'The State It's In' - Squall Editorial
Lawrence Dallaglio captained England's rugby team. That's the point. The Ecstasy and Cocaine he is alleged to have taken did not seem to detract from his sporting talents. So much for the emaciated drug stereotype. But the News of the World's Phil Hall, editor of the newspaper whose quest for product sales has caused so much damage to Dallaglio, plays Janus. Looking one way and ignoring the other.
For there is no media personality who does not, or does not know someone, who partakes of illicit substances and yet remains perfectly competent in their job. And there is no-one familiar with the machinations of the market who could sit with a competent lie detector and say they do not know that ecstasy and cocaine is a prevalent drug, both on the stock-market floor and in the lives of young professionals. When SQUALL interviewed the advertising executives responsible for the Leah Betts anti-Ecstasy poster campaign a few years ago, they admitted on tape there was a fair chance Ecstasy might actually be made legal in future years, simply because a significant number of young professionals use it regularly at weekends as a release. Their reluctant argument suggested this constituency would come to represent a powerful lobbying force.
And so to entertain our patient wait. Just imagine if Dallaglio had excercised a maverick compunction to say: "Yes I took Ecstasy and Cocaine, they do not represent a problem for me. I am proud to continue as captain of England."
Ah, then we'd have a socially relevant debate on our hands. Until then, a large number of British people are living a lie in fear of ridiculous reprisal.
RECREATIONAL DRUG WARS - Ecstasy and the alcohol industry - Squall 12 - Spring-1996.