Friday, 24 October 2008

Anyone for a good hanging?

Saw this posted as a comment on one of the blogs:

'I should just let you and the prof keep posting and watch you hang yourselves.'
Guess, you cannot keep everyone happy! If there was no criticism, I'd be doing something wrong.
By the way, an excellent blog this week by Kathy Gyngell focusing on, 'Why the National Treatment Agency is prejudiced against rehab.'


Anonymous said...

That's a bit strong isn't it?! Still, glad to see you can take vigorous debate in such good heart.

On the blog you link to there are some really good comments. They lead me to two (related) thoughts. 1) Do we actually need the NTA any more? 2) Protestations from the UKDPC that they don't have a 'political agenda' are pretty unconvincing. Just have a read of the kind of comments they make. Many people believe they're just a mouthpiece for the NTA. Are we looking at the NTA's escape route?

Anonymous said...

If you didn't have the NTA who would carry out the functions it currently does? i.e. providing guidance, monitoring drug treatment - for whatever view you take on the current system, the basis for any criticism comes from the figures released by the NTA thelmselves. Without these figures how would anyone know what was going on??!!

Also, there seems to be a lot of heat being put on the NTA but ultimately it is down to local partnerships to decide how they spend their budget allocations. Unless individuals, groups and organisations at a local level start to call for residential treatment then nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

"If you didn't have the NTA who would carry out the functions it currently does? i.e. providing guidance, monitoring drug treatment"

Well, the guidance is there now, isn't it? The monitoring data is entered locally and analysed by Manchester University - all the NTA does is publish it. I think we could live without them. They have become a bloated organisation.

Anonymous said...

Just regarding comment above and link in David's blog to Kathy Gyngell's blog: it seems a bit weird to say that the UKDPC is somehow a mouthpiece for the NTA when it includes representatives from across the treatment spectrum and service users, and NOT recognise that the Centre Policy Studies (of whom Kathy Gyngell is a representative) is an overtly political right-wing think tank with extremely close links to the Tory party.

Conveniently, Kathy Gyngell's views underpin the loose and uninformed assertions featured in the Tory party's "Breakdown Britain" rhetoric.

Whilst recognising that these views may find some parallel with yours David, are you making an openly political statement by linking to this blog? It worries me that at the heart of this debate there is some party political motivation. Especially considering David Davis's assertion (whilst he was a Tory MP in April this year) that:
“Taxpayers will be outraged that so much of their money is going to junkies and winos who will use the money simply to feed their disgusting habits.

Nobody forced them to get hooked on drink or drugs. It’s their responsibility to get cleaned up and off benefits.” " (Daily Express, 4th April 2008).

I am certain that your motivations are not the same as those of Ms Gyngell and the Tory party, but I feel that it may alienate the cause and value of your arguments to ally yourself in this way!!

David Clark said...

A very naughty comment, I'm afraid to say, which is very transparent (and hidden behind anonymity). I don't often respond to such loose 'speak' but I will in this case.
Please note the following:
1. I did not say the UKDPC was a mouthpiece for the NTA, as you loosely imply.
2. Because I agree with Kathy's views on trying to save residential rehabs, does not mean I support the Tory party or David Davis's outrageous comments. You insult yourself with such a piece of logic.
3. So I alienate my cause by supporting Kathy's fight for the rights of people to get access to residential rehab if they need it.
Oh come on!

Anonymous said...

To clarify a little. Yes, I agree that the Kathy Gyngell blog is obviously politically motivated in the sense that it is associated with a right-wing group. And, yes, I also agree that some of the contributions to the debate from that end of the spectrum have been fairly repellent (the Davis quote is an excellent example). However, I also think the UKDPC needs some scrutiny. They fly under the flag of 'evidence-based', 'objective' blah blah but actually in reality have adopted policy positions on certain issues well ahead of what the current evidence says. I merely observe that they seem to be a useful 'independent' vehicle for shoring up some difficulties the NTA is facing. I'm saying, in other words, that they are political with a small 'p' rather than party political.

Anonymous said...


I did not say, or mean to imply, that you said the UKDPC is a mouthpiece for the NTA. You make no comment on that either way.

So, to clear it up, do you think that they are?

Anonymous said...

An example of where the UKDPC 'appear' to be helping out the NTA by using their alleged 'evidence-based objectivity'.

On the Gyngell blog, Nicola Singleton states that NTORS and DORIS (2 major treatment outcome studies) were not designed to compare treatment modalities and therefore cannot be relied on to make claims about the relative effectiveness of residential rehab. She dresses this up as methodological point with some references to RCTs and so on. This is simply untrue - and indeed Neil McKeganey, the director of the DORIS project refutes it in a later comment. Both studies were designed to make these sorts of comparisons and indeed both have reported on them. It may be true to say that methodologically they were not the most rigorous designs possible for comparisons but that is a different point.

The upshot of this? It allows the UKDPC to support the NTA's woeful neglect of residential rehab through an apparently objective (but actually bogus) take on the research evidence. I note that a senior NTA manager is one of the UKDPC's commissioners.

David Clark said...

You are asking me to comment on a comment that you agreed that I did not make. No comment.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where all this anti-UKDPC stuff is coming from. I think there are more deserving targets out there!

Having said that, I agree that Nicola Singleton's comments on the other blog about DORIS/NTORS/rehab were simply wrong. But that's all they were - there's no UKDPC-NTA conspiracy, my anonymous friend!

Anonymous said...

You have omitted other UKDPC politicking: spending charitable funding producing two reports to support ACMD predetermined decisions. Namely to downgrade the classification of cannabis and, more recently, downgrading the classification of ecstasy.

David Clark said...

I agree! I thought we were talking about my hanging, NOT the NTA or UKDFP or anyone else. Back on track guys and gals!

David Clark said...

I'm out now so there will be a hold up in comments appearing on blog.

Anonymous said...

OK, back to your hanging!

As conspiracy theories seem to be in vogue today, I wonder if this explains why the NTA gave you so much money to keep the 'Daily Dose' going? Were they thinking 'give 'em enough rope...'? Perhaps they're not as stupid as I thought...

Anonymous said...

I thought the crueller jibe, David, was the person who intimated that your blog was unintentionally hilarious. Mind you, I do find myself chuckling at some of the things here. Just who is this 'anonymous' who keeps posting these nasty comments? Seems to have coincided with your blog attracting lots more comments and debate than before. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said,

‘Conveniently, Kathy Gyngell's views underpin the loose and uninformed assertions featured in the Tory party's "Breakdown Britain" rhetoric’.

Anonymous, given the verbal diarrhoea you are submitting, without having the moral courage to declare who you are, or what if anything you represent, I can accept that you know a great deal about, loose and uninformed assertions’ since you certainly make enough of them.

It seems to me that the only opinions you are willing to accept are those that coincide with your own, most of which appear to be based on nothing more than an unrealistically inflated ego and a distorted view of what is fact and what is rhetoric.

I appreciate that you are probably suffering from the incurable condition of anal retention of your cranium, therefore I have diluted my comments.

Steve Rolles said...

This seems a bit childish.

It is possible to agree with some things an individual or group says, whilst disagreeing with other things they say. For me this is true (even if the agree:disagree ratio varies) of Mcgeggany, Gyngell, UKDPC, The Center for Policy Studies, the NTA, The Home Office, the Tories, Melanie Phillips, Noam Chomsky, David Clark ...I could go on.

Whats so hard to grasp about that? Agreeing with someone, or supporting them on a specific point , doesn't commit you to their entire political program. Thats ridiculous, and perpetuating the whole guilt by association thing will only stifle debate and progress.

David Clark said...

Well spoken, sir. Now I must go shopping.

Anonymous said...

peter o'loughlin complaining about verbal diarrhoea? Shurely shome mishtake?

Anonymous said...


Do you get Chris Morris to write some of your posts or do you do it all yourself?

Keep up the good work!

David Clark said...

I very embarrassed to say i had to Google Chris Morris. Sorry.
I guess I should take your comment as a compliment. Another new career beckons?
I thinks not!

David Clark said...

It's a funny old situation, me and all these anonymous people.
It's like being at one of those old balls where people wore masks, except I cannot see whether they are male or female, tall or thin...
Except some people give themselves away - well possibly?
Maybe some people will take their masks off one day.

Anonymous said...

Pretty easy to block anonymous comments if you wanted to though...

The point about Gyngell and the Tories was quite fair really. CPS attack on Labour's drugs policy = attack on Labour, not attack on stupid practices in drugs treatment. I'm sure that if Labour outlawed methadone tomorrow and forced everyone's whose blood screening showed them as using in the last 5 years into rehab Gyngell et al would find a way to argue that Brown's NTA posse were still being weak on drugs.

Of course it would all be supported by science. Both ways. Nothing to do with anything else.

Anyway my point is, ditch the Tories and hangers on. Methinks you protest too much.



Steve Rolles said...

of course it's also a fair position to say that the Tories AND Labour have got it wrong (well, mostly wrong).

Ctriquing one certainly isn't advocating the other, although, to my mind the difference is largely cosmetic anyway.