Saturday, 12 November 2011

Poor judgement should not excuse poorer new law

You can always tell when the local professional prodnose industry thinks next year’s government subsidy might be trimmed because fact-lite scare stories like this (see and appear.
Two immediate and awkward questions arise: just who are these government ‘drug advisers’ who apparently believe “stricter laws, more research and greater awareness are all needed to curb the spread of such drugs”, and do any of them have any professional expertise?
Knowing that the Chief Minister’s task force on drugs and alcohol was set up by individuals and organisations whose main reference point is the Bible, and who do not have so much as one basic qualification in medicine, psychology (or indeed the ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ sciences in general) between them, I do hope it is not them. Actually, what I really hope is that this idiotic ‘Advisory Council’ is disbanded pretty sharpish, because, on this evidence alone, none of them are capable of interpreting something as basic as a medical report to a coronary hearing.
No, I have not read the medical report either, but I do know that it does not say this teenager was killed by a legal high, and I do know, just from reading local newspaper reports, that that teenager had also consumed quite a lot of alcohol, and I do know, from reading many more reports over the years of inquests into ’drug deaths’, that with the possible exception of purer than usual heroin it is never a single chemical substance (legal or illegal) that kills the victim, but a particular chemical reaction caused by the combination of various substances, plus the victim’s particular medical history and the particular social circumstances of the death event.
I would also have thought that in this particular case other questions which might need answering include why a 17 year old had such easy access to alcohol (which unlike the MDAI really IS illegal -and supposedly the subject of very high profile tough legislation and social control which this case alone proves simply does not work either) and why she was apparently openly having a close relationship with a man twice her age yet nobody personally or professionally related to her thought that was odd.
Again, one of the conditions demanded by and granted to Manx evangelical homophobes for the lowering of homosexual consent to 16 was a clause preventing the ‘grooming’ of anyone under the age of 18 by an older adult. In practice, as UK gay organisations have pointed out, this type of legislation is only ever used to block same sex relationships, and never against the organisations whose employees are most likely to groom teenagers for sex, i.e. religious ones.
You can also tell how close the links are between the court services and the evangelicals who live off such moral panics because, coincidentally, there will always be a high profile case for a helpful coroner or judge to use to call for tougher legislation.
Just think about it. Why would a legal professional call for weaker or better legislation, or for people to take personal responsibility for their lives, or neighbours to look out for each other …..or indeed anything which people in the real world would recognise as common sense? That would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
Of course, the other thing we can rely on is that either the Manx press were not at the coroner’s hearing, or did not find time to read such evidence as was on public record or the judgement in full, or just chose to concentrate on juicy morsels which ‘prove’ what their bigoted readers always want to think rather than doing their duty as journalists to report the fullest facts and best informed (though probably conflicting) opinion to us so that we can make informed judgements.
Considering the seriousness of some of the issues here, this ragbag conspiracy of self-serving idiots really does need to be treated with utter contempt. And we really should, as their employers, dispatch most of them to the Job Centre as soon as possible.

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