Following the death of singer Amy Winehouse, the wrong-headed rant yesterday from “Mad” Melanie Phillips about a country “awash with drugs and alcohol” was predictable enough, and so in its own way is today’s bonus outing for the Mail’s resident Glenda, Amanda Platell.
In yet another mildly disturbing echo of Jan Moir’s hatchet job on Stephen Gately, La Platell treads the familiar path of why-oh-why punditry by telling how bad drugs and alcohol are – and that by implication both should be made less available, particularly to the young – while bemoaning the supposed influence of Winehouse on “vulnerable young people”.
At the forefront of Platell’s argument is the idea that using drugs like cannabis inevitably leads to the use of cocaine and heroin, or as she puts it, “cannabis is a gateway drug”. She also makes adverse comment on those leaving bottles of vodka at the makeshift shrine outside Winehouse’s London flat, so clearly this, too, is A Bad Thing.
So anything that provides a “gateway” to vodka must also be A Bad Thing. Like wine, or cocktails, for instance: these clearly provide a way in to those bad habits that contributed to the unfortunate Winehouse dying at the age of just 27. That means the author of comments such as “Like the first glass of Pimm’s of the summer, I’m relishing the return of The Apprentice”. Signs there of an alcohol craving.
Likewise, whoever said “The simple act of raising a glass of wine to my lips (admittedly more than once)” is not a good influence on all those “vulnerable young people”. Nor is describing parties by how much one had drunk – as in “A glass of wine in [to the event]...”. And proclaiming that “I wanted to be a judge on the new Richard and Judy’s wine club – it’s my specialty subject” gives the impression of habit.
That impression is only reinforced by reading the follow-up comment: “a fine evening was had by all, from what I can remember”. But, guess what? The author of these comments is the same person who has warned that “one in five women are occasional binge drinkers”, the comment coming in ... the same article as today’s why-oh-why on the unfortunate Amy Winehouse.
Yes, the wine and cocktail habit belongs to none other than Amanda Platell, the Glenda who’s lecturing the Mail’s readership about “gateway” drugs. Mandy, you’re an even bigger stinking hypocrite than I ever imagined, and therefore ideal material for a Mail hack.