NUTT OUT

The BBC, of course, loves the idea of liberalising the drug laws, or better still, making hard drugs legal so that the boys and girls at White City can have oodles of their favourite white powder and waccy baccy. So when Alan Johnson – under pressure from dear Gordon – sacks Professor David Nutt for over-stepping his brief and lobbying to have cannabis re-classified (again) as a class ‘C’ drug, there’s no question where their loyalties lie.

The whole row is cast as a matter of freedom of expression and opinion, with batteries of experts wheeled out to say a) that Professor Nutt is a jolly good all-round egg and scientist who should be allowed to say what he wants, and b)the government is being repressive. Naturally, in support of the good professor in the BBC’s coverage are charities such as Drugscope and Release, which for years have been pressing for legalisation of all kinds of drugs, and who believe that methadone is a ‘cure’ for heroin addiction.

But what’s completely missing from the equation is any consideration that Professor Nutt and his colleagues have been a joke for years because the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – which he chaired – has been hijacked by liberals like him. Also, that – although Alan Johnson has actually done something right for once – the whole of the government’s policy towards illegal drug use is a shambles, and it is they that caused the current climate of ill-judged and highly dangerous liberalism.

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23 Responses to NUTT OUT

  1. Phil says:

    The BBC is ‘liberal’ in the modern sense of the word only. This means it feels it knows what is good for most people better than they do themselves and consequently has a right to be paid handsomely by everyone else to dispense its wisdom.

    A truly liberal organisation wouldn’t want to force people to buy trash like Eastenders and Casualty in return for government permission to use a domestic appliance.

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  2. Tarquin says:

    But I tought the BBC were a goverment mouthpiece?

    It is in fact quite funny how b-bbc suddenly come out in favour of the government when they agree on something – even funnier when that decision goes against scientific advice and is based solely on tabloid opinion, why even have an advisory board if the government knows what it wants to do beforehand, either use scientific evidence-based policy or just don’t bother with the charade of informed policy making

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Wrong.  When the BBC does disagree with the Labour government, it’s from the Left.  Still biased.

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      • Opinionated More Than Educated says:

        Nutt’s views are not particularly left-wing. You could argue that he takes a libertarian view of drug enforcement.

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  3. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    Many of the BBC’s staff use the drugs which are rightly considered dangeorus. But cannabis has been shown to cause serious mental illness even at low usage so for it to be down-graded on Professor Nutt’s advice means that his scientific case has been specially selected to get that result. Has he not seen the reports on the dangers of cannabis?

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  4. Guest says:

    Tarquin mate, it’s not worth it. Even informed, thoughtful disagreement will get you labelled as a ‘troll’…

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  5. googleborg says:

    Drugs talk is so very boring; they should all be legalised, produced by licensed producers, and people can make their own choices.  Yes they are potentially very dangerous but so is crossing the damn road or using a power drill.

    It is an Adult’s choice what they do.  Legislating behaviour and choice is a political hangover from when the congregation was full and God told everyone how to behave.

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  6. Ed (ex RSA) says:

    The BBC only ever criticises the government <i>from the left</i>, this is not evidence of lack of bias but compounds the bias.

    For an excellent analysis that cuts through the fatuous but fashionable sixth form ‘libertarian’ view on the issue see Theodor Dalrymple’s Don’t Legalize Drugs http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_2_a1.html

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    • Bob says:

      read it, can’t say I found it swaying me, heard the same argument plenty of times before

      it’s an opinion, just like the ‘fatuous’ side – cutting down the opposite position simply because you dislike it is not good for academic debate

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  7. David H says:

    Indeed, the aptly named Professor Nutt!

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  8. Beeboidal says:

    I ‘ve have to ask why Professor Nutt is so concerned about the classification rating. Is it an ego thing? Surely he would be better served promoting the message of the Advisory Council’s 2008 report on cannabis:

    In providing this advice, however, the Council wishes to emphasise that the use of cannabis is a significant public health issue. Cannabis can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society. The Council therefore advises that strategies designed to minimise its use and adverse effects must be predominantly public health ones. Criminal justice measures – irrespectiveof classification – will have only a limited effect on usage. We therefore urge you to invite the UK’s Chief Medical Officers to develop, on behalf of the government, a public health strategy that will meet our shared goals. Anything less will prejudice the health of future generations.

    Incidentally, there is nothing in the 2008 report on the physiological effects of cannabis on the developing brain of youngsters. Granted, such work is thin on the ground at the moment – more has been done on the physiologcal effects of alcohol. Given that I think we lead Europe in underage cannabis and alcohol use, I would think a cautious approach to classification is in order. The downrating of cannabis from B to C sent out the wrong message, ”It’s legal now, ennit”  was the refrain from many caught in possession.

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  9. Umbongo says:

    For once I have to agree with our visitors from White City and consider that the BBC is, on this rare occasion, on the side of the angels.  Since most “independent” advisers to the government feed the goverment what it wants to hear – usually giving some spurious “scientific” justification for any old tat which will gain a bit of cash and maybe a gong or two for the “independent” advisers, somebody who gives advice which might be genuinely independent is to be welcomed.  The point Nutt was making is not that the advice wasn’t taken (which since it’s only advice is perfectly and reasonably within the government’s remit to do), it was that the government lied about its reasons for not following the advisors’ advice and changing the classification of cannabis: and that’s what the BBC reported.

    BTW it’s not only trendy liberals who would legalise recreational drug use. I for one – not a noted liberal – support legalisation, regulation and taxation of recreational drugs.  A practice which in 40 years has seen the increase in addicts from something like 1,000 to, certainly, some hundreds of thousands is not a success.  Add the criminality involved in the supply side of the illegal trade plus the criminality of addicts stealing to fund their habit and what’s not to like about legalisation?

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    • Ed (ex RSA) says:

      The trouble is that by the same ‘logic’ the solution to all crime is legalisation. Yet though the number of murders, frauds, robberies etc has increased dramatically over the decades we don’t hear this as a reason to legalise those crimes.

      People don’t say “we’re losing the war against murder, let’s legalise murder” or “we’re losing the war against fraud, lets legalise fraud”.

      The root of criminality is the desire to make money with little effort. Legalising drugs will not change that as criminals will always seek a way to get rich quick. Drug dealers won’t just take up lawful employment. If it’s not drugs it will be firearms or people trafficking or (child) prostitution or racketeering or armed robbery etc etc.

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      • WillS_2020 says:

        Ed,

        Veering off the BBC bias issue, I have to address your post.

        You have totally misunderstood the legalisation position.

         You need to distinguish between the activity of the consumption of drugs and the *associated* criminal activty (primarily theft) the illegaility of possession/consumption has caused.

        The consumption of drugs by any rational judgement can never be a crime other than by subjectively passed laws.

        Please show me the victim of me being stoned or drunk from the consumption of drugs if you think drug consumption is criminal.

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        • Ed (ex RSA) says:

          Well drug consumption is criminal as it is presently illegal. Its criminality is therefore not a matter of my opinion but fact. Crime is by definition a product of subjectively passed laws.

          I could write on and on, but I won’t as the argument is made better than I could here: http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_2_a1.html

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          • WillS_2020 says:

            Ed,

            Again, I point out there is a difference between drug consumption – an action with no victims – and outright theft.

            A crime requires a victimma harmed third party – there is no victim if *I* get high on drugs. – it should not be a criminal activity.

            You said if we make drug consumption legal we should make all acts of crime legal. Clearly that is not what any rational person would say, and as I said, you fail to distinguish between victimless subjective “non-crimes” and objective victim based crimes.

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      • Bob says:

        You misrepresent the argument by saying the ‘logic’ is to legalise all criminal activity – of course it’s not

        Many thngs have been legalised over the years – when they repealed the buggery laws did you think the logical conclusion was to also legalise murder? Times and attitudes change, and as Wills2020 said, this is about personal consumption of a drug, not about doing harm to someone else, it doesn’t even compare

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        • Ed (ex RSA) says:

          No – this is the logic of the most common argument for legalisation: that the “war on drugs” has failed. Most crimes have also increased dramatically in the last century or so and by that logic the “war on crime” has failed and should be abandoned. I am not arguing that because one thing is legalised another should automatically be too.

          The idea that drug abuse is a victimless crime is absurd. The reality is that there is a huge negative impact on spouses, children, neighbours and society in general.

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          • WillS_2020 says:

            Ed, spouses and children are capable of being emotionally hurt by many aspects of certain behavioural patterns in relationships.

            Yet, the law is never needed for these matters – only dicussion between the consenting adults and their children.

            If they are victims of inititated violence against them by their partner/parent then there are laws to deal with such violence. The law *IS* then required to protect and punish.

            On the other hand, if a spouse dislikes the (non-violent) behaivour of their partner, then I prefer to see adults as capable of discussing what behaviour is and is not acceptable to each other, out of which they can agree/disagree.

            Should the disagreement be such that either considers it fundamental to undermining the relationship bond they held, then they are free to separate. Neither party is a victim; each has made an objective decision in the event compromise cannot be reached and they move on to form relationships with people whose behaviour they value.

            Reasoned discussion on behaviour in relationships is paramount; but when the fists fly, that’s when *only* the law should intervene.

            I am sure you can see this distinction.

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  10. WillS_2020 says:

    Umbongo,

    The problem is, when the BBC chooses, it will ramp up propagandising certain behaviours that all “good” people must do, and whilst the Beeb appear to be reporting this issue fair and square, they are not to be trusted as a rational source on most matters (environment, foreign policy, education, health etc) and they will only see an “either, or” position, never a third option, with an emphasis on promoting guilt as well as any religion if you do not go with them.

    Legalisation, as you say, is the way to go, but rationality (usually the ignored third option) on this particular debate is, sadly and to the detriment of society, never often seen in evidence.

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    • Umbongo says:

      ! agree.  My original point was that, on occasion, the BBC gets it right.  The implication of that point is that the BBC so often gets it wrong and presents an overtly biased presentation of most matters.  For insatnce, the BBC’s coverage of climate change, Middle Eastern and EU affairs is so laughably slanted that even the BBC’s friends commenting on this site hardly bother to defend seriously the BBC’s endeavours in these areas.

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