Here's some of Russell Brand's wonderful, thoughtful, funny, and acerbic testimony to the UK Parliament on the subject of combatting addiction and setting sensible drug policy. Brand is a former heroin addict, and he was questioned by MPs over his views on the subject:
* I don't think we need a carrot or a stick. Both of those things seem to be to be bizarre metaphors. I think what we need is love and compassion.
* Being arrested isn't a lesson, it's just an administrative blip
* Again mate, what we need to identify is a degree of authenticity and compassion in the way we deal with this problem, otherwise you just seem like you don't know what you're talking about.
* You can tell what party they're in from the questions, innit? "What about the victims of the crime!"
* [After the committee chair tries to restore order by declaring that they're running out of time, and without missing a beat.] Time is infinite. You cannot run out of time. Who's next? [Home Secretary] Theresa May? She may not show up. Check she knows what day it is.
You've got to listen to the recording, which starts at about 5:55 in this episode of the BBC's Today in Parliament. It's like a chirpy cockney Groucho Marx discussing drug policy with a bunch of Margaret Dumont-esque Tories, and running silvertongued circles around them.
Russell Brand says drug addiction should be treated as a health matter
My UK publisher, Head of Zeus, has published the official tour schedule for the British tour for Walkaway, with stops in Oxford (with Tim Harford), London (with Laurie Penny), Liverpool (with Chris Pak), Birmingham, and the Hay Literary Festival (with Dr Adam Rutherford). Hope to see you there!
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