Posts tagged ‘drugs’

The enemy has another face

Cllr John Butcher, Conservative, Surrey County Councillor

Meet Councillor John Butcher, a Conservative member of Surrey County Council and the latest little Hitler to emerge from the cesspit which the health fascists inhabit.

Cllr Butcher believes that if you live in Surrey and you fall ill with something which could be related to smoking, drinking, drug use or excessive weight you should be treated as a second class citizen by the NHS – pushed to the back of the queue in favour of the ‘more virtuous’.

Such a policy would, he believes, encourage people who fall into the ‘unworthy’ camp out of the county, reducing the burden on Surrey NHS.

If the NHS in Surrey were to be run on the basis that patients with self-inflicted morbidity (mainly – smoking, alcohol, narcotics, obesity) and injury (dangerous activities) are, following due warning, placed in a much slower-moving queue for healthcare than ‘other’ patients, this would encourage the self-inflicted to move away from Surrey, to areas where there is no differentiation between patients on the grounds of their contribution towards their condition.

“And it would deter the self-inflicted from coming to live in Surrey. Over time, that would result in the healthcare for the ‘other’ patients in Surrey being significantly better than the average national level for all patients, as the resources deployed to the self-inflicted would be very much reduced.

“Eventually the self-inflicted patients would end up living in ‘equality’ areas that are dominated by politicians who pander to their needs, thus driving more ‘other’ patients out of those areas, as healthcare there will be badly affected by the over-dominance of the self-inflicted.

“Eventually the country will be sharply divided into two types of area: the ‘equality’ ones, where the self-inflicted unhealthy are treated the same as all patients, and the ‘others’, such as, hopefully, Surrey.

“Average life expectancy will be substantially lower (by, say, 20 years) in the ‘equality’ areas.”

A few thoughts immediately spring to mind:

  1. As a general rule, the older people are, the more use they tend to make of the NHS as their bodies break down. The biggest of these costs will be cancers and dementia/Alzheimer’s.
  2. By dying at younger age, heavy smokers, drinkers, drug users and the terminally obese usually end up being net contributors to the system via taxes paid.
  3. Those who can afford private healthcare – or who have it via their employer – will use this to bypass the NHS bureaucracy and thus avoid the slow-queue. Get enough people doing this and private healthcare in Surrey will become a growth market.

With this in mind, I’m not sure Cllr Butcher will get quite the result he was looking for when he started his spleen vent.

But wait, there is more. Given the opportunity to defend his lunacy, he makes the most of it and plants his other foot right in next to the first one.

Firstly, he doesn’t think his proposals should apply to the addicted:

I need to make it clear that, under my proposals, a condition would not be regarded as ‘self-inflicted’ if the patient is unable to prevent the condition, as is the case with an addict, even if he or she was able to have done that before addiction set in.

Which rather leaves those of us who enjoy our vices in moderate-to-heavy doses but don’t need them as a crutch squarely in the firing line…

Still, he isn’t finished yet:

3 Alcohol and narcotics abuse also need to be tackled with other policies, that are aimed at prevention and discouragement. There is, generally in society, an amazing level of toleration of such abuse, especially by persons in positions of public responsibility and influence. If sports can ban performance-enhancing drug use, then entertainment etc. should ban narcotics and alcohol abuse. By setting a firm example from the top, the message will soon get around that such abuse is unacceptable – with enormous benefits to society.

3.1 Everyone in, or aspiring to, a position of public responsibility and everyone in a position to influence the public, including entertainers etc, should be asked to sign a voluntary pledge not to take illegal narcotics or consume excessive alcohol, or drive when so affected.

3.2 Anyone who fails to sign that pledge, or who signs it and breaches it, should be excluded from positions of public responsibility and influence. All public organisations, included regulated broadcasters etc, should agree to impose this exclusion.

3.3 There would be a Trust to manage this pledge and to determine breaches, with a right of appeal. The costs of running it would be funded by fees from signatories, donations from philanthropists and a grant from the government – the grant being greatly exceeded by the savings in cost to the Exchequer, due to the substantial reduction in such abuse that will follow.

*boggles*

Sports ban performance-enhancing drugs because they create an unequal playing field, elevating one person above another not because of skill or stamina but because of chemical engineering. I’m not sure how you can think that narcotics and alcohol* consumption would be in any way performance-enhancing in fields which are not directly competitive.

He calls his proposal of a pledge to not overdo it a voluntary one, yet in the very next paragraph says that anyone who doesn’t sign it or who breaches it should be penalised by being banned from ‘positions of public responsibility and influence’. Obviously some policing this ‘voluntary’ pledge will be necessary so he proposes that this can be done by the formation of an organisation funded by theft, aka compulsory subscriptions, taxpayer money and ‘charitable’ donations. He doesn’t mention who the big white chief of this new quango should be but I’m willing I’d bet he’d have his eye on it should such a monstrosity ever come to pass.

In conclusion I can only assume that John Butcher is a brainwashed, non-smoking teetotaller who has never had a day of fun in his whole life which is why he appears to take so much pleasure in being a tediously boring and self-righteous control freak who, quite frankly, should just piss off and leave us all alone.

* Though there are no doubt a number of sportsmen and women out there who will claim that they play better after a drink or three. :)

Politician 0, Writer 1

This week the US Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking at the launch of a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the challenges faced by children and families affected by drug abuse issued an ‘order‘ to the creators of the popular TV drama ‘The Wire‘:

I want to speak directly to Mr Burns and Mr Simon: Do another season of ‘The Wire’. That’s actually at a minimum. If you don’t do a season, do a movie.

To which, in an e-mail to The Times, David Simon replied:

“I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of The Wire if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug prohibition.”

Before going on to call the US government’s ‘War on Drugs’ “nothing more or less than a war on our underclass, succeeding only in transforming our democracy into the jailingest nation on the planet.”

I think we can call that game, set and match to David Simon.

Possession

Apropos nothing, the thought occurs to me that our politicians apparently have a problem with us owning things – or at least things which they consider to be bad for us – and that ownership of such things is punished by measures ranging from the financial through to the draconian.

Take some examples:

  • Handguns: 5 years imprisonment
  • Knives: A fine of up to £5,000 and up to 4 years in gaol
  • Child pornography: Prison sentences of up to 10 years for the ‘most severe’ cases
  • Extreme pornography: Up to 3 years in jail and a maximum £5,000 fine
  • Drugs: Potentially unlimited fines and prison terms of up to 7 years

And that’s just the big ticket items. I’m sure I could turn up other examples of items that the government has outlawed ownership of if I fancied spending time hunting through the deep recesses of English law.

But what exactly is the benefit to society of these bans? Does restricting public ownership of any of the items on the above list make us, as a society, safer in any way?

The message that is apparently being sent to us, the public, by our politicians is that we aren’t to be trusted. That everyone owning a handgun or carrying a knife without what the police and CPS consider good reason is a potential murderer; that everyone who likes their pornography kinky is a potential sex offender; that anyone who has pictures of child abuse which they were not themselves responsible for is a potential kiddy fiddler and that everyone who takes drugs is going to do cause a problem (without necessarily indicating what that problem might be).

I find that idea repulsive. I didn’t like being treated like a child by my parents when I was in my teens (and I like it even less now when my mother tries it) so I certainly don’t want those people we elect to ‘serve’ us to treat me in such a manner. It is not up to them to determine what I might own because someone, somewhere might not do so responsibility. Such an approach, to me, smacks of convicting everyone of a thought crime and is thus intolerable.

My safety is first and foremost my own responsibility, not that of any government. By attempting to assume that role government is saying it knows best and such an approach only diminishes me. The only safety that the government should provide for the people that elect them is at the macro level – ensuring our borders against invasion and providing resources for assistance abroad if so required.

Likewise, what I watch and what I look at is no one else’s business. No crime is committed by me viewing an image however distasteful they may be. If the images feature individuals who are deemed not to have given their consent those who performed the acts and were present when they occured are the ones who should be prosecuted, not those who watch it second or third hand.

As for drugs, will anyone argue that that war wasn’t lost even before it begun?

Making ownership of anything a crime is simply another method of controlling us, another leash on our collars. It is what we do with those possessions that should count.