Thursday, July 04, 2013

Here We Go Again

Theresa May has continued the long and disreputable Home Office practice of ignoring considered expert advice, and imposing a useless and damaging ban on yet another drug - a ban that is likely to be as ineffective  as the present drug laws have proved to be. From Jim Callaghan's binning of the Wooton report decades ago to this latest edict, politicians have shown themselves to be terrified of the tabloids, and lacking any sense of reasoned judgement.  Plus ca change..........A previous post


  1. Politicians with a sense of reasoned judgement? You cannot expect that from a Home Secretary with a smattering of training in geography and finance, but none in the law, science, or medicine, the latter three often being central to the decisions that she is supposed to make, but replaced with a set of auto-delusional personal biases. Note that she has already been found in contempt at least once.

    Mind you, even that is not as ludicrous as an Archbishop of Canterbury with more business experience than the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor put together. In this case, the latter three are deluded into thinking that they can create economic growth by increasing taxation while Government spending is still increasing. And whoops, what a pity...the EU referendum might not be legal after this week's vote.

    It is time these charades stopped if there is any hope.

    Lastly, of course, the whole Westminster / civil service machine, with its gold-plated pensions and automatic pay rises (about 18% currently being suggested for MPs) thinks it should be exempt from the measures that it is visiting upon the police, NHS, and armed forces.

  2. Well done Bystander for speaking out on this! Anyone wanting to get a reasoned and entirely reasonable refutation of some of the dangerous nonsense peddled in the press should read the LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) web pages.
    Kate Caveat

  3. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose! Whether in English or French, Bystander struggles with both punctuation and accents... But he can be forgiven so long as he keeps on churning out such thought provoking posts as this. Keep up the good work.

  4. I would have to confess that I am in no position to pass judgment, never having taken drugs (even as a student) and never having had any involvement with drug enforcement. So these remarks must necessarily be treated as being entirely uninformed.

    But I have felt for a long time that 'the war on drugs' is totally counter-productive and has been a massive waste of money.

    On the other hand, there does seem to be clear evidence of the harm that drugs do, and there is even clinical evidence of mental health problems arising from the use of cannabis. So 'legalisation' [whatever that would actually mean in practice] could be problematic. Even so-called 'legal highs' have caused deaths, and must raise questions as to their safety.

    It seems to me that any Home Secretary (irrespective of their political hue) is going to be on the horms of a dilemma in relation to this issue.

    Clearly, the hysterical reaction in some quarters (including 'Laura Norder' enthusiasts within the Home Office and the police service) to any suggestion of changing the law in this area should be discounted, but a very careful objective study of the whole subject is needed in order to assess the risks and benefits of changing the law regarding the supply and use of drugs, and some detailed technical evidence, based on sound research, will be need to be assembled to inform ministers and assist them in finding a safe (or at any rate the least unsafe) drug control regime for the future.

    1. Legal highs are only legal because they have not been banned - not because they have been deemed safe. They are unlikely to be tested or manufactured under and controlled circumstances and may well contain byproducts as well as having no real control on the dose.

      It has struck me in the past, that we accept alcohol and tobacco as legal drugs; both have huge health and social implications. However both also bring in significant revenue for the exchequer. Now we have illegal drugs which are in reality readily available to anyone who wants them. They certainly bring a heap of health and social problems too, but they don't come with any financial benefit to UK plc. Are we missing a trick here. Normally when government policy appears to be missing the obvious we point the finger at big business but I don't see the link. The only people profiting from drugs are organised criminals - surely we kill several birds with one stone... ...unless of course government is being controlled by organised criminals?

    2. "[T]he harm that drugs do"

      If you aren't including alcohol and tobacco, you need to have a word with yourself.

  5. Its a great pity the Wooton Report wasn't left in the bin!

  6. Anonymous John8 July 2013 at 11:59

    One day she wants police to scale back their use of stop and search, The next day she gives police an excuse to stop and search Somalis.

  7. I love what Bill Hicks said in response to George Bush Senior's observation that the War On Drugs was being lost. "..that implies there's a war going on, and people on drugs are winning it. What does that tell you about drugs? Some smart, creative m**********s on that side. They're winning a war and they're f****d up..."


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