In two recent cases the government’s consultation process has been shown to be an utter sham, an illusion of democracy where entrenched elites, the corporate lobby and their views override evidence & us-
Gordon Brown will call for an acceleration of nuclear power today in a speech to business leaders designed to show he is focused on the long term and will not buckle in the face of negative headlines. During his annual address to the Confederation of British Industry, the prime minister will also give his personal endorsement of the third runway project at Heathrow. He will tell business leaders: “Long-term reforms will intensify and be stepped up. We must leave behind the old policies of yesterday and plan for new long-term policies which will serve us better tomorrow. There are no answers to be found in old and outworn dogmas.”
Dogmas like..erm, truth, fairness and democracy apparently-
Greenpeace accused the Government of acting illegally by failing to consult properly on its nuclear power plans before giving them the go-ahead. Upholding their complaint, Mr Justice Sullivan criticised the consultation exercise, which lasted only 12 weeks as “seriously flawed”, “misleading” and “procedurally unfair”. The consultation document gave every appearance of being simply an “issues paper”, he said. It contained no actual proposals and, even if it had, the information given to the public was “wholly insufficient for them to make an intelligent response”, added the judge.
They must be on drugs, oh yes-
An influential Home Office-backed committee raised serious doubts about the consultation process behind the 10-year strategy which will be unveiled in April. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) described the process as ‘self-congratulatory and generally disappointing’ and questioned the credibility of much of the evidence presented to government.
the council said: ‘We consider that an opportunity has been missed to address the public health problem relating to drug misuse and the balance with law enforcement and the Criminal Justice System…The consultation would benefit from extending further to the wider social harm of drug misuse.’ It also said: ‘It is of concern that the evidence presented, and the interpretation given, are not based on rigorous scrutiny. It is not acknowledged that in many cases the information is uncertain and sometimes of poor quality.’
Steve Rolles of think tank Transform, which advises the UN on drugs policy, said: ‘The consultation process behind the new strategy has been woeful.’ Last month Transform branded the consultation process a ‘sham’, saying the government had already made up its mind to continue with its current strategy. (ht2 D-Notice)
Which means they will be ignoring this yet again-
The designation of drugs in classes A, B and C should be replaced with one more closely reflecting the harm they cause, a committee of MPs has said. The Science Select Committee said the present system was based on historical assumptions, not scientific assessment.
The alternative system was prepared by Professor David Nutt, a senior member of the Committee that advises the government on drug classification, and Professor Colin Blakemore – chief Executive of the Medical Research Council.
Of course there is money in them thar prisons- £300 million on one contract alone, 11 private prisons and drug related offences make up a large proportion of the prison populace (65% test positive for drugs at arrest, inmates for drug offences 13% -in 2000- and rising). And corporations involved are usually fingering lots of other privatisation pies, some steaming with war OF terror juiciness.
And treatment is a hard sell to the tabloid felch even though it works-
Initial results from a London pilot scheme where addicts inject themselves with heroin in a clinic suggest it has reduced drug use and crime.
Trial leader Professor John Strang, of the National Addiction Centre, based at London’s Institute of Psychiatry, told BBC News that about 40% of users had “quit their involvement with the street scene completely”.
BBC correspondent Danny Shaw said initial results suggested the experiment was having a profound effect on hardened heroin addicts. Many were leading much more stable lives and were enjoying better family relationships because they were no longer in and out of prison, our correspondent added.
The cost of the treatment, including providing heroin, is between £9,000 and £15,000 per patient – about three times as much as a year’s course of methadone.
And what does prison cost-
So why RoboCop II? The MacGuffin was a drug called ‘nuke‘. Whereas the MacGuffin here looks like capital and institutional traditionalism. It took Semmelweis, Wendell Holmes, Nightingale, Pasteur years to get the medical profession to wash their frickin’ hands and thus stop killing their own patients and that is an educated & scientific grouping (and they are so fucking dumb we need to be taught it all over again, even if some of the patients are drinking the stuff, jeebus). The obstinacy of institutions to accepting change and judging new evidence fairly is mind destroyingly frustrating, the influence of greedy entrenched interests, moralists and opportunistic corporations compound the consultation process into a farce. Which leaves me even feeling pity for the poor politician dealing with it all, or it would if they showed any sign they were fighting these demons and not leaping into bed with them for that revolving consultancy/directorship treacly goodness. What is the point of finding what works or innovating when it all gets binned in favour of the same old comfortable shite and mutual back scratching corruption from the usual cast of pigly ‘business leaders’ whose second, third and fourth homes are never anywhere near the industrial centers workers call home. No wonder drugs are such a bleedin’ popular getaway.