Labour’s bankruptcy exposed by Nutt sacking….
I, sadly, was not surprised by the news that Alan Johnson dismissed Professor David Nutt the now ex chief drugs adviser to the government. It sums up what is wrong with the Labour Party and why, when push comes to shove, it is deservedly heading out of office. The Professors crime was to criticise the re-classification of cannabis to a Class B drug and go onto expound the view that;
Alcohol ranks as the fifth most harmful drug after heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone. Tobacco is ranked ninth. Cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, while harmful, are ranked lower at 11, 14 and 18 respectively.
Regardless of the validity of Nutt’s argument it is in Johnson’s response that we see the genesis of why anybody with an interest in social progress would no longer want the ear or to be involved in the Labour Party. It has simply lost the ability to think beyond the straight jacket of maintaining political power; woe betide you if you stand in the way of that or express an opinion that might endanger that. It says alot that on this issue at least they can count upon the stoic support of the Conservatives;
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said the sacking had been “an inevitable decision” after Prof Nutt’s “latest ill-judged contribution to the debate”.
What the results of this ‘clash’ between science and politics will be is hard to judge; public opinion will probably support Johnson but this is defiantly one of those instances where public opinion is wrong to favour toughness over rationality and rehabilitation. Labour’s left may well leap to Nutt’s defence but at this moment in time there is nothing that has appeared on LabourList , NextLeft or Liberal Conspiracy explicitly calling for Nutt’s reinstatement. If the Labour left won’t defend Nutt then I think it is only right that it’s socially liberal credentials be questioned as it should constantly question it’s own alliegence to a Party that can perform such authoitarian acts in a quest to appease ‘red-tops’ like the The Sun which have no intention of supporting Labour again in any case.
The sacking of Professor Nutt is disgraceful as Chris Huhne has rightly said but it is more than that; it is symptomatic of the collapse of the Labour Party as a party of progress, values and vision into something that is even a caricature of the Blair days, a mere shell of a party.