refuse to undergo state-approved treatment for their condition. Clearly it is not the case, as some left-wing academics have suggested, that such people’s behaviour is in any sense beyond their control. Far from it. In an insolent two-fingered salute to the silent majority who stoically tolerate the subtle discomforts of modern life in our competitive society without recourse to unprescribed pharmaceutical oblivion, these addicts selfishly insist that we finance their cushy, I’m-alright-Jack lifestyle of daytime television and repeated, joyless exposure to debilitating chemicals, and that we do so willingly.

It must stop. And this excellent new proposal will ensure that it does. At first, it may appear counter-intuitive to starve addicts of precisely the commodity – money – that will enable them to obtain the drugs that feed their pitiable addictions. Think again. At present, charming but old-fashioned notions of “civil liberties” prevent us from simply taking such people into medical custody for their own good. But if, by depriving them of the means of exchange and thus forcing them to commit poorly thought-out crime, we can find good reason to incarcerate them, we will be able both to save their immortal souls from eternal torment and to rid the streets of our once-great nation of poorly thought-out crime.

No matter that any such crime will be a direct result of the programme that now seeks to eradicate it. The silent majority has long turned a blind eye to this kind of paradox, which in one form or another has been inherent in UK government drug policy from time immemorial. And no matter that current drug laws have been formulated against all the recommendations of those scientists employed by H.M. Government to advise on such matters. Science, after all, exists in a vacuum, entirely apart from everyday life, and while of course we respect the erudition and expertise of these unworldly eggheads, obviously any final decision as to how their advice should best be implemented must rest with our elected representatives.

No matter, either, that the prisons and prison ships in which it is proposed that this new breed of offender shall be held are awash with controlled substances of every dimension, introduced by callous criminal elements intent on turning a profit at the expense of their ne’er-do-well comrades. There is no honour among thieves. And, in any case, the immortal soul of an offender so depraved that he will continue to offend even while serving the just punishment for his depravity is entirely beyond redemption.

Indeed, if it were possible without incurring the vocal displeasure of the self-appointed chattering classes to bring the distribution of these commodities under direct control of the prison authorities, then one would have to say that it would be desirable to do so. The prison service is massively underfunded. (This is not the result of government policy, as some armchair radicals have suggested, but simply a matter of historical fact.) Think of the additional revenue that could be generated by such a logical expedient. The gainfully employed alcoholic at large in society may be the prisoner of his wretched habit, but at least he has the opportunity to compare prices before buying – another of the precious freedoms we in the west take for granted that his less fortunate brother has wilfully chosen to cast aside in rejecting the norms of civilised society.

posted on Monday 20th April, 2009

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