Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Jack Brown (DP152)

Two of my uncles were Barnsley gangsters and I have always spent part of my private social life among criminals and drug users (alcohol only until the 1960s). I could give names/evidence to substantiate all the claims below. I will not do so for two reasons; some criminals are friends and I’d be dead if I did.

In 1978, I was the butt of Fleet Street and Labour Party anger when, as a councillor member of the South Yorkshire Police Authority, I called for the legalization of cannabis. The media unsuccessfully harassed me for the name of a cabinet minister on hard drugs; it was Maurice MacMillan. In the 1980s Matthew Evans, founder of the Groucho Club (later elevated and made Labour Chief Whip in the Lords) told me that he had used cocaine for the first time. Five years ago, a contact in the entertainment industry informed me that £2,000 a session prostitutes attended drugs and sex parties “in Downing Street, with Ministers”.

In my 1978 speech, I reported seeing my first deal of hard drugs in a Barnsley pub and said that if soft drugs were not legalized, dealers would plead unavailability and push hard drugs to guarantee continuous trade. That is and always has been the gateway. Tragic experiences (early deaths, suicides and murder of friends) have turned me into an advocate for legalization of hard drugs as they were when I was a teenager: available free from a GP (health centre) on condition of treatment. It would end deaths through erratic dosages and shared needles; it would end drug related crime; it would save billions from the budget of the legal drugs industry which so hypocritically opposes legalisation—counsellors, police, solicitors, courts, barristers, prison service, etc; it would stabilise the politics and economies of countries like Afghanistan.

There has always been a link between organised crime and politics. Barnsley Planning corruption was one of the reasons I left the Labour Party in 1987. In the early 1990s, I exposed it and forced the “retirement” of the Chairman of Planning, Chairman of Licensing Bench and Leader of Council. It is like cutting off the heads of a hydra.

Pre-hard drugs, gangsters’ theft, fencing, prostitution, gambling and protection activities funded their relatively minor “property development” activities. Thanks to the availability of massive drugs profits, today’s corruption of politics and police pales yesterday’s into insignificance. They fund major property development activities and the entertainment industry—Labour’s promotion of casinos was a disgrace. Any activity—eg football—where the income and expenditure cannot be tightly monitored is corrupted. One wonders how worm-eaten are the Stock Exchange and the City.

Senior police officers socialise with the agents of criminals; ie their children and their children’s business partners. So called “community policing” has been a disaster that has extended that corruption to council estate level. When I was young, there were perhaps half-a-dozen corrupt police officers in Barnsley. A majority of junior officers in most police forces are now protecting “informers” on whose payroll they are. “Payroll” is a loose term, drugs, homosexual, prostitution and paedophile services are provided for some.

Jim Callaghan chickened out of the recommendations of the Wotton Commission. You could, at very least, implement them and block the gateway.

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012