Posts Tagged ‘BBC’
It seems that unless you choose a herbal product with a THR mark you can have no certainty at all about what you are buying.
An excellent report on the BBC’s ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor‘, reveals that the industry is rife with confidence tricksters, fraudsters and probably some well-meaning incompetents. How can you know what you’re getting in a herbal product? This has major implications for the medicinal use of cannabis and the businesses that will be needed to supply the product when it is legally available.
The THR mark is Traditional Herbal Registration as regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It costs between £600 to £8000 to apply but that’s only if you’re claiming “the medicine is used for minor health conditions where medical supervision is not required (eg a cold).” If you want to claim anything more you have to apply for a marketing authorisation when fees are in excess of £100,000, plus the cost of clinical trials or evidence of your claims and your product’s safety.
This is probably the biggest single problem facing the campaign for medicinal cannabis. We are a round peg which doesn’t fit into any of the government’s square holes.
If we argue for cannabis as medicine, we challenge the reductionist, allopathic establishment which says that medicines are single molecules with directly quantifiable, predictable and consistent results. We cannot fit into the government’s square holes without the sort of approach taken by GW Pharmaceuticals at a cost of tens of millions in development.
That is why the campaign has to focus on removing cannabis from schedule 1, so that doctors may prescribe it as they see fit. Some doctors are ready to do so (a few brave individuals already are prescribing) but it will require a huge campaign to educate others as to why and how to prescribe – and it will not be possible to make any medical claims in that campaign!
The model of cannabis as medicine with different strains providing different therapeutic value just doesn’t fit within any concept of medicine in the UK. That’s like a triangular peg in a square hole.
So perhaps there is little point in an unwinnable campaign to legalise such a drug as medicine when its use is already tarnished by years of propaganda and media scaremongering? It may be a hopeless cause and seeking a more general decriminalisation of the plant might be a wiser course.
This is a question that seems to be unique to the UK. Other jurisdictions, such as the US states, have achieved reform through radical democracy which we do not enjoy in Britain. Canadians have used their courts to enforce access to cannabis as a fundamental human right. Other European countries just seem to be more flexible, intelligent and sympathetic to patients.
On the other hand, it does seem that the MHRA’s THR scheme works and you know what you are getting when you buy a herbal medicine. Otherwise charlatans and confidence tricksters would prevail.
These issues concern not only the campaign for medicinal cannabis but for cannabis law reform as a whole. Until we get to grips with them and develop a coherent approach we may find the UK continues to lag behind the rest of the world.
Some people think the BBC is right wing and others think it’s run by a bunch of commie subversives. Personally I’d say it’s soft left, mumsy, pro-status quo. It supports the establishment and that means it’s always been negative about cannabis. If it isn’t joining in the demonisation of us – the three million psychotic axe murderers that use cannabis regularly in the UK – then it takes a jokey, sarcastic, snide angle.
So the release of a short news video report today ‘Can cannabis oil cure serious diseases like cancer?’ is a big step forward. Even better, it’s fronted by Alastair Leithead, a credible, intelligent journalist, not by some ‘celebrity doctor’ or the ‘addiction expert’ Professor John Marsden, who presented the disgraceful and misleading ‘America’s Stoned Kids’ in 2012, where he tried to pin adolescents with cannabis problems on Colorado’s legalisation even though it hadn’t even come into force at the time.
Mark my words, this is a step change, a seminal moment.
Perhaps, at last, the UK media will start treating medicinal cannabis seriously as has been happening in America and Australia for many years. We’ve already seen some local newspapers publishing intelligent articles and the Daily Mail has jumped on the bandwagon of sensationalist stories about treating childhood epilepsy. All we need now is The Times, The Guardian and the Sundays to give it the attention it deserves. The Daily Telegraph has become the new home of ‘reefer madness’, with appalling distortion of science, more tabloid than a tabloid. But we don’t need it anymore, it’s made itself irrelevant.
So watch this short video. It includes interviews with Kat Arney of Cancer Research UK, a woman who is cancer free after rejecting chemotherapy and only using cannabis oil and a sceptical Professor David Agus, who is entirely correct that there is no credible scientific evidence yet available that cannabis cures cancer.
It’s coming though. CLEAR is about to publish the most comprehensive, up to date paper ‘Medicinal Cannabis:The Evidence’. A leading pharmacologist is about to publish a paper supporting a move of cannabis from schedule one to schedule two and various clinical trials are coming to fruition.
All the more reason to be optimistic that the next Parliament will have no option but to introduce long-overdue reform.
I am not a UKIP voter. I don’t have to be to deplore the violence, harassment and abuse levelled at Nigel Farage and his family when yesterday they went to their local pub, the Queen’s Head in Downe, Kent, for Sunday lunch.
‘Scum’, the word that Farage used to describe the attackers, is really too good for the ringleader Dan Glass. He is a thug, a child abuser, an organiser and promoter of violence and a prime example of the sort of despicable, lefty creep that this country needs rid of. Can’t we send him to Syria, Iraq or Libya where he can associate with the sort of subhuman detritus whose ideas and attitudes he shares?
Farage’s wife Kirsten and his children: Victoria, 15 and Isabelle, 10, fled in fear when the attack started. I don’t know whether the police were notified yesterday but they have been now because I have reported it.
Glass is in the business of conspiring, organising and promoting violent and unlawful actions as his repellent website shows: http://www.theglassishalffull.co.uk/
In the most ludicrous display of hypocrisy he claims:
“Our aim is to build a world of peace, collaboration and justice.”
I’ve got news for you boy, in order to achieve those aims you need to turn yourself in, along with all the obnoxious pond life that you led in your violent attack yesterday.
As for the BBC giving him a platform on the Daily Politics, just another nail in the coffin of our once great national broadcaster that is now a model of incompetence and bad judgement.
DAILY MAIL: “…senior BBC boss claims ‘Clarkson is like Savile'”
OK, well it is the Daily Mail, so until there’s some corroboration we should be cautious about believing it. However, if there is even an iota of truth in it then the ‘BBC boss’ must be sacked. That’s sacked, not ‘allowed to resign’ or ‘retire’. He or she must be summarily dismissed without compensation.
This could also be the chance to exceed the record libel award in the High Court. What can be more defamatory in 2015 than comparing someone to the bogey man to end all bogey men, Jimmy Savile?
I really think this is the end for the BBC now. Relentless incompetence, far too many wildly overpaid apparatchiks. A culture of a soft left, pro status quo, subservient to orders from ministers and civil servants, however much it might protest its faux independence from government. My personal grudge: the craven censorship even of any debate on drugs policy.
As for Jezza, it amazes me how so many people don’t understand that he is in the business of satire and irony. Either they’re dumb, ‘frigid feminist PC bigots’ (Jezza would be proud of me) or they are lacking in any humour or intelligent understanding of the self-parody that is Jeremy Clarkson. He’s a hoot and he deserves the support he has gained from ‘probably the fastest growing petition ever in the history of the world’
Of course, if he hit someone then he should be subject to disciplinary and possibly criminal process. On the other hand, if it was a minor fracas and argument between colleagues then the BBC is guilty once again of dreadful misjudgement.
I greatly admire the BBC’s output and it has been a wonderful training ground for our richest talent in film, TV and radio but it is now time for it to be broken up. We won’t lose the talent or the high quality creative and production skills but we must lose the dishonest culture, sense of entitlement and attitudes that belong to a bygone era.
As Demotix, the photojournalism website, captioned their gallery: “A small group of protestors gathered outside the BBC, calling for Ganja or cannabis to be legalised in the UK.”
How long will it take these idiots to learn that their behaviour sets back the cause of cannabis law reform?
Gratuitous lawbreaking, scruffy turnout, signs that look like they were made at playschool and an embarrassingly small attendance even on the weekend that The Observer publishes a survey showing that 52% of the UK population supports legalisation in Colorado and Washington.
Such irresponsible events have never had any positive impact and when they are as shabby, poorly attended and badly organised as this all they do is bring the whole cannabis campaign into disrepute.
Is there nobody associated with the organisers of these disastrous demos that can talk some sense into them? Or is it really just about the same excitement as naughty children feel when they are being deliberately out of line? That’s how the public sees it.
—– Original Message —–
From: DRAX, Richard
To: Peter Reynolds
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 5:33 PM
Dear Mr Reynolds,
I write following your most recent further emails regarding Israel’s recent actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).
It is indeed tragic that so many innocent civilians, including women and children, have been killed and injured. Ministers have made clear to all parties at every opportunity that the current situation is in no one’s interest, and is harmful to prospects for the Middle East Peace Process. We now have a 72 hour ceasefire. The Government’s objective is to make that permanent so the killing stops.
It is vital that all security operations are conducted with due care and proportionate use of force. There are hundreds of thousands of extremely vulnerable civilians in Gaza who bear no responsibility for the rocket fire and are suffering acutely from this crisis; and the Israeli defence forces estimate that 5 million Israeli civilians live within range of rockets fired from Gaza. Israel has a right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks, but it is vital that Gaza’s civilian population is protected. International humanitarian law requires both sides to distinguish between military and civilian targets and enable unhindered humanitarian access.
The UK is working with international partners to achieve three important goals. Firstly, Ministers will push for a lasting and durable ceasefire agreed by both sides that ends both the rocket fire and the Israeli operations against Gaza. This will require cooperation from all parties in Israel and the OPTs, as well as assistance from regional partners.
Secondly, the Government has committed to do all it can to help alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza. Given the rapidly deteriorating situation in Gaza, the International Development Secretary has decided to make more than £15 million available in emergency support including health care, clean water, blankets and cooking equipment to help the people affected by the violence in Gaza. This includes £6 million in new funding to help the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provide immediate emergency assistance for over 100,000 people who are seeking shelter in their schools. DFID is also bringing forward £3 million in funding to help the International Committee of the Red Cross respond to the worsening situation and is spending £200,000 to repair UNRWA schools that are being used as shelters.
Finally, it is again important to re-iterate that a negotiated two-state solution remains the only way to resolve the conflict once and for all and to achieve a sustainable peace so that Israeli and Palestinian families can live without fear of violence. No other option exists which guarantees peace and security for both peoples. I can assure you the UK will work with all parties to make progress towards this goal.
I do not believe that imposing sanctions on Israel would be a constructive step. The UK has a productive relationship with Israel which enables us to express our views at senior levels very frankly. It is the Government’s assessment that imposing sanctions on Israel would lessen this influence, not increase it, and would not promote the urgent progress towards a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which we want to see. However, I am appalled at reports of further civilian casualties in the vicinity of a UN-run school housing Palestinians displaced by the Gaza conflict in Rafah. The facts are not yet clear, but it is tragic that there are further losses of life in a place which is being used as a shelter. The UN is absolutely right to speak out.
Richard Drax MP
—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: DRAX, Richard
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2014 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: Israel
Thank you for your reply.
You do an excellent job of presenting the government’s position. Forgive me for reminding you but you do not represent the government, you represent the people of South Dorset. I am sure we, like the majority of the UK, are horrified at the government’s inaction and acquiescence to Israeli conduct. If anything, present policy only seems to demonstrate how powerful and effective is the pro-Israel lobby. It seems to have successfully driven our government way off course from any morality and blinded it to the criminal actions of the apartheid, zionist state that is central to all the problems of the Middle East.
In sharp contrast, military and proactive humanitarian action has been launched within days in Iraq. We are told we have to prevent a “slaughter”, we have to break the “siege” in the Sinjar mountains, we must prevent “genocide”. Government ministers are wringing their hands over “brutal persecution” – the same ministers who have said nothing about Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza and genocide of the Palestinian people..
The hypocrisy is simply breathtaking and the cowardly, weasel words of those who call themselves our leaders are beneath contempt.
Democracy in the UK is nothing more than a sham. The BBC censors and controls the news clearly on government orders. Palestinian resistance fighters are “terrorists”, Israeli war crimes are excused and their propagandists are provided with great swathes of air time to present their arguments, unchallenged and untested while they continue to murder children with impunity.
Israel has no right to defend itself when it is acting unlawfully. It is in breach of 64 UN resolutions. Its settlements, apartheid policies and occupation of Palestinian land are unlawful. It is the rockets that are weapons of self defence.
Israel has committed repeated and heinous war crimes by targeting civilian areas and reckless attacks where it is clear there will be civilian casualties. What is Britain doing to bring these criminals to justice?
We quite clearly do not have a “productive relationship” with Israel. The kindest word that can be used to describe this claim is disingenuous. We have to draw a line. We must not permit an outlaw, renegade state, run by war criminals, to pursue its racist persecution of the Palestinian people. Israel’s fanatacism is every bit as evil as that of ISIS. indeed, if we had dealt justly with the Palestinian people and protected them against Israel, the West would not now be facing such an enraged, dangerous enemy.
Finally, there is simply no excuse at all for supplying anything to Israel that can help it to sustain its present policy. If we are still supplying arms then those concerned must be arrested immediately and brought to justice.
There is no hiding place for ministers or MPs on this Richard, no immunity against prosecution for being culpable in supporting war crimes. Please take a stand. You do not represent the government, you represent the people of South Dorset. Stand up to the corruption and cowardice in Whitehall. Resign if our government will not pursue a moral path. That would gain you more support than any toeing of the party line or repeating government propaganda.
If there is concern that Israel would use its nuclear weapons if challenged, then please have the decency to say so.
“If whoever fired that missile in Ukraine had fired it instead at the beach in Gaza, the media could have knocked off for an early lunch”. George Galloway, 19th July 2014.