Andrew Peach’s journalistic approach branded "irresponsible" – BBC

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clark french usckcIf you have any interest in the subject of cannabis prohibition in the United Kingdom then there’s no doubt you’ve noticed the buzz surrounding both the cannabis community and the general public this week. Not to mention the BBC. 

This controversy arises as the media have suddenly caught wind of the recent and upcoming smoke outs being arranged by the UKCSC all over the country, where hundreds are coming together to smoke cannabis in public and prove it is not harmful to society. Clark French, South Regional Manager for UKCSC, was invited yesterday to attend an interview with Andrew Peach, presenter of BBC Radio Berkshire and was featured again this morning to discuss his recent involvement with cannabis activism and the organisation of local protests.

Unfortunately, this buzz has mostly been created by the opinions of many activists who believe Andrew Peach’s journalistic approach lacked integrity, non-bias and fairness as he baited and encouraged police to arrest Clark based on the conversation he’d had with him seconds earlier. While the interview was expected to focus on campaigning, local protests and the cannabis movement in general as well as Clark’s personal story, it would appear that Andrew seemed to be starting a whole new campaign of his own – the let’s get Clark arrested campaign.

The interview started with Clark explaining the medicinal benefits of cannabis specific to his own condition, Multiple Sclerosis, and why he feels it is important for the plant to become legalised for both medical and recreational use in the UK. All the while, Andrew Peach seemingly reacted with support, compassion and empathy. However, he changed his tune quite drastically seconds later when he showed a huge lack of morality as Chief Inspector James Hahn of Thames Valley Police was invited to have his say on the show.

Despite James Hahn’s diplomatic and fair approach to the interview, stating that he has “a lot of time for debate on the laws and can only encourage people to get involved”, it appeared that he was being taunted and badgered to arrest Clark, with Andrew Peach at one point saying “why are you talking to me instead of going around to arrest him” and “what more evidence do you need?”, implying that he wanted to see Clark arrested based on the interview conducted by himself. A very low and sneaky move from somebody who clearly gained no perspective on the benefits of cannabis from what he was told earlier in the show, and somebody who should be discussing topics surrounding law and politics objectively and impartially, rather than with this blatant lack of ethical principle. Are these the actions of an acceptable and responsible journalist? Absolutely not.

The controversy continued this morning, as Andrew Peach returned to the cannabis issue on his show this time inviting Rob Wilson, MP and Professor David Nutt, former Chief Drug Advisor to our previous Labour government, who were both supportive of the need for legalisation. Rob Wilson said “there is a strong argument for medical legalisation” while Professor David Nutt exclaimed “it should never have been made illegal anyway” and expressed his views on the “idiotic law” describing it as “outrageous” and showed huge support towards Clark, who responded later with “Seems like irresponsible journalism to say you believe and support a medical patient but bait the police and local MP into taking action against them.” All responses from the public agreed with many of the points Clark made in his initial interview.

Whereas there has been some disappointment regarding Andrew Peach’s approach to criminalisation, this mainstream media attention as a whole has received fantastic support, as well as giving non-consumers the opportunity to express their views on the cannabis movement, but most importantly, is creating awareness for Berkshire Cannabis Community’s next peaceful protest picnic on 7th September at Kings Meadow, Reading from 1pm-7pm. Keep up the good work, Clark!

Andrew Peach is inviting listeners to call in throughout the week to air their views on the cannabis debate and what you think the police should do about a group of peaceful people from all walks of life coming together and sitting on some gras smoking cannabis. Leave your comments below – we would love to see what you have to say about this!

BBC Radio Berkshire’s contact details are as follows:

On-air: 0345 900 1041

Text number: 81333 with the word BERKS before your message (for
SMS messages, videos and photos). When you text 81333 you will be
charged at your standard message rate.

Main switchboard: 0118 946 4200

Travel desk: 03459 311 333

Andrew Peach’s show is between 7am and 10am on weekday mornings.

12 thoughts on “Andrew Peach’s journalistic approach branded "irresponsible" – BBC

  1. I love that the DJ is all like “If it were me, I wouldn’t break the law” – yeah? well live with MS for a few years and see how you feel then. It’s easy to dismiss the pain of others when it doesn’t impact you.

  2. Ah if only the beeb nicked some of their child abusing illuminati toss pot freeloaders as quick as this dick head wanted a guy with MS nicked!

  3. Decriminalisation is the only way, i guess a bbc employee doesn’t give a fig about the waste of public money( go figure eh?) £16000 vs £400 legally seems to be a no brainer( a bit like Mr Peach in fact) but they won’t give him Sativex, i guess wasted police time and pressure on courts of justice and prison space have no meaning to him?. Police resources wasted on people that cause no harm to themselves or others could be used to take violent criminals out of society and prison resources to punish them properly or does that have no meaning either? Does Peach not know or not care that prohibition causes so much harm? from smuggling drugs to smuggling guns or terrorists isn’t such a big step and slavery, torture and murder are used by criminals to grow a “herb”. Prohibition puts around £6 billion into the hands of criminals yearly so does none of that matter? How about a debate based on science and not propaganda or is it the case as it seems to be of corrupted government saying “do what i tell you to do, not what i do”. I don’t believe 5000+ years of medical and social use of this “herb” is just “anecdotal” The denial of pain relief can be an act of torture according to the UN so what does targeting vulnerable people who cause no harm and terrorising them and their families even to the point of locking them up and taking their children away say about our Government, MPs or indeed our society as a whole? The truth is out there but Peach practises lazy journalism and he proved that with his lack of knowledge, intelligence and integrity. He showed us all that he has all the empathy of rock. The bbc does not believe in Integrity or Truth. The licence needs to be abolished because the bbc is guilty of gross misconduct, fraud/deception, protection of paedophiles/sex offenders and wasting Public money.

  4. Andrew
    Peach goading police into arresting MS sufferer Clark French and others
    that want to hold a peaecful protest against the unjust cannabis laws
    that so often punish victimless cannabis users and growers – disgusting –
    the radio show ought not be allowed to use such tactics.

    Please visit this page and send them a message:

    https://www.facebook.com/BBCBerkshire

  5. Andrew Peach’s journalistic approach lacked integrity, totally agree trying to turn this interview in to a Jeremy Kyle Show 🙁

  6. Well done Clark. I think you presented your views exceedingly well. Patients and non-patients all over the country are no doubt highly grateful for the effort you put in. Thanks for putting a mention in for South Africa trying to legalise Cannabis too when you were running through the countries making progress on the activism front. We are definitely fighting very hard for it! Mr Peach didn’t have much of a leg to stand on. It was interesting listening to him egging the policeman on, but hearing the policeman maintain his rational stance. As for Professor Nutt, well he is just a legend isn’t he?

    All the best with your protest smoke up in Reading next month!

    1. Hi Alun,

      BBC Radio Berkshire’s contact details are as follows:

      On-air: 0345 900 1041

      Text number: 81333 with the word BERKS before your message (for
      SMS messages, videos and photos). When you text 81333 you will be
      charged at your standard message rate.

      Main switchboard: 0118 946 4200

      Travel desk: 03459 311 333

      Andrew Peach’s show is between 7am and 10am on weekday mornings.

      Emma 🙂

    2. Sounds to me, like Andrew Peach is simply putting across the question that no doubt his listeners were asking. “Why don’t you arrest him?“ (In fact, they were probably shouting their question at the radio.)

      Unfortunately, when people with controversial ideas meet a journalist who is prepared to challenge them, they seem to melt like “snowflakes”, and the tone of this article demonstrates that.

      I think Andrew Peach was quite within his rights to pose the question he did; sometimes these sorts of subjects need a poke with a sharp stick.

      On a personal note, I have absolutely no problem with people smoking cannabis, eating it or doing whatever they want with it as long as it doesn’t affect me. That, I’m afraid, include smoking in public. Weed stinks, and I’d rather not be anywhere near it thank you very much.

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