Alex Massie

High Times for Dave and Nick

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A good spot by Ewan Hoyle: The Telegraph has gone after Nick Clegg's support for a more sensible approach to the "War on Drugs". It seems that when he was an MEP the Liberal Democrat leader supported decriminalisation. This, we are supposed to believe, is a Bad Thing.

Which makes it amusing or interesting that way back in 2005 David Cameron also called for "fresh thinking and a new approach" to drugs policy. That, as you know, means keeping at least an open mind about decriminalisation.

Now proposals for a sensible drugs policy are, alas, unlikely to feature prominently in the next Queen's Speech and I don't expect much from the next parliament on this matter but this is, again, a reminder that the Cameroons and the Cleggers have more in common than is sometimes thought.

You couldn't (and probably shouldn't) build a coalition agreement - formal or not - on drugs policy, nor on scrapping ID cards and limiting the advance of the surveillance state (rolling it back, I fear, will prove too ambitious a notion) but if the real divide is not so much between left and right but between liberals and authoritarians then here at least one might think that a Tory-Liberal arrangement might actually be preferable to any of the alternatives.

And, as Brother Korski says, it's possible that any such deal might lead to a more minimalist, less-invasive government too. We can but hope, anyway...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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