The Difference Between CLEAR and Zimbabwe…

April 25, 2012

in Opinion

Peter Reynolds campaigning in the Corby by-election…is very little, it would seem.

The results of the Cannabis Law Reform Party Vote of Confidence are in, and Peter Reynolds gained 70% of the vote on a 42% turnout, 232 votes to 101. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe. But check out the email that was sent out:

Dear Member

I am writing to you all about the vote of confidence in Peter Reynolds and asking you to send in your vote.

You should all have received an email from Peter explaining why we are calling for this vote, we hope it will reaffirm the mandate Peter was given a year ago when he was voted as leader by the membership of the party, then called the LCA. Peter promised to lead a focused campaign, to register as a political party, to improve the website and to increase membership, he has done all this and more.

He has represented Clear at debates, on radio, locally on the cannabis truth roadshow, spoken at events and conferences, Clear also published an independent review ‘Taxing the UK Cannabis Market’ which we launched at the House of Commons last September.

He continues to complain whenever we find lies about cannabis; his views were sought by the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press.

The website is constantly being improved, we have opened a member’s forum and our membership has grown from 60 to 800, this provides much needed cash. Last year Clear spent £13,000, we began our year with £4,500 which funded the re-branding to Clear, we received £8,500 from donations & memberships and this has been spent running our focused campaign. We have had some very generous donations. Thank you all.

We have had some problems, all with people, yes, it is politics! It began with old LCA who missed the old site and old ways, but that grew into a focused campaign of harassment, which dug into anything they could find to make Peter look bad. It is a sorry saga of exaggeration and misinformation, much is online. The results are lost members, some of whom were on our admin team, some feel Peter has lost too much credibility because of the lies and misinformation; they chose to believe the people who want Clear to fail. Even with these departures Clear has continued to grow, with plenty of new members joining the party.

Peter has the support of the remaining admin team, Mark, Myself and newly appointed Dan Ford, who has been doing such good work with the comment warriors. We believe Peter has the drive and passion that are essential if we are to make a difference in the modern world of campaigning, his record is Clear, his private opinions are just that, private, they are not Clear’s. We will continue to focus on the real campaign issues, and do whatever it takes to end prohibition.

We have decided that email is the fastest most secure method to run the vote, every member has a unique email address, so one vote per member.

I want you to reply to this email at confidence@clear-uk.org with your vote, all votes must be received by midnight – April 24th

To make it easy all you have to do is hit reply and write yes or no, then send it back, your vote is important!

1) Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.

Or

2) No, I believe there should be a leadership election.

all the best

Jan – Clear Secretary
join clear
www.clear-uk.org

They started out by saying that everyone who criticised Peter is a liar and to vote for him? Hmm, that’s fair. Oh, and two days later Peter himself sent out a message asking people to vote for him:

Dear Member,

Why I Deserve Your Vote Of Confidence

If you have already voted, then thank you.

If you haven’t, then I am writing to encourage you to do so, whether or not you’re voting for me!

The party needs to speak with a CLEAR voice, so the more members who vote the better.

If you haven’t voted, you can do so by simply replying to this email. The votes don’t come to me, they go directly to Jan Wells, the party treasurer and secretary. She is checking each one for valid membership and duplication.

Naturally, I think I deserve your vote. I believe I am the right man for the job. I get results.

I invite you to compare my record with that of any other cannabis campaigner. No one works harder or achieves more in the war against prohibition. Under my leadership, CLEAR has become the largest, membership-based, drug reform group Britain has ever seen. We have put the cannabis issue back on the agenda as never before. Our campaign is professional, evidence-based and tightly focused We are being taken seriously. We are no longer regarded in the same light as the Monster Raving Loony party.

We have commisioned the most up to date, independent, expert research on cannabis in Britain. We have forced the media to stop publishing lies and misinformation about cannabis. We have taken our campaign right into the Houses of Parliament and we dominate the evidence in the HASC drugs inquiry.

I stand on my record. Inevitably, I have ruffled feathers and upset some people but I am not here to make friends. CLEAR is not a cannabis users social club. it is a serious campaign for change. If I had known the abuse and harassment I would be subject to, I would never have started along this path but now I am here I owe a duty to those who have placed their trust in me.

I really don’t know anyone else who is capable of doing the job that I do. Believe me, I’m very interested in finding the right person to succeed me. I would love to find someone to share my workload who has the ability, brains and drive to get on with it and eventually take over.

So please vote! Have your say! Speak loud, proud and CLEAR!

Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.

or

No, I believe there should be a leadership election.

Hit reply or email confidence@clear-uk.org and say “Yes” or “No” – all votes must be received by midnight – April 24th.

Thank you for reading.

Peter Reynolds

So, the person subject to the vote of no confidence was given an exclusive platform to tell everyone to vote for him? Hmm, fair.

Even setting aside that, it is evident that a lot of fully paid up Clear members never even saw those newsletters because they weren’t informed of the vote at all.

 

 

Worse, the comments in the last screenshot about voting irregularities were simply deleted:

So, yeah, Peter won 70% of the vote – but even in the face of selective notifications, two emails explicitly telling members how to vote, censorship of opposing viewpoints, and a poll run internally with no external oversight, 101 full party members still managed to write in to call for a leadership election. That’s not a few irrelevant trolls and liars, is it?

I wasn’t surprised by the outcome of this vote, but I am surprised by just how blatant the effort to bias the vote was, and I hope this continues to serve as a wake-up call to the discontented membership who have been increasingly objecting to having their comments deleted from the CLEAR website and Facebook wall. However, all is not lost – there’s some interesting new developments happening in the next month or two, so watch this space.

In the meantime, if anyone fancies trying their luck auditing the election results, Peter Reynolds did promise to any “legitimate outside organisation” access to their “robust” process.

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim April 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Hi Sarah,

When I saw the results of the votes there were comments by others but when I tried to question those that voted “yes” i was unable to comment and any and all access to the Clear website is blocked from comment. Surely if even the great dictator himself David Cameron allows free comments on is social sites why cant this sosciopath?
The only thing that is Clear is the growing end to the Cannabis movement as a credible force….sad!

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Alex April 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Weirder still, Peter has repeatedly claimed that CLEAR has over 10,000 members, making the turn out just 0.03%.

I brought this up and Peter promptly told me he has over ten thousand requested members (whatever that means) before blocking me and deleting all the comments.

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Danton April 25, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Hello Sarah.

I think you and the other bunch of charletons should pack in cannabis campaigning.. OH WAIT, you already did when you decided to focus you attention on destroy the slickets and sweetest cannabis campaign ever known here in the UK.

Peter has one and despite yours and others best efforts could only muster up 101 people to vote against Peter and this is IN SPITE of your hatred and bile against Peter, “oh but he said and she said” is not nor ever will be a valid argument and what you and others have tried to achieve is beneath contempt.

Why not simply leave peter and clear alone? your not wanted, not many people have much respect for you, you in no way shape or form can claim to represent medicinal cannabis users and also the majority of recreational users as people are quite clearly NOT INTERESTED in all this tittle tattle.

THE PRIORITY FOT ANYONE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT GETTING CANNABIS LEGALISED IS TO CAMPAIGN POSITIVELY AND NOT TRY AND WRECK OTHER PEOPLES GOOD WORK.

Anything else just plays into the hands of the prohibitionist, like it or not sarah.. only 101 people gave a toss about what you have to say and its not clear the 101 members even read you blog.

So show some humility and intelligence this is game over, draw a line under it and move on and no petty excuses like he is threatening to do this and do that.. makes you look pathetic if I can be perfectly frank.

Have a good day now.

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Twice he faced the vote.
Twice the members voted for him.
The people have spoken (Twice!).
Why can’t you just accept he is twice the leader the reform movement has ever had.
Instead of trying to destroy the work of other reformists why don’t you concentrate your efforts of effecting change.
Time you grew up a bit and left the serious reform campaign to the serious campaigners.

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h April 25, 2012 at 8:36 pm

The vote was a fix. Lots of members never got an email – some members dont even have a computer so how could they vote?

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Yeah, just think of all those people that wanted to vote
FOR Peter but didn’t get the chance !

It’s over. Grow up.

The people have spoken, and they have chosen their leader !

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

Your email address is really quite similar to Pierre Emply, “Danton” – forgive me if I ignore you.

Regarding my campaign time vs. reporting on Peter Reynolds ratio, I refer to you either my post to Derek below or the comment I made a few weeks ago, I don’t think I need to write anything new. http://www.sarahmcculloch.com/blog/2012/03/30/peter-reynolds-lol/#comment-87809

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Mike April 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I think an internally administered vote is highly suspicious. Peter is after all a convicted fraudster.

This needs to be subject to some kind of external audit if the result is to have any credibility.

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Mike April 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I’d also be interested to know how many new ‘members’ joined in the run up to the poll. Peter could have been planning this for three months. In many cases all they have is an email address.

Mainstream politicians are currently moving towards disclosing their tax returns. But we have a political party run by a convicted fraudster with no transparency and minimal disclosure.

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Alex April 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm

“the slickets and sweetest cannabis campaign ever known here in the UK.”

Oh God, my sides.

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Yeah, lets go back to the way things were under the old LCA.
Membership of a few dozen and a public image that was a laughing stock!.

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h April 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Or keep CLEAR and get rid of Reynolds – he doesnt want cannabis legalised – he wants you to pay for a licence to be “allowed” to smoke.

HE is the biggest problem standing in the way of legalising the use of cannabis.

Perhaps you should open your eyes and see what sort of person you are blindly following. This is what a former executive member has to say:

I am going on public record as saying that Peter Reynolds is a liar, a fraud, a charlatan, a thief and is a pervert who might be a danger to young girls and school children because of his fetish for school girl types……Now Peter Reynolds I challenge you to actually sue me!! You claim these are lies and fabrications, so let’s have a proper investigation into the claims that have been made against you!

You have been in prison for domestic abuse and fraud, you have lied about your work history….come on you coward of a man, actually prove everyone wrong….show us the evidence that you tell the truth!! It appears to me that you are here to disrupt the campaign and damage any chance we have at legalisation!! You are a plant who didn’t even know to grind weed before using it in a bong or vaporiser. You are an informer/grass and not to be trusted.

Please spread this far and wide and share on every wall. I want Peter to prove he has not rigged the vote, that CLEAR is democratic, and that he truly has a legitimate mandate.

Sanj Chowdhary

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Accept defeat mate.
YOU AREN’T THE LEADER !
YOU NEVER WILL BE A LEADER !

If you don’t want to be part of Clear than find another organisation to work constructively with. Either that or leave the serious reform campaign to the serious campaigners.

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h April 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

There is not a chance in the world that serious campaigners will work with Reynolds.
Nobody currently in Clear has any history of campaigning – Reynolds doesnt even have a history of smoking cannabis, he is a convicted FRAUDSTER who is stealing your donations to fund his lifestyle.
Now, run along and tell him he can sue me for libel if I am wrong.

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Brian April 26, 2012 at 12:47 am

“a public image that was a laughing stock”

Have you not seen the blogs written about Reynolds, his proven lies, his angry outbursts, the sex profiles?

http://peterreynoldsinhisownwords.tumblr.com/

Your Führer is even a laughing stock over in the States.

http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/04/marijuana_swingers_and_the_far_right.php

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

“It is with great sadness that we announce the suspension of Sanj Chowdhary from the executive committee. This was as a result of an urgent motion proposed by Mark Palmer, seconded by Des Humphrey and carried by a majority decision of the executive – a unanimous vote of those available online.”

and who were the exec’ comittee at the time . . . ?

Chris Bovey
Greg de Hoedt
Des Humphrey
Mark Palmer
Peter Reynolds
Jan Wells
Derek Williams

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Chris Bovey April 26, 2012 at 12:33 am

I never agreed for my name to be put to that statement and I never went to the following Exec meeting where Reynolds’ had it rubber stamped.

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h April 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm

And of course you believe that version of events because you cannot face the truth

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm

LOL

That’s a bit rich isn’t it !

IF you are really were for reform, then you would DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE, if not with Clear then with another organisation.
Your actions at Clear proved beyond any doubt that you could not be trusted.
All you are doing at the moment is harming the reform cause, but as a hidden plant working from within for the prohibitionist movement you already knew that didn’t you.

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uk430 April 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Hello … Hello ….

You still there ‘h’

Gone kinda quiet all of a sudden ?

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weedol April 25, 2012 at 11:01 pm

just on a point of information – I was member of Transform back in 2004 when they were a membership organisation (before they became a charity and and changed from a grass roots org into more of a think tanky type thing or whatever they call themselves now). Anyway, at the time they had well over 3000 members as Im sure they will be happy to confirm. So Reynolds repeated claim that ‘CLEAR has become the largest, membership-based, drug reform group Britain has ever seen’ is, as with so much else hes been saying – complete bullshit.

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Alex April 26, 2012 at 1:12 am

Peter claims CLEAR has over 10,000 members so that would be correct if he were telling the truth. Given that today he said that 337 votes represented a 42% turnout though, I kind of suspect he was lying there.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 9:47 am

I think Release’s membership is bigger even than that, tbh. They just don’t feel the need to boast about it all the time.

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RichieToker April 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Just because Peter Reynolds is a convicted fraudster who has served 18 months in prison, and that Janice Wells is a (recovering?) heroin addict, we should accept the vote as fair – despite many members not having the chance to vote, and no outside body being able to verify the vote.

Anyone who dares question where the £13,000 of CLEAR funds has disappeared to is a FRAUDSTER AND A LIAR.

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Orange Lucozade April 25, 2012 at 11:36 pm

i was an LCA member for awhile and then somewhat got disillusioned, kick the racist, homophobic, lying misogynist and I might consider getting active again :)

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Bertie Griffin April 25, 2012 at 11:53 pm

It would seem that at least one of Peters acolytes has shown up to try and defend the indefensible yet again,excuse me while I stitch my sides back together again,Jeez, you must be one of the “chosen few” huh? So tell us more on his robust process of voting,and I will promise not to laugh.Lets get real eh,he has done more damage to the cannabis cause than a govt body could ever hope to achieve in such a short time.After all, the insinuations and accusations that have been leveled at him have been proved over and over again.So which category do ye come under?Is it the..”those that tacitly agree with his racist/homophobic opinions etc” or the “completely ignorant and led up the “garden path category”,I only ask because these 2 options are the only possible choices left to those that are left defending Mein Fuhrer Reynolds,Anyone with an ounce of self respect, either distanced themselves from having a racist bigot represent them or were expelled when they questioned his motives/policy, both of which are very shady at best…Clear is finished while he remains insitu and I doubt very much that he would do the honourable thing and fall on his sword for the good of the legalization cause because lets face it …a grass has no honour.

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Stuart Wyatt April 26, 2012 at 12:26 am

Hahaha. This Peter Reynolds/CLEAR saga is turning into a comedic farce. I can’t stop laughing as I watch this racist, bigoted, delusional and sociopathic manchild throwing his toys from his pram.

I’ve never come across anyone like Peter Reynolds before. And that is not a compliment.

Yours,
– Yet another ‘troll and liar’.

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Nick April 26, 2012 at 12:39 am

Wow… Never heard anyone say “the people have elected their leader” about a leader for a small social lobby-group. Sarah has convinced me of the goods of drug legalisation (thanks =) ).

I’ve never heard of clear, but considering how this guy’s supporters makes him sound like the fuhrer I think I’d rather stay out.

But best of luck everyone!

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

It is a measure of how serious a campaigner is if they are willing to put their money where there mouth is and pay the menial couple of quid membership fee to be used for campaigning purposes.

The people that are serious pay to be members, and have the right to decide the democratically elected leader.

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Alex April 26, 2012 at 1:09 am

I find it quite sad that for a party that predominantly represents young people (I know there are older smokers, but let’s be honest here, it is mostly young people) the CLEAR exec now consists of nothing but middle class, white baby boomers.

Given that Peter only allows yes-men into the exec now, I don’t expect this to change any time soon.

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Ness April 26, 2012 at 2:03 am

As I’ve said many times I never had any confidence either in the man or the vote. Also, even if Reynolds was to step down tomorrow, the name Clear simply no longer has a trustworthy or competent reputation, as a brand it is now all but defunct. Shame really.

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Sanj Chowdhary April 26, 2012 at 2:12 am

I am going on public record as saying that Peter Reynolds is a liar, a fraud, a charlatan, a thief and is a pervert who might be a danger to young girls and school children because of his fetish for school girl types……Now Peter Reynolds I challenge you to actually sue me!! You claim these are lies and fabrications, so let’s have a proper investigation into the claims that have been made against you!

You have been in prison for domestic abuse and fraud, you have lied about your work history….come on you coward of a man, actually prove everyone wrong….show us the evidence that you tell the truth!! It appears to me that you are here to disrupt the campaign and damage any chance we have at legalisation!! You are a plant who didn’t even know to grind weed before using it in a bong or vaporiser. You are an informer/grass and not to be trusted.

Please spread this far and wide and share on every wall. I want Peter to prove he has not rigged the vote, that CLEAR is democratic, and that he truly has a legitimate mandate.

Sanj Chowdhary

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Derek April 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

Sorry Sarah, that’s a silly post.

CLEAR has just run a perfectly fair vote amongst its members, there was a simple question that was asked several times:

1) Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.
Or
2) No, I believe there should be a leadership election.

That is a pretty clear vote of confidence question, the membership could have voted to remove peter, it did not.

Sure, it is a pity more didn’t vote, but that’s how democracy works – it’s one of the systems big failings perhaps.

But it was a fair vote and you should accept it as such.

Now, you guys are not members of CLEAR, so you have no influence on what CLEAR does. Your views do not count, they are irrelevent. It is, indeed, none of your business and you are owed nothnig in the way of an explanation about the way CLEAR works.

For anyone who wants to return to the days of the LCA I would say you’re more than slightly mad. The old LCA were worse than useless, a total bunch of muppets – well intentioned maybe, but muppets all the same. The LCA was a joke, a total and utter laughing stock.

There are far more people who have an interest in cannabis law reform than just tokers and tokers do not represent them. I am one such person tokers do not represent.

What I would say though is go out there and do your own thing to fight for cannabis law reform, I’ll be interested to see any results you obtain. So far I’ve seen one local newspaper report featuring Sarah, who described the crack down on cannabis users as a waste of money. Well done for getting the story, Sarah, but it’s a bit more than just a waste of money.

When I see more campaigning from you guys, I’ll have more respect for you. That means when I hear about you from sources not connected with the canna grape (gripe?) vine or the small world of Facebook.

One more thing, I’m afraid Chris Bovey did agree to the sacking of Sanj. I was a part of the descision and I tried very hard to prevent it happening and if Sanj is honest he’ll accept that, but Chris most certainly did agree to put his name to it, as did I eventually.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hi Derek,

as someone in my early twenties and half the age of most of the people left involved in CLEAR, I have a comparatively short record in drug law reform. However, in that time I have given talks to dozens of groups, run stalls, workshops and protests, and obtained media coverage, and I know that in the last four years I have personally brought hundreds of people round to supporting the legalisation of all drugs even if I don’t know how many others those people convinced. So I don’t particularly feel the need to defend myself against this charge that I don’t do anything for the campaign, there’s a reason that I was quoted more extensively in a press story on cannabis busts than Peter Reynolds ever has been (ZOMG he got a 100 word letter in the Daily Mail saying cannabis doesn’t drive you crazy, I got a Star Letter published in the Scottish equivalent of the Daily Mirror calling for the legalisation of heroin! I was 19 at the time, it’s not hard. Oh, and the *immense* irony of you criticising me for emphasising the economic benefits of the repeal of prohibition when it’s nearly all Peter ever talks about, I don’t even…). That is not because I spend the amount of time that you and your fellow commenters here seem to think that I do. I can only conclude that you think so because you think CLEAR is so amazing it deserves full-time detractors.

This was not a fair election. People have complained, loudly, that they were not given the chance to vote, and the response of the party leadership is to delete their messages and the response of the faithful is to say that that just doesn’t matter?! What is wrong with you all? Have you actually given any serious thought whatsoever to how this “fair” election would be used in politics and the media if CLEAR actually gained political traction, or are you actually all just resigned to CLEAR being a fringe party unbeloved by its own core demographic?

But like I said in the article, I’m not surprised that Peter won the vote, only that the attempts to bias it were quite so blatant – I had thought that he would have won it anyway, but the fact that Peter decided to send out a pleading email begging people to vote for him a few days into the vote makes me wonder otherwise. Most of the Exec have resigned, starting with Jason in November and most recently Chris and Greg last month, the party is out of money and won’t be getting any more, and the point at which the majority of members would have signed up is coming up to a year, and I think it will be interesting to see how many renew. Come on, you can see the writing on the wall: why did CLEAR promote 420 so hard a month or two ago and somehow never put in a showing on the day? You know perfectly well that the feeling in the community about Peter Reynolds is far more pervasive than you are willing to admit online, and that’s also why Peter won’t be giving a repeat appearance at Cardiff, isn’t it?

To give the appearance of activism online is very simple if you have a blog – to actually engage in it offline is a lot harder, and when I see more campaigning from you guys, I’ll have more respect for you. That means when I hear about you from sources not connected with the CLEAR website or the small world of Facebook.

Sarah

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Alex April 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

“Now, you guys are not members of CLEAR, so you have no influence on what CLEAR does. Your views do not count, they are irrelevent [sic]”

I’m sorry I have to interject here. I would be OK with this if Peter hadn’t constantly declared himself to be the representative of all medical marijuana users, using it as a shield when he’s criticised (“an attack on me is an attack on them” etc). I actually am a medical marijuana user, so does Peter represent me or not? He clearly seems to think so. And if he does, surely I’m entitled to an opinion as to how he goes about representing my interests? After all, if my self-proclaimed representative is doing a negative job of representing me, then that personally affects me, whether or not I’m a paid member of his party.

You can’t have it both ways. Either CLEAR is an obscure fringe group representing it’s 700 or so members or it’s a party to represent the cannabis community as a whole. And if it’s the second, you can’t simply disregard the wishes of the community as soon as they say something you don’t like.

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

“Either CLEAR is an obscure fringe group representing it’s 700 or so members or it’s a party to represent the cannabis community as a whole.”

I think you’ll now find its 800 or so and still climbing !

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Alex April 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Peter said he’d resign if he didn’t have 10K members by last March. Any word on when this is happening?

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Didn’t the members just vote to decide if they still wanted Peter to lead Clear ?

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Derek April 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Hi Sarah

CLEAR certainly has full time detractors, people who are so totally single minded and almost fanatical about it. Several of them have posted comments here, as they do on every anti PR post. These people have even been following CLEAR comment warrior campaigns and posting anti PR comments in threads on local papers, which only serves to undermine the campaign effort.

I have experienced the wrath of these idiots myself, I had a complaint made about me to my employers for being a part of CLEAR and I’ve received threatening e-mails, which was why I stepped down from the CLEAR committee a while back.

As it happened the complaint to my employer contained the memorable comment that seeing as I’m not a cannabis use I have no right to campaign for cannabis law reform. We had a laugh about that. But yeah, there are some loopy people involved in this anti PR campaign.

The vote was a call for a vote of confidence, I’m not sure how else it could have been framed to be honest. Sorry but you are being unreasonable with that one. I read the second mail as an attempt to get the vote up, again, totally reasonable.

Everyone who was a member of CLEAR was sent the mail, I can assure you of that. There was a cut-off date agreed because Greg “cure” had run a campaign to encourage people to join CLEAR with the soleintention of voting Peter out. The cut off date was only a couple of weeks before the election, but if any member didn’t get a vote, that was why. Anyway, just because someone complains doesn’t mean they are genuine. As regards complaints though, facebook is not the place to make them.

With respect you haven’t been involved with the committee and have one sided accounts of what’s happened. With Greg and Chris this all kicked off the week I was having this problem at work, so I didn’t get too invlolved but they had proposed a vote of no confidence at the next committtee meeting. Before either Jan or I could respond though, it was plastered all over facebook so, quite rightly, their position on the exec became untenable.

Sanj did much the same sort of thing.

Facebook is not CLEAR, it is Facebook. It isn’t the place to do business or to run the campaign. The exec had an e-mail distrbtion for discussing issues and that was the place to carry on business. Members have a private forum.

We’ll see how things pan out over the next few months, but in my view the support of the so-called “cannabis community” isn’t crucial – or frankly even important, maybe not even desirable. There are millions of consumers out there and millions of sympathetic supporters who are not a part of this clique. It’s a big world out there you know.

The reason the 420 promotion stopped was because of the trouble CLEAR had with the website. I won’t say any more about that now, but suffice to say things got nasty and someone made a very silly mistake. I understand the website is now secure anyway.

I wasn’t at a 420 event for several reasons; it was on a Friday and I work and it was crap weather. More importantly though I don’t use cannabis, so why would I want to go to a smoke-in event?

Neither I nor you know the “feeling of the community” – because no such thing exists. A group of a few hundred facebook members is not at all representative of the wide world, as I’ve already said.

That fianl para is a re-hash of mine I think, seems a strange thing to say to someone who’s been a part-time campaigner for the past 20 years. Do you tell your grandma how to suck eggs as well?

But in all seriousness, you do seem to be pining for the golden days of the cannabis campaign, to a structure than never existed and a golden age that never happened. Get out there and campaign, not for months but years. Bu tplease put more effort into constructive campaigning than into destructive personality trashing.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

“We’ll see how things pan out over the next few months”

We will!

“But in all seriousness, you do seem to be pining for the golden days of the cannabis campaign, to a structure than never existed and a golden age that never happened.”

A campaign which I was never a member of and have repeatedly stated that I didn’t join because it didn’t appear to do anything!

Gosh, your entire post politely glides over inconvenient facts, Derek, I have nothing further to say than that which I already have.

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm

With the vote, we have seen how things are panning out over the last few days !

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h April 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Derek you are a liar.

“Everyone who was a member of CLEAR was sent the mail, I can assure you of that. ”

And I can prove you are talking shite. Except, I have a life and cant be bothered.

Bye.

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Nice educated and structured argument you have there ‘h’

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Chris Bovey April 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Derek, I am afraid you are mistaken, I NEVER agreed to the sacking of Sanj. In fact, the reason I never went to the following CLEAR Exec, as although I had never met Sanj, I felt very uncomfortable expelling him from the party and did not want to be a party to it.

I even just found an email to you in my sent folder dated 13th Jan objecting to this and advising you to do so would make CLEAR “look bad” and open CLEAR up “to silly accusations accusations that are not true”.

I was right, the expulsion of Sanj did open CLEAR up to accusations, except I now know they were neither silly nor untrue.

I accept I should have been more vocal at the time, but as you know, I had had a major health scare in the form of a Transient Ischaemic Attack that left me half blind in my right eye, so I hadn’t really looked properly into the accusations against Reynolds therefore I wasn’t fully aware of all the facts. Like you, perhaps I was burying my head in the sand a bit and refusing to believe them at first, however, since I’d made a full recovery, my conscience in all honesty would not allow me to do continue to do so when it became increasingly evident the stuff being said about Reynolds was all true.

You wrote to me a couple months ago stating you “couldn’t get your head around how such an intelligent man [Peter] can make such crass errors of judgement”.

Myself, I cannot get my head around how such an intelligent man as yourself can make such a crass error of judgement as to blindly defend Peter Reynolds in the face of such overwhelming evidence as to his unsuitability to lead any cannabis campaign in the UK.

Greg de Hoedt and I both accepted we’d been had by Reynolds and made a public apology to the many people who he had upset and offended. I hope you have the sense to do the same one day.

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Orange Lucozade April 26, 2012 at 9:52 am

Fair vote, my arse.

You call the post silly, and then utterly ignore the salient points detailing how the vote was in no way fair, and how people that did not get the chance to vote are being silenced.

CLEAR has done fuck all, other than let a racist, misogynist homophobe report medical users to the police and boast about it. Oh, and misappropriate funds and refuse to talk about it. Oh, and lie extensively about previous efforts for legal change. Oh, and attack anyone with a problem with this. Oh, and sack anyone on the board that disagrees. Oh, and appear on the net soliciting sex with young women for cash. Oh, and…

CLEAR is a bad joke at this point.

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Bertie Griffin April 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

Well one thing is for sure,I needed a laugh this morning ,so Thank you Derek,for being so accommodating and obliging with your laughable diatribe, trying to defend the indefensible yet again…if nothing else it holds comedic value.Between you,Danton and uk430 you have managed to make me laugh harder than I have since mmm probably the last time you came onto Sarah’s blog.Also where was Clear or reps from Clear at Hyde park last week? Surely Peter at least should have made an appearance or was he afraid of getting stoned with or should that be by the masses….

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Mike April 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I’m a member of CLEAR but for obvious reasons don’t want to say much else.

There are two problems with Peter.

First, he’s a gifted self-publicist but so far as I can tell not much else.

Second, the naked self interest. The government charges excise duty on tobacco in order to discourage consumption. Cigarettes are bad for your health. Why would the same logic apply to cannabis? Increasing the price would just drive production underground and it’s actually beneficial to your health.

The only fair model is for every adult to be allowed to grow what they need and smoke what they want. If you try to turn it into a business then of course you should pay tax and VAT. But without the excise duty, Peter’s model doesn’t work in terms of the purported ‘benefits’ to the economy.

But the politicians wont be listening to a fraudster and pervert anyway I think.

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Mike,

The system you describe may be fairer for ‘medical’ users, but if you think it will happen then you are away with the fairies.

Fact: Us non-druggies outnumber you 10 to 1.

Fact: It is us you need to convince.

The free for all you describe does little to inspire change, and reeks of the old ‘washed out hippy’, and ‘all Cannabis users are wasters’ image the LCA propogated.

The idea of ending the current free for all and replacing it with a licensed system is the reason why I support Clear, and the main focus of highly thought out legalisation campaings in the USA are all based on licencing and taxation.

Why are you all so insistant on throwing all your toys out of the pram?

This is a battle that needs to be fought one step at a time.

First you get the curent system replaced with a taxed and licensed one, then when the world fails to end ( as per the prophecies of Peter Hitchens et al ), you fight the taxation.

Sure I find some of the things Peter have said to be Abhorrent, however, it is no where near as sickening as the facism seen on this site. Everyone has a right to free speech, even those whose views you don’t 100% agree with.

This targeted campaign of hate here and at UK420 is causing more harm for the reform movement than all the prohibitionists put together, yet it doesn’t take a lot of digging to trace all the separate websites speading this campaign to a handful of people. ( Note to Sarah: if you want your future career prospects to extend beyond asking people if they would like fries with that? try thinking about the public image you are speading over the whole internet for future prospective employers to see ! )

Also, do you realise that it is now a common perception amongst reformists that this hate campaign is run but prohibitionists that have infiltrated the movement ?

Prove them Wrong.

Do something constructive to effect change instead of attacking those that are actually making some progress.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

“however, it is no where near as sickening as the facism seen on this site. Everyone has a right to free speech, even those whose views you don’t 100% agree with.”

You mean the site on which you are able to post opposing messages and not have them deleted? Go tell Peter Reynolds the other people here have a right to free speech.

“do you realise that it is now a common perception amongst reformists that this hate campaign is run but prohibitionists that have infiltrated the movement ?”

Don’t be a silly sausage.

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Derek April 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Sarak – one other thing. Sam the man makes a very good point:

>>
Note to Sarah: if you want your future career prospects to extend beyond asking people if they would like fries with that? try thinking about the public image you are speading over the whole internet for future prospective employers to see !
>>

I do respect you for one thing in particular: Like me, you publish under your own name. However, this hate campaign you are associating yourself with will remain avaiable for ever thanks to the wonderful way the net works. You know yourself things can’t ever really be deleted.

I learned the lesson years ago: Never put anything on the net you won’t be happy to share with your enemies in 20 years time. Be careful.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thank you for the advice, Derek, but this website has gotten me several part-time jobs already, and I am confident the impending redesign in May will bring another more permanent.

I have never personally insulted Peter Reynolds and I have nothing to be ashamed of in the way I have written about either him or CLEAR – you’re the one who’s hiding things from your employer, not me. My family read this website too, I wonder if Peter Reynolds showed his mum what he wrote about me…

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Derek April 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Sarah, arrogance isn’t an asset. All I’ll say is you sow what you reap and as you’ve pointed out, you’re still young unlike myself who’s getting excited about retirement.

However, one thing to know about me and the way I’ve gone about things, I’ve never made a secret of my involvement in the cannabis law reform debate – and that includes from my employer. I guess the logic that idiot who complained about my law reform activities used was that a connection with the cannabis campaign would be something I would want to hide.

Why is that, do you think?

Actually it’s quite the reverse. The main reason I don’t have to hide it is I’m not seen as being a part of the “community” you are so eager to associate with.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I don’t know who rang your employer and I don’t know what they said that you got into trouble for it. But I do know that I have never participated in a “hate campaign”, or a “cyber-bullying campaign”, and that no employer looking over my website is going to come away with that impression. Your efforts to claim that this is the case is just silly.

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Just how many anti-Peter articles have you published on this blog alone ?

What about you getting Peters Wikipedia profile deleted ?

What about all the other anti-Peter websites you can be so easilly linked with ?

Do you honestly think that this trail you have left behind isn’t obvious to anyone wishing to open there eyes and see it.

You are one of the THREE main parties behind this campaign, and believe me major empoyers are already beginning to know this about you.

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sarah April 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I have published 8 articles on Peter Reynolds and CLEAR, I think. 8 out of the 120 on my blog. In that time I’ve also written about 30,000 words for university work and had one essay accepted for publication in an international journal. If you think employers will disregard that over the fact that I nominated Peter’s Wikipedia article for deletion, then I think you are sorely mistaken.

However, you do now appear to be on the verge of making threats against me, so I must warn you to either dial it down or have your comments edited in future.

Sarah

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Sam The Man April 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Bravo Derek !

With luck this will come back to haunt her, both in employment, and future relationships.

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Alex April 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Derek, it’s good that you’re able to speak freely here, but do you seriously think we’d be granted the same liberty on any Peter Reynolds affiliated site?

Shit, I got banned from the CLEAR facebook page for posting a video of Peter Reynolds giving a speech….

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Mike April 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

Don’t worry about it Sam. She can always get a pretend job as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi.

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Mike April 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

Away with the fairies?

Why does cannabis need any more ‘regulation’ than nicotine or alcohol?

And why should we pay a punitive rate of excise duty if there is no harm?

Do I need a license for home brew beer?

Get real my friend.

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Mike April 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

How does pissing everyone off and alienating 17 MPs amount to progress?

If you think you will ever get a cannabis tax removed then you really are deluded.

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Alex April 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

“With luck this will come back to haunt her, both in employment, and future relationships.”

I think it’s very telling that Sarah has never had to delete old posts, alter them or censor the words of others. If only Peter could say the same….

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Derek April 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Alex, have you ever run a campaign – or any kind of organisation that uses the internet to publicise itself?

Organisations websites are there for the use of the organisation, not for anyone who wants to say anything they like and espeically not for people who want to damage that organisation. That’s how it is, that’s how it has to be.

Try running something, you’ll soon see why you can’t allow anyone to say anything they want on a site you’re running to put over your message.

As I’ve said before I have known some of the people involved in this anti PR campaign for a great number of years – not Sarah – and in that time they have done nothing but disrupt, troll and argue.

[Personal attack which does me no credit at all]

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Stuart Wyatt April 27, 2012 at 3:10 am

There has been one person who has always been at the centre of all the drama over the past decade or so hasn’t there Derek. Who might that be? Yourself maybe? Have you ever given that fact much thought?

I’m disappointed that you back to defending Herr Fuhrer while ignoring to address many of the concerns raised to you. I thought you had finally seen sense, but sadly I was mistaken.

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Mike April 27, 2012 at 9:17 am

Even the Daily Fail allows Peter’s comment warriors to have their say.

CLEAR won’t even allow their own supporters to do that. Would any of the mainstream parties behave in this way?

Derek, you’re obviously a fascist as well.

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Derek April 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

[Attempt to cover up my personal attack]

It’s your right to do that of course, this is your blog and you don’t have to carry critical comments you don’t like. The same goes for CLEAR.

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Alex April 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Derek, I have a question.

What is the long term plan for CLEAR? Peter seems pretty keen on making CLEAR a nationally recognised mainstream political party, but what actually happens when you get there?

The only reason Peter has made it this far is because he can simply delete and censor any criticism of him, but what happens when CLEAR becomes more notable? What is the plan for when Jeremy Paxman asks about about his conviction and for fraud? His time spent in prison? His assault on a woman? His BDSM and porn accounts and interest in young girls? His ties to the EDL? His racist and homophobic views? His abuses of power and general contempt for democracy and the views of others? Is the plan just to delete him on Facebook and call him a mendacious troll? Or are you just resigned to the fact that CLEAR will always be a fringe group of 700 or 800 or so members ignored by the mainstream and ridiculed by the demographic they claim to represent?

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sarah April 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I don’t mind criticism, but personal attacks (especially ones which are completely wrong) are not acceptable. You will note that the remainder of your critical message stayed.

If CLEAR was merely deleting personal attacks and mindless criticism, I would disapprove, but whatever you choose to do. However, you know perfectly well, as well as everyone else, including CLEAR party members, who have posted screen-shots of their messages going missing, that Peter’s editorial policy is to blanket remove literally everything that is not wholesale praise of him and CLEAR’s work. Perhaps you just aren’t aware of the number of people, again including paid up party members, who have been posting on their Facebooks and in cannabis-related groups shocked and outraged that their entirely innocent comments have been deleted and they have been blocked, but if you aren’t then I really don’t think you’ve realised just how much genuine goodwill your group has spent censoring ordinary people who were just expressing an opinion.

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Bertie Griffin April 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm

HAHA, Derek and Sam the “man”, you should both be on the stage…in fact I think there’s one leaving at midnight,do us all a favour and take Peter with you as he is about as welcome as a fart in a lift,And isn’t it your own employment you should be worried about not Sarah’s, from what I’ve read.Sarah has absolutely nothing to worry about on that score,as most folks count it as a civil duty to expose a racism/bigotry in all its nasty little guises, whether pro cannabis or not.

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Orange Lucozade April 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm

It’s really telling how Peters acolytes never address the points made, but simply skip to ad-hominem attacks while ignoring those their messiah makes on a seemingly daily basis.

He’s not a messiah, he is a nasty bigoted grass.

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Mike May 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

Looks like we’ve now cleared up the mystery of Pete reaching the pinnacle of his profession as a ‘creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi’. Apologies to those who were online.

http://www.ccguide.org/interview_reynolds_politiksuk_april_29.html

Yet another lie. He’s obviously got a great future in mainstream politics. Let’s hope some of this does go to court. He’s almost bound to commit perjury and end up back in prison.

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