Or, if you’re David Cameron, when asked “have you ever taken hard drugs?”, refuse to answer one way or the other.
This is a particularly petty witch-hunt isn’t it? Who cares if he has or not? What difference does it make right now whether he smoked cannabis or snorted cocaine once, twice or even a dozen times in his younger years? I hope he did. I wish we lived in a political culture sophisticated enough to accommodate the fact that, like many millions of other citizens of the UK, he may have used recreational drugs, quite possibly enjoyed them, and is still a normal person as a consequence. It doesn’t make him any less fit to stand for office, and it’s of no consequence to me one way or the other.
It’s a shame that he can’t just release a statement along the lines of “In my youth, like many people in this country, I used some drugs on a recreational basis. Whilst it was fun at the time, it was a long time ago and bears no relevance to my life anymore. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, please can we move onto the real issues at stake here?” Just release that and kill the issue cold. Perhaps then we could finally engage in an intelligent conversation and free debate about drugs that doesn’t immediately degenerate into a cacophony of hypocritical bluster at the very mention of the word.
But, of course, he can’t do this. It would be suicide for his political ambitions, and the other three candidates are revelling in the fact that they can state unequivocally that they have never touched an illegal substance in their life (although Ken Clarke is an ambassador for BAT – what’s worse?).
And who’s behind this dirt digging anyway? Why, none other than our friends at Associated Newspapers. Of course, tabloid journalists! Those clean living, teetotal paragons of virtue! The sheer hypocrisy of it all makes me retch.
Four years ago, the Conservatives were unable to support a candidate who admitted to a homosexual encounter in his university days, so ended up with the unelectable Iain Duncan Smith instead. Now it looks like they may ditch one because of alleged drug use in his youth. And so beats the dark heart of the Tories. Congratulations – you’re setting yourself up for the unelectable David Davis or, even worse, Liam Fox. What’s that popping sound? That would be Gordon Brown opening the champagne.