Whitstable politics: Rosie Duffield our new MP

At last we have someone who understands our concerns

First of all can I offer my heartiest congratulations to Rosie Duffield on her stunning victory in Canterbury last week.

At last we have an MP who understands our concerns, who has lived a life not unlike our own, and who will be able to represent the broad majority of her constituents in Parliament.

You can’t say that about Julian Brazier: a person about as remote from ordinary voters lives as it is possible to imagine.

I’ve had a few run ins with him over the years: most notably during our campaign to keep the Royal Mail delivery office open in Whitstable.

About 30 postal workers lobbied him after work. He listened politely, nodding energetically at all our points, and then hot-footed it directly to Royal Mail management and sided with them instead.

That says all you need to know about Julian Brazier. On the side of management and against the workers. On the side of profit and against public services. On the side of a remote and distant decision making process and against local people’s needs.

It was the same during the campaign to keep our Crown Post Office. Sir Julian sided with Post Office Ltd, saying “I have no problem with the Post Office moving into another store as part of a franchise.”

Had it been up to him, and the Post Office been moved into Budgens as was planned, there would not now be a Post Office in the centre of Whitstable, and no prospect of there ever being one in the future.

He was always quick to see a photo opportunity, and slow to give any real, practical help. Thus it was he turned up at the CHEK march against the downgrading of services at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital on June 3rd, while voting consistently with the government on legislation designed to undermine the Health Service.

Finally there is the little matter of his annual courtesy visit to the delivery office every Christmas. People used to run from their desks to hide, so patronising and out of touch was he.

At least this year it will be Rosie Duffield paying us a visit, a much more salubrious prospect.

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From The Whitstable Gazette, 15/06/2017

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Whitstable MP: Julian Brazier and Cannabis, who regulates the sources?

A few weeks ago our MP made a number of statements regarding the controversial retailers UK Skunkworks after a young man, Matt Ford of Whitstable, almost died from the effects of smoking one of their products.

I responded by saying that while these legal highs are untested and potentially dangerous, some of our illegal drugs are relatively safe. I sent Julian Brazier a copy of the story.

Here is an extract from his reply: “I am told by sources I respect that cannabis is both a much more potent drug than its namesake of the 60s and 70s and that it is now one of the major causes of schizophrenia – as you know we have a worrying rise in mental illness among young people.”

This brings up a number of questions. Where is the evidence? If it’s true that there is a rise in mental illness among the young, can it be shown that this is caused by cannabis?

Isn’t it just as likely, given that young people have had their futures stolen from them, – that they are the first generation in more than a century destined to be poorer than their parents – that the rise in mental illness might have other, more immediate, causes?

Should we be surprised if they are turning to cannabis for relief?

You will also notice that his reply is based upon hearsay. Who are these “sources”? If the government’s own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs says one thing, but Julian Brazier’s sources say another, how are we to know who is telling the truth?

This, of course, brings us to the question of democracy.

It’s fairly clear that Julian Brazier knows next to nothing about drugs. No MP can be an expert on every subject. Consequently he is always going to be guided by sources of information – or misinformation – which lie outside the public sphere.

The question then has to be, how do we regulate those sources? When an MP has business interests he is obliged to declare them. Perhaps he should also tell us the names of the people who inform him.

https://christopherjamesstone.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/julian-brazier-and-cannabis-who-regulates-the-sources/

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