The government claims to have temporarily sheltered 90% of Britain’s rough sleepers but many are still slipping through the net – often highly vulnerable people, most of them with long-term mental health and dependency issues. Getting them into a hotel is the easy thing. Keeping them there, looking after them, making sure their needs are met, is another.
Many rough sleepers abuse class A drugs, and here they are being evicted over a spliff. Are we really expecting their problems to go away just because they’re isolated in a hotel room? According to one outreach worker, who wants to remain anonymous, the city centre has come to resemble “God’s waiting room”. He estimates there are still dozens of rough sleepers living on the streets, strung out on drugs or paralytic on cheap booze, unable to wash and change clothes.
OK, boozy addicts.
Although the causes of homelessness are varied and wildly complex, the solutions are relatively simple. What homeless people need are homes – homes for life that are secure, affordable and safe.
But you’ve just been telling us that ain’t so.
Imagine there was a virus you’d never heard of which increased the likelihood of mortality by 26%, or a condition which had a death rate comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. A national health crisis would be declared, and judging by the reaction to the coronavirus, panic would ensue. This public health crisis, which leaves its victims more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other dementias, has a name: loneliness.
More than 2 million adults suffer from chronic loneliness; and although its most severe form is more prevalent among Britain’s oldest citizens, younger adults report loneliness more than any other age group.
A desire for social connection is fundamentally hardwired into our psychology, and so being deprived of it has devastating mental and physical consequences. Yet we live in a society which has become ever more fragmented and atomised.
The social spaces where we congregate and connect are dying. In the 1970s, there were more than 4,000 working men’s clubs; just 1,300 remain. A quarter of Britain’s pubs have closed since the beginning of the century. Nightlife is withering: in 2018 alone, the number of British nightclubs fell by a fifth.
OK, Not pubs, not working mens’ clubs, not night clubs, is like smoking 15 ciggies a day. Being in a smolky pub/club is like smoking many fewer than 15 a day. Thus the smoky pub/club is better than the absence of the pub/club.
So, we banned smoking in pubs/clubs, something which led to many of them closing down, for what sodding reason then?
“Breakthrough” cancer drugs that can extend lives are taking 22 years to reach patients on the NHS, a major study has found.
The research by British scientists found that the most innovative treatments – which can radically overhaul the way diseases are treated – take far longer than conventional drugs to get the green light.
The study by the Institute of Cancer Research examined all cancer drugs licensed by European watchdogs over a 16-year period.
It found that between 2009 and 2016, it took an average of 14 years for treatments to go from a patent being filed to it being available on the NHS. The situation was even worse than it had been between 2000 and 2008, when it took 12.8 years.
The more innovative a drug was, the longer it took to be funded on the NHS – on average, taking just over three years longer than conventional treatments to get to patients.
All new drugs take 10 to 12 years from patent date to general approval and use. That’s just how long the approval process (EMA, FDA, whatever) takes. The NHS might be even slower than that, sure, but that’s not the major issue here at all.
Cases highlighted in the study include a drug called trabectedin, which can extend the lives of those with advanced soft tissue carcinoma.
It took 22 years from the drug being patented to getting the go-ahead from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Another drug used to treat bone cancer took 20 years to reach this stage,
That’s drugs falling out of patent, dropping in price by 80 to 90%, then the NHS being willing to pay for the presumably marginal benefit – it now meets the £50k per Qualy for cancer drugs.
Hey, maybe the NHS is worse than others. But the real time killer here is the general approval system.
All the way on its own:
A submarine travelled nearly 6,000 miles down the Amazon and across the Atlantic before it was seized off Spain carrying three tonnes of cocaine, it was disclosed yesterday.
The vessel, built in Suriname or Guyana, was monitored by international drug enforcement agencies before it reached Cangas do Morrazo in the province of Pontevedra, Galicia, where it was scuppered by its crew last month.
The journey was possible because of the 20-metre semi-submersible boat’s 20,000-litre fuel capacity, according to the Spanish newspaper El País, which yesterday published the fullest account yet of its remarkable journey.
Not towed at all…..
Now this could be seriously impressive:
The first “narco sub” in European waters has been captured by police as drug gangs attempted to smuggle three tonnes of cocaine into Europe, much of which would have ended up on British streets.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) worked with Spanish police and customs to intercept the 65-foot long semi-submersible submarine which was loaded with cocaine worth hundreds of millions of pounds on the UK market.
Note that it’s a semi- it sorta wallows along just at surface level rather than deep diving. But building something like that in some jungle hideout is pretty cool. There have been articles on the people doing this for the Caribbean trade. But here’s something. Are they really saying that people have been able to create transatlantic versions? That really is some boatbuiilding, no?
What does rather confuse though is that real’n’proper subs do sometimes come up for sale. Why aren’t they using them?
Or, perhaps, they are and aren’t being caught?
Dawn raids smash £50bn gang hiding heroin in fruit and veg
A £50 billion drug trafficking network believed to be Britain’s largest has been “dismantled from top to bottom” after a international operation, the National Crime Agency said yesterday.
The NCA said the drugs had been hidden in lorries carrying vegetables and juices from the Netherlands. Jayne Lloyd, its head of investigations, said: “We suspect this was a sophisticated crime group and we think we have now dismantled them from the top to the bottom.”
The gang had mainly targeted the UK, she said, and were believed to have been “involved in an industrial-scale operation, the biggest ever uncovered in the UK, bringing in tonnes of deadly drugs that were distributed to crime groups throughout the country”.
OK, so this is a UK operation.
Inquiries led the NCA to believe that 50 tonnes of drugs worth billions of pounds had been imported between February 2017 and October 2018.
That lasted 18 months perhaps?
So, problem one. Whatever the value of what they were doing it was obviously the wholesale value, not the street. Dealing drugs is known to be profitable so therefore there’s a price difference between wholesale and street. And always, but always, our valuations given are of street value. Nonsense that is.
But there’s more here. The total – street – value of the drugs trade is some £5 billion a year for the UK. We even include this number in GDP these days.
So, the claim is that this one drugs gang was moving, into the UK, over a period of 18 months, an entire decade’s worth of the total UK market – at street prices. And people expect us to believe this number?
Or, actually, The Times expects us to believe this number? Because it’s not in the NCA press release.
What’s causing this?
Scotland’s drugs death rate is now higher than the USA and every other country in Europe, and three times the UK average, according to shocking new figures.
The statistics released on Tuesday revealed that 1,187 people died following drug use last year, an increase of 27 per cent on 2017.
Methadone, the heroin substitute prescribed by the NHS to help heroin users, caused more deaths than the drug it is meant to replace and contributed to nearly half the total mortality figure.
The National Records of Scotland said the country now had a higher mortality rate than the whole of Europe.
Fentanyl in the heroin supply? I’ve heard this isn’t really a UK thing, given the already high purity of street heroin. So, what’s the change?
The statistics show that 72 per cent of those who died were male, with more than 1,000 deaths involving methadone, heroin and morphine. However, a large percentage of those who died – 792 – had also taken pills such as diazepam and etizolam.
It was reported last month that these “street valiums” can be bought for less than the price of a chocolate bar, at just 30p a pill in central Glasgow, and are often taken in conjunction with opiates, with fatal consequences.
This change in fashion and recipes?
Anyone got any good ideas as to why this rate is soaring? And no, lack of treatment options doesn’t cut it. Those who actually want off can get off.
Dealer who sold chemsex drugs to serial killer Stephen Port convicted of Bond actor’s murder
A man who sold chemsex drugs to serial killer Stephen Port has been found guilty of killing a former Bond actor with an overdose.
Gerald Matovu, 26, a drug dealer, met Eric Michels, 54, via Grindr in August last year.
He plied him with a fatal dose of GHB at Mr Michels’ home in Chessington, south-east London, then made off with his bank card details and other belongings.
Mr Michels, who had an uncredited role as a cocktail party guest in Skyfall,
That might be stretching it a bit, no?
Snack manufacturers are enjoying a boost in sales in American states that have decriminalised marijuana.
Possibly that minority who have never had the munchies but other than that?
The four-year compound annual growth rate of snack sales in these ten states is 7.2 per cent, compared with 6 per cent where cannabis remains illegal, a report by the market research company Nielsen found. The same rate of growth for confectionery is 2 per cent in decriminalised states and 1.3 per cent in illegal states.
Nielsen concluded that decriminalisation of the drug “presents big opportunities for the American food and beverage market, particularly for the snack and confectionery category”.
An academic study published this year appears to support the findings.
There is no other explanation for the McDonald’s cheeseburger after all…..
A Japanese man with 246 packets of cocaine in his stomach and intestines died mid-flight on his way from Bogota to Tokyo, authorities have said in northern Mexico where the plane made an emergency landing.
An autopsy found the man had swallowed 246 packets of cocaine, each measuring 1cm by 2.5cm. The cause of death was swelling of the brain caused by a drug overdose, prosecutors said.
We don’t get the third number to be able to calculate the volume. But I’ve got, if it’s 1 cm for that third, 600 cubic centimetres of cocaine. I’ll lost track of the zeros if I try to work through that but that is a lotta coke, isn’t it?
The genteel world of pétanque has been rocked by accusations that Belgian players use cocaine to give them a performance-enhancing edge in international matches.
British holidaymakers have long been charmed by the sight of aging players idly tossing their boules on the sun-kissed courts and squares of France.
But two leading Dutch pétanque internationals have sparked outrage in the sport by claiming that Belgian players dope in the hard-fought matches.
“I know enough Belgian players who use coke,” Edward Vinke, 46, told the the Vice sports website. “They go to the toilet and do not throw a wrong ball when they come back. They really feel like the king.”
“I experienced it once,” Kees Koogje, 27, told the website,“We were far ahead and had played flawlessly. Then they went to the bathroom for ten minutes and came back with huge eyes. Everything went well for them.”
Why would cocaine aid? Is it a confidence thing? Going for throws that more normally wouldn’t be tried but should be?
This is supposed to deter and warn is it, not encourage?
Foragers have been warned of an abundance of magic mushrooms after the mild winter caused the psychedelic fungi to thrive.
Specialists say the warmer weather means the psychedelic, naturally-occurring class-A drug has been found growing in large numbers across Staffordshire and Shropshire.
John Hughes, a fungi expert at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, warned: “The longer the season, the greater the risk foragers could accidentally pick something hallucinogenic, so with the warmer winter this is definitely more of a risk this year than in previous years.
Doctors have been accused of denying medicinal cannabis to patients on the NHS despite its legalisation by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary.
Patients are being forced to pay for the treatment privately or travel abroad after being told by doctors they are not entitled to the drug because there is no clinical evidence that it is beneficial.
They’ll not give you antibiotics for a cold either, on the grounds that there’s no clinical evidence that’s beneficial.
I seem to recall that a reader here knows the country. Something about Blantyre wanders around the back of memory.
What is needed is someone who knows the ruling apparatus. Who grants licences and how.
for an adventure of very great profit but none to know what it is.