Famaf yes, the Independent say they got it wrong, but they do not say "OK guys we were lying all these years". Quite different, I feel. Should we accuse Hitchens of lying over his now-discarded socialist beliefs?
Anyway, bonus blog from yesterday:
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/ ... point.html
Finally, somebody called Fj suggests there is a contradiction between favouring liberty of speech and thought, and being in favour of laws punishing the possession of stupefying narcotics. Why? First, drug taking leads to a serf-like complacency and helps people to bear the unbearable rather than criticising it or reforming it, and oppressors love a stupefied population for that reason. Perhaps the drug pandemic among the middle classes plays a part in our current political passivity. Also, I must say I should prefer a morally literate society in which people refused to stupefy themselves on principle and no law was needed to help them decide. But in our current state, demoralised by decades of pro-drug propaganda from the sixties generation and from the rock music industry, we need a force to protect the gullible young from doing themselves - and everyone who loves them - terrible harm.
We are not wholly our own property. We have responsibilities to others which ought to be governed by moral law but sometimes aren't - not least because people are sometimes ignorant of the possible consequences of their actions. If a child is seduced by propaganda and peer pressure into smoking dope, unaware of its possible dangers, deluded into a belief that there is no risk, and then develops a permanent and incurable mental illness which destroys his or her hopes of a full life and of parenthood, and turns the later years of his or her parents' life into a permanent grief (and such cases do most definitely happen), then it seems to me that we need a counterbalance to that peer pressure and false propaganda. Straightforward fear of legal punishment, clearly stated and warned of, seems to me to the best available.