Dozens of chirpy crack dealers – but no police, naturally

If you’ve been reading this, you may recall my fond reminiscences of happy days with A, retired party girl, failed carving knife artiste and reformed meth fiend.

In those days if you were an addict you could sign up and get your junk on prescription. However, as someone wisely observed, “there is no situation so bad that politicians cannot make it worse.”

So the idiots in charge (yes, just as thick as the current lot) stopped this sensible arrangement.

My friend A was no fool. She told me: “This change is bloody stupid. It will bring in the villains and create all kinds of misery.”

And so it came to pass.

Two weeks ago when she was leaving our office in the West End late at night a man approached my partner and asked her if she was “All right for Charlie”.

After he’d finished a gig last week my son Nick was approached quite openly not by one but by a succession of crack dealers near Camden tube. As he commented, “If I can see it that easily, what’s stopping the bloody police?”

Good question. Well, I’ll tell you.

The police are just too busy. It’s a tough life, driving round like a maniac, sirens blaring – when you’re not filling forms that ensure equal opportunities for arseholes. With all that going on, how can you find time to do what you’re paid for?

Talking about arseholes, they’re far too busy to get out and see what’s happening.

Cameron is busy wondering why his impression of Bliar isn’t working (hint, David: everyone thinks the man was a complete fuck-up); Brown is busy working out how to screw Cameron, and wondering if anyone will notice that he’s agreed to sign us up for Europe without a referendum (yes, friends; he’s just as deceitful as his predecessor; he just doesn’t smile when he lies).

How can these great men possibly find time to take a walk round any street in any town in this country and see what we’re worrying about?

The West End isn’t quite this bad – yet. Give the politicians time, though

P.S. Thanks to the gentleman who told me I had wrongly consigned Ludovic Kennedy to an early grave: the old chap is still puttering along. I was confusing him with that pompous ass Robin Day.

About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.

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