Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You've Got It Wrong Again Gordon

So, bloody-nosed from their drubbing in the local council and London Mayoral elections last week, we've witnessed a steady procession of cabinet ministers promising they will, from now on, take opinion on board and will "listen and learn" before making future pronouncements and decisions.

Quelle surprise that today, after receiving a report from an advisory body they probably created, New Labour decided to completely ignore the recommendation to leave cannabis as a Category C drug and switched it back to a Category B. Nice to know they've now started to listen - well, just not quite yet though.

I don't really care what category cannabis is in. I'd just like it to be in the right category, presuming that's where it actually belongs. I would assume if there is an expensive advisory body set up to review this category then the government would actually listen to what they say but apparently not. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary said other opinions from people such as the police and education services had to be taken into account and the advisory body was speaking only from a medical point of view. But on Radio 4 this evening, a former member of the body said that other opinions (such as police and education) were, as a matter of course, taken into account and that their report reflected these varying views.

So, there we have it. The government hasn't bothered to "listen and learn" less than a week after promising they would. They had already decided what they were going to do before the advisers even opened up the custard creams and sat down to pontificate. The government even said they were more concerned about sending out "a message" and they believed a re-categorisation was the way to do this, rather than just reading the report they so assiduously commissioned. Another bit of gesture policy-making they imagine is made on what they hope is public opinion (something they have been shown in the last week to be hopelessly out of touch with) and what really happened, as with the abolition of the ten pence tax rate, is because Gordon says so....and that's all the debate that is apparently really needed. End of "discussion".

1 comment:

sabrina said...

Apparently one of the criterias to be part of the government is to be a total asshole!

Although i know it's wishful thinking to hope for a government that actually listens to it's citizens...the people it is SERVING...i still can't help but hope