@Ertard: That's a very fair point - perhaps some kind of compromise between full legalisation and decriminalisation is the way forward; it's such a difficult and multi-faceted issue that any proposed solution has to have its flaws. I guess more than anything I just want the current system to change, which is unlikely given how much the usual suspects in the media will blatantly start winding up their knee-jerk readership if any such legislation were proposed - the vast majority of our cowardly politicians have no intention of rocking the boat to try something new and controversial.
For such a complex subject it's a shame to see so many single line posts along the lines of "No. Drugs are clearly bad and evil, therefore we should make them illegal and criminalise the people using them."
The fact is, most people who are pro-legalisation (or pro-decriminalisation) would agree that drugs are bad. That is not in question; no sensible person is going to tell you that crack is a positive force in this world. But our current attempts of dealing with the problem, either in the US or here in the UK, simply do not work.
I don't believe in legalisation, because effectively that would mean that anybody can sell drugs to anybody else with no repercussions. Obviously not good at all. Decriminalisation, however, makes a whole lot of sense.
Just to address the main recurring arguments:
1) "Decriminalisation will dramatically increase the number of drug addicts and casual drug users."
2) "The new-found ease of making a purchase will tempt more people to try drugs"
This has already been argued in this thread, but suffice to say it's a ridiculous position to take. Right now, drugs are not exactly hard to find - if you want them, you can get them, whatever the variety. A family member's ex-husband was a heroin addict and told me how he used to get hold of it; believe me, it's easy.
3) "Drug users are a hazard to everyone around them"
If you are determined to ignore the evidence that drug use has fallen in countries which have implemented decriminalisation then fine, but at least consider that - as someone has already pointed out - money in these countries has been diverted into better support services which have dramatically reduced that hazard.
And now for the benefits:
1) Less police bureaucracy in making arrests and charging drug users as criminals, freeing up resources
2) Less strain on the crowded prison system
3) Less strain on healthcare institutions
4) Huge amounts of public money saved on all three points above
5) Even larger amounts of public money generated from taxation of decriminalised substances
If you made it to the end of all that then thanks a lot for bothering to read.
And you're absolutely right: as a Brit, it never ceases to amuse me how often the bad guy/girl in any American game (or film, for that matter) turns out to be British - specifically, speaking with a plummy-voiced English accent actually only possessed by around 0.5% of the people in this country.
Maybe it's because we are all in fact massively evil. All of us. Everyone over here is constantly plotting to bring about the end of the world and/or murder a boatload of puppies. We're the most evil people in the world. We like nothing better than to bring about the downfall of civilisation then have a good cackle about it. Always remember the cackle.
It's a really tough one to call. On the one hand, I've had a huge amount of play time out of this game and have enjoyed all of it. I've probably already put more hours into it than many other games I've bought for the same price, and I'm nowhere near done yet.
On the other hand, the frame rate issue is constantly getting worse (I'm playing on PS3) and a bug has stopped me from progressing in the Thieves' Guild, despite only having completed 3 or 4 of its missions. A quick bit of Googling revealed that I'm far from alone in encountering quest-ending bugs, so there are obviously a lot of people out there who are finding entire sections of the game impossible to play.
It's probably fair to say that the lack of flexibility in the self-imposed 11.11.11 deadline can't have helped, especially given the dramatic scope of the game, so some blame can maybe be laid with Bethesda management for giving the programmers an immovable target - contrast this with Blizzard's "release when it's ready" philosophy. Sadly, the upshot is that my most anticipated game of the last few years is going to be shelved for the next month or two while I wait for them to make it playable. This is not good, whichever way you look at it.
I live in [DESTINATION A]. I think that [DESTINATION A] is much better than [DESTINATION B], therefore they should come to [DESTINATION A].
But seriously... Birmingham makes the most sense from a practical point of view due to its central location and cheap flights. It's 90 minutes away from London on the train, so hardly difficult for Londoners to make the journey. From a different point of view though, you can't argue that there's a hell of a lot more fun stuff to do in London than in Birmingham. And I say this as someone who comes from Birmingham (though I currently live in Liverpool).
It depends on which factors the good folk at Whiskey Media consider to be the most important... and which venues they are able to hire out without it costing a small fortune.