31 October 2009

Nutty Cabinet


I first heard about it on Charonqc's page: I thought that Charonqc had too much Rioja, until I clicked one of his links which took me to the Independent newspaper. And there it was, "Drug Adviser Sacked Over LSD Claims"

"Professor David Nutt, the Government's chief drug adviser, was sacked today after claiming ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol, Home Office sources said."

This is wrong on so many fronts, it's difficult to know where to begin.

Stepping back and looking at the people who made this decision, one wonders how many similar decisions they have made ab initio? That is, how many people have they not employed as impartial scientific advisor because they did not like the anticipated advice that they would receive?

This is such poor politics: they've created a massive open goal for themselves. We can now look at every failing ... the wars, the economy ... and ask what advice they were being given; particularly, were they only being given advice that they wanted to hear?

Then there's the drug policy itself. Yes, the gov has an electoral mandate and yes their electorate are prohibitionists but what about leadership? Why aren't these people acting on scientific advice which may be contrary to the wishes of the electorate. What cowardice.

Not only what cowardice but what stupidity. I can appreciate that scientific arguments may be difficult for people to grasp, especially if you've been steeped in the War Against Drugs propaganda for years. But isn't that what senior politicians should be able to do?

The story continues in today's Times, "Sacked drugs expert hits out at 'Luddite' Government"

"He said [Prof Nutt]: "Gordon Brown makes completely irrational statements about cannabis being 'lethal', which it is not.

“He is the first Prime Minister, this is the first Government, that has ever in the history of the Misuse of Drugs Act gone against the advice of its scientific panel.

“And then it did it again with ecstasy, and I have to say, it’s not about [me] overstepping the line, it’s about the Government overstepping the line.

“They are making scientific decisions before they’ve even consulted with their experts.”
"

I wonder for how long this story will dog them? There were strong hints in the story that the scientific advisory panel may resign.


Anyway, here's a link to A Drug War Carol based upon the Charles Dicken's story. This time Scrooge is an evil prohibitionist, jailing youths and stealing property; will he slough his chains? Read the book and find out. While you are at it, keep an eye for the origins of Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, references to various gov reports and a historical time line of when anti-people laws regarding drugs were passed. Very interesting reference book in comic form ... after all, CIA studies that the best way to communicate information is through the medium of comics. You may even want to buy the book.


Remember, from Sin City ...

"Power don't come from a badge, or a gun.

Power comes from lying.

Lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you.

Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you get them by the balls.
"

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