Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘ridiculous

Home Office Backtracks On Cannabis

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A fortnight ago Sir Ian Gilmore, the outgoing president of the Royal College of Physicians, famously denounced drugs prohibition as a failed policy.   He said “”Everyone who has looked at this in a serious and sustained way concludes that the present policy of prohibition is not a success.”  He then went on to advocate decriminalisation and regulation.

The Home Office immediately issued a statement saying “‘Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are extremely harmful and can cause misery to communities across the country.”   This statement was reproduced on the Home Office website and has sat there for the last two weeks in direct contradiction to the governments own scientific advisers.  Anyone who has even the smallest knowledge of the subject knows that the idea that cannabis is “extremely harmful” is absurd and a lie.

Within the last day or two the Home Office website has been quietly edited to remove the word cannabis from the statement.  See here.

Charades, Fibs And Porkies

This correction is very welcome.   However it calls into question the honesty, competence and intelligence of the Home Office and the government’s drugs policy.  James Brokenshire, the Minister for Crime Prevention has been looking increasingly ridiculous in the last few weeks, contradicting his advisers, spouting pre-Reagan “war on drugs” propaganda and conflicting terribly with the wise words of both David Cameron and Nick Clegg, both of whom have called for drug policy reform consistently over the last 10 years.   Young James has made himself very unpopular with the country’s six million regular cannabis users and embarrassed the government and the Tory party with his antics.

Whoever was responsible for this smart and very discreet editing, let’s hope they get to have a look at James’ Drugs Strategy consultation document too.  It needs some intelligent correction and adjustment as well.  See here for more information on what’s really a very silly game of charades, fibs and porkies.

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Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

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My Non-Appearance On Sunday Morning Live

Since Wednesday the BBC had been in touch every day.  This morning they started calling me and testing my webcam and sound from 8.30am.  They had me sitting at my desk from 9.45am, 15 minutes before the programme started.   I was warned I could be in shot at anytime.  I drank too much coffee.  I did get a little nervous and jittery.  I was desperate for a cigarette even though I gave up six months ago!

Who was that suave, debonair, good looking chap in the crisp white shirt on the background screens?  Yours truly of course, waiting patiently for my big moment, trying not to sneer or laugh too raucously at the ridiculous first discussion on animals.

I had my notes blu-tacked to the window frame right behind my webcam, adjusted so that viewers would never lose deep, seductive eye contact with me.

“We’re coming to you now Peter”

“Stand by”

I fancy I can see Susanna Reid flushing slightly in anticipation of introducing me…

“Uh, sorry Peter, we’re not going to be able to come to you.  Out of time I’m afraid.”

Such are the trials and tribulations of my life!  Suddenly the programme was over.

You'll Get Your Chance, Gorgeous

Turning to far more important things, the dogs and I set off for the hills.  My mobile rang and it was Anna from the BBC, apologising and promising me dinner and a hot night with Susanna all at the corporation’s expense.  “No, sorry, I can’t be bought off.  Call me tomorrow. I’m too busy now.”

On the panel in the studio had been Mary Whitehouse’s successor, frumpy Anne Atkins and the utter jerk, Francis Beckett.   What a prat?  Why would anyone want to listen to his obnoxious, ill considered views, delivered with all the grace of a blind, three legged rhino?

Was Tony Blair a force for good?  This was the question I was supposed to be answering.  The BBC had come to me as a result of this article.  I had, of course, considered my response and this is what I intended to say.

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

I do not count myself as a Tony Blair supporter.  I never voted for him.  In fact, at all those elections I deliberately spoiled my ballot papers writing “no suitable candidate” across them.  I am an admirer though.

I think you have to give him credit for a number of things.  He rescued Labour from its madness and turned it into a credible and electable political party.  That was good for democracy.  He finished off the good work that Margaret Thatcher had done on the unions.  He was her true successor.  Now the only nutters that we have left are Tweedledum and Twitterdee from Unite and the mad and bad Bob Crowe from the railways.

You have to give him huge credit for Northern Ireland, for Kosovo and Sierra Leone.  I think he was also responsible for a fundamental change in British politics in that he reconciled caring with competition.  For the first time it was accepted that you could have a social conscience but still believe in business and the free market.

On Iraq, clearly it is a good thing that we got rid of Saddam Hussein although, personally, I think we should have assassinated him.  If there was a moral justification for war,  for shock and awe, then there was for assassination.  Even if we had lost thousands of special forces that would have been better than hundreds of thousands of innocents.  I do think that Blair became carried away with George Bush and that was a mistake.  Bush will be forgotten long before Blair.  He was not of the same calibre.  All he had to offer was the might and power of America.

Fundamentally, what you have to ask is did Tony Blair act in good faith?  I believe he did.  I believe he is an honourable man.  Look backwards from Blair to Thatcher and there’s noone else until Churchill and then Lloyd George.  That is the company in which Tony Blair will be remembered.  He is a great man.

I Was There For You Tone!

The one thing I really don’t understand in this man of vision and intelligence is his conversion to Catholicism.  I can just about accept his Christianity although why a man with his intellect needs organised religion I don’t know.  I really can’t understand why he wants to be allied to the institution that has been responsible for more evil over the last 2000 years than any other.  I think it demeans him.  He has far, far more to offer the world than that stupid old bigot the Pope, for instance.  It seems to me the Catholic Church will benefit far more from him than he will from it.   That’s his business though.

“The Only Thing Drug Gangs Fear Is Legalisation”. The Independent 26th August 2010

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Superb piece in The Independent today

Superbly argued!  Thank you to Johann Hari.  Thank you to The Independent for giving the space for this to be heard.

Violence Breeds Violence.  The Only Thing Drug Gangs Fear Is Legalisation.

28,000 deaths in Mexico in four years because of drug laws!

It could be the same in the UK.   Our new drug strategy is in preparation but the only people applauding the disgraceful sham that is our drug strategy consultation are drug dealers and criminals.  James Brokenshire of the Home Office, the man intent on breaking British society,  is so backward in his thinking that he makes Alan Johnson look progressive.   He is blind to the evidence and the facts, to what is happening in Mexico and elsewhere

There is blood on the hands of cowardly politicians in the UK too.  They have shirked this issue, avoided grasping this nettle for too long.  Brokenshire can only have been offered as a lamb for sacrifice here – surely?  His arguments are too ridiculous, his distortion of science too crass. He is bound to fail if he persists but he will cause death, misery and degradation for thousands.  He personally will be responsible for a massive increase in street crime – inevitable if he tightens prohibition.  He will not have committed the crimes himself but he will have negligently and recklessly ignored proven current best practice.  His attitudes fly in the face of all logic, research and science.

The government is riding roughshod over the massive outcry for drug law reform on the Your Freedom website.  Surely, even if public opinion, morality, logic, science, history or common sense won’t convince them, Baroness Meacher’s claim of £19 billion per annum of waste will stir them to action!

Surely, if nothing else, the cash will make the government see sense!

Why Are Withheld Numbers Allowed?

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It's Me!

Recently I started to receive a series of silent telephone calls.  Sometimes the caller would ring off as soon as I answered.  On other occasions  it would be some time before my line cleared.  It’s happened to me before as it has to most of us.  What makes me angry though is when you dial 1471 and find out that the caller was from a withheld number.

At one time I’d have assumed – no, correction – I’d have known that it was a deranged ex-girlfriend but not any more.  I’ve cleared all that sort of dross out of my life.  Now it could be one of those dreadful automated telemarketing computers which all sorts of otherwise reputable companies seem to think are an acceptable business tool.  I don’t.  I think they’re pretty much akin to an offensive weapon.

But why, oh why are withheld numbers allowed at all?

What possible reason or excuse can there be for allowing anyone to make anonymous telephone calls?  We have the technology.  Caller ID is now virtually universal.  What possible justification can there be for anyone to hide the number they’re calling from?  If they’re initiating the communication,  whoever they are, why should they be able to hide their identity?

So I thought I’d take advantage of BT’s “Anonymous Caller Rejection” service.  Now, I’m probably going to have to cancel it because so many people are having difficulty getting through to me.

First it was my electricity supplier.  Then it was a government department that I was doing some writing for.  Then it was my MP’s secretary who comes from the doctors’ receptionists charm school and was quite affronted, told me off even, that my phone won’t accept anonymous calls.

Sorry, Wrong Number!

Just what is it that makes these (mostly) rational people and organisations think it is acceptable to contact me anonymously?  Would they send me anonymous letters or emails or arrive at my door and refuse to identify themselves?

No, of course they wouldn’t.  It would be entirely wrong and it is entirely wrong to use anonymous or withheld telephone numbers too.

Generally I’m opposed to laws.  We have far too many already but in this instance we should legislate.  It’s ridiculous, deceptive, dishonest and unnecessary yet many of our biggest organisations and institutions do it as matter of course.

It’s unacceptable and it should be stopped.  Ban withheld numbers now!

Sex And The City

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I Don't Think Much Of Yours

The sight of these four pitifully deluded women on the sofa today promoting their new film…..eurrghh!  It has to be one of the most embarrassing things I have seen.  I saw the much-more-gorgeous-than-them Susanna Reid interviewing these hags on BBC Breakfast this morning.  I had to switch over urgently it was so excruciating.

The expression “mutton dressed as lamb” isn’t quite right.  It’s more like “sad fifty-something dressed as bad taste hooker”.  In fact, I thought the Bradford hookers also being interviewed today were much better looking.

How can these four preposterous women display themselves in such gaudy, tacky, cringeworthy fashion – fashion?  Do they think those ridiculous shoes, those absurd hairdos, those undignified dresses have any appeal at all?

This is about as far away from sexy as you can get.  It’s almost enough to make me start looking at boys!

Wenlock Mandeville Disaster

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Child's Play

The most obvious explanation is that someone at the Olympics Committee has been horizontal jogging with someone at the design company.

What else?

There has to be a rational explanation for one of most ridiculous, badly-judged communications campaigns I have ever seen.  The Wenlock and Mandeville mascot idea is third-rate, junior (bad) art school nonsense.

I first worked on ideas like this more than 30 years ago.  I stake all my experience on this, I stand by every ounce of this assertion – it is NONSENSE, shocking NONSENSE and I am dismayed to see it. If it gains any traction then it will only be because of the money spent on it.  Almost anything else would be better!

Lord Coe and other talented individuals on the Olympics Committee have made a mistake here.  This is a serious error of judgement.

Man’s Best Friend

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Dogs have lived alongside man for tens of thousands of years.  Even before our species could be so defined our predecessors made a pact with each other.  Mutual advantage was the bargain and so it has been ever since.  The relationship is in our DNA.  There is a primeval bond between us.

Capone & Carla

Dogs can be dangerous.  Mostly this is a function of how they are treated but there is the wild card.  I would never, ever leave any breed of dog alone with a child.   Thankfully, considering how many badly treated dogs and irresponsible owners there are, tragedies are few and far between.  Nothing can extinguish the agony of what happened in Liverpool yesterday but there is a solution.

Bring back the dog licence.  Make it cost £100 per year.  Give pensioners a rebate of £90.  Every dog must be microchipped to correspond with its licence.  Enforce it.  Guaranteed, problem solved.

Instead we have idiotic politicians who play about with incompetent, ridiculous and irrelevant legislation like the Dangerous Dogs Act – while children are mauled to death in their own homes.