Revelations about Michael Gove’s past cocaine use have redefined the Tory leadership contest. Despite the ongoing Brexit process, growing economic uncertainty, and the Conservative’s historic defeat in the recent European elections, the debate has been dominated by illegal drug use. Seven of the ten candidates have admitted taking cannabis, cocaine, and even opium – though frontrunner Boris Johnson has stayed conspicuously quiet in the light of past statements. Even Theresa May has faced questions about her history with drugs. The problem is not that politicians are talking about drugs, but what they are talking about. Drugs are an important issue, and any future Prime Minister should have a thought-out, evidence-based and proactive stance on drugs – including on issues like …
Viewed from the perspective of the three main protagonists, Cameron, Gove and Johnson, Brexit has variously been presented as a Greek tragedy or a spat between Oxford alumni. Certainly the latter, it has real elements of the former. But, in truth, the real tragedy is the further erosion of British democracy. Prime Minister David Cameron reluctantly agreed to the inclusion of an in/out referendum in the 2015 Conservative election manifesto in order to appease the Eurosceptic right wing of the party. Some commentators suggest that he never expected to have to deliver the referendum thinking that it would be vetoed by Liberal Democrats in coalition or else be voted down by the opposition; certainly it was a referendum that he …
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