From: Geoff Ogden MBE, Retired Detective Chief Superintendent, and Drug Action Team Co-ordinator, East Yorkshire.
CONSERVATIVE leadership contender and potential Prime Minister Michael Gove has admitted taking cocaine several times 20 years ago when a journalist. He describes it as a mistake.
It is perhaps to his credit that he has admitted breaking the law several times back then and deeply regrets it. It is wrong of him, however, to simply describe his Class A drug use as a mistake.
These were deliberate acts on a number of occasions. The former Justice Secretary probably thought then that there was no harm in his actions but, as a journalist, he would have been well aware of the misery cocaine supply caused at every level of the supply chain from its source in Latin America to the streets of London.
Twenty years ago and, as we know so well today, drug trafficking was – and is – a major source of revenue for organised crime groups, all of whom were, and are, involved in wider serious crime involving firearms, modern-day slavery and illegal immigration.
Then – and today – there was and is a high level of hypocrisy by middle and upper-class cocaine users who feel that it is fine for them to break the law, having no regard for the misery further down the supply lines, but who then comment about levels of crime in communities.
In the Government, and if successful in his leadership bid, Mr Gove will perhaps reflect on his illegal activity and ensure that those tasked with tackling organised crime linked to the supply of drugs now are properly resourced, along with reviewing the effectiveness of the 48-year-old Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’ in 2019.
From: Alan Machin, Bessacarr, Doncaster.
ISN’T the Conservative Party leadership contest wonderful, showing us the personal qualities and standards of the candidates?
This is the calibre of MPs who think they can run the country, and when I look at Labour it is even more frightening. They obviously have more ambition than ability.
From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.
WHY has Michael Gove’s mea culpa not prompted a wider debate on the misuse of drugs in society – one of the defining issues facing the next PM? Or is the Tory party, and national broadcast media, too busy talking to itself to notice the scale of the problem?