The good thing about Charles Saatchi publically assaulting Nigella Lawson is that it seems to have helped a lot of people decide that perhaps doing recreational drugs isn’t such a big deal after all.
Balanced against an actual social problem, like domestic violence, the treacle-slow wits of middle England’s moral majority seem to have dawdled with painful sluggishness to the conclusion that maybe taking a bit of cocaine is a perfectly OK thing to do. It’s a happy, happy day for drug enthusiasts like me (albeit, sadly, lapsed since my current happy families lifestyle doesn’t really offer much opportunity for getting out of my nut on class As).
Of course, it helps if the person doing the cocaine is a well-loved middle-class icon and, sad though it was to see, the public incident with her husband certainly helped focus people’s minds on the real issue.
Remember when Kate Moss got busted with a nose full of chang? Or Tulisa? Or that scouse bit out of Atomic Kitten? The sound of tutting emanating from the provinces was deafening. Still, it feels like there’s been a palpable change in attitude since we learned that Nigella likes to snork down a line or two occasionally.
It's a shame that it took such an ugly turn of events to make the shrieking Just Say No crowd to contemplate their own hypocrisy*, but at least it's helped move everybody forward to a slightly more enlightened place. So, maybe, the next time we find out that some public figure likes to get off their tits, the public response will be a big fat: "So fucking what?"
Call me an idealist, but wouldn’t it be a nice state of affairs if we could stop spending millions of pounds a year on policing casual drug users and let the police do something more productive with those resources instead – like helping domestic abuse victims. You know, an actual crime with real victims.
*The most vehemently anti-drugs person I ever met was fond of painting herself as a bit of a hard drinker, in much the same way that teenage shoplifters paint themselves as hardened gangsters.