, 21 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
I make no excuses for the young man who smoked opium at a wedding in Afghanistan, which is, after all, the world’s primary source of opium. However, I have some sympathy for the predicament in which he found himself. /2

2/ His lack of courage, or confidence, to say no to his hosts, is probably like the teenage daughter of teetotal parents who is offered the wine of the French vineyard she’s been sent to as an exchange student and opts to taste it in order not to offend her hosts. /3
3/ It’s the nature of the human condition that as we grow up we establish our own values, acceptable levels of compromise – our own integrity and moral courage. We make mistakes along the way, do things we later regret, and decide whether or not to make them public. /4
4/ Hopefully, in the process, we also develop a degree of empathy for our neighbours and colleagues who have also made mistakes, thereby at least attempting to create and maintain a civilised and compassionate society. /5
5/ However, the Mail’s reporting of #Gove’s cocaine as a “banned substance” but Stewart’s opium as a “Class A drug” is clearly biased. Coke is also a class A drug, but why does the Mail not want Gove’s misdemeanour to appear as bad as Stewart’s? /6
6/ Nothing to do with employing Gove’s wife, I don’t suppose. Indeed, the report goes on to say that Gove used cocaine *before he was married* even though his current wife was also a young journalist at the same time. Was she aware of, or did she partake at these parties? /7
7/ Gove says taking cocaine was “a mistake.” I would contend that doing it once was a mistake, but “several times” – meaning what precisely? Like the teetotal girl in the French vineyard or indeed the young traveller at the Afghan wedding, once is excusable. /8
8/ More than once indicates you know what you’re getting into. It was common knowledge in London from the 60s well into the 90s (if not now) that coke and acid were freely available at fashionable parties, indeed, freely available anywhere, if you wanted them. /9
9/ But you had the choice of saying “yes please” or “no thank you”. As a tender young journalist, Mr Gove obviously found it difficult to say no but he does not expand on how many “several occasions” was, or what made him stop, or when, or why, if indeed he did. /10
10/ However, the disingenuous Mail fails to inform its readers that cocaine is imported from South America. It was/is grown by highly dangerous criminal cartels, trafficked to the USA and Europe (via the UK) in a complex structure of smuggling operations, /11
11/ and distributed by dealers, whose interests lie only in getting their clients hooked in order to increase their market share, i.e., income and power, these days often by children through the County Lines network, also responsible for much of the increase in knife crime. /12
12/ Indeed, anyone who uses nowadays, whether casually or not, does so in this knowledge. They are responsible for their own decisions. But in this case, Gove does not regret er, snorting/smoking/injecting this stuff; he does not regret the criminality it relied upon, /13
13/ nor his own moral weakness. He regrets that it may now affect his bid to become Prime Minister. And so it should. After all, we now know that the official #VoteLeave campaign, of which he was a prime mover and shaker, laundered money from who knows where in order to pay /14
14/ for illegal advertising with the express purpose of unduly influencing members of the electorate based on data obtained about them without their knowledge or consent. Vote Leave was fined by the electoral commission and reported to the police /15
15/ which places Gove under police investigation at the moment, let alone for past misdemeanours which he obviously undertook in the belief that they would forward his career. But he got away with it in the early 90s, and he got away with it in 2015 when he said: /16
16/ “drug addiction is one of the principal factors that leads individuals to commit crime.” (Hansard 23.06.15). Because sadly, any addict will tell you there’s a very fine line (excuse the pun) between “several occasions” and “can’t stop”. /17
17/ Yet in this speech he made no mention of his own drug use. He got away with it then and he gambles he can get away with it now. So, if Gove’s “apology” had made the point that he understood the criminality and danger his behaviour had enabled and he regrets that, /18
18/ or that he had not been honest when he first became an MP, that may have been one thing. But as it stands, @michaelgove, this actually isn’t so much about the drugs. You have held the office of Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor which I understand /19
19/ "nominally outranks the Prime Minister", appointed by the monarch and one of the great offices of state. This is now about your ambition, your filthy immorality, your greed, your lies about your father’s business, your hypocrisy and your total lack of integrity. /20
20/ You state you are "lucky" not to be in prison. How lucky? Did someone go down in your place? Did you, by your silence, remain complicit in criminality? Again? Do you consider yourself to be "lucky" you're not in prison because of the #EUref scandal? /21
21/ The fact that you consider your freedom a matter of luck illustrates that you neither understand the seriousness of your confessions, nor do you possess the remotest scrap of integrity or regard for the offices you have held and the public you serve. Resign now. Permanently.
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