Iain Duncan Smith has just left a comment on the previous Tory Diary thread criticising ill-informed comment and pointing to the Addicted Britain report of last December for background information on drugs policy:

much of the comment over the last few days has been ill informed. Too
many of your bloggers have rehearsed political positions without a real
understanding of the nature of the problem we face from the growing
level of drug and alcohol abuse.

In December the Social Justice Policy
Group published a study of drug and alcohol addiction as part of the
Breakdown Britain report. I summarised it in my Chairman’s report as
the D and A report is some 50000 words. It is the most comprehensive
study of what has gone wrong and the enormous damage drugs and alcohol
are doing to our communities.

This is not a subject to be bandied
around in the context of a ‘moderniser’ versus ‘traditional’ battle.
People in parts of Britain wake up every day to the news that another
child of theirs died of heroin or was admitted into care suffering
serious mental illness.

If the Conservative Party wants to be taken
seriously it should leave the metropolitan beltway and the games they
play there and understand that we in the UK have a crisis on our hands.
It is not liberal v illiberal for far too many, it’s life or death. DC
is right to condemn drugs."

The report shows why it is so important to look beyond the metropolitan beltway with this issue:


"The impact of the epidemic of heavy drinking and drugtaking is particularly severe for the least well off – those who have the fewest resources to cope with addiction or to recover from it – hitting both inner-city and outlying estates the hardest. Young, predominantly single, undereducated and unemployed boys and young men are amongst the most badly affected and the most at risk."

Go to for regular updates on social problems and thinking on how to tackle them.

Deputy Editor