Category Archives: Drugs

#CorridorsOfPowder – hypocritical Tories will force big employers to do random drug tests. What about Westminster?

Shaun Bailey: he has already been branded as the Conservative candidate for Islamophobia, sexism and misogyny. Now he’s adding hypocrisy to the list with a plan for drug testing in major firms, but not in Parliament – which is known to have a serious cocaine problem.

It seems Priti Patel has picked up on Tory London Mayor candidate Shaun Bailey’s plan to force firms that employ more than 250 people to subject the workforce to random drug tests.

Her endorsement follows one by Iain Duncan Smith last month.

But how strange that the UK Parliament, where the House of Commons alone employes around 2,040 people – not counting MPs, is to be exempt from any such legislation!

The Conservative government are planning to introduce legislation which would force big employers to carry out random drug tests on their employees – but MPs look set to be exempt from the policy.

Yesterday, the Home Secretary Priti Patel endorsed controversial plans drawn up by the Tory candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey.

The Tory Mayoral candidate says the policy is designed to reduce ‘middle-class cocaine usage‘ in the capital. However, MPs – who are notorious users of the drug – will be exempt.

Yes indeed. Back in August, This Site pointed out that cocaine use in the House of Commons has become so bad that at one point even the arch-Tory Daily Mail published an article dubbing the Palace of Westminster “corridors of powder”.

Apparently the washrooms of Parliament are… awash with the stuff.

I wonder if this is not a subtle (especially for the Tories) bid to sabotage Bailey’s bid to be Mayor of London.

He has already blotted his copy book in the past and it seems hard to believe this plan will be a vote-winner. People who take the drug won’t support a man who has inflicted random testing on them and those who don’t will hate the fact that the Tories are imposing tests on others but not submitting to the same tests themselves, even though it is well-established that Westminster has a serious nose candy problem.

Perhaps someone thinks it is a way to get rid of him, while still imposing a little extra unnecessary unpleasantness into the lives of ordinary people (most of whom won’t have been anywhere near cocaine).

Source: The Tories are planning to force workers to undergo random drug tests – but MPs will be exempt | Evolve Politics

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With all the cocaine washing around Parliament, why AREN’T ministers subject to random drug tests?

The Palace of Westminster, home to both Houses of Parliament. Who knows how many drugs are holding up the elected and unelected representatives inside? Well… we won’t, because Downing Street is refusing to allow random testing.

This is almost poetic, although there’s no justice involved.

Iain Duncan Smith tweeted a link to a Sun story claiming that drug tests should be carried out randomly at people’s places of work, to catch users.

This Writer only discovered he had done so because a twitter friend then added her own spin to the story, thus:

It’s a good point. This Site has covered the prevalence of cocaine washing around Parliamentary… washrooms in the past.

The situation had become so bad that even the Daily Mail had dubbed the Palace of Westminster “corridors of powder”.

And yet what should be the next item to catch my eye on Twitter?

The Independent had picked up on the original story – Tory London Mayoral candidate (and himself a disgrace to politics) Shaun Bailey saying he’d demand random drug tests on all firms with more than 250 employees if elected mayor – and asked the same question as MaiaB, above.

The response from a Downing Street spokesperson does no credit to the Conservative government at all and can only boost fears that they not only consider themselves to be, but have actually put themselves, above the law:

“We expect the highest levels of professionalism from everybody in government. That remains the case, but there are no plans for that.”

What a crock!

If the last six months of Covid-19 cock-ups have demonstrated anything, it’s that there isn’t an ounce of professionalism in Boris Johnson’s rabble. It is, quite simply, the worst excuse for a government the United Kingdom has ever had to suffer. And that’s amid stiff competition!

The latest evasion shows that the Tories can’t even be trusted not to be dosing themselves full of recreational substances when they’re supposed to be – and bear these words in mind – serving the nation.

Because if they weren’t, they’d have no objection to the tests, would they?

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Covid-19: leave your Ibuprofen in the medicine cabinet, France warns

Anti-inflammatory pills like Ibuprofen may make the coronavirus worse, according to French authorities.

It seems that old herbal remedies may turn out to be a much better choice after this revelation:

The country’s health minister, Olivier Véran, who is a qualified doctor and neurologist, tweeted on Saturday: “The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone … ] could be a factor in aggravating the infection. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor’s advice.”

Health officials point out that anti-inflammatory drugs are known to be a risk for those with infectious illnesses because they tend to diminish the response of the body’s immune system.

The health ministry added that patients should choose paracetamol … because “it will reduce the fever without counterattacking the inflammation”.

Source: Anti-inflammatories may aggravate Covid-19, France advises | World news | The Guardian

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Universal Credit sanction led to miscarriages, drug addiction and jail

In the light of this story, how do Tories justify benefit sanctions, again?

Danielle John, of Wales, suffered a miscarriage at work the day before she was due to attend a Universal Credit interview with the Department for Work and Pensions.

As a result, she was unable to attend the interview and forgot to notify the DWP – justifiably, as any reasonable person would say.

The DWP disagreed.

It seems the decision to take £10.40 per day from her benefit for 229 days – £72.80 per week or £2,381.60 for the whole period – sucked all the hope out of Ms John and she fell back into a life of drugs that she had only recently managed to quit.

She became addicted to heroin again and had eight further miscarriages, according to the Mirror.

That means eight people (at least) have died as a result of the decision to sanction this woman.

And a ninth nearly died – Ms John tried to kill herself at one point.

Apparently the DWP said the sanction was due to eight missed appointments – but Ms John said the appointment after her miscarriage that led to the sanction was the first she missed. There seems to be a slight disparity there!

And now, even though her sanction is over, Ms John is finding it hard to get paid work because she has a criminal record – due to the sanction.

She spent 11 weeks in jail for shoplifting during her time as an addict.

But she is spending her time usefully, volunteering with homelessness organisation The Wallich.

This is a story of one woman’s fall and rise – at least to a level close to where she started.

But it raises a serious question.

How many people, sanctioned off of Universal Credit, have fallen – never to rise again?

Source: Universal Credit hell of mum who suffered eight miscarriages and ended up in jail – Mirror Online

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Boris Johnson’s big NHS meltdown

After their campaign on law and order dissolved into chaos, the Tories tried to take the moral high ground on health. It didn’t work.

Most particularly, it didn’t work for Boris Johnson, who was challenged on the subject by prime minister-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Corbyn was keen for Mr Johnson to explain why his government had held secret trade talks with US firms that would nearly triple the price of medicines bought by the NHS, creating serious pressure on the service at a time when it is already under enormous strain.

I discuss the issue here, or you can watch this video to have it in a nutshell:

Note also that “drug pricing” is now to be known as “valuing innovation”. And, as a TV comedian once said, from now on radiation will be known as “magic moonbeams”.

Here’s Mr Corbyn, opening his questioning in PMQs – and Mr Johnson’s answer:

Of course, Mr Corbyn was well aware of the situation regarding the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi; it was his intervention that succeeded in getting it provided on the NHS, we’re told.

Mr Johnson’s claims about building 40 new hospitals fare less well in the fact-check. As Mr Corbyn put it: “As for the fabled 40 hospitals, that figure dropped to 20 and then finally dropped to six.” They’ll be down to none in the event of a Conservative election victory.

Mr Corbyn continued: “We learned this week that Government officials have met US pharmaceutical companies five times as part of the Prime Minister’s planned trade deal. The US has called for “full market access” to our NHS, which would mean prices of some of our most important medicines increasing by up to sevenfold. While the Government are having secret meetings with US corporations, it is patients here who continue to suffer.”

And he said: “Of course we need to import medicines from various places; I just want it to be done in an open and transparent way. I do not want secret talks between Government officials, on behalf of Ministers, and big pharma corporations in the USA.”

He slammed Tory privatisation of NHS services, which has skyrocketed with more than £10 billion being frittered away to private companies and their shareholders, rather than supporting the health of UK citizens.

He said: “What we do not want is private companies like Virgin Care suing our NHS for contracts that they did not get. Our NHS should be focused on making people better, not making the wealthy few richer.

“National health service A&E departments have just had their worst September on record. This morning, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that this winter the NHS needs more than 4,000 extra beds.” But under Boris Johnson’s government, he said, the number of people in England waiting for an operation has now reached a record high of 4.4 million.

He continued as follows:

And he concluded: “Despite the Prime Minister’s denials, the NHS is up for grabs by US corporations in a Trump trade deal. Is it not the truth—the Government may not like this—that this Government are preparing to sell out our NHS? Our health service is in more danger than at any other time in its glorious history because of the Prime Minister’s Government, his attitudes and the trade deals that he wants to strike.”

It is indeed the truth.

Mr Johnson spluttered on for a while but the best he could do in his defence was quote a discredited CBI claim that Labour would spend nearly £200 billion on a privatisation programme; the CBI itself has admitted that the claim was based on questionable assumptions and withdrawn it.

He lied that Labour would tax corporations, people, pensions and businesses – in fact Labour will only increase taxes on the people earning the most, who are therefore most able to accommodate such a charge.

And he said Labour would condemn the UK to two more referendums – on Brexit and Scottish independence. He neglected to say that he would consign us all to even more Brexit uncertainty as he would try – yet again – to push through a departure on the worst possible terms for the majority of the nation.

Finally, he appears to have become tongue-tied in his predictions of the future, mixing the roles of his party and Mr Corbyn’s.

I’ll fix that for him now:

“That is the future for this country: drift and dither under the Conservative party, or taking Britain forward to a brighter future under Labour. That is the choice this country faces.”

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Shock revelation: Liar Boris Johnson has been secretly selling out the NHS

Boris Johnson has been selling out the National Health Service in negotiations on a trade deal that would allow US companies to set drug prices, it has been claimed.

The revelation about these secret talks could not come at a worse time for the Tory government, as it prepares to dissolve Parliament and launch a general election campaign.

This is electoral poison for the Conservatives as Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock and international trade secretary Liz Truss have all insisted that the NHS is “off the table” in talks with the US if the UK leaves the European Union.

The threat is that NHS finances would be put at risk by a trade deal with the US that would force the health service to buy more expensive drugs.

And there is evidence that it is an overarching Tory policy to lay the NHS open to exploitation by US pharmaceutical monopolies, as the talks began under Theresa May (who also lied about them) but have continued under Mr Johnson.

Who will vote for a government that is bad for our health – and deliberately lies about the harm it is doing?

Here’s the information from Channel 4’s Dispatches:

The Independent has reported that more than one-third of people surveyed in a recent poll said they were “very concerned” about the future impact of a deal with Washington on the NHS.

Meanwhile, Tories like Michael Gove have apparently been lying through their teeth (metaphorically, on Twitter)…

… and the public isn’t having any of it:

The message for the general election is clear:

Your NHS is not safe with Boris Johnson – or any of his Conservative liars.

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POLL: Does anybody care about all these Tory leadership hopefuls and their druggie pasts?

Andrea Leadsom: She’s the fourth Tory leadership candidate to admit having smoked “weed”.

Can somebody please tell me how having taken drugs in the past makes someone a better candidate to be the leader of the Conservative Party – let alone prime minister?

Jeremy Hunt was the first; he admitted taking a cannabis lassi (it’s a kind of drink made in India).

Then Rory Stewart said he took opium at a wedding in Iran, prompting speculation in some quarters that he was pre-empting a revelation – possibly by a rival.

And then the floodgates opened.

Boris Johnson took cocaine and cannabis at college. Can anybody say they’re surprised?

Dominic Raab has had cannabis, and so has Andrea Leadsom.

And Michael Gove took cocaine. In his confession, he went on at length about the drug’s harmful effects (“drugs damage lives”) and about his feelings on the subject now (“it is something I deeply regret”). This caused more rancour than the straight confessions of the others.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said it was “rank hypocrisy” to admit to “mistakes” while “backing policies that perpetuate harm”.

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, said: “Michael has delivered a politically-crafted and deeply unconvincing hand-wringing statement of regret for committing a victimless crime. He should have used the opportunity to join a vital and urgent policy debate.”

Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron pointed out that all six “continue to back policies that send less fortunate folk to prison for the same thing. It’s disgusting”.

And current Lib Dem leadership hopeful Ed Davey observed: “They might all be historical confessions but the way this Tory leadership is going it’s like they’re all off their heads.”

That certainly appears to be the conclusion of the satirists, who have been having great fun concocting fictional pasts for other MPs. I particularly enjoyed the idea of Jacob Rees-Mogg having used camphorated tincture of laudanum with his nanny in 1899.

And apparently Larry the Downing Street Cat has admitted a continuing fondness for catnip. Well, why not?

In the interests of full disclosure, This Writer is happy to admit a long history of substance abuse including cocktails of diesel, metal polish and (when I can get it) Uranium-239. We journalists run on heavy fuel!

But there is a serious question here.

The issue of illegal drugs has been a major political football for decades. Remember the “war on drugs”? The lives of millions of people have been affected – many ruined – by organised drug-pushers; Michael Gove wasn’t wrong about that. And many people have been punished – sometimes jailed – simply for possession of certain substances.

And the hypocrisy of the mass media should also be taken into account. Remember the thunderous furore after Diane Abbott drank a mojito on a train? In comparison, we get hardly a whimper after people who may become prime minister confessed to serious historical crimes.

Against this background, it is right to question the attitude of these confessors. Let’s have a poll:

Source: Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom becomes 6th candidate to admit drugs past – Mirror Online

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Rory Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran. Is anybody surprised?

The eyes have it: Rory Stewart has admitted taking opium and to judge from his expression he is still experiencing the comedown.

This explains a great deal.

I would differ with Mr Stewart over his claim that the opium had no effect on him – at least, until I find another explanation for his behaviour*.

Jeremy Hunt’s revelation is also no surprise.

One awaits further confessions from the remaining Conservative leadership candidates. Who knows what they may say? I feel that, whatever is revealed, we will all find it… cathartic.

Rory Stewart has revealed he smoked opium in Iran as the Tory leadership contender embarked on the latest leg of his round-Britain tour meeting voters one at a time.

Days after Jeremy Hunt said he once drank a cannabis lassi, his rival went significantly further and disclosed he tried the Class A drug at a wedding while travelling in the region.

The International Development secretary went on to insist the opium “had no effect” on him “because I was walking 25-30 miles a day”.

*He does, after all, want to be leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister. At the moment that’s the equivalent of longing for a nervous breakdown and a full-frontal lobotomy to cure it.

Source: Rory Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran as he continues leadership tour of Britain 

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Immigration and drug addiction caused huge rise in homelessness, according to Tory minister’s LIES

Is James Brokenshire an imbecile, or does he think we are?

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said the increase in homelessness since the Conservatives slithered into office in 2010 is not the result of government policy but is being driven by factors including the spread of psychoactive drugs such as spice, growth in non-UK nationals on the streets and family breakdown.

Oh, really?

Personally, I would have said it was due to income changes that made it impossible for renters to pay their landlords or for homeowners to keep up with their mortgage repayments and I would have said this was the result of policies including, but not limited to:

The Tory Bedroom Tax.

The Tory Universal Credit.

The Tory freeze (late a one per cent limit) on annual public sector pay increases.

The Tory squeeze on wages that forced them to plummet during the first half of the current decade.

Tory support for landlords that means they can force people to pay huge rents for accommodation that is unfit for human habitation.

And the electorate knows this.

Look at the responses to his claim:

Oh, and the Tory plan to eliminate homelessness by 2027? It requires the death of anybody who is homeless.

Labour’s John Healey puts the real reasons for the rise in homelessness in a nutshell in the following clip:

And Labour has a plan to help victims of Tory policies who end up sleeping rough:

“Oh, but we can’t support that, can we? It comes from that Jeremy Corbyn person and he’s a horrible Communist! All the newspapers and TV channels say it so it must be true, right?”

There’s a simple answer to the kind of person who says that – or anything similar to it.

Just point out that many of the people who are now sleeping rough were also persuaded to vote Conservative, in order to avoid the Labour policies that would have helped them avoid their current predicament.

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Theresa May asked Labour supporters to look at her government afresh. They found a stain on their country

“We’ve had a so-called ‘Iron Lady’, but this one’s brass is tarnished beyond control.”

That was just one of the responses to Theresa May’s brazen (see what I did there?) bid to entice disenchanted Labour voters into the clutches of the Conservatives, with the complicity of the formerly left-wing Guardian/Observer. I’m guessing she thought people who believe those papers are still left-wing would be fooled.

That doesn’t seem to have worked out too well for her!

In her begging letter published by the paper, she wrote (reproduced from May’s Facebook page – if you aren’t boycotting the Guardian/Observer, you’re part of the problem):

“I believe that the principles that guide us – security for families and the country, freedom under the rule of law and opportunity for everyone – can unite our people and help build a better future for our country.”

She claimed this meant getting “the best Brexit deal for Britain, one that protects jobs and rights and makes the most of the opportunities that Brexit brings, to play a more global role, while also delivering on the domestic issues that matter to people here at home.

“We are investing in our NHS, to secure it for the future. We are driving up standards in our schools, so every child can get a good start in life. And, 10 years on from the financial crash, we are building an economy that works for everyone in our society.

“These are our Conservative solutions that will build a country that works for everyone: fixing markets, not destroying them; helping with the cost of living; ending austerity; building an economy of the future which benefits the whole country.”

And she couldn’t resist making a swipe at Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party – getting it into the second paragraph of her begging letter: “Millions of people who have supported Labour all their lives are appalled by what has happened to a once-great party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Antisemitism has grown, the party’s response to threats to our country’s security has become equivocal, and moderate Labour MPs have become targets for deselection and harassment. These are all alien to Labour’s best traditions.”

Theresa May wouldn’t know any “best traditions” if they had been drilled into her by her priestly father, of course.

On Twitter, she wrote:

“I want” doesn’t get, of course – and the responses online have shown that her bid for acceptance by the people of the country has flopped badly.

The people of the UK told Mrs May in no uncertain terms that her NHS privatisation policies were a disaster for those who needed its help, with waiting times at Accident & Emergency departments now so long that people had died before being seen by a doctor.

They pointed out that NHS trials of drugs that could help the British people were being halted, and that nurses were quitting, because of Brexit.

They denied her claim to be investing in schools, pointing out that teachers have had to appeal to parents for the cost of the pens that pupils need to write down their work. It has also been revealed that a teachers’ pay rise cannot be fully funded by the cash Mrs May has provided, meaning schools must force some staff out of their jobs in order to pay others – or cut the number of hours their teachers work.

They mocked her party’s economic ineptitude, pointing at low growth, the weakness of the Pound, high inflation, low wages and the fact that millions of people now have less than £100 in savings.

They said they were not fooled by her plan for social housing as Conservative policies have forced thousands of families out of their homes – many of them with nowhere to go but the streets, and highlighted the fact that rents were so high that many people had been forced to move away from their communities.

They reminded her that her idea of help with the cost of living, for people who are out of work, sick or disabled, is to slash value of benefits to the point where people fall into debt and despair, with knock-on effects on their mental health that may lead to suicide attempts. Many thousands of people have died.

They pointed out that her idea of help with the cost of living, for women aged in their 60s who have been denied a pension for six years because of Conservative policies, was to become apprentices (if they could get any firm to take them on at that age).

And they said her idea of help with the cost of living, even for people in work, was to send them to a food bank.

They said her foreign policy in general – and Brexit in particular – had made her government an international laughing-stock.

And as for protecting jobs and rights – they pointed at her racist “hostile environment” policy and the effect it had on the Windrush generation. The obvious question is: Who’ll be next to feel the Tory pinch?

They pointed out that racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are rife in the Conservative Party.

And they raised the issue of burning injustices (remember Mrs May’s promise to end those) that she had not mentioned:

  • The fact that she had bribed the Democratic Unionist Power to help her stay in office after she threw away her Parliamentary majority in the 2017 general election.
  • The fact that she had cut police numbers by more than 20,000, leading to a catastrophic crimewave.
  • The fact that her government had managed to avoid prosecutions in scandal after scandal.
  • And the fact that she had lied – again – when she said austerity was over at this year’s Conservative Party Conference; more cuts are on the way and she has absolutely no intention to restore funding for essential services.

They summed it all up by saying they had taken her advice and looked at her government afresh…

And all that they found was a stain on the nation.

See for yourself. Here is just a sample of the responses she received:

https://twitter.com/Kimmari88214930/status/1048875339802402818

https://twitter.com/GRANNYMUGGER/status/1048876864876564481

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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