Wednesday, 26 September 2012

why channel 4's ecstasy trial left me depressed

click to watch The Ecstasy Trial online
Ecstasy may for some live up to its name, but as a former drugs-worker I was left rather depressed by Channel 4’s Drugs Live: the Ecstasy Trial.

The programme seemed geared towards presenting Ecstasy (MDMA) as a tool for treating PTSD, although there is a body of research proposing doing the same with the cheap and non-addictive beta-blocker Propranolol.

It has to be remembered that this is also a nightclub drug that has killed. It wasn’t until nearly the end of this first part of the documentary that a psychiatrist in the audience pointed out the difference between using MDMA in a clinical setting and to enhance a night out.

One of the presenters is Dr David Nutt, who was spectacularly fired from his post as head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for publishing a scientific paper claiming that horse-riding is more dangerous than Ecstasy. Then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith decided he was being disrespectful towards E’s victims, and suggestions that drugs policy be made by scientists instead of politicians were met by Daniel Hannan MEP with "Perhaps we should abandon democracy and be ruled by Prof David Nutt".

Leah Betts
Ecstasy is part of the amphetamine family, a tribe that brings us little except pain. It can cause a temporary psychosis whereby people feel compelled to repeat actions, which may have caused Leah Betts’ death after compulsively drinking water following ingestion of one E.

Spend the weekend in an A&E department: most of the substance-based attrition you see will be due to alcohol, a legal drug. Whatever Ecstasy/MDMA’s therapeutic potential, I’m left with the feeling that Nutt is in pursuit of unfinished business in terms of legalising more drugs, which he seems not to understand will be used by people in non-clinical settings and will create more harm.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

Watch Drugs Live: the Ecstasy Trial on channel4.com

Equasy – An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms by David Nutt, Journal of Psychopharmacology

Propranolol treatment of traumatic memories, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

why the Czech Republic needs lessons in English history

In 1736, the British Parliament started taxing gin punitively because of the problems caused by rocketing consumption. Resultingly, the sale illegal spirits soared.

Why this matters to the Czech republic is that on 14 September its government has banned the sale of alcohol stronger than 20% proof within the country after liquor "turbocharged" with methanol left over 20 people dead and many people blinded by the neurotoxic substance.

Vaclav Klaus
Already, many Czechs are turning to slivovitz, plum brandy made in stills (palenice - below right) of varying sizes. While it’s unlikely that these unofficial distilleries would poison their clientele, many of whom will be owners’ friends, it remains to be seen whether those customers will return to legal alcohol; probably one reason why Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus (right) wants to see spirits return to shops. He probably also wants to help restore tarnished images, as Slovakia and Poland are no longer importing Czech booze.

palenice
It’s difficult to stop people acting stupidly: in Glasgow in the early 1980s several people were blinded after alcohol laced with methanol was taken to a party. But the present crisis seems to have been brought about by an organised gang. With £49,000,000 of export business per year with Poland and Slovakia at risk, no doubt the police will have been told to get results quickly.

However, the reason for the ban being applied when it was is that the EU would have imposed a fixed-term ban from on high if the government hadn’t acted.

Which is another reason for the Czech establishment to study English history. The liquor crisis, says Tim Stanley of History Today, was ended when the price of corn and other grains went up. There's more than one way for Brussels to skin a cat: I hope Prague keeps an eye on EU agricultural policies.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Monday, 24 September 2012

cover-up exposed: child grooming in Rotherham

click to subscribe to The Times
The Times has published an exclusive about how police in South Yorkshire conspire with child protection services to suppress the ethnicity of groomers and child-abusers in Rotherham. It will come to no surprise to members of groups like the English Defence League that the abusers belong mostly to the Pakistani and Iraqi communities.

But while depressingly familiar, one report is stunning in its implications for girls from predominantly white families in this area. The Times report states:

Police went to a house outside which a father was demanding the release of his daughter, who was inside with a group of British Pakistani adults. Officers found the girl, 14, who had been drugged, under a bed. The father and his daughter were arrested for racial harassment and assault respectively. Police left, leaving three men at the house with two more girls.

When a girl can be arrested for racial harassment for having the temerity to be sexually assaulted by members of an untouchable community, aren’t we well on the road to a situation where a woman can be stoned for adultery, which usually consists of having been raped?

Denis MacShane MP: read his statement on the crisis
The South Yorkshire Police need to be hit by complaint after complaint; and hopefully Denis MacShane MP (left), who told the Times senior police officers hadn’t "even hinted" at what was going on, will join in. (Although why an MP of a small town was unaware of such a huge scandal needs also to be asked.)

But if by some miracle this is cleared up (and that would be a miracle), it’s set to happen again, because a polished diversity industry continually deflects blame elsewhere, for example on the troubled families the girls come from – something else the Times article explodes. While diversity wraps whole communities in Teflon, none of our children are safe.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

The Times website is subscription-only: click here to find out more

female genital mutilation: Sunday Times exclusive - 300 words

Monday, 17 September 2012

mob violence vs freedom to offend: which will win?

go to the BBC's Citizen Khan website

The scene where Amjad gets punched was expertly set-up and textbook sitcom. It’s just unfortunate that in the first episode of Citizen Khan to portray non-Muslims, a Pakistani man is walloped in a pub called "The George" where the English flag hangs in the background.

Unforseeably, the episode arrived amid a crisis about The Innocence of Muslims, a featurette whose fake beards are admittedly criminal but otherwise contains nothing concerning Mohammed which has not been said by respected Islamic resources.

The film starts in a small US town on the Mexican border; the banners outside are in Arabic and an army officer ponders the prophet’s 61 wives. A murderous gang of Arabs (cue offending beards) come raiding while police look on and await further orders. Then we’re in sixth-century Arabia and have a whistlestop tour of Mohammed’s life which is sickening but accurate - check out the Koran and hadiths.

Christopher Stevens: read a profile at the Telegraph
I’d have given the film a miss had not Muslims publicised it worldwide with the murder of Christopher Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya. Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil helped rioting mobs turn it into a freedom of speech issue by insisting both that Muslims are peaceful and that people should "pay for what they do" if they insult Islam. Even Tony Blair, arch-acolyte of diversity, has refused to condemn the film.

Salman Rushdie observed that without the freedom to offend, freedom of expression is meaningless. During the furore surrounding The Life of Brian, John Cleese said something similar: "nobody has the right not to be offended". When Islam grows up and stops associating its offence with the loudest voices and the sharpest knives, I’ll start listening to its hurt feelings.

Meanwhile, a scene in Citizen Khan where the title character regrets offending a non-Muslim might start to indicate that cooler heads finally have a voice within British Islam.

Tony Urquhart
300 words

Resources

Statement from Joseph Nassralla Gives Inside Story of Making of "Innocence of Muslims" film - Atlas Shrugs

The Innocence of Muslims on YouTube: not suitable for young children

US Consulate Attack in Libya: Profile of John Christopher Stevens - The Telegraph

BBC website for Citizen Khan

Citizen Khan - to grow darker? - 300 words

Monday, 10 September 2012

9/11

No amount of words - 300 or 300 million - can express the feeling when 9/11 comes round again. Wherever you are in the world, please whisper a prayer: for the fallen, for those left behind, for yourself and for the future.

JD

sy a prayer om 9/11

Sunday, 9 September 2012

the Paralympics' epochal legacy

click for more pics from the Paralympic closing ceremony

What a relief that the Paralympic closing ceremony managed to avoid the left-wing iconography that Danny Boyle’s Olympic ceremony was guilty of, as British Freedom founder Paul Weston so ably pointed out. Perhaps a lesson learnt, for example, from Boyle’s airbrushing of the Polish WWII refugees who made up 15% of the Empire Windrush’s passengers? It was all very batty and very British, obviously an advantage of being beyond the BBC's dead hand.

The epochal legacy of the 2012 London Paralympic Games will surely be a reimagining of disability. British Paralympians won a total of 34 gold medals, not too far ahead of our Olympians’ tally of 29. However, when you look at the haul of all medals in total the difference is stunning: while Team GB Olympians bagged 65 medals in all, our Paralympians almost doubled that with a breathtaking total of 120 medals. Is this an indication of the reservoir of talent that lies untapped?

atos: read about the Paralympic controversy
The issue of ATOS’ sponsorship of the Paralympic games has been a vexed one, and caused British athletes to hide their branded lanyards in the opening ceremony. When I was on benefits but trying to get back into the job market I found that repeated experiences of failure in several spheres tempted me to retreat into a cocoon of state-funded lack of expectation. I’d have gotten into work quicker if the safety-net had been less, well, safe. On the other hand, disability is a skein of factors with external and internal loci, and in some cases a more robust net will be entirely appropriate to help somebody take their rightful place in society.

During the Paralympics we’ve seen joy, tears, tantrums and accusations. In other words, we’ve seen individuals in all their colours. If appreciation of that individuality by ATOS and wider society is the Paralympics’ legacy, everybody involved can be justifiably proud.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

Watch the Paralympic Closing Ceremony on 4oD

View pics from the Closing Ceremony at the BBC

Olympic Opening Ceremony hijacked by far-Left, Paul Weston

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Jihad or liberty? The world faces Canada's choice

Israeli jurist Tzachi Hanegbi predicts the next 50 days will be "the most fateful in Israel’s history". That’s saying quite something. Canada’s expulsion of Iran’s diplomats (and recall of its own from Iran) is surely not unrelated.

Canada and Iran have had a tense history since Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi imprisoned in Iran in 2003. Even before, during Khomeini’s revolution in 1980, Canadian diplomats helped their US counterparts escape.

This is surely crucial to understanding why Canada has cut relations now. As humanitarian as their 1980 action was, it displayed a grasp of Realpolitik, in that Canada’s future depends far more on its powerful southern neighbour than a despotic middle-eastern country bristling with extremists.

Not that there aren’t extremists in Canada right now, thanks to its illiberally liberal human-rights infrastructure. Which is another reason for the parting of the ways – as Ezra Levant explains on Sun TV, politicians don’t want Iranian "diplomats" activating internal extremists who would undoubtedly export even more Jihad southwards.

Iran’s nuclear ambitions became public knowledge in 2005. Since then the West has used diplomatic pressure to try to manage the situation, in what amounts to the sort of policy of appeasement that gave Hitler’s military machine time to become strong enough to occupy its southern and eastern neighbours.

Should Israel fall, God forbid, it is negligent to assume that Iran would stop there and not use the Bomb as a means of prosecuting Jihad.

Personally, I don’t believe Israel will fall. Regardless of how you view Biblical promises regarding Israel, all you need to find out that the State of Israel’s would-be conquerors have a history of losing is an impartial history book. Other countries now need to face the question of where their loyalties lie – Iran, despotism and Jihad; or Israel, democracy and liberty.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

where was the Olympic memorial for the Munich 11?

click to go to the Munich 11 memory Project

The Munich 11, members of the Israeli Olympic Team, weren’t the only athletes to die in the the modern Olympics, but they were the only athletes to be assassinated. They were killed by Palestinian terrorists aided by neo-Nazis on 4-5 September 1972, and the fortieth anniversary of their murders has passed without a formal memorial at either the Olympic or Paralympic games.

That’s not to say that they weren’t remembered: Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, joined other IOC members on August 6 at the Munich memorial – and was told by Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach and Munich victim AndrĂ© Spitzer that in refusing an Olympic minute of silence he had “submitted to terrorism” and would be remembered as "a president who violated the Olympic charter calls for brotherhood, friendship and peace".

I concur with her sentiments, even if I can’t imagine her pain. The fallen were kidnapped inside an Olympic enclosure, so why weren’t they good enough to be commemorated inside another Olympic enclosure? Spitzer continues:

I told him we just wanted a gesture, we don't want it to be political…Rogge was an athlete in 1972. I told him that him and my husband had the same dreams, but my husband came home in a coffin and Rogge went to be president of the IOC.

He eventually leaned over the table, looked at me and said, 'I am not going to do it.'

click to read more
Recently in Europe, Gentiles have been taking to the streets with their Jewish compatriots in Kippahs to protest against Anti-Semitic attacks and prejudice (such as the IOC's), odious things that put our struggle to wear the cross at work in perspective.

But what about the Munich 11? They were in fact commemorated unoficially by US gymnast Aly Raisman, in her gold-winning performance to Hava Nagilah. Enjoy, and reflect that justice will out.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

The Munich 11 memory Project from the Israel Forever foundation

Files show Neo-Nazi Terrorists helped Palestinian Terrorists in Munich Massacre SpiegelOnline

Munich Widows will not get minutes' silence at London 2012 ceremony, The Huffington Post

'Hava Nagilah' and questions of Jewish Joy, Rabbi Joel Seltzer

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Ferries' arrest confirms that victims have no rights

Compare:

In Leistershire, a couple were arrested for grevious bodily harm after two burglars were shot in the legs.

read about Earl Jones shooting a burglar
In Kentucky, 92-year-old Earl Jones (right, no relation to the Ponzi scheme seller of the same name) is hailed nationally after shooting dead one of the three intruders who tried to burgle his home. To date he hasn’t been arrested.

Although the English victims, Andy and Tracey Ferrie, have their names splashed all over the press, very little information has emerged about the burglars, who are in police custody.

What I want to know about them is:

  • have they been suspects for other burglaries?
  • How many times have they been arrested?
  • If found guilty, were they imprisoned?
  • What steps have been taken towards their rehabilitation and reintegration into society?

Poor penal handling might be an underlying cause of the burglars’ offending (and it should be remembered the Ferries have been burgled four times). New Labour pledged to deal with "underlying causes" in its 1997 "victory" manifesto in the famous passage pledging to be "tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime". What they did was create an army of workers who did little more than amass statistics while placing more and more duties on an already overloaded Probation Service.

click to go to the British Freedom Party homepage
British Freedom’s 20-point plan states that "criminals should fear the consequences of their behaviour". I’m not necessarily saying that every burglar should be shot, but surely consequences of breaking and entering include being faced with whatever comes to hand to householders?

The Leicestershire Constabulary’s reaction to the Ferries’ desperate measures shows that the Coalition have nothing to alter Labour’s implicit position that human rights pertain only to perpetrators, not the victims.

I’m not proposing that criminals should have no rights, merely pointing out that, in Kentucky, the surviving criminals will surely find their minds concentrated when tempted to burgle again. Surely a win-win?

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Resources

Read about the Ferries' arrest at telegraph.co.uk

Read about Earl Jones defending himself in Kentucky, US - includes video interview with the WWII veteran

>Click to go to British Freedom’s 20-point plan