The cover of the latest report from the Commons home affairs select committee asks: "The government's drugs policy: is it working?" But no committee is required to answer that question. The government's drugs policy is not working, and nor is any other government's.
In the mid-1950s, two books were published about the working class of Bethnal Green which, though sharing the same subject matter, appeared to describe different planets.
The sequence of events after a rail disaster is now familiar: first, the speculation (or the hope in some quarters) that vandalism or, more excitingly, sabotage is the cause; next, the attempt to blame some lowly worker (a driver, an engineer or a signalman); and finally, an inquiry which establ