Wednesday, January 05, 2005

All Your Kids Belong To Us

Apparently, it's not all lessons on fisting and necrophillia in the modern state school. There's a school down south where they stick things in the pupil's mouths then wave them about. Disappointly for the 'progressives', it turns out they're just taking mouth swabs for drug tests. Yep - drug tests in schools. SATs, key stage testing and OFSTED inspections are a pointless imposition on the school environment, but checking for Bolivian marching powder, now that's what teaching all about. So how does the head justify this buffonery ?

The head teacher, Peter Walker, said children were looking for an excuse to say no to drugs, against peer pressure, and the scheme would give them that excuse.

"One of the difficulties we have got in our society is that the government has tried so hard and so much to try to improve levels of prevention, yet we are not meeting with enough success," Mr Walker said.
Yes, indeed. Without Big Edukayshun sticking things in your gob, there'd be no incentive not to get hooked on crack. Personally, I can't think of anything more likely to drive kids to drugs than this kind of obnoxious, obtrusive nannying, as perfectly exemplified in this next quote:

Paul Carter, Kent council cabinet member for education, said random drug testing was fraught with legal problems so the council had issued guidance.

"I believe the tests will be a strong deterrent to youngsters dabbling in drugs at parties on the weekend," he said.
Yes, the weekend. Also known as the time when there is no school. Yes - if a kid turns in high as a kite then the school does indeed act in loco parentis, but suggesting that schools have a role in regulating what their customers do at the weekend is an outrageous example of mission creep. Still, at least some of the kids have escaped the effects of the psychic beacon:

There were differences of opinion among students arriving on Wednesday.

One 16-year-old said his parents had refused permission for him to take part.

"I don't agree with it. It's an invasion of privacy. It should be up to your mum and dad to sort this kind of thing out," he said
Personal responsibility ? In Blairland ? Surely not!

A 14-year-old girl said she supported the measure because it could reduce drug-taking.

"I don't have a problem with taking a test. It depends if you've got anything to hide," she added.
How many secret kids has Blunkett got ?

That would be charities in the sense of 'activist groups who score huge sums off the government to push their own L3 wordlview'. Anyway, where was I ?

Charities are sceptical. Drugscope chief executive Martin Barnes said there was no proof random drugs tests had a deterrent effect.

"Testing risks driving drug use further underground and could result in an increase in truancies and exclusions," he said.

Steve Rolles of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation said "intrusive" random tests were not needed to give children an excuse to say "no". They needed accurate information.

But also such tests were only for illegal drugs - whereas alcohol, tobacco and solvents were far more harmful, he said.
Do you get the feeling that getting the kids to say 'no' isn't exactly Stevies first priority. Leaving aside the not insignificant point that fags, booze and glue are all illegal for kids anyway, how exactly is driving an illegal activity underground a bad idea anyway ? Isn't that the point ?

That's the bottom line here. While HMG claims the war on drugs is so seriously we've got to put our rights through the shredder, the self-same body is funding nutball activist loons who claim a glass of the house red is worse than crack. 'Mixed message' doesn't quite cover it. No wonder drug czar's usually end up getting tied in knots. Take Keith Halliwell, there's a man who was too honest to try and even pretend the Government's drug policy made sense. Even now, he can't help but tell the truth about where all this leads:

Former government drugs adviser Keith Hellawell said that if those tested had consented in advance, and again at the time of the test, then clearly they knew there would not be drugs in their systems.

There had to be some penalty for failing to take a test, he argued.
Actually, I believe the current phrase d'jour is 'the voluntary option has failed'. Is there anything else wrong with this policy ?

Concerns have also been raised in part because the scheme is being sponsored by a tabloid newspaper and the drug test health firm.
Well, yeah.

Truly, in years to come, when people study the collapse of Britain, this will make a perfect case study. Can anyone - outside the Kool Aid drinking asylum of Big Edukayshun - really think this is a good idea ?

The Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, said Conservatives would "support, encourage and accelerate" random drug tests.
Which says it all both for drug tests and the Conservative Party.

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