Tag Archives: lord paddick

Brian Paddick: The Government has been trying to play catch-up on drug control (via The Huffington Post)

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick

Writing for the Huffington Post, Home Affairs Spokesperson Brian Paddick has pulled apart the Psychoactive Substances Bill, highlighting the problems with the current legislation and the ways in which the Lib Dems are seeking to fix it. 

Liberal Democrats in the Lords are trying to rescue something from the car crash that is the government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill by tabling a series of amendments.

The Bill seeks to make it illegal to produce or supply any substance that affects someone’s mental functioning or emotional state, unless the government specifically exempts it.

This takes the “my substances of choice, like alcohol and tobacco, are OK but yours aren’t” approach to a new level.

On Tuesday we tried and failed to press the pause button while an independent, evidence-based review (posh phrase for ‘what works in practice?’) of existing laws was carried out.

The UK Bill is based on a similar Act in force in the Republic of Ireland for the past four years that has been so disastrous, the Irish are thinking of repealing it.

At the moment ‘head shops’ sell so-called ‘legal highs’ with impunity. The government has been trying to play catch-up, banning harmful new substances as they are developed, and losing.

They have now lurched, with Labour Party support, to banning everything.

The full article is here 

Brian Paddick: The Lib Dems are the only party prepared to tackle the harm drugs cause

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick

Liberal Democrats today attacked the blinkered Tory approach to drugs policy as they tabled a series of amendments to the Psychoactive Substances Bill in the House of Lords.

The party will call on the Conservatives to delay new laws until a full review is carried out into how existing legislation is failing to stop the harm caused by drugs.

They will urge the Conservatives to build on the health-based approach to drugs misuse championed by the Liberal Democrats in Coalition and abandon their failing ‘get tough’ policies.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Brian Paddick, who has tabled the amendments, is calling for:

  • the Government to delay moves to ban legal highs until an independent, evidence-based review of existing laws is carried out, allowing proper drafting of the legislation
  • the decriminalisation of  possession of all drugs for personal use
  • the legalisation of medicinal use of cannabis when it is prescribed by a doctor

Continue reading Brian Paddick: The Lib Dems are the only party prepared to tackle the harm drugs cause

Brian Paddick “The Government have all the hallmarks of an authoritarian, anti-libertarian, inward-looking Administration”

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick

Speaking in the Queen’s Speech debate on home affairs in the House of Lords this week, Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat spokesman for home affairs, paid tribute to Charles Kennedy and went on to warn that upcoming legislation showed that “the Government have all the hallmarks of an authoritarian, anti-libertarian, inward-looking Administration ”

The full transcript of his speech is below:

Continue reading Brian Paddick “The Government have all the hallmarks of an authoritarian, anti-libertarian, inward-looking Administration”

Letter of the Lords 2 February 2015

This week’s newsletter on the work of the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords

 

To subscribe to this email please contact davidm.shaw@parliament.uk

Letter of the Lords – 19 January 2015

This week’s newsletter on the work of the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords

 

To subscribe to this email please contact davidm.shaw@parliament.uk

 

Brian Paddick & John Hemming MP: The injustice of pre-charge police bail (via The Daily Telegraph)

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick
John Hemming MP
John Hemming MP

Lib Dems Brian Paddick & John Hemming MP have both put their names to a letter in the Daily Telegraph calling for a time limit on pre-charge bail:

Pre-charge bail was introduced 30 years ago to limit the freedom of individuals while police conducted further investigations. No restriction was put on the amount of time police could hold someone on pre-charge bail.

This has led to a perversion of justice where, today, more than 70,000 people are languishing in a form of legal limbo in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

More than 5,000 have been on police bail for at least six months. Innocent people have been left on bail for years before their cases are dropped or thrown out of court. Their careers are put on hold, and the mental anguish of not knowing what will happen is in itself a form of punishment without trial. There is no right of appeal.

These individuals are innocent until proved guilty, but justice delayed is justice denied. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has called for a time limit for pre-charge bail. We believe it should be a maximum of 28 days, reviewed by a judge and not by police. The Government must act swiftly to turn words into action.

The letter, with a full list of signatories, appears on the Daily Telegraph website 

 

Brian Paddick: Are We Confusing Anti-politics with Anti-Westminster? (via Lib Dem Voice)

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick

I have just been watching Marr on BBC1 and there appears to me to be a theme developing.

In the paper review, Trevor Phillips said the rise of UKIP was really about voters´ perception that “Westminster politicians” were not listening to their constituents. He also suggested immigration is not the real issue for many British people but fear of change. He claims that rapid change is unsettling for people and a party that represents the past like UKIP is understandably popular. I guess a progressive, forward thinking and radical party like ours might be unpopular for the same reason.

Next up is Douglas Carswell, former Tory, now a UKIP, MP. He talks like a Lib Dem. He is clearly a dedicated constituency MP, just like a Lib Dem, who does not take his constituents for granted, just like a Lib Dem, and he sees representing his constituency as far more important than what happens at Westminster. He appeared to me to be so unlike a Tory MP or a Labour MP in a safe seat and so like a Lib Dem.

It reminded me of campaigning in the 2012 London Mayoral election in Worcester Park where Paul Burstow is the local MP. It was in the midst of the NHS reorganisation debate, when my colleague Shirley Williams was leading the Lib Dem revolt against the Coalition Government proposals which resulted in a withdrawal and a rethink. With tuition fees still hanging around our necks and the unpopularity of the NHS reforms, a couple on the doorstep explained that they would never vote Lib Dem again “… but we´ll be voting for Paul Burstow because he’s a great local MP”. At that time, Paul was a Liberal Democrat Coalition government minister in the Department of Health.

I found it a little puzzling that UKIP, a right-wing party, not only won the Clacton by-election but they also reduced the Labour majority from 6,000 to 600 in Heywood and Middleton. But not so puzzling if the reason is not their policies but a reaction against MPs who take their constituents for granted.

Full article here