Archive for the ‘The Media’ Category
Sure, it’s a lightweight comedy but it manages to weave in a few very valuable home truths that will delight anyone who supports the cannabis campaign. For those who are torrentially aware it’s very easy to find. This is how it starts and this gives a good idea of what’s to come:
“Beautiful. Isn’t it?
But listen. You hear it?
I hear it in my nightmares. That’s the sound of the Feds working their unmanned drones, spending more money trying to shut us down than they did searching for Osama Bin Laden.
42 billion spent in the war on pot. 140 bucks from every one of you to fight a little green herb made by God that grows in the sun.
And God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Rebecca Smith, health editor and Martha Gill, blogger, both of the Daily Telegraph have been getting a hard time in the comment threads of the pieces they published on cannabis yesterday and deservedly so.
Rebecca Smith is by far the worst offender, publishing such gross distortions of the study she was reporting on that I have submitted a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. It’s dreadful that someone granted the title of health editor can be so casually ignorant of science, evidence and ready to mix up her opinion and wild speculation with just a smidgin of fact here and there. Incidentally, I expect no satisfaction from the PCC. Three years and nearly 100 complaints show that it is a deeply corrupt organisation that acts only in the interests of the press to find excuses for breaches of the Editors’ Code. Its nothing to do with protecting readers from inaccurate, misleading and distorted reporting.
Martha Gill does a bit better because she points out what a vacuous and meaningless piece of research Rebecca Smith has made such a fuss about. But Martha, apparently, writes for the New Statesman on ‘neuroscience and politics’. She’s entitled to her political views, which are self-evident given the publication concerned but on neuroscience, the clue is in the third and fourth syllables. It’s science, not opinion and Martha is woefully out touch with the evidence. If she’s not careful she”ll grow up into a mumsy moraliser like Libby Purves or Lowri Turner. She should try reading Professor Gary Wenk, Professor David Nutt, Professor Les Iversen, Professor Peter Jones, Professor Terrie Moffitt or Professor Roger Pertwee. They and many others could give her a grounding in the neuroscience of cannabis: it’s almost undetectable toxicity, its powerful antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities, its anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects. Her sweeping statement that “cannabis bad for you” is simply wrong. For most adults, in moderation, it’s beneficial.
Martha is also detached from reality and distant from the evidence, as is all of Fleet Street, when it comes to the risks of cannabis. The endless screeds that are written about the risks of cannabis use correlating with schizophrenia or psychosis are ridiculous when you consider the evidence. Hickman et al, 2009, a review of all published research so, by definition, not cherry picked, shows the risk of lifetime cannabis use correlating with a single diagnosis is at worst 0.013% and probably less than 0.003%. By contrast, correlation between cigarette smoking and schizophrenia is 80% – 90% (Zammit et al, 2003) but when do you ever read that in a newspaper?
I’m sorry you’re getting a hard time Rebecca and Martha but you and the ‘capos’ of the Fleet Street Mafia need to realise that people have had enough of your bad science, sensationalism and scaremongering about cannabis. The internet means we can’t be bullied and misinformed by newspapers anymore which is why your circulation is plummeting and journalists are held in ever lower esteem. We know you’ve spent years supporting Big Booze with its £800 million pa advertising budget. Obviously it’s desperate to hang on to its monopoly of recreational drugs but if you want to stay in business you’re going to have to start treating readers with respect and with facts and evidence, not baloney.
The Daily Telegraph has become a broadsheet-sized tabloid since it broke the MPs expenses scandal and it is genuinely difficult to distinguish its headlines, writing and content from The Daily Mail these days.
Of course, there’s a lot of rubbish in comment threads but there’s also a lot that’s better informed and considered than in the articles themselves.
People like cannabis, they find it effective, they know it’s safe. 5% of the population uses it regularly. That’s three times as many people as go to Catholic Church regularly.
Expect to be pulled to bits if you try to go back to bad science and reefer madness hysteria. The world has moved on.
Russia Today presenter Abby Martin speaks out about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A brave woman, probably now unemployed.
I am delighted to announce that a new website is in the process of construction which will set out all the facts and evidence about the hate campaign that I have been subject to since I was elected as leader of CLEAR. Two people have volunteered to run this on my behalf and I am most grateful to them. Stringent security precautions will be taken to protect them as those who run the campaign against me have shown that they are prepared to use abuse, harassment, blackmail, intimidation and all sorts of threats including violence.
The principal ringleader, Chris Bovey of Totnes, succeeded in having my claim for defamation struck out in the High Court last month. In essence, he has spent about £50,000 with his lawyers to have my Claim struck out without any of the evidence or issues being heard. Of course, this was his only hope because the evidence against him is impossible to defeat. It is by his own hand and shows unequivocally that he is a liar and was acting out of malice in everything that he published about me and paid others to publish. All the evidence will shortly be published on the new website.
My appeal against the Order striking out my claim is being prepared. The Order is in direct conflict with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, incorporated into the Human Rights Act 1998, which states:
“In the determination of [my] civil rights [I am] entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.”
There has, of course, been no hearing at all on any of the evidence or issues which my Claim concerns.
Another leader of the hate campaign is Sarah McCulloch, who has written a whole series of defamatory articles about me making all sorts of false and quite ridiculous accusations. I discovered when she filed a defence that she suffers from two diagnosed mental health conditions. I therefore made very generous offers to her to settle which would have avoided her paying me any damages at all. All I asked was that she remove the lies about me that she has published on her website.
However, in response she has perjured herself in an application to the Court which she failed to give me notice of. A hearing will be held shortly at which the Court will consider her perjury and the deception she used in making an application which I knew nothing about. Just yesterday I received a long pleading document from her in which she admits she has made a ‘mistake’. I do not know what the consequences will be for her but my offer of settlement remains open.
Greg ‘Cure Ukay’ De Hoedt spent six months publishing the disgusting lie that I am a paedophile. He has now spent more than a year hiding from me and trying to evade service of my Claim, using both his mother and Bovey to provide false information to the Court. However, a hearing was held on 5th November 2013 giving him a final opportunity to accept service which he has failed to do. A further hearing is now due at which judgment will be entered against him.
There are of course a few other footsoldiers involved who continue to stalk me and post abuse wherever I or my work with CLEAR are mentioned. Full details of their identities and evidence of their activities will also be published on the new website.
Probably the most prolific is the severely disabled Stuart Wyatt of Plymouth. He already has a terrible reputation as an internet troll and for violent attacks on people using his wheelchair. Sadly, he has little else to do with his life. He deluges me with emails on at least a weekly basis and has spent years stalking me and trying to stir up hatred against me. All his vile abuse will be published on the new website.
Also there is the hilarious Peter Reynolds Watch website, funded by Bovey and based offshore in Iceland where it is out of reach of the Court. At first this caused me great worry and distress. However, in the last year or so it has descended so far into absurdity that it has become a parody of itself, so ridiculous that it shows very clearly how dishonest and malicious are those responsible for it.
As soon as the new website goes live I will post the link here.
Canadian researchers have confirmed what most people suspected all along: that internet trolls are archetypal Machiavellian sadists.
In a survey conducted by the group of psychologists, people who partake in so-called trolling online showed signs of sadism, psychopathy, and were Machiavellian in their manipulation of others and their disregard for morality.
The researchers defined online trolling as “the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet” for no purpose other than their pleasure.
To achieve the results, the team asked internet users about subjects including how much time they spend online, and whether they comment on websites such as YouTube.
They were also given tests that measured their responses against psychology’s “Dark Tetrad”: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and a sadistic personality.
Questions also surrounded sadistic statements including: ”I enjoy physically hurting people,” “I enjoy making jokes at the expense of others” and “I enjoy playing the villain in games and torturing other characters.”
“It was sadism, however, that had the most robust associations with trolling of any of the personality measures,” said psychologists from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and University of British Columbia in an article published in the ‘Personality and Individual Differences’ journal.
It went on to claim that trolls are “agents of chaos” that exploit “hot-button issues” to inflame and exploit users’ emotions,
“If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished, ‘Do not feed the trolls!’,” the study warned.
The team concluded that those who enjoyed trolling more than other activities, such debating and making friends, had tendencies in line with the psychological “Dark Tetrad”.
Perhaps most worryingly, the psychologists based their conclusion on cyber-trolling being an “Internet manifestation of everyday sadism,” rather than merely on online phenomenon.
It is thought the findings may contribute towards a trend of sites such as YouTube and the Huffington Post requiring users to comment using registered accounts rather than allowing anonymous posts.
It is absolutely ridiculous that anyone can be judged or penalised for holding their arm across their chest. The Football Association is a disgrace, promoting and encouraging such ridiculous political correctness. Shame on its weakness and paranoia for how it might be seen of it did not bend to the media hype.
Similarly, except for his closest allies, every commentator is scared to speak up for the difficult situation of Lord Rennard, probably a bit of a fool but undoubtedly the victim of manipulative and sanctimonious women, hiding behind their self-righteous feminist victimhood. There are two sides to this story.
All this is diversion, away from the issues that really matter to people. It feels suspiciously like rice pudding, sweet, satisfying, comforting. It’s what BBC and Sky do while the real news goes on in the background. You think this is what’s important or deserves your attention. Believe me, it doesn’t!
Nothing better demonstrates the venal, self-serving and foul behaviour of British newspaper editors than the abuse of Nigella.
Their corrupt, dishonest perversion of journalism and their subversion of the Leveson Inquiry is proven beyond any doubt.
Parliament established a judicial inquiry to investigate the culture and practices of the newspaper industry. It was found to be engaged in criminal and reprehensible behaviour at every level. Yet now, it has used its power to undermine our democratic process and return to the sort of conduct that all decent people find unacceptable.
The slimeballs at Scotland Yard also show their true colours, nothing to do with the law or justice, in a knee jerk response to the shrieking, baying mob of the Fleet Street mafia.
It is not against any UK law to use any drug except opium. You have to prove possession, supply, production or importation. There is no reasonable prospect of any charges against Nigella getting past the most junior court clerk. That senior police sources should even hint at such a course calls for charges of misconduct in public office. This is abuse by police officers when what they are supposed to do is protect.
Well I thought it was excellent. The only complaint I have is some wild and ridiculous claims about the value of cannabis plants. Other than that, the film did an excellent job of making the case for regulation. It must have been crystal clear to anyone watching it that present policy is idiotic, self-defeating and causes far more harm than it prevents.
My former colleague on the CLEAR executive, Stuart Warwick, was the star of the show. He came across as warm, humane and truly sensible. He was also the only man with the balls to show his face. Well done Stuart!
The dealers and grow robbers were blindfolded with their voices disguised. Even Orson Boon, promoter of the London Cannabis Club (LCC), was too scared to show his face. So it was ironic in the extreme that he stole the words I have published so often that “cannabis is not a subculture but a mainstream issue”. I admire the LCC’s entertaining Facebook page where it publishes some delicious photos of weed and buds but it is the very essence of the cannabis subculture. It is for the nerdy tomato grower when 99% of us buy them at the supermarket! This is exactly what needs to change.
All in all, a very good programme. I hope it does some good.
Freedom of the press is a crucial ingredient of any free society but so is freedom from the press that habitually lies, misleads and distorts. This is the very essence of The Daily Mail. It is the way it does business. It is its editorial policy and its business strategy. If a story can be twisted, evidence misrepresented or opinion disguised as fact then that is the route that The Daily Mail will always choose.
I am no supporter of Red Ed but now I have a reason other than his delusional policies to feel sorry for him. The disgusting and shameful abuse of his father is beneath contempt but it is exactly what one would expect from the most vile and offensive man in the media, Paul ‘The Butcher’ Dacre.
Dacre is the butcher of truth, the master of distortion and the cause of great misery and misinformation throughout Britain. No other individual has been responsible for more ‘inaccurate, misleading and distorted’ reporting. Those are the words at the heart of the Editors’ Code which is supposed to determine the standards by which newspapers operate. The Daily Mail’s editorial is defined by its direct contradiction to the requirements of the code. It is not just in breach of it. It is the antithesis of it.
The tragic irony is that Dacre chairs the Editors’ Code committee. His perverse influence means he rules the Press Complaints Commission with an iron fist and it, despite the good intentions of its staff, is a laughing stock and a rubber stamp for whatever lies monsters like Dacre want to print.
There may be a silver lining in this latest despicable episode. It just might give Cameron the backbone he needs to implement Leveson in full, to kick out the ‘capo di tutti capi’ of the Fleet Street mafia and restore some decency and truth to British journalism.