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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘dishonest

“Outrageous Scaremongering” Over Cannabis

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Last October,  36-year old Julie Ryan was found dead in bed by her three children, now aged 14, 13 and 8.  At a coroner’s inquest in Oldham last week, pathologist Dr Sami Titi said “The direct cause of her death was cardiac arrest because of a history of smoking cannabis”.

Dr Sami Titi

Julie’s family claims that this is not true, that Julie’s cannabis use has been blamed because the Royal Oldham hospital failed to treat her properly. In Britain, there has only been one previous occasion when a death has been attributed to cannabis. In 2004, Lee Maisey, 36 of Pembrokeshire, who smoked half a dozen “joints” a day, was found dead on his living room floor after complaining of a headache.

At the inquest in Oldham, the coroner, Simon Nelson, was said to be surprised at the pathologist’s story and questioned him closely. Dr Titi insisted that “smoking of cannabis is well known to have a negative impact on the heart and can cause heart attacks in young people”. The coroner said that in 15 years he had never heard a pathologist so confident that cannabis could be fatal. He recorded a narrative verdict of “death from cardiovascular complications induced by cannabis smoking”.

Coroner Simon Nelson

Julie’s brother, Kevin Ryan, says that the pathologist’s remarks are “outrageous scaremongering”. Her mother, Linda, is bewildered by events. As planned, Julie’s children had stayed with her while the inquest was taking place. Now they have returned home to the furore of this extraordinary verdict and are extremely distressed.

Julie had visited the Royal Oldham hospital several times complaining of chest pains but been sent away with a diagnosis of heartburn. The post mortem examination revealed she had a severely enlarged heart and had suffered a previous heart attack which had not been diagnosed. Family sources said “It’s a cover up. Cannabis doesn’t kill. They made a big mistake.” Mary Burrows, Julie’s cousin, who was very close to her, said she preferred to smoke cannabis rather than have a drink and that “she was a wonderful mother and her kids miss her so much”.

Dr Mark Eckersley, a local Manchester doctor, said “More and more pressure is being piled on medical professionals to propagate this type of untruth by the powers that be.” He said doctors need to maintain credibility with the community and that “this type of nonsense makes my blood boil”.

A spokesman for the Royal Oldham hospital said “Miss Ryan died from a heart attack and cardiovascular problems. Our thoughts and sympathy go to her family.”

On 2nd November in California, Proposition 19 is expected to permit the personal use of cannabis for the state’s 28 million adults. As a result, new tax revenues of $1.4 billion are anticipated, up to 110,000 new jobs and a boost of up to $18 billion to the state’s economy from spin-offs such as coffee shops and tourism.

In America, any health concerns about the plant are far outweighed by health benefits. Medical cannabis is already regulated in 14 states with another 12 in the planning stage. In Britain, Sativex, a whole plant extract of cannabis, was recently authorised as a treatment for MS. It costs about eight times what medical cannabis costs in America, Holland, Spain, Israel and very shortly Germany, where there is a fully regulated supply chain. In Britain, despite a House Of Lords Scientific Committee recommendation, the government refuses to consider such a move. Many patients whose doctors have prescribed Sativex have been denied funding from their health authority. In some of these cases, criminal prosecutions have been brought against them for cultivating their own plants.

A spokesman for GW Pharmaceuticals, developers of Sativex, said “The therapeutic ratio for cannabis is so high that it is virtually impossible to ingest a fatal dose”.

Prof. David Nutt

Professor David Nutt was sacked as chairman of the Home Office’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs last year after claiming that cannabis was less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. His successor, Professor Les Iversen, also maintains that cannabis has been “incorrectly” called dangerous and says it is one of the “safer recreational drugs”.

On Friday, Professor Nutt said cannabis “seems to cause much less harm than alcohol and that banning the plant is “unjust and therefore undemocratic”. He added: “The previous government’s policy to deter cannabis use by forceful policing increased convictions for cannabis possession from 88,000 in 2004 to 160,000 in 2008. As well as ruining many lives through getting a criminal record, this added massive costs to taxpayers in extra policing and prison costs.”

Prof. Les Iversen

Dr Sami Titi, the pathologist, was unavailable for comment and did not respond to emails. It has not been possible to identify any scientific support for his conclusions.

Julie Ryan’s family is left bemused and uncertain by this verdict. Three children are without a mother and confused about contradictory messages. The 13 year old has been posting on websites about her concerns. Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office have criticised the government for basing drugs policy on opinion rather than evidence. James Brokenshire, the Home Office Minister, in direct contradiction to his own advisers, continues with the story that cannabis is “extremely harmful”.

James Brokenshire

Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg are on record over the last 10 years as consistently calling for reform in drug policy. The Your Freedom website has been overwhelmed with requests for evidence based regulation of drugs and the legalisation of cannabis but the government is riding roughshod over this public outcry. A consultation document on a new drugs strategy was issued just over a week ago but it seems meaningless and dishonest as all the big decisions have already been taken. Cannabis campaigners, working on behalf of six million regular users in the UK, are outraged at what they see as hypocrisy, misinformation and regressive government action.

Dr Mark Eckersley, exasperated and concerned at the pathologist’s evidence said “This is simply not true. Hearing this story is more likely to cause a heart attack than the ingestion of any cannabinoid”.

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Written by Peter Reynolds

August 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Health, Politics

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Broken Society. Broken Britain. Brokenshire.

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A Gift To The Opposition

Given his increasingly authoritarian, “big government” stance, his misrepresentation of science and the deeply flawed, dishonest Home Office Drugs Strategy consultation,  James Brokenshire is proving himself to be a very dangerous young man.

If any coalition minister is pursuing policies that will lead to a broken society and a broken Britain, it is Brokenshire.   He is so far out of step with the progressive, liberal and intelligent direction of the government that one wonders has he been put out for sacrifice?   His attitude and ideas are those of a previous generation which had not yet made all the mistakes or suffered all the consequences that we already have.  He needs to study some history.

From Propostion 19 to the changing views of Latin America’s leaders, Brokenshire is way, way behind.  He is also in direct contradiction to the progressive policies which both Cameron and Clegg have supported in the past.

It is vital for the future of millions of British citizens, their health, liberty, freedom from crime and oppression that Brokenshire is stopped.  As a Tory I am also dismayed at the huge damage he is doing to the party.  He is making the coalition government look short sighted, regressive and stupid.   He has got to go.

See here for the story on Nominative Determinism.  What does a man’s name mean?

Why Are Withheld Numbers Allowed?

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It's Me!

Recently I started to receive a series of silent telephone calls.  Sometimes the caller would ring off as soon as I answered.  On other occasions  it would be some time before my line cleared.  It’s happened to me before as it has to most of us.  What makes me angry though is when you dial 1471 and find out that the caller was from a withheld number.

At one time I’d have assumed – no, correction – I’d have known that it was a deranged ex-girlfriend but not any more.  I’ve cleared all that sort of dross out of my life.  Now it could be one of those dreadful automated telemarketing computers which all sorts of otherwise reputable companies seem to think are an acceptable business tool.  I don’t.  I think they’re pretty much akin to an offensive weapon.

But why, oh why are withheld numbers allowed at all?

What possible reason or excuse can there be for allowing anyone to make anonymous telephone calls?  We have the technology.  Caller ID is now virtually universal.  What possible justification can there be for anyone to hide the number they’re calling from?  If they’re initiating the communication,  whoever they are, why should they be able to hide their identity?

So I thought I’d take advantage of BT’s “Anonymous Caller Rejection” service.  Now, I’m probably going to have to cancel it because so many people are having difficulty getting through to me.

First it was my electricity supplier.  Then it was a government department that I was doing some writing for.  Then it was my MP’s secretary who comes from the doctors’ receptionists charm school and was quite affronted, told me off even, that my phone won’t accept anonymous calls.

Sorry, Wrong Number!

Just what is it that makes these (mostly) rational people and organisations think it is acceptable to contact me anonymously?  Would they send me anonymous letters or emails or arrive at my door and refuse to identify themselves?

No, of course they wouldn’t.  It would be entirely wrong and it is entirely wrong to use anonymous or withheld telephone numbers too.

Generally I’m opposed to laws.  We have far too many already but in this instance we should legislate.  It’s ridiculous, deceptive, dishonest and unnecessary yet many of our biggest organisations and institutions do it as matter of course.

It’s unacceptable and it should be stopped.  Ban withheld numbers now!

Facebook – It’s A Snide, Snide World

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I don’t know the name of the geek from Facebook who said that he wanted everyone on the planet to become a member of his website but he follows Adolf, Joseph, Benito, Francisco and other tyrants in having ambitions that must be thwarted at all costs.

Let me be clear, yes, you can find me on Facebook.  It’s true, with nearly half a billion members it is difficult to ignore it.  I use it to publicise this blog to as wide an audience as possible.  You can call me a hypocrite if you want but I don’t and won’t participate in the snide, puerile and thoroughly unhealthy relationships and lifestyle that it promotes.

Is This The Real Life Or Is It Just Fantasy?

If there are nearly a half a billion members on the site there must be at least a billion virtually identical photographs that consist of two or three faces (usually inane blondes at a party) pressed together cheek to cheek with vile grimaces or smiles.   If it’s supposed to be about individuals why does everyone look exactly the same, talk exactly the same and behave exactly the same?

There are now an extraordinary number of sad, dysfunctional people who live their life, vicariously and actually, on Facebook.  This, I believe, should be of great concern to all of us.  More than that, the site encourages behaviour that is dishonest, underhand and snide.  It’s not a force for good.  It’s a force for evil.  It’s a perversion and abuse of the internet, probably mankind’s greatest ever invention.

You know the sort of person who’d rather text than make a phone call?  It’s often very dishonest communication, the ideal way for a coward to make excuses, lie or deceive.  It’s said that 80% of communication is non-verbal and you certainly get a lot of that extra meaning over the phone.  You get none at all by text.  It’s just the bare, badly, carelessly or deceptively chosen words. Facebook goes even further, it encourages members to post messages and pictures so that they’re seen by third parties as well.  In fact, often the message or picture is posted mainly for their benefit, to embarass or annoy.  This is the real wickedness.  It’s already led to murders and countless, countless, arguments and disputes which have ended in violence.  Of course, it depends on you.   You or your friends can behave badly through any medium or face to face.  The point is Facebook encourages you to be snide.  It’s not nice.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I certainly wouldn’t be encouraging children to use it.  For many it’s already become a substitute for real life.  Its most well known deficiency is the way it makes you collect an ever greater quantity of friends with no regard whatsoever for quality.  My sons and all their real world friends have in excess of 1,000 Facebook friends.  I have 24 so that must make me – what?

There’s no doubt that there are business opportunities presented by Facebook. With that many members there’s bound to be.  In that context it’s not surprising that Cheryl Cole has 1,698,477 friends.  Mind you, Paul Macartney only has 11!

So I’ll be staying on Facebook but I won’t be participating in it.  I think it should have a big warning flash up on the screen every time you log in: “GET A LIFE”

A Terrible Result

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This is exactly what we didn’t need.  It is a disaster.  Overwhelmingly I am dismayed that so many Britons have voted for the tired, dishonest, discredited Labour party.  I’m really not sure that I want to live in a country where there are eight million people who can behave like this.

Congratulations to Richard Drax for trouncing Jim Knight here in Dorset South and turning a Labour majority of 1800 into a Tory majority of 7500.  That was exactly the result the whole country needed.  Congratulations also to Caroline Lucas for winning the first ever Green seat.

Two of the blackest, bleakest events:  Ed Balls retaining his seat,  Harriet Harman back on the TV spouting her usual nonsense.

I feel sorry for the Lib Dems.  It is a gross injustice and we are all diminished by their failure to gain more influence.

A terrible result.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

Politically Correct Fools

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griffinspitfire

Come Fly With Me!

It is a crazy and entirely self-defeating idea to protest at the appearance of Nick Griffin on Question Time.

Similarly, to complain of the BNP’s use of World War II images and propaganda is just nonsense. Those who cling to the oily and sticky ideas of political correctness prove themselves to be fools again and again.

I’d rather have some straightforward anti-Nazi nutter chanting in my face than these slimy, unpleasant, dishonest, machiavellian meddlers. These creeps who stir up opposition even to the BNP’s existence, who are so utterly hypocritical in their wish to censor and repress the BNP.  Are they so insecure in their own beliefs that they think the BNP can ever make any real progress?

I applaud the BBC for having the courage to show a pretty young protestor being dragged across a polished floor screaming “This is what they do to protect the Nazis. Shame on you BBC!”.

On the contrary, congratulations to the BBC. Your conduct throughout this affair has been noble and of the highest standard of fairness and equality.

I think Nick Griffin is a pretty dubious and unpleasant character. I would like to hear more from him about his policies and I’d like to see him quizzed by Andrew Marr or Jeremy Paxman. At present I don’t understand exactly what he really advocates. Like millions of British citizens, I do not consider myself a racist but I do believe in Britain for the British. I don’t understand why a Muslim Lawyers or a Black Police Officers organisation is OK but an organisation for white British is denounced and reviled.

This debate needs to be aired.  We need to hear more from Mr Griffin so that we can make up our own minds.  Those who seek to silence him are their own worst enemies.

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE – Bankers On The Run

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It is infuriating to see them now scurrying and rushing to reduce their interest rates after the outcry at their dilatory and greedy response to the Bank Of England’s massive rate cut.

We are going to to have to drag the w**ker bankers every greasy step of the way to a place where they start behaving responsibly and fulfilling their obligations to us as major shareholders.  We are going to have to watch their dishonest and deceitful efforts to snaffle huge bonuses, in shares if not cash, and we are going to have to treat them as the completely untrustworthy spivs that they are.

What is clear that some of them are already getting away with it because the government has been so weak in stipulating the conditions and “mechanisms”, as Gordon Brown put it, that will control their greed and thievery.

It is time to start naming names and for the work to be done that will uncover and expose those who have manipulated the system for their own ends.

The first candidate for the WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE poster is Bob Diamond of Barclays. 

Bob Diamond, Barclays

Bob Diamond, Barclays

It is generally agreed that he has spurned the government’s rescue package in favour of the Arabs so that he can hang on to his outrageous, undeserved multimillion pound bonus.  I will be researching his record in more detail.

Please submit your nominations for WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE bankers with as much evidence as you can.