Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Friday, 6 November 2009

Idiotic article from Labour MP on CiF - brilliant comments below

I was simultaneously depressed and then immensely heartened by an article I read on Comment Is Free earlier. The Labour MP John Robertson has written an article full of prejudice and nonsensical arguments regarding drugs policy. He also unbelievably even tries to smear Professor Nutt as a bad parent.

However I then started reading through the comments below. I have gone through over 50 of them and apart from one person, the rest are all completely against Mr Richardson's argument. His article is basically ripped apart and exposed for the nonsense it is. I wonder if the government really realised how much more scrutiny their position would be put under when they decided to make it clear they reject an evidence based approach by firing Professor Nutt.

Here are a couple of examples of the comments:

You should be fighting to protect the children from the risk that horse riding presents to them. You need to send out a strong message that horse riding is dangerous. Really, it should be illegal, because that will really discourage people from doing it. Ever since the new, stronger breeds of horse have become popular then the percentage of people who state that horse riding is a primary source of recreation has increased from 3.4% to 6.2%. If these so-called scientists say that this so-called horse riding is safer than using an angle grinder that doesn't detract from the need to be presenting a strong message.

And another references a quote in the BMJ from the always excellent Professor David Colquhon:

Politicians are apt to invoke the precautionary principle when discussing illegal drug use, but it isn't quite as simple as that. The precautionary principle can result in harm to people. Perhaps the reason for including ecstasy with heroin in class A was to make people think that ecstasy was as dangerous as heroin (not true, but precautionary). But it is just as likely that people will conclude that heroin is as safe as ecstasy. That's the danger of lying, however good the motives.

It's well worth reading through the comments. Taken together they provide a comprehensive fisk of the article. Wonderful stuff.

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