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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Parliament

Two MPs Who Aren’t Fit And Proper Persons To Be In Parliament. But How Many of Them Are?

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Christopher Chope who believes his concerns about Parliament’s procedures justify sabotaging bills about ‘up skirting’ and female genital mutilation.

John Hayes who wants to introduce a mandatory custodial sentence for people charged with repeated possession of cannabis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How many MPs are fit to be in Parliament?  It’s not our fault.  We get just about zero choice of who is on the ballot paper. It’s all determined by the political parties.  Or, more accurately, it’s determined by the ‘grandees’ of the Conservative and Labour parties who cook our political system up to suit their own ends.  There’s no other word for this than corruption.

There are a very few MPs of integrity in Parliament but it is increasingly difficult to think of more than about one percent of them. Yes, that’s about half a dozen and no more.

Theresa May’s party takes the biscuit though. Her letter to her MPs this weekend proves that she and her colleagues are entirely self-serving. For them Brexit is only about themselves. They are not acting in the interests of the nation. Again, there’s no other word for this than corruption.

Whatever votes these paltry excuse for leaders take in Parliment there’s one majority we can be absolutely certain of. At least 600 of them are unfit to hold public office.

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Written by Peter Reynolds

February 17, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Cannabis and CBD. UK and EU Bureaucrats -v- The People and Parliament.

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For decades, public opinion and knowledge on cannabis has been way ahead of those in Parliament and civil servants in the Home Office and the Department of Health.

In other countries, governments have been more ready to update themselves on scientific knowledge and they are more speedily held to account through more effective democracies. At last, the UK Parliament has acted on access to cannabis for medical use as it should have 20 years ago.  Both Canada and the Netherlands introduced legal access in 2001 and California even five years before that.

But the will of Parliament is being stifled and subverted by bureaucracts in the NHS and the Department of Health.  As MPs are never shy to remind us, under our constitution, Parliament is supreme.  That makes the conduct of these civil servants unlawful.  They are being obstructive about the prescribing of cannabis.  They need to be compliant with the law or they become guilty of maladminstration.  We should have no more patience with this wilful misconduct.  Their responsibility is to facilitate implementation of the law, not find ways to delay it because of their personal opinions.

The same goes for the Home Office which has done absolutely nothing to revise its cannabis licensing policy in accordance with the new regulations.  Well-qualified, experienced, international corporations, willing to make multimillion pound investments in Britain to produce the cannabis-based products (CBPMs) which we need are being refused licences for no good reason. If the products are not available, how will they ever reach the patients who Parliament has decreed are entitled to access them?

For 50 years, the Home Office has run a systematic campaign of disinformation because it is institutionally opposed to cannabis. Until Sajid Javid, civil servants have thwarted the efforts of all minsters that have tried to introduce any drugs policy reform.  Now he has to stand up against the subversive forces within his own department or someone has to fund judical review of the Home Office’s maladminstration of cannabis licensing. Just as in the Windrush Scandal, the Home Office maintains a ‘hostile environment’ based on senior civil servants’ personal prejudices rather than the best interests of Britain and now, the law.

CBD. Big Pharma Protectionism, Bureaucrat Box-Ticking or Both?

Many people are not yet aware of the meddling that is going on with CBD products.  There is a real threat that they could be removed from sale within the next few months.  This depsite their soaring popularity with the public and that hundreds, if not thousands of people are now employed in our burgeoning CBD industry.

CBD products are, in fact, whole plant extracts from low-THC cannabis which meet the criteria under drugs law to be exempt.  They have become very popular because people were seeking a legal way of accessing the medicinal benefits of cannabis which have become widely understood, mainly as the internet has provided knowledge previously suppressed by government and media scaremongering.

Two years ago, the meddling began as civil servants from the MHRA, the medicines regulator, stepped in with heavy-handed threats to close the market down because of unlawful medicinal claims.  To be fair, there was good justification for this.  Medicines regulation is an essential function of government, otherwise we will have snake oil confidence tricksters selling coloured water as a cancer cure.  So CLEAR acted and organised a response to the MHRA from the leading CBD companies.  Now, the responsible and ethical companies have regulated themselves, stopped making medicinal claims and market their products as food supplements, just like vitamins and minerals than can help to maintain health and boost wellness.

So CBD companies have successfully negotiated their way through both drugs and medicines law but now the food police have stepped in with yet more problems.  This time the civil servants objections are entirely unnecessary and unjustifiable but they are the most serious threat that CBD companies and consumers have faced.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) from the UK and its opposite numbers in other EU countries have placed cannabis extracts in the EU Novel Foods Catalogue, which is for products that have not been consumed to a significant degree in the EU before 1997. This means that without going through a lengthy and very expensive authorisation process, all CBD products could become unlawful to sell.

Why?  When I met with the FSA and its novel foods team just over a week ago, it acknowledged that the purpose of the novel foods regulations was to ensure that food products and supplements are safe.  It also confirmed that it had no evidence that cannabis extracts or CBD products are unsafe. So, on the face of it, this seems to be simply a matter of bureaucrats who want their boxes ticked, for no other reason than that is what bureaucrats do.

But the widely-held opinion from those in the know, is that what is really behind this are the vested interests of painkiller companies who are seeing a big impact on sales of their products. Even the World Health Organization has recently given CBD an unequivocal endorsement as safe and effective, whereas the toxicity of paracetamol, ibuprofen, other NSAIDs and opioids is now well understood.

You see, however CBD products are sold, it is an indisputable fact that they are purchased for their medicinal benefit – and that they work.  This is a big threat to pharmaceutical company profits and so they are wielding their big stick.  They tried through the MHRA to close down CBD and now they are trying through the FSA.

Exactly the same thing is happening in the USA.  The recent passage of the Farm Bill has removed CBD from the Controlled Substances Act but now the FDA (which combines the functions of our MHRA and FSA) has stepped in and said it is illegal to sell as a food supplement because it is the active ingredient in a licensed medicine.

We Will Overcome

So a battle royal is starting.  What the outcome will be is uncertain.  It is complex and multi-threaded.  Different strategies are being developed and varying ideas are being put forward as to how to deal with this threat.  Many people now rely on CBD for their health and the imminent threat of it not being available is a danger to individuals and so to our entire society.

Whatever happens, I am certain that commonsense and the people will prevail.  For a century, the use of cannabis as medicine has continued despite every effort from governments and vested interests to stamp it out.  The same will happen with CBD.  Even it it disappears from the high street, it will continue to be available online and if it can’t be sold as a food supplement, it will move into a new category.

Once again, it will take politicians far too long to wake up and out-of-control civil servants will try to pursue their own agenda which, I am quite sure, is under the corrupt and improper influence of big business.  It will be challenging and very difficult but the people have dealt with these dark forces before and we will continue to do so.

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 10, 2019 at 2:19 pm

The Contemptible, Incompetent Members of Parliament.

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When I voted Leave, I fuly expected we would take a short-term hit in order to regain our self-determination. My forefathers laid down their lives for the same principle.

I still expect us to take a short term hit but I want every single one of those contemptible, incompetent scoundrels in Parliament to take a long term hit. They have utterly failed and betrayed our nation.

They are useless, self-serving confidence tricksters and deserve nothing more than to be thrown out of office, out of a job, no peerages, no pay-offs and no way back.

 

********

Earlier, I sent this email to my MP, Sir Oliver Letwin.

Dear Oliver,

I think this short piece which I have just published probably reflects the view of most voters whether they wanted to leave or remain.

https://peter-reynolds.co.uk/2019/01/15/the-contemptible-incompetent-members-of-parliament/

This is the most shameful and despicable failure of British politics in many centuries and we hold you, the contemptible, incompetent scoundrels in Parliament, fully responsible.

As for your Machiavellian manoeuvring in recent days, you’re a saboteur both of your own party leader (monstrous harridan that she is) and the electorate’s decision.

I regret there’s only one place for you and that’s the Tower.  How you can live with yourself is beyond me.  The only explanation is your enormous, inconceivable arrogance.

Every single one of you should resign.  There is no other honourable or reasonable course of action. You have destroyed what was already a sham democracy and turned our nation into an international laughing stock.

Very sincerely,

Peter Reynolds

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 15, 2019 at 10:56 am

Posted in Politics

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If The UK Government Refuses To Obey Parliament There Is No Longer Any Rule Of Law. Do As You Will.

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The corruption and arrogance of Theresa May, her ministers, her government and the Conservative Party cannot be more clearly demonstrated than in their refusal to comply with the Parliamentary resolution to publish the legal advice on Brexit.

Parliament is supreme.  It is also the highest court in the land, higher even than the Supreme Court. Its will is the law.

And if the deeply corrupt Theresa May pursues this path, the rule of law no longer applies in the UK.  In which case, do as you will. I urge you however to continue to comply with common law and natural justice.  Do nothing that harms or infringes the rights of anyone else.

The most obvious example is grow your own cannabis.  If Theresa May doesn’t want to obey Parliament, there’s no reason why you should either.

Written by Peter Reynolds

December 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm

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

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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

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

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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.

Blackberrying In August In Torrential Rain.

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Surely it’s too early for blackberries?  The hedgerows near me have been brimming with fruit since July.  I’m easily collecting a couple of pounds on every hour’s walk.

As for the rain, it’s par for the course these days.  The way the jet stream has been behaving the last few years it’s becoming normal and I predict an Indian Summer.  Come September when the lunatics return to the asylum at Parliament we’ll all be sweltering in the sun.

Follow all the weather forecasts you want.  I can give you a money back guarantee you won’t get a more accurate prediction.

Written by Peter Reynolds

August 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm