30 April 2007

MI5 DID know about the 7/7 bombers!

Rachel North has been continually saying that once one of the terror plot trials (which related to Operation Crevice) is out of the way there'll be a big revelation regarding the London bombs in 2005.

Now the trial's over at the secret's been released: that the people behind it HAD been tracked but were not put under surveillance.

This contrasts with MI5's and the government's official position which has been that the people who did it weren't stopped as they didn't know about them previously; they were "clean skins".

According to Blairwatch:

[T]he spin on the few Radio Bulletins... seems to be split along two lines, depending on whether it is the government, or the security services doing the spinning:
  • That the correct decision was made when it was decided not to follow up the involvement of MSK and ST because, as suspected fraudsters associated with the biggest 'terror investigation in the UK they weren't important.
  • Or that the security services really would have quite liked to follow them up, but there weren't sufficient resources.
Which begs the question, if the correct decision was made at the time, then how can it have been a resource issue...? You don't need resources to NOT follow up on somebody. Either MI5 wanted to pursue these 2 men's involvement but couldn't, or they didn't feel they needed to.

See also Rachel for more.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, sign Davide's petition for a full public inquiry into the bombings

28 April 2007

Sign here, please

I've come across another petition on the Dear Leader's website which you should sign:
While you're at it, sign my petition to scrap Crown Copyright.

27 April 2007

"Outside the trains don't run on time": follow-up

Last month I sent a letter to South West Trains asking them to move Raynes Park station from zone 4 to zone 3/4.

Today I finally got a reply from their customer relations department:

Whilst I appreciate you taking the time to write with your suggestion on the zonal location of Raynes Park, I feel I must point out that it is unlikely that we will reconsider the status of Raynes Park as a Zone 4 station in the near future, having just signed up to a new 10 year franchise with the Department for Transport from 4 February 2007 with the existing revenue streams as our base line.

The zonal location of each station was agreed some 20 years ago and these have changed relatively little since that time. The changes in the Stoneleigh/Ewell West area from January 2007 were made following representations from Southern Railway, who own and manage Ewell East station and wished to move that station into Zone 6. For some years, we had been aware that the absence of a Zone 5 station on the Motspur Park - Stoneleigh route had been causing some negative customer feedback and it seemed the perfect opportunity to address this problem. These zonal changes did need to make financial sense to SWT, however, and they therefore impacted upon the agreed price levels for Travelcard rates that included availability in Zone 5 and/or Zone 6.

The zonal location of Wimbledon Chase was made to reflect the fact that Wimbledon Chase enjoys an infinitely poorer service than Raynes Park Station.

It is accepted that the recent zonalisation of rail fares has meant an above-average increase to most one-stop cross-boundary fares and this is a point that SWT will be raising with the other Train Operating Companies when we next meet to discuss the zonal rail fares for January 2008 onwards.

It doesn't seem to hopeful... Is anyone else out there willing to help convince them that I'm right?

26 April 2007

Lionel Messi = Diego Maradona?

Thanks to the latest Popbitch I've come across this comparison:

On the left hand side is Maradona's non-handball goal for Argentina vs England from the 1986 World Cup. On the right hand side is Messi's goal for Barcelona vs Getafe from last week.

Messi has been described (along with many other players) as the "New Maradona". When he does this sort of thing it's understandable... Let's hope he lays off the coke...

25 April 2007

War on Lemsip

A few weeks ago I referred to an article which mentioned that there's a Bill going through the St. Louis, Missouri council which would make it illegal to sell baking soda in an attempt to stop crack. The law itself is based on other laws which make it illegal to get hold of cold medicine as some ingredient in it is used to make crystal meth.

Unfortunately, it appears that we don't learn from this stupidity and may be following the cold medicine example!

Over-the-counter flu remedies may become available only on prescription after MPs discovered that decongestants in them are being used to make Class A drug crystal meth.

Health Minister Caroline Flint said police were increasingly anxious that pseudoephedrine and ephedrine - used in products such as Lemsip - can be extracted "relatively easily" and used to make methylamphetamine.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is now consulting on behalf of ministers on plans to restrict the pack size of medicines and making pseudoephedrine and ephedrine prescription-only.

Good old prohibition!

  1. As per usual with any stupid drug policy announcement, see Transform.
  2. I've looked at my readership stats and notice that someone came across this blog by searching for "how to change lemsip crystal meth"!

24 April 2007

Anti-Corruption = anti-British?

Just before Xmas the government scrapped a probe into corruption by BAe in Saudi Arabia, on the grounds of "national security" (which was subsequently denied by, all of people, MI6).

Now it appears that our beloved trust-worthy government is trying to sack the main anti-corruption guy:

At the OECD meeting in Paris last month, British officials tried to stop Prof Pieth addressing a press conference at which he announced his agency was to conduct a formal inquiry into the government's decision to terminate the BAE investigation. They then privately briefed other diplomats involved with the OECD, saying he should be removed.

A source at the OECD added: "The UK's representatives were sent to Paris to emasculate the [watchdog] and ensure they did not say anything publicly. They failed and were not pleased. They behaved in a manner that would not have been out of place in a boxing ring."

The director general of the OECD, Angel GurrĂ­a, also believes the UK is encouraging a smear campaign against him. Last Friday he was accused in a British magazine of giving a job to his daughter, getting free football tickets, and spending €733,000 (£500,000) to refurbish his Paris flat in what was described as "the poshest bit of the swanky 16th arrondissement".

How can we do this and why I hear you ask?

The UK partly controls OECD purse-strings, and also has the power to veto Prof Pieth's reappointment, due next January.

Sensitivity over the OECD inquiry has become more acute since its 36-strong panel announced last month detailed plans to mount a fresh official inspection of Britain because of the manner in which the BAE inquiry had been halted.

It also rebuked the UK for failing to keep its promises to modernise its inadequate corruption laws, under which no one has yet been prosecuted.

It's good to see our government being as Bliar put it "Whiter than white"

Fisked: War on Drugs

Over on the Transform blog is a good fisking of the government's "success" with prohibition the War on Drugs (pdf), using - of all things - their own data!

There's nothing I can add to what they say other than read it.

23 April 2007

FoIA exemption Bill comes back!

On Friday it appeared that the Bill to exempt the politicians from the FoIa had been killed off... but no!

Thanks to a comment in my post by RickB of 10% it appears that the Bill's back due to a lack of other private Bills to debate!

Get the word out!

"A good day to bury bad news"

Today: Boris Yeltsin's dead aged 76, not as you may suspect, of alcohol poisoning, but of a dodgy ticker.

Last week we had the Virginia Tech shooting.

What was/will be Jo Moore'd?

22 April 2007

Virginia Tech Wikipedia time-lapse video

From Digg comes this video of the first 12 hours of the Wikipedia article on the Virginia Tech shootings:

Christianity: Defined

I was looking at a comment thread on Fark and came across this picture which was submitted that I feel will cheer-up all the Militant Atheists out there:

21 April 2007

A true reflction of the US economy?

Earlier this week it was reported that the Dow Jones stock market had reached a record value, yet it was also reported that the US$ has dropped in value and so is now worth less than 50p.

The two facts seem a bit of a contradiction which I found difficult to understand: how can the US economy be doing so well (when measured by the stock market) and at the same time also be doing so badly (as shown by the the US$'s value)?

Thanks to WRH I've come across this site which may provide an answer (I'm not sure how credible it is, so who knows?): according to it when the market is measured in other currencies or commodities, it is appears to be collapsing not strengthening.

The All-day Lone Protest

I've just come back from the all-day SOCPA lone protest and I've stuck some piccies on my flickr site (not as many as I hope as I think my camera's packing in).

There was a few hundred people there (Mark Thomas says there were almost 2300 applications!), dotted around the designated area, all protesting against different things (see the pictures for examples), some serious some possibly less serious...

Mine included the following:
  • Standing outside McDonalds on Whitehall suggesting that people go to Burger King or Subway instead (which got quite a few laughs)
  • I stood outside Big Ben St. Stephen's Tower demonstrating my watch to show the absurdity of the law
  • Standing outside Westminster tube station saying that Metronet should be sacked for being crap at repairing the Tube, e.g. this
  • Saying that Tesco aren't as bad as WalMart
  • Protesting at the Department for Transport against Crossrail, but in favour of Superlink
  • Standing on Downing St (which required a background check to ensure I wasn't a risk, as well as being stopped and searched on my way to the place!) asking why don't people like our Dear Leader? Is it because he's a lying, power-crazed, freedom-hating, warmongering, corrupt politician? Don't worry Tony, I also demonstrated against Gordon Brown for stealing our pensions, so it's nothing personal!
  • I demanded "Freedom for Wales", both the country and the big mammals outside the Welsh Office, which attracted the attention of someone who works at the Welsh National Assembly!
  • I came up with a new slogan for the Home Office (and also for the bits it'll be split up into): "Dismantling your freedoms, one by one"
  • Holding up a piece of A4 paper outside the EU's office saying it's so corrupt Peter Mandelson's a Commissioner
  • I also just managed to protest outside Starbucks over their plans to open a new place in London every fortnight for the next decade!
  • Standing outside the office of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry protesting against young children being dosed up with Ritalin (during which a copper came up to me and asked for a copy of my permission letter, which was provided of course!),
  • I protested in favour of democracy, including the right to protest, but of course I had to point out that not all democratic features are available in all areas, and
  • I protested against people doing all-day protests - don't they have better things to do?
Other places included the Departments for Education and Environment on related topics: Education meant I had a poorly-spelt sign and Environment for bringing GM-food to our farms (which also led to attention from the police, but more asking what my views were instead - I said "It depends"!).

I planned on protesting against pointless bureaucracy at the start, but arrived late so I wasn't able to; I also aimed on protesting outside the National Playhouse Theatre, asking for free tickets, as well as protesting against Big Brother outside Channel 4, but was unable get to the places before my time ran out.

I'm expecting there to be other reports, especially on Indymedia and also on Current TV as they was a camera crew out filming proceedings.

UPDATE: As I suspected, there's a report on IndyMedia including pictures of different protesters.

Bill to exempt MPs from FoIA defeated!

Back in January I mentioned a Bill that was in Parliament which would have severely limited the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as it would have exempted both Houses from the list of public bodies listed in the FoIA and so effectively removed any scrutiny of MPs' expenses.

Well thanks to the efforts of Norman Baker and other honourable MPs the Bill's been defeated.

Let's hope it never comes back, after all, as they saying goes "The innocent have nothing to fear"...

19 April 2007

Burning books leads to burning people

I was going to write summat about the EU's (apparent) success in passing a framework directive regarding incitement to racial hatred which relates to the Nazi-Jewish one in WW2 and in Rwanda in the early-90s, but not the Armenian one, contains the following:

The agreement makes it an offence to condone or grossly trivialise crimes of genocide - but only if the effect is incitement to violence or hatred.

All I'll say is that you don't need laws like this, e.g. Germany's criminalisation of Holocaust-denial or our own Racial & Religious Hatred Act 2006, as there's enough evidence to show what a load of bollocks this is.

Obviously people have never heard of Voltaire's phrase "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

Read the Ministry of Truth on this as it says it a lot better than anyone else could.

Decisions, decisions...

Over on Craig Murray's blog is a good question:

Given the choice between dancing on Margaret Thatcher's grave and dancing on Tony Blair's, and not allowed to do both, I would dance on Blair's.

Which would you do?

I'd have to choose our Dear Leader, mainly due to the fact that I was too young to "appriciate" Thatcherism in full-fight (I was only 9 when she was booted out due to mass unpopularity... Hint, hint Labour MPs).

15 April 2007

US No-fly List = Bush's Enemies List

A couple of days ago I linked to the US "No-fly list" and suggested (and then crossed out) that it's a list of political opponents.

I may have to re-consider the crossing out after reading this article in the Raw Story which I found via Daily Rotten:

A top Constitutional scholar from Princeton who gave a televised speech that slammed President George W. Bush's executive overreach was recently told that he had been added to the Transportation Security Administration's terrorist watch list.

Walter F. Murphy, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Emeritus, at Princeton University, attempted to check his luggage at the curbside in Albuquerque before boarding a plane to Newark, New Jersey. Murphy was told he could not use the service.

"I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list," he said.

When inquiring with a clerk why he was on the list, Murphy was asked if he had participated in any peace marches.

"We ban a lot of people from flying because of that," a clerk said.

Murphy then explained that he had not marched, but had "in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution."

The clerk responded, "That'll do it."

On the plus side, they're going for the most likely suspects:

Murphy is a decorated Marine who served in the Korean War and was a reservist for 19 years.

He's obviously a terrorist in that case!

13 April 2007

Sadistic Mario Brothers

Again, via the Metafilter:

I know from experience how much of a pisser Mario Bros is, especially with all the hidden boxes which send you to your doom!

One of the comments links to this related article in the Onion, while another commenter linked to this: a stage version of Mario

UPDATE Here's part 2 of Sadistic Mario Bros:

"Hello America!"

I found this thanks to the Metafilter:

Hello America

Add to My Profile | More Videos

The fun of iris-scanners

The New Scientist has a good article about the problems with retinal scans that are being used at Heathrow Airport:

[W]e smugly left our friends in a long passport queue, went into the IRIS cubicle and looked into the camera. After many failed attempts at aligning our eyes with optical markers, the machine lost patience and told us to leave. An official appeared and said the malfunction might be down to the machine thinking our suitcase was a child being smuggled through.

As there was no one else waiting we tried again, this time holding the suitcase well clear. Again the computer said no. After a third failed attempt, the official reappeared and said spectacles must be the problem.

As NO2ID say, this may be why this has been dropped from the ID card system.

"In the Navy!"

Just been looking through my readership stats and it says I've been visited by the US navy (approx 45 min ago)!

11 April 2007

We don't want your type round 'ere

The US Treasury Department has released its list of the people who it considers to be political opponents freedom supporters terrorists and so has banned from entering the country or banned from catching an aeroplane within the USA.

I'm ashamed to say I'm not listed at all! [Note to self: must try harder]. Oddly, the name "Saddam Hussain" comes up over 50 times...

Have a look at it and see if you're on it. If you are let me know!

"Sign here, please"

I've come across another petition on our Dear Leader's website which you have to sign:
While you're at it, sign my petition to abolish Crown Copyright and save our money!

10 April 2007

ID cards were intended to be compulsory!

From This is the Village:

The Government faces damaging claims of misleading voters over ID cards after documents revealed it always planned to make the controversial scheme compulsory.

Whitehall papers, which the Government has fought for two years to suppress, disclose that Labour intended to force the public to sign up to the programme.

They appear to contradict commitments given by Labour in its 2005 Election manifesto, which pledged that the cards, and the national identity register containing people's names, addresses, fingerprints and other information, would be 'on a voluntary basis'.

9 April 2007

1 in 4 will rebel against ID cards!

From the Sunday Times:

The government is predicting that some 15m people will revolt against Tony Blair’s controversial ID card scheme by refusing to produce the new cards or provide personal data on demand.

The forecast is made in documents released by the Home Office under the Freedom of Information Act. The papers show ministers expect national protests similar to the poll tax rebellions of the Thatcher era, with millions prepared to risk criminal prosecution.

Opposition MPs said the new documents proved their case that the programme would never work. David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: “This will cripple the system. Fifteen million is a massive number. What the Home Office is accepting in private, but refuses to accept in public, is that a massive number of ordinary law-abiding citizens simply will not go along with their scheme.”

Davis, whose party’s policy is to scrap the cards, added: “This will render it completely useless as a security or check mechanism of any sort.”

8 April 2007

A Mass, Mass Lone Demonstration!

Back in January I referred to a special lone demonstration that was being planned for a Saturday in April.

Well the secret's been announced:

On the 5th of April Mark Thomas and a group of regulars at the Mass Lone Demos arrived at Charing Cross police station armed with 1,184 requests for demonstrations in the SOCPA zone. The demos will take place on the 21st of April. The aim is for people to carry out 20 demos each in the SOCPA zone in one day and to get as many people as possible to do so.

You can join the challenge to New Labour's liberty threatening laws. So far 59 individuals have applied for 20 demos each (with 4 single demo requests) but anyone can come along on the 21st of April. Get involved and let's have 2,000 demos!

This is how it works: Each demonstrator holds a 10 minute demo at 19 different places (the start and finish demonstrations are in Parliament Square) and then gives themselves 10 minutes to get to their next demonstration. We have an info pack available for you to use which includes details on how to organise the demos, a list of places you might want to protest at in the designated area, a map of the SOCPA zone and access to our easy to fill in application printer (type in the bare details of your demos and in seconds you will get 20 forms set up and ready to print.)

If you want to demonstrate on the 21st of April you have until 10.30am Sunday the 15th of April to get your forms into the police at Charing Cross police station.

If you can't make the whole event but want to come and join in why not come along to the final demo at Parliament Square at 5.20pm on the 21st of April, you will need to apply for permission for your demo.

Note that the monthly one WILL take place as usual - the forms need to be handed in as normal on Wednesday (11th April), with the monthly one taking place a week on Wednesday (18th April).

The Home Office's ID Card Assumptions

The always insightful Spy Blog has a list of the many ludicrous assumptions the Home Office made when it announced its costings for the ID card project. There's too many to list, so I recommend just going to the link to their article.

Stop Baking Soda!

Thanks to Daily Rotten comes this article from KMOV-TV St. Louis (which also has some great responses, albeit barely literate in parts):

A St. Louis legislator wants to require that baking soda be sold behind the pharmacy counter, as part of an effort aimed at a base ingredient in crack cocaine.

Fuck me! Just when I think the excuses reasons for prohibition can't get any more satirical, comes this! So long Arm & Hammer...

The proposal by Democratic Representative Talibdin El-Amin is modelled after a state law that requires some cold medicines to be placed behind the pharmacy counter because they contain ingredients used to make meth.

The anti-meth law requires customers to show a photo I-D and sign a book specifying their name, address and how much they purchased.

If they pass this I guess the next stop is to ban talcum power within St. Louis as it's used to cut coke or to ban the Sun as it could be used to roll a joint (actually, that's not that bad an idea). How about banning water as it's used to grow weed?

6 April 2007

"Big Brother is Watching Talking to you!"

From the BBC:

"Talking" CCTV cameras that tell off people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour are to be extended to 20 areas across England.

They are already used in Middlesbrough where people seen misbehaving can be told to stop via a loudspeaker, controlled by control centre staff.

The talking cameras will be installed in Southwark, Barking and Dagenham, in London, Reading, Harlow, Norwich, Ipswich, Plymouth, Gloucester, Derby, Northampton, Mansfield, Nottingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Wirral, Blackpool, Salford, South Tyneside and Darlington.

Some things are beyond comment...

Still, every cloud has a silver lining, as it gives me the idea for this month's lone protest!

Hand in your application form (word document) next Wednesday (11th April) at Charing Cross police station (or else any station within Greater London) for the protest on 18th April from 18:00 - 19:00.

5 April 2007

SOCPA in Russia

From the Guardian:

Russia's opposition groups today denounced as "absurd" a new law passed by Moscow's city council that restricts the number of people allowed to take part in political rallies to two for every square metre.

Under the new law, demonstrators are no longer allowed to gather in front of historic monuments, ruling out most of the centre of Moscow. The law also restricts meetings held indoors. Police now have the right to break up political gatherings if there are more people than chairs.

"The law is ridiculous," Sergei Mitrokhin, the leader of the liberal Yabloko faction in Moscow's parliament, told the Guardian. "Nobody know how you are supposed to implement the two people per square metre rule. It's a violation of the right of assembly. It's a terrible law full of gaps."

Fuck! I would say it's like SOCPA, but it's like it on steroids! Will it have the same impact?

4 April 2007

Hello manhood searchers!

I was looking at my referrals and (D-)noticed that I'm the top Google result for "dick extension surgery" due to my Trident tag.

Life is a Rollercoaster

Thanks to Boing Boing I've found this video (I would stick the video in this post but I'm having problems logging into Google Video) - US house-prices plotted into a graph and then turned into a ride using Rollercoaster Tycoon.

It's a bit sick-inducing!

Would someone out there be willing to do one for UK prices?

Blair to be questioned again?

From the Wayne Madsen Report:

WMR has been told by a well-placed British source that British Prime Minister Tony Blair. is now a criminal suspect in a scandal resulting from the sale of peerages and royal honours by the Labour Party in return for campaign donations and other favours. Blair has already been questioned twice by police in the matter. Two Labour leaders, Sir Christopher Evans and Lord Levy, have already been arrested and questioned by police in the scandal. Our source in Britain says that when Blair is questioned for a third time by the police it will be "under caution," meaning that he is a suspect in the criminal investigation. In February, police wanted to question Blair under caution but were pressured politically to back off. If Blair is questioned "under caution," he is expected to resign as Prime Minister.

Let's hope so!

2 April 2007

Poland: the Opposite to the UK, II

A few weeks ago I had a post which showed Poland is different to the UK.

Here's another example from Yahoo! News:

Thousands of Poles took to Warsaw's streets Wednesday to demand a complete ban on abortion, including in cases of rape or incest.

Two separate marches merged into a demonstration of 4,000 people in front of parliament, where lawmakers were debating amending the constitution to tighten Poland's anti-abortion law, already among the most restrictive in the EU.

President Lech Kaczynski has put forward one of three separate proposals to amend the constitution to prohibit abortion completely.

It's the sort of thing you'd expect in some backward area of the USA, but there is some hope for Poland:

Elsewhere in the capital, about 700 mostly young people held a rally with music and balloons in support of abortion rights.

One banner read, "Not the pope, not the president, I will decide myself."

is it this sort of thing which is causing a lot of Polish people (allegedly) to flee to the UK?

Misuse of census data

From EurekAlert:

The U.S. Census Bureau provided information to U.S. surveillance agencies during World War II to identify persons of Japanese ancestry, according to a new study by two scholars of census history, who say their research confirms the bureau’s actions, despite decades of official denials.

Margo Anderson, professor of history and urban studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), and William Seltzer, a senior research scholar in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Fordham University, will present findings from their study, "Census Confidentiality under the Second War Powers Act (1942-1947)" today at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in New York City.

Seltzer and Anderson say the Census Bureau complied with a 1943 request by the U.S. Treasury Department for a list of all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Washington, D.C., area as recorded in the 1940 census. This information, collected under a pledge of confidentiality, was handed over in only seven days, according to the researchers.

I'd be interested to know whether the information from our last census (in 2001) is used to track Muslims in the UK, after all, religious affiliation was one of the questions it asked (which led to the Jedi census phenomenon).

180-degree change

From Haaretz:

In the late 1940s, Walther (Walter) Rauff, an SS officer who was responsible for the murder of at least 100,000 people and was wanted by the Allies as a war criminal, was employed by the Israeli secret service. Instead of bringing him to justice it paid him for his services and helped him escape to South America. Documents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that have been released over the past several years show that the Americans were aware that Rauff's case was not exceptional.

Operation Paperclip rears its ugly head again. I wonder which other countries used Nazi war-criminals?

1 April 2007

Another D-Notice?

I received this email off Pete from Binary Ape:

This is not quite "juicy gossip" as it's rather old and has appeared in Wired, but I'm still wondering what happened to the story in the British media.

The Hercules that was destroyed in February was described in media reports as having crashed, but in Hansard it's described as having been hit by a bomb:


Do you think that this is a D Notice type request or just something the UK media missed, or chose to not report? I don't often read newspapers so I could have missed this, but I've failed to find an update to the story in UK online news sites, and don't remember seeing it on TV either.

What do you think?

I don't know the reason, as it's the first I've heard about it. Does anyone out there know?

A sensible drug policy?

From the Independent:

The Prime Minister has ordered a review of his counter-narcotics strategy - including the possibility of legalising some poppy production - after an extraordinary meeting with a Tory MP on Wednesday, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. Tobias Ellwood, a backbencher elected less than two years ago, has apparently succeeded where ministers and officials have failed in leading Mr Blair to consider a hugely significant switch in policy.

Supporters of the measure say it would not only curb an illegal drugs trade which supplies 80 per cent of the heroin on Britain's streets, but would hit the Taliban insurgency and help save the lives of British troops. Much of the legally produced drug could be used to alleviate a shortage of opiates for medicinal use in Britain and beyond, they say.

What benefits would there be?

Britain leads the £1bn-a-year international operation to wipe out poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. This country alone has spent almost £200m over the past four years on efforts to eradicate poppy fields and persuade farmers to grow other crops.

If this does happen I'll support it. Amazingly, despite the Indy's current view of drugs are bad, it appears to support it!