Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Let’s not play politics with drugs

25/11/2010, 12:00:42 PM

by James Watkins

Drug addiction is too often the background noise in communities up and down the country. Even if your own family has not been affected, it is very likely you will know someone who, in some form, has been damaged by this trade.

The financial costs of the drugs trade also demonstrates in stark terms the harm that is being caused. For instance, in the West Midlands police area, as of January 2009, crime linked to 1125 class A drug users had an estimated impact of £108 million on the economy. The charity, Addaction, claim that between 1998 and 2008, drug-related ill health and crime cost the UK economy £110 billion.

The last government had made progress in tackling this problem. The 2009/10 British crime survey found that 8.6% of 16 – 59 year olds in England and Wales used illicit drugs. That figure in 2008/09 had been 10.1%. The number of 16 – 24 year olds using illicit drugs in England and Wales dropped to 20% – compared to 22.6% in 2008/09.

But these statistics also show the shockingly high numbers of people whose lives are being steadily destroyed by drugs. The government will shortly publish its public health and drugs strategies – which will have implications for every single family. This will also be a test of Labour’s commitment to constructive opposition. (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Changing the record on politics: Peter Jenner talks sex and drugs and rock and roll

20/08/2010, 09:00:47 AM

 Labour was not too bad on sex. Gay rights, single parents, sex education, civil unions, AIDS treatments, STD education, general openness of discussion of sex issues, problems and possibilities. These all added up to a pretty positive development in the social environment. Chronic British uptight-ness, prejudice and repression were dealt with in social life and interaction, the arts and education. It made a Britain a better place to live in. 

In contrast, the treatment of drugs was a classic opportunity lost; fear of every hysterical headline demanded a conservative response. Drug czars, the war on drugs and experts on the misuse of drugs sacked or resigned all played to the worst of Labour’s populism and PR directed policy responses. Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson orchestrated a mindless response to the drug problem, despite all the evidence that repression and prohibition was having little if any positive effect, and that the most dangerous thing about drugs were that they were illegal.  


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon