Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Manchester

Our Police Are Under-Resourced To Deal With Radicalisation And Theresa May Is Responsible.

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It is clear that the instigators of the Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge attacks were known to the authorities but the police simply do not have the resources to monitor these people as necessary. Since 2010, Theresa May has been responsible for this and she has failed.

This is another in a long and familiar line of failures.  Given the tragedies of the last fortnight, surely it should cost Mrs May the election?  A terrible, incompetent campaign along with her record on immigration, policing, drugs policy, the Passport Office, asylum, the Snooper’s Charter, the Border Force, her general authoritarian, secretive attitudes – surely this must be the end for her?

I fear not.  Although I am a Conservative on principle, Mrs May has been soundly and deservedly defeated in this election campaign.  Her record, her wobbly policies, her charmless, insincere style must lose her votes.

She is no leader, she is a bureaucrat with deeply puritan, authoritarian instincts.  She is no prime minister for Britain in the 21st century.  But it still seems she will be slithering back into Downing Street, just like the snake that, apparently, most people choose as her animal avatar.

I do not want to see a Corbyn-led socialist government and I think there is little chance of that but Mrs May must be defeated.  At all costs the Conservative Party must find a new and credible leader.  The future of Britain depends on it.

 

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Why Is A Soft-Porn Model In a BDSM Outfit A Role Model For Young Girls?

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No disrespect to the victims and survivors of the diabolical Manchester attack.  Neither do I wish to undermine the courage and generosity of Ariana Grande returning so soon to Manchester for a benefit concert.  But what are the parents of her teenage and pre-pubescent fans up to?    How has this phenomena happened in a world that is one minute sex-obsessed and the next overly-protective of children?

I’m not too old (yet) for my immediate reaction to images of Ms Grande to be “…phwooar!” but then I check myself because she’s hardly past childhood herself.  What is going on?  On the one hand we have the handwringing and pious condemnation of our highly sexualised society, on the other we have kids wearing ‘Porn Star’ t-shirts, thigh-high boots and all sorts of PVC, leather and even ‘chained’ fashion accessories.  We have the righteous prosecution of more and more sex offenders but also the terrible persecution of a small number of innocent men who are pursued by both media and prosecutors with a mixture of prurience and blind, injudicious revenge.

I don’t even know whether Ms Grande can sing but she certainly can dance and flaunt herself in very sexy, provocative fashion.  Surely more suitable for a night out in Amsterdam or Berlin rather than a children’s pop concert?

Written by Peter Reynolds

June 1, 2017 at 7:46 am

Theresa May Grandstands On The Manchester Tragedy.

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I’m sorry to make this point but every second of airtime that Mrs May gains from this, every image of her visiting victims and encouraging the emergency services is more votes in the ballot box.

Shamelessly, she is exploiting this diabolical act for her own self-interest.  The election campaign may be suspended but the media spotlight is now far more tightly focused on her.  Just as it’s probably true the Jo Cox murder affected the leave vote in the EU referendum and the Falklands War helped Margaret Thatcher through a difficult political period, so Mrs May will gain immeasurably from this horrifying, terrible, heartbreaking event.

We should return to the election campaign as soon as possible.  That is the best way to pay respect to the victims and their families by not allowing terror to win.  Our democracy, poor inadequate version that it is, must go on.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm

#Manchester

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Written by Peter Reynolds

May 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm

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I Gladly Accept The Title Of Cannabis Zealot

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Last August, I complained about the conduct of Yvonne Davies, a Manchester magistrate.  This week, remarkably, the regulatory process worked.  She was reprimanded and, as a result, chose to resign. This was the correct decision.  It is impossible for someone with such an extremist opinion to judge anyone else.  She is an anti-cannabis crusader and no magistrate can properly take that position.

The Manchester Evening News led the reporting which was quickly picked up by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.  I telephoned the Manchester newspaper to protest that they had merely used the opportunity to re-publish all Ms Davies’ hysterical scaremongering.  I’ll be honest.  I was concerned the whole thing was starting to backfire, just giving more publicity to Ms Davies’ false and misleading claims.

Some cocky junior Mancunian journalist sneered so hard down the phone at me that I could feel it.  When I explained about the endocannabinoid system and the neuroprotective qualities of cannabis he turned into a particularly ignorant and stroppy Gallagher brother and I realised there was no point.  I wrote a letter to the editor for publication instead.

I also wrote a letter for publication to the  Daily Telegraph.

Then, Tuesday afternoon, I was enjoying a brief glimpse of sunshine outside my friends pub, The Falcon, in Queen’s Park, west London.  My phone rang.  It was the Daily Mail and I chatted away with Nazia Parveen, the journalist, for a good fifteen minutes.  The result you see below in print and the online version is here.

The Daily Mail 26th June 2013. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

The Daily Mail 26th June 2013. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Trust the Mail to try and twist the story into something it isn’t.  I wish I had the power to force a few people to quit.  I’d start with Theresa May, move on to Jeremy Browne and rattle through Cameron, Osborne, Paul Dacre, Kathy Gyngell, Melanie Philips and by the time I got to the judiciary there’d be plenty more senior than Ms Davies with much greater reason to go (see here for a few examples).

A ‘cannabis zealot’ I am.  Just as the 1st century Jewish sect who fought against the Romans, I will stand every time, in the face of whatever odds, use whatever means, to tell the truth about cannabis. It is an immense gift on our planet in so very many ways – which is exactly why it is demonised, why it is only its harms that are discussed and never its benefits.

Yes.  I gladly accept the title.  A ‘Cannabis Zealot’ am I.

‘Av’ A Larf At The Flat Caps

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The Big Fight

Comrades!

On the third composite of the fourteenth motion, congress declares its unilateral support for workers rights against the capitalist oppression of the management and director classes who we will fight unconditionally without recourse to logic or proper negotiation whatsoever, allegedly, as aforesaid, which will not be unreasonably witheld in any circumstances notwithstanding the wishes of the members themselfs.

Are you wiv me bruvvers?

Short Back And Sides Guv?

Yes, it’s the annual stand-up comedy fest and flat cap style convention known as the Trades Union Congress.  After fish, chips, mushy peas and a bottle of warm stout down at the workingman’s club the delegates will be off for a wild night in Manchester.  There’ll be cribbage for the boys, bingo for the girls and chlamidya with an E for the youngsters.

Dark, Brutish, More Frightening

If Doris has a snowball or two, Alf might get lucky tonight.  If Tracey has more than a dozen vodka and redbulls, Wayne will be breaching his ASBO again.  That’ll set them all up for more vigorous and important debates in the morning on the issues that really matter.

Later in the year we can look forward to a “national campaign of industrial action against spending cuts” and a bit of civil disobedience by bruiser Bob Crowe.  This must be what TUC chief Brendan Barber meant when he talked of Britain as a  “dark, brutish and more frightening place”.

Don’t miss a minute of it!

“Outrageous Scaremongering” Over Cannabis

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Last October,  36-year old Julie Ryan was found dead in bed by her three children, now aged 14, 13 and 8.  At a coroner’s inquest in Oldham last week, pathologist Dr Sami Titi said “The direct cause of her death was cardiac arrest because of a history of smoking cannabis”.

Dr Sami Titi

Julie’s family claims that this is not true, that Julie’s cannabis use has been blamed because the Royal Oldham hospital failed to treat her properly. In Britain, there has only been one previous occasion when a death has been attributed to cannabis. In 2004, Lee Maisey, 36 of Pembrokeshire, who smoked half a dozen “joints” a day, was found dead on his living room floor after complaining of a headache.

At the inquest in Oldham, the coroner, Simon Nelson, was said to be surprised at the pathologist’s story and questioned him closely. Dr Titi insisted that “smoking of cannabis is well known to have a negative impact on the heart and can cause heart attacks in young people”. The coroner said that in 15 years he had never heard a pathologist so confident that cannabis could be fatal. He recorded a narrative verdict of “death from cardiovascular complications induced by cannabis smoking”.

Coroner Simon Nelson

Julie’s brother, Kevin Ryan, says that the pathologist’s remarks are “outrageous scaremongering”. Her mother, Linda, is bewildered by events. As planned, Julie’s children had stayed with her while the inquest was taking place. Now they have returned home to the furore of this extraordinary verdict and are extremely distressed.

Julie had visited the Royal Oldham hospital several times complaining of chest pains but been sent away with a diagnosis of heartburn. The post mortem examination revealed she had a severely enlarged heart and had suffered a previous heart attack which had not been diagnosed. Family sources said “It’s a cover up. Cannabis doesn’t kill. They made a big mistake.” Mary Burrows, Julie’s cousin, who was very close to her, said she preferred to smoke cannabis rather than have a drink and that “she was a wonderful mother and her kids miss her so much”.

Dr Mark Eckersley, a local Manchester doctor, said “More and more pressure is being piled on medical professionals to propagate this type of untruth by the powers that be.” He said doctors need to maintain credibility with the community and that “this type of nonsense makes my blood boil”.

A spokesman for the Royal Oldham hospital said “Miss Ryan died from a heart attack and cardiovascular problems. Our thoughts and sympathy go to her family.”

On 2nd November in California, Proposition 19 is expected to permit the personal use of cannabis for the state’s 28 million adults. As a result, new tax revenues of $1.4 billion are anticipated, up to 110,000 new jobs and a boost of up to $18 billion to the state’s economy from spin-offs such as coffee shops and tourism.

In America, any health concerns about the plant are far outweighed by health benefits. Medical cannabis is already regulated in 14 states with another 12 in the planning stage. In Britain, Sativex, a whole plant extract of cannabis, was recently authorised as a treatment for MS. It costs about eight times what medical cannabis costs in America, Holland, Spain, Israel and very shortly Germany, where there is a fully regulated supply chain. In Britain, despite a House Of Lords Scientific Committee recommendation, the government refuses to consider such a move. Many patients whose doctors have prescribed Sativex have been denied funding from their health authority. In some of these cases, criminal prosecutions have been brought against them for cultivating their own plants.

A spokesman for GW Pharmaceuticals, developers of Sativex, said “The therapeutic ratio for cannabis is so high that it is virtually impossible to ingest a fatal dose”.

Prof. David Nutt

Professor David Nutt was sacked as chairman of the Home Office’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs last year after claiming that cannabis was less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. His successor, Professor Les Iversen, also maintains that cannabis has been “incorrectly” called dangerous and says it is one of the “safer recreational drugs”.

On Friday, Professor Nutt said cannabis “seems to cause much less harm than alcohol and that banning the plant is “unjust and therefore undemocratic”. He added: “The previous government’s policy to deter cannabis use by forceful policing increased convictions for cannabis possession from 88,000 in 2004 to 160,000 in 2008. As well as ruining many lives through getting a criminal record, this added massive costs to taxpayers in extra policing and prison costs.”

Prof. Les Iversen

Dr Sami Titi, the pathologist, was unavailable for comment and did not respond to emails. It has not been possible to identify any scientific support for his conclusions.

Julie Ryan’s family is left bemused and uncertain by this verdict. Three children are without a mother and confused about contradictory messages. The 13 year old has been posting on websites about her concerns. Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office have criticised the government for basing drugs policy on opinion rather than evidence. James Brokenshire, the Home Office Minister, in direct contradiction to his own advisers, continues with the story that cannabis is “extremely harmful”.

James Brokenshire

Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg are on record over the last 10 years as consistently calling for reform in drug policy. The Your Freedom website has been overwhelmed with requests for evidence based regulation of drugs and the legalisation of cannabis but the government is riding roughshod over this public outcry. A consultation document on a new drugs strategy was issued just over a week ago but it seems meaningless and dishonest as all the big decisions have already been taken. Cannabis campaigners, working on behalf of six million regular users in the UK, are outraged at what they see as hypocrisy, misinformation and regressive government action.

Dr Mark Eckersley, exasperated and concerned at the pathologist’s evidence said “This is simply not true. Hearing this story is more likely to cause a heart attack than the ingestion of any cannabinoid”.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Health, Politics

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