Saturday, 31 October 2009

How do Manx politicians stand on drugs and alcohol?

So, a scientist gives impartial expert advice to the UK’s Prime Minister, just as his job requires, and what does the Prime Minister do?
The opposite, to suit the prejudices of the uninformed herd most likely to vote for him.
Well there’s a surprise.
Actually, reading some typical summaries of Professor David Nutt’s sacking for giving inconveniently sensible advice on relative dangers of illegal drugs and other risky substances and activities (see and for example) I did wonder idly.
What would happen if the island’s Chief Minister – also a Mr Brown – were to get expert advice he didn’t like from his own Drug & Alcohol team? Would he also ignore it for cheap political gain, or would he have the courage to do the right thing?
Then I remembered. That situation cannot happen over here, because the D&A strategy team doesn’t include experts.
No scientists, no medical professionals, nobody with a qualification in psychiatry or psychology…. No bodies, no expertise, just a random bunch of evangelicals and temperance nazis looking for a public handout and a police department trying to avoid cuts.
There is one other funny coincidence though – that quote about the Prime Minister’s ‘absurd stance’ on drugs.
From what I hear, our Mr Brown's absurd stance after a few drinks at the President of Tynwald’s Christmas Lunch is bad enough, while politicians and staff from the Department of Home Affairs often can’t stand at all after some of their departmental outings.
Then there’s the time, a couple of years ago, when senior politicians and church figures were invited to a Fair Trade wine tasting. Well, it was a good cause, so we shouldn’t blame them for tasting as conscientiously and thoroughly as they did.
And they certainly did.
Police gossip says they were taken home in the van from the cop shop a few doors down from the venue, thus leaving the entire south of the island without police cover until 1 AM.

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