I would like to remind everyone that the issue with the United Patients Alliance is not with the vast majority of their members. Let us keep in mind that many of our friend’s are members of the UPA, they are good decent people who support the UPA in the hope for a better future.
However, there are rumblings of discontent amongst the membership, there are claims that UPA members are being misled by the company Directors of the United Patient Alliance Co Limited, but first, a little background. I have heard all of my adult life from successive UK Governments that there is a “War on Drugs” and I think it is safe to say that things are not going to change under the UK’s new PM Theresa May, she is not known for being progressive on drugs reform, however she supports ‘corporate interests’.
Except of course for alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.
I recall a conversation I had many years ago with the late, great Howard Marks, he told me that a “war on drugs” was actually a war on drug consumers and therefore a war on people, I recall we were pretty stoned on some very fine haze at the time. But what happens when a Government declares war on a section of its own people? is it a ‘civil war‘? Whatever it is, it is not a war of my choosing or wanting.
The UPA management claim to be fighting the same fight as my colleagues are in the National Cannabis Coalition but do their actions behind the scenes portray a different strategy? A senior UPA member who wishes to be anonymous recently told me that they were concerned that the UPA management were merely paying “lip service” to the right to home cultivation and private cannabis clubs. At their request I had a look at United Patients Alliance Limited company registration number 10188176.
This company has been registered as a private limited company, i.e. a company run for the benefit of its shareholders, if (as they claim) it is a necessity to have an official incorporation then why not as a CIC non-profit company, as the UKCSC have done?
Clark French owns 100% of the shares in UPA Limited.
Three of the Directors are sole Directors, however, as well as his Directorship of UPA Limited, Jonathan Liebling is also the sole Director of Darling IT Limited, when a UPA member asked about Lieblings new private limited company, he responded:
“The fact is that neither I (nor anyone else) have been paid anything by EOP or Tendo. Tendo are a professional campaigning org who are being paid to run a professional campaign as they have political nouse and experience.
What I am going to be in receipt of in due course is related to the work UPA and I are doing for the APPG inquiry.
They required a data analytics professional for which they were going to the open market and as I have an IT Consultancy business I offered them a better deal and I will be doing this work which amounts to about 6 days.
I have been completely up front open and honest about this with all at UPA and have their full support and see no reason to defend it with anyone else.”
The Darling IT consultancy business was created in March 2016, it was incorporated to specifically process data gathered from the medical cannabis questionnaire the UPA conducted on behalf of the APPG.
This raises more questions, is Darling IT Ltd, Mr Liebling or the UPA registered under the Data Protection act? Did the people submitting e-mails to the APPG know that their private data would be handled by a private company? How much did the APPG pay Darling IT Limited for the processing the data?
Tendo, is described by Liebling as “a professional campaigning org who are being paid to run a professional campaign” Tendo describe themselves as: “A dynamic agency offering PR, communications, Public Affairs, and Campaigning”
The Tendo ‘professional campaign’
One of their Directors Peter Carrol he is in charge of the endourpain campaign and he is a 50% shareholder in Tendo Consulting Limited. The company is staffed by experienced political lobbyists and ex-advisors to Government Ministers, here are their views on campaigning:
Campaigning is part art, part science. It requires a particular blend of skills, message definition, motivation, engagement, lobbying and organisation. But more important than anything else winning campaigns need passion, belief and commitment.
The above explains why they need the support of passionate people, it is required to make their campaign work, after all, as Tendo state: “campaigning is an art, part science”.
“The campaign will need a high quality digital presence. We will need to gather a very large number of online supporters in a short timescale. We will need to hit 100,000 to have any credibility with the media and to generate any sense of political momentum. The 100,000 figure is a minimum. Five times that should be a realistic target. And these ‘sign ups’ will need to be engaged with. We will be asking them to do a range of things at the appropriate time. These will include, but not be limited to – contacting their MPs, contacting local and regional media, and spreading the message via their social networks”
They are building an army, but an army of lions? or an army of misled sheep?
“We will also need a number of spokesmen and women”
The Tendo document goes on to say:
“we propose a very nimble structure involving Tom Lloyd as the director of the campaign, Tendo providing the strategic advice to direct the campaign, and Tim Colbourne providing strategic policy advice”
The Tories and Lib Dems vowed to curb relationships with public affairs firms who try to influence policy in favour of the corporate clients who pay them a fortune.But aides, known as special advisers, or “SpAds”, working at the heart of the coalition have been treated to sporting events, concerts and dozens of expensive meals by lobbyists.
“To be successful, we will have to engage with these replies even if only to acknowledge them. That can be quite a time consuming job. Tendo would not be able to fulfil that role. We would look to the technical person, perhaps backed up by some volunteer admin support and with guidance from Tom to fulfil this role”
“If we can get many thousands of people interacting with their MPs, including some who need their cannabis for medical use, get the issue high up the media agenda and make use of every parliamentary device and procedure, then we have a strong chance of building up that whirlwind of activity that has a real chance of delivering the result”
The result? more of that later.
The civil service has strict rules on what advisers can do for 2 years after leaving service: THE BUSINESS APPOINTMENT RULES FOR CIVIL SERVANTS, INCLUDING SPECIAL ADVISERS
10. As a general principle, there will be a two year ban on lobbying Government on behalf of their new employer after they leave the Civil Service.Lobbying in the context of these Rules means that the former civil servant should not engage in communication with Government (including Ministers, special advisers and officials) with a view to influencing a Government decision or policy in relation to their own interests, or the interests of the organisation by which they are employed, or to whom they are contracted.
Are Tendo lobbying by proxy? if so, is that permitted?
Monthly costs approx. £13,000 excluding VAT. We envisage this being funded from a range of sources, including private individuals and grant making bodies.To fight a high intensity media, lobbying and digital campaign to pressure the UK government into the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes within an 18 month timescale.
Who is providing this funding? I cannot think of any grant making bodies that would fund their campaign and I note corporate sources are not mentioned as a possible resource, why the omission?
It would in fact make sense for Tendo to seek funding from corporate entities, the very people who would directly benefit from a successful Tendo campaign are the ones most likely to fund it, however Tendo would then not be able to gather the public support they require to make their campaign successful. Campaigners are not going to devote their energies to corporate interests.
There are many other individuals and companies involved, Privateer Holdings the investment company that has agreed a 30 year licensing deal with the Marley family to use Bob Marley’s name in a multi-million dollar deal. Paul Birch (the man behind CISTA and Volteface) is rumoured to have a holding in Kingsley Capital Partners, they have all been mentioned as possible corporate backers of Tendo.
From their website
Which on the face of it sounds reasonable, however, who will supply the prescribed cannabis? Will it be Tilray? or Bedrocan? or GWP? or indeed CLEAR UK run by Peter Reynolds who served 9 months in prison for fraud?
Peter Carrol, Director of endourpain and Tendo Consulting Limited , is attending a Global Medical Cannabis Conference conference in Dublin, the conference is being organised by Tilray and Volteface (Paul Birch’s propaganda media company). It is being sponsored by Bedrocan, Tilray and Leafly which is owned by Privateer holdings. The UPA are listed as one of the supporting organisations.
Also in attendance at the September conference will be Tim Colbourne, Adviser to Nick Clegg and Director of Open Reach.
More from Tendo and endourpain
They claim that developing a risk of psychosis is associated with “street cannabis” and not “medical grade cannabis”
Their views on recreational adult consumption of cannabis
On rescheduling cannabis
It is appropriate to mention that the APPG have issued this report, Val Curran is also a member of the Lib Dem’s ‘expert’ cannabis panel and connected to many of the people mentioned in this article:
Why schedule 2? Why not schedule 4 where Sativex is scheduled? Why does sativex get special treatment?
Nearly at 17,000 signatures, but as Tendo admit, they are not processing this information, it is being outsourced, to who? it is a very important question.
The endourpain campaign is just one part of Tendo’s overall strategy. They are behind the recent medical cannabis stories in the TV soap Coronation Street, I do not know if the scriptwriters or indeed the producers of this popular soap are aware that they are delivering a political message to achieve Tendo’s commercial objective?
Erica agreed to buy cannabis for Izzy after she explained that her painkillers weren’t working. At first Izzy wasn’t keen on the idea but she handed over her cash to Erica and ends up smoking the drug to relieve the pain.
Meanwhile, Johnny explains to Izzy that for safety reasons, he can’t allow someone “on dope” to operate a machine.
Izzy talks about the cannabis spray (Sativex) and how she cannot obtain it on prescription as it is only available for people with MS
Having been found guilty of possessing cannabis and causing actual bodily harm, Izzy Armstrong (Cherylee Houston) discovers her fate when she returns to court for sentencing
Who are the experts who have advised the Coronation Street script writers? and an awful lot happens to Izzy over a £20 bag of weed, the experiences of Izzy very conveniently support the issues raised by endourpain.
Producers on the ITV1 soap have worked with experts to ensure the plot explores the legal dilemma faced by people using banned cannabis for pain relief
Coronation Street loving judge lets off pot smoker after comparing arthritis sufferer’s case to soap storyline
“A cannabis smoker has been let off by a judge after his story reminded him of one he had seen in Coronation Street.“
Back to Mr Liebling, a few days ago he was sounding out some activists on his latest strategy idea, he ‘wondered’ if he could ‘spin’ the case of Nikolas Brown from Dundee to further the UPA/endourpain/Tendo Consulting/Privateer Holdings campaign for corporate cannabis.
“a compelling reason for legal regulation – so the business is not in the hands of this kind of person”
This kind of person? According to the BBC news report on the court case, Nikolas Brown was a “cannabis club manager” who was sentenced to 20 months in prison after being raided and found with over 2 kilos of cannabis and 34g of MDMA.
Every heard that people in glass houses should not throw stones, Mr Liebling?
Below Liebling talks about his arrests and court appearances in his Blog
“Firstly as a student, caught in possession where the police took my 14 grams of “Soap-Bar” hash and proceeded to steal half, and then charge me with possession of the other half. I received a fine that I could not afford and a conditional discharge”
“Secondly when I was about 30 for growing 4 plants, outdoors, on a farm in the middle of nowhere. This time I was threatened with imprisonment but after making grovelling apologies and promising that I would seek help and never do it again, I received another (bigger) fine that I could afford even less and another conditional discharge. This is something that must be considered when listening to the number of “Cannabis users seeking help with their addiction”, how many of those were just saying they had a problem to avoid imprisonment? I have to say that this was ultimately an act of perjury in court – of course I wouldn’t stop”
Grovelling apologies in court are not something I would expect to hear from someone who describes themselves as a cannabis campaigner, some might interpret making promises to a court that you know are false as contempt of court.
Why should anyone take the word of a ‘wannabe’ politician who freely admits that they lie under oath?
“There were more and on each of those occasions the impact on me was loss of a job or education and loss of motivation combined with an increase in my anxiety, feeling disenfranchised from society and let down by our social and justice systems”
So quite a few arrests and court appearances before he turned to cultivation.
“Just as the first 4 plants of my grow were beginning to mature, there was a knock on my door, and there were the police who “had received a tip off” and I was arrested.”
“For the time being I await my final hearing in Liverpool Crown Court court on 4th December 2015 where I will be asked to answer to the charge of Production of a Controlled Drug”
Liebling is in no position to sit in moral judgement on Mr Nikolas Brown.
But his use of words like “spin” and him his attempt to reinvent himself does not really come as a surprise, Mr Liebling has long had political ambitions, a few months ago he was attempting to be accepted as a Lib Dem candidate, however, he did not divulge his criminal convictions and after a meeting of the local constituency office.his application was “disapproved”.
He had to delete his Jonathan Liebling facebook ‘Politician’ page.
I will leave the final comment to the author of the Art of War, Sun Tzu: