Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Death of Evidence

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  • Russell Brown,

    Grrrrr!

    Rarrrrgh!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Brian Fallow got it right: "[T]is a profoundly conservative Government and that what it is chiefly interested in conserving is its popularity." Sensible, evidence-based drug-policy doesn't play well with the redneck "tough on crime" vote, and so they're not interested in doing it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1642 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    (And OTOH, a government untempered by public opinion would be worse. We had enough of that pre-MMP, thankyouverymuch)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1642 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    Y'know, Simon Power could have chosen any number of ways of responding to the questions from journalists on this today. The "from my cold, dead hands"-style yapping that I just heard on the radio made him sound like a smug, arrogant, reactionary pillock.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Don't forget Quinn's bill yesterday to restrict suffrage.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Effing GOLD from @vaughndavis on Twitter:

    Sign on Cabinet Room wall: "What would the Rotary Club do?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    I agree, Fallow has hit the nail on the head.

    The problem for National is John Key: he's just such a nice guy.

    On the other hand, the swing that got them in is rapidly going away. But the problem for Labour is, well, Phil Goff. He just doesn't have the oomph.

    I suspect Labour have resigned themselves to losing the next election while they find someone with a vague element of charisma.

    The Greens are the greatest asset to Simon Power in this, which is a shame. I listened to their feedback (sorry, another forgettable co-leader whose name escapes me). If ACT were truly a Liberal party, they may have had some credibility...

    And, sad to say, this happened in a far more powerful way in the UK, but didn't seem to do much... mind you, the incumbent govt are so piss-poor that it's hard to tell which issues are having an effect.

    Maybe I should form an expert panel so I can be ignored too?

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Chiles,

    Not prepared to accept the evidence?
    Sounds like a policy based on "faith" to me.
    Anybody making judgments or decisions based on "faith" is unfit to govern, and quite possibly insane.
    National are not going to do anything that might threaten future income from future private prisons.
    To be honest, I expect nothing less from people who think of the dark ages as "the good old days", and want to return us all to them.

    I must admit, I was far more disappointed when Labour did the dirty on cannabis law reform in order to get the christian loonies onside for the coalition - that felt far more like being shafted that today's nonsense.

    National wouldn't consider changing any of our drug laws unless they got permission from the yanks first.

    Paraparaumu • Since Feb 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    National wouldn't consider changing any of our drug laws unless they got permission from the yanks first.

    And there you have hit the nail on the head... we're still apparently quite keen on an FTA with the worlds largest borrower.

    <sigh>

    I nearly bought that ticket... but then I couldn't find anywhere to go that wasn't equally mad!

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And there you have hit the nail on the head... we're still apparently quite keen on an FTA with the worlds largest borrower.

    I don't understand it. It's like lusting over someone superficially attractive - who wants you to change to suit their lifestyle and do things that you really would rather not do. There are better suited suitors.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    USA - still the ultimate daddy

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16740 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Chiles,

    It's like lusting over someone superficially attractive

    ..and waking up in bed with an ugly psychopathic mass-murderer.

    Paraparaumu • Since Feb 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    The very fact that Key's been talking this week about spending political capital rather than investing it tells you this is not the sharpest set of steak knives in the kitchen. I thought he was supposed to be a fucking hot shot banker. Oh. Right.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Simon Power is misinformed. Mike Sabin was complaining about a relaxation of drug enforcement in December 2009:

    "Unfortunately, while the Police will be making the most of this new legislation, at the same time they are effectively waiving a white flag to the customers whose demand supports drug dealers, with a trial of a new policy of warnings for minor offences being widened across Auckland and likely to go nation-wide" said Mr. Sabin.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Chiles,

    The evidence against cannabis prohibition has been around since before prohibition.
    Sadly, generations of anti-cannabis propaganda has resulted in both non-smokers and smokers wallowing in confusion.

    Cannabis is prohibited because it makes better quality fibres than the petro-chemical industry, and because cannabis makes better paper than the wood chip industry. Nothing to do with health.

    W H R Hearst - otherwise known as Citizen Kane - invented the word "Marijuana" to enable the propaganda against cannabis to take hold - try to avoid using that ugly word. Both Hearst and DuPont chemicals had a huge commercial interest in removing any competition to synthetic fibres and Hearst inststed all his publications be printed on wood chip paper. Hearst owned the forests the wood chip came from. The word "Marijuana" was made to sound Mexican to harvest the blatant US racism of the day, for the propaganda to feed on.

    Facts and evidence left the equation as soon as Hearst and DuPont decided that cannabis threatened their interests.

    Today nothing changed.

    Paraparaumu • Since Feb 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Spencer,

    "The Prime Minister has made the war against P and drugs a key part of his leadership and as long as I'm the Minister of Justice, we will not be relaxing drug laws."

    Wait what?

    Pure political rhetoric. Amphetamine has been around as a recreational drug since the 1970s and bikies gangs, so its a bit late declaring a war on speed. Or a war on drugs.

    Wars over dude, modern society is built on a vast range of drugs, why not regulate them a bit on expert advice rather than leave a big messy free for all blackmarket model.

    Get rid of the RTDs, bring in medicinal cannabis and a grow your own model and expand the range of your local chemist so MDMA is available on prescription.

    Its bumming me out how NZs social drug is alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. I like a drink now and again, but variety is the spice of life. Free it up a bit for the people who might not have alcohol as their drug of choice..quite a few of us out there.

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    quite a few of us out there.

    Helloooooooooooooooo, Echelon :))

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 354 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I can understand being upset about this. But how is this different to anything under the last Labour/Alliance/NZFirst/United-Future Government?

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I can understand being upset about this. But how is this different to anything under the last Labour/Alliance/NZFirst/United-Future Government?

    Craig's not gonna be happy you're stealing his lines.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    I can understand being upset about this. But how is this different to anything under the last Labour/Alliance/NZFirst/United-Future Government?

    It's not: but we can all dream.

    One day someone will have the balls to break the impasse. You are in fact doubly right - in NZ's history all the things that have made us great, all the things that differentiate us from the OECD pack, everything that has needed a brave and starkly rational act have been carried out by Labour.

    Like I say, the thing that constantly kills sense being applied in this area is that it was only Green (and until recently Act) who took a rational view. And much as a hoopy frood like me can cope with diversity, there are a staggering number of people out there who can never respect dreadlocks - and I include many of the people of the pacific in that bracket.

    In this case, it can only ever be Labour who grab this issue and say "we want healthier NZ, we want to tackle youth suicide, we want to starve the gang world of oxygen, we want to raise tax that can be spent on health, we want to lower the domestic violence rate, we want to free up 2,000 police officers to tackle real crime... and finally we're going to do something other than spout hyperbole. We're going to take bold action."

    Because only they can get the numbers, and ignore a lone seat.

    But if they want to do that, they need to start right now. It could be election issue 2014...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Chiles,

    Regardless of the flavour of government, and despite contrary evidence, the Emperor's intense desire to remain naked was all that ever really mattered.

    Paraparaumu • Since Feb 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    I can understand being upset about this. But how is this different to anything under the last Labour/Alliance/NZFirst/United-Future Government?

    In fairness, Helen personally did favour partial de-crim. However, Jim Anderton was opposed, and Peter Dunne made the status quo a condition of his minority support.

    Whereas current Governmental opposition to cannabis reform seems to be stronger from up high, without the aid of coalition partners.

    And finally, time to light(en) up...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I can understand being upset about this. But how is this different to anything under the last Labour/Alliance/NZFirst/United-Future Government?

    The speed of the outright dismissal and its tone are both notable. Power wasn't even trying to sound thoughtful.

    Dunne has always used this issue for cynical political branding, but Anderton doesn't deserve the rap he gets. He presided over a pretty interesting experiment in not immediately banning BZP, the way other countries did. He was prepared to listen to evidence. In the end, the advice he got was not favourable to the continued availabillity of BZP. He wasn't perfect, but he did things no one had done before him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Kearney,

    If Power is really interested in having wars on drugs, he should look at what America's war on drugs has achieved over 50 years: massive prison muster, massive state spending and increased drug offences.

    That's the evidence, so yes you're right Russell, it's the death of evidence, but there is no dearth of evidence to the contrary Mr Power.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    You missed it guys. In lieu of a tax cut, the Gummint wants to use alternative income streams to fund New Zilinda's welfare.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

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