"It's difficult times for government. It's difficult times in the country," said pint sized, tap dancing, biker Hazel Blears in April on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "I believe we can take the economy through these difficult times" said Scottish, son of the manse, Gordon Brown to bespectacled BBC political editor Nick Robinson in July. Last week he was at it again ..."We are taking the policy that is absolutely essential to take people through these difficult times."
After doing the sums about public finances revealed with the Pre-Budget statement here at Patel Towers we beieve we live not if diffcult times but desperate times ... and desperate times need desperate remedies. A Modest proposal Redux
The UK Government needs to boost income .. fast.
Burdened with taxes, impost, fines, council tax, there is a no enthusiasm for more taxes...but we have a history of voluntary taxes... taxes on alcohol, taxes on tobacco, taxes on gambling, Harold Macmillan's brilliantly conceived Premium Bonds, the National Lottery....
A tax on Cannabis.
We haven't learnt from the Dutch about MRSA in hospitals but we can take a leaf (sic) out of their book by establishing a National Monopoly of supply through transforming the national city centre network of Woolworths shops into cannabis / coffee shops - of which there are 228 in Amsterdam alone . Half of all the licensed 729 coffee shops are in the four main Dutch cities of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Den Haag.
105 local councils throughout the rest of Holland , have between them a total of 353 coffee shops.
75% of those councils now want the national government to regulate wholesale supply to the coffee shops. Although they are allowed to have 500 grams of cannabis and hashish on the premises, large-scale cultivation of marihuana plants and the wholesale trade which supplies coffee shops is forbidden by law.
As a consequence the mayors of several cities are experimenting with introducing regulations for the supply of cannabis to the coffee shops. In Maastricht (famous for its treaties), on the Dutch-Belgian-German border, they voted unanimously last week to move coffee shops to the edges of the city to reduce the nuisance caused by 4,000 drug tourists who flock to the city on a daily basis.
1. Legalise cannabis use with the Government being the sole supplier.
2. Retail only supply available through Government owned and run coffee shops in what were Woolworths shops. (see National Milk Bars as a precedent)
3. Growers licensed and research in improved varieties to be undertaken by DeFRA ( there are now only 3 experimental farms where there used to be 11 - John Innes to start on GM modified varieties with high THC content)
4. Precedents - Gin flavoured with cloves in 1984 in the The Chestnut Tree Café and Brave New World's soma.... "All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects .. there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon..."
Necessary legislation can be introduced next week in Queeens Speech, Woolworths premises find an immediate landlord, staff to be re-trained, boost to agricultural industry.. eg greenhouses heated by Drax power station waste heat could grow cannabis instead of tomatoes .. fully sustainable systems.
My God how the money will roll in ...and quickly. Woolworths turned over £3 Bn. with a 75% Gross margin that could put £2.3 Bn in the Treasury coffers in the first 12 months. Enought to cover the immediate loss on nationalising Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday.
Improve the market for other retailers for cheap tat and toffees by removing Woolworths as a competitor.
Pacify the unemployed - maybe a ration for them as is currently done in all prisons.
Remove criminality from supply.
Ensure Standards of supply.
Boost the tourist trade.
Develop the finest chain of drug centres in the world.