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Author Archive | Annie Machon

British Politicians Droning On

Only in the mad world of mod­ern Brit­ish polit­ics could it be pos­sible to con­nect MPs, drones and royal breasts. Is this sound­ing a little too bizarre? Let me explain.… Way back in 2008 Con­ser­vat­ive MP Damien Green, who was at the time the Shadow Min­is­ter for Immig­ra­tion, was arres­ted on sus­pi­cion of eli­cit­ing leaks from […]

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Interview for the Release newsletter, “TalkingDrugs”

An inter­view I did on behalf of LEAP this week for the news­let­ter of the UK cam­paign, Release. Release, run by the indefatig­able Niamh East­wood, does excel­lent work provid­ing legal advice about drug issues, and cam­paign­ing for fairer and more com­pas­sion­ate drug laws. The inter­view appeared in the campaign’s news­let­ter, “Talk­ing­Drugs”. Here’s the link, and here’s the text: […]

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The Scorpion Stare

I have written over the years about the encroaching surveillance state, the spread of CCTV and the increasing use of drones in our skies. When the North East of England introduced talking CCTV cameras that could bark orders at passing pedes­trians in 2008, I thought that we were fast approaching the reductio ad absurdum point — and indeed this subject has raised a wry laugh from audiences […]

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What whistleblowers want

Whis­tleblowers want the sun and the moon — or at least they want to get their inform­a­tion out there, they want to make a dif­fer­ence, they want a fair hear­ing, and they don’t want to pay too high a per­sonal price for doing so. But why the hell shouldn’t they? The decision to expose crimin­al­ity and bad prac­tice for […]

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) UK Conference

Last month, in my new role as Dir­ector of LEAP Europe, I was invited to do a talk at the SSDP con­fer­ence in Lon­don.  It was great to meet the key SSDP organ­isers, and also share a plat­form with Jason Reed, the co-ordinator of LEAP UK. The stu­dent act­iv­ists of SSDP are demand­ing that our polit­ical classes instig­ate a mature, […]

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The Gareth Williams Inquest

What a mess, what a cover-up.  The inquest into the sad, strange death of Gareth Williams concluded yesterday, with the coroner raising more questions than she was able to answer. It was also patently obvious that both MI6 and the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Squad (SO15) hampered the investigation, for the inevitable reasons of “national security”. […]

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21st Century Pacificism (The Old Stuff)

I have always been ideologically opposed to war and all the horrors that flow in its wake: agonising fear and death, famine, displacement, maiming, torture, rape, internment and the breakdown of all the hard-won values of civilised human law and behaviour. Looking back, I think that was partly why I was attracted to work in […]

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Just Say No – the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Just back from the annual United Nations happy-clappy session about drug prohibition in Vienna, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.  I was there as part of the delegation from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a global campaign of serving and former police officers, lawyers, judges, intelligence officers, customs officers and prison governors, all with years of […]

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