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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Never Has There Been A More Important Time To Vote Against The Conservatives #AndImATory

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I urge you to go out and vote in the local elections and vote against whichever candidate is most likely to defeat the Conservatives.

This is not a conclusion that I have reached lightly or without a great deal of thought.  For the 42 years in which I have been entitled to vote, I have only ever voted Conservative and until Theresa May became leader and, disastrously, prime minister of our nation, I was a fully paid up member of the Conservative Party and an approved local government candidate.

It is my considered opinion that the Conservative Party is a destructive force for Britain and there is clear evidence of serious corruption amongst senior MPs and ministers.  They are unfit to govern our country.

By corruption I do not mean that ministers are receiving thick, plain brown envelopes of cash or even shares held by a nominee in some offshore account – though I think it would be naive to completely rule out the possibility.  The idea that MPs and minsters are, without exception, people of great probity and honour is a delusion best put behind us.  I refer to a more general definition of corruption in which their conduct or intent is not what it is declared to be or what we are entitled to expect.

We are entitled to expect fairness.  We are entitled to expect that policy is based on evidence. We are entitled to expect honesty and transparency within the limits of national security.

For instance, when a minister pursues a policy or adopts a position for their party’s advantage before the nation’s, that is corrupt.  When a minister acts to hold on to their job rather than to see their department improve its service to the public, that is corrupt.

Theresa May, Amber Rudd, Philip Hammond, Chris Grayling and Matt Hancock are beyond doubt guilty of such corruption and many other members of the Conservative cabinet have a case to answer.  Our government is corrupt from top to bottom and from the very core.

Each of us has policies and areas of interest that concern us most.  Mine are set out in over 900 articles published on this website but I do not want to distract from this crucial message by repeating myself or exercising my particular hobby horses.  Whatever your primary concerns, consider how this government has treated them and recognise that its conduct has rendered it unfit to govern.  It is far more than simply pursuing policies that you may disagree with, it is a culture that is systemic within Conservative government: secrecy, cover-up, hypocrisy, arrogance and an authoritarian, intolerant attitude to the people it is supposed to serve. It is corruption.

It’s been said many times but never has it been more accurate. Government exists to serve the people and not vice versa. This truth is simply incompatible with our present government and with the Conservative Party in its present form.

I remain a Tory.  My principles are of individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets, justice and small government.  These will never change.  However, this government must fall at all costs and if that means putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street, then that is what I shall vote for

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Written by Peter Reynolds

April 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

The Assassination of Jeremy Corbyn’s Character

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While I could never vote for socialism, Jeremy Corbyn provides more leadership, courage and integrity than any other politician in Britain today.  Even considering the entire world and recent history, only Obama and Justin Trudeau could hold a candle to the bright light that burns from Corbyn’s soul.

On this day when we remember the assassination of Martin Luther King, one of the greatest leaders ever, whose dream has still not been fulfilled, I say, look at the small-minded, bickering, pathetic excuses we have for leaders today. Certainly in Britain, only Corbyn has the honesty, bravery and determination that are the prerequistites for greatness.

The conduct of the British press, most Conservative politicians, the many vile, treasonable Labour MPs and particularly the BBC towards him is despicable. The antisemitism smear campaign is so far away from truth as to be worthy of comparison with McCarthysim, the worst excesses of the Soviet era, the KGB, Stasi, Spanish Inquisition, the dissolution of the monasteries, the witch hunts, any of mankind’s most shameful epsiodes. If anything was ever going to turn me against the mainstream Jewish community and into a supporter of Corbyn, it is this. The behaviour of those I have named as responsible is a national disgrace.

Our leaders are inept.  Authoritarian bigots such as Theresa May, incapable of any effective action.  Today she is more concerned with ‘the burning injustice of the gender pay gap’ than with the horrendous murder rate on London’s streets. Politicians prefer to put time and money into politically-correct, virtue-signalling policies that raise obscure minorities way above the majority and the real issues that determine our society.  Transgender ‘rights’ for children get more attention in Parliament and from the media than the essential need to provide worthwhile employment, education and guidance in our inner city ghettos.  We have politicised love, relationships and the mating game to the level where men are unable to pass a compliment for fear of accusations of harassment and abuse.  Homosexual love and desire is given more respect and value than the 95% of population that is interested in the opposite sex.  We decry the ‘porn culture’ yet little girls are encouraged to idolise ‘Little Mix’, girls dressed as street whores as some totem of female empowerment.

The state of our justice system is pathetic but when the tyrant and incompetent such as Chris Grayling, who could only ever be Theresa May’s apprentice, is put in charge, what can we expect?  For a few moments, Michael Gove, perhaps the only ray of hope in the entire cabinet, takes over and immediately wise, innovative reforms are in the offing but just as swiftly, May replaces him with the third rate, timid Liz Truss who achives absolutely nothing.  It is impossible to get justice in Britain today in either criminal or civil systems unles you are rich or you are in the ‘minority of the moment’, viz the ridiculous, politically-correct decision that police officer are compelled to believe every word of even the most incredible allegations of historical sexual abuse.  A decision that has led to persecution, harassment, ruined lives and suicide amongst completely innocent people and then another behemoth of a public inquiry that will achieve nothing except to make a lot of lawyers rich and give our sickening newspapers more material on which to to pontificate endlessly. Which brings me back to Jeremy Corbyn.

Please God that soon, and it cannot be soon enough, we are rid of the harridan monster in Downing Street.  Yet who can replace her?  The entire Conservative cabinet is disgraced.  Though Boris Johnson has some qualities that I value, his rush to judgement about Russian responsibility for the Salisbury nerve agent attack makes him (and his colleagues) unfit to govern – another instance where Corbyn was right all along despite enduring rampant, hysterical criticism from all sides.  I first saw through Johnson when he was Mayor of London and a few more year’s experience have done nothing to iron out the fundamental flaws in his character.  Sadly, the once great libertarian David Davis has been effectively stubbed out by assimilation into the malevolent collective known as the European Union.  He may have gone there to rescue us but he has been absorbed, no doubt exactly as Mrs May intended. The only other possible candidate, Michael Gove, has disqualified himself by his duplicitous and cowardly conduct after the referendum. I blame him for the fact that Mrs May is our prime minister and there are few greater crimes than that.

I am in despair, as I believe are so many of my fellow Britons.  I see no bright future for our country.  Since I was 18, for the past 42 years, whenever I have chosen to vote, I have voted Conservative.  In recent years I was a fully paid up member of the Conservative Party and an approved local government candidate.  What I know for sure is that next time I vote it will be for which ever candidate best guarantees that the Conservatives will be out of government.  If that means voting for Jeremy Corbyn, so be it.

Talking Cannabis With the MHRA

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MHRA Headquarters

In November 2016 I organised a meeting with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and a number of key players in the CBD market.  It was in response to the MHRA seeking to clamp down on sales of CBD oil and related products.  That meeting led directly to the formation of the Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTAUK) which now represents more than 80% by turnover of all CBD suppliers in the UK.

Since that first meeting my friend and colleague Mike Harlington has taken on the leadership role at CTAUK and I give him great credit for what has been achieved.  We expect formal recognition by the MHRA is only a few weeks away and that is a tremendous coup.  For the first time ever, in the face of total intransigence by government, we have established to a significant degree a legally regulated cannabis market.  Clearly, it doesn’t yet go anywhere near far enough but this is the most concrete move ever towards long overdue cannabis law reform.

The first 18 months of CTAUK have not been easy.  Other than the MHRA, the other branches of government concerned are the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Home Office.  The FSA has also become a close working partner but, unsurprisingly, the Home Office remains difficult and our efforts to engage constructively with it have been characterised by responses that are inconsistent, irrational, contradictory and a realisation that it’s losing its grip on cannabis policy.  It is impossible to deal with.  In fact, I almost sympathise with the unfortunate civil servants charged with administering a policy that is itself irrational and contradictory and driven only by outdated prohibitionist values.  Maladministration of the Misuse of Drugs Act is now a persistent reality and several legal challenges to the Home Office’s conduct are imminent.  Soon the High Court will become involved in UK cannabis policy and then, in theory, facts and evidence should prevail rather than propaganda and government disinformation.

Dr Chris Jones

The CTAUK has been engaged in regular meetings with the MHRA and I was invited along for the most recent occasion.  The CTAUK team was Mike Harlington, Tom Whettem of Canabidol and myself.  The MHRA team was Dr Chris Jones, head of the Borderline Medicines section and Raj Gor. We discussed many administrative matters and gave a great deal of time again to discussing medicinal claims and how members could avoid mistakes.  It seems obvious that no claims of medicinal benefit can be made but there are many instances where it’s not clear cut.  A particular case we looked at was the use of ‘night’ and ‘day’ CBD products.  Eventually it was agreed that this description is acceptable but only just. This is an excellent example of how CTAUK works to represent its members’ interests and with goodwill on both sides how positive agreement can be reached.

On a continuing, day-to-day basis CTAUK and MHRA are in constant touch, ironing out problems, asking for and taking advice from each other.  I am impressed with the way the relationship has evolved and jointly we bring great benefit to the industry and consumers.

Yellow Magnolia For Mum And Dad

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Magnolia x brooklynensis ‘Yellow Bird’

I bought my mother and father this yellow magnolia in the spring of 2014.  My father died the following Christmas and with my mother’s permission, when she moved house six months later, I dug it up and I’ve had it in a pot ever since. Sadly, of course, Mum died the next Christmas.

Now it’s reached its final home.  I’ve planted it in pride of place on the front lawn of my new home.  We scattered Mum’s and Dad’s ashes at Tintern Abbey but I held on to the cardboard box and bags in which we carried them.  So beneath the yellow magnolia is the shredded cardboard and few traces of remaining ashes.

It means a lot to me.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 17, 2018 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Biography

Tagged with , , ,

“The Settled View Of Ministers Is That The Medicinal Campaign Is Just An Excuse To Take Cannabis”.

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These are the words of Sir Oliver Letwin, my MP, during a meeting with him just a few days ago.

To some this may be an astonishing revelation, to others it will be depressing confirmation that this bigoted and out-of-date view still persists.  Anyone with even a modicum of knowledge will agree that it is deeply ignorant and in defiance of a vast quantity of scientific evidence.

This is the end point of my two and half years of discussion with Sir Oliver.  He’s not currently a cabinet minster but through his 20 year parliamentary career he’s always been at the top of the Conservative Party: Shadow Home Secretary, Shadow Chancellor and then in government in 2010 elevated to the status of right hand man to David Cameron.  As Minister for Government Policy and then Chancellor of The Duchy of Lancaster, he was been described as ‘the intellectual powerhouse of the Tory Party’ and as ‘number three in the government after Cameron and Osborne’.

So what goes through Oliver’s mind is a pretty good indication of how the Tory Party establishment thinks.  I’m absolutely certain that what he has told me is exactly the present mindset of ministers from Theresa May down.

Back in 2015 Oliver wrote to George Freeman MP on my behalf, then the minister with responsibility for medicines.  He’s also written to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary and Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary.  None of this correspondence has resulted in anything but the usual, anodyne words that are nothing but a brush off.  I did think I was getting somewhere though when he told me he would establish with the Department of Health what its position was on the scientific evidence. Back came the answer that all the evidence had been considered, expert advice had been taken and the conclusion was that the risks of  legalising for medicinal use would outweigh the benefits.

Now this didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to know what evidence and what experts.  After half a dozen requests for this information and no response I submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Department of Health.  Eventually it was returned stating quite clearly that it had neither requested, received nor considered any evidence on medicinal cannabis. Coincidentally, just a few days later, Paul Flynn MP asked almost exactly the same question in Parliament and received the same answer. So I wrote to Oliver and said that either he had been misled or he was misleading me, which was it? It was at this point that he stopped replying to my emails.

After several months of repeated requests and no response I went direct to his parliamentary secretary and booked a surgery appointment to see him as a constituent.  I was quite prepared to confront him face to face.  I was amused to receive an email from Oliver the very same day in which he said that would reluctantly agree to see me on the subject “one last time”.  So at the meeting his explanation was that it had all been a huge misunderstanding, he didn’t mean to suggest that any evidence had been examined, it was simply “the settled view of ministers is that the medicinal campaign is just an excuse to take cannabis”.

Such is the state of our so-called democracy and so-called evidence-based policy.

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Americans And Their Guns. The Death Of A Great Civilisation.

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Misguided, Dangerous and Deluded

Remind me never to discuss guns with Americans again.  There is a strand of opinion there that is so powerful it has subverted the kind, human instinct of millions of people.

The simple fact is that the easy availability of guns in America has led directly to a continuing tragedy of epic proportions: gun violence and murders at a frequency that exceeds any other place on our planet.  That anyone seeks to defend this appalling truth or argue that the present situation should continue is beyond reason.

I have engaged in shooting sports for more than 40 years, so I am not anti-gun but if the choice is between the carnage caused by the madness of the NRA and my freedom to continue clay and game shooting, then it is an easy decision. Guns must be strictly and rigorously controlled.

1. You have to prove legitimate use for owning a gun
2. Psychological and medical stability certified by a doctor
3. Limited magazine capacity
4. Limited ammunition quantity

If America does not grasp this nettle then it is doomed .

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 3, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Biography, Politics

Probably The Biggest Breakthrough Yet For Medicinal Cannabis In The UK.

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Peter Reynolds, President, CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform

Since the beginning of 2017, Peter Reynolds and Professor Mike Barnes of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform have been working on a project that is about to come to fruition.  The Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) meets tomorrow, 22nd September 2017, to consider our proposal to issue guidelines to doctors on the use of medicinal cannabis.

Professor Mike Barnes, Scientific & Medical Advisor, CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform

As ever, the UK’s stubborn, anti-evidence government remains intransigent on permitting legal access to cannabis, even for medicinal use.  This despite an overwhelming tide of reform across the world and the reality that perhaps one million people in the UK are criminalised and persecuted for using a medicine that has been known to be safe and effective for many centuries, facts which modern science now proves beyond doubt.

However irresponsible and pig-headed government ministers may be, doctors have a responsibility to their patients, an ethical duty that transcends the grubby and corrupt politics that ministers subscribe to. Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary of the RCGP with responsibility for its governance, has championed CLEAR’s proposal.  He recognises that while doctors cannot be advising their patients to use an illegal drug, the reality is many people already are.

Professor Nigel Mathers, Honorary Secretary, Royal College of GPs

So this is not just another report or a conference.  This is practical action at the point of delivery of healthcare.  If the proposal is approved by the RCGP Council, the guidelines will be drafted by Professor Mike Barnes, assisted by Peter Reynolds, with additional input from the MS Society and Newcastle University.

In due course, probably by the end of the year, a booklet will be available for download by all GPs from the RCGP website.  It will set out balanced and reasonable advice on the appropriate use of cannabis for specific medical indications. The guidelines will also cover harm reduction advice and provide a basic grounding in the scientific evidence and the endocannabinoid system.

If our government refuses to take such sensible steps to improve healthcare and protect patients, then we, campaigners and medical professionals, must do it for them.