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UK - Christian drug expert Hans-Christian Raabe sacked from Government advisory panel

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Seaquake, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Seaquake

    Seaquake Gold Member

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    "I'm victim of PC vendetta", says Christian drug expert as he is sacked from Government advisory panel before he even started

    A Christian GP claimed last night that he had been ‘sacrificed on the altar of political correctness’ after being sacked as a government drugs adviser.


    [IMGR="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=19222&stc=1&d=1297077410[/IMGR]
    Dr Hans-Christian Raabe, a respected family doctor, was dismissed for holding ‘embarrassing’ views about homosexuality.

    He was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs less than a month ago and had not even had the chance to attend a meeting.

    Home Office officials said he had failed to disclose being co-author of a study suggesting a link between homosexuality and paedophilia.

    Anti-drugs campaigners described his sacking as an outrage. Many had welcomed him as a breath of fresh air on the ACMD, which has repeatedly called for softer attitudes to drugs, such as cannabis and ecstasy. By contrast Dr Raabe believes that children should be told to ‘say No’, rather than being told the safest way to consume a banned substance.

    Dr Raabe told the Daily Mail: ‘I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs which are in keeping with the teaching of the major Churches. This sets a dangerous precedent: Are we saying that being a Christian is now a bar to public office?’

    He added: ‘My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people – something I have never done; neither in my private nor professional life. Even the Home Office has not questioned my knowledge and expertise in matters relating to substance misuse and drug policy.

    ‘My appointment has merely been revoked as a result of my views on matters completely unrelated to drug policy.’

    Dr Raabe was appointed to the ACMD by drugs minister James Brokenshire on January 10.

    But he immediately came under attack from unnamed drugs experts in Left-wing newspapers, a BBC internet blog and former members of the ACMD.

    Following the criticism, Dr Raabe received a letter from the Home Office saying it was ‘minded to reconsider’ the appointment.

    Today it will confirm he has been sacked from the unpaid, three-year post. The department said he has been dismissed for failure to disclose a report which ‘raises concerns over his credibility to provide balanced advice on drug misuse issues’.

    The comments on homosexuality and paedophilia attributed to Dr Raabe were taken from a scientific paper he co-wrote with six other medical practitioners six years ago.

    The paper, ‘Gay Marriage’ and Homosexuality: Some Medical Comments, drew conclusions from research and studies by other academics.

    Using this data Dr Raabe and his colleagues concluded that there is a ‘disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles’ and warn this is of ‘grave concern’.

    Officials say that, as part of the interview process, Dr Raabe was specifically asked to disclose anything about his professional or personal history that might cause embarrassment to the Home Office or ACMD. The Home Office said it had made it clear his dismissal has been made irrespective of his religious beliefs or declared political activity.

    But Dr Raabe said: ‘In my case – holding on to traditional Christian views – I am being discriminated against by a Home Office Minister and am being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

    David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said there had been a ‘witch-hunt’ against Dr Raabe.

    Mary Brett, trustee of drugs prevention charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: ‘This is absolutely outrageous. It is a bad, bad decision.’

    Last night, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘Dr Raabe’s appointment to the ACMD has been revoked and we will be starting a recruitment campaign for a replacement GP shortly.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-Government-advisory-panel.html#ixzz1DFnt4NgT[IMGR="white"][/IMGR]
     

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011
  2. Finn Mac Cool

    Finn Mac Cool Titanium Member

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    Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    A Christian GP has been sacked as a government drugs adviser after it emerged he wrote a study linking homosexuality to paedophilia.

    [IMGR="red"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=19225&stc=1&d=1297095066[/IMGR]


    Hans-Christian Raabe said his dismissal came as a result of his views "completely unrelated to drug policy".
    Dr Raabe, of Manchester, was appointed to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) less than a month ago.
    The Home Office confirmed his dismissal and said it would recruit a replacement GP shortly.
    His appointment to the council had been criticised by a high-profile former member of the committee and some politicians.
    Dr Raabe, who backs total abstinence from drugs, was one of seven authors of a report called Gay Marriage And Homosexuality: Some Medical Comments in February 2005.
    It read: "Any attempts to legalise gay marriage should be aware of the link between homosexuality and paedophilia.
    "While the majority of homosexuals are not involved in paedophilia, it is of grave concern that there is a disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles and an overlap between the gay movement and the movement to make paedophilia acceptable."
    In 2009, Dr Raabe stood for the Christian Party and Christian People's Alliance in the European parliament elections.

    'Wrong perception'

    Following his dismissal, Dr Raabe told the Daily Mail: "I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs, which are in keeping with the teaching of the major churches.
    "My appointment has been revoked based on the wrong perception that I could potentially discriminate against gay people - something I have never done, neither in my private nor professional life."
    A Home Office spokesman said: "Dr Raabe's appointment to the ACMD has been revoked and we will be starting a recruitment campaign for a replacement GP shortly. The ACMD's work will continue."
    The ACMD, which advises the government on its drugs policy, faced controversy when its chairman, Professor David Nutt, resigned over the government's decision to reclassify cannabis from a class C to a class B drug two years ago.
    Prof Nutt had criticised Dr Raabe's appointment saying it was "deeply worrying" that he could support total abstinence when there was "a vast body of evidence in favour of harm reduction".
    Bridget Phillipson, a Labour member of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said it was an "absolute outrage" the government had appointed "someone with such horrific opinions to this senior role".


    7 February 2011

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12384693
     

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  3. Finn Mac Cool

    Finn Mac Cool Titanium Member

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    Why was Dr Raabe sacked?

    A controversial sacking, mutiny, resignations, appointments, threats of another mutiny and now a Christian doctor forced out for having "embarrassing" views: welcome to the strange world of government drugs advice.
    As revealed on this blog last month, the appointment of Dr Hans-Christian Raabe to the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) caused at least one member of the committee to threaten resignation. It wasn't the doctor's ideas about drugs which upset his council colleague ("just say no", if you are interested), but his views on homosexuality.

    Dr Raabe is a leading light in the Manchester-based Maranatha Community, dedicated to "re-establishing Christian values in society". As such, he regards homosexuality as sinful and co-wrote a paper in 2005 which claimed that there are a "disproportionately greater number of homosexuals among paedophiles".
    I understand that his anti-gay views led a number of other ACMD members to question the suitability of Dr Raabe for the council and today the Home Office put out a statement saying his "appointment to the ACMD has been revoked and we will be starting a recruitment campaign for a replacement GP shortly."
    When I pressed the Home Office on exactly why Dr Raabe had been dismissed they sent me a follow-up statement saying that his "failure to disclose a report which he co-authored which links homosexuality to paedophilia raises concerns over his credibility to provide balanced advice on drug misuse issues and impacts on the smooth-running of the ACMD."
    Well, I can see the truth of the second part of the explanation. It would hardly help the "smooth-running" of the council if it was hit by yet another round of resignations and bitterness. Nor would it do much for confidence in the Home Office's grip on drugs policy.
    But it is the first part that is really interesting. Was it his "failure to disclose" the existence of a six-year-old document on a subject unconnected with drugs policy that "raises concerns"? Or was the quality of the science in the document itself so questionable as to damage his "credibility" as an expert adviser? Or is the key word here "balanced" - that his Christian views on homosexuality are too extreme for the Home Office?


    Peter Hitchens, writing in the Mail on Sunday, asks many of the same questions that I wanted answered.
    "He is said by unnamed sources to have been specifically asked to disclose anything about his past which might cause embarrassment to the government or the committee. I am interested as to what the official definition of 'embarrassment' is, or whether Dr Raabe could reasonably have been expected to view (his 2005 paper) as potentially embarrassing to the Home Office or the Advisory Committee."​
    You cannot simply sack somebody appointed to a government advisory body because he/she has strong religious views that are irrelevant to the job in hand. That would seem to be discriminatory.
    Support for this view comes from a surprising quarter - the former Lib Dem MP, Dr Evan Harris. Now director of the Campaign for Evidence Based Policy, he says: "No advisor should be dismissed purely for holding and expressing entirely lawful views on another subject, no matter how objectionable."

    In an article in the Daily Mail, Dr Raabe is quoted
    making a similar point. ​
    "I have been discriminated against because of my opinions and beliefs which are in keeping with the teaching of the major Churches. This sets a dangerous precedent: Are we saying that being a Christian is now a bar to public office?"​

    Dr Harris, however, does believe the drugs minister James Brokenshire was right
    to revoke the appointment - he just did it for the wrong reasons.
    "When it comes to drugs Dr Raabe has no expertise, no research background and no relevant specialist experience and worse still has an ideological position on drug policy that he has declared his intention to force through the Council. That's why he wasn't fit to be an expert adviser, not because of his wrong and offensive views on homosexuality."​
    The Home Office statement says nothing about Dr Raabe's lack of relevant experience and he says officials never questioned his "knowledge and expertise" when they dismissed him. I suspect ministers were pleased to have someone on the committee who was prepared to challenge the harm-reduction policies of the previous government as "futile" and "discredited". All eyes are now on whom they find to replace him.

    Monday, 7 February 2011

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2011/02/why_was_dr_raabe_sacked.html
     
  4. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    What a tosser.
    He was not sacked because of his religious beliefs, and bringing them into the argument only strengthens the case against him. He was sacked for comparing Homosexuals to Paedophiles.

    Its interesting to see how the English government have gone from having Experts as advisers to complete idiots, from people who tell the truth to people who spout lies and from people who want to work toward harm reduction in a balanced way to people who want to inflict harm by giving Homophobic bigots excuses to attack innocent members of the public.
     
  5. Phenoxide

    Phenoxide Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    Indeed. I was wondering what qualifies someone that writes articles regarding gay marriage an as expert in the field of the use and misuse of drugs. A quick PubMed search confirms this guy hardly has an extensive background in drug research, or a stellar record in research in general. In fact his scientific publication history is utterly appalling. Just three listed citations, and only one that is truly peer-reviewed scientific literature. The "gay marriage" article as far as I can tell was never published through legitimate scientific literature. It was published on some thing/place called Lifesite, which as far as I can tell is a Canadian pro-life website.

    ________________________

    (*) Raabe HC (2010) "Prohibition of cannabis. Legalisation doesn't work." British Medical Journal 341:c6138

    (*) Raabe HC (2005) "Mandatory reporting of all sexually active under-13s: confidential sexual health services to young people: part of the solution or part of the problem?" British Medical Journal 331(7524):1083

    * Note that neither of these were peer-reviewed research - they were letters to the editor

    Raabe HC (1994) "Dietary intervention in hyperlipidemia. Experience in general practice", Forschritte der Medizin 112(7):85-86

    ________________________

    Once again Evan Harris owns everyone with a quote that sums it up nicely. Looks like Raabe is just another rather mediocre sawbones with some very right-wing views he's keen for us to all share. I won't even go into the laughable gay marriage "article" (neither peer-reviewed nor published as scientific research, which is fortunate as there is nothing evidence-based about it).

    It does beg the question of how someone so obviously incompetent was given the position in the first place, especially when other members of the ACMD protested against his appointment. If you compare his publication history to that of David Nutt or Les Iversen then it is like light and dark. Nutt, Iversen and many current and former members on the ACMD (though not all of them) were clearly suitably qualified to be appointed in this field. Had I known the standards required to be a government advisor had slipped to be so incredibly low I might've applied myself. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  6. Finn Mac Cool

    Finn Mac Cool Titanium Member

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    Considering the furore and embarrassment caused by previous members of the Advisory Council on Misuse of Drugs, it's hardly surprising that the government have set out to destroy ACMD. They can't cause problems if they're not around or are completely irrelevant, hence the appointment of this nutcase to the board.
     
  7. Revolvingdoo

    Revolvingdoo Newbie

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    Facts surrounding drugs are a huge inconvenience to their political agenda, they will continue appointing unsuitable morons, and then blame it upon the organisation themselves.
     
  8. ianzombie

    ianzombie Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    My personal opinion is that they don't care what sort of drug background the new staff have, they most likely asked them if they would toe government policy and a 'yes' was enough for them to get hired.
    I doubt the government had banked on their new crew making such monumental fuck ups that would draw attention to their complete inadequacy at working their new role and they are happy to get rid of them before too many questions are asked.

    Its a shame however that more questions have been asked and more fingers pointed toward a professional who states an opinion about drugs based on scientific evidence (Nutt) than an idiot who bases an opinion on religious nonsense and bigoted beliefs
     
  9. oliwog

    oliwog Newbie

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    im pretty sure they still need at least 3 actual scientific drug advisors that know wot they are doing in regards to drugs etc.
    the rest of the council is intended to be made up of random people that have different opinions an views and are from different backgrounds they still have to meet requirements but generally they will have a GP, a VET is the only other one i can remember they wanted, the few others i cant remember exactly wot the other professions are that they will have on the council, but pretty much if you have the right career and wanna do that job you can apply for it im sure the info of exactly wots required can easily be found online but im about to have dinner an cant look right now.
    not many people seem to wanna apply for these jobs anymore though, not surprising really.
     
  10. catseye

    catseye Gold Member

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    Re: Gay row government drugs adviser GP Raabe sacked

    Excellent point, in fact the post in question that Dr Raabe applied for (GP advisor) only had 2 applicants - previous positions usually attracted around 60 applicants per opening. (Imagine what the other guy's application looked like :rolleyes:)

    The vet post has been removed, the other members are primarily academics. Bear in mind that there are 24 members to the ACMD - not just the 7 or 8 that are the "face" of it. To be appointed, Dr. Raabe will have sat a panel interview made up a gov't appointed member, a member of the ACMD, and an impartial member of the public (amongst others). The primary error here was a combination of the fact that Dr Raabe did not declare several interests combined with the interview chair who did not google Dr Raabe's name and come up with the information that is readily available :s

    To think the appointment was "political" in any way would be understandable but incorrect in this case - after all, it is the gov't that walked away from this looking pretty stupid!