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The View from 22 — Hunger strikes, a psychedelic return and Paul Ryan

16 August 2012

9:21 AM

16 August 2012

9:21 AM

Are we about to see revolutions on the streets thanks to crop prices? John R. Bradley argues in this week’s cover feature that crop price rises this year are going to lead to insurrection across the world. In the latest View from 22 podcast, Clarissa Tan discusses which places the price hikes will affect the most:

‘Places like Egypt that a lot of wheat and grain, including most of the Middle East. I think places where they are a lot of tension; the poorer nations like Yemen come to mind. But we can’t discount countries we might not think are poverty stricken – places like China or Russia, which have agreed not to export any of their grain but keep it its own population.’

Andrew M. Brown also joins to discuss the revival of psychedelic drugs in the field of psychiatry. He speaks of the alternating views of how these drugs can be used and abused, in particular reference to a recent episode of Mad Men:

‘There is the respectable hippie view of psychedelic medicines — which is what the Mad Men episode reflected — that it can give you special insights. They are taking LSD as a mystical religious experience. There’s a lot of interest different tribal and ancient cultures who take plants and fungi to get into an altered state for a spiritual religious purpose.

There’s then the hedonistic view, which these drugs are taken at raves and so on. There was a movement in the 70s and 80s called the ‘free festivals’, folk festivals in places in Glastonbury and Stonehenge. That was the more hedonistic thing. You do meet the more ‘respectable hippie’ and they would be sniffy and quite snobbish about just taking these things for fun. They much more think there is some purpose to it.’

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Finally Freddy Gray and Fraser Nelson discuss what Paul Ryan’s selection as Vice Presidential candidate means for Mitt Romney’s campaign. Do they think it will raise Romney’s chances of beating Obama, or was picking Ryan a mistake? Listen with the embedded player below to hear their predictions for the November elections . You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 — 16 August 2012. Length 23:13
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Show comments
  • Minnie

    ‘Places like Egypt that a lot of wheat and grain, including most of
    the Middle East. I think places where they are a lot of tension; the
    poorer nations like Yemen come to mind. But we can’t discount countries
    we might not think are poverty stricken – places like China or Russia,
    which have agreed not to export any of their grain but keep it its own
    population.’

    Could someone translate this into grammatical English, please.

  • Irascible Old Git

    Well done for the nice piece on the revival in psychedelic research – balanced and informative.
    One minor carp, though. Why did the author feel the need to put ‘free festivals‘ in single quotation marks? They were exactly as advertised, a place where thousands could freely gather and pop acid to their heart’s content. Admittedly, the tabs did cost 50p a hit…

  • Irascible Old Git

    Well done for the nice piece on the revival in psychedelic research – balanced and informative.
    One minor carp, though. Why did the author feel the need to put ‘free festivals‘ in single quotation marks? They were exactly as advertised, a place where thousands could freely gather and pop acid to their heart’s content. Admittedly, the tabs did cost 50p a hit…

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewMcFBrown Andrew M Brown

      Irascible – they were meant to be just quote marks, not ‘ironic quotes’, to mean that’s what they were called’, not to suggest that they weren’t free. Andrew

  • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

    Since there is not much happening here today, can I mention that an interview with a leading Scottish Conservative has been published on the Coffee House Wall as the first in a series of interviews. Its www coffeehousewall co uk

  • BuBBleBus

    You forgot to mention the devastating earthquake which is about to strike in the Bab-el-Mandeb region. This will probably destroy much of the world’s economy. Food is only a second-order problem.

  • TomTom

    Last time grain prices rose you called it The Arab Spring…..why not simply call it The Biofuels Crisis caused by EU and USA linking food prices to Oil and then driving oil prices upwards by sabre-rattling. Did you know the US Military consumes as much energy as Nigeria ?

  • Nicholas

    Not to worry. We might not be able to buy bread but we will be able to drive in a more eco-friendly way with our biofuel and that’s what really matters. Saving the planet, cramming as many people as possible onto this island and giving away enormous sums of tax-generated money to foreigners is far more important than the prospect of sectarian violence, rising food prices, civil unrest and starvation – just ask Mr Cameron. I expect the wind turbines will still be turning when all the other wheels have come to a grinding halt.

    • EC

      The wind turdbines will only be turning, at best, 30% of the time, Nicholas. If only Dave’s ‘little grey cells’ could match that!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Poor harvests in the UK (and Europe) have already jacked up the prices of various foodstuffs but these things are variable. One aspect creating upward pressure will not change though. The world is getting richer and so we are in competition will a much larger number of people for food. Look at corned beef for example; an old British staple and once a cheaper alternative to other beef. No longer – it is now consumed in massive quantities at source and even in the East. Producers are no longer beholden to Europe and in many cases are charging a premium for having to deal with the EU and it’s complexities and quotas. We will find prices continuing to rise becasue of this additional factor where, increasingly, we need them more than they need us. Also we are now seeing EU producers exporting meat to China as they can get good or better prices there.
    Incidentally expect further rises in pork products down to new EU legislation. Luckily for our political class such matters rarely become issues for them (blame farmers or supermarkets)
    That is worth looking into rather than crop failures and Egyptian politics – both of which we have zero influence on.

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