So Jacqui Smith inhaled and, in the tired political formulation, did "not particularly" enjoy it. Tony McNulty, her affable Junior Minister, has backed his boss to the hilt on this one, admitting his previous experiences with the evil weed.
More entertainingly, this reopens the file on David Cameron's own youthful misdemeanours. While I personally agree that his "this is a private matter" defence is a fair one, and that witch-hunts like this are not particularly conducive to mature political discourse, it also raises one interesting party political issue which could genuinely hurt the Tory leader's strategy of "chavving down" his privileged upbringing.
Put simply, the Home Secretary has today revealed what many of us know to be true - that weed (and pills) are the drugs of choice for normal, working people. Labour people. By contrast, the Tories, with their inherited wealth and Bullington Club decadence, are clearly representative of society's cocaine users. And posher drugs besides - it would not be too surprising to unearth a photo of some minor shadow minister in his university days, resplendent in velvet smoking jacket, reclining on his antique sofa while idly puffing away on an elegant ivory opium pipe. I’m sure that there’s a stash of laudanum, passed down from generation to generation, taped somewhere under the opposition benches in the Commons for when those tedious debates on poverty, housing or free health care require one to take a ‘stiffener’ before trying to catch the Speaker’s eye.
In narcotics as in everything else, this non-story reinforces the message that we know to be true: Labour is the party of the people, while the Tories are the party of wealth and privilege.