Prohibiting Debate

From the Observer

We live in a country where the prime minister refuses to say whether he has ever taken drugs. As Mr Cameron once ticked a multitude of boxes on the drug squad’s offender profile – rich, single, young man working in target-rich environment of a London TV company’s PR department – I can guess the cause of his embarrassment. The leader of the opposition, meanwhile, has appointed as his spin doctor Tom Baldwin of the Times, who has never responded to uncorroborated allegations in a book by the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft that he could well have had a fondness for cocaine when he was a hell-raising reporter about town.

What they and many others at the top of politics may or may not have swallowed, snorted or injected would be no concern of yours or mine, if they allowed an intelligent argument about drugs policy.

Carry on reading

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One thought on “Prohibiting Debate

  1. I was lucky to come across a friend of many years passed not long before he died of a drugs overdose. He had been on and off heroin for some years, I’ve since found out. I didn’t know when I met him again, and he didn’t mention it; perhaps it was a period when he had stopped for a bit, and he didn’t look otherwise than healthy. I was living in Manchester at the time, when I saw him during a home visit to Carlisle. He was never without a girlfriend, a tough lad, always smart, known and liked. His sister, who’s a counsellor, told a friend of mine that he couldn’t get over his mother dying of cancer and would keep going back to drugs.
    The same sort of death happened to a mutual friend of mine and the lad just mentioned. He was another handsome one, never without an attractive girlfriend, and tough from having grown up in a rough area, fighting all the time. But a good lad he was too. So easy to get on with. The last time I saw him was quite a few years ago, and I’d given him two pounds. We both laughed when I gave him them, as we knew it was never to be returned. I wouldn’t have ever expected it, and then he ducked into a shop to buy something to eat. He did look rough that day.
    When I heard he had died, I listened to how he had moved away to Newcastle to sort himself out, get off drugs, start afresh, get away from the people who inhabit that terrible existence in Carlisle.
    Steely’s mother is still alive, and I find it heartbreaking as I write this, thinking of him and about her. I met her a few times when I used to go round to the house. She is a lovely woman, and one could see and hear a built-up toughness that didn’t lessen in any way her attractive appearance. She was nobody’s fool and, back then, a mother of three children.
    Something does have to be done to the way how drugs are present in this country. And support should be given to Bob Ainsworth and others who offer alternatives to the menace of criminals.

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