A quick post about Lord Sewel and the law

This might be cocaine. Or it could be salt
This might be cocaine. Or it could be salt

There seems to be a lot of anger and outrage online over Lord Sewel. He allegedly snorted cocaine with hookers and made some disparaging comments about our Prime Minister of pork, while wearing ladies clothing. We know this because of an undercover newspaper sting.

The newspaper in question, The Sun, is appalled that the police didn’t prosecute him. The Met’s reason was their was lack of evidence.

Roy Greenslade of The Guardian, quite unusually, agrees with The Sun. It’s Greenslade’s piece, which you can read RIGHT HERE, that inspired me to quickly post this.

We can all sit in judgement over Lord Sewel, as many of us have been doing since the allegations were published. He cheated on his wife, with prostitutes, while allegedly taking coke. The shock, the horror.

Here’s the thing, under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, you need to be in possession of said substance, for the police to charge you. There needs to be physical evidence, that can be tested in a lab,  for the police to be able to charge someone. The evidence needs to hold up in a court of law.  A photo of alleged drug use is not conclusive proof.

While the photos may depict Lord Sewel snorting something that is thought to be cocaine, the police have no way of confirming the composition of the substance from a photo. The police did search his property, but I am sure that if anything was there,  it was and cleared and cleaned very thoroughly before that search happened.

Someone could have sold Sewel powdered sugar. How could you tell the difference from a photo? You can’t. Without physical evidence, there would be no way to charge him.

It was the same with Nigella Lawson. She may have admitted to drug use, which is a perfectly legal thing to do, as long as you don’t have any drugs on your person. She didn’t.

Drugs are not illegal. What is illegal is the act of possession. You can’t make things illegal, only actions. Possession of a drug is the illegal act and you have to be in possession of drugs to be charged and prosecuted.

If the police could make arrests for being pictured taking drugs, then a lot of people posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would be in a helluva lot of trouble. Do you think the police have the time to investigate every drug related photo posted to social media? And would that be enough proof to prosecute? Of course not!

Don’t get me wrong, if you post a photo of yourself online, taking drugs, you could still inspire a property search, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it. Though I’ve seen enough of of these sorts of photos online to know that any warning won’t matter. Lots of you out there in internetland, do it, every day.

All drugs should be decriminalised. What Lord Sewel or anyone else ingests, is a private concern and should be a health matter, rather than a criminal one.

Prosecuting drug use is a waste of time, money and resources, for the police, the courts and the media. The drugs laws do more harm than drugs ever could and you are more likely to have a worse outcome if you get in trouble with the law.

We can all feel morally superior to Lord Sewel, but it’s not a matter for law enforcement. The police have done the right thing by dropping this case. On the basis of the evidence and the law, it was the correct and only decision they could make.

Have you used your nose?

Here's my actual watch. And my hairy wrist is included for no extra charge
Here’s my actual watch. And my hairy wrist is included for no extra charge

Quick post, with a quick thought. Have you used your nose?

I’m talking about using your nose to tap something on your Apple Watch.

I have, more than once.

I was baking some (special) cookies today and using the watch as a timer. It’s very cool, because you can do it hands free, with the “hey Siri” voice command.

I was baking my cookies for 12 minutes, so they came out nice and crisp. While preparing the next batch for the oven, the timer went off, telling me to take the current batch out of the oven. My hands were gooey with dough, so I used the tip of my nose to dismiss the timer alert on my watch.

I’ve been wearing my Apple Sport Watch for around 6 weeks now and I like it a lot. Notice I didn’t say “loved”.

I love my iPhone, I love my iPad, I love my iMac. The watch doesn’t inspire that sort of awe for me.

I think it is beautifully crafted, fantastically designed and executed. It’s nearly everything I would want in a watch from Apple. And the rest is coming in the next OS in the autumn.

But I don’t love it, like I love the other devices. The interactions I have with it are very brief, as they are meant to be, but also very useful.

The watch has fit right into my life, but I wore a watch before. I’ve always worn a watch. If you don’t wear a watch now, then the utility of the Apple Watch may not be as apparent to you, but for me it is just an extension of what my previous Casio G-Shock did.

Utility is the word I keep coming back to when I talk about my watch. It’s all very useful and very cool, but it lacks the fun factor (for me anyway) of my other devices.

Yes, I know there are games for the watch, but they really don’t appeal to me, on something with such a small screen.

What I find useful are the alerts. I don’t miss texts any more, ever. And breaking news…it is so cool to receive a breaking news alert on your wrist, before you see it any place else.

I use the watch to remotely skip tracks on my music player. I’ve already mentioned the messaging. I’m looking forward to being able to reply to emails, a feature which is coming in the autumn. Yes, It should have been included in the first version, but it wasn’t.

I’ve used it for walking directions, I’ve used it to plot journeys on public transport and I’ve used it to summon an Uber. That’s actually cool as fuck and very futuristic.

So is Shazaming a song on the radio, in the car, while stopped at a red light.

I’ve taken phone calls as well, which is also surreal and I’ve seamlessly handed it off to my iPhone.

I definitely fiddle with my iPhone far less, and I really only grab it when I need something the watch can’t do.

Utility. A very attractive, comfortable to wear, device that provides me with utility.

Everyone who’s seen it, asks me the same question: Should I get one?

Tough question. If you’re reading this and thinking everything I’ve mentioned sounds cool, then yes, get one. But if you’re thinking £339 (around $400) for the cheapest model sounds like a lot of money for a watch, then it probably isn’t for you.

I’m glad I bought one, I would miss it if I didn’t have it and I will probably buy the next one, if it really has a Dick Tracy style videophone in it. But I love toys and gadgets and sometimes like to be an early adopter.

It’s Apple’s most personal device, and I think they are right. Everyone will have a different relationship with their Apple watch.

My original question remains….have you used your nose?

Test post, please ignore…

Or you can read it if you want. I’m just setting up my new website. Go me!

My old website was hacked into oblivion, so I am starting from scratch again.

My archive of over 750 original posts will be edited down and published as an eBook that you can buy. Don’t worry, it will be cheap. And if I sell a million of them, I can quit my real job and be a full time hippy. Yay!

In the mean time, here is a pretty picture of London. Don’t worry, I own the copyright. Everything at northlondonhippy.com is 100% original.

Dig it!

– the northlondonhippy

10th June 2015


royal 350 copy