Bob Ainsworth on drugs, if you see what I mean. He has, as you might expect, great faith in the state. His remedy, giving the control to "doctors and pharmacists", won't make much difference, unless that is, you give the drugs away free. This would mean another 'state benefit' to be paid for by taxpayers. And how popular would that be in the age of the cutbacks? You would have thought that after all these years of 'big state' and its attendant failure that Ainsworth would have known better than to offer this, especially in the age of David Cameron and his Big Society. But then it's hard to kick a habit.
The yawning gulf between the public, our politicians and their advisers can be seen in the resignations from the official drugs advisory body. Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s dismissal of Professor David Nutt, the senior scientist on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, has turned into a major but predictable multi-dimensional upset for Nulabour. The MSM is full of this row between the government and the Advisory Council and for obvious reasons. First this is a wonderful story. Also its got, so some in the MSM think, the same sort of news value as another splash about Amy Winehouse.
The image shows the painting - Remnants of an Army' by Elizabeth Butler portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of a 16,500 strong evacuation from Kabul in January 1842.
Afghanistan now provides the 90% of the world's opium and 80% of the world's heroin. In the 10 years since 1996 the output has trebled. The farmers receive a tiny percentage of what the traffickers get so even when growing poppy they are not growing rich. Without this crop they can survive only with difficulty. The Independent tells us here
that - The governor of Helmand, Engineer Mohammed Daoud, claims to have eradicated 7,000 hectares of poppy this year. But even that modest claim is disputed."The real figure is about 1,000 hectares," one Western source said. "The district elders just followed the eradication teams around handing out wads of money. Sometimes the teams just drove a single tractor through the field and announced that they had eradicated it."
25,000 adults and children are treated in hospital annually for the effects of 'super-skunk' Cannabis and it is estimated that 70,000 outpatient mental patients are also treated for the effects. Cannabis factories are multiplying in the UK. Houses are converted and ordinary terraced or semi-detached houses are bought or rented as a place to grow cannabis. They are kitted out with special hydroponic equipment, which allow the plants to grow without soil and with added nutrients. Up to £70,000-worth of cannabis can be produced every 11 or 12 weeks.
'QOF' Over half of these points relate to clinical targets.One of the points is gained by prescribing statins for those at some risk of coronary heart disease. The patient is then on the drug for life, making this QOF point an easy one to maintain.There is little realistic possibility that a GP will be permitted to exercise his own independent clinical judgement and would be scared of legal action brought by a patient if NICE guidelines had not been followed.Your GP earns an average of £106,000 per annum. A single practice GP can earn an extra £126,000 making a potential total of £232,000 a year. In order to earn the extra £126,000 he needs to gain all 1050 points on the government's Quality and Outcomes Framework