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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘absurd

The Public Sector Pay Scandal

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There are very few things in politics that are simple.  This is an exception.  The principle, implied by Panorama, that no one in the public sector should be paid more than the prime minister seems very sensible to me.

I already knew that BBC senior executives enjoy vastly overinflated pay but the fact that Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, gets £838,000 per annum is shocking.   It is particularly hard to take after the absurd spectacle of the Pope’s visit.  The leader of a very minor church, presently mired in appalling scandal, has enjoyed a bonanza of free, round the clock, TV, radio and internet promotion.  I didn’t know but it turns out that Mark Thompson is a rabid Catholic.  He has a nerve to run his own private campaigns at our expense!  This is too much!

He is at the top and is the very worst of a deeply depressing list of excess and vanity.  I am sure that many of these people are very able and skilled in their profession.  If and when they choose to go into the private sector they may well make millions.  While in the public sector, every single one of them should be very grateful for the privilege to serve.

The argument about market forces, put forward by the leader of Liverpool City Council, is just a weak excuse.  If he really believes it then he needs to think again.  Believe me, real market forces will sort this out, no problem.  We will still get the very best in senior positions if we recruit properly.  Successful people will seek to make their name in the public sector first, in prestige positions, then move on to make their fortune.

I say increase the prime minister’s salary to £250,000.  These gestures of senior politicians cutting their own pay are meaningless and impress no one.  Make that the maximum that anyone in the public sector can earn.  Enforce it immediately.  All salaries to be trimmed to that level from 1st October.  I see everything in favour of this and nothing against.

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The BBC’s Absurd Level Of Coverage Of The Pope

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This has been another grave error of judgment by the BBC.

According to the 2001 census there are 4.2 million Catholics in the UK.  According to the 2005 Church census, just 887,000 are regular worshippers.  Does this justify the absurd level of wall to wall coverage we have had to endure over the last four days?

It looks totally disproportionate to me.  More like some sort of subversive attempt by religious zealots to impose their superstitious beliefs on the rest of us.

If any other group can prove nearly a million regular supporters in the UK will the BBC guarantee equivalent coverage?

With 96 straight hours of guaranteed airtime, whoever you are, whatever your “act”, you’ll easily be able to fill Hyde Park and venues all over the country. You’ll make a fortune!

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

My MP, Richard Drax, To Write To David Cameron On Drugs Policy

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The Honourable Member For Dorset South

Today I met with my MP, Richard Drax.  He was just as sickeningly handsome and charming as I expected him to be!   So I showed him no mercy and bombarded him with my opinions for a good half an hour.

I realised afterwards that my favourite maxim “less is more” would have been a better strategy.  Nevertheless,  he did offer to write to David Cameron on my behalf on drugs policy and seemed genuinely sympathetic to some of the points I made.

I have just sent him a lengthy email in confirmation which I reproduce below.  If anyone wishes to use this as a template for a letter or email to their own MP, please feel free to do so.

******

Dear Richard,

Thank you so much for your time today.  I very much enjoyed meeting you.  As I said, I came with opinions not problems.  I am grateful to you for listening to me.

I realise that I made the classic mistake of bombarding you with far too much information and not giving you time to absorb any.  I hope I may correct that error by summarising here what we talked about.

1. Gary McKinnon. Thank heavens that progress seems to have been made on this. The idea of an “extradition” treaty that provides for someone to be sent to the USA for trial on an alleged crime committed here is iniquitous.  It’s particularly unfair in McKinnon’s case as he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.  You pointed out to me that similar dangers exist with the new European arrest warrant.

I would urge you to do everything possible to ensure that if Gary McKinnon is to be tried, it should take place in the UK.

2. Ian Tomlinson. In my view the failure to prosecute the policeman who assaulted him is an outrage and Keir Starmer’s reasons entirely inadequate.  Now that the credibility of the pathologist in the case has been destroyed by a GMC panel, Starmer should at least reconsider and hopefully reverse his decision.

References here:


http://pjroldblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/killer-cop-harwood-must-be-charged/

http://pjroldblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/keir-starmer-the-next-lord-widgery/

I would urge you to press for a re-consideration of the decision not to bring charges.  If no criminal charges are brought, at the very least the disciplinary hearing should be held in public as the rules allow.  The Tomlinson family are entitled to justice.

3. Drugs policy. You very kindly agreed to write to David Cameron on my behalf.  I am very concerned at the conduct of the Home Office at present and particularly James Brokenshire, the Minister for Crime Prevention who is causing great damage to both the coalition governemnt and the Tory party by promoting ideas and policies that contradict virtually all expert opinion, including the government’s own scientific advisers.  He also seems to be completely at odds with the calls for drug law reform which both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have made consistently over the last 10 years.

This is not a peripheral or secondary issue.  According to Baroness Meacher in the House of Lords on 15th June 2010, “There is no more obvious waste than the £19 billion annual cost of the UK’s war on drugs”.

There is a huge amount of reference material on this subject on my blog:

http://pjroldblog.wordpress.com/?s=drugs

I would also refer you to the Transform Drug Policy Foundation which has highly detailed and almost universally acclaimed proposals for drug regulation:

http://www.tdpf.org.uk

Virtually all experts agree that the “war on drugs” has failed. In exactly the same way as alcohol prohibition in the US led to a massive increase in crime and violence, so drug prohibition has created an illegal market said to be worth £350 billion per year. It has also financed civil war in Latin America for 25 years and is the principal source of finance for Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Our soldiers are dying every day because of the illegal trade in opiates.  Why don’t we just buy up the whole crop for the next 10 years?  It would be much cheaper in both cash and lives than the Afghan war.

Virtually all experts agree that regulation would be a better solution.  I have distilled the following five point plan from everything that I have read and learned over more than 30 years:

1. An end to oppression of drug users (at least 10 million UK citizens)
2. Removal from the criminal law of any offence for possession and/or social supply
3. Fact and evidence-based policy, information and regulation
4. Re-direction of law enforcement resources against real criminals
5. Treat problematic drug use as a health issue

Five years ago, while campaigning for the Tory party leadership, David Cameron called for “fresh thinking and a new approach” towards drugs policy and said that it would be “disappointing if radical options on the law on cannabis were not looked at”. Nick Clegg has promised to repeal “illiberal, intrusive and unnecessary” laws and to stop “making ordinary people criminals”. There can be no better example of this than the laws against personal use and cultivation of cannabis, particularly for medicinal reasons. The coalition government’s new Your Freedom website has been inundated with proposals to legalise cannabis and to end the futile war on drugs.   In July a poll carried out for the LibDems showed 70% of people in favour of legalising cannabis.

The Home Office and James Brokenshire are completely out of touch with expert and public opinion as well as the declared views of both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.

In my view, regulation means tighter control on the most dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol and lighter regulation on relatively harmless substances like cannabis and ecstasy.

There is also the very important question of medicinal cannabis.  The discovery of the endocannabinoid system in 1998 has led to an ever-escalating volume of evidence of the medicinal value of cannabis.  In June the MHRA approved Sativex as an MS medicine in the UK.  It is a whole plant extract yet presently, the Home Office refuses to consider a regulated system of the plant itself for medicinal purposes.  This is completely irrational and absurd.  The House Of Lords scientific committee recommended such a system should be introduced 12 years ago.  Medicinal cannabis is available and regulated throughout almost all of Europe, Israel and 14 states in the USA (with 12 more in the planning stage).  The UK stands almost alone in its obstinate refusal even to consider such a system.

Already this is leading to quite obscene injustices where patients have been prescribed Sativex by their doctor but their health authority has refused to fund it and patients are then facing criminal prosecution for cultivating their own plants.  There is a case of exactly this going on in the Dorchester Crown Court at present and the CPS insists it is in the public interest to prosecute!

Thank you once again for listening to me Richard. I hope these notes are useful in composing your letter to David Cameron and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Kind regards,

Peter Reynolds

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.

The Centre For Social Cohesion – A Zionist Deception

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On the BBC’s “Sunday Morning Live”, the director of “The Centre For Social Cohesion”, Douglas Murray, was wheeled out as an apologist for Israel.

The question was “David Cameron causes a stir by calling Gaza a “prison camp”. So is it time for a franker dialogue with the Jewish state? Or are we already too critical of Israel?”

Mad, Bad And Dangerous

Murray tried to defend Israel’s actions in Gaza, in particular coming out with the latest Zioinst propaganda about shopping malls and the “luxury” that Gaza’s inhabitants enjoy.

I agree with David Cameron’s words entirely.  I would make just one slight correction.  I would call Gaza a “concentration camp” just to make the similarity with the Nazis absolutely clear.

I can only assume that “The Centre For Social Cohesion” is Murray’s personal plaything.  It surely cannot be a serious organisation.  It is difficult to imagine anyone giving this joker any sort of responsible job.  What more pompous and inaccurate title could there be for an organisation that he has anything to do with?  He must have made it up himself.

Drivel

It styles itself as “a non-partisan think-tank that studies issues related to community cohesion in the UK. Committed to the promotion of human rights, it is the first think-tank in the UK to specialise in studying radicalisation and extremism within Britain”.

What, with Douglas Murray as its director?  How utterly, excruciatingly absurd.  His attitudes are as far away from socially cohesive, non-partisan and promoting human rights as it is possible to imagine.

Can the name of this organisation or what it says about itself be covered by the Trades Descriptions Act?

What can right-thinking, honourable and truthful people do to defeat such deception?

Expose him and his organisation for the pariahs that they are.  Complain to the BBC here and tell them that we are looking for truth on our televisions, not deception, propaganda and lies.