Britain's hardline prohibitionist drugs minister is married to a weed grower

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/21/victoria-atkins.html

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#2

It seems to me that Britons have a right to know about this, but I gotta tell you, I have bigger disagreements than that with my spouse.

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#3

I’ve got no love for the Tories, but in this case I am not sure hypocrisy is the right word.
In general I don’t think civil servants should let their private lives interfere with their jobs. Declaring a conflict of interest seems like the most professional choice.

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#4

Eh, why not hypocrisy? But also power corruption. How may times do pols take hard, even ridiculous, lines when in power, and who’s policies affect millions of lives negatively, only to have a change of tune once out of that office of power? Of course, money helps once you join the industry you fought against. John Bohner, I’m looking at you.

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#5

It was the Home Secretary under Labour, Alan Johnson, who sacked David Nutt.

I don’t doubt for a second that May would have done the same, though. The Home Office under her supervision introduced the psychoactive substances ban and recently ordered a GP to stop prescribing cannabis oil to a severely epileptic child.

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#6

So “I’m totally against it and poor people should go to jail for it! But I’m totally OK with it once I can copy the poors and make a bunch of money off of it. But the poors should still go to jail for it, unless they buy it from me.” I thought the GOP model of law/business was uniquely American, it is good to see Tories do it too.

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#7

I’m not sure whether blinkered authoritarians tend to get chosen for the job, or the job turns its incumbents into blinkered authoritarians. As best I can tell, the last Home Secretary to survive their tenure as a decent human being was Roy Jenkins.

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#8

But consider the same situation for other issues; the electorate demands cleaner air and the Prime Minister responds by promising to increase the pressure on the coal industry. The home office is then tasked with redesigning the legal framework for the coal industry with a view to wean the country off fossil fuel and reduce overall coal based emissions.
The person appointed to the job agrees to carry out these arguably harsh and disruptive measures, after all they are the will of the people, despite her husband being part of the coal industry. In doing so she has chosen to respect the wishes of electorate above those of the person sitting opposite her at the dinner table.
I would consider that a step forward for civil society, not hypocrisy.

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#9

I see, if your husband does something, then little wifey agrees with it. And anything she does in her work is only to support hubby?
The 1950s called Dcotorow, they want their attitude to women back.

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#10

“I didn’t know you had a wife.”

“And my wife doesn’t know I have a job. I like to keep my home life and my work life separated.”

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#11

I read the article more thoroughly to see what I was missing and Atkins does appear to be upfront and did recuse herself from related policy. I may have been a bit reactionary but my comment on Bohner still stands :wink:

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#12

Boy. Breakfast time in that household must be tense. If those walls could talk. But that would require a hit of acid.

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#13

“Woman stays married to “bad-boy” husband despite fact that he does things she vehemently disapproves of!”
I’m not sure that this is a breaking new story.

#14

Wow, you couldn’t be more incorrect with such an equally 50’s era of pearls clutched reactionary myopia…

#15

It could be that he is just very good at his job, but I got the sense from the quick hole to hole movements that it was following some sort of automated program for demoing a linear path.

I cannot imagine anything more scary than being inside Mark Pauline’s psyche.

#16

Pedantic note - she’s a minister not a civil servant. She’s a parliamentary under secretary.

As opposed to say a permanent under secretary, a principal private secretary, a deputy secretary, an under secretary or an assistant secretary. Or indeed a secretary.

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#17

Some (many?) of the Tories are very keen to import all the US ‘best practice’ they can.

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#18

Ah, if I may, the problem is not so much that her husband sells medical marijuana while she is opposed to cannabis use.

The problem is that her husband (and thereby indirectly she herself) benefits from being one of the few monopoly suppliers of legal cannabis. Thereby giving her a large incentive to maintain the current regime where you or I go to jail for growing cannabis but her family gets to make lots of money.

Taking the coal analogy, it’s like someone being appointed to ensure that no one is illegally digging out coal on their own land while their husband runs the only legal mine in the country.

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#19

she’s a minister not a civil servant.

Hmm… somewhat weakens my initial argument then. While she was appointed to her current role, which is what I based my argument upon, she has stood for election as an MP prior to that. If your electoral platform is in contrast to what benefits you in your private life I would say there could be an element of hypocrisy.
That being said, acting contrary to your personal opinion and immediate monetary benefit because the electorate says tells you to is still a fine tradition, so I would give her kudos for that in any case.

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#20

Ah but see my later post…