Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘cartel

The Real Prison Drugs Scandal

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Banged Up

The real scandal about drugs in prison is that they’re even there in the first place.  How do they get in?  It’s prison staff of course.

That’s the uncomfortable truth which Ken Clarke and the government won’t talk about.  Compared to the extraordinary security and penalties that prison visitors face, the screws have it easy.  There’s an organised network at each prison, run by screws, for screws, supplying drugs to prisoners.  Of course there is!

The even bigger scandal is that what used to be a cannabis culture, with prisoners alleviating their boredom with a relatively harmless joint, has become a health nightmare, with prison regulations forcing them into heroin.

You see Ken Clarke’s bright new ideas of drug free wings, testing and incentive regimes have been going on for more than 10 years already.  I support Ken’s new ideas.  I think he’s a breath of fresh air but this is just unhelpful propaganda.  You see, prisoners stopped smoking cannabis when they started getting tested regularly.  Evidence of cannabis remains in urine for up to 28 days, whereas heroin or cocaine washes through in 48 hours.  Once the testing started and the prison officer-run cartels cottoned on, heroin began to flood our jails.  A nightmare but true.

Of course, the fact that the drugs problem exists at all in prison is because it’s just a microcosm of society.  If proper treatment was provided to those entering prison with a habit then it’s the perfect opportunity for them to clean up.  If prohibition wasn’t creating a fantastically profitable black market then the drugs problem would gradually recede just as it would in society in general if we introduced fact and evidence-based regulation.

Prohibition doesn’t work.  It just makes the problem worse.

Tony Hayward, BP And The Oil Spill

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Good Job

I am really very impressed with BP’s Chief Executive.  He is doing the best possible job for his company – and probably for all concerned.  His appearance on the Andrew Marr show this morning was an object lesson in how to handle such a crisis.  He is suitably contrite.  He is direct, honest, loyal, everything that any board of directors or committee of shareholders could ask for.  Crucially, in the TV age, he looks right.  His appearance is an exact match for his message.

Here is a man who is worth every penny of a salary I would expect to run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

I’m no fan or friend of big oil companies.  There’s little doubt in my mind that BP and Esso/Exxon, the world’s biggest, operate an effective cartel on fuel prices.  They’re so big that no government can do anything about it.

I don’t think you can blame BP for the disaster although obviously it is responsible.  Clearly, you have to ensure that all possible safety standards and procedures are complied with but, given that, it could have happened to any oil company, anywhere.  There’s no more greed in BP than anywhere else. It’s just a business trying to make a profit like any other.

I deplore the oil spill just as I approve of motherhood and apple pie.  I understand that Obama has to give BP an appropriate amount of flak but the important point is how it is dealing with the disaster and all its consequences.  From what I see I think we should all be grateful that Tony Hayward is the man in charge.