Dear Heroin

Anyone who picked up a copy of the Metro today will have seen the front page article “Dear Heroin”, a reprinted letter written by Hannah Meredith about her addiction, celebrating her latest effort to kick the drug. Hannah died three weeks later from an overdose of heroin, temazepam and diazepam, though neither the events surrounding the death, nor the amounts of each drug found in her system were printed.

The letter which makes such statements as “you’ve ruined my life” and “I’m so ashamed of myself because of you” is clearly meant to be a personal act in a step towards recovery. It is deeply sad that Hannah had fallen into a hard addiction that she could not pull herself out of, and personal acts such as this should be encouraged. But that’s how they should stay: personal.

Sadly, her death has been seized upon by this tabloid as yet another scare story. The top of the page reads:

Hannah tried ecstasy at 14 and was hooked at 15. She vowed to defeat drugs in this letter… three weeks before dying at 17.

The mainstream press have always had it in for ecstasy, probably because it keeps failing to be the bogeyman they want it to be. In fact its so rarely-dangerous and non-addictive that they need to resort to misleading statements such as the one above, hooking it in with heroin as if the two drugs are a part of the same pharmaceutical family, instead of being utterly different.

The article beside the letter seems to become lost in its own puritanical rant, at one point actually launching off into religious simile, “..she confronted the demon that ravaged her life”. It was not a demon that messed up this poor girls life, nor was it an evil chemical that forced its way into her bloodstream. It wasn’t even a nasty dope paddler hanging about on street corners. I’m sorry to say it was the girl herself. She chose to take the drug, she chose to steal to feed her addiction; it was her who made these actions, no-one else. People need to accept responsibility for themselves.

Obviously it would be callous to say this to her grieving parents, but only as callous as to take advantage of their grief and use this personal item in a tabloid scare campaign. Now this sad story is in the press it has become a political issue and must be treated as such. Rather than give Hannah’s death meaning, the Metro has thus debased it and left it open to the obvious criticisms it deserves. Are we to do this with every habit we think is unwise? Next headline in the Metro – “Dear Bacon, how you taunted me from the co-op shelf, how I love the smell of you in the frying pan. I hate you, you’ve made me get fat around the middle. It is you that have taken the three quid from my wallet, you that have left my fingers greasy. I never wish to see you again.”

Am I being cruel? Yes of course I am, but no more so than anyone would be about a politician on the front page. These Tabloid cowards always rely upon the fact people are too nice to tear apart the statements of individuals who’ve suffered a terrible loss, they use these victims as a shield, whilst spouting all matter of nonsense from the safety they’ve procured for themselves. It is they who are cruel, using the distraught parents to shift copies of their shallow rag.

On a slightly more lighter note, it appears that the readers of The Metro are just as moronic as the journalists. In the Metro Mail section, A Woods from Leeds wrote:

“Perhaps Chris Mitchell could spare a thought for those working under Gordon Brown before leaping to his defence in the wake of bullying allegations.”

Hmm ok, setting youself up as some sort of caring champion of the poor unheard workers… continue…

“He could even go further and give consideration to the millions who have been affected by Brown’s mismanagement of the economy and now the entire country.”

Oh right, so you’ve just got it in for Brown. This letter is in fact not about whether or not he bullied workers at all, showing that you didn’t spare them a thought either. You tit.

“While the government continues to string us along, with no date set for the election…”

Actually this is pretty typical of the UK electoral process, it’s hardly a cruel ploy by Brown, its just the way it works. Perhaps it would be better, rather than pretend this is all their fault, to campaign for an American-style fixed four year term?

“…it’s understandable that the Tories are keeping any policies quiet.”

Oh so you’re a Tory. Ok. All’s becoming clear.

“Anything they do announce is pilfered by a Labour Party that ran out of ideas years ago.”

If that’s true, then why need an election at all? The Tories have clearly been running the show for years, putting forward policies and having Labour implement them. Thank you for clearing that up, all this talk of change by Cameron is clearly bollocks if all Labour’s policies are just nicked from him.

“Before signing up for another five years of pain, please think beyond the latest headline to the decade of malpractice we have all suffered. Anything is better than more of the same.”

Wow. Thank you A Woods for that incoherent drivel.

More Home Office Madness

The Economist has reported on Transforms latest stage in their attempts to get the government to release its anti-drugs strategy information:

“After thinking about it for nearly two years and trying out various exemptions, the Home Office has refused to release a confidential assessment of its anti-drugs strategy requested by Transform. The reason is that next March the National Audit Office (NAO), a public-spending watchdog, is due to publish a report of its own on local efforts to combat drugs. The Home Office says that to have two reports about drugs out at the same time might confuse the public, and for this reason it is going to keep its report under wraps.”

I’m not going to go on about this. I simply want to draw attention to their argument:

The Home Office says that to have two reports about drugs out at the same time might confuse the public, and for this reason it is going to keep its report under wraps.

No, that still hasn’t done it. That argument is so moronic I’ll have to post it once more.

The Home Office says that to have two reports about drugs out at the same time might confuse the public.

What? ……. What?….. I’m sorry dear reader, but I am struggling to comprehend such a casual fob off. The Home Office clearly does not give a damn about fixing the UK’s drug problem and instead thinks the whole thing’s a joke. Next they’ll say, “er.. well… the dog ate the report..” and then hide under their desks, giggling.

Poor Transform, trying to fix things with logic. Don’t they understand there’s no place for that in our political system?