Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Pop goes the pleasure



And so it came to pass - RIP our beloved POPPERS!

The Government has declared war on our little bit of fun. As these extracts from a marvellous article by barrister Matthew Scott (writing in, of all papers, The Daily "Torygraph") concur, poppers are not the only thing:
I had rather naively thought that a central part of Conservative philosophy was that, unless there is strong evidence of harm that can be prevented or alleviated by Government action, it's usually best to let people live their lives without interference from the state.

Theresa May's Home Office thinks rather differently. It proudly announced last month that since 2010 it has banned more than 500 new drugs, as though this were an end and a self-evident good in itself.

Well, we now know it was not an end, it was a beginning... In its Psychoactive Substances Bill, the second reading of which is to take place in the House of Lords next week, it has made proposals to ban all “psychoactive substances” apart from a few defined exceptions... whatever the wisdom of the goal, the Government seems to have decided that banning 500 substances is not enough. It must ban almost everything that gives pleasure.

And what a ban. Of all the many idiotic, ill thought out and pointless laws ever passed, this would be the one of the silliest...it is the definition of “psychoactive” which, rightly, has attracted the most comment.

Quote: "a substance produces a psychoactive effect in a person if, by stimulating or depressing the person's central nervous system, it affects the person's mental functioning or emotional state."

Any substance which gives pleasure, of course, “affects a person's emotional state.” The starting point of the Bill is that giving pleasure is sufficient justification for prohibition...

...Amyl nitrite and its chemical relatives, for example. In the form of “poppers” they are widely used, especially by gay men, to enhance sexual pleasure. They are not controlled drugs at present, largely because nobody has ever made a convincing case that they are particularly dangerous. Now they are to be banned not because of the harm they do, but because one of their pleasant effects is to produce euphoria and dis-inhibition – they “affect your emotional state” – so they are caught by Section 3 [of the Bill]...

Did you know that tea was a “psychoactive substance”? Well under this new law it will be, and you will be allowed to drink it only as a special exemption from the normal rule... It has even been suggested by the one of the country's best known legal bloggers, David Allen Green, that the delight produced by the scent of flowers could be enough to engage the provisions of the Bill, and what's more he is right. What stronger emotional response is there than that produced by the beautiful scent of roses delivered to the woman you love? Sorry, that very emotional response is enough to engage Section 3, and if you happen to hand them to her outside a school, or worse still arrange for someone under the age of 18 to deliver them, the Court is obliged by Section 6 to treat those facts as “aggravating features” for the purpose of sentencing. And don't think you could avoid the law by giving her perfume instead of flowers: the esters and oils in perfume are designed to seduce, which is of course an emotional response...

...the Home Office thinking is revealing. Instead of banning things because there is evidence that they will do harm Theresa May now wants to ban things because they cause pleasure.

The Bill is a textbook example of bad legislation, It is unnecessary, incomprehensible, largely unenforceable, and, by encouraging professional criminals into a new area of business it is likely to prove entirely counter-productive.
Horrendous.

12 comments:

  1. i was afraid of them. "met" someone who couldn't come with out them.

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    1. When I first came out, the air in the nightclub was mainly composed of dry ice, poppers and Kouros... Jx

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  2. In the 1990s I used to work for a mail order fetish company and often had to fill in at its central London sex shops for the flaky and unreliable retail staff. It was always fascinating to see who came in to buy poppers (we had to sell them as "aromas" or something weird like that!) - all walks of life!

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    1. All walks of life now denied access to their little thrill. Jx

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  3. George Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four springs to mind.

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    1. "There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed."

      Jx

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    2. This is probably meant as a distraction from something else.

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    3. Undoubtedly so, my dear. Jx

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  4. I read about this yesterday. Recently while visiting another town that I work in that has many "intimate" stores, I went to the back where they sell poppers and the clerk looked at me like I was from the FBI when I asked to buy poppers. She looked me up and down and said, "We don't do that here!" I said, "You did that here six months ago." No we didn't. Yes you did. No we didn't. Yes you did. Round and round until I left. It would seem to be legislation is in the air. Now how am I going to clean the little head on my VCR?

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    1. It won't be long till the black market takes over... Even some States in the US have seen the folly of keeping (certain) drugs illegal. Unenforceable laws are so pointless. Jx

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  5. The authorities in the UK won’t rest until every last vestige of sleaze (read: fun!) is wiped out. Luckily I moved to London almost twenty five years ago now so was able to experience some of it! AyeM8y: thank God for New Orleans where you can still find proper old-school filth (like tattooed hustlers dancing on bar tops in their underwear).

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    1. No sleaze here, dear. Not while there's lucrative real estate just crying out to be developed into homes for overseas oligarchs. Soho as we knew it is now rapidly evolving into a series of boutiques and expensive eateries, and the whores and gays have no place in that Generalplan... Jx

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