Advertisements

Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘MP

The UK Government’s Latest Excuse About Medicinal Cannabis Is Yet Another Deception.

with 3 comments

Nick Hurd MP, Home Office Minister

Nick Hurd MP, the Home Office minister, said again this week that as far as any consideration of cannabis for medical use is concerned, the government will “await the outcome” of the report on cannabis due from the WHO in 2019 “before considering the next steps”.

In fact, the results of an FOI request show that the UK government has refused to take part in the WHO committee which will “review cannabis and cannabis-related substances on their potential to cause dependence, abuse and harm to health, and potential therapeutic applications”. This despite the WHO issuing a questionnaire to the Department of Health and Social Care “designed to gather information on the legitimate use, harmful use, status of national control and potential impact of international control”.

Aside from the obvious concerns this raises, it is quite extraordinary considering that the UK is the world’s largest producer and exporter of legal cannabis.

Fundamentally the government’s postion on cannabis for medical use hasn’t changed since 1971. Those who follow the Home Office’s statements will have noticed gradual changes but they all seek to reinforce the fundamental premise that cannabis is a dangerous drug of abuse with no therapeutic benefit.

Recent ‘adjustments’, shall we call them, of the official position have dealt with the now overwhelming weight of evidence that cannabis does have very real and significant medical value.  The response has been to caution that all medicines must go through the etablished system of testing for safety and efficacy.

This is a deception as well.  As CLEAR revealed at the beginning of 2018, in every jurisdiction throughout the world where medicinal cannabis has been legally regulated, it is through a special system outside pharmaceutical medicines regulation.

Theresa May is ideologically opposed to the use of cannabis as medicine, it’s as simple as that.  She won’t permit it to be properly considered, discussed or investigated and every time something forces a response, such as a parliamentary question or an enquiry even from a fellow Conservative MP, another deceptive excuse is conjured up.

Victoria Atkins MP, Theresa May MP. Both Have Family Interests In Cannabis For Medical Use.

CLEAR can further reveal that the Home Office’s public position on prospects for licensed cannabis medicnes is also a deception. The statement that has been published is “As happened in the case of Sativex, the Home Office will consider issuing a licence to enable trials of any new medicine…”  We can’t name names just yet but we now have first hand knowledge that at least one publicly-quoted company with established cannabis production facilities in two other G7 countries has been refused permission by the Home Office even to apply for a licence.

The UK government’s stance on cannabis becomes murkier and murkier the deeper you look.  The stench of corruption becomes overpowering when you consider that Theresa May’s husband’s company is the largest single shareholder in GW Pharmaceuticals and the husband of Victoria Atkins MP, the drugs minister, holds a licence to produce 45 acres of cannabis for medical use.

Advertisements

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 12, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Never Has There Been A More Important Time To Vote Against The Conservatives #AndImATory

with 4 comments

I urge you to go out and vote in the local elections and vote against whichever candidate is most likely to defeat the Conservatives.

This is not a conclusion that I have reached lightly or without a great deal of thought.  For the 42 years in which I have been entitled to vote, I have only ever voted Conservative and until Theresa May became leader and, disastrously, prime minister of our nation, I was a fully paid up member of the Conservative Party and an approved local government candidate.

It is my considered opinion that the Conservative Party is a destructive force for Britain and there is clear evidence of serious corruption amongst senior MPs and ministers.  They are unfit to govern our country.

By corruption I do not mean that ministers are receiving thick, plain brown envelopes of cash or even shares held by a nominee in some offshore account – though I think it would be naive to completely rule out the possibility.  The idea that MPs and minsters are, without exception, people of great probity and honour is a delusion best put behind us.  I refer to a more general definition of corruption in which their conduct or intent is not what it is declared to be or what we are entitled to expect.

We are entitled to expect fairness.  We are entitled to expect that policy is based on evidence. We are entitled to expect honesty and transparency within the limits of national security.

For instance, when a minister pursues a policy or adopts a position for their party’s advantage before the nation’s, that is corrupt.  When a minister acts to hold on to their job rather than to see their department improve its service to the public, that is corrupt.

Theresa May, Amber Rudd, Philip Hammond, Chris Grayling and Matt Hancock are beyond doubt guilty of such corruption and many other members of the Conservative cabinet have a case to answer.  Our government is corrupt from top to bottom and from the very core.

Each of us has policies and areas of interest that concern us most.  Mine are set out in over 900 articles published on this website but I do not want to distract from this crucial message by repeating myself or exercising my particular hobby horses.  Whatever your primary concerns, consider how this government has treated them and recognise that its conduct has rendered it unfit to govern.  It is far more than simply pursuing policies that you may disagree with, it is a culture that is systemic within Conservative government: secrecy, cover-up, hypocrisy, arrogance and an authoritarian, intolerant attitude to the people it is supposed to serve. It is corruption.

It’s been said many times but never has it been more accurate. Government exists to serve the people and not vice versa. This truth is simply incompatible with our present government and with the Conservative Party in its present form.

I remain a Tory.  My principles are of individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets, justice and small government.  These will never change.  However, this government must fall at all costs and if that means putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street, then that is what I shall vote for

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

Even When It’s Theresa May We Must Not Constrain Our PM From Taking Effective Military Action.

with one comment

I’d prefer Theresa May wasn’t in charge of putting out her own recycling, let alone the defence of our nation but those MPs and commentators calling for a vote in Parliament before military action are misguided and foolish.

It’s absurd to expect any prime minster to go to Parliament before acting on what may be an immediate threat to our nation or, indeed, to human life elsewhere.

It’s difficult to think of anyone more unsuitable to have their finger ‘on the button’ than Theresa May.  She’s a religious nutcase and shifts her position with the wind to suit her own political advantage.  Nevertheless, we just have to accept the fact that for now she is prime minister and she has to have the authority to act.

Whether we should attack the Syria government is another matter.  With the amount of disinformation coming from all sides it’s impossible for me to make a rational decision.  I don’t trust the Russians at all but then neither do I trust Mrs May nor the totally incredible Boris Johnson whose bluster and exaggeration has finally destroyed any confidence I had in him.

There’s disinformation from all sides on Syria, on the Salisbury nerve agent attack, even this morning from the Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, on gangsters and violent crime in London.  The news is full of propaganda these days and both the BBC and the press are playing their own games. They’re all unreliable and untrustworthy.

What I am sure of is that our weak and pathetic MPs, the likes of Chuka Umunna and Ken Clarke, should have had the courage to deal with Assad back in 2013 when he first used chemical weapons and before Putin muscled in when the West was too timid to act.   The last thing we need now is to let them delay and bicker and score party political points off each other.

Six Very Good Reasons To Panic

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 12, 2018 at 3:25 pm

The Views Of Dr Sarah Wollaston MP On Drugs Policy. A Worrying Case Requiring A Good Dose of Evidence.

with 3 comments

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP is chair of the cross party Health Select Committee. She was a practising GP but is now the most senior Westminster politician, not in government, who has expertise in health and medicine.

The views she expresses are extremely worrying because they betray a complete failure to take note of the evidence, particularly surprising because of her profession.

 

I responded by explaining legalising drugs doesn’t mean a free for all, it means the opposite. We have a free for all now because control has been abandoned to criminal gangs. Regulation must be in accordance with a drug’s potential for harm. It’s more urgent to legalise and regulate dangerous drugs. Keeping crack and heroin supply in the hands of criminals maximises harms through unknown strength and contamination as well as violence and street dealing. Clean, safe supplies should be available in conjunction with therapy at reducing doses. It’s simply absurd that cannabis is illegal and this idiotic policy supports crime and creates a £6 billion criminal market with massive consequential harms. It is shameful and national disgrace that our government continues with this idiocy.

There is very little health harm from cannabis. Healthcare records prove this. There are more health harms from peanuts. 99% of harms of cannabis are created by goverment policy. Ignorance, prejudice and cowardice are the defining characteristics of UK drugs policy.

Dr Wollaston suggests that drug consumers are responsible for the violence and criminal activity around the drugs trade.  I say this is utter nonsense. It is for the government to take responsibility!! That’s what you’re paid for. Take this market out of criminal hands and PROTECT people. It is disgusting to blame consumers for the harms of the drugs market which are caused by government. How dare you blame consumers for the harms of the criminal drugs market which irresponsible governments have created! UK drugs policy MAXIMISES all health and social harms. We are plagued by ignorant, stubborn, anti-evidence fools in government who are killing our children.

It is shocking that you and colleagues in government can be so trapped in ignorance and denial of the vast amount of evidence from across the world that legal regulation minimises all drug harms. If UK drugs policy was in the dock then it would get a whole life sentence.

This is an appalling abdication of responsibility by a senior politician. Dr Wollaston isn’t in government but she echoes the evil attitude of ministers who cause most harms around drugs by their idiotic policies. It is government that must take responsibility not consumers. Do your job!!

I have written to Dr Wollaston asking if she will meet me so that I may show her the evidence she is overlooking.

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

The Assassination of Jeremy Corbyn’s Character

with 8 comments

While I could never vote for socialism, Jeremy Corbyn provides more leadership, courage and integrity than any other politician in Britain today.  Even considering the entire world and recent history, only Obama and Justin Trudeau could hold a candle to the bright light that burns from Corbyn’s soul.

On this day when we remember the assassination of Martin Luther King, one of the greatest leaders ever, whose dream has still not been fulfilled, I say, look at the small-minded, bickering, pathetic excuses we have for leaders today. Certainly in Britain, only Corbyn has the honesty, bravery and determination that are the prerequistites for greatness.

The conduct of the British press, most Conservative politicians, the many vile, treasonable Labour MPs and particularly the BBC towards him is despicable. The antisemitism smear campaign is so far away from truth as to be worthy of comparison with McCarthysim, the worst excesses of the Soviet era, the KGB, Stasi, Spanish Inquisition, the dissolution of the monasteries, the witch hunts, any of mankind’s most shameful epsiodes. If anything was ever going to turn me against the mainstream Jewish community and into a supporter of Corbyn, it is this. The behaviour of those I have named as responsible is a national disgrace.

Our leaders are inept.  Authoritarian bigots such as Theresa May, incapable of any effective action.  Today she is more concerned with ‘the burning injustice of the gender pay gap’ than with the horrendous murder rate on London’s streets. Politicians prefer to put time and money into politically-correct, virtue-signalling policies that raise obscure minorities way above the majority and the real issues that determine our society.  Transgender ‘rights’ for children get more attention in Parliament and from the media than the essential need to provide worthwhile employment, education and guidance in our inner city ghettos.  We have politicised love, relationships and the mating game to the level where men are unable to pass a compliment for fear of accusations of harassment and abuse.  Homosexual love and desire is given more respect and value than the 95% of population that is interested in the opposite sex.  We decry the ‘porn culture’ yet little girls are encouraged to idolise ‘Little Mix’, girls dressed as street whores as some totem of female empowerment.

The state of our justice system is pathetic but when the tyrant and incompetent such as Chris Grayling, who could only ever be Theresa May’s apprentice, is put in charge, what can we expect?  For a few moments, Michael Gove, perhaps the only ray of hope in the entire cabinet, takes over and immediately wise, innovative reforms are in the offing but just as swiftly, May replaces him with the third rate, timid Liz Truss who achives absolutely nothing.  It is impossible to get justice in Britain today in either criminal or civil systems unles you are rich or you are in the ‘minority of the moment’, viz the ridiculous, politically-correct decision that police officer are compelled to believe every word of even the most incredible allegations of historical sexual abuse.  A decision that has led to persecution, harassment, ruined lives and suicide amongst completely innocent people and then another behemoth of a public inquiry that will achieve nothing except to make a lot of lawyers rich and give our sickening newspapers more material on which to to pontificate endlessly. Which brings me back to Jeremy Corbyn.

Please God that soon, and it cannot be soon enough, we are rid of the harridan monster in Downing Street.  Yet who can replace her?  The entire Conservative cabinet is disgraced.  Though Boris Johnson has some qualities that I value, his rush to judgement about Russian responsibility for the Salisbury nerve agent attack makes him (and his colleagues) unfit to govern – another instance where Corbyn was right all along despite enduring rampant, hysterical criticism from all sides.  I first saw through Johnson when he was Mayor of London and a few more year’s experience have done nothing to iron out the fundamental flaws in his character.  Sadly, the once great libertarian David Davis has been effectively stubbed out by assimilation into the malevolent collective known as the European Union.  He may have gone there to rescue us but he has been absorbed, no doubt exactly as Mrs May intended. The only other possible candidate, Michael Gove, has disqualified himself by his duplicitous and cowardly conduct after the referendum. I blame him for the fact that Mrs May is our prime minister and there are few greater crimes than that.

I am in despair, as I believe are so many of my fellow Britons.  I see no bright future for our country.  Since I was 18, for the past 42 years, whenever I have chosen to vote, I have voted Conservative.  In recent years I was a fully paid up member of the Conservative Party and an approved local government candidate.  What I know for sure is that next time I vote it will be for which ever candidate best guarantees that the Conservatives will be out of government.  If that means voting for Jeremy Corbyn, so be it.

Home Office Denies FOI Request In Cover-Up Of All Information On Cannabis Production Licences

with 5 comments

On 6th March 2018 CLEAR submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Home Office asking for full details of the licences accounting for the legal production of cannabis in the UK.  This arose from the story which we broke on 4th March revealing that the UK is the world’s largest producer and exporter of legal cannabis, this according to data provided to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) by the government.

The Home Office has refused the request.  Its grounds for refusal are that disclosure “would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person or would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime“.

Presumably this means that the commercial interest of GW Pharmaceuticals and whoever else has been granted such licences would be prejudiced and that they would risk robbery or other crime at their places of business.

INCB Production of Cannabis 2015-2016

We consider this to be false and without any merit whatsoever. How would it prejudice anyone’s commercial interest?  We would not expect any detail that goes behind the licence holder’s normal commercial confidence and it must be right that the identity of those companies or individuals licenced to produce cannabis should be on the public record together with outline information about the terms of the licence – what is it for, for what period, in what quantities.  Furthermore, with the security precautions required for such a licence, any attempt at crime would be foolhardy and utterly stupid.  It would be much easier either to import or produce your own cannabis.  The sort of criminal enterprise that would be required to raid, for instance, one of GW’s grows would be on a grand scale, incredibly risky and with sentences probably higher than for production of cannabis.

Clearly, disclosure of the information around these licences could, in any case, be limited to redact any specific information which should be kept confidential

It’s quite clear that this refusal is simply an excuse, probably to cover-up not only the extent of the licences but also the basis on which they have been issued.

Of course, the Home Office has pre-empted the next step in a FOI request and states that “the public interest falls in favour” of not providing this information.  We consider this to be nonsense.  It is clear that the public interest (not just the interest of the public) is very much that the issue of such licences should be a matter of public record.  It is outrageous that this information is being kept secret.

The answer to the second part of our FOI Request provides further insight into how little trust can be placed in the Home Office and demonstrates that its answers are dishonest.  In answer to a written question in Parliament on 1st March 2018, Home Office minster Nick Hurd MP said “No licences for pharmaceutical companies to grow and process medicinal cannabis for exportation to other countries have been issued.”  However the INCB report, which information can only have come from the Home Office, shows that in 2015/16 the UK exported 2.1 tons of medical cannabis.  We asked for an explanation of how Mr Hurd’s answer is consistent with the facts reported.

Nick Hurd MP, Home Office Minister

The Home Office’s answer is that “these figures could include any plant material exported for pharmaceutical purposes or pharmaceutical products containing cannabinoids that are manufactured in the UK and exported, such as Sativex.” and that it takes ‘medicinal cannabis’ to mean “substances produced to be consumed, be that smoked or ingested in any way.”

It is clear therefore that the Home Office has given two different answers to the same question and that the answer given to the INCB is correct whereas the answer given by Mr Hurd is without doubt intended to mislead Parliament.  It also seeks falsely to create a distinction between Sativex and other forms of cannabis which is manifestly and beyond doubt another deception, based on information published by GW Pharmaceuticals which CLEAR revealed in 2016.

In summary therefore, the Home Office has refused to answer the FOI Request in relation to licensing on grounds which are entirely spurious and has demonstrated that it is actively engaged in deceiving both Parliament and the public on the export of medicinal cannabis from the UK.

Following the required procedure, we have now requested an internal review of the Home Office’s handling of the FOI Request.  We argue that: “It goes directly to the question of the massive public demand for legal access to cannabis for medical use and the total denial of this by government. This policy is itself irrational and against the public interest and the refusal to disclose the information requested is a political cover-up.”

We anticipate this will be a whitewash and further attempt at a cover-up. Thereafter we have a right to complain to the Infomation Commissioner.  At this stage we would also seek to mobilise support from MPs with an interest in this area.  Ultimately, we may be able to apply to the High Court for judical review of the Home Office’s decision and we will consider mounting a crowdfunding campaign to enable this.

Misleading Parliament Again. Victoria Atkins, The Drugs Minister With A Family Cannabis Farm.

with 2 comments


She’s back!  Victoria Atkins MP is again engaged in answering parliamentary questions on cannabis for the UK government.  Clearly this is wholly improper when she directly benefits from commercial production of cannabis.

Ms Atkins disappeared from public view for a few weeks after CLEAR revealed that her husband is growing 45 acres of cannabis under government licence while she argues against drugs regulation in Parliament. It was particularly notable that she was absent from the House of Commons during the recent urgent question debate on a medical cannabis licence for Alfie Dingley.  Instead, her colleague Nick Hurd MP, ostensibly the Police Minister, was required to answer a question on drugs.  Similarly, she was nowhere to be seen as Paul Flynn MP’s bill came up for debate, which sadly, as CLEAR had predicted, never took place.

It is simply extraordinary that the so-called Drugs Minister should duck and dive out of view when such issues of massive public interest hit the headlines.  She has a massive conflict of interest and it is completely unacceptable for her to continue in her present role.

Yesterday, 7th March 2018, she answered a written question from Roger Godsiff, the Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green.

“To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will assess the health and economic benefits of legalising cannabis for medical use.”

Ms Atkins answered:

“The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has committed to reviewing the scheduling of cannabis under the United Nation’s 1961 Convention. This is due to consider the therapeutic use, as well as dependence and the potential to abuse constituent parts of cannabis. This is due in 2019 and we will await the outcome of this report before considering the next steps.”

This answer is at best disingenuous and misleading.  Once the full facts are understood it is clear that it is deceptive and mendacious.

British Sugar’s giant greenhouse in Wissington, Norfolk where Victoria Atkins husband, Paul Kenward, grows cannabis

Ms Atkins husband, Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar, grows cannabis under contract to GW Pharmaceuticals for the production of medicine.  Ms Atkins deceit is predicated on another deception promoted by the UK government that is some way or another, Sativex, GW’s cannabis medicine is not cannabis.  GW is perfectly straightforward about this.  Sativex is a whole plant cannabis extract adjusted by simple blending of two different strains to deliver 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD.  It contains all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds present in the plants from which it is made.  The government deception is to justify the issue of a marketing authorisation (MA) for Sativex by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which is itself a deception.  The MA was issued on the basis that Sativex is THC and CBD alone.  The MHRA conveniently overlooks the hundreds of other ingredients and calls them “unspecified impurities”. The consequence of this is that, ludicrously, Sativex is a schedule 4 drug whilst any other form of cannabis remains schedule 1 and may not be prescribed

But the plot thickens.  The deceit goes even deeper.  It has been widely reported and British Sugar confirms that its grow is not for Sativex but for production of Epidiolex, the 98% cannabidiol (CBD) medicine that has not yet received an MA.  If, as appears certain, this is the case then the British Sugar grow is unlawful under the declared policy of the government.  Cannabis production licences (other than low-THC industrial hemp) can only be issued for “research or other special purposes“. They most certainly cannot be issued for the production of a medicine that is not yet authorised.  Even if the British Sugar cannabis is low-THC, it is definitely not an approved EU industrial hemp strain and the purpose of its production is presently unlawful.

Ms Atkins through her husband is therefore engaged in the unlawful production of cannabis and is directly engaged in misleading Parliament as to government policy, the law and the medical value of cannabis.  The World Health Organization story is a trick, a distraction, an excuse to divert Parliament from understanding the truth.

Ms Atkins conduct cannot be described in any other way except as corrupt.  She is a disgrace as a minister of the Crown, to Parliament, to her profession as a barrister, to the Conservative Party, to her constituents in Louth and Horncastle and to the United Kingdom as a whole and all of its citizens.  She is manifestly unfit for any public office.