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Russell Brand vs Peter Hitchens over drugs

Russell Brand vs Peter Hitchens over drugs

(12:27) Newsnight Aug 2012: Comedian Russell Brand and Mail On Sunday journalist Peter Hitchens debate the treatment of drug addicts. Interestingly, Peter Hitchens is the younger brother of the late Christopher Hitchens and opposite in so many of his views, particularly over religion.

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Guest: (1915 days ago)
I think that many people viewers have missed the point that Peter Hitchens was making, which is that it is better to prevent people from taking drugs in the first place, through fear of breaking the law, rather than to simply rehabilitate those that fall prey to addiction. I also noted that Brand appeared to be intent on provoking Peter Hitchens as well as creeping around the presenter "Thank you very much Stephanie, you're much better than that Paxman etc"
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I think that many people viewers have missed the point that Peter Hitchens was making, which is that it is better to prevent people from taking drugs in the first place, through fear of breaking the law, rather than to simply rehabilitate those that fall prey to addiction. I also noted that Brand appeared to be intent on provoking Peter Hitchens as well as creeping around the presenter "Thank you very much Stephanie, you're much better than that Paxman etc"
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glortman glortman (1915 days ago)
Punitive law does not, and has never worked as a deterrent against drug use. The American prohibition against alcohol in the 1920s and its current war on drugs are clear evidence of this. Further evidence is found in underage alcohol use. Addiction is a separate problem from use, and the reasons for addiction are complex and have nothing to do with availability. Many people consume alcohol without becoming addicted. Hitchen's argument is simply wrong.
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Punitive law does not, and has never worked as a deterrent against drug use. The American prohibition against alcohol in the 1920s and its current war on drugs are clear evidence of this. Further evidence is found in underage alcohol use. Addiction is a separate problem from use, and the reasons for addiction are complex and have nothing to do with availability. Many people consume alcohol without becoming addicted. Hitchen's argument is simply wrong.
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Guest: sipee (1925 days ago)
Hitchens is simply the kind of person that makes people not like the U.K. Stuck up, snobby twat.
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Hitchens is simply the kind of person that makes people not like the U.K. Stuck up, snobby twat.
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Guest: (1924 days ago)
Agreed. He's a disagreeable wanker who has only recently come out of the shadow of his (more intelligent) brother recently. He should crawl under the nearest flat stone and stay there.
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Agreed. He's a disagreeable wanker who has only recently come out of the shadow of his (more intelligent) brother recently. He should crawl under the nearest flat stone and stay there.
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Guest: iknowlessthanyoudo (1920 days ago)
Legalization would replace taxes now spent for enforcement, prosecution and incarceration with taxes raised for regulation and treatment.
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Legalization would replace taxes now spent for enforcement, prosecution and incarceration with taxes raised for regulation and treatment.
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glortman glortman (1926 days ago)
Hitchens asks again and again why Brand is allowed to speak on drugs. The answers are simple. 1) He is much more likable, accessible and well-known than Hitchens, and young people would rather talk to the fun, popular uncle than the angry headmaster. 2) Brand has credible experience with overcoming addiction, while Hitchens only has credible experience with being a judgmental wanker. 3) Brand actually wants addicts to get help while Hitchens just wants to punish people. The real question is why Hitchens was allowed to talk about this topic at all.
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Hitchens asks again and again why Brand is allowed to speak on drugs. The answers are simple. 1) He is much more likable, accessible and well-known than Hitchens, and young people would rather talk to the fun, popular uncle than the angry headmaster. 2) Brand has credible experience with overcoming addiction, while Hitchens only has credible experience with being a judgmental wanker. 3) Brand actually wants addicts to get help while Hitchens just wants to punish people. The real question is why Hitchens was allowed to talk about this topic at all.
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Juniper Juniper (1926 days ago)
Peter Hitchens is vile. I know they didn't get along but I wonder if Christopher could even stand to be within 100 yards of him.
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Peter Hitchens is vile. I know they didn't get along but I wonder if Christopher could even stand to be within 100 yards of him.
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Guest: Mooman (1739 days ago)
Latest comment: Sphincter Thee Is an anagram of Peter Hitchens
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Latest comment: Sphincter Thee Is an anagram of Peter Hitchens
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Guest: Kerry (1926 days ago)
Look at the TYT talking about Portugal where ALL drugs have been legalized.After 10 years drug addiction is down a phenomenal amount.Look at the USA with its ongoing war on drugs costing BILLIONS and absolutely no results apart from prisons full of taxpayer funded drug addicts.I would be very wary of any govt. solution to anything apart from a hands off policy.
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Look at the TYT talking about Portugal where ALL drugs have been legalized.After 10 years drug addiction is down a phenomenal amount.Look at the USA with its ongoing war on drugs costing BILLIONS and absolutely no results apart from prisons full of taxpayer funded drug addicts.I would be very wary of any govt. solution to anything apart from a hands off policy.
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LogicIsPower LogicIsPower (1925 days ago)
Don't take drugs they'll ruin your life!! and if we catch you doing drugs we will ruin your life!!
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Don't take drugs they'll ruin your life!! and if we catch you doing drugs we will ruin your life!!
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Guest: Foot Rules (1925 days ago)
I have not seen Peter Hitchens before. I am appalled by him. He is so awful he makes Brand look good, and that is no mean feat.
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I have not seen Peter Hitchens before. I am appalled by him. He is so awful he makes Brand look good, and that is no mean feat.
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Guest: (1921 days ago)
Regardless of the debate, Hitchens is right that Brand has no place in a serious political debate. The question of why he is there is a good one.
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Regardless of the debate, Hitchens is right that Brand has no place in a serious political debate. The question of why he is there is a good one.
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Guest: Richard_N (1926 days ago)
If a person takes heroin from a clinic (as in Switzerland), they have a moderate, containable medical problem. If a person takes "street" heroin, they add to their medical problems the risks from overdose, impurity and possible infection. But if that person is caught by the police, the resultant criminal record will ruin their life forever, probably costing them their job and their family. The worst thing about drugs isn't the medical consequences; it's what the state will do to you if caught. This inversion is crazy.
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If a person takes heroin from a clinic (as in Switzerland), they have a moderate, containable medical problem. If a person takes "street" heroin, they add to their medical problems the risks from overdose, impurity and possible infection. But if that person is caught by the police, the resultant criminal record will ruin their life forever, probably costing them their job and their family. The worst thing about drugs isn't the medical consequences; it's what the state will do to you if caught. This inversion is crazy.
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WalterEgo WalterEgo (1927 days ago)
Addicts will be addicts, whether drugs are legal or not. It may seem counter-intuitive but there could be fewer addicts if drugs were legal. Dealers need to replenish their clients as they get locked up, get clean, or drop dead. If drugs were legal, dealers would be replaced by government, who would be trying to educate people off drugs. If you don't think education works, then look at cigarette smoking, still legal but the habit has been in decline for many years, at least in the UK.
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Addicts will be addicts, whether drugs are legal or not. It may seem counter-intuitive but there could be fewer addicts if drugs were legal. Dealers need to replenish their clients as they get locked up, get clean, or drop dead. If drugs were legal, dealers would be replaced by government, who would be trying to educate people off drugs. If you don't think education works, then look at cigarette smoking, still legal but the habit has been in decline for many years, at least in the UK.
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Guest: You Nan (1927 days ago)
Peter Hitchens just comes across as someone really trying to be like his illustrious brother, Christopher. Sadly, he lacks the logic and intelligence to do so.
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Peter Hitchens just comes across as someone really trying to be like his illustrious brother, Christopher. Sadly, he lacks the logic and intelligence to do so.
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Guest: (1926 days ago)
What a vile person Brand is. Perhaps if he stopped stuffing drugs down his neck he wouldn't whine so much.
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What a vile person Brand is. Perhaps if he stopped stuffing drugs down his neck he wouldn't whine so much.
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Guest: (1926 days ago)
You use the muscle in your head much do you? Maybe you should stop supplying it with a neurotoxin and give it a bit of exercise now and then.
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You use the muscle in your head much do you? Maybe you should stop supplying it with a neurotoxin and give it a bit of exercise now and then.
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Samsgimp Samsgimp (1927 days ago)
It is a fact that we all, to varying degrees and varying ways, have a predilection for getting 'high' and prohibition in any country has never worked and very recently the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said The UK is “plainly losing” the war on drugs - and may even be going backwards. So my proposal is multifaceted and in no particular order. - Drug addicts or anyone who's use of any harmful substance that causes them a problem to be registered as having an illness and therefore to be treated initially by their GP as a patient in confidence. - Those who are addicted to harder drugs to be given a clean and free regulated supply in a safe environment possibly on a gradual reduction and / or offered residential treatment programs if applicable. Therefor current users now don't need dealers... - All controlled drugs to be de-criminalized and softer recreational drugs only available through government outlets, where quality is high and the price is standardised. and the uk govt to make stacks of legal dough - Maybe a recreational drug i.d card that is presented to the outlet ensuring that the user is over 18 and is allowed, say, no more than 5g of marijuana or 1g of coke per week... - Any country with a genuine interest in combating the harmful effects of the illicit drug trade on the wider community and the drugs on individual users colludes to buy all the opium and cocaine direct from the farmers, cutting out terrorists and criminals from their main source of income. - No more high end drug crime, no more cosa nostra, no more Taliban. no more dead uk soldiers. - No more domestic drug dealing which has the added bonus of not exposing potential new uses from trying hard(er) drugs. - No more domestic drug-related crime. - Domestic Insurance costs down, - Cost to the taxpayer down. - Secure and cheap source of pain-relieving raw materials for hospitals - No more overdoses - No more poisoning thru impurities - Reduction in spread of hiv / aids and hepatitis- - more money be available for awareness and education etc etc etc - more suggestions welcome..
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It is a fact that we all, to varying degrees and varying ways, have a predilection for getting 'high' and prohibition in any country has never worked and very recently the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said The UK is “plainly losing” the war on drugs - and may even be going backwards. So my proposal is multifaceted and in no particular order. - Drug addicts or anyone who's use of any harmful substance that causes them a problem to be registered as having an illness and therefore to be treated initially by their GP as a patient in confidence. - Those who are addicted to harder drugs to be given a clean and free regulated supply in a safe environment possibly on a gradual reduction and / or offered residential treatment programs if applicable. Therefor current users now don't need dealers... - All controlled drugs to be de-criminalized and softer recreational drugs only available through government outlets, where quality is high and the price is standardised. and the uk govt to make stacks of legal dough - Maybe a recreational drug i.d card that is presented to the outlet ensuring that the user is over 18 and is allowed, say, no more than 5g of marijuana or 1g of coke per week... - Any country with a genuine interest in combating the harmful effects of the illicit drug trade on the wider community and the drugs on individual users colludes to buy all the opium and cocaine direct from the farmers, cutting out terrorists and criminals from their main source of income. - No more high end drug crime, no more cosa nostra, no more Taliban. no more dead uk soldiers. - No more domestic drug dealing which has the added bonus of not exposing potential new uses from trying hard(er) drugs. - No more domestic drug-related crime. - Domestic Insurance costs down, - Cost to the taxpayer down. - Secure and cheap source of pain-relieving raw materials for hospitals - No more overdoses - No more poisoning thru impurities - Reduction in spread of hiv / aids and hepatitis- - more money be available for awareness and education etc etc etc - more suggestions welcome..
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Guest: (1927 days ago)
nice ideas, except the mention of putting a limit on amount allowed to purchase per week etc. Alas, your heart is in the right place with this but all that would do is add fuel to an underground drug trade. Addicts already don't think in limits, sadly.
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nice ideas, except the mention of putting a limit on amount allowed to purchase per week etc. Alas, your heart is in the right place with this but all that would do is add fuel to an underground drug trade. Addicts already don't think in limits, sadly.
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Guest: (1927 days ago)
Lovely ideas that wouldn't work. The drug companies make obscene amounts of money making manufacturing all manner of treatments, some of which are used in the treatment of people on, or recovering from, illegal drugs. There's no incentive for GlaxoSmithKline and their ilk to become the agents who simply refine the opiates into good quality drugs to 'give' to addicts. Money talks.
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Lovely ideas that wouldn't work. The drug companies make obscene amounts of money making manufacturing all manner of treatments, some of which are used in the treatment of people on, or recovering from, illegal drugs. There's no incentive for GlaxoSmithKline and their ilk to become the agents who simply refine the opiates into good quality drugs to 'give' to addicts. Money talks.
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Guest: (1926 days ago)
Brand really doesn't help his argument with all the 'comedy' snipes at Hitchens. He'd do much better to play it straight and let the public decide for themselves. Any reasonable person can see that Hitchens is not really offering a solution to the problem that exists, and most people would agree with a compassionate approach. But all Brand will do by behaving immaturely is to portray himself as a fool, and therefore discredit his own arguments. He does more damage to himself here than Hitchens could ever do alone.
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Brand really doesn't help his argument with all the 'comedy' snipes at Hitchens. He'd do much better to play it straight and let the public decide for themselves. Any reasonable person can see that Hitchens is not really offering a solution to the problem that exists, and most people would agree with a compassionate approach. But all Brand will do by behaving immaturely is to portray himself as a fool, and therefore discredit his own arguments. He does more damage to himself here than Hitchens could ever do alone.
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Guest: (1926 days ago)
Peter Hitchens has made a career out of agitating 'emotional' people in the name of 'rationality'. Brand is reacting the best he can to the 'pide piper' act that Hitchens puts on. The question that should be asked is who is paying for Peter Hitchens 'moral' standpoint? Is this simply propaganda to pave the way for US style private prisons? Peter Hitchens lacks emotional intelligence and his credibility is a commodity for sale. Brand needs to understand this, and in particular understand that the 'rationality' that Peter Hitchens speaks of is one that lacks 'intuition' i.e. the emotional side of rationality, without which rationality is purely psychopathic propaganda.
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Peter Hitchens has made a career out of agitating 'emotional' people in the name of 'rationality'. Brand is reacting the best he can to the 'pide piper' act that Hitchens puts on. The question that should be asked is who is paying for Peter Hitchens 'moral' standpoint? Is this simply propaganda to pave the way for US style private prisons? Peter Hitchens lacks emotional intelligence and his credibility is a commodity for sale. Brand needs to understand this, and in particular understand that the 'rationality' that Peter Hitchens speaks of is one that lacks 'intuition' i.e. the emotional side of rationality, without which rationality is purely psychopathic propaganda.
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Guest: (1926 days ago)
Peter Hitchens is a walking, talking, circular argument. I suppose thats what happens when you contrive your entire personality. Ad hominem attacks, interrupting... Peter Hitchens does both while calling out his opponents for the same. If only he had a heart then maybe his head would function 'rationally' as he wishes it did.
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Peter Hitchens is a walking, talking, circular argument. I suppose thats what happens when you contrive your entire personality. Ad hominem attacks, interrupting... Peter Hitchens does both while calling out his opponents for the same. If only he had a heart then maybe his head would function 'rationally' as he wishes it did.
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slicksps slicksps (1927 days ago)
The biggest problem with humanity is labelling: This person is a criminal and should be punished, this person is a comedian and therefore has nothing interesting to say... this person is black, this one is muslim/disabled/old/too young... the sooner we can replace all these with 'A human being' the sooner we can move forward....
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The biggest problem with humanity is labelling: This person is a criminal and should be punished, this person is a comedian and therefore has nothing interesting to say... this person is black, this one is muslim/disabled/old/too young... the sooner we can replace all these with 'A human being' the sooner we can move forward....
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Guest: (1926 days ago)
**** peter Hitchens, he's a disgrace for is brother
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**** peter Hitchens, he's a disgrace for is brother
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