THE GROUCHO-HUNT SYNDROME: Some final questions

Is the Prime Minister on drugs?

So there was our Prime Minister, having a rush of something to his head as he spoke about building regulations and getting Britain back on its feet by building more homes to house the overpopulation from which we suffer these days. In another place, Home Secretary Theresa May was confirming that there would be no confirmation of a British population maximum of 70 million, a statistic used by her Party as a shock-horror number just three years ago. None of this offered anything to help with the UK economy; but the vast majority of the electorate cannot even grasp that it’s exports we need, not work for the sake of it. So Dave will get clean away with his housing ‘boost’.

“Yes, yes, it’s good, we’re getting things moving,” said Dave, his words a water-spray vapourising even as they were emitted, “There’ll be sixty perhaps seventy thousand house builds freed up and more to come after that, you see this is what we need to get Britain moving…”

Oh dear. There seemed not a scintilla of point to any of it, and no sign at all that Mr Cameron was aware of the futility of his meaningless public-school metaphors. If Britain pulls up its socks and gets back on its feet, it can get moving. It can move house because we’re building more homes, and that will make Estate agents more confident when market research airheads ask them whether they think the economy will go up, down, or on a day-trip to Bangor next year.

The thing about the Prime Minister is that he’s always here, and on his way to there. The missing elements in his diagnosis system are how we got here, and what the consequences of going there might be ten years from now. Of course, in that respect he is in general terms no different to any other politician; it’s just that, in his case, people of my age group look at the man, remember that he is the CEO of UK (Social Economy) plc, and feel a creeping anxiety around the knees which, unless medicated, could rapidly turn into a panic attack. ‘F**k me,” we think, ‘this bloke is in charge’.

Anyway, if I can just apply some perspective to David Cameron’s wood for trees close-up, we got to here via an injudicious collision of hippy sexual morality, poor education, liberal-to-loopy immigration policies, familial meltdown, a lopsided economy, the neglect of farming, banker barminess, tolerance of all the foregoing, and a £3.5m donation to the Conservative Party from construction industry fatcats peddling a cash-for-houses swap. The Tories needed cash, and so although Britain needs fewer people not more houses, more houses are what we’s gonna get. For Forrest Gump, life wuz like a box o’ chocolates, but with Dave yo allaz know jess what yo gon’ git: candy floss as a cure for malnutrition.

The ‘there’ place we’re off to is the annihilation of more green belt, pink plastic five-storey garage extensions, and a continuing inability to face out the ‘we need to import more skilled workers’ nonsense from the new generation of immigration apologists. We have upwards of two million people unemployed, a surprising percentage of whom appear to be intelligent and desperate to work for a living: let’s train them, should we?

I do not doubt that many potential immigrants have fantastic skill-sets, but if they come in and the indigenous kids don’t get retrained because of it, that still leaves non-productive kids…and a net increase in what is already – by far – the most densely populated major economy in the EU. The maths offer no logical reason for immigration at all.

So, we come to that bit which David Cameron always finds easy, in that he simply ignores the issue: the fundamental “why on earth are we doing this?” question.

This is another thing making me wonder what might be racing round DC’s bloodstream when he points in a direction, or can’t tell genius from genetic disorder. Somebody needs to have access to the PM’s frontal-lobe problem in order to correct this sort of behaviour: even the Dacre Mail went off on one last Wednesday when it came to the ‘baffling’ decision to promote Jeremy Hunt to the role of Health Secretary. But today, The Slog wants only to give Mr Cameron some simple sums to complete before tomorrow’s lesson….and “Please sir, I left my exercise book at home” will not suffice as an excuse for failure.

Why is Camerlot so sloppy on the workings-out?

Dave has just sanctioned the building of 70,000 new domiciles. Since coming to power, the Home Secretary has presided over an immediate imported population increase of some 566,000 in Yr 1, and 591,000 in Year 2. Had just 2.3% of those immigrants been turned away (on the basis of us probably having nothing for them to do) we would not need any of those new houses.

The destroyed Green belt could instead have been turned into a minimal-interference wildlife sanctuary, and marketed to those foreign tourists that Mr Cameron and his Hunt-supporting chum John Henry James Lewis (link) seemed so keen on when they produced a paper about it in 2009.

Had the Prime Minister not promoted Jeremy Hunt to a position floating precariously above yet more fathoms of incompetence, Mr Lewis could have given Culture-Jeremy another £25,000 to go on a fact-finding trip to New York – in search of people called Murdoch, who might run Win-a-free-vacation-in-Green-England promotions in the Daily Post and on Fox News. Tourist traffic at the level of, say, 70,000 would thus have produced fee-paying temporary migrants to boost Britain’s exports….rather than, say 15-20,000 out of the 70,000 permanent settlers representing fecund future benefit claimants and NHS users.

A small confession: in the years prior to 1982, I did smoke quite a bit of dope, and I did inhale. It was more enriching than alcohol, but totally unregulated and thus totally unpredictable. You could have a mild high or be zipped enough to have doubts about the correct order of limb movements. So I settled back with alcohol, of which I still consume rather too much.

But I’m clear about one thing: after a good big toke of Atlas Black or two bottles of Vosne Romanee, my maths suffer terribly. Terribly enough, for example, for me to need talking out of ordering a third bottle.

In short, if the mind has been loosened by drugs of any nature, the calculations get very sloppy very quickly. Since he became Tory leader in 2006, I have noticed that Dave and the people round him tend to be back-of-envelope, lightweight and somewhat flakey. His briefings for PMQs as Opposition, for instance, were whatever is above superficial. Dooperficial, perhaps.

So does that mean that both the Prime Minister and his close Knights of Camerlot spend a fair amount of their days bonged to buggery? In fact, given the Other Lot seem no better, is the entire political elite stoned day in day out?

How endemic is coke now in the British elites?

Well, you were wondering when we’d arrive back at The Groucho, JHJ Lewis, Jeremy Hunt, David Cameron and the consumption of Class A drugs, here we are. I just can’t get enough of all this, and I hear that Mr Cameron is of a similar mind on the subject. Because of this continuing interest, I spent much of yesterday reading testimony given to the Parliamentary commission on drug abuse. That was all some time ago now, but a year on I found it infinitely more constructive than devious poppycock about the benefits of uncontrolled construction.

The main testimony I wanted to read was that of Russell Brand, a comic I have often found highly original but, until recently, an unmitigated prat. However, Mr Brand is now allegedly off the Colombian nasal snow therapy, and I have to say his words to the commission struck me as a form of wisdom fashioned in the white heat of personal experience…as well as very funny at times.

“You were arrested what, roughly about 15 times?” asked the Chairman.

“Yes,” Brand admitted, “the police were very rough on every occasion”.

Having made the crack however, Russell went on to say the police were doing a necessary job: getting a public nuisance away from the public. He did not believe in drug legalisation, the comic added; he wanted total abstinence to be adopted by government agencies as the only solution to the problem of addiction. He did not, he opined, see any difference between alcohol, acid or heroin: they were all toxically mind-altering, and they were all a bloody nuisance. What was needed, he felt, was tough compassion for the addicts, and a generally zero-tolerance attack on the suppliers and their fellow-travellers.

Russell Brand went up a thousand per cent in my estimation as I read his testimony. There are huge libertarian flaws in what he wants, but that’s because he is being somewhat omelette and eggs about a problem that, to date, all shades of government have produced curates’ eggs drafted by, in some cases, rotten eggs. The problem is far more dangerously corrosive to the metal RSJs of our culture than most citizens realise.

Like all intelligent observers of Cruel Britannia, Brand knows perfectly well that drug usage among the elite is now so widespread – and so egotistically valued – only applying a hatchet to that superstructure will stop its behaviours continuing to trickle down into the hopeless lives of those further down. “Celebrities are vapid and irrelevant,” he testifies at one point, “it’s only a ruthless media set that pretends they are important”.

I use these extracts from Mr Brand’s testimony because, taken together, they sum up what The Slog has been on about throughout this series of Groucho-to-Newscorp posts over the last few days. Here we have, in one small space, the quintessence of corrupt business and warped social ethics colliding with a depraved media corps in turn manipulating a frontally-lobed political elite. It represents a causal spectrum – but a very, very short journey – from cultural decline via cronyist sugar-daddyism to a serious problem of criminal ill-health.

How ironically appropriate we can now see it is that the Prime Minister has promoted a man who acquiesced in (and in some ways is part of) the cultural/media problem as Minister of Media & Culture, to be the new man looking the other way as Health Secretary when it comes to Britain’s profound and complex social health problems.

The irony was heightened for me by reading this morning that 110,000 UK citizens have signed a petition put together by the organisation Safetynet. Its demand is that ISPs be forced at all times to block access to porn on all forms of pc, mobile phone to pornography. It was presented in the form of a letter to Jeremy Hunt. With impeccable timing, Mr Hunt managed to avoid being the man to decide about it by 48 hours.

Trivia footnote: John Henry James Lewis got his OBE in 2004…on the same day as Freddie Goodwin of RBS got his knighthood.

Tomorrow: Is this dimension of political dereliction part of a much broader takeover-bid?