12 Jun Norman Baker’s Mean And Inadequate Response To A Distraught Mother

Martha and Anne-Marie

Martha and Anne-Marie

Norman Baker MP

Norman Baker MP

Today, at the inquest into her daughter’s death, Anne-Marie Cockburn made the following plea:

“It has been 328 days since my precious girl was safely by my side. Martha wanted to get high, she didn’t want to die – no parent wants either, but one of those is preferable to the other.

I wish Martha was sitting her GCSEs alongside her friends at school right now.

I wish the drug education she received had enabled her to make a more fully informed decision, instead of leaving her so vulnerable and in danger.

I would like to meet with Theresa May, Norman Baker and Yvette Cooper to start a sensible dialogue for change, from prohibition to strict and responsible regulation of recreational drugs. This will help to safeguard our children and lead to a safer society for us all by putting doctors and pharmacists, not dealers, in control of drugs.” Source

Norman Baker’s response is more than disappointing. It is betrayal of the trust that should exist between a government and those who have elected it. It is trite, disingenuous and shameful:

“All drug-related deaths are tragic and my sympathy goes to Martha’s mother.

“The UK’s approach on drugs remains clear: we must prevent drug use in our communities, help dependent individuals through treatment and wider recovery support, while ensuring law enforcement protects society by stopping the supply.

“It is encouraging that drug use has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1996. However, we do not assume that we have nothing to learn from others, which is why we are conducting an international study to examine the approaches other countries are taking on drugs.” Source

Martha, Anne-Marie and every UK citizen is entitled to far, far better than this, particularly from a so-called Liberal Democrat.