Saturday, February 10, 2007

Senior Tory urges Cameron to come clean on cannabis...

Tory Leader David Cameron smoked cannabis when he was an Eton schoolboy according to tomorrow's Mail on Sunday.

The Mail on Sunday reports that the school called in police after suspicions that a number of pupils had been involved with the drug.

Cameron, then 15, was confined to the school for two weeks after admitting smoking cannabis, but was not suspended, according to reports.

Mr Cameron faced repeated questioning over his previous experience of drugs during the campaign for the Conservative leadership in 2005, when he refused to say whether he had ever used illicit substances.

Former Conservative chairman Lord Tebbit has been on BBC News 24 saying that although the revelations in tomorrow's Mail on Sunday would not do Mr Cameron much good with Tory activists, they should not disqualify him from high office.

However, he urged Cameron to come clean now about the allegations, in order to put the story behind him.

Perhaps for the first time in my life, I find myself in agreement with Lord Tebbit.

As someone once said, in our youth, we all do youthful things.

His best policy now would be a full and frank statement to 'clear the air'.

The claims about Mr Cameron's previous cannabis use appear in a new book, Cameron: The Rise Of The New Conservative, being serialised in the Mail on Sunday.

According to authors Francis Elliott and James Hanning, seven boys were expelled from Eton in 1982 after staff discovered that pupils were smoking and dealing in cannabis.

Mr Cameron was hauled in to see headmaster Eric Anderson after another pupil named him, and was made to confess to smoking the drug.

Because he had only smoked cannabis and not traded in it, he was not expelled like the others.

The book also claims that Mr Cameron indulged in "infrequent and moderate consumption of cannabis" while a student at Oxford University.


Anonymous said...

Maybe this less than breathtaking revelation will help us get some sensible laws about cannabis.

Anonymous said...

Inevitable that this would come out now as I understand there are numerous books on Mr Cameron lined up for publication later this year.

I do not condemn youthful experimentation with cannabis and do not hold the view that using cannabis necessarily leads to the use of Class A drugs. Indeed, I feel tobacco is a more serious drug in terms of health! As Brynley said, we may get a useful debate now on the laws governing cannabis use. Current legislation seems a bit of a mish mash to me with much confusion around.

Anonymous said...

who cares about what DC did before he became an mp - i know people who have experimented with much harder drugs and are still around to tell the tale.

fairdealphil said...

thanks for your comments.

i agree with all three, though i do have concerns that habitual use of cannabis may well lead to harder illegal drugs.

i also understand that some of the cannabis around these days may be considerably stronger than the stuff Cameron may or may not have used 25 years ago.

if Cameron came clean now by admitting it or denying it, this issue may not cause him lasting harm.

however, i see from his responses today that he refuses to do that.

the rotweillers in the media - and others - may well now be asking what other secrets are out there for them to eventually dig up.

inevitably, if he admits to cannabis, the question will move on to the rumours of harder drugs.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Phil. Long term heavy use of cannabis is dangerous but I thought it was in terms of mental illness. Many hard users develop psychosis. However, I know many associates who have dabbled for years (I have never tried the stuff)without any effects. I have also worked with addicts in the past.

I am surprised that David Cameron has not just admitted taking the stuff as a schoolboy and student at Oxford. The press and public have not made an issue of this lapse. I do not follow his strategy and am trying (with great difficulty)not to speculate about the use of other substances.

Anonymous said...

Cameron's strategy is well thought through.

If he says "it was just a dabble", he leaves himself vulnerable when/if the harder stuff is revealed.

If he says nowt, then he protects himself long term against that eventuality.

He's getting the right media advice on this one.