Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Liberal Party Can't Shake Off Howard's Australia

On the Liberal Party website, a statement made in January 2008 from Shadow Minister for Justice & Border Protection, Christopher Pyne shows the irony of the political party with an inappropriate name. Christopher Pyne makes a stunning attack on Kevin Rudd declaring he is not being 'tough on drugs'. Citing the experts in all things moral, The Herald-Sun, Pyne says a survey by the Hun indicates Australians want zero tolerance on drugs because a poll showed that more than 64% of respondents believed the AFL should adopt a one-strike policy towards players caught using illicit substances. Using his powers of deduction, Pyne has told Rudd he needs to make it clear that his government supports a zero-tolerance approach in the war on drugs. Yes, Pyne actually uses the term 'War on Drugs'.

Pyne continues with his bombastic views about Labor being divided over drug policy and points out Duncan Kerr who happens to have a different view than himself. 

'The Labor party room is divided in its attitudes to drugs. Duncan Kerr, a member of Mr Rudd’s frontbench, is the convenor of the Parliamentarians for Drug Law Reform. This group supports decriminalisation and harm-reduction policies ahead of a tough, no-nonsense approach.'

Then over to another evil immoral parliamentarian who let Australia slide into the gutter.

'Furthermore, Bob Debus, the minister responsible for the Federal Police drug enforcement efforts, previously presided as Attorney-General over a state with some of the weakest drug legislation in the country. Is this the approach he will bring to the war on drugs?'

And this cracker:

'It’s time for Kevin Rudd to commit to the Coalition’s Tough on Drugs Strategy and pull his colleagues into line who don’t support a policy that saw illicit drug use reduced from 22% to 15% under the previous government.'

The truth is that as the heroin surge abated, a large percentage of users got treatment or died due to draconian attitudes of the government and ilicit drug use then dropped lower than the stated 15%. What he doesn't tell us is that under Howard's strict watch, an Ice epidemic hit Australia and the figures were then made up by an increase in the new Ice users. They were too stupid to pick up on it. Too busy kissing the arse of the religious right. Too busy moving the heroin hot spots from one place to another. Too busy running drug policies past fringe church groups and weird evangelist preachers. The AFP and Australian law enforcement stopped less than 15% of heroin coming into Australia but arrested more users than ever before, branding them with criminal records. This is success to Christopher Pyne. The rate of heroin use has just gone back to where it was before the huge influx started. Good work.

Zero Tolerance, the policy that The Liberals want so badly is judged by human rights groups as one of the silliest, absolutely useless and most dangerous policies possible. Silly because it causes more problems than it solves. Useless because it has never worked ... ever. Dangerous because ... it kills people and cause more damage and crime than alcohol prohibition in the 1930s.

Over the years it has started to sink in for most people as we try to unravel our contrived views from the many years of drug hysteria and misinformation. Most sensible people now understand that the issue is more complex than first thought, jail doesn't help addicts and being 'tough' is a political slogan. That constant challenge to be 'tough on drugs' is just a political rant to declare publicly that whoever they are attacking is 'soft on drugs', It is really a call to be as 'stupid as us',  Those who are involved with the drug issue know more of the facts and most want drastic changes to a broken system, out of the hands of politicians and into the medical sphere. Amazingly though there are still some like Christopher Pyne who for some reason cannot comprehend simple facts and figures. He contributes to how drug policies are developed and it would be assumed he has actually researched the important issues he is dealing with. It is obvious he hasn't. How these dangerous, misinformed people are allowed to be involved with a policy that has so much at stake is just fucking extraordinary.

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