"Alan [Johnson] did this without letting me know and giving me a chance to persuade him it is a big mistake.
"Is Gordon [Brown] able to get Alan to undo this? As 'science champion in government', I can't just stand aside on this one."
So wrote Lord Drayson, the Government's Science Minister about the sacking of Professor David Nutt as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs by the Home Secretary. He is responsible with the Department of Business for science policy and the interaction between science and society.
What is important to note here is that Lord Drayson is a Engineer with a PhD in Robotics, who set up his own Pharmaceutical company which specialised in vaccines. He is just the sort of minister who would be able to look at scientific advise, understand it and be able to advise minister what course to take.
His initial response to the sacking was that is was wrong.
Then we have the Prime Minister's latest statement on the subject, which we all must now read in light in light of the scientific findings that Prof. Nutt had presented.
"I think Alan Johnson made the right decision because we cannot send mixed messages.
"Scientific advice is very important and we value it. But advisers advise and ministers have to make decisions.
"In the interests of the public we have to show we are tough on drug dealing and the problems that drugs are causing in our communities.
"We cannot send out a message to young people that it is OK to experiment with drugs and to move onto hard drugs. We have to send out a message to young people that it is simply not acceptable."
Wonder if tobacconists and pub landlords are being included that that stance of being tough on drug dealing and the problems that drugs are causing to our communities? I notice the Government is still prepared to take their shilling from such sales to I'm guessing that mixed message is one that the Government is quite happy to give out.