Standing For Election
At the age of 17, I stood for the Conservatives in the 1992 school election. I didn’t have any particular inclination to stand, but when the Head of History asked our general studies class for volunteer candidates, I was thrust forward. As the most vocal defender of the Tories and capitalism in classroom debates, I felt obliged.
My tactics were fairly orthodox. Me and my small team produced posters suggesting that Labour would be profligate with taxpayer’s money, we campaigned in the playground and had a Q&A in the main hall. The only bit I remember of that session was a Labour supporter heckling that I was against the working classes for not putting state support for mud-wrestling on a par with more established art forms.
The Lib Dem and Labour candidates were both good blokes (deep down), but the Labour campaign had a secret weapon – the school’s best cartoonist. This gifted chap (who has since designed album covers for some major bands) took to preparing caricatures of me. Nothing wrong with that, but the taglines were bizarre. In the school dining room was a cartoon of me with the quote "PT says I don’t do drugs" and there was another somewhere else that was just a simple insult.
School Allows Drug-Taking To Be Promoted
School elections are a bit of fun and nothing was at stake, so I was a bit surprised about the negative response when I complained to the Head of History about these posters. He thought it was OK that someone was allowed to put a poster up on school premises advocating drug use. To use a Jowellism, it was pretty bewildering.
Casualties Of Drugs
One of my classmates died in his mid 20s of a drugs overdose. My mum was acquainted with his mum and it must have been horrible for his family who thought that he had finally kicked his dependency. I hear on the grapevine of other bright kids from school who have not yet fully recovered psychologically from drug experimentation in their younger days.
I held back a little on this post because I wanted to hear Cameron give a similarly unequivocal anti-drugs message. He has, and I endorse every word from this article.
For the record, I smashed the Labour candidate in the election getting double their votes, but the Lib Dem beat me. But as I think the saying goes (and I may have got the wording on this quote slightly wrong), kids like Lib Dems. Anyway, Valentines Day duties call.