Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Labour gimmick number twenty seven. Drugs.

You've got to admire our Labour government for their endless stream of headline grabbing gimmick policies. The latest is to cut the benefits of persistent drug users. I'm no expert but I think I can spot a couple of flaws in the idea. For a start the major problem associated with drugs is the amount of crime committed to get the necessary funds to buy them. How the hell will cutting benefits improve this problem? Surely if a drug user has less money in their pocket then they are going to have to commit more crime to get their fix. The cost of drug-related crime in England and Wales is estimated at more than £13bn. About one in five people arrested is a heroin addict.

Another problem could be deciding at what point you cut benefits and then deciding when to restore them. The government are claiming that drug use is at an all time low. I don't know where they are getting these figures from, or what drugs they are including in them. The UK now has the highest number of Heroin users in Europe and the second highest number of cocaine snorters. I feel a little bit of creative maths has been employed by the Labour spin machine - again. Addiction rates in the UK are double those in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. There has been a 111% rise in the number of people jailed for all drug-related offences between 1994 and 2005.

And as for the classic policy of seizing assets of suspected drug pushers without charge? They are having a bubble - surely it's against their human rights, and as we all know, criminals in the UK have more human rights than the rest of us. Instead of coming out with yet more gimmicks, the government should concentrate on the reason why only 3% of those going on the 12 week rehabilitation course come off clean.

5 comments:

Pablo the Scot said...

Too right its a gimmick.

Every thing they have tried has failed for the simple reason that they are intellectually in hoc to the soft left-liberal concept that you have to be nice to criminals and respect their human rights above all else.

The only thing that will work with drug addicts is very hard love. They have to be broken of their reliance on the drug, not given a chance to mix with other addicts to swop details of suppliers and resupply routes; I bet these rehabilitation courses are as weak as water.

lettersfromatory said...

Take the assets of people who have been convicted by all means, but let's leave innocent people out of this.

Daily Referendum said...

Pablo,

I agree, if you leave it down to the individual they will abuse the system.

Daily Referendum said...

LFAT,

What worries me is that the government don't see a problem with this. It breaks the most fundamental rules of our law.

Dave said...

Teen Challenge UK (A Christian Charity) have a tough love programme with the highest success rate of all. They are reviled by the "experts" and consequently had their funding stopped by the Welsh Assembly.
It's not that they use an appeal to a higher power (as does the AA), I'm as much against proselitysing vulnerable people as the next man. The problem is that their tough love works. They don't deal with a person's addiction to heroin by making him addicted to methadone. They get them clean and instil a discipline and a routine that keeps a significant percentage clean. Yes it costs, yes it flies in the face of expert opinion, yes it's controversial, and YES it works.
I suspect that deep down, the powers-that-be want us all drugged and subdued. They pay lip service to rehab etc but make sure that the system is so bad it's doomed to fail. They can always say they're doing what they can, but their long term aim is to have us all drugged, gagged, subdued and compliant, so that they can get on with their nefarious schemes without interference.