Following Mark Wadsworth’s recent poll (http://markwadsworth.blogspot.com/2011/05/fun-online-polls-lost-causes-and-eu.html), I’d like to ask (and I’m ducking already) what are the serious issues for libertarians in this country? The top one seemed to be smoking in pubs; lower down (but not much lower) it was legalising cannabis.
To the former (and as a former smoker) I’d say that the old system of snugs used to work well, you could work up a good fug if you wanted to; but I don’t think it’s fair to demand the right to inflict the noisome, acrid stink of cigarettes on those who don’t like it. So okay, I’ll grant you that one with provisos.
As to legalising certain drugs, it seems to me that those who make most noise about it also make no bones about the fact that they go ahead anyway, law or not. I suspect that in some cases, especially Old Etonians, it’s just an argument for continuing bad habits from school: when I visited a friend in Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1969, he told me that the OEs tended to stick together in a little clique and were known for their cocaine parties.
We are free to move about in, and even leave, the country; we can change occupation, sexual partner (and orientation), religion, political allegiance; we can express our opinions in public fora. We are permitted to own private property; our criminal legal system assumes our innocence and has elaborate rules of evidence to protect against summary justice.
Is this another instance of those who complain most having least to complain about?