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Dear Hugh 10

All is not white with our correspondent...

Wednesday June 29th 2005


Thank you for your note detailing what you and Marilyn get up to in bed with a packet of chocolate orange and for your consequent enquiry about recipes for slimmers.

But before I address that, you know that bint from Bogota that you were telling me about, the one who does a turn? Do you still have her e-mail? If so, would you kindly whack it over to me because I need to write to somebody in authority about the new cocaine problem and, being Colombian, I thought she’d probably know somebody in one of those cartels that every man Jack of them seems to be a member of.

As you know, until now I have never been known to have a problem with cocaine (my only problems having been with policemen and those Customs people who do work experience at Heathrow as part of their BNF training).

But now enough has come to enough and it’s about time that something is done about it, or at least that somebody writes a letter to The Times.

My new-found coke concern stems from reading about its widespread popularity, which is very unsettling. As you know, time was when cocaine was the drug of the elite, the Schutzstaffel of substances. And very appropriate those times were too; the Great Smell Of Brut brigade had their pints of mild and a Malibu on their birthdays and us lot, being gentlemen of the world, had our Charlie. All was in its right place; us in the lounge bar lav with a Mastercard and a rolled-up note and them in the snug puzzling out the difference between spots and stripes on the pool table.

All was white with the world and it is no coincidence, methinks, that during those times of correct regimentation the incidence of thugee behaviour in pubs was limited to the very occasional punch directed at pigs who greedily helped themselves to a handful of your cheese and onion crisps.

Now you can’t move around here on a Saturday night without getting your head caved in by some lout or other. And for this I blame the coke. Or rather, I blame the fact that cocaine has become so popular that now it’s The People’s Drug.

As I have argued before, it is a very bad idea to allow simple minds that cannot handle it to be within a furlong of any substance stronger than snuff. Marx was completely wrong when he wittered on about opiates for the masses; in my not-inconsiderable experience, masses should not be permitted anywhere near opiates. For starters, they can’t cope with the vividity of the dreams, let alone the constipation.

But anyway, this cocaine business has got completely out of hand because now everybody is doing it. I was listening to John Humphrys beat up some unfortunate this morning over new crime statistics which apparently reveal that one in every eight adults is snorting it and that it has become especially popular among what the BBC calls “urban youth” (by which they mean black insolents and white trash from Tottenham).

Of course, I saw this coming years ago and had anyone at the Home Office bothered to have paid any attention to my letters applying for the job as Drugs Tsar we wouldn’t be in this mess. But that’s by the by, the point is that everybody is now hunched over the mirror.

Besides the fact that I know of at least one current national tabloid editor (and many Canary Wharf executives) who has enjoyed a toot in my presence, it’s the point that his readers are doing it that is bothering me. Has nobody else worked out that you simply can’t go around letting these chavs get their hands on cocaine without expecting a giant leap in the number of dead common assaults?

As I have said before, the operative words in the chav acronym are not “council house”; they are “and violent”. We are dealing here with people who’ll put a lighted rook-scarer up a cat’s arse (you’ve watched Shameless) and they are certainly not the sort who should be introduced to the old nose whisky.

You may think I am uncharacteristically over-reacting but let me tell you that I have it on the authority of the Gazette & Herald no less that last week cops armed with some new form of electronic sniffing device discovered “traces of cocaine” in public lavatories in Calne. OK, I admit that this indicates that the drugee in question was possibly not a resident (as to most of that town’s feral populace using a public lavatory usually means peeing in a doorway) but you understand my issue that the sort of people whose diminutive minds are so already scrambled that they believe Burberry to be a good look should not be permitted to take drugs that will inevitably make them yet more weirdly recalcitrant.

I realise that we live in such grimly-egalitarian times that a full house for Blunkett: The Musical is entirely feasible but don’t you think the authorities could do something about preventing the oxymoronic working class from sliming too far up the social ladder by decreeing that anybody who calls a dealer must first sit a MENSA test?

At the very least, you’d have thought that The Powers would have blocked such blatant endorsement for cocaine as was the front page of yesterday’s Sun, which informed the nation that the mob’s very own madonna, People’s Princess Di no less, used to take coke during the period when she was fluffing arabs in the back of Mercs.

I mean that’s it, isn’t it. You can forget all about trying to keep the rabble off the gack now that they’ve gone and read that their bloody idol made her nose burn. Thanks a bunch, Rupert, for dropping that piece of veiled republicanism on us all. Now we’ll never get them back in their place eating Fray Bentos straight from the tin.

And on which foodie note, I come to your request for a satisfying, but slimming, meal. As you can imagine, I have given this a great deal of thought and there has been much consultation with Michael Stone, the chef. It is our conclusion that as you live in France you combine the ultimate in nouvelle cuisine with the ideal diet dish, as follows.


(Per Person) Take one baby cherry tomato – measuring little more than the circumference of a late-season pea – and make a 45-degree slit in it about half-way up one side.

Insert the stem of a very small basil leaf into the slit.

Place the leaf-decorated tomato upon a bone-dry side plate and then very carefully arrange about half a gram of cocaine in a line beside the tom.

Serve immediately.

Although this meal seems radically insubstantial, you will find that that almost everybody who finishes it will almost immediately declare themselves to be feeling “absolutely stuffed”. I expect it was once popular at Kensington Palace . Or at least getting stuffed used to be.

All best



I don't think the residents of Calne will be too happy, but it can't be helped I suppose.

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