Tony Blair Sidekick's Sinister Agenda
Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, April 17, 2005Labour's leader in waiting Gordon Brown is an ardent drug warrior who wants to escalate the war on drugs the Standard suggested this week.
The London tabloid based their claim on a report published by Tory aide Kevin Bell called the "Brown Agenda', which suggests the Chancellor would launch a renewed crackdown on drugs if he ever replaces Tony Blair as Britain's Prime Minister.
"His opposition to the reclassification of cannabis indicates that he could insist on tougher enforcement of anti-narcotics legislation," said Bell in his report. "Such a focus would be driven as much for the economic impact of illegal drug use as for its anti-social effects."
Civil liberties campaigner Steve Rolles from drugs charity Transform told Skrufff he's unaware of the Chancellor's drug interests, though pointed out that most leading economists favour legalisation.
"The costs of prohibition are estimated by the Home Office to be around £4billion a year in costs to the criminal justice system - processing all the offenders - and a further £12billion a year in costs of crime to the public," he pointed out.
"Then there is the lost revenue - all the drug profits are going to gangsters rather than to the treasury and legitimate economy. Again this runs into billions. Any rational economist would support legalisation and regulation on a straight cost benefit analysis," said Steve.