I took a bit of time this weekend to do something that I do not do as often s I used to back in the day before mobile phones, and social media. Yes I actually read a newspaper, it was a strange but uplifting experience, indeed it took me right back through time and space, when the newspaper was the font of all knowledge. Indeed when we were growing up on a Sunday morning, after mass, we would troop back for a family breakfast, it was very traditional and a real family occasion. One of the highlights was when my dad would read out articles from The Sunday Times, and The Sunday Express. We would then have a bit of a debate about whatever article had grabbed his attention.
So, fast forward to 2019, I just wonder what my dad would have made of the latest news headlines as I read them in the Sunday Times. The key issue was all about just who from the football team of potential candidates would end up being the new leader, oh, and as small aside the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. From my perspective I found the whole process quite remarkable, as for some reason out of the blue, a number of senior front runners were admitting to taking drugs, not just your odd spliff around the bike sheds. No, these were proper drugs that carried custodial sentences.
One can only assume that in the dirty tricks department as the runners and riders prepared for the big day, ahead of damaging allegations appearing in the tabloids, it was decided that those under threat decided to go public first. By far and away the most prominent was Michael Gove, he admitted that over twenty years ago he had enjoyed taking cocaine when employed as a young journalist. He was not alone to be fair, Boris admitted when hosting a TV show before he was Mayor that he also enjoyed the odd dabble. Ironically it struck me that suddenly they all wanted to admit to having had a go, even though it could ostensibly result in police investigations or indeed not being allowed into the United States, even though you are the PM of the UK.
Michael Gove was given the Andrew Marr treatment and was as contrite as he could be, indeed the tabloids had a field day, the best in my view was a spoof headline that said “ Gove would not turn his nose up, at a trade deal with Columbia”. Of course some are clearly without sin, the Home Secretary Savid Javid (The Jav) as he likes to be known has admitted to having the odd fag ( not to be confused with the likes of Johnson and Gove who went to Eton, where having a fag takes on a whole different meaning). Interestingly the Jav is actually my local MP, I have never seen him, ever, at any local events, never heard of him host any local constituent surgeries as they like to call them. In fairness invisible at a local level, it reminds me of the classic MP quote that the best view in the car rear view mirror disappearing behind you is actually the place that you represent, as you drive off to Westminster.
What I found especially odd was the way that so many of the candidates almost seemed to want to be considered as drug users, it reminded me of the classic film Spartacus, with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis, where at the end all of the doomed Spartans admit to being the main man, and all are crucified by the Romans as a result. It would of course be hard to pinpoint just where the press drug accusations might have stemmed from, but revenge is a dish served cold, as they say. And who I wonder would have the motive to stitch up Mr Gove, of all people given recent skullduggery, maybe a former school mate and fellow Brexiteer, who once hailed from Turkey? Before you reach for the aspirin and the Blue Nun, I leave you with one final thought. Whoever is selected from the few hundreds of Tory MP’S and enters the final race where two will be selected to battle it out to be the new leader of this nation, do not forget that the decision will be made by some 200,000 members of the Conservative party, now what can possibly go wrong?