Tory Luddite Tomkins Mocks the SNP Government Attacking Proposals For Safe Drug Taking Facilities – But fails to Bring Forward Any Answers to the Question – How do you reintegrate people to Society who were not integrated in the first place?

 

 

 

 

 

Drug-Control Policies in Britain

The late Prof Geoffrey Pearson was an eminent and highly respected Criminologist noted for his research into violence among the young.

In his journal, The New Heroin Users (1987) he gave a voice to users and addicts, confounding many stereotypes concerning this demonised group, who were concentrated in areas already suffering unemployment, poor housing and poverty.

He carried out a number of studies of drug use among young people in care, of drug markets, and the policing of drugs and was a member of the committee that carried out the 1971 inquiry into the misuse of drugs in the UK.

He was not a supporter of the UK government approach to drug taking and clarified his understanding of the issue in his paper:

Abstract from: “Drug-Control Policies in Britain,” Crime and Justice 14 (1991): He wrote:

“The British approach to heroin addiction has been widely misunderstood. The “British system” did not break down in the 1960s under the pressure of an upsurge in heroin misuse.

The 1960s heroin phenomenon was a relatively minor difficulty almost entirely confined to London and failed to dislodge the medical profession from its central role in the British response to serious drug misuse.

During the 1980s, however, a major heroin epidemic spread rapidly through a number of towns and cities in the North of England and Scotland, concentrated mainly in areas of high unemployment and social deprivation.

Government-sponsored responses have included high-profile mass media campaigns and a strengthening of the law-enforcement effort. Even so, the “British system” has remained essentially intact.

In response to the threat of drug-related HIV transmission, public health remedies have reasserted themselves against the prevailing rhetoric of “law and order.”

Essential Reading:  Drugs and the Law – REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1971

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/runciman/default.htm”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/professor-geoffrey-pearson-criminologist-noted-for-his-research-into-violence-among-the-young-8693631.html

 

 

 

Jul 2017: Tory government rejects advice of its own Advisory body

The UK government dismissed a call from its own advisory body to consider introducing drug consumption rooms.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) had said the rooms would provide a safe space for users to take class A drugs under the supervision of medical professionals.

The Tory government said it had no plans to approve drug consumption rooms and whilst it is committed to taking action to prevent the harms caused by drug use the official approach continues to be prevention of class A drug use in communities and helping drug dependent addicts recover, while ensuring that drugs laws are strictly enforced”.

 

 

 

10 Nov 2017: Scottish Lord advocate fails to back ‘fix room’ plan

Scotland’s top prosecutor refused to back a controversial plan to set up the UK’s first so-called “fix room”.

The proposed injecting facility in Glasgow aimed to give drug addicts a safe environment to inject under supervision.

The proposal was being driven by the city’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) which had planned to create an injecting facility between Trongate, Saltmarket and the River Clyde, by 2018, after a steep rise in HIV cases.

However, the scheme had required Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC to allow possession of street-bought heroin within the facility.

Glasgow, which has an estimated 13,600 problem drug users, has seen a growing number of addicts diagnosed with HIV.

Health officials put the cost to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde at more than £29m. (BBC News)

 

 

 

12 Dec 2017: Call for drug laws to be devolved to Scottish Government

The Scottish government is seeking devolution of drugs laws to allow users to take heroin safely under medical supervision.

This follows a ruling by the Home Office in London, which controls drug legislation, that introduction of a “fix room” would be illegal under existing UK drug enforcement policy and it expected Scottish police to enforce the law. (BBC News)

In 2016, 170 drug-related deaths were recorded in Glasgow – from a record total across Scotland of 867.

The previous year there had been 47 new diagnoses of HIV among those who inject drugs, compared with a previous annual average of 10.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) published “Taking away the chaos,” a review of the health needs of those injecting drugs in public places.

It said: “Public injecting in Glasgow is concentrated in lanes, closes, car parks, and public toilets of the south-east city centre and adjoining areas of the east end.

“Several informal drug consumption areas have been found in abandoned buildings and makeshift huts.”

A spokesman for Glasgow HSCP said: “We are continuing to work on our proposal to open a safer drug consumption facility in Glasgow.

“We have had initial discussions with the Scottish Government on how we can best secure the legislative framework needed to ensure the facility can open legitimately.” (BBC News)

 

 

 

23 Apr 2018: Typical Tory Tomkins Politisizes Scottish Approach to Drug Addict Care

The Express published an article written by Tomkins in which he attacked the SNP government wrongly attributing the proposed introduction of safe facilities to it, cheapening the efforts of highly qualified medics, social services experts and other people determined to improve the lives of drug users. See the article:

 

 

Denmark’s ‘Fix Rooms’ Give Drug Users A Safe Haven

Martin Jensen smokes heroin.

In the past, when this gaunt-faced Dane had to hide in elevators and stairwells to feed his addiction, he probably wouldn’t have been so willing to advertise that fact. Back then, his days were spent scouring Copenhagen — mostly the notorious Vesterbro neighborhood — for places to smoke, out of sight of the police and children.

He says he never felt safe, understandably, given what happened to one of his friends.

“My friend, he [was trying to] get some sleep, when he had smoked,” Jensen recalls.

That’s when an arsonist stopped by.

“They put gasoline here, on top of his head. And put on fire and just let him …” Jensen trails off, though he notes the friend survived.

All this is by way of explaining why, for Jensen, this year has meant the difference between “hell” and “heaven.”

It’s not that he’s quit — though he is taking methadone, which has helped him cut back.

It’s that now he has a place to come and take his drugs in peace.

In June 2012, the Danish Parliament passed legislation making it possible for municipalities to open so-called drug consumption rooms (known in Denmark as “fix rooms” and elsewhere, more specifically, as supervised injection sites) — facilities where adults with serious addictions can bring their illegal drugs and take them, legally, under the watchful eye of a nurse.

Within four months, Copenhagen had opened the first.

Two other cities have since followed suit. Full article at:

https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/12/16/246606797/denmarks-fix-rooms-give-drug-users-a-safe-haven”

 

 

 

27 May 2015: Denmark’s injection rooms save 300 lives

Denmark’s legal drug injection rooms have saved upwards of 301 lives according to figures from the Health Ministry.

The country’s five injection rooms – located in Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus – allow drug users to get their fix in controlled environments and under the watchful eye of healthcare professionals.

According to a Health Ministry report released on Wednesday, heroin and other drugs have been injected by around 4,300 registered users some 355,255 times since the rooms opened in 2012.

The vast majority – 94 percent – of injections took place in Copenhagen.

In 301 instances, the drug user overdosed but thanks to the presence of the rooms’ personnel there was not a single death.

“On that background, the evaluation concludes that the injection rooms must be seen to limit the risk of death and injuries,” a Health Ministry press release read.

The report also stated that the injection rooms have helped health professionals come in contact with addicts that they would not otherwise reach if the drug use remained on the streets.

There were 354 instances in which a user asked for help in breaking their habit.

According to the evaluation, it is not just users who have benefited from the injection rooms.

“Also the residents in those areas where drug abusers hang out and used to take their drugs in the streets, stairwells and hallways have noted that there aren’t as many used needles [lying around],” the ministry release stated.

The volume of used needles in Copenhagen has fallen by nearly 80 percent since the nation’s first injection room was opened there in the autumn of 2012.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority said last year that the injection rooms deserve the lion’s share of the credit for the fact that drug-related deaths have reached their lowest level in nearly 20 years.

https://www.thelocal.dk/20150527/denmarks-injection-rooms-save-hundreds-of-lives”

 

 

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Scotland – Englands First Colony – Ravished – Pillaged – Blockaded – Betrayed – Castigated – Absorbed on False Promises – Brexit is Our Chance to Right the Wrongs of the Past – All We Need is a Referendum

 

 

 

 

 

The Alien Act – Bully Boy Nation England Forces a Treaty of Union On Scotland

The 1701 Alien Act was the culmination of the England’s efforts to subjucate Scotland, and the negative impact was huge.

An embargo on Scottish goods to both England and its colonies, enforced by a naval blockade of Scottish ports and a large English army force in Berwick, cut maritime trade by fifty percent, crippling Scotland’s already fragmented economy which was struggling to recover after twenty five percent of Scotland’s total liquid capital had been lost during the Darien Scheme.

The Act also threatened inheritance rights for Scottish nationals living in England, causing unrest among Scotland’s elite.

Through this piece of legislation, English Parliament hinted at the dangers of refusing to unite the two nations.

England had the power to destroy the Scottish economy and take away the property of many of its citizens, and unless Scotland agreed to their proposals that was exactly what they would do.

In 1706 Scotland relented, activating a provision added to the end of the Alien Act that suspended the legislation as a whole following Scotland’s entrance into negotiations leading to the 1707 Act of Union with England.

 

Earl of Seafield

 

 

Second Thoughts On the Union – The First Earl of Seafield and His Attempt to Repeal the 1707 Treaty of Union

On 2nd June 1713 the Earl introduced a Bill in the House of Lords to repeal the 1707 Treaty of Union citing amongst the grievances of the Scots:

1. The dissolution of the Scottish Privy Council.

The Treaty of Union 1707 with England preserved the Scottish Legal System. Article XIX providing “that the Court of Session or College of Justice do after the Union and notwithstanding thereof remain in all time coming within Scotland, and that the Court of Justiciary do also after the Union … remain in all time coming.

But soon after the Union, the Union with Scotland (Amendment) Act 1707 combined the English and Scottish Privy Councils and decentralised Scottish administration through the appointment of justices of the peace in each Scottish shire to carry out administration.

In effect it took the day-to-day government of Scotland out of the hands of politicians and into those of the College of Justice who would report to the officer in post in the newly created position of Scottish Secretary of State in Westminster.

 

 

 

2. The Treason Act.

The Scottish Act, which was relatively humane was abandoned in favour of the more barbarous English Treason Act.

Section III of the Act required the Scottish courts to try cases of treason and misprision of treason according to English rules of procedure and evidence.

When the Scottish Parliament was established in 1998, treason and misprision of treason were designated as “reserved matters,” meaning they fell outside the jurisdiction of the Scottish government.

 

 

 

3. The incapacitating of the peers.

After the Scottish Parliament passed the ratifying Act it turned to the question of Scotland’s future parliamentary representation.

Article 22 of the Treaty had decreed that 16 peers and 45 commoners were to represent Scotland at Westminster, It would be for Scotland’s Parliament to settle the detail.

At this time the Edinburgh parliament was a unicameral body which, by the eve of the Union, had grown to consist of a ‘theoretical’ total of 302, made up of some 143 hereditary peers, 92 ‘shire’ or county commissioners, and 67 burgh commissioners.

Inevitably, Scotland’s loss of its representative body – symbolizing the loss of national sovereignty – in favour of a much reduced representation at Westminster produced deep resentment among the Scottish populace.

At the end of January 1707, following a series of ill-attended sittings, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation setting out the procedures for electing the 16 peers and 45 commoners. The 16 representative peers were to be chosen by the entire body of Scottish peers through ‘open election’ rather than by ballot.

Each elected peer was to serve for the duration of one Parliament. Upon the dissolution of Parliament all Scottish peers would be summoned by royal proclamation to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the names of peers were called over and each peer would then read out his list of 16 nominees.

It became standard practice for governments to canvass their preferred choices, thus ensuring a controllable bloc of support in the Upper House. The practice of electing “representative peers” of Scotland was to continue until it was abolished by the Peerage Act of 1963.

Scots legal experts were frustrated that from 1712 the House of Lords in Westminster was also the Court of Appeal for Scottish cases.

This led to “miscarriages of justice” caused by a lack of understanding of Scots law by English judges.

Scots landowners with English titles were angry in 1711 when they were prevented from taking their seats in the House of Lords.

 

 

 

4. The introduction of many new taxes on Scotland

After 1707, new taxes imposed on Scotland by Westminster increased the prices of Scottish goods for export to England and abroad greatly benefitting English manufacturers but to the severe detriment of Scot’s.

Duties on linen in 1711 and 1715, and the Soap Act of 1714 upset many people in Scotland.

The Salt Tax of 1711 was especially unpopular and resulted in riots.

The Malt Tax, introduced in 1713 in defiance of the Treaty of Union was imposed on the Scottish brewing industry and undermined a wide range of Scottish endeavours and entrenched a culture of evasion, amongst poor Scots who relied on a diet of inexpensive ale.

The cumulative effect of the new taxes served only to reduce legitimate trade in Scotland whilst encouraging smuggling and in some instances outright resistance.

As a result of increased goods duties, there were attacks on customs officers and an increase in the smuggling of goods into Scotland.

The Malt Tax Riots in 1725 and the Porteous Riot in 1736 both highlighted popular resentment for English intervention in the name of integration.

 

 

 

5. The deliberate ruination by Westminster of Scottish trade and manufacturing

Despite the promises made by England during the unification process, economic rehabilitation in Scotland was an abject failure.

While there were apparent economic benefits for the nobility and landowners, who “sensed that union would open up new opportunities to them through being able to sell their cattle and other produce to England” they represented a very small part of the socio-economic makeup of Scotland.

The benefits of maritime trade afforded to them by the union only applied to the elite, (this is still the case in 2014) and the rest of Scotland faced a new, far less attractive economic reality after 1707.

The expansion of the cattle and sheep industries in Scotland to compensate for increased demand in England also led to many tenants being forcibly cleared off of their land in order to maximize grazing.

This accumulation of injustices only served to strengthen resistance to the Union of 1707 in both the Lowlands and the Highlands and, as their economic situation worsened many turned to Jacobitism as a solution to their problems, one that supported “the old monarchy” and was inherently Scottish.

 

 

 

6. Introduction of the English Enclosure Act

There was great unrest as a result of introduction of the English “enclosures” system of land allocation, replacing the Scottish “runrig” system.

There were outbreaks of fence-smashing by labourers who had fallen on hard times through not being able to afford “enclosures.”

 

 

 

7. The Irish Diamension – The Wool Act

Westninster prohibited any export of manufactured woollen goods from Ireland in 1699.

A protection of trade measure designed to ensure English farmers and woollen manufacturers would be allowed to operate without competition.

The restrictions on the woollen trade greatly distorted the importance of the Irish linen industry, particularly in Ulster and in 1696 a Bill was passed through Westminster which encouraged the manufacturing of linen in Ireland free of tax at time of export to England and other foreign trade.

But Scotland was not considered. Linen taxes were imposed on Scotland to the detriment of the trade and its rapid closure due to the high cost of exporting the yarn and finished goods.

 

 

 

Outcome of the Debate

The response from the English peers who favoured the Union’s continuance principally underscored its importance in terms of protecting the succession.

At this point the coherence of the Scots’ assault broke down as some of their English allies moved in favour of adjourning the debate and suggested that separate legislation should be drafted for protecting the nation.

When the House came to divide, the bill for dissolving the Union lost by just 4 votes, and even then only because of the employment of proxies.

A few days later the malt bill passed the Lords and was enacted on 10th June.

The failure of the Scots’ rebellion was largely down to their inability to secure the unqualified support of key members of the Whig opposition.

For many of these the affair was simply an opportunity to embarrass the administration and when it came to the crunch were found to be absent from the House.

Even for those who believed genuinely that something needed to be done to improve the condition of the Scots, several preferred to concentrate on securing an amended version of the malt bill rather than threatening the Union itself.

Inevitable Rebellion: The Jacobite Risings and the Union of 1707 – Lindsay Swanson – PSU HST 102 – December 17, 2014

https://thehistoryofparliament.wordpress.com/author/epeplow/

 

 

Syria – The US, UK and French Have Given Up On Regime Change in Syria – New Strategy is to Establish a New State East of the Euphrates – More Blood to Be SpiltCarve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 May 2018: Tensions Rising Between Syrian Army, Kurds Amid Creation of US Bases

The probability of all-out war between the Syrian army and Kurdish militias in northern Syria has intensified amid reports of the creation of more new US bases, along with reports of a possible deployment of troops from a Saudi-led ‘Arab coalition’.

There are also reports of a growing French presence in areas of Syria under Kurdish control.

Tensions have been running high since the US sent yet another convoy of weapons to Kurdish militants in the Tal Beidar region and Kurdish forces’ actions fortifying their positions has increased the danger of a direct confrontation with the Syrian Army.

Also this week, around 30 villagers were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in the village of al-Fadel in southern Hasakah, prompting Damascus to submit another letter of complaint to the United Nations about the coalition’s “massacres” against the Syrian people and its attempts to undermine the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The letter also accuses Washington of providing “systematic support” for Daesh.

 

 

 

Syria – The US, UK and French Are Intent on Regime Change Regardless of the Expressed Will of the Syrian People

In the summer of 2017 the Syrian Army liberated large parts of their eastern provinces, re-establishing a land re-supply route stretching from Iran to Syria and the formidable Hezbollah forces based in the Lebanon.

This was unpalatable to the Western allies and a major offensive was launched against the Syrian army, by the US, UK, Israel and France.

The offensive, when fully completed removed the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon land route diminishing Iran’s ability to channel funds and armaments to Hezbollah adversely affecting Syria’s ability to trade with Iraq and Iran further complicating Syria’s post-war reconstruction plans.

 

The Syrian government and its allies became extremely concerned about the increasing build-up of French, UK and US (FUKUS) forces in Syria, East of the Euphrates and along the border with Jordan, claiming it to be an illegal occupation designed to partition the country.

Referring the matter to the UN Security Council the Syrian government pointed out that the countries concerned did not have a mandate from the UN Security Council nor an invitation from the Syrian government to be in Syria and they should be withdrawn without delay.

President Trump is previously reported indicating his intention to withdraw allied forces from Eastern Syria if and when the situation was improved.

Since that time the Allies declared the war against ISIS to be at an end.

But the occupation of Syria goes on.

It now appears the agenda has changed and (FUKUS) intend to occupy Syria, East of the Euphrates, perhaps on a permanent basis.

This will ensure control of the countries most productive oil and gas fields remains with groups loyal to (FUKUS) denying the Syrian government, and most likely Turkey and Iraq, who would otherwise delight in further military action intent on reducing the Kurd presence and influence to the East of the Euphrates.

The scene is set for further military confrontation, similar to the recent battle for control of the Deir-el-Zour oil field, which resulted in the death of around 200 Russian irregulars and an unspecified number of Syrian soldiers, as the Syrian government seeks to re-establish control of the region.

War without end regardless of cost