It looks like the Tory leadership campaign has descended into farce, with each candidate owning up to having taking drugs at one stage or another in their lives. Michael Gove was a cokehead, Boris Johnson was a cokehead and also did a bit of blow, Rory Stewart did a bit of opium and even Andrea Leadsom smoked cannabis. Christ alone knows who else did what, but frankly, who cares? It does go some way to explaining the mess the Tory party got into since they quit drugs.
What’s even funnier is the candidates falling over each other to say how much they regretted drug use. “I deeply regret it,” said Gove, although really what he probably meant was “I deeply regret the fact it got out so I let the Mail have the story first because my wife works for them.” Why regret taking drugs?
It’s been a long time since I did any kind of drugs, apart from anti-depressants and alcohol, that is. But I don’t regret it. What would be the point? “Ooh, I really regret having those spliffs in the living room, listening in near darkness to Dark Side of the Moon.” Of course, I don’t. It was rather enjoyable, actually. If I still smoked cigarettes – and I stopped them at the end of 1993 – I might have a quick smoke today if the opportunity arose. However, I don’t smoke anything these days. I grew out of it.
I am guessing that Gove, Johnson, Stewart and Leadsom grew out of it, too, turning instead into semi-deranged politicians who, Stewart excluded, are in the process of taking this country off a cliff. That’s the weirdest kind of trip of all.
I don’t suppose these ‘indiscretions’ will play with the Tory party’s elderly membership. They might prefer a reactionary populist like Johnson, but will the fact that he did a bit of Charlie and smoked some weed go against him? Or will the desire to see such a lying charlatan take his place in Number 10 win through?
I suspect the latter. They’ll probably say, “That’s Boris!” as they rejoice in his bumbling buffoon act. For me, Johnson as PM with or without drugs would be a step too far. As an outsider, I’ll forgive Rory Stewart. He did a bit of opium but he still seems to be a proper human being. Unlike the other drug addled leadership contenders.