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.


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6 responses to “Labour’s bankruptcy exposed by Nutt sacking….”

  1. andromeda07734 says :

    The debate SHOULD centre on the concept of harm and whether this can be quantified.

    If it cannot, then all drugs should be legalised and criminals who commit crimes while intoxicated and addicted treated more harshly.

    This would be the fairest way since harm to the public would then have manifested itself in criminal behaviour and thus become objectively measurable.

    Simple really.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    This is true and if the debate was conducted such a way I fundamentally believe that legalisation or at least decriminalisation would be shown to be the way forward because it is those things that amplify the harm drugs do.


  3. robert says :

    the scientists had the message right, the boss actually wants to (and wanted to before hand for that matter) put out the wrong message. big error in that technique! and he tries to justify the sacking by giving some lame reasoning that a scientist should not enter the’s the science that the debate should be based upon.
    it does make you wonder why they had hopes for damming evidence on these drugs. a look into that could reveal the real motive. maybe it is because you can win votes by going tough on drugs but you wonder how long that is going to last now that the younger public is not so taken in by the moral argument but are getting a real education by science and fact and discovering that they have been lied to all the while. there are still so many out there that do not understand that alcohol and tobacco are more harmful and if were asked to give a rating would give different to the scientists. this should slowly change. if you read nutts papers, you would see that while people want the message about drugs to remain that they should not be taken, they do not wish their use to attract such harsh penalty. everyone takes notice of an ecstasy overdose but we have accepted alcohol and tobacco deaths and do not wish to penalise for that unless someone harms others in their pursuit to happiness.


  4. anonymous says :

    If they still move cannabis to class B then it is simply not fair and means it is a misappropriation of funds. It makes things worse. Not that moving it to a higher class will actually have that much effect on use. More that police and courts and jails will waste time on this when they should be doing something else. It seems those that wish to partake in that drug have already decided that the government does not know what they are talking about when it comes to level of harms for what drugs. If a government truly wants people to listen to them on drugs then they should be open and honest. telling your chief advisor to shut up and look the other way so you can continue to form incorrect policy that affects so many people is political suicide. Handling it with anger all red faced just shows you think you are “tough and strong and bold enough” to try and get away with it.


  5. robert says :

    He needs a doobie. The risks are not that bad but the penalty is.


  6. darrellgoodliffe says :

    I tend to agree with the thrust of what Robert is saying though I dont think its true that alcohol and smoking is not punished; it is simply punished a different way; through your wallet and high taxation levels.

    Anon, what you are saying is a bit muddled, for example;

    “If they still move cannabis to class B then it is simply not fair and means it is a misappropriation of funds. It makes things worse. Not that moving it to a higher class will actually have that much effect on use.”

    So, what is the point if it will have no effect? This to me suggests your position isn’t really evidenced based but more based on the emotive argument that it somehow ‘sends wrong signals’. I do however, agree that the government should be open and honest and that this behaviour has indeed sent wrong signals.


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