This neocon, neofascist, pseudo-Christian New Labour government in the UK is getting more and more like Hitler sitting in his bunker refusing to surrender while Germany was bombed, battered and burned around him. Brown clings on to the last vestiges of power his absurd government has, while issuing directive after ridiculous directive to the already battered and utterly frustrated British People.
Now the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, has sacked his drugs adviser, Professor David Nutt, head of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. His heinous crime is advising Johnson on the misuse of drugs! The purpose of this council, when it was set up in 1971 was to provide key advice on what Class A drugs should be, and to ensure that policy is based on evidence. New Labour, of course, are too fascistic to listen to advice. They are only interested in pursuing the doctrinaire free market policies that Blair and Brown intended when they took over the Labour Party on behalf of neoconservatism and their own brand of Christian fundamentalism. Beguiled by Blair's charm and promise of government at last, Labour Party members let him gnaw away the socialist heart of the Labour party like a parasitic wasp eating a defenceless caterpillar. And what did the trades unions do? They stood by! Just stood by doing nothing!
In the same news programme on BBC TV we heard that New Labour will finally privatize the National Health Service, by allowing private patients to be treated with the help of a public subsidy. This will ensure that waiting lists do not get longer when they apply the forthcoming cuts on public spending necessary because of all the public money given to fat cat bankers. New Labour continuously kicks sand into the eyes of its supporters who are too feeble or dim to respond.
This government is utterly discredited, and New Labour will be lucky to get into power ever again. Certainly, it is time the unions either withdrew support immediately, or threatened to withdraw it if New Labour does not revert to Labour by reinstating the old consititution, whereby members could actually influence policies, even if they had no way of ensuring that elected Labour governments acted on them. Because the membership are just fodder for getting Blairite selected MPs elected, and the members have no say in what their MPs do, they might as well accept they are slaves to the greedy neocons Blair approved as flunkeys and yes men—and yes women too, plenty of them! Blair is now being rewarded. Having given away $ trillions, Brown is looking forward to his own rich pickings.
The whole of the scientific community ought now to be up in arms at the complete disdain Brown and Johnson show they have for science. There can be few people in Britain who do not agree with Professor Nutt that alcohol and cigarettes are far worse than cannabis, and the public are making a judgement merely on impression. The scientists have the concrete evidence, and it confirms the general impression. Nutt has also pointed out what everyone, certainly most of our young people, know, and that is that ecstasy is pretty harmless too. Deaths have occasionally been attributed to ecstasy, as an anaphylactic reaction, but deaths are attributed to the same sort of shock from peanuts, and they are not classified as dangerous drugs. Similarly, the professor said smoking cannabis created only a “small risk” of psychotic illness. There is unquestionably much more psychoses generated by alcohol. Many still die annually from the physiological effects of smoking cigarettes. He is right!
Professor Nutt rightly accused ministers of devaluing and distorting evidence and said drugs classification was being politicized. Prof Nutt is standing by his judgement based on the scientific research that cannabis should be reclassified as only a Class C drug based on its effects. He said science can help the government. It could give them excellent advice. And that was the very purpose of the Drugs Council he chaired. But he thought it would be simpler, and one might add more intelligent, if they took the advice rather than sending messages that confuse the public. Twice in the last few years, once with cannabis and then with ecstasy, ministers ignored the experts because of “public perception”. Former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, still talks of the “need to send out a message”. Parliament's Science and Technology Committee has criticised such propaganda:
The government's desire to use the class of a particular drug to send out a signal to potential users or dealers does not sit comfortably with the claim that the primary objective of the classification system is to categorize drugs according to the comparative harm associated with their misuse.
Using the classification system to send messages again amounts to saying, “feed the public lies—that is all they understand”. It is the neocon method of giving the public myths they can accept and believe. These myths are just lies. But Professor Nutt is saying also that it does not work. It is no deterrent. The classifications are “to provide the public with an evidence-based and rigorous appraisal of relative harms”, and from it they can make their own comparisons and judgements.
His sacking from a none paid, entirely honorary and voluntary job is an insulting and demeaning challenge to the value of science. What did the Home Secretary have to say? He had “lost confidence” in Nutt's advice. Well that means that Johnson and the New labour set of dummies want their adviser to join them in their habit of “spin”, another modern euphemism for lying. It does not suit them to have objective advice, true advice, they want sycophants around them who will say just what the want to hear. But that is not surprising. Blair was quite a sociopath, incapable of knowing the difference between truth and lies, probably a good reason why he was accepted into the Catholic communion, and recommended as President of Europe—an absolute slap in the face for almost everyone in Britain, if it happens.
The real conservatives, the Tories, supported New Labour on this, just as they did over the Iraq war. But on this occasion a voice of reason came from the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne. He said the decision to sack the adviser had been “disgraceful”:
What is the point of having independent scientific advice if as soon as you get some advice that you don't like, you sack the person who has given it to you?
Mr Huhne added that the government might as well have “a committee of tabloid newspaper editors to advise on drugs policy”. Prof Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience at Oxford University and former chief executive of the Medical Research Council, said:
I worry that the dismissal of Prof Nutt will discourage academic and clinical experts from offering their knowledge and time to help the government in the future.
New Labour ministers might think drug taking is immoral, but then so is smoking and drinking, especially to excess, the norm among many people, especially the young, today in Britain. Professor Nutt is pointing out hypocrisy, something New Labour just cannot grasp. So, an independent scientist has been removed for reporting sound scientific advice. Let us hope that scientists for once will rally behind one of their own, and in favour of science. The very top scientists should howl in rage, not that others should not, but the top ones have a chance of being heard. These AskWhy! pages have said before that scientists, who could be a powerful force in the world for good, should be more prepared to open their mouths in protest, and to act in defence of their findings. Rage, rage, you lot!