Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tories go mad on drugs

More on the remarkable "I never snorted coke, says Ken Clarke" story I mentioned last night.

Today's Shropshire Star reports that:

Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard admitted this afternoon that he had once tried cannabis but was now a hardliner on drugs policies.

He was speaking just hours after persuading Tory leadership heavyweight Ken Clarke to tell a packed meeting of Tory MPs that he had never taken cocaine.

It seems the whole exercise has turned into something of an own goal on the part of Pritchard. He is a supporter of David Davis and was presumably seeking to embarrass David Cameron. The way the Guardian tells it, Clarke's intervention was designed to warn Tory MPs not to go down this road:
"If you start asking personal questions it does not stop."
Will the Conservatives allow Clarke to save them from their own worst instincts? Not by the sound of it:

Mr Clarke delivered the same sort of witty and intelligent performance he displayed at last week's Tory conference - to little avail.

Adjectives like exhilarating and exciting were used. "He was brilliant, but he's just not a Tory," explained one rightwinger after Mr Clarke had stressed five policy points - the economy, democracy, health, education and pensions - on the road to making his party an effective opposition again.

I have never been a great admirer of Freud. But he spoke of Thanatos - the death instinct - and something of the sort seems to be at large in the modern Conservative Party.

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