Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

I’m Voting In The Irish General Election

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I am privileged to be a registered voter in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland.  As a Welshman I am very happy to live alongside my Celtic brothers in County Kerry and I still have a base in Dorset on the south coast of England.  I am proud to be British and although some might think in Ireland it’s a dirty word, I have never met any hostility here and it’s a fact of geography that the UK and Ireland together comprise the British Isles.

In the recent UK General Election, I voted Conservative because above all else I wanted to ‘Get Brexit Done’.  On Saturday I will be voting in Ireland and I’m deciding who to vote for.

I am a passionate Brexiteer because I consider self-determination to outweigh almost all other political considerations.  In June 2008, Ireland voted against the EU over the Lisbon Treaty but it was forced by the Eurocrats to hold a second referendum and just over a year later the Irish people were bullied into submission.  I wish that Ireland could have left the EU alongside the UK and there is a significant level of opinion here in favour of ‘Irexit’.  It would certainly have solved the problem that Brexit has caused for the border with the North.

The other solution to the border is a united Ireland and that is something I strongly support.  It’s only in the past 10 years that I have come to understand Irish history and Britain is shamed by its record of brutal oppression. I realise now that this important history is excluded from the school syllabus in the UK. Our behaviour in Ireland is one of the most dreadful episodes of history and the British were guilty of war crimes similar to Israel’s current conduct in Palestine, the Nazis in World War II and other tyrannical regimes.  If I had lived in Ireland in the 20th Century I would certainly have joined the IRA. It was a righteous and noble cause.

I know for certain that I will not vote for Fine Gael, the present party of government.  While I admire the way that it has helped Ireland become a progressive society, escaping from the evil of the Catholic Church, it describes itself as ‘the party of Europe’ and Leo Varadkar, its leader and the present Taoiseach is a gay, Asian version of Tony Blair.  I hasten to add that I have nothing against him for being gay or Asian!

I am more naturally drawn to Fianna Fail, the main opposition party that is more Ireland-centric and republican in its philosophy.  But it is very old-fashioned, embedded in the past, illiberal culture and offers little promise for the future. It strikes me that like the two main parties in the UK, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are content with the status quo where power switches back and forth between them periodically.  There’s no doubt that Ireland is ready for a change.

Ireland has a history of electing significant numbers of independent politicians and here in Kerry we are blessed with our very own independent dynasty, the Healy-Raes, an extraordinary family which can, most certainly, be described as eccentric.  We have a proportional, single-transferable vote system where voters specify candidates in order of preference by writing 1, 2, 3, etc. alongside their names. Michael Healy-Rae will definitely be near the top of my choices.

But voting for independents will not help create a new government that can move beyond the tired politics of the past.  Extraordinarily, I find myself tempted by two socialist parties: Sinn Fein and People Before Profit. Sinn Fein for its noble ideals and ambition for a united Ireland.  (The name translates as ‘We Ourselves’).  People Before Profit because I have met several of its TDs and it is strongly committed to cannabis law reform.

Also, as all democrats should be, I am disgusted by the way Fine Gael and Fianna Fail treat Sinn Fein, currently ahead of both them in the polls. They both refuse to engage at all and say they would never work with it in government.  The reason given is because of Sinn Fein’s past paramilitary connections and, as they say, that is has never properly distanced itself from violence.

I say this is preposterous, dishonest nonsense.  Firstly, it was a just war.  Of course, I deplore violence against innocent civilians but given the perspective I have recently acquired, I am ambivalent about action against security forces.  An army of occupation must expect to meet resistance.  If Fine Gael and Fianna Fail refuse to engage with a party with such massive popular support, they must reap the consequences.  How is any movement supposed to progress beyond violence to peaceful politics if it is spurned and isolated?

For me, one of the most extraordinary experiences since moving to Ireland was meeting Martin Ferris, a Sinn Fein, Kerry TD who is retiring at this election.  He was a hunger striker and starved himself for longer than some who died as a result of their protest.  In the late 70s, I was in my early 20s and I remember that my perspective on the hunger strikers was that they were fools because the British government would never give in. But now I see it very differently.  I see the huge courage and nobility in their protest.

So I shall be voting for Sinn Fein.  I’m not yet sure what number I shall put against their candidate, Pa Daly’s name but it could well be number one.  Were People Before Profit fielding a candidate in Kerry, they too woud get a vote. The elegance of the Irish voting system is that I can offer support to these socialist parties without fear.  The first past the post system in Britain really does hold us back and I hope there will be electoral reform in my lifetime.

My father would turn in his grave if he read these words.  I am surprised at myself but my mind is made up.  Of course I am only one voter amongst more than three million but I am excited about this, my first Irish election, as I believe it heralds real change.

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm

Happy Brexit Day!

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I care less about Brexit than I do about democracy and power being in the hands of the people.
It is wonderful to see the people overpowering the media, big business, the bankers, the bureaucrats and even those who should never have gone near the political gutter, our Supreme Court justices.
Democracy is the people’s power and today is the day we took back control, the day we put the Great back in Britain.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 31, 2020 at 5:18 pm

Posted in Biography, Politics

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Brexit Is Britain’s Greatest Victory Since WWII. Let Us Go Forward Together To The Broad, Sunlit Uplands of 2020.

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With apologies to Churchill and great respect to his deserved successor who can confidently plan for 10 years in Downing Street if he so wishes.

Brexit was about love of our country and self-determination.  It was not, as the hate-filled Remain campaign alleged, about racism, xenophobia, immigration, looking inward or disliking European cultures and people.

As for lies, the biggest lie of all was Project Fear. It eclipses completely the clumsy exaggerations and overclaiming of the Leave campaign.  Project Fear was a systematic, well-funded campaign by big business and bankers, driven and managed on their behalf by the EU.

I’m a Europhile but an EUphobe. The EU is not Europe. It is a bureaucratic monolith established by those big businesses and bankers who have put their oligarchs in charge. It has run an extraordinarily successful disinformation campaign, persuading those who consider themselves ‘progressive’ that it is a benevolent institution. It’s exactly the opposite and I’m astonished so many intelligent people have been had by this disinformation, completey suckered by EU propaganda.

Let’s just be grateful that wiser judgement has prevailed and at the end of this month we will be out.  I know a lot of people are very sore.  I am an admirer of Jeremy Corbyn for his great personal integrity which was severely tested by sinister forces, particularly over the fake antisemitism smears but he is no leader and that was clearly shown in the election campaign.  As a Leaver himself he tried to muddle through with a useless compromise position on Brexit which was his undoing.  I wish him well for the future and there is a role for him as a statesmen-like campaigning politician once he is free from the shackles of his smaller-minded colleagues who forced him into that doomed strategy.

By contrast, Boris Johnson is not a man of great moral integrity. But while I wouldn’t lend him a fiver, he is a great leader and to return to the wartime analogy, I would go over the top with him.  He is inspiring and he gets things done.

I am only just beginning to understand the scale of the Tory victory and the depth of defeat of Labour and socialism.

The people’s verdict could not be more clear.  The facile ideas of socialism, promoted, virtue signalled and claimed as popular on social media are fanciful.  This isn’t the first time that the British people have expressed a decisive opinion on left wing philosophy but the metropolitan, champagne socialists that dominate Twitter and Facebook never seem to get the message.  Let us hope they can now come to terms with reality.

If this new government can espouse true Tory values of liberty, individual responsibility, small government and free (but properly regulated) markets, then we have cause for great optimism.  What we must guard against is the malevolent big business and monopoly power influence that does exist within the Conservative Party.  Margaret Thatcher’s small business background is where the true soul of the Tory party is to be found, not in the elitist world of David Cameron and Theresa May.

Please be a true Tory government. Set Britain free and give us the independence and enterprise to be the great nation we truly are.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 5, 2020 at 4:50 pm

The Root Of All Britain’s Drugs Problems Is In Marsham Street, London, SW1

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The Home Office describes its role as “to keep citizens safe and the country secure”. Its lead role in drugs policy achieves exactly the opposite of this.

It is a scandal encompassing successive governments for more than 50 years that the UK’s approach to drugs has been so utterly disastrous that our policy has caused far more harm than it has prevented.

Currently, the two issues of major concern are the rate of drug deaths and difficulty in accessing cannabis as medicine. It’s no surprise most people now recognise that drugs policy should really be a matter for the Department of Health. The only reason for keeping it in the Home Office is if you believe it is primarily a security issue and about enforcing the law to stop people using drugs and interventions to stop production and importation.  This is an outdated view based on misguided thinking.  The Home Office’s own research shows that laws, enforcement and penalties make absolutely no difference to drug use.  There is no justification for keeping drugs policy in Marsham Street, particularly when we consider the way this focus on security and enforcement has made all our drugs problems so much worse.

Famously, before the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is said there were about 3,000 problematic drug users in the UK. Today, the effect of this law, administered by the Home Office, is that figure has exploded to more like 350,000 problematic users.  It has been a disaster of unparalleled scale.

Victoria Atkins and Theresa May. The drug barons of Britain.

And everything about Home Office drugs policy makes the problems worse.  The only purpose of drugs policy must be to reduce harm but the Home Office is obsessed with a moral crusade of reducing drug use and the level of use is not the same as the level of harm.  Most of the time, the Home Office’s attempts to reduce use cause more harm than the use of drugs itself.  This is particularly true with cannabis where a criminal record, even a caution, causes far more harm to an individual than the use of cannabis. The Home Office already knows that criminal justice measures do not reduce drug use, so enforcement is largely futile and it causes harm.

It is dreadful that the Home Office is strongly resisting efforts to introduce drug consumption rooms (DCRs) which have been shown, conclusively, to reduce drug deaths.  In Glasgow, the local council and the Scottish government are backing the proposal but the Home Office is intransigent.  What is truly appalling and demonstrates a criminal standard of corruption at the highest level is the way that Victoria Atkins, a Home Office Minister, has lied and misled Parliament and the public on the evidence for DCRs.  She, of course is also a rabid anti-cannabis campaigner while her husband makes his living from cannabis production, licensed by the Home Office! This conflict of interest and hypocrisy well illustrates the fundamental corruption and dishonesty that is the Home Office culture.  The ‘hostile environment’ towards immigrants, first introduced by Labour but enthusiastically pursued by Theresa May when she became Home Secretary in 2010, is central to the way that Home Office officials conduct themselves, not only about immigration but every area of home affairs.  The ‘customer’ is the enemy in Home Office terms, someone to be distrusted. This is the way officials treat those who they are paid to serve.

Against this background, it’s astonishing that the new regulations enabling access to cannabis as medicine were introduced while Theresa May was PM.   No one is more strongly prohibitionist, nor, during her six years as Home Secretary, more in tune with the Home Office’s interfering, repressive culture.  It’s more than ironic that on leaving Downing Street she has purchased a flat in, you guessed it, Marsham Street!  This, the scene of her most shameful actions in government, is where she feels at home.

The introduction of the new regulations while she was PM shows that with a big enough media outcry , even the most stubborn bigot can be forced to concede. Though now the media spotlight has moved on, the desperately ill children, some having hundreds of seizures a day, have been forgotten. With just a couple of exceptions they still aren’t getting the medicine they need on the NHS. For them, the new regulatiions mean that they can now get their medicine legally but it has to be paid for privately. Typically this means expenditure of thousands of pounds per month which the families simply cannot afford.

Under the new regulations, cannabis-based products for medicinal use (CBPMs) are supposed to be available on prescription from specialist doctors as unlicensed, schedule 2 medicines. It’s proving difficult enough to get a doctor to prescribe, such is the lack of understanding amongst doctors and the incredibly restrictive guidelines that professional bodies have put in place.  On top of all that, the Home Office is doing all it can to obstruct access.  Clearly its duty is to facilitate implementation of the new regulations but it is hostile towards the people that seek access to cannabis.  It is and always has been institutionally opposed to cannabis.

For years there has been a procedure in place for those who are prescribed schedule 2 medicines containing controlled drugs to bring up to three month’s supply into the country without requiring a licence.  For cannabis this has been swept aside without any explanation or reason.  The process involved in importing CBPMs is tortuous and complex as the Home Office shows no flexibility, no compassion and places obstacles at every turn. And there is no accountability at all. All Home Office policies, decisions, actions and processes are opaque.  They see no reason to explain themselves. They do what they want, irrespective of the needs of the people concerned, or even the law. Marsham Street considers itself above the law, exempt from any judicial or democratic accountability. Ultimately, the prospect of applying for judicial review of its actions is completely out of reach for everyone except the super rich.

The other crucial aspect of delivering on the new regulations is to develop a UK-based cannabis industry where we are producing ourselves what our people need.  The Home Office has failed entirely to grasp this nettle. Reports are that dozens of applications have been submitted for licences but so far, a year on, the best information I can get is that only one, highly restricted, research-only licence has been issued. So even it doesn’t allow for porduction of CBPMs, all of which have to be imported at huge expense.

It remains the case that the only company licensed for commercial production of cannabis is GW Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary/supplier companies.  A company in which Home Office minister Victoria Atkins and former Home Secretary and PM Theresa May both have a personal financial interest.  The depth of this corruption and the failure to hold these two crooks to account is surely one of the biggest political scandals ever in British history.

Home Office ministers have a great deal to answer for but also the officials who have restrained those few ministers, such as the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, who have even dared to consider reform.  The prejudice and bigotry on drugs policy runs so deep it is difficult to see how it can change.  But change it must.  Britain desperately needs a PM and a Home Secretary with the courage and intelligence to grasp this nettle.  Until those people emerge we are destined to stay in a very dark and destructive place while more and more deaths, misery and serious violent crime are caused by those who are failing us so badly.

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 30, 2019 at 6:49 pm

An Update On CBD, the Novel Food Scam and the Fatcats Who Plan to Take Over the Market.

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The CBD Market Has Been Built By Small British Businesses.

It is About To Be Stolen By Government-Backed Big Business.

Over about the last five years, small British businesses have built the CBD market from zero to hundreds of millions in annual sales. It’s been driven by rapidly changing attitudes towards cannabis and a realisation that many of its medicinal benefits could be available legally by using traditional hemp extracts.

Big business, the established supplement and health food companies weren’t interested. They saw the stigma around cannabis before they saw the changing attitudes.

Now it’s all very different. Millions of people are using CBD. All the big multiples are stocking it. It’s become a media fascination and many people say they gain great benefit from it. Suddenly, big business and all the regulators are interested. Suddenly those who weren’t bothered previously are cautioning about all sorts of dangers and concerns. They don’t actually have any evidence of CBD products causing any harm but clearly they don’t think these small, independent businesses can be trusted anymore. Of course, the truth is they want a slice of the action – or preferably all of the action if they can get their chums in government and the bureaucracy to step in and assist with their plans.

In fact the British CBD industry has been a model of responsible self-regulation. Two trade associations, the CTA and CannaPro, represent virtually all the leading UK suppliers and maintain high levels of quality control and trading standards, including regular reporting of non-compliant businesses to the MHRA.

But in June this year, the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) published a sensational report alleging that most of the CBD on the market was very poor quality, contained illegal levels of THC and some contained no CBD at all.

Its report was presented as some sort of independent, academic study that should be regarded as science. It wasn’t. It was a cheap marketing stunt. Sure enough, just a few  weeks later it announced that all its members’ products were good quality and there was no problem with them.

Now the CMC has thrown itself in with the EU and is backing the classification of CBD products as ‘novel foods’, meaning that any business selling CBD would have to apply for an authorisation at a cost of at least £250,000 in a process taking perhaps two years to complete.  The CMC has also aligned itself with an interpretation of the law on THC levels in CBD products which is completely at odds with the established industry.  It has sided with the Home Office that there cannot be any THC at all, whereas the industry relies on a  definition of ‘exempt products’ in the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 which permits up to 1mg of THC in each container.

As Brexit approaches, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is expected to issue guidance on enforcement of the novel foods classification.  If it acts before Brexit then the position will be carried over in the Withdrawal Agreement.  And now the CMC has launched yet another trade body, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry, (ACI) which it is implying will enable CBD suppliers to enjoy a ‘grace period’ from FSA enforcement.

It would be unlawful for the FSA to make any arrangements or offer any ‘grace period’ to CMC or ACI members that is not available to any other business. Mike Harlington of the CTA tried this on before, claiming he had made special arrangements with the FSA for CTA members only. None of this is true. These claims are confidence tricks but the CMC/ACI is pushing it with the requirement to sign up to membership at a cost said to be between £10,000 and £50,000 per year, completely prohibitive for the small businesses that have worked so hard to develop this industry.

The Centre For Medicinal Cannabis Is A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing,

The ‘Big Pharma’ Of British Medicinal Cannabis And CBD.

The CMC appeared sometime in 2018 announcing itself as the UK’s first and only industry membership body for businesses and investors operating in cannabis based medicinal products (CBMPs) and cannabidiol (CBD) wellness markets.  This, of course, is nonsense. It’s about the fifth or sixth to set itself up as a trade body in this market and it’s certainly not the only.  Between them, the CTA and CannaPro represent hundreds of businesses with millions of satisfied customers.  The CMC has only a handful of members.

What the CMC/ACI does have is a great deal of money from its backer, the multimillionaire Paul Birch and a great deal of influence from ex-David Cameron ‘fixer’, Steve Moore, who knows all the right people in all the establishment elites and knows how to pull their strings.  In just a few short months it has pumped a fortune into PR and media relations and made itself the go to source for anything on medicinal cannabis and CBD.  It has also bought and paid for a large number of highly qualified people with impressive credentials who inevitably carry great weight with the authorities. Its ambitions are clear.  It intends to destroy the small businesses that built this market and seize it all for itself and it looks as though it may well succeed.

CannaPro spoke with the FSA earlier this week.  For the moment, the FSA cannot act as we are in election ‘purdah’, the civil service can’t really do anything except keep the status quo but that will all change after the election.  Then, depending on the new government, it may move rapidly to commence enforcement. What this will mean is impossible to predict but almost certainly the multiples will take stock off the shelves unless some interim arrangements are agreed.  Those with retail premises will be in the most immediate danger, online sellers will be in a better position but if Trading Standards officers try to seize stock, they have extraordinary powers and trying to obstruct them may result in arrest.

Of course, the novel foods classification is fake and a lot of evidence has been presented to prove this but it is simply being dismissed. It’s rather like the way the medical establishment dismisses the evidence on medicinal cannabis.  If these institutions don’t like evidence they simply ignore it.  For obvious reasons, it suits the CMC to get behind the novel food scam but the result for consumers will be a lot less choice and probably substantial price rises. It’s also very bad news for CBD businesses.  A lot of people are likely to lose their jobs.

 

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 31, 2019 at 9:35 pm

The True EU – A Totalitarian Regime Determined To Subjugate Europe

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Here you have the EU, self-defined by one of its unelected presidents, as the autocratic, faux-democray that it is.

It shows its true colours as Merkel slaps Boris Johnson down and refuses any deal unless the UK relinquishes Northern Ireland, allowing the EU to annex it permanently into its customs union.

Personally, I would like to see Ireland re-unified in any case and it seems there is now a majority on the island for this inevitable progress to become reality.  But the deal that UK has proposed, with no hard border, customs checks carried out in the same unobtrusive way as current excise, VAT and currency checks was a perfectly reasonable and workable solution. Of course Brussels won’t accept it. It never planned to accept any proposal unless UK was prepared to abandon its democratic decision to leave.  The EU would have readily gone along with another referendum. It has been working behind the scenes with treasonous British MPs to achieve this, if not brazenly imposing it as it did on both Ireland and Greece.  Even then, if we hadn’t voted in the way the EU required we would just have been back to where we are now.  Britain will not be allowed to leave without the most severe punishment with the annexation of Northern Ireland only part of it.  The EU is determined to show that any member state that messes with its plans to subjugate the entire continent will be made to suffer.

With or without Britain its next steps are to remove the veto from member states and impose the euro.  Truly, Merkel will achieve with the eurocracy what Hitler failed to achieve with the blitzkrieg.

We are as good as gone. All we have to do now is sort out the fifth column in Parliament and circumvent its abuse of our legislative process.  Then it will be time for Britain to have its own ‘night of the long knives’ and root out from Parliamnent and the judiciary those who have tried to subvert our democracy and the Lord Haw-Haws in our media who have supported them.

Written by Peter Reynolds

October 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Politics

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Madame Guillotine In Parliament Square

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It’s a recurring dream.  Standing high on a scaffold erected in the centre of Parliament Square is the bloody guillotine. A long queue of 650 enemies of the people snakes around the square, in and out of the trees, in between the lamp posts, around the various statues, skirting the traffic bollards. Like a metronome, at regular intervals, no more than a couple of minutes apart, punctuating the weeping, wailing and hysterical pleading, comes the swoosh-THWACK as the heavily weighted blade plunges down its guide rails and strikes home, delivering its final message to another traitor.

Standing last in line, forced to wait longest and endure most terror is the High Priest of Treason, Oliver Letwin, his knighthood debased for his leadership of the outlaw Parliament.  Also at the rear of the line are those bearing the most guilt who have most seriously abused British democracy: Anna Soubry sobs and whimpers, Chuka Umunna soils himself as he begs unreasonably for mercy and the Liberal Democrat MPs are beaten ruthlessly, enduring cruel torture before swift mercy delivers long overdue justice.  SNP members are denied their pleas to die on Scottish soil. Treasonous Tories Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Rory Stewart and others whose names have faded from memory try to maintain their dignity as they witness the horror that is about to befall them.

Madam Guillotine toils away, does her duty, spares no one, brings order, reliability and honour to the whimpering wretches as they at last receive their just desserts. Swoosh-THWACK. A moment’s scuffling, whining as the next doomed wretch is dragged forward, their neck placed as necessary and their final breaths mingled with the sounds of abject fear and desperation.  Swoosh-THWACK.

At last, Britain is restored to its people and the episode of venal, self-serving and corrupt politicians is consigned to history.  The gutters along Whitehall run deep with the blood of traitors and the next day the sun rises over a land once again in liberty, ridden of its dark tyrants.

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Politics

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