Opinion – We are a long way from an informed debate on drugs | The Independent

English: "Nancy Reagan speaking at the Un...

English: “Nancy Reagan speaking at the United Nations First Ladies Conference on Drug Abuse. 10/21/85.” Photo caption is from a Nancy Reagan page on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an important editorial, the left-leaning UK Independent claims that the key to policy should be harm reduction. It maintains that drug abuse, like alcohol abuse and tobacco use, is primarily medical and health issue related, rather than criminal. It argues that in prisons, poorest housing schemes and leafy suburbs, the war on drugs has long been lost. Citing the Office for National Statistics, it reports  3,744 record deaths from drug abuse last year, the worst figure since 1993 (after acid house raves). The Independent highlights that it is now synthetic opioids that are driving this depressing trend. Fentanyl, an ultra-powerful medical and surgical painkiller, is the latest to turn up on the scene.

Source: We are a long way from an informed debate on drugs | The Independent

I disagree with the thrust of the Independent’s arguments and conclusions, in particular, the inherent left-wing bias. I question whether de-criminalizing drugs abuse will make the problem go away. Why should society adjust moral standards as an excuse for the weak and lazzy?

The facts are increasingly clear but projections for the future will be impacted by policy decisions in two key areas: (1) drug enforcement; (2) drug care programmes.

Drug enforcement activities in many countries have been behind the curve and now need radical strategic review to enhance effectiveness.

But the whole area of drug abuse care programs needs urgent parallel attention. Unless there are effective care programs, an epidemic will soon become a pandemic. As a conservative, I am not comfortable that the state simply picks up the bill and we are to passively assume that those ‘treated’ will become good citizens in the future. Addicts must be held accountable for the social, economical and psychological consequences of their actions. I would like to see national service reintroduced and, for example, if the state pays for rehab, then the patient pays back the state with several years of public service. Proper public healthcare and social safety nets are one thing but the cost of  drug abuse care programs should not fall on the state alone.

Let me ask an open question:

Why can’t addicts, as part of their public rehab programme, do labour intensive work which tends to go to immigrants, for example, fruit picking?



One response

  1. The answer to Dr Alf’s question is that we cannot even get able bodied benefit recipients to do non labour intensive work and even when we try to get them to do labour intensive work for as little as a week they cannot stand the pace because they are too lazy and unproductive.

    There is considerable evidence for this.

    In Bedfordshire and indeed all over the country Jobcentre staff force recalcitrant benefit recipients under threat of having their benefits cut off or being “sanctioned” to go to Marston Moretaine, Peterborough and the many Amazon picking warehouses where Jeff Bezos’s picking robots have not been installed.
    Often, a day under the intense pressure and rapid pace of work is enough to get these people to quit although a few last a week before returning to a life of ease sprawled out on a couch watching Jeremy Kyle insulting his latest guest and berating them for moral turpitude in front of a Manchester studio full of baying audience participants.

    Most of the people now employed are Romanians,Poles and Lithuanians.

    Transport for London is attempting to refurbish all its rolling stock rather than buy new but the work is not done by British people,instead it is completed by Zimbabweans and other migrants commuting from the Home Counties.

    A few years back Evan Davies the spiderlike television presenter who wears skinny ties tried an experiment whereby people who were benefit recipients in Wisbech,North Cambridgeshire were given job trials for a week at an Indian restaurant,a local farm,as a mobile care worker and 2 other occupations.

    One was perpetually late,one could not even get up,one kept calling in sick and not one completed the work trial successfully.

    The one assigned to fruit picking was so slow that the Lithuanian field supervisor sent him home before the end of the day and at the end of the day the farmer told Evan Davies that he had been compelled to make up the piece work rate by so much that if he had to employ indigenous workers in place of Eastern Europeans he would be bankrupt and out of business altogether.

    Davies tried to put the best possible gloss on the results of the trial and tried when interviewing the employers in each of these cases to suggest that the performance of the benefit recipients wasn’t that bad really.

    The employers begged to differ in every single instance.

    UK productivity figures for those at work are now 30th in the world and 20% behind the average for the G7,so unless they improve the bulk of their jobs will have to be automated out of existence if immigration is to be brought down as May pretends that it can be to the “tens of thousands”.

    Moving on to the drugs problem which is now rife and persuasive ,like Dr Alf I disagree with the Independent’s namby pamby stance.

    Drug Barons should know that if they are caught and convicted then as in Far Eastern countries they face the death penalty.

    Drug dealers further down the food chain should be incarcerated Japanese style and made to go cold turkey in austere conditions using the potions applied by Buddhist monks in Thailand and the costs they have caused society should be recovered by asset sequestration and recovery of rental income(Curtis Warren the Liverpool drug dealer with a photographic memory who was eventually caught by the Dutch police,had 250 rental properties and 2 hotels).

    Taxi drivers who distribute drugs in their taxi fleets/individual cabs need a prison sentence and long term garnishee orders and abusers of drugs ,many of whom steal or use prostitution to fund their habit need to be made to go cold turkey and have their benefits and assets put towards the cost of the mayhem they create.

    Further up the food chain still the question of how the drugs get into the country needs to be addressed seriously and that means forensic auditing of bank accounts of ministers,officials,top policemen,middle raking policemen and HMRC officials as well as the bank accounts of wives,girlfriends ,lovers,mistresses,children,immediate relatives,companies,partnerships and overseas interests.

    The coastal protection vessel needs to be replaced with 2 new ones and our port authorities will need to be equipped with X ray machines capable of X raying shipping containers and large trucks.
    To stop the problem long term children need to be taught self esteem so that they become “high” on themselves and have no need to pollute and poison their bodies.

    The old Temperance societies did this in the 19th century with gin and alchohol so a more modern version needs to be created now.

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