The Telegraph has uncovered Nick Clegg's past support for drug policy reform http://bit.ly/bxJNC2, but has it uncovered David Cameron's http://bit.ly/c8a9ee
The party leaders are both very sensible on the issue of course... at least they were before they had an election to fight.
I suppose the Telegraph was intending to put Clegg on the back foot with this. He should express no regret. Rather he should ask why David Cameron expressed similar opinions in the past and has chosen to retreat back to the supposedly populist standard political position.
Only the liberal democrats are willing to consider evidence on drugs policy. Gordon Brown has stated clearly that considering evidence is not something he is interested in (http://bit.ly/8UfYgK). And the conservatives remain committed to fanciful notions of enforcement-led intervention and abstinence-based Drug Rehabilitation Orders.
The Telegraph may also kick themselves when they realise they have timed their article (I presume unintentionally) to coincide with a dramatisation of the lives of the five young women murdered by Steven Wright in Ipswich in 2006.
Five Daughters will start tonight at 9pm on BBC1 and its relevance to drug policy is highlighted by executive producer Susan Hogg's words on BBC Breakfast earlier in the week explaining why she wanted to make the film:
"Paula Clennell (one of the murder victims) gave an interview where she talked about having to go out on the streets because she needed the money and I suddenly realised that this was about drugs and not about these girls being on the street. Up until that point everyone had talked about them being prostitutes... there was nothing to do with who they were and I really felt I wanted to explore the victims and who these young women were and particularly because i knew it was about drug addiction and that was really really important."
A TV writer who has seen it already has confirmed to me that the film could have a really big impact on people's prejudices about drug abuse and street prostitution. The Telegraph has handily highlighted Nick Clegg's support for heroin to be made available under medical supervision. I hope many voters will recognise that the best way to ensure more daughters do not end up addicted to heroin and funding their habit through street prostitution is to implement that very policy.
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