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What the manifestos say about drugs and alcohol….

Weekly blog to take a slightly different turn over the next couple of editions…. would seem odd not to delve into politics as elections have happened across Europe and the GE is looming here. Can’t help but be alarmed by the ongoing rise of the ‘far right’ in Europe – I am though reminded that for much of history the UK has tended to be more centre left than much of mainland Europe. So maybe equilibrium is just being restored a little….. Just feels to me that nearly all of the significant problems we collectively face today – be that climate change, global movements of people, cost of living, war etc all require a collective response. The rise of populism, inward looking exceptionalist leaders and ‘sovereign nationhood’ are almost certainly inadequate responses to global 21st Century problems.

But anyway – I’ve been looking at what the UK parties have to say about ‘drugs’ and alcohol. If this is an issue of primary importance to you and could influence your voting intention this is my summary. Might inspire you to look in more detail or save you from the prospect…. I offer no opinion at this stage.

Despite the election being only 4 weeks away – several parties have not yet published their manifestos. Including the Conservatives – which seems odd given it was them that called it. Can expect some continuity with regards to continuation funding of current drug strategy.

Labour – their manifesto due to be published on Thursday and will be built around their 5 stated ‘missions’. Their recently published document about these missions (Let’s Get Britain’s Future Back) makes no reference to either drugs or alcohol other than through a criminal justice / anti-social behaviour lense.

Greens – are due to publish their manifesto this week. Tend to be fairly progressive in terms of drug policies, decriminalisation, harm reduction etc.

Liberal Democrats – have published their full manifesto. Highlights include: moving responsibility for drug policy from Home Office to Dept of Health, wider use of diversion, treating Scotland’s death crisis as a public health emergency, introducing a legal & regulated cannabis market.

Workers Party of Britain – have published a full manifesto. No mention of drugs and alcohol but a batsh*t crazy notion ‘to expand social care system and integrate it with national policing’.

There’s obviously loads more that all of the parties are saying about a wider range of issues.

Just spent a few days visiting old friends in Turin – a City I knew little about other than the car chase scene in the Italian Job. Would certainly go back – great architecture, city bustling but not busy. Food, wine and company all highly recommended. Also found out that you can now take razors on a plane – who knew? Well everybody except me according to my wife….

Also working on an evaluation at the moment – the spec requires us to ‘explicate’ various things…. I had to google what that meant. Ironically ‘explicate = to make plain’.

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