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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Archive for the ‘television’ Category

BBC Horizon to Ramp Up Discredited Kings College ‘Skunk Scaremongering’

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Dr Marta di Forti. Scientist or Skunk Scaremonger?

Tonight’s BBC Horizon is going to follow the long-established BBC policy of overstating and exaggerating the potential harms of cannabis.

From clips already released it is clear the programme is to promote as gospel truth the hysterical scaremongering and fanciful statistical projections coming from Dr Marta di Forti at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry. This so-called scientist and her colleagues base all their conclusions on profoundly unscientific methods, false assumptions, bizarre statistical trickery and the misuse of the tabloid term ‘skunk’ as if it actually means something.

This is the way the BBC has always operated – to support the false narrative of the establishment about cannabis, to demonise it, to minimise if not ridicule its medicinal benefits and to cherry pick evidence and biased opinion to support its case.

Anyone with any real knowledge of cannabis who has spent any time properly reseraching the evidence will know that Dr di Forti’s projections and claims are ridiculous.  This is a British phenomenom.  It occurs nowhere else in the world.  Every other nation’s media, scientific and medical community takes a balanced and realistic view and recognises that cannabis is largely benign and for 99% of people, 99% of the time is harmless.  Perhaps most instruictive is that virtually nowhere else in the world will you hear the word ‘skunk’ used by real scientists.  Originally the name of a specific strain of cannabis it is now merely a scary word used to frighten people and it has no specific or defined meaning.  Its use is, in fact, the very opposite of science.

But don’t take my word for it. In a devastating critique of di Forti’s latest 2019 study, read the words of leading scientists from Australia and the Netherlands as they dismantle di Forti’s wild overclaiming and statistical trickery: High-potency cannabis and incident psychosis: correcting the causal assumption

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Written by Peter Reynolds

August 28, 2019 at 10:29 am

Gentleman Jack

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I just love this series. It is so beautifully done, exquisite in every detail.  Suranne Jones is wonderful. Her characterisation is genius, so much nuance, so much sensitivity

It is both romantic and sexy.  It captures my own feelings of love and passion.  There is no difference that it is between two women.

This is such superb quality in every respect, the very top drawer and surely elevates Suranne to an actor of much more important standing

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 7, 2019 at 7:49 pm

Posted in television

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Dr Who and Rosa Parks

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I am that small child who hid behind the sofa from the Daleks.  I remember it vividly. I associate it with being allowed to stay up late and having red sauce sandwiches for supper.

But since William Hartnell, no Doctor has ever charmed me.  I’ve appreciated the effort and attempted humour in all of them. Some have become iconic, like Tom Baker with his long scarf but none of them ever made the show compulsive viewing for me.  In fact as time went on it bored me.

Jodie Whittaker, the first female doctor, is a revelation. It was only on in the background but the writing and her perfomance are spellbinding and it captured me.  That elusive humour is achieved, the wit is right on point.  It is delightful.

And never has Dr Who moved me so deeply. With an elegant and perfectly judged time travel satire on the Rosa Parks story.  The dramatisation that inspired tears to roll down my cheeks with a science fiction wonder, belief suspended, all my entertainment receptors tingling. It was simply the very best of television.  Dont miss it, catch up here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 28, 2018 at 7:16 pm

Posted in Biography, television, The Media

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The Victoria Derbyshire Show’s Next Interviewees Arrive At New Broadcasting House.

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Future BBC policy will be to enable all interviewees to cover their face if they wish. Politicians and civil servants have expressed their gratitude.

In particular, several cabinet minsters have called for an immediate increase in the licence fee and for all BBC presenters to be elevated to the House of Lords.  Victoria Derbyshire has been awarded a damehood for her courage in pioneering this new policy. ITV and Sky are expected to introduce similar provisions within the next few days.

Channel 4 is introducing an immediate ban on any interviewee who refuses to cover ther face.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 9, 2018 at 10:08 am

The BBC’s Treatment Of Sir Cliff Richard Must Have Severe Consequences For The Individuals Responsible.

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Fran Unsworth, BBC Director of News and Current Affairs

Dan Johnson, BBC Reporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There simply is no other option, Fran Unsworth and Dan Johnson must be sacked.

I could have been persuaded to let them resign but not since they have both supported the idea of an appeal, compounding the abuse of Sir Cliff.

This has been in inexcusable episode which has brought shame on the BBC.  It would have disgraced the News of the World if it was still with us but for this editorial decision to have been forced, repeatedly, and defended by the BBC at huge cost, really is a national scandal.

Sack them both now and apologise unreservedly. Anything less and the BBC will forever be diminished beyond any possibility of redemption – and think what that means to all the sincere, honourable, decent people who have worked there.

The brazen attempts to justify this abuse have damaged the BBC even further.  The public is sick of media abuse and of weak governments that repeatedly fail to stand up to powerful organisations.  The second part of the Leveson Inquiry was supposed to investigate collusion between the media and the police.  Only a few weeks ago, the then Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, cancelled it. There can be no doubt that this was designed only to appease the press barons in the interests of the Conservative Party.  Just days later, Murdoch’s takeover of Sky was approved as well. As in so many other instances, this government and its ministers are demonstrated to be corrupt and shameless with it.

If the BBC wants to be regarded in the same category as Murdoch, Dacre and the Barclay Brothers, by all means keep Unswortth and Johnson on staff.  The British public will never forgive you.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 19, 2018 at 10:13 am

MasterChef 2018

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Another immensely enjoyable series. Nothing on television absorbs me more and enables me to turn off and relax so effectively. Again this year, the contestants have achieved an extraordinary, almost unbelievable standard. It gets higher every year.

I will, as usual, nail my colours to the mast and predict the winner – Nawamin, the Thai doctor, champion of champions.

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 13, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Posted in food, television, The Media

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‘Gone To Pot’ Shows How Close We Are To Legalisation. Now We Just Need To Deal With The Scaremongering.

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It seems we really are on a roll now.  The cannabis campaign has gained momentum over the last five or six six years more than ever before.  It’s snowballing, the rate of progress is accelerating.

What’s made this happen? It’s recognition of the benefits that cannabis offers.  It certainly isn’t because of some crazy idea that if we exaggerate and overstate its harms, suddenly the government will recognises that legal regulation makes it safer.  No, that flawed idea has nothing to do with the fact that we are now getting very close to the change we seek – even here in backwards, bigoted Britain.

There are more and more reports of real medical benefits and also of less dramatic but very real help with conditions such as insomnia, anxiety and stress.  It’s this that is changing minds, not scaremongering and fake data from the charlatans in the ‘cannabis therapy’ business.  Sadly this is the path that Volteface, the new drug policy group, has chosen to take with its ‘Street Lottery’ report.  It’s not the first of course, Transform has also followed this misguided path but at least, unlike the newcomers, it has real credentials in campaigning for reform.

Of course, legal regulation will make the cannabis market safer for everyone but the real dangers are not of young people developing psychosis after bingeing on so-called ‘skunk’ – the actual numbers are tiny – but of the harms caused by prohibition.  It is the criminal market that means cannabis is easily available to children and no age limits can be enforced.  It is the criminal market that means nobody knows what they are buying: how strong is it, is it contaminated, has it been properly grown, does it contain any CBD? It is the criminal market that leads to violence, street dealing even involving young children, dangerous hidden grows that are serious fire risks, human trafficking and modern slavery and, of course, profits on the £6 billion per annum market being diverted into ever more dangerous criminal activities.

ITV and the production company Betty have done an enormous amount of good for our campaign and for the whole of Britain in bringing a balanced, rational, honest exposition of cannabis to our TV screens.  This series showed quite clearly how beneficial cannabis can be but also how it can bite back if you’re a bit silly with consuming too much.  Thankfully it didn’t follow the familiar path of talking up, overstating and exaggerating the very small risk of mental health effects.  It’s easy to see why those who support prohibition have used this tactic to try and demonise the plant but how anyone who claims to support reform can see it as an intelligent or positive way to create the right environment for change is inconceivable.

Volteface is the money of Paul Birch, who became a multi millionaire after his brother founded the now defunct social media company Bebo.  It was a classic flash in the pan of the dot com boom but left those lucky enough to be involved with bulging bank accounts.  Birch first tried to enter the reform movement with his Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol (CISTA) political party.  It really is a ‘volteface’ to move from that accurate if tired message to now pushing the dangers of so-called ‘skunk’ as if that’s going to encourage reform.  However, I have it on reliable authority that recently Mr Birch suffered a major panic attack (or ‘psychotic episode’) after over-consuming some potent weed, so much so that an ‘intervention’ was called for.  Many of us will know how disconcerting such an experience can be and usually we can laugh at ourselves in retrospect (just as we laughed at Christopher Biggins and Bobby George when they ate far too much cannabis-infused food on ‘Gone To Pot’).  If he’s basing an entire campaign strategy on one personal experience it’s hardly sensible.

Paul North

Birch’s money has enable Volteface to hire full time staff and now its own tame drug therapist, Paul North. He is the very epitome of the angry young man, getting into furious outbursts on Twitter with anyone who dared to challenge his view. The way people like North manipulate and misrepresent data is horrendous and when they’re challenged their answer is they were engaged in the collection of the data – well yes, duh, that’s the point!  People who work in mental health or drug therapy are always pronouncing on our mental health wards being ‘packed full’ of people with problems caused by cannabis but the facts don’t support these claims. It’s inevitable that if you spend most of your life surrounded by people who are mentally ill, you get a rather distorted perspective on the world.

In many previous articles, I’ve laid out the facts of the number of people admitted to hospital and in GP community health treatment for cannabis.  The truth is that those with an agenda don’t care about facts.  They prefer the wild, speculative studies from Professor Sir Robin Murray and the Institute of Psychiatry with their bizarre statistical tricks that would make you think there are cannabis-crazed axe murderers on every street corner.  Journalist Martina Lees recently published two articles in the Daily Telegraph where she exaggerated the number of people admitted to hospital for cannabis related problems by 50 times!  Of course, we’re used to this sort of thing and it’s a sad fact that when it comes to science or medicine reporting, even in the so-called ‘quality’ press, Fleet Street is not just incompetent, journalists don’t just exaggerate, they’re systematically mendacious whenever it’s possible to be sensationalist about cannabis.

So let’s be grateful for the light that ‘Gone to Pot’ has shone on the reality of cannabis and let’s continue to reject the falsehood, deception and exaggeration that Volteface and others try to bring to our campaign.  I have no doubt that when legalisation finally arrives some politicians will use their argument to post-rationalise their ‘volteface’ on policy but it’s not the truth and it never has been.  The simple truth is that for 99% of people, not only is cannabis benign but it’s positively beneficial.