Cannabis, Nutt and Johnson

As the outcry gathers pace and another high-ranking adviser quits his post in protests, Nu Labor look even more besieged than normal.


What is interesting to us is that the parallels with how Education is run are almost spooky. Here an expert in his own field drew conclusions based on the available evidence and this contradicted the Government message and so he was sacked.

The same occurs in the wonderful world of Education where if anyone speaks out they stand to lose future funding, academic posts or promotion. The unwritten rule of Education is that you speak out at your peril. Government and managers will not tolerate any questioning of their policies and behaviour. Education unions’ most important role is, unsurprisingly, to provide legal advice for its members. Education institutions are run along Stalinist lines where pointing out that money is being wasted on yet another Government initiative or that there is no evidence to warrant particular investments will result in censure, dismissal or even worse.

The triumvirate of Government, managers and business collude to line each others’ pockets while those on the shop-floor or working in research either play ball and continue to do what they love or find soon enough that they are unwanted and should seek alternative employment. Reviews conducted by Government appointees are no better and offer a veneer of legitimacy to an act of rubber-stamping. On the other hand and as mentioned in previous posts, independent reviews such as the Primary Review that suggest changes to Government policies are dismissed without consideration.

The answer to the troubles besetting not only drugs policy but also education policy is as Dr. King demands, “an independent body, free from the government’s influence.” Then decisions may be taken on the evidence not naive populism.

Education is for all of us, not the toy of power-crazed, unscrupulous Government ministers.

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