Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Drink less, smoke more

At what point do I cease to be considered a 'youth'? This morning I received my first e-newsletter from the Lib Dem Youth and Students (LDYS), now under the stewardship of my former campaign organiser in Newham, Chris Lomax. This was one of his pledges, to keep the members up to date on LDYS activities. He's doing a good job in that regard.

But it's unfortunate that the first story slightly marred the entire experience. "MORE MUST BE DONE TO PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE DRINKING" screams the headline.

What's this? Young people actively encouraging other young people to drink less? Whatever next? Old people urging other old people to stop grumbling about the war and how 'things were better in my day'?

Drinking too much is what being young is about. You have to find your limits somehow. While this isn't an ad for having your stomach pumped, or being paralytic on a nightly basis, I do wonder whether we want to have LDYS adopting a hectoring, nannyish role.

At least my faith in the organisation is partly restored by the next story: "LDYS CONDEMNS EUROPEAN THREAT OF CANNABIS CENSORSHIP".

Ah good. So we haven't lost our 'radical' credentials yet then. But what's this? How did this escape the irony detector? "LDYS has for a long time stood for the full legalisation of cannabis, as prohibition has proven itself to be totally ineffective in addressing the harms the drug can cause to some, and is a gross infringement of an individual's sovereignty over their own body and mind." (stresses my own)

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