Just don’t touch anything to be on the safe side

As narcotic offences go it’s hardly up there with Pete Doherty ingesting every kind of substance he can get his hand on and it’s not as if Cameron is up there with Nietzsche.

Still, regardless of how much cocaine anybody in the media puts up their nose on a Friday night, there’s a lingering obsession with famous people taking any form of illegal drugs at any point in their life. This is because Drugs Are Bad. So bad, in fact, Ronald Reagan started a war against them, possibly on the basis that a slab of crack wasn’t going to be able to fire a pistol.

In fact you can guarantee had Ming Campbell accidently ingested an ectasy tablet when aged three, he’d have been hung drawn and quartered by Daily Mail readers long ago.

Quite why there is an obsession with what Cameron did, or took, when he was 15 is a matter known only to news editors. Unless you’re absolutely committed to becoming leader of the country at that age then you’re probably going to do what any other teenager would do at that age: namely get drunk, smoke and try soft drugs. Unless this completely wrecks your brain, it’s unlikely to have any baring whatsoever on your job in your forties, or even twenties.

When I was a teenager I once tried a joint, not thinking it involved smoking and I bloody hate the taste of anything smoke related, so have refused to touch the stuff since then. Does this make me:

a) Unsuitable for public office?

b) Unsuitable to do my job at the moment?

c) A depraved and warped individual who probably eats babies on a regular basis and pokes puppies in the eye for fun?

c) None of the above?

Neither is it, as one BBC-user suggests [1], blatantly hypocritical. Unless the 15-year-old Cameron knew he was going to lead the Conservative party and espouse an anti-drugs message over 25 years later, that is.

A more pertanent question to ask David would be: “Are you currently taking drugs now.” Now that has more relevance to his current post.

Although everything would be much easier and would go away if he just answered the question. Radical as it may be for a politician, if he just said: “Yes, I did. And…?” and got back on with whatever it is they do in Conservative Central Office these days. Drinking tea, most probably.

Two questions do arise though. Firstly, if a politician smokes a spliff when they were young and nobody witnesses it, is it news? Secondly, does anybody actually care?

[1] You’ll have to wade through a bit but outrage and non-outrage are both funny anyway.

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2 Responses to “Just don’t touch anything to be on the safe side”


  1. 1 ceri February 12, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I think it’s actually important for politicians to have a bit of life experience. If they were wrapped up in cotton wool all their lives they wouldn’t be able to relate to any of the general public.

    Also i think the growing number of people who are apathetic would possibly have more of an interest in someone who has gone through similar experiences.

    I think i might be beginning to like David Cameron. This makes me want to cry a little.

  2. 2 garyandrews February 12, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    I’d have a large class of wine and a sit down before you resort to crying, Ceri 🙂

    (By the way did you see the Mansanto story on the front of the Guardian today – it reminded me of you as it struck me you’d probably worked near there at some point)

    I don’t dislike Cameron on some issues, where he genuinely seems to have got his head screwed on., namely I think he’s heading in the right direction environment-wise.

    Then there issues, like his opposition of ID cards and the Conservatives’ stance on the Iraq war that I can’t make up my mind if they’re genuine beliefs or a stick with which to beat the government with.

    On other issues, such as his proclamations on the Human Rights Act especially, I think he’s an utter idiot. I’m not a big fan of his stance on Europe either, but somehow I don’t think the two of us would ever agree on that issue anyway.

    Then there are some areas I can’t remember a single word he’s uttered on.

    The jury’s out for me and, largely on the basis of the pledge he gave to The Sun to scrap the Human Rights Act, I won’t vote Conservative any time soon.

    (Not that I’m that inclined to vote for any of the other buggers at the moment, mind. God, we need a different voting system).

    Cameron’s spliff days DO give him a bit of a connection and life experience with the British public. This, however, is completely negated by the Eton connection. How on earth anybody who went to that school can claim to be in touch with the common man is a bit beyond me. I went to a private school for a while. Great academically, bloody useless when it came to getting a grip on the real world.


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