Only the LibDems, spliff in hand, could think it a good idea for Brian Paddick to be their candidate for Mayor of London. Paddick, a former deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is best known for appeasing the community in Brixton over drug crime, in particular his policies concerning the use of cannabis, then a Class ‘B’ drug, and how such crime should and would be policed (or rather, in this case, would not be policed).

How nice of the pothead party to contemplate having this man as their candidate. His policies on cannabis, given what we know about the damage that this drug is causing to the mental health of young people, amount to no more and no less than the debauching of our nation. And remember that the Mayor of London gets to appoint 12 out of 23 members of the Metropolitan Police Authority, so we have the prospect of an ex-police officer who has already demonstrated his unwillingness to do his sworn duty and uphold the law on drugs, coming into power and having enormous influence on how London is policed.

And, given that one of the reasons he left the Met was a falling out over the wacking of an innocent Brazilian during a terrorist alert, what sort of relationship is he going to have with the Commissioner of that Police Force of which he has become so critical?

Lynne Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, described him as an impressive candidate. “Brian is the one officer I met who I believe really understands and gives weight to some of the problems that are contentious,” she says on her blog. She praised him for his “avant-garde” approach to cannabis when he was commander in Lambeth and his “evidence to the stop-and-search scrutiny and subsequent work on that”.

If LibDems regard the debauching of young people’s minds as “avant-garde”, let us then thank our lucky stars they and they predecessors have been out of office (apart from during Churchill’s wartime coalition) since 1922.

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