(10 March 2019)
Here is the problem. We are told that stabbings are at their worst since 1945. This is itself untrue. The year 1945 is chosen because that was when figures on stabbings began to be collected. In reality, they are the worst figures since this became a civilised country under the Victorians, really the worst figures since an unpoliced London was roamed by armed footpads, and highwaymen haunted the country roads.
In a way, they are even worse than then. This is, by comparison with those times, a rich and settled society. But in an important way, we are worse. We have drugs. These drugs do not just intoxicate, as alcohol does. They make their users mentally ill, irrational, uninhibited, careless of the consequences of what they do.
No, not every marijuana smoker goes out and kills. So what? Not every boozer gets into fights, or commits rape, or kills people with drunken driving. Not every cigarette smoker gets cancer or heart disease. But we act against these things because of the significant minority who do cause or experience these tragic outcomes.
And almost all of those who go out and kill someone with a blade will turn out, once the investigation is over, to be a long-term user of marijuana, no longer wholly sane or wholly civilised. Its widespread use is the only significant social change in this country that correlates with the rise in homicidal violence.
It is a problem which a lot of people don’t want to discuss. Who are they? There is the billionaire lobby, of businessmen and politicians, who want to legalise marijuana, who hate every mention of the increasingly obvious connection between use of that drug and severe violence. It could rob them of big profits and big tax receipts.
It could upset the well-funded lobbies for appeasing drug abuse by so-called ‘harm reduction’, such as the Government’s own increasingly shameful ‘Talk to Frank’ website, which matily assumes that those who visit it will take drugs anyway. A fat lot of harm that will reduce. There are the lobbies for more money for the police, who have only one simple-minded, thought-free answer to everything. There are the police themselves, who found that it was difficult to enforce the laws against marijuana possession, and so largely gave up doing so. They obviously don’t want to start again now. Diddums, I say.
And there are people who see the trees, but not the wood. Immediately after the knifing horrors of the weekend, a Government Minister, Victoria Atkins, blurted out the truth, namely: ‘Drugs is the main driver as far as we are concerned of this serious violence’, and then added a flat lie, ‘which is why we are very keen to ensure that the laws in relation to illegal drugs remain as tough as they are’.
They are not tough, Minister, because they are not enforced. They just look tough. Everyone in the world knows they are not tough, except for the Government.
Please, please, please try actually thinking.