PETER HITCHENS: You can't prosecute Nigella – cocaine's been legalised

PETER HITCHENS: You can’t prosecute Nigella – cocaine’s been legalised

The police should leave Nigella Lawson alone.It would be ridiculous and stupid to pursue her over her admissions of illegal drug use.

I confess that this was not my first response. I was angry with the immediate reaction of the Metropolitan Police, when they said they would do nothing.

It looked to me as if they were either afraid of Miss Lawson’s TV celebrity power, or besotted by it.

Confession: It would be pointless to drag Nigella Lawson back to court over her admissions of illegal drug use

Confession: It would be pointless to drag Nigella Lawson back to court over her admissions of illegal drug use

Perhaps when she has become old and unfashionable (or even dead) they will dig up the file and pursue it.For the modern police seem much more interested in patrolling the past  than they do in patrolling the present day.



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But then I paused and thought again. True, Miss Lawson has stated on oath that she took (and so must have possessed) cocaine and cannabis, both illegal actions under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. 

But how could it possibly be right for the police or the CPS to take action against her, when so many thousands of others in similar positions will never face arrest?

It would be a pathetic token prosecution, damaging or even destroying one person, to sustain a silly pretence that what she did is really illegal.

It would not deter others, for hardly anyone is likely to find himself in the witness box, as she was, with no real choice but to say what she did.

And it is much more important that the police, the courts and the politicians who stand behind them finally admit the truth about their drugs policy.

It is a great big, stinking lie.They have legalised the use of cannabis and cocaine (and of heroin too). The supposed laws against drug possession are not enforced unless the police are absolutely compelled to do so by the persistence or stupidity of the offender.

This country is in the midst of the most radical experiment in decriminalisation in the advanced world, much more extensive and far-reaching than in Holland or Portugal.

It has been achieved piece by piece, in a slow salami-slicing process, over the past 40 years.

Yet leaders of all the major parties, when pressed, will adopt  stern expressions and say grimly that they will never legalise drug possession. Of course they won’t.It would breach our international treaty obligations. 

But why should they need to act openly, when they know perfectly well that the police won’t arrest drug users, the CPS won’t prosecute them and the courts won’t punish them?

The London elite knows this very well, but it is a sort of thought-crime to say so in modern Britain.

The upper deck, in the media, in politics, in the universities and in showbusiness, don’t want the world to know, because they enjoy their drugs so much.And they rightly suspect that if the ordinary, respectable people of Britain realised what was going on, they would demand action.

When I explained the system in my recent book The War We Never Fought,  it was ignored by almost every national newspaper, and pelted with ignorant abuse by the few that reviewed it.



Split: Miss Lawson and ex-husband Charles Saatchi secured a divorce following the high-profile court case

When I gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee, I was heard politely and then ignored. 

Of course, I would like to see  a proper drug law, properly enforced.I believe it would save many people from horrible fates (especially the families of young cannabis users, who are often burdened for life with the care of a mentally ill person). 

But prosecuting Nigella Lawson, and leaving tens of thousands of others alone, would achieve nothing except (as was once said on another rather  different occasion long ago) to break a butterfly upon a wheel.

Hilarious reports suggest that Britain is going to  catch up with Germany economically, despite having almost no manufacturing industry, comically bad schools and a collapsing infrastructure.

I can only assume that we will do this by overtaking the Germans in the production of fairy tales.

Theirs are called things like Hansel And Gretel.Ours are called ‘official statistics’, an amazing fantasy world in which crime is down, school standards are up, there is almost no inflation and George Osborne is an economic genius.

2014: The year of the phoney war

Accurate: Vince Cable is surprisingly right about David Cameron being like Enoch Powell

Accurate: Vince Cable is surprisingly right about David Cameron being like Enoch Powell

As Vince Cable strives to smash the Coalition, it’s time to review my past predictions and preview the year to come.

Vince is surprisingly right about David Cameron being like Enoch Powell. Both men used the immigration issue to reinflate sagging careers and reputations. Neither had any serious plan to do anything about it.

But the Prime Minister, unlike Mr Powell, could do something about it if he wanted to.

He could admit that as long as this country stays inside the EU, it cannot control its borders or its laws, and so its government has no power over migration at all.

And he could say that, for this and other good reasons, he would now call an immediate General Election on a policy of rapid withdrawal from the EU.

But for that to happen he would have to have courage and principle, and you might as well enter a snail in the Grand National as to expect such things of him.

Instead, the two Coalition parties will shortly pretend  to go to war with each other (as I predicted back in September 2011).

I then said: ‘But the biggest fake of all will be the stage-managed split between  the two, which I predict will take place by the spring  of 2014…’

I then thought the trigger might be a row about spending.Now I suspect it will be dire results for both Tory and Lib Dem parties in the European Parliament elections on May 22.

‘… the Liberals will then noisily leave the Coalition but quietly agree to maintain a minority Tory Government on the basis of “confidence and supply”.


Enoch Powell

Akin: Both Mr Cameron, left, and Mr Powell, right, used the immigration issue to reinflate sagging careers

‘Mr Cameron will then find ministerial jobs for some of his friends.Mr Clegg may possibly go off to the European Commission –  a seat falls vacant in 2014.

‘If he does, I suspect Vince Cable will become leader, a change worth many votes  to his party.The Tories will try and fail to get a few “Right-wing” measures through Parliament.

‘And at the 2015 Election, voters will be asked to choose between Liberal Conservative, Liberal Democrat or Liberal Labour candidates, pretending to disagree with each other.

‘The Liberal Democrats will then form a coalition with whoever gets most seats.And your wishes, hopes and fears will continue to be ignored.’

Well, that last prediction  is absolutely certain, whatever happens.

I’m annoying? Why didn’t you say so?

You may not believe this, but I don’t much like the sound of my own voice.

Having had quite a lot of chances to hear it, I can see why it might annoy people.

So I was humiliated, but unsurprised, when I was told off, at the end of a long and much delayed train journey, for talking too loudly to my travelling companions.

Even so, as I said to my accuser, couldn’t she have complained while I was actually annoying her, instead of waiting till it was too late?

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