Why did Boris Johnson bang on the wrong door?
Winfield House, the residence of the US ambassador to London, has exquisite reception rooms and beautiful parties depending on the ambassador. I especially remember one time when my acquaintances went to the ladies to sniff out cocaine. I was thinking that good champagne was enough. Even at the dizzy heights of society, some people still need to be a little taller.
Having spent two decades at London’s finest drink parties in my previous life as the editor of the Evening Standard’s social column, it has always amazed me that, despite the diversions, extravagant mind, people still want to be in a hard cold place. cocaine takes you away.
This Monday, Boris Johnson decided to launch a new war on the middle class Take medicines. The prime minister started in Liverpool, a city that never votes Conservative these days, wearing a large black police suit to join the police in dawn raids on traffickers suspected drugs.
Why not somewhere in the south of England – one of the smarter country houses in Somerset or Oxfordshire to, say, throw a fun party? After the exodus from London due to the pandemic, they are now floundering with urban types realizing that there is nothing to do in the countryside on weekends. I say the local A-economy has gone wild.
The only problem would be, with cameras following him through in his stiff suit, there would always be the risk of a partygoer saying “hello, old friend” to the Prime Minister.
Or a party in west London? I imagine her predecessor Theresa May was not innocent of drug use. I remember being at a party in a barn near Notting Hill. A group of people began to circle around a brace as the then mayor of London stood beside them. They were polite: they offered him a cupcake. He refused.
The proposed punishment is for the bureaucratic middle classes rather than a whipping – it’s denial Passport and driving license. That should get them to sit up and take notice, and they should. The problem is not just breaking the law; it’s the unspoken exploitation of the middlemen – or the boys – who provide their premium stuff.
How many lawyers, city dwellers or those with access to parliament (where a Sunday Times investigation this month found traces of cocaine at multiple locations) entered the properties where active gangs? Dealers have been running the Deliveroo model for decades so customers don’t have to see city locations from which kids in hoodies are transported on bicycles or on trains down the “county line.” where drugs are moved from cities to towns and villages. These kids don’t pack a bra and a flat hat.
When I was in college, I ran at a fast pace. Since our attorney general, Dominic Raab, doesn’t think that retroactive crime investigations are the job of the police, I didn’t feel too nervous about flipping through some history.
Back then I was friends with an Oxford boy and a young Willesden man who was supplying him. I went out with the boy Willesden one afternoon. Sitting around his mother’s house, he said he knew that the gilded world he was playing in would only last so long. The Oxford kids will carry on, he’ll end up just like his neighbours – pathetic or worse. Pulp was broadcast on the radio that summer. I don’t remember his name.
The Oxford boy and I are friends with an arrogant and unsuccessful writer and his girlfriend, in a darker version of the quartet in Sally Rooney’s Chat with friends. The writer developed a taste for crack and asked my friend to take a taxi to come buy him some from a particular townhouse in Kensington, temporarily to plant the seeds.
The boy crossed the portico threshold as I waited for the taxi. He appeared half an hour later with an unbuttoned shirt and a black eye, holding a small “rock” in his hand.
He told me that at every turn of the stairs, someone would guide him up to the next mezzanine, the next floor, all the way up to the king on his throne at the top. He made his purchase, but on his way down the servants nearing that staircase demanded payment – a crack on his part. The fun is over. By the time he reached the first floor, there was barely anything left, and the most desperate was still ahead of him. He fought his way.
I left those friends behind pretty quickly, keeping the anecdote for dinner parties and counting some of those circles – all the boys – that never made it past this stage. After all, they don’t need passports.
The king merchant in his court, the writer, the children, the blind people: there is the complicity of all involved in maintaining this world.
For what? Why not, some say, follow the example of countries like Portugal, which accepted the reality of drug use 20 years ago and eliminated individual drug possession, or Canada, the country testing a safe supply of opioids?
I find it very difficult to disagree. But that doesn’t prevent another conversation, about why drugs are distributed and used. Joy, money, escapism, power, to quell despair – all normal human weaknesses are at play. And for the privilege, perhaps to prove their status again, knowing that the police won’t knock on their door.
According to Joy @joy_lo_dico
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