Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Unwinnable War On Dickheads

I give up!

How many times do the Liberal Party have to hear it? The Bishop Report: “The Winnable War on Drugs” was rejected by the vast majority of experts in health, in welfare, in Australia, on the whole bloody planet. Banging on about it is futile and frankly, embarrassing. You had your shot and failed ... the war was lost. We are still counting the bodies whilst those actually qualified are working furiously to analyse how to prevent it happening again. You introduced “Tough on Drugs”, the Australian version of the "War on Drugs" and it was a massive failure. Your general, AFP commissioner, Mick Keelty conceded defeat. Your commander and chief, John Howard was dismissed and Colonel Bronwyn Bishop was banished to sanitary duties. My advice ... take a hint.


What About The Winnable War On Drugs Prime Minister?
www.liberal.org.au

Senator Mathias Cormann
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration

24th November 2008

Kevin Rudd needs to commit to the ‘war on drugs’, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration Mathias Cormann said today.

“In his first year in office the Prime Minister has been leading a ‘war’ on just about everything,” Senator Cormann said. “Why is it then that his Government has abandoned the critically important war on drugs?” he asked.

“More than a year after the release of the comprehensive House of Representatives Committee report “The winnable war on drugs – The impact of illicit drug use on families” the Rudd Government still has not provided any response to the Parliament,” Senator Cormann said.

“In the Government’s propaganda paper on its first year in office the battle faced by too many families against the enemy of drug abuse hardly rates a mention. The time for more Committees and reviews on the challenge of drug abuse is over. This is the time to make decisions and take action.

“We need decisions focused on winning the war, not on helping the enemy gain more strength.

“The story in today’s Daily Telegraph is a shocking demonstration of how a completely misguided harm minimisation approach by Labor in NSW is failing young people and their families.

“Our children don’t need lessons on how to use harmful and illicit drugs. They need to get the clear message that drugs are bad,” Senator Cormann said.

“Of course we have to provide effective treatment to anyone with a drug problem – but it should never ever be done in a way that normalises drug use.

“Any parent would be shocked and horrified to read the advice that has been circulated to children in NSW schools, including comments such as:

If you don’t already have a reliable dealer, try to find one and stick with them;

When you’re using a new batch (of speed) only try a little at first - you can always use the rest later if you need to.

Budget for food, rent and bills BEFORE you spend money on drugs;

Don’t buy drugs on credit;

Avoid (?) dealing speed or other drugs.


“It is time the Prime Minister showed some national leadership on this.

“Teaching 14 year old kids how to use illicit drugs is just outrageous. This is another ‘harm minimisation’ booklet that should be pulped immediately!

“I look forward to meeting with Darren Marton, the founder of the ‘Drugs - No-Way’ campaign in Canberra on Wednesday, along with Ms Bronwyn Bishop, who chaired the House of Representatives Inquiry into Illicit Drugs last year,” Senator Cormann said.


If I could be a fly on the wall at any event to ever take place, I would skip The Watergate Hotel, the meeting between Howard and Costello over the leadership and even the last supper. But I wouldn’t miss the meeting that Mathias Cormann is having with Darren Marton and Bronwyn Bishop. I would have enough material to fill this blog for at least 2 years. If only they would invite Chris Pyne and help raise the average IQ above 65. And what the hell are they going to talk about? The Bishop Report is dead, Labor is in power, Bronwyn Bishop sits on the back bench, Mathias Cormann is a goose and Darren Marton is just another 'abstinence only' moop.

You have laugh at Cormann’s rhetoric.

We need decisions focused on winning the war, not on helping the enemy gain more strength.
What the hell does that mean? Who is the enemy? What decisions? Does he mean the ones that got us in this mess in the first place?

Our children don’t need lessons on how to use harmful and illicit drugs. They need to get the clear message that drugs are bad.
Drugs are bad, mkay. Now that we know that, our children should be safe. What a relief! Do they need lessons on how to use harmful and illicit drugs? Of course not because they know that drugs are bad ... mkay. Illicit drugs means illegal drugs so why would kids be involved in breaking the law? Drugs are bad ... and illegal ... and dangerous, mkay. Just as long as we don’t send the wrong message. 

But what if the kids don’t listen and decide to take drugs anyway. Is there some booklet to advise them what is the safest way to do what they have decided to do and are going to do anyway? Yes there is and ... oh wait, it’s been shredded. It was full of wrong messages ... and information that might save their life. 

The fact that drugs are harmful is even more reason to teach them the safest practice and because they are illicit means there is no regulations for drug dealers to provide instructions or warnings. Pretty inconsiderate really.

What is the wrong message? For too long now, the idea that sensible, appropriate advice will give the  green light to go ahead and take drugs has been used to appear tough on drugs or for the comfort zone of the message provider. Research has shown many times that scare tactics alone do not achieve the required result as the reality is often much different to the portrayed message. In other words, people aren’t stupid. People taking drugs are well aware of the dangers and not offering advice that might keep them alive because it ‘sends the wrong message’ is mind numbingly stupid. Using this excuse should be a flag to everyone that the messenger does not fully understood the issue or has an ulterior motive. In an advanced society, we should be examining those who use such ridiculous comments and be questioning their intelligence or motives. Such foolish actions would not be tolerated in the business world or in a lab or even in most of society but somehow it’s okay to risk our kids lives because it’s the issue of drugs. Am I missing something?

This is another ‘harm minimisation’ booklet that should be pulped immediately!
Damn that Harm Minimisation! Saving lives, reducing harm, educating our kids. What sort of message is that? What next? Telling us that alcohol is a drug? Pffft. Kids aren’t going to fall for that one. They’re not stupid you know.

In his first year in office the Prime Minister has been leading a ‘war’ on just about everything. Why is it then that his Government has abandoned the critically important war on drugs?
The current government is tackling a more pressing problem, alcohol abuse, which the Libs conveniently overlooked. The focus on drugs has much more value politically and this fact was abused by the previous government. Being an unpopular opposition, it seems it would be an ideal time to dust off the “Tough on Drugs” sham to counter the much more effective alcohol reforms of the current government. The Libs have always had a reservation about tackling our drinking habits which lacks the hysteria of drug use. It’s a piss poor excuse to drag out the redundant Bishop Report and resort to the old tricks of using fear and ignorance to gain some much needed attention.

Alcohol enjoys enormous popularity and special significance in Australian society. It is used for relaxation, socialisation and celebration. Alcohol also plays a significant role in the Australian economy, generating substantial employment, retail activity, export income and tax revenue. There is also evidence that alcohol can benefit the health of some individuals, if consumed at low levels, by contributing to the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk from middle-age onwards. Everyday, thousands of Australians benefit in some way from alcohol.
-Liberal Party’s National Alcohol Strategy 2006

Calling on the government to commit to the "War on Drugs" and to continue with the opposition’s “Tough on Drugs” policies is laughable. The "War on Drugs" is the single biggest policy failure in US political history. Most of Europe is on the verge of breaking away from their commitments to the US dominated anti-drug UN conventions and have clearly shown how Harm Minimisation is a far superior policy to the old Zero Tolerance ideology. Promoting the Bishop Report scam as the core of our drug policy is ludicrous as the rest of the world is giving support to completely opposed strategies. The problem is politicians like Cormann really don’t know much about the issue of illicit drugs and especially Harm Minimisation. Before being so arrogant and forth coming with harsh demands it might be wise to actually know what you’re talking about first.

Senator Mathias Cormann has joined the ranks of other ignorant, lying politicians like Bronwyn Bishop, Chris Pyne, Donna Faragher, Mary Wooldridge, Steve Fielding, Alan Cadman, Alex Hawke, Trish Draper, Peter Dutton, Kay Hull, Ann Bressington, Harry Quick, Luke Simpkins, Louise Markus, John Howard, Mark Vaile etc. etc. etc.

Like the "War on Drugs", the war on dickheads seems to be unwinnable.

4 comments:

epicene said...

As an aging boomer, I'm still astounded at the continuation of Prohibition.
The mechanics of ban-criminal supply has been around since Matthew gave up his day job and joined JC. Or for more recet, better documented chapter & verse, try the US's alcohol fiasco which poured the foundations we enjoy today - police/political corruption, social division, media sales of Moral Panic, tuned & rebored for today's butterfly attention spans.

Terry Wright said...

"Or for more recet, better documented chapter & verse, try the US's alcohol fiasco which poured the foundations we enjoy today - police/political corruption, social division, media sales of Moral Panic, tuned & rebored for today's butterfly attention spans."

Yes, Epicene, spot on.

Anonymous said...

Any recommendations other than harsher penalties or tougher laws are attacked as being “soft on drugs”.

It's a dangerous but widespread approach by politicians who consider their careers more important than people's lives.

Senator Cormann has displayed his true colours with his comments and that he is just another career politician who cannot be trusted.

Anonymous said...

Public officials at all levels of government too often find the popular call to simply crack down on drug use hard to resist. Politically, it seems more beneficial to lock ‘em up and throw away the key than to call for alternatives to jail that emphasise treatment and counselling. The Rudd Government is no different in that regard to the opposition.