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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A philosophical disagreement

Interesting article in this morning's Western Mail about a new service in which drug addicts in Swansea are to get advice on subjects such as “how not to overdose” sent to their mobile phones. What is most interesting is the difference in attitude between two high profile and key Tory spokespeople.

On the one hand the regions Conservative Assembly Member Alun Cairns, says: “The cascade of drug information might be useful provided it’s not presented in a way that gives the impression that drugs are acceptable or tolerated. Information about drugs should always contain the information that drugs destroy lives and can kill you.”

His colleague and Conservative Swansea West PPC, René Kinzett takes a more realistic view: "The image many of us have of illegal drug users is of hopeless down and outs not likely to have a mobile phone who are beyond help. But the reality is that many drug users are people we work with or meet in our everyday lives, people who are family members or with other responsibilities.

“There could be a knee-jerk reaction against using public resources in this way. But anything that keeps users informed of the latest health information and keeps them safe can only be a good thing.”

I suppose you could argue that these two views are not mutually exclusive but I am not so sure. Personally, I think René is more in touch with what is going on in Swansea and elsewhere. Maybe the two should get together and coordinate their efforts more.
Peter, I don't shy away from your compliment that I am "in touch" (!) but Robin did leave a couple of my quotes out in this article. I went onto say that it is the aim of all good drugs projects to help end the cycle of addiction and to assist drug users to get clean, but that the "text service" offered by Swansea Drugs Project was a welcome tool in the armoury to keep users as safe as possible whilst on the journey to breaking their addiction (or words to that effect...I was telephone interviewed rather than issuing a statement).

I doubt very much that there would actually be much of a philosophical difference on this point (or many others) between Alun and I, seeing as we both approach social affairs from a liberal Conservative standpoint.
Imagine that party members disagreeing publicly with each other. Vince Cable?
I noticed on the News yesterday, that trials have been carried out to supply Heroin to Users in supervised clinics, hence reducing the need to commit crime to finance a chaotic habbit, and reduce the chance of blood borne infections by use of clean paraphernalia.

drug addicts have mobile phones? wonder where mine went...
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