A 30-second clip from parliament shows just how batsh*t the government is

A picture from a parliamentary debate on drugs
Steve Topple

A 30-second clip from a debate in parliament sums up the state of our government. Because the minister responsible for the policy being debated is not allowed to answer questions on it. No, really.

A failing policy?

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan had organised a debate into drug policy. He wrote a critical take on the government’s stance on drugs for PoliticsHome. He insisted:

We must acknowledge that problematic use is higher in areas of social deprivation… [and] accept the responsibility of trying to find solutions and acknowledge our failures.

We need to help people with problematic drug-use, with harm-reduction treatment and wrap-around support… [and] [h]ave a network of safe drug consumption rooms throughout the UK.

The emergency services should carry naloxone and be trained in its use.

And most importantly the UK’s drug policy should be a health issue not a criminal justice one…

We have lost the war on drugs. Our own drugs policy saw to that.

We need to change our mind set and we need to ensure we are in a position to win the peace.

Is it any wonder?

But during his debate, Cowan exposed just how batsh*t the government is on this. It took only 30 seconds:

Yes, that’s right. Victoria Atkins is parliamentary under-secretary of state for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability. One of her remits is drugs. But she can’t talk about cannabis or cannabis-related medicine. Because her husband makes money from it.

As The Canary previously reported:

her husband is the Managing Director of British Sugar Paul Kenward. The company is supplying GW Pharmaceuticals with up to 23 football pitches-worth of “non-psychoactive” cannabis for its drug Epidiolex. This is enough to treat up to 40,000 children a year.

If this wasn’t bad enough, Atkins’s potential conflict of interest directly impacts government business. Because as Cowan tweeted, he had to alter his debate because of her:

And Cowan wasn’t the only one Atkins left unimpressed:

But it was Release, the UK’s centre of expertise on drugs and drug law, which summed it up best:

Only under a Tory government could a minister not be able to discuss her own policy remit – all because of how her husband makes money. Moreover, only a Tory government could put her in that job in the first place.

Sorry – who voted these maniacs in?

Get Involved!

– For advice on drugs or drugs and the law contact Release on 020 7324 2989.

Featured image via Ronnie Cowan – Twitter

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed

Steve Topple