Tag Archives: Norman Baker

Tories turned down ‘reasonable and practical’ drugs policy proposals – Baker

141105normanbaker

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat who quit his Home Office job earlier this year claiming it was “like walking through mud”, has released details of proposed drugs policy reforms that he says Home Secretary Theresa May suppressed.

When he left, he said the will “to take forward rational evidence-based policy” had been in “short supply”, referring in particular to a Home Office report published in October, which found “no obvious” link between tough penalties and levels of illegal drug use.

He has now outlined his backing for three suggestions which he said the Home Office had drawn up:

  • Treating addicts with prescribed heroin under clinical supervision
  • A “Portuguese model” in which those who commit minor drug offences are offered treatment rather than facing criminal charges
  • Medicinal use of cannabis for certain conditions.

Mr Baker said the Tories were unwilling to consider these “reasonable, practical and proportionate proposals”.

The Home Office, inevitably, has insisted that the current drugs strategy is working.

This writer disputes that claim in relation to these ideas.

While the proposal for prescribed heroin is not one on which Yr Obdt Srvt feels qualified to comment, the other two possibilities show definite merit. Certainly treatment would be better than locking people up in prison – unless the Tories feel obliged to fill all these private prisons they’ve been permitting, here there and everywhere?

And as for medicinal use of cannabis – why would anybody want to oppose the use of a drug to improve people’s health?

Every day we are learning more reasons to vote against the Conservatives in May.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
reporting the latest infighting between the Coalition parties.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

 

‘Nasty’ Theresa May is suppressing the facts about immigration

'Nasty': Theresa May suppressed important independent reports on immigration. She has also announced plans to repeal the Human Rights Act. You can hardly call her nice!

‘Nasty’: Theresa May suppressed important independent reports on immigration. She has also announced plans to repeal the Human Rights Act. You can hardly call her nice!

The woman who defined herself and her fellow Tories as “the Nasty Party” showed she was happy to live down to that name after it was revealed that Theresa May has been sitting on five potentially-damning reports on Britain’s asylum system – on the day we learned net migration into the UK has risen above the level it was when the Coalition government came into office.

Mrs May’s suppression of the reports by John Vine, the government’s independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, suggests that she is trying to control the release of stories that criticise the government’s record on immigration in the run-up to the general election next year.

Mr Vine has made it clear that her failure to release the reports in a “timely” manner is reducing their impact and compromising his role as an independent watchdog.

His claim has also supported assertions by former Home Office minister Norman Baker that Mrs May suppressed reports on drug laws that run contrary to the government’s position.

It should be no surprise that the Coalition government is perfectly willing to suppress critical reports of its policies; this is an administration that lied its way into office and has been lying ever since.

The current fiasco is particularly damaging as David Cameron once claimed that his government would reduce net migration to less than 100,000 per year – “no ifs, no buts” – and the latest figures put it at around 260,000. That’s more than two-and-a-half times Cameron’s target, and higher than when the Conservative-led Coalition came into office.

According to The Independent: “Mr Vine says that up until this year he had complete autonomy to decide when his reports, which cover all aspect of Britain’s asylum and immigration system, were published. This was the case under successive Home Secretaries since the post was established in 2008.

“But Mr Vine said that in December last year he received a letter from Ms May saying that from then on, he would have to publish his reports through her department.”

The report continues: “‘I was concerned by these proposals for a number of reasons,’ he wrote. ‘I feared, at the time it was made, that a consequence of her decision might be that reports would not be published promptly, reducing the impact of their findings.'”

“Allowing the Government to control the release date also allows ministers to release them at times when they will get little publicity – potentially burying unwelcome news.”

So Mr Vine is right to accuse the government – and Mrs May in particular – of dirty tricks.

We all know of at least one other government department that has used delaying tactics: The Department for Work and Pensions has not published any statistics on the deaths of Employment and Support Allowance claimants since mid-2012, when it was revealed that 10,600 UK citizens died while claiming the benefit between January and December 2011 – around 220 per week.

The DWP has been claiming – for more than a year now – that it will release the figures on an unspecified date in the future.

“The Nasty Party” is a good description for an organisation that behaves in such a way, and Theresa May was right to label herself as such.

Other adequate descriptions include “underhanded”, “deceitful”… feel free to add your own.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
our incisive analysis of the latest news!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Lib Dem quits as Home Office minister

141105normanbaker

[Image: BBC.]

Norman Baker’s revelations about his life as the only Liberal Democrat minister in the Home Office make diverting reading.

Other members of the Coalition Government might be trying to play down any suggestion that there is friction between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives who outnumber them five-to-one – but he described working at the Home Office as like “walking through mud”, and there’s no way to make that look complimentary!

He announced his departure in The Independent, which reported: “In a scathing verdict on Ms May’s leadership, Mr Baker warned that support for ‘rational evidence-based policy’ was in short supply at the top of her department.”

The paper stated that his resignation followed an acrimonious clash between Mr Baker and senior Conservatives over a three-month delay in publishing a Home Office report on drugs policies abroad. He accused them of holding it up because its findings could be politically embarrassing to the Tories.

It suggested that this is evidence that relations are rapidly deteriorating within the Coalition ahead of next year’s general election.

Good!

The sooner the Coalition degenerates into infighting and squabbling, the sooner we can get a proper government in charge.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
commenting on the failings of the incompetent UK administration!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

 

Three cheers for free speech!

http://youtu.be/9DFWxd6FFWs

If you weren’t watching the BBC’s Question Time on Thursday, you didn’t miss much; questions about whether the young and poor should pay to maintain the lifestyles of the rich and old, and about whether the police should have shot unarmed Mark Duggan were deflected by Tory Nadine Dorries and Lib Dem Norman Baker – lamely, but that’s all they need to do with Dimbleby in the chair to protect them.

Dorries reckoned Mark Duggan was seen with a gun in his hand and threw it away but my information is that no witness actually said this. If so, then she should have been corrected but wasn’t – that’s the level of information you get on QT these days.

Then they moved on to immigration, and we got the wonderful speech by the lady in the YouTube clip above. She might not be the most sophisticated speaker ever to grace our screens but I, for one, don’t care a jot!

She made a point that Dorries, Baker, and particularly Dimbleby – look at the way he tried to shut her down – didn’t want aired: That this government is using the non-issue of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration as cover for its real work – destroying the National Health Service and the welfare state in order to force poor people to take out inadequate insurance against poor health and unemployment instead.

Bravo, madam!

Let’s see more people doing the same on future editions of the programme.

The Establishment (including the BBC) want to keep you quiet, so just go out and make sure these people fail.

Show your support forVox Political.
The site needs YOUR help to continue.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook