WELL WELL WELLS…

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The Scottish government has made various attempts in the past to get permission from London (to which drug policy is reserved) to set up “clean rooms” where safe, tested drugs can be taken in a clean environment, under supervision, with medical and social work help in attendance.

Permission has always been refused.

So the Scottish Government some time ago arranged to set up a task force to look at how they could act, within UK restrictions… ie, legally, to reduce the number of deaths caused by drugs.

They invited the Brits to participate in this task force.

The Brits refused.

It’s almost like they don’t care, or that they want Scotland to seem to be failing.

And either Wells is too negligent to have done her research on this or she is hoping that, as the Tories in London more or less ignore everything that the SNP asks for (after all their press has managed to make this look REALLY bad for the SNP and that’s what the Tories want), but sometimes react to a matter raised by one of their own sort (not that I would have thought that Annie was quite “one of them…the huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ brigade”), or, maybe she simply wants to have the deep honour of sending a letter to the PM, who won’t read it and will tell a functionary to reply in formulaic fashion.

I suspect that should anything happen in the future though, Wells will be taking the credit.

Image result for annie wells looking daft

But this is much more important than Wells, or her cokey, drunk buddy.

I’m aware of the various arguments relating to changing the law on illegal drugs… including the view that making clean rooms available to members of the public is tantamount to legalising drug abuse or at least condoning it.

But there has to come a time when people see that, rather like prostitution, which has been illegally going on since Biblical times, we will never stamp it out, no matter how illegal we make it.

In the meantime, people die as a result of both drugs and prostitution.

Related image
Cleanroom in Paris while this guy is using face needles and safe drugs, instead of a used needle, risky street bought drugs and possibly a dirty environment.

You won’t stop drug deaths by having cleanrooms, but my bet is that you will reduce the number of folk who die, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll even manage to get some people off drugs.

And, for that matter, given the longevity of “the oldest profession in the world”, I suspect that if we pursued the idea which, I think, was originally promoted by Edinburgh City Council many years ago, of legal, council-run brothels or “saunas” (keeping women … and men… off the streets in safe places, medically tested and protected from pimps), we could provide a safer environment for sex workers and reduce the number of deaths and serious illnesses.

After all, cigarettes are legal and they kill tens of thousands a year, as is alcohol, which also is responsible for deaths and injury.

The sooner responsibility for illegal drugs is in the hands of a responsible government,  one that actually cares about its population, the better.

The London Street Sauna is among those facing an Edinburgh City Council review. Picture: TSPL

I wonder what you think…

**********

Image result for auob glasgow

Well, I’ve booked my train ticket for Glasgow on Saturday. Munguin will be in First Class; me in the cattle truck. I should get in at the back of ten (assuming I can squeeze in, given that they aren’t taking any bookings for seats.)

Anyone want to meet up and be presented to Munguin. (Best clothes.)

I don’t know Glasgow at all, but I remember someone (sorry can’t remember who) suggested a place near the start of the march… 

I’ll have to be back by around 5.30, so it won’t be a long day out… and even being there could depend on my mother’s health situation on the day. But if a few of us decide on a place to meet, it won’t matter Munguin and I can’t make it.

**********

 

 

55 thoughts on “WELL WELL WELLS…”

  1. Afterthought: My computer is playing up again, and so I changed the batteries to absolutely no effect.

    So I went out and purchased a new computer this afternoon. All well and good. But… Does anyone know how to save all my passwords so that I don’t have to try to work them all out again?

    Anyway, there may be a small delay in replies…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a few password management apps available,assuming you are using Windows on your PC.
      You could try googling that.
      Of course,you will need to install it on your old PC first so that you can transfer it to your new one.
      Otherwise,probably a long slog getting them all set up again.
      Finger print recognition is much easier on the android platform and is becoming much more common in use.
      Good luck.
      If Westminster follows up on the request from a MSP representing a minority party in Scotland,having refused to do so for the Scottish government,then it will really tell Scots that we are viewed as a colony by London.
      Needs to be done however and later is better than never.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks, bringiton. I’ll get the IT team on that tomorrow…Well, Nik anyway!

        Agreed. I dont really care who takes home the cream. What I want realistically, is drugs off the street and dealt with safely.

        Like

    2. This might be a duplicate message, I’ll delete it if it 😉
      Firefox has a pretty good password manager and if you use Firefox sync it works well across all your devices. After some security issues last year I tried a few password managers and have settled on Firefox as it has the best balance of security versus usability for my needs

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The Scandinavians use clean rooms and control the drugs and the users.
    The use of illegal drugs is supposed to be very small and there’s no market for the heavy stuff, designer drugs are available.
    The Canadians have some problems with the decriminalisation of the weed due to not making enough available through the legal outlets so the pushers are still in business, strange world.
    Read a bit about annie and thought maybe she hasn’t sought permission from carless or ruthie.
    I’m in agreement about having these but controlled, people will take the stuff so better that they have the real stuff and not contaminated.
    Then read annie’s piece in the EBC website, full of maybe and perhaps a classic piece of sitting on the fence. Not quite as clear as the EBC pushed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a chance to make it look as if she has thrown up her hands in horror at the ineptitude of the Scots, and gone to Big Brother to ask them to help out their thick northern neighbours.

      You may remember a while back Terry put up as a comment (on my request) a blog he had written about the ordered way that teh Swiss have dealt with it.

      And Miguel did a blog at one point about how Portugal is dealing with it.

      As you can see, France has started to open clean rooms.

      Needless to say, the UK is still catching up with the fact that Shakespeare has died.

      Bit of a joke when you consider the number of times we’ve seen cabinet ministers zonked out of their boxes.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Will you please find us and introduce yourself. We will be under YES Larkhall. We missed you at Dundee last year. I have never seen a real Antarctica Flag. I will have my Hamish with me, so Munguin can have a selfie too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely.

      I’m not sure I’ll have the Antarctican flag with me this time, but his Munguinness will be about. I’ll look out for you and Hamish if you look out for Munguin. 🙂

      Like

  4. Its paragraph 4 of Well’s letter that really rips my knitting. Ignore the content of the Leader of the SNP with 48 seats letter, she should have done my idea instead etc..

    Not only does it show her complete disregard for democracy in Scotland but in my humble, the emphasis and wording shows her to be a complete idiot.

    Nothing new there then.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t think Annie Wells was bright enough to be so duplicitous and disingenuous. So either she’s been hiding her light under a bushel, or she really believes that guff. Both being equally difficult to believe, I remain bemused.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, it is Annie and she’s hardly an intellectual tour de force. Also no one of any import will read that letter.

        Probably already filed under J for Joke, or Jock. Or maybe JJ… Jock Joke!

        Like

  5. The oldest trade in the world is still continuing due to targeting the victims for centuries and those poor victims often turn to drugs themselves to numb their pain or the pimps ensures that they become hooked on drugs so the victims are in a catch 22 situation, often targeting children and drugging them to engage in activities with adults.
    Clean rooms are a good idea to a certain extent, but how long can you hold a tiger by the tail before you realise that the reality is and always has not stopped the trade in drugs or prostitution, pull the teeth out of the tiger and pass laws that are severe on the perpetrator and not the victims and, then these predators will know that Scotland never lets there be any excuse in any court, with or with any fancy lawyers, life in prison means that, and do I think they should have mobile phones, televisions, gourmet foods, or get paid for employment they do in prison, or enable them to trade drugs in prison etc,
    Well when you see a victim being pulled out of a canal or a child totally destroyed before they even reach there teens, Your heart should be your guide as to whom deserves the title of victim and whom deserves to be in prison.
    And I mean prison in the sense that it used to mean, not the modern day hotel version.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with much of what you say.

      But I tend to think that prison should be reformatory and putting prisoners on bread and water type regimes probably wouldn’t improve their behaviour.

      I still think that cleanrooms are one of the possible ways forward.

      Legalising at least some drugs and allowing the state to sell them has worked, at least in Portugal. (I’m trying to find the piece Miguel wrote about how they changed the system there. As has been said, the more enlightened Nordic countries have a sensible approach as does Switzerland. We can learn from all of them. The trouble is we are not allowed to. If we try we will be smacked.

      One thing is for sure, it is a disgrace what is happening now because we are a part of this rather backward nation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s some impressive moral outrage you have going there.

      I do have a big question for you though: Without referencing anything that is otherwise a crime anyway, can you explain why something that is (and has to be) legal to do for free, should be illegal to do for pay?

      And I also ask you what your opinion of torture is. Is it ever justified? Does it ever do any good?

      Like

  6. I wish I could go on the Glasgow march, I really, really do! Alas, no chance. Too damn decrepit.

    Tris & passwords: I use a thing called LastPass. You can get it as a browser extension (very useful) and as an android app. It stores all your passwords in one place behind a master password, and fills them in for you when it comes across those sites again. The thing is, you need to put them in once, but it will do it as you enter a site it does not recognize – it will ask if you want to create and entry for it. It takes a bit of getting used to… The other thing it can do is generate unique and random passwords which no one could ever guess in a month of Sundays – ultrasecure – that you yourself could never remember no matter how many Sundays you spent trying to learn them.

    I know there are many Munguinites who would gladly help you out with migrating stuff from your old machine onto your new. You can have my brain any time if you fancy picking it (Hm. Maybe I could have put that better.).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We need some of that rain. Fires have devastated 10.5million hectares so far and only beginning of January, so bigger than Scotland at 8.0077mh. Difficult to comprehend how big it is.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And millions of animals dead and injured… and as someone pointed out yesterday, many of the ones left alive are grass eating, and the grass is all burnt.

          It’s impossible to comprehend the size of it, Kangaroo.

          Hope you stay safe.

          Like

  7. I believe that anyone with an addiction to drugs should have them available (under medical supervision) in a safe environment. These people are victims. These people also are stealing to feed their addiction or worse are forced into a life of prostitution.
    Who looses when they are given what they need to survive?
    Not me, I no longer need to worry about them mugging me or stealing my goods and chattels to get what they need.
    As a bonus (and it’s a big one) when all these poor unfortunates have access to the drugs their bodies need, they will not be buying them from drug dealers. The poor drug dealers will go out of business and will no longer have an incentive to get more unfortunates “hooked” on their wares.

    It’s a win/win situation…..just needs the political courage to implement it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Quite. Our incarceration rate is far too high, and has been for a very long time. Far too much effort to address some of the root causes why people end up on drugs – poverty, misery and bad housing will do that to people even before you throw in such things as child abuse and ending up in care. Prohibition in America did nothing good, and enriched organized crime beyond the dreams of avarice. With the War on Drugs, we are all making the same mistake – with the exception of a few enlightened societies. Provide clean and uncontaminated drugs, tax the recreational ones, and spend the money on providing people with safe environments to inject or whatever, and on offering them access to rehab, counselling, psychiatric help, psychotherapy.

      When I am Great Dictator I shall do all those things. Vote for me[Shut up Kevin! Who let you out of your kennel?-Ed.]

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I remember reading somewhere on the internet (can’t remember where, so take with a helping of salt) that the royals have major investments in opium farms.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that Lizzie is quietly stopping this one.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Yes. I agree.

      We legally sell cigarettes and tobacco and we legally sell drink. But the government tax them both highly and that provides (in theory) funds to pay for the hugely expensive treatments that are needed for many people who smoke (or are subjected to second hand smoke), or who over indulge in drink. It also helps fund the police and courts which have to deal with what some folk do under the influence.

      We know when we buy a bottle of Whisky that it is safe (well, unless we drink it all down). We know the same with a packet of fags.

      But buying drugs from Big Wullie up the Multies, is a much more dangerous affair.

      The thing is that drugs of whatever sort cannot be banned. People get round bans.

      Some years ago Iceland banned the sale of most alcohol. As I understand it it wasn’t like the USA where there was prohibition, but you could only buy wine if you were having a meal in a restaurant, and the beer that was sold was so weak that it was impossible to get “high” on it.

      So people started making their own stuff and, of course, given that there was no control over the content, some of it was lethal. Quite literally.

      You can’t win with things that come naturally. And the need for something to get you high is long understood and crosses continents and culture.

      Why not control it and indeed profit from it.

      Like

  8. Tris
    Annie Wells is just not self aware. I have always argued that we need more ordinary people in parliament and I stand by that but they have to do the work, do the research. She is just picking up a wage like Jenny Scotland is shit Marra, that does more harm to politics in the long run than blebs like Fraser.

    Bruce

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Bruce. I think there are many ordinary people in our parliament and the British one who do great work. Often that work is in helping people.

      I’ve a friend who is a Tory, who absolutely hates the idea of independence, but who needed help with a problem. She went to Shona. Even she admitted that the problem was resolved tout de suite.

      The trouble with the PR system we have been landed with is that people like Wells don’t REALLY have constituents. And as long as they remain in with the leadership, they can continue at the top of the “list” for years.

      Murdo Fraser is a perfect example. He has always stood in a constituency. He has always lost, but still get in by being at the top of the list.

      Maybe if we had the same system for parliamentary elections as we have for councils… multi member with a 1, 2, 3 choice, we’d get some better people.

      Mara is a joke.

      Like

  9. The Wells letter is possibly part of a strategy to get involved in Scotlands NHS.
    After all, Boris would only be doing what a ‘Scots’ politician asked him to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely.
      They cannot allow a successful northern European public health service to exist in close proximity to their failing northern American private system.
      People in England might start to ask awkward questions.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The tone of the letter certainly suggests that. I just wonder if she was prompted to write such an invitation by the strategists or if the initiative to put pen to paper was entirely her own.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see that the Times is reporting that British ministers will soon have the power to overrule the Scottish government on devolved matters.

        Get back in your little tartan box, Jocks. We’ll teach you to not vote Tory.

        Like

  10. “I don’t know Glasgow at all, but I remember someone (sorry can’t remember who) suggested a place near the start of the march… ”

    They suggested Kelvingrove Gallery. I assume you’d be arriving at Queen St, then take the underground to Kelvingrove Station but there is a walk from there which if you don’t know the city… That said Yes Eastwood are meeting near there and I’m sure they’d happily show you the way.

    Buses – some take you to opposite the gallery, the No 2 is very frequent but the nearest stop is a wee walk from the station.

    I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do the walk though I’d like to go or I’d say I’d meet you and Munguin and be your guide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks PP. That great. I’ve written it al down.

      Be rally careful with your back. I’d be delighted to meet up if you are there, but health comes first..

      Like

  11. Sorry to go back to the drugs issue when everyone is looking forward to the March , when my daughter was younger she was out with her friends, when she was up dancing someone put drugs in her can of juice, we spent 48 hours in hospital wondering if she would survive and if she did would she have kidney dialysis the rest of her life, my daughter was screaming nonsense and didn’t even recognise us, it was a nightmare situation for any parent, luckily living in a small village helped and people witnessed who had done this, and he was charged accordingly.
    Years on I moved house to a quite country location with a garden surrounded by a wall, we looked after our One and a half year old granddaughter during the day, in the summer time I noticed a carrier bag next to the wall and my granddaughter was playing with it, I was going to bin it, but when I checked inside it was full of drugs which we handed over to the police, apparently the garden was a well known drop of point for drugs for years , we asked the police why they didn’t do anything about it, the answer dumbfounded me, they knew the dealer and if they removed him someone else would step in in his place, we have moved again but I have to wonder why we have had to protect and look after two generations in my family from drug dealers the police knew about, my children and grand children could have had to use the so called clean houses you speak about, because no one did anything about the original source of drug dealing, and I have to wonder whose children did fall foul of those drugs that continued as a drop of point that the police knew about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a horrifying story, James. I’m not sure I can think of anything to say in reply.

      Perhaps, except that we need this conference. We need stories like these to be raised, and addressed by whichever government is responsible. Police inaction in the face of known criminals is something that our own Justice secretary needs to look at.

      The stagnant state of the laws regarding treatments, is something the English Justice secretary needs to look at with the same urgency.

      Really, if we stopped trying to punch above our pathetic little weight and addressed the problems in Britain rather than policing the world as Trump’s lickspittle, we might have a little more success in these ventures!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Having heroin on prescription and usable in safe rooms would half the crime rate at a stroke. The reason that isn’t being done is that it’s very profitable, simple as that. The legal high shops can sell endless variants of potentially harmful drugs, as soon as one is made illegal the formula is tweaked. If one that is known to be least harmful is made legal and produced under government supervision the deaths on the streets would also lessen.
    James, your local police know that the problem can’t be eliminated, but it can be contained. The local dealer is a known quantity and can be “induced” to make sure the stuff he deals doesn’t kill anyone. Pitiful control but better than nothing.
    The moral stance that drugs are “wrong” and shouldn’t be allowed shoots itself in the foot again and again. Prohibition in America saw a huge rise in organized crime; the “war on drugs” has seen central and south American countries become unstabilized, actually having to use their armed forces to “deal” with the gangs. All because the American mid-west thinks “drugs are bad…”
    A long rant for me, but this used to be my job. One day in a high rise in Leith, a floor down from a known dealer, I saw a young man trying to find a vein in his penis. He’s probably dead now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sad sad tales, Conan.

      Thanks for your input based on experience.

      I’ve not really worked in a job that dealt with drug addicted people, but I have worked in community centres in some estates in Dundee where drug taking was rife.

      I’ve seen some really good guys (and it was all guys although I do know that it affects women too), some intelligent clever people go down.

      One lad in particular was such a star, until it got hold of him. Desperately sad. Ten years on, I saw him not too long ago, an absolute shadow of the 21 year old I knew. He looked old and worn, and had rotten teeth and wrinkles like he was twice his age.

      He’s may even be dead now.

      Like

  13. Typically, more sense from Mungnites on this subject than you’ll hear from a roomful of politicians. I’ve always wondered why the much-vaunted ‘market forces’ principle isn’t applied to drugs and the artificial pricing structure that prevails.

    Clean drugs provided free by the state in a safe environment would ruin the market for dealers and intermediaries at a single stroke. No need for mugging or petty theft to feed the habit, and infinitely more effective than the ‘war on drugs’ and the vast amounts wasted on its pursuit.

    As always, you have to ask ‘cui ono’? Who benefits from the current state of affairs? Ostensibly, only the criminals and the drug lords. And of course the highly-paid officials involved in the ‘war on drugs’. But what of the economic implications? The drugs trade is enormously valuable and taking so much cash out of circulation would be bound to have an impact. Especially when the money has been carefully laundered along the way. Plenty profit in that too. I suspect that not only ‘criminal criminals’ would feel the pinch. The official variety would also lose out on a bob or two.

    Perhaps that could have something to do with the reluctance to take the logical approach outlined so well here by Muguinites. Or am I just being my usual suspicious and sceptical self?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, John, I can’t imagine, if we can see it, why other people (politicians) can’t.

      In matters relating to”morality”, be it drugs, drink, sex and sexuality, it seems to me that the British politicians (and I’ve no doubt others) are so often driven by what the retired major and his memsahib might think. Rather than what makes sense.

      If you ban a substance or an activity, it doesn’t make people say… ‘Oh my goodness, those and such as those, our betters, don’t approve so I suspect we had better stop doing it, smoking it, drinking it or whatever… ‘

      Nope, not a bit of it.

      People think, sod them.

      Illicit stills, speakeasies, and the poor devils who stand in desperately short skirts in the freezing cold looking for a quick trick.

      Why can’t they accept that that will never change. No matter what you try to ban, it won’t go away, it just goes underground and so dangerous.

      Like

  14. Has anyone seen the English first minister, Johnson?

    After a few weeks on the island of Mustique, he failed to come to their parliament to make a statement on Iran v American in the latest war.

    Where is he ?

    Why is he hiding? He’s not going to leave it all to the moron’s moron, Raab? Is he?

    I mean it’s not like he has to face Andrew Neil, is it?

    Like

    1. It’s probably just that Boris’s strings have become tangled, Tris. Puppetmaster Dominic will be trying to untangle them, I’m sure.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh… just seen that Mike Pompeo has suggested that President Trump has been sent by got to save Israel.

        I wonder who sent Johnson… and for exactly what purpose.

        Answers on a post card…

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I would like to thank every one on here for having an open discussion on this subject, these subjects are important to our children, our grandchildren, and all family and friends, to those that have been robbed or mugged to pay for this terrible habit, but also for our nhs, Even bringing this subject into the open may help to discuss future alternatives that work along with clean spaces for addicts, we in Scotland are known for being innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors, this is one area where we all need to have our suggestions put forward and heard. I am willing to listen to serious suggestions, fun suggestions , and even daft suggestions, any suggestion is far better than a small or isolated solution.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, James, ye’ll get plenty of daft on here. 🙂

      It is a complex subject, and noone in their right mind would suggest the answer is or rather answers are simple.

      But a conference to discuss what MIGHT be done… and what power might be devolved so that we could deal with out problem our way if they don;t feel that it’s worth experimenting would be a start.

      But if they are not interested in engaging with us on the subject, well, there’s not much we can do about it.

      That’s not supposed to be political point scoring against their union. It’s a simple fact. I sounds very much to me like “We are in charge and we have no intention of discussing it with you. We’re far too busy.

      Like

    2. This may be on interest to you, James.

      Liked by 1 person

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