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« Theresa May declares for David Cameron | Main | Now we know why DD has problems with the media... »


Bob B

Kenneth Clarke has finally admitted that he has never touched cocaine:

This is surely a worrying admission by someone who aspires to be PM. After all, in that capacity he could well be required to take a position on policy or legislation about something he has no experience of by his own admission.

Perhaps he can yet save the day by revealing when he stopped drinking methylated spirits. Hopefully, all the leadership candidates will be as open and forthcoming.

Ullick Finlay

An interesting series of questions Bob. On the BBC News Nick Robinson said that Cameron would have to answer questionbs on Cocaine use, and on Channel 4 News, Gary Gibbon siad the same thing. I wonder when he will? Or does he just assume that people are going to lose interest in this subject?


DougR - the oldest form of currency was bartering and although I understand the principle of a cashless society in a free world people would just trade on the black market in other currencies from gold, to drugs to whatever is easy to carry and hard to get hold of. Just look at all the free gifts and free holidays that the higher ups get.

The answer should be to make the law tougher on those that break them, and if they cannot prove where their possessions have come from with correctly filed tax returns then the authorities should confiscate these possessions and auction them.

Bob B

Having read down the thread, I was trying to suggest in the nicest possible way - after my usual fashion - that the Conservative Party is in serious danger of collectively shooting itself in its collective foot - again.

All that is need now is for Ann Widdicombe to demand zero tolerance for meths drinking and for Lord Lobbit to denounce all the leadership contenders for leading wayward lives in their misbegotten youth. That should about do it.

James Maskell

I dont think he can hold out that long...theres a good while yet and by not answering it, if he gets through to the last round it might damage his standing on honesty. I think itll come out before the end of the contest. If he wants to be leader, he'll have to say. Everyone Ive spoken to on this issue has said honesty is the best policy.

Mark Fulford

I hope the reaction of the Question Time audience to this issue draws a line underneath the whole thing. This is not damaging to Cameron. Far from it.

James Maskell

I havent seen the reaction from the crowd but heard it was supportive. I cant help but think that the public as a whole wont feel that way though.

The fact remains that he has not answered the question. I cant support someone who wont be honest. Is it something so sacred to him that he cant just answer the question. The "innocent until proven guilty" rule does not apply in the way it normally would. When the person involved is essentially a celebrity the normal rule does not apply. He wants to be leader and has to be seen to be "whiter than white". I dont think it really matters whether he did or didnt take drugs in his younger day. Its the principle of honesty here. The other candidates have no problems with answering the question. Why is he a special case? I dont think arrogance comes into this, despite what other posters indicate.

Pete D'Tilbury

I don't believe for once he snorted cocaine of the thighs of fwllow students. This whole debate is gettung stupid.

Cllr Graham Smith

Look everyone, like Tim, I too have seen some of the dreadful effects that substance misuse has had on people. I have spent time working with young people, trying to encourage them to become reattached to society. I am personally totally against the use of unlawful drugs and would not hesitate to call the Police if I found my own children (or any of their friends) using illegal drugs in my house.

Now, please don't dismiss me as being a complete fruit'n'nutcase but, having said all that, my Christian faith has brought me into personal contact with a God who loves me very much indeed. He loves me so much that he stood by whilst his only son suffered an agonising death in my place.

This same God gave me the absolute right to respond to his offer of eternal life or reject it, simply dismissing the whole idea out of hand.

Now, if God himself trusts each and every one of us enough to allow us the free will to choose between life and death, I have to ask myself what gives me, an ordinary politican, the right to take away from other responsible adults the freedom to choose what they put into their earthy bodies?

It has always been my understanding that our laws are largely based around regulating those aspects of our behaviour that impact adversely on other members of our society. So, the law prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle whilst unfit through drink or drugs, and so on.

To create a simple comparison, we don't seek to stop responsible adults from buying and drinking as much alcohol as they like, provided they don't drive whilst unfit, etc. So why should we prevent responsible adults from buying and taking soft or hard drugs, provided they don't drive whilst unfit?

And surely the same is true for other forms of social behaviour. Why should responsible adults who want to use soft or hard drugs be treated any differently from responsible adults who want to drink alcohol?

I think we have to look deeper. Simply banning anything - whether it was alcohol in America's prohibition years or certain drugs today - is not an answer. All it does is to line the pockets of people who do naughty things, like not paying their fair share of taxes.

So, Tim, you and I will have to disagree over this issue. When I say that I believe in personal freedom, I am afraid that means I believe in allowing responsible adults the freedom to do things that cause permanent damage to themselves.

Selsdon Man

Look editor, Christian libertarians do exist!

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