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Comments

Does anyone think David Cameron was subjected to buggery at Eton? After all I have heard it is a ritual.

Selsdon Man

"Does anyone think David Cameron was subjected to buggery at Eton? After all I have heard it is a ritual."

Another anonymous post from a pathetic coward! The same question could be asked of Philip Dunne and other Old Etonian MPs - in addition to Princes William and Harry.

Editor

Can we please ignore the question from anonymous and treat it with the disdain it deserves?

Barry Graham

What a long and vitriolic thread this has been.
It does dismay me the level of hostility towards David Cameron.
Short of one guy banging on about some spat with Andrew Neil, what justification is there for the oft-expressed view that he is 'nasty'?
He has always struck me as the most personable of the five and, as Portillo said in his S Times column yesterday, his key supporters include some of the nicest people in the party - a not irrelevant observation if we are to judge a man by his friends.
As for the drugs issue, we can argue about the merits of Cameron's strategy in dealing with the question, but if we get too hung up on a uni spliff or two 20 years ago, we just sound self-righteous and out of touch.
The argument re his ill son was the low point of the debate and, I think, best left unopened.
In general, I just believe he is the one guy who fully understands the extent of the change we need to undertake to become electable again and, therefore, is the man to lead us out of the wilderness.

Editor

Barry: I agree that what DC did at uni is pretty irrelevant (although he cld be open about it). What does matter - as a lawmaker - is what he thinks about drugs NOW. Some of us worry about the liberal positions he has taken on this subject. It's not necessarily a decisive weakness but it IS "a" weakness in his candidacy.

Selsdon Man

Well said, Barry. Conference showed that we have a strong team of candidates. All have abilities that will be needed in the struggle to oppose and beat this nasty, authoritarian and incompetent government. Discipline and unity was the great strength of the party under Michael Howard and at conference. Differences were put aside. We need the same on this blog.

Selsdon Man

Taking the editor's point, we need understand what all the candidates think about a wide range of key issues, not just drug legalisation.

Before the membership ballot and hustings, MPs have a duty to question and debate with candidates - preferably in public.

a-tracy

Michael Smith 19:48 - I agree. Taking artificial stimulants in this way is wrong and sends out a message that breaking the law in this way is acceptable.

For the record I don't believe that smoking under 16 is against the law (it is the buying of them that is) I don't agree with smoking under the age of 16 but as far as I know it's not illegal. It was my teenage son that told me this after a drugs and substance abuse training session at High School!

I've been thinking about this topic all day. We've made it acceptable to do a lot of things that aren't really good for society from sponging off the state (Wife Swap wife tonight on C4 "that's what state benefits are for to look after your children and not work"), to binge drinking. Having a future PM who is soft on drugs is a concern to me - what else would he allow? The Labour Party really went down in my estimation when they encourage this behaviour (by turning a blind eye to drugs abuses of media figures and lowering the grade of Cannabis) in order to raise revenues and keep the feel good factor going. Excess kills people - they try fags but that wears off, they try booze but that's not fast enough, if you then make it acceptable to smoke Cannabis this won't be enough to satisfy they'll want cocaine someone has to put their foot down sooner or later.

If, as someone has suggested on this blog, Cannabis use is as widespread as smoking and everyone else except for me thinks that this is ok then tax it and at least the revenue is coming in to pay for the mess that this product creates, I'm worried about getting older in a drugged up society though aren't you?

I've got my eldest child thinking of going to University in a couple of years and to be honest this talk of 50% + of students do drugs, and you're just not with it if you don't, is all rather sad - that these people need external stimulants to feel happy at what should be a superb time in their lives with little responsibility or worries by comparison to a young family with median earnings with a home, council tax, children to raise, car loan and holiday to pay for is a very self indulgent way to start their adult lives.

Selsdon man: I think Princes William and Harry were the givers rather than takers in their relationships at Eton. I dont think their royal highnesses would bend over. Yet we all know that Cameron would. He would bend over if it got him on in life.

a-tracy

"What DC did at uni is pretty irrelevant."

Hold on - if this isn't sorted out now you can bet it will come out six weeks before the election over and over and over again, in terms of breaking the law, soft on drugs etc etc. DC needs to make his position clear and purge his past. Better to know if this is a vote winner or loser now don't you think. If, as many of you believe, this is a none issue then what is there for him to fear?

Cllr Iain Lindley

Bit rushed for time today but had to pick up on this...

Jack I can't believe you're comparing a gay affair to knowingly and willingly breaking the law. Congratulations on yet another ridiculous but offensive post.

Of course, having a gay affair as an 18, 19 or 20-year-old student would have been breaking the law during the time which any of the current leadership contenders went to University... which is why "knowingly and willingly breaking the law" is such a stupid thing to say about the odd toke of cannabis (or not).

James Hellyer

I agree that what DC did at uni is pretty irrelevant (although he cld be open about it). What does matter - as a lawmaker - is what he thinks about drugs NOW

It's not irrelevant. Politicians are the only people with the power to legislate over personal and private lives. That means we have an interest in their beliefs and how they came about them. That David Cameron will neither anser a simple question or address substantive issues of policy can only call into question his integrity. Off the back of words about change, he wants the potential to influence and shape the lives of everyone in this country. If he will not be open with us as to his bacground and intents, he offers no reason to accept his fine words.

Ronald Collinson

Of course, having a gay affair as an 18, 19 or 20-year-old student would have been breaking the law during the time which any of the current leadership contenders went to University... which is why "knowingly and willingly breaking the law" is such a stupid thing to say about the odd toke of cannabis (or not).

But there can be no comparison! The cannabis law is in place in order to protect the public health; the higher age of consent for homosexual relations was a throwback to the bigotry of the past (personally, I would've preferred to raise the heterosexual age of consent in order to achieve uniformity, but that's just me).

To say 'the odd toke of cannabis' is dismissive of an issue that is of immense importance. Cannabis is imported and sold illegally; its purchase funds criminal acts, and its consumption is damaging to health. I should suspect that few members of this site would argue that it is harmless.

Use of cannabis is illegal and pointless (in that the smoker derives pleasure from it, when pleasure can be gained in much safer, legal ways). Cameron is extremely wealthy, and so many of the 'peer pressure' and 'boredom' arguments (which I would reject anyway) cannot apply to him. He was well educated, and so knew the risks. Therefore, his use of cannabis could only point to a lack of respect for the law.

I accept that he might now be thought more responsible, and I should be happy to ignore the matter were it not for his belief in the liberalisation of drug laws, which points clearly to a refusal to repent, and his ambiguous answers, which very clearly show dishonesty.

Terry Haslam

So, 2 days into these rumours, and nothing but an arrogant brush-off from the Cameron camp. Does he think that he has a God-given right to lead the party without answering questions that party members are interested in?

All this rubbish that, "oh, it doesn't matter what he did when he was young" is SO totally irrelevant. What matters is what he is doing now. Is he lying when asked a straightforward question? He is denying the legitimate right of the people he expects to follow him to know something about him?

Cameron's refusal, or more precisely, inability to answer the drugs question is back-firing terribly. Yes, people like Stephen Glover in the 'Daiy Mail' this morning are raising questions, but never mind the London press - get on the phone or check your emails. People throughout the party are now asking some very lurid questions about Cameron and non too soft drugs simply because he has made such a hash of this.

It comes down to this - Cameron is all about spin. His claim is that he represents someone who could, for us, spin almost as well as Blair is supposed to have spun for Labour. Well, here's as simple a matter as you could wish for: the business of spinning yourself. And Cameron, evidently, lacks the nous to spin himself out of the mess HE has landed himself in.

And just to repeat what other posters on this thread have said: this question is not going to go away. Any Cameron person who thinks that it is just proves that they really don't know the party they want to take over. So before this campaign is over, David Cameron is going to end up having to answer:

* Have you taken drugs?

* If so, which ones?

* When?

For his own sake, he'd be much better off answering those questions himself before someone, for a fat cheque no doubt, answers them on his behalf.

Sarah Laston

It's amazing, the way "the cover up" ***always*** becomes worse than the crime. If David had come straight -- actually, if he had just given a definite answer of any sort ! -- then would this be an issue today? When he was aksed last week if he had done drugs, what would be the worst outcome if he had said 'soft? yes'? Very little I suspect. And even if the answer had been, 'I deeply regret ever having done this, but ....' - well, he could have made a tearful performance of regret, wheeled out some Eton mate who'd screwed himself up doing gear, and vowed to fight against hard drugs in all their forms. What I do not understand is the silence. That would make sense if people had stopped being interested in this, but they haven't!! I went to the hustings in 2001, and it was "open floor" stuff, all sorts of questions were freely asked of Ken Clarke and IDS. I **think** journalists were banned from the floor, but they were hanging around outside, and most of us chatted to them. Even if the BBC is too polite to repeat Andy Marr's questions about drugs, I know I'm going to ask Cameron about them come the Hustings. Somehow I don't see the slippery tactics that work in a TV studio working in front of a hall full of a thousand Tory activists eg SL: 'Have you done drugs Mister Cameron?' DC: 'I'm here to talk about tomorrow, not the past/I was no angel/waffle/evasion/etcetera'. The grannies will lynch him if he tries that sort of stuff in the Midlands. Cameron needs to come clean about drugs. His campaign looks more of a mess every day that passes without him doing so.

James Hellyer

What's amazing is that David Cameron has escaped scrutiny over the real and apparent contradictions and lack of detail in his speech and campaign, but has instead fallen foul of a simple "yes or no" question.

It's bringing back memories of his mentor being asked abour Derek Lewis...

Adrian Sherman

It certainly looks as though the once sturdy props supporting Cameron are crashing down rather quickly.

Let's look at myths and realities;

Myth 1. Cameron is media savvy. The reality is that this story has now got a life of its own, all of his own making.

Myth 2. Cameron is a straight talking guy who wishes to create a new kind of politics. The reality is that he has continued to answer a straightforward question and has shown himself to be every bit as evasive and slippery as Blair, without the latter's luck and media savvy.

Myth 3. He wants to help the most vulnerable in society. The reality, as Michael Smith has pointed out, is that for he sees no problem for his well-heeled friends indulging in a line of cocaine after a West London soiree (the loathsome Kate Moss springs to mind) but is patronising and condascending when some poor people do it in the stairwell of an estate in Glasgow. You don't help the vulnerable by being soft on drugs as they undermine the family, apart from anything else.

MH Mulholland

Sorry, only just seen this from 'Jack Stone' [09 October 2005 at 19:36]:

It doesn`t surprise me the bile and low politics that is being leveled at David Cameron.
For the first time in eight years the right can see there control of the party slipping away from them and they don`t like it.

"The Right"?! William Hague? In 1997, Lilley, Redwood and even Howard were all clearly more right wing than Hague. Duncan Smith in 2001 was right wing, but only up until the moment he got elected. Howard in 2003 clearly wasn't going to be a traditionalist, and since his general election defeat he's pushed Cameron. Though who exactly does Jack thing the right are going to whoop with joy if he gets the leadership - Dave 'Maastricht whip' Davis? Letls leave the right out of this - it's all a big centrist muddle.

Meanwhile, it looks as if a three line whip has gone out from Steve Hilton to Cameron posters: stop breathing life into that thread! Don't you know journalists are reading?!'

Selsdon Man

"The reality, as Michael Smith has pointed out, is that for he sees no problem for his well-heeled friends indulging in a line of cocaine after a West London soiree (the loathsome Kate Moss springs to mind) but is patronising and condascending when some poor people do it in the stairwell of an estate in Glasgow."

Edinburgh has a bigger drug problem. The problem is heroin not cocaine. That has led to huge HIV problems in Scotland. Adrian clearly does not know Scotland or the nature of its drug problems. Do I detect a patronising Englishman?

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Of course, having a gay affair as an 18, 19 or 20-year-old student would have been breaking the law during the time which any of the current leadership contenders went to University... which is why "knowingly and willingly breaking the law" is such a stupid thing to say about the odd toke of cannabis (or not)."

Oh look, a Cameron supporter adopting a Blairesque smear-and-sneer strategy! Quelle surprise! Is stooping to insults to address a point (even if you've already misrepresented the point being made) what the taxpayers of Salford pay you for Councillor Lindley?

Both the point I made and the point I was addressing made no reference to gay affairs at university. Jack compared taking drugs in a person's younger days to having a gay affair when young - this is ridiculous and offensive, as I said, because one involves knowingly and willingly breaking the law and the other involves the physical manifestation of emotional attachments which is not illegal and people do not choose their sexual orientation.

Addressing your point about "knowingly and willingly breaking the law" being a stupid thing to say about "the odd toke of cannabis", as pointed out above, you'll notice that if you actually read our points, both myself and Jack made no specific reference to "the odd toke of cannabis", we actually referred to taking drugs. The fact that you automatically leapt to the conclusion that we were referring to cannabis speaks volumes and exposes this as an area that you Cameron supporters are jittery about. But anyway, I digress... The odd toke of cannabis is illegal. Doing something with your knowledge and without being forced is doing it knowingly and willingly. Therefore, the odd toke of cannabis is knowingly and willingly breaking the law and it clearly isn't stupid to say so. Typical that a Blair Junior fan would think that stating the truth is stupid though.

James Maskell

Lets not make this personal Daniel. Lets stick to the issue not to criticising each other personally. We do have the eyes of the media on us...

Daniel Vince-Archer

I'm trying not to make it personal James M, but when people insult me or make offensive comments or misrepresent my views, I find it hard to resist fighting fire with fire, although I do realise that may strike some people as being a tad hypocritical, in which case, I apologise.

Adrian Sherman

I hear that certain Sunday papers are trawling through Cameron's indescretions with a fine tooth comb, and having some success.

The Labour Party are already dusting down the pictures of wee Cameron in his Eton tails and more damning, the picture of him behind Lamont on 'Black Wednesday' when the Tories lost the country £10bn. That should be enough to undermine his economic competence. Also Labour are this minute trawling through speeches made by Cameron on the economy, minimum wage, unemployment et etc.

Isn't a week a long time in politics? From golden boy, to naughty boy.

Henry Mackintosh

One thing I don't understand is the most common defence of DC all the Cameroons on this thread, and others, are trying out. You say/assert: 'the public don't care what he did at University/when he was young'. But obviously they/we do! Hence all the unanswered questions. Yet much more obviously - if 'the public don't care about whatever drugs David Cameron did/did not do, whenever it was he did/or did not do them, why not just come out with it? You're the ones claiming 'the public don't care', so what's the damage going to be? At the moment all his silence is doing is causing people to jump to the darkest conclusions possible.

michael

Because Henry, it's none of their business. They are mischief making and Cameron knows it. Why should politicians constantly dance to the media's tune?

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