The Murdoch press carries a shocking revelation this morning: the Sunday Times has told readers “Sniffer dogs could prowl corridors of power amid claims drug abuse is rife … Speaker vows to crack down as fears grow that cannabis and cocaine is [sic] being used openly at Westminster”. Recreational drug use no shock horror. But there is more.
“Sniffer dogs could be deployed across the Parliamentary estate under plans for a drugs crackdown by the Commons authorities … The Speaker has promised to call in the Police amid growing evidence of cocaine and other illegal substances being used in Parliament. Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he would investigate Westminster’s drug culture after traces of cocaine were detected in a number of places accessible only to people with Parliamentary passes”. He’s only the odd decade or two too late in waking up to the issue.
After all, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has effectively confessed to past cocaine usage, Michael “Oiky” Gove has done so openly (and been seen in the Commons chamber in a state that gave the impression he was wasted), and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the seventeenth Baronet, also appeared on the Government front bench looking out of it.
The ST’s political editor Caroline Wheeler, whose name is one of two on the by-line of that story, also had a quote to offer her followers. “Investigation by [the Sunday Times] exposes drug culture in Parliament as cocaine discovered across the estate. Sniffer dogs could be deployed under a new crackdown. Priti Patel says: ‘There is no place in our society for drugs and certainly not in our parliament’”. Ms Patel is first for mandatory testing, then.
But here a problem enters, in the shape of the H-Word, as in Hypocrisy. This is, after all, the Murdoch mafiosi pushing this story, an organisation that has significant previous when it comes to using the use of illegal drugs to smear others - as with the exploits of the so-called “Fake Sheikh” Mazher Mahmood, which came to an end so ignominiously.
The problem for News UK in constantly pointing the finger at others is that, in the meantime, the suspicion inevitably grows that they may not be whiter than white when it comes to friendships with Charlie. But no-one has - yet - examined the toilet facilities at the Baby Shard bunker for traces of cocaine, or, indeed any other illegal substance.
So the first reaction on reading the ST’s story should not be to raise an eyebrow at the activities of MPs and their staff, but to ask the Murdoch minions to show that their own house is in order. Which would mean random swabbing of washrooms, kitchens and toilets. Followed by the same random swabbing at the Northcliffe House bunker, and the offices of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph.
Not volunteering for random swabbing of the Baby Shard bogs, then?
After all, our free and fearless press has not been backward in coming forward with claims concerning their targets’ drinking habits, only for it to be later revealed that that same press has had an established drinking culture for some decades. Private Eye magazine did not have to invent Lunchtime O’Booze: he worked for every title across the old Fleet Street.
So, to the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, the response is straightforward: show us that you have your own house in order before sounding off about others. Random drug swabbing for the Baby Shard. Then you get taken seriously.
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