PROMOTING A POSITIVE ETHOS

Drug abuse blights families, communities and individuals, while also burdening the state. As a society, we have agreed, with good reason, that we are unwilling to tolerate the damage and cost incurred by the use of certain drugs, so we have removed them from the array of choices open to people, and made them illegal. The availability of illegal drugs leads to increased experimentation and progression to drug addiction. We would not support any liberalisation of drugs laws, while urging vigorous policing and sentencing that deters effectively. Most parents would prefer their children to grow up without the temptation of a ready supply of illicit drugs. The state should aim to bring about this state of affairs.

The solution to Scotland’s hugely damaging alcohol problem is not more laws or factual education. What is needed is a cultural shift away from the social acceptability of drunkenness. While other parties shy away from moral leadership, we will press the case that drunkenness is inherently irresponsible, leading to relational damage, accidents, violence, intimidation and sexual misadventures. Politicians should show moral leadership.

Where government funding is provided for the arts, priority should be given to the beautiful, the uplifting and the accessible.

Pornography undermines the wellbeing of our society. We support schemes to prevent children from accessing online pornography. Facts based education and public information campaigns are needed to highlight the dangers of addiction, detriment to existing relationships, undermining future relationship prospects, guilt, and progression to more extreme and perverted forms, including child porn. Channel 4, a government agency, should refrain from producing semi-pornographic content.

Prostitution harms prostitutes, clients and their families, leads to coercion to meet demand, and trivialises sex, eroding the proper respect with which sexual intimacy should be regarded. Buying sex should be criminalised. This deterrence would decrease the demand for sexual services and therefore reduce the number of people abused or damaged through prostitution. It would also protect potential clients from the harm to their own well-being and that of their family that can result from the use of prostitutes. Some prostitutes enter into this work through their own uncoerced choice, and freely choose to continue in it. It is illogical to make it illegal to buy something that is legal to sell, so selling sex should also be criminalised. While punishments might be appropriate in some cases, help to move on from prostitution would be given in most cases.