Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 31 October 2006

Tessa Jowell and online gaming as 'a mark of quality'

Our so-called Culture Sectretary wants the UK to be "world leader" in internet gambling and to offer a "hallmark of quality" to players around the world.

The good lady believes that banning this activity would drive it "underground" and fuel crime.

Frankly I've heard a lot of nonsense issue out of this Labour apparatchik's mouth on numerous occasions before, but I don't recall hearing something quite so, perhaps not 'silly', but definitely 'tacky'. No doubt she'll be recommending similar policies for various currently illegal activities such as procurement of prostitution, child sex and pornography and drugs? After all these activities are likely, unfortunately, always to exist and HAVE been driven underground by the legal prohibitions imposed upon them, so one cannot question Tessa Jowell's basic analysis of the situation relating to gambling, online or otherwise. Or is the inconsistency in treatment solely based on the revenues (through taxation) that might accrue to the Government by regulating this activity in the way she suggests the driving factor? The nearest parallel I can find to the situation Labour seemingly wants to create is for tobacco where the Government earns huge amounts from this regulated 'vice' whilst officially disapproving of it.

My overall attitude is that most of the activities I refer to above should not be illegal, however what sticks in my craw is the inconsistency of the Government's attitudes and policies, a sort of 'nanny state' gone wild coupled with a mendacious attempt to disguise what this so-called policy is all about - to rake in further large amounts of tax revenue, whilst dressing it up as a way of protecting the public. I thought the job of a Government was to run the affairs of state, not to operate what can only be called a 'protection racket'.

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