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MANN JULIANJulian Mann is vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire.

Every parent of teenagers in the United Kingdom should be thankful for the way in which Louise Mensch MP communicated her moral abhorrence of illegal drugs, fuelled by her past experience of taking them as a young person.

Appearing on BBC Question Time alongside John Lydon, who under the alias 'Johnny Rotten' was the lead singer of a 1970s punk rock band, the Conservative MP for Corby captured the moral high ground with her candour, denounced a soul-destroying activity against which the authorities should be taking more vigorous punitive action and thus performed a public service.

This went way beyond her reaction last year. Confronted by an investigative journalist claiming he had evidence of an occasion in a night club when she had taken illegal drugs in the 1990s, she admitted the incident was 'highly probable' and made a remark about youthful indiscretion. On Question Time she stated her sincere regret that she had 'messed with her brain' by taking Class A drugs and argued eloquently for their continuing criminalisation.  No Clintonesque slipperiness there.

It is no co-incidence that the drug culture in the UK mushroomed as our nation de-Christianised. The spiritual vacuum left by the ebbing tide of Christian faith has been filled with nasty, mind-destroying chemical substances. 


Only the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ can truly fill the vacuum and restore the sense of God-created human purposefulness undermined by the drug culture. But the government has a moral responsibility to wield the sword of justice against both the distribution and use of illegal drugs.

I would go further than Mrs Mensch if I may. Given the appalling social damage caused by the drug culture glamourised in the 1960s, every person honoured by the Queen should be required to sign a declaration supporting the continuing criminalisation of illegal drugs, including cannabis (currently Class B). Or they should forfeit their honour.

The abuse of cannabis particularly by teenagers is not a trivial matter. No civilised society should honour a person who does not publicly support the continuing criminalisation of cannabis. In the likely event that Mr Lydon is honoured by the political establishment, he should certainly sign the Mensch declaration before his trip to Buckingham Palace.

'God save the Queen' would be an urgent imprecation in that eventuality.

In the meantime, thank the good Lord for Mrs Mensch.

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