The #SewellReport really is a verbose, sloppy and intellectually dishonest piece of work. In the bits I know about (drugs and crime), there is a pattern of misleading readers by mischaracterising the sources it cites. Here are some examples. 1/n
To back a claim that cannabis is a 'gateway' drug, it cites a 2002 ACMD report. Here's what a later (2008) ACMD report says on the issue
To support the idea that stop and search works, they rely on a study in the BJC . While this study found a small association with lower recorded drug crime, it conclude, 'claims that this is an effective way to control and deter offending seem misplaced'. academic.oup.com/bjc/article/58…
The report apparently states “We found that most of the disparities we examined, which some attribute to racial discrimination, often do not have their origins in racism.” Which is pretty close to MacPherson's definition of *institutional* racism.
The commission tries to minimise the existence of institutional racism by re-defining it. Note that Macpherson's definition included 'unwitting prejudice, thoughtlessness, ignorance'. Their new definition is more about direct discrimination.
I have resigned from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Recent political vetting and
exclusion of suitably qualified applicants to join means that the ACMD is losing its independence. A thread to explain follows…
After the unjustified dismissal of @ProfDavidNutt in 2009, several ACMD members resigned. A
working protocol was put in place to protect the independence of the ACMD from ministerial
The independence of the ACMD was a big factor in my deciding to apply to join in 2014. Please note that members of the ACMD are not paid by the government for their work – it is done in members’ own time, or in time paid for by their employer (for me, it was a mixture of both)