Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy

The Crazy Conspiracy Theories that Undermine the Cannabis Campaign

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No, Theresa May’s husband does not own the largest cannabis farm in Europe. No, ‘the government’ is not growing cannabis, exporting it all over the world, making millions from it while denying it to British people. No, you do not have to be a Tory donor to get a licence to grow cannabis. No, MPs do not have investments in cannabis companies which is why prices are so high. No, the former drugs minister, Victoria Atkins MP, did not give her husband a licence to grow cannabis.

These and an almost limitless variety of permutations of the same ideas are endlessly repeated on social media and it’s reached the stage where one version or another is regarded as fact by many people.

These ideas do us no favours. The don’t prove some massive conspiracy about cannabis in the government, Parliament or amongst the wealthy elite because they are simply fake. They make fools of us all and play straight into the hands of prohibitionists who paint cannabis consumers as paranoid fantasists with wild obsessions about imaginary conspiracies and plots.

Sadly, on the last point, from what I’ve seen over the past year in particular, they’re right – at least to some degree about some people!

Of course, they arise because it genuinely is impossible to see any rhyme, reason or common sense about the way that cannabis is handled in the UK. With the exceptions of France, Ireland and Sweden, Britain has the most backwards, regressive and irrational position on cannabis and wider drugs policy of any country in Europe.

It’s inevitable that people will try to look for explanations and because there is dishonesty in drugs policy, because the Home Office has been lying to us about the harms of cannabis for at least 50 years, people develop extraordinary theories that are enhanced if you’ve just had a couple of big hits off your bong.

The trick though, which is what anyone who understands anything about psychology will tell you, is that in each of them, at the root is a tiny grain of truth which has been distorted, exaggerated and falsified until it becomes, apparently, a massive scandal. So much so, that even as I have done many times, you explain in great detail why some particular theory is fake, the response is often ‘no smoke without fire, ‘there must be some truth in it’.

But all these conspiracy theories do is dissipate our energy, divert our focus and attention, distract us from the real story and actually obscure what is more about cock-up, cowardice and stupidity than any grand plan. The reason this government, just like the last Labour government, maintains the prohibition of cannabis, is mainly about ignorance and fear. They don’t believe that it is something their core supporters want to see changed and although many senior politicians fully understand the arguments, the idea of explaining why reform is a good idea looks like far too much hard work and for what?

Don’t be fooled that it’s all about the ‘effing Tories’. Labour has a far worse record on drugs policy. It was Margaret Thatcher who first introduced clean needle exchange when HIV/AIDS first struck. She was a scientist by training and understood the value of evidence. Note that that there is a dearth of scientific training amongst current members of both Houses of Parliament. It was Gordon Brown, Labour PM, who reclassified cannabis upwards to class B in 2009, basically on the instructions of Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail. And it was Alan Johnson, Labour Home Secretary, who sacked Professor Nutt for stating the scientific facts that cannabis and MDMA are much less dangerous than alcohol, tobacco – and even horse riding. And finally, most surprising of all, it was Theresa May and Sajid Javid, Conservative PM and Home Secretary respectively, who legalised medicinal cannabis in 2018 Solely, of course, because of public outcry over incredibly emotive stories of small children with epilepsy.

Jacob Rees-Mogg. Stoned out of his tiny mind.

Of course there are MPs, mostly Conservatives, who have investment portfolios and, within the confines of the law, may well have investments in cannabis companies. It’s perfectly legal for anyone to invest in cannabis companies both in the UK and abroad, although not to being any profits back to the UK if they’re from activities that would be illegal here – such as producing and selling recreational cannabis. Great store has been made of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s alleged investments in cannabis but although there are few more odious MPs, there really isn’t any substance worth bothering about in these allegations. In 2007, he was one of the founders of Somerset Capital Management but he now owns less than 15% of it and plays no active role. It has been involved in advising on investments in Canada’s cannabis industry so, by a convoluted route, it is possible that some of the profits from fees earned on this advice have made their way back into his pocket but there’s no evidence at all that he had any involvement.

The Theresa May’s husband’s story has been invented because he, Philip May, is a mid-ranking employee of Capital Group, another investment company which at one point was the largest shareholder in GW Pharmaceuticals, owning about $300 million in its shares. GW’s sub-contractor, British Sugar, does run the largest cannabis farm in Europe at its Wissington glasshouse in Norfolk. But there’s no evidence at all and nothing even to suggest that Philip May had anything to do with it. And you have to put it in context. Capital Group’s investments exceed $2 trillion and it has owned $20 billion of Amazon shares, $2 billion of Starbucks, $5 billion of McDonald’s and $1.5 billion in Ryanair. It’s GW investment was tiny, insignificant and now it doesn’t own any shares in it at all.

And yes, it’s true. British Sugar’s managing director, Paul Kenward, is marrid to Victoria Atkins MP, who was drugs minister for a short time but its licence to grow cannabis was issued before she was even an MP.

Paul Kenward with a big, fat, badly-photoshopped bud

The biggest problem that all this nonsense creates is that it destroys the credibility of the cannabis campaign. If we want to see progress the people we have to persuade aren’t cannabis consumers and that is, of course, the majority. They already have various perceptions, mostly negative, of those of us that do enjoy cannabis. Most of these are thanks to the government-originated propaganda, gratefully published and exaggerated by the tabloid press and most of them revolve around the idea that cannabis causes mental health problems. These wild, evidence-free conspiracy theories appear to confirm this idea.

So please, stop it! Put your energy into something worthwhile and effective. Write to your MP. Arrange to meet them and explain in calm, respectful terms why cannabis matters to you and why you want to see the law reformed.

 

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 4, 2022 at 7:42 pm

Banker Robber Gets Away With £4 Million

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Stop Thief!

Eric Daniels, chief executive of Lloyds, 41% owned by the taxpayer, is to be given a £2 million cash bonus and receive a further £2 million in shares.

This is nothing short of robbery.   No one is entitled to earn that amount of money when the survival of their business has been contingent on taxpayer support.  Any incentive scheme or agreement which tries to permit such payments is itself fraudulent.  If Daniels takes this money he should be arrested, his assets frozen and he should face trial for conspiracy and deception.

The man is a rogue and a charlatan.  Nothing he has done is of any real value and even by the corrupt and perverse standards of the banking system, he is a failure.  He is entitled to no credit at all for the recovery of Lloyds.

He is another banker robber.  No different from a bank robber.   He pilfers old people’s savings and cheats hardworking businessmen.  Let’s lock him up before he gets away with it!

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm

British Justice On Trial

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Thugs, Slimeballs And Grunts

At last, four of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group are to stand in the dock charged with assault causing actual bodily harm and a jury is to decide their fate.   They are PC Nigel Cowley, PC Mark Jones, PC Roderick James-Bowen and DC John Donohue.

He's Got To Go

Perhaps Keir Starmer, Director Of Public Prosecutions, thinks he will win back some credibility through this after his catastrophically bad judgement in the Ian Tomlinson case.   Not a bit of it.  In fact, the decision to prosecute now after a successful civil claim against these thugs, proves how negligent the original decision was.  The CPS is charged to uphold the public interest by statute.   It should not have to be harried to the Court reluctantly by civil action.  Yet again, Keir Starmer should hang his head in shame.  In fact, he should resign

These officers have already been proven on the balance of probabilities to have illegally assaulted Babar Ahmad in 2003.  Last year the High Court heard that he  was subject to “serious, gratuitous, prolonged, unjustified violence” and “religious abuse”.   Now the criminal courts will seek to extend that proof to beyond a reasonable doubt.   Meanwhile, the Met, which decided against any disciplinary action, chooses not even to suspend these proven thugs and bullies.  Sir Paul Stephenson should join them in the dock.  His disrespect for due process is astounding.  How can he have such men under his command?  The IPCC also failed in this case – yet again.  In 2007, it decided to take no action against any of the officers.

Keeping Mum

Almost every day now, new horror stories of illegal, brutal or simply dumb police behaviour are revealed.  This is the reward we have reaped from the massive investment and huge increase in salaries we gave to the police in the 80s.  According to my contact with inside knowledge it is due to a “collapse in supervision…and an arrogance due to few cops having much other work experience”.  The police service is no such thing for the average British citizen.  It is a self-serving bureaucracy with an aggressive sub-culture, acting as a revenue generating workforce for the state.  It is institutionalised racism, brutality, prejudice, bullying, corruption, cowardice, freemasonry, all dressed up in a jack-the-lad, paramilitary uniform.   It isn’t even any good at what it does.    Aside from dealing with road accidents and high-level anti-terrorism, I know of little good work done by the British police.  It has become an out of control monster that avoids doing what the public wants and picks and chooses what to devote its resources to.

PC Simon Harwood

If Keir Starmer can reverse his decsion on these thugs who beat up a suspected terrorist, he can also reverse his decison on the fatal assault on Ian Tomlinson, an entirely innocent bystander.   Meanwhile we await impatiently the coroner’s inquest on his death and the disciplinary hearing against PC Simon Harwood, which must be held in public in accordance with the statutory provisions.

Every time that a police officer breaks the law or exceeds his powers he breaches our trust.   It is the same as a bank employee stealing from his bank.  It must be punished particularly severely.  This must be the standard that British police adhere to.  We must never relent from calling the corrupt and incompetent to account.

We Wait For Justice

Whether a conviction is possible in this latest case, seven years after the events took place, I don’t know.  On the basis of its own rules the CPS must believe a conviction is more likely than not or it wouldn’t be proceeding .  Justice delayed though, is justice denied for Babar Ahmad and the policemen.  This repeated and continuing incompetence by the prosecution and regulatory authorities is every bid as dangerous as the deterioration in the police.   Suspicions of corruption, collusion and conspiracy are inevitable and must be answered.  These are serious threats to British justice.

The Evil Of Organised Religion

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If we lived in a world without religion there wouldn’t be any conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The Twin Towers would still be standing.  We wouldn’t be hearing the dreadful news about child sexual abuse in Ireland.  The Christian Church and Islam are both condemned for thousands of years of violence and evil.  They are both as bad as each other.  If I had my way they would both be disgraced and proscribed by appropriate public ceremony.

“Too many have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call”

Teach Your Children

These are the immortal words of Crosby Stills & Nash.  Substitute “Christ” with any deity you care to mention.

I accept that in all organised religions there are people who do good. However, an accounting of the last two thousand years: the Crusades, the Inquisition, Palestine, the vile behaviour of priests and nuns, so many wars – shows that religion is seriously in the red and, quite seriously, perhaps it should be illegal.

Worship who or what you want as you want.  The minute that two or more of you get together to promote ideas that lead to death and suffering – well then you’re in a conspiracy.

Shame on the Irish Catholic Church for what it has done to Ireland.  No consequences could be too great or severe for this godless institution.

I pray to the God I believe in for justice and healing.

Criminal Deception

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In a cold hearted, clinical and utterly callous way, we must bring “Sir” Fred Goodwin to heel, to the gutter, to grovel and to ignominy as he richly and deeply deserves.

There are many ways that the government can do this.  I suggest that the most effective is simply not to pay him and let him sue.  This is a shred2pragmatic and commercial approach but, irrespective of its outcome, simultaneously we must prosecute this fundamentally evil individual with all the vigour that honourable and decent society can muster.

If we force him to sue for the rewards of failure then he will have to make his case and I do not believe he wil be able to under the overriding doctrine of “reasonableness”.

However, in the interests of justice, denying him money is insufficient.  Nothing less than criminal punishment will suffice.  Surely,  if our tradition of common law has any relevance, it must be able to sanction his behaviour.

Lawyers must consider whether there is a case for criminal negligence, for conspiracy, for perjury or for any derivative of theft.  Our Judges must package his offences in a way that can produce serious and effective penalties.

Without doubt though this “man”, this “Sir” has deceived.  He lied to the Select Committee saying that he had received no compensation for loss of office.  He has cheated us all.  Whether he retains his obscene pension or not he must be jailed.  Only then will justice be done.