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Sunday 1 November 2009

The Full Nelson

While being a little disappointed that I predicted some follow up on the Afghan helicopter situation during the Andy Marr Show today – and there wasn’t any – the appearance of new Spectator editor Fraser Nelson on the paper review was entertaining and interesting (though some on his own area of the political spectrum might have taken exception to the Johnson-family-as-Blackadders remark).

His views on a range of subjects do not coincide with mine: for instance, as seems fashionable with so many on the libertarian right, he has a problem with man-made climate change. But, so what? It’s another subject where debate is to be had, though whether many outside his comfort zone will be converted I doubt.

The subject I previously covered that did come up in discussion of the day’s newspapers was that of currently illegal drugs, and the dismissal of Professor David Nutt. Nelson argued that, whatever the comparative harmfulness of marijuana versus tobacco and alcohol, it was down to how society as a whole views that range of drugs that would decide their future status.

And in this he is right: here, as with other issues, there is a debate to be had. The problem, as I’ve said many times, is that it is not possible for that debate to take place in a reasoned and rational manner. Perhaps Nelson could develop his take on that subject – I’d be more than interested to hear it.

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