Vietnamese slave child people trafficked to grow cannabis for organised crime.

Vietnamese slave child people trafficked to grow cannabis for organised crime.

By Richard Shrubb

The 39 Vietnamese who died last week weren’t coming to a truly better life here. Many would end up as slaves and a number in prison for work they were forced to do.

Legalising recreational cannabis would go some way to halt this vile trade.

If you think this is a ‘tough on immigration’ piece, look away now

Banning people from travelling across borders to seek a better life is part of the problem. Where there are barriers there will be smugglers. There’s no evidence to show that increased immigration impacts the economy. Indeed, with Brexit looming there’s evidence that reduced immigration can harm the economy – just look at the headlines about fruit rotting on trees in recent days thanks to falls in people coming to the UK to pick it.

Where there are barriers to trade there will be smuggling. You have probably been to a ‘smugglers’ pub’ somewhere on the South Coast where folklore hero smugglers brought French wine and brandy across the Channel during our wars with France in the 1700s and 1800s. Smuggling isn’t new.

Drug dealing and use – the perfect free market economy

Another thing that makes me shit with rage is the concept of the unregulated economy. Businesses free to do what they like, irrespective of the harm they do to people. While our Tory politicians overcome their erectile dysfunction over the idea, wild, free trading business can damage whole populations. Look at Flint, Michigan where unregulated fracking has poisoned the groundwater for an entire city.

Vietnamese slave children forced to grow cannabis in the UK.

Three Vietnamese children were found growing cannabis in appalling conditions in the UK.

As long as drugs are banned they will be smuggled and produced in a perfectly unregulated free-market economy. Drug lords will maximise their return on investment at every stage from cheating electricity supplies to using trafficked Vietnamese slaves to tend to harvests.

If the state were to regulate all drugs and permit sales then you would see:

  • Fewer trafficked people dying in shipping containers
  • A collapse in contraband passing across borders
  • Fewer kids messing their growing brains up on drugs
  • The crime rate plummeting
  • Fewer people suffering from ill-health.
  • Less expenditure on the war on drugs by the police, courts and prisons, freeing up money to combat serious crimes
  • The NHS needing far less money to function
  • Government tax revenues increased significantly.

I could evidence every one of those points but instead, I’ll let gammons rage and fume on Facebook over the matter. Part of the fun isn’t it?!

A better life for Vietnamese drugs slaves?

As indicated above, where something is banned so there will be people willing to undermine it. Rich people often don’t pay the Minimum Wage for their staff such as Queen Elizabeth II. Those who are subject to the law yet don’t feel their staff should be paid properly will often use trafficked staff. If they’d survived, the lucky ones in that refrigerated shipping container may have been headed to a rich man’s house to be treated like shit and underpaid as domestic slaves.

Have a look at this blog I wrote in January this year about how trafficked Vietnamese slaves are often prosecuted for cultivating cannabis. They are treated by the law as if they were the drugs lords who planned and executed the whole business. What crap!

I reported, “A report on cannabis child slavery by ECPAT stated, “By failing to identify victims and punishing them for crimes they have been forced to commit, the individual may suffer secondary victimisation and may be vulnerable to re-trafficking. Treating victims of trafficking as criminals rather than protecting them, perpetuates the crime and guarantees impunity to traffickers.”

Rule Britannia!

When this story is forgotten in a few weeks the gammons will go back to blaming the victims of people smuggling for all their ills. Rule bloody Britannia! A Britain that did well for centuries with unregulated borders where it came to immigration. Just look at Liverpool, Bristol and London where there have been ethnic populations since the dawn of Empire.

So how would we really stop modern slavery? Loosening immigration laws to the point that the people-smuggling business becomes uneconomic. This applies to the whole of Europe, not just the UK.

Drugs legalisation is a good first step. Move regulation into the hands of government and allow businesses to openly cultivate and supply mind-altering substances. Regulated and inspected they couldn’t use slaves but instead properly regulated immigrant labour. That would tackle much of the problem. People would still come over to be sex and domestic slaves (and for other industries), but you would hammer the people smugglers in this act alone. Hit their business by 50% or more? They wouldn’t like that one bit!

Richard Shrubb

Richard is a marijuana, water sports and electric vehicles writer based in Dorchester, Dorset. Living in Prince Charles model housing estate, Poundbury, he is an avowed republican, community and Labour Party activist. Visit his website at for more about what he does.

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