h1

Why are all parties scared of the Ainsworth plan?

December 16th, 2010

Is decriminalisation of drugs really irresponsible?

Hasn’t the the most predictable and sad feature of this morning’s reaction to Bob Ainsworth’s ideas on drugs been the knee-jerk reaction of all the main parties?

Ainsworth, who used to be in charge of drugs policy as a Home Office minister, is calling for the production and supply of drugs including cocaine to be officially regulated. He argues that the war on drugs has been “nothing but a disaster” and switching the trade from the hands of criminals to doctors and pharmacies appeared to be the best solution.

Immediately he was condemned from all side with his own party leader calling the plans irresponsible. “Bob’s views do not reflect Ed’s views, the party’s view or indeed the view of the vast majority of the public,” a spokeswoman for Ed Miliband said.

But why are the political classes so scared of this issue when it’s clear that current policies are not working and are behind so much crime in society. What does it say about them that they feel they have to react in this manner?

In a Radio 4 interview Ainsworh said: “We need to be bold, we need some fresh thinking. This has been going on for 50 years now and it is not getting better – the drugs trade is as big and as powerful as it ever was.”.

The reason this is all deemed to be politically unacceptable is that they fear Daily Mail headlines and no party wants to be seen as being soft on drugs. So we can’t have a gown-up debate.

Good on Bob Ainsworth for putting his head above the parapet.

Mike Smithson