04 Oct Theresa May. Could It Be Worse?
Yes, of course it could be worse. It can always be worse.
Before I continue this opinion piece I must qualify it to reduce the amount of noises that will be made, such as ‘pfft’, ‘ugh’, ‘idiot’, ‘wrong’, ‘fool’, although there will still be plenty of these I am sure.
I hope I am wrong, I want to be wrong, I like being wrong. I like changing my mind, I like apologising. These are strengths, not weaknesses. Admitting I am wrong and changing my opinion means my mind is fluid, it is flexible, it is open. One of my favourite quotes is by Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury: “It never ceases to surprise at the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the introduction of useful information.” I want to believe my mind does not resist useful information.
My mind does not understand anyone who wants to be in a position of authority, to have power over others, to dictate to others. So I come from a position of finding politicians curious creatures. Politicians fall, generally, into two categories, ideologues and opportunist. There is a third, individuals who actually care, but they are so rare I will concentrate on the two main categories. There are some, who are ideological opportunists, such as Michael Gove and Arthur Scargill, they are the scariest of them all, but they are as rare as those that care so I will disregard them as well.
Ideologues are scarier than opportunists. Ideologues resist useful information, are incapable of admitting mistakes, cannot admit they are wrong, cannot apologise. They are certain of being right, self righteous, they resist evidence, facts, anecdotes, anything that does not support their position, their certainty is their weakness.
Problems arise when ideologues obtain positions of authority, then their weakness destroys the lives of the population. Some examples of ideologues would be Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May, Gordon Brown, George Galloway.
Margaret Thatcher based her economic policy not just on a single economist’s life’s work but on a single economist’s book, how is that anything but ignoring useful information and ignorant behaviour? Gordon Brown was told to delay the disastrous working tax credits, not just because it was a bad idea, but because the computer program was not ready to deliver the system effectively. He knew best of course and demanded it was implemented, with terrible consequences. George Galloway is sanctimonious at best when it comes to alcohol and substance use. These are just single examples of the consequences of the ignorance of ideology, there are plenty more for each individual.
This leaves Theresa May, for now the most important of them all. Medicinal cannabis will not happen under her watch, cannabis legalisation will certainly not happen under her watch. She has decided. Her ignorant ideology dictates this. Theresa May makes decisions even before resisting any and all useful information. She ignores expertise. She ignores science. She ignores anecdotes. You could gather every medicinal cannabis user from CLEAR, UPA and End Our Pain, squeeze them into 10 Downing Street and have every one of them tell Theresa May their story and she will not change her mind. She is an ideologue, she knows. No debate, no evidence. Her time at the Home Office showed her for what she is, an arrogant ideologue. When it came to khat she ignored all evidence from any source, all expertise from any position, all anecdotes and was so culturally ignorant it made me ashamed to be British. Then came the Psychoactive Substances Act, again, implemented after ignoring all evidence and expertise from any source. Does anyone believe Theresa May will admit either of these decisions was a mistake? Theresa May is not only a disaster for those who wish to see a better drug policy but will be a disaster for this country in general. One of the world’s leading experts on Chinese economics and business used to have the ear of George Osborne, the expertise was deemed invaluable in building relationships with China, Theresa May comes in, this expertise is ignored. Theresa knows best, better than any expert. Her ideological, self righteous, sanctimonious character is her weakness but worst of all it is forced upon the population and upon drug policy.
This, briefly, brings me to opportunists, and why I think, as much as I found him unpalatable, there would have been more chance of drug policy reform under the leadership of Cameron. Cameron was an opportunist, during his time it was not opportunistic to change drug policy, if it had been it would have changed. Opportunists at least make alterations when the tide becomes strong enough for them to take advantage.
But do not worry, one day it will be a whole lot better.