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Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog
Wednesday, 17 January 2007
Mood:  flirty
Now Playing: No Sacrifice (Elton John)
Topic: News Views

NAOMI CAMPBELL has just been punished in a New York courthouse (for the second time) for "injuring" (how badly? I ask myself. I think "victimizing over the full course of one's employment" is more likely a charge to bring) her "maid". Due to a plea bargain that, according to the British press involved her doing no community service that was "unpalatable", she will now be punished indoors. She will pay a $400 fine. She will have to undertake her second anger mangement course in the last couple of years.

Do you know what? I don't know what to say about this. Is it one law for the rich and one for the poor? Loads of "celebrities" (not to mention a speeding (in a car, folks— not on drugs) Princess Ann) seem to get scandalously lenient sentences, over here as much as anywhere else.

"Poor" Naomi Campbell has been in the papers so many times for her, frankly, dead skunk-stinking attitude to all those she no doubt considers her inferiors. I actually like Naomi. She was always more "super" than the other models. And the only one who seemed truly fashionable+sexy at the same time (the 2 are extremely different things— I point this out to my female audience). Oh and by the way Naomi Campbell is not "African American", never has been. She is black British. And if you want to be politically correct about it, the term we tend to use over here is Afro-Caribbean (though I've not seen or heard that one lately). British people of African or Caribbean origin usually just call themselves "black". And are justly proud of being it, too.

And, as Loony Tunes say:— That's All [for tonight] Folks!!

Posted by gledwood at 1:01 AM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007 1:06 AM GMT
Tuesday, 9 January 2007
Draconian American Laws
Mood:  sharp
Now Playing: Born in the USA...
Topic: News Views

I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING I'd omitted from the piece you find below. Something obvious and simple that throws light on the issue. It came to me in a flash this afternoon. So blindingly obvious, I can't fathom why I left it out, but hey. The biggest difference between the darker side of British and American life can be summed up in one word:— GUNS.

The prevelence of these across the Pond seems to have given America a harder edge indeed...

I WAS READING IN IVY'S "Losing My Name" (listed to the right) about people being carted off to jail just for "trespassing" on McDonalds' property. Which puts me in mind of something I've felt like commenting on for some time: how draconian the American authorities' way of doing things seems to be compared to ours'.

Prison over here is a last resort option. Nobody goes to jail here unless it's for pretty serious wrongdoing, or they're convicted for the umpteenth time of some petty offence, such as shoplifting. In other words the court feels it's the only option.

I remember a documentary about some Americans trying to make it in the film business without much money. One was caught shoplifting food and did two weeks inside until someone stumped up something like $2000 to get him out. That would never happen over here. You only have to pay bail if the crime with which you're charged is extremely serious (e.g. drug trafficking) and there's considered a risk of your fleeing the country. Normal bail involves just signing out, adhering to certain conditions (possibly a curfew) and visiting the police station on a regular basis to sign the Bail Book, proving you're still around.

As for trespass, unless it's done on the railways or, perhaps, restricted access Government property, it isn't even a crime! One can sue for trespass in the civil courts, but a successful claim must prove that actual physical damage or financial loss was incurred...

You don't need any special cards to flash at police if you're stop-&-searched carrying needles. The police are most concerned that needles should have the proper lids on. Their main worry over here is not getting needlestuck! And should you overdose the police are unlikely to accompany you to or visit you at hospital. Unless, say, you were underage or some similar dodgy factor was involved.

There was recently a BBC documentary on American child prisoners. Most of those interviewed were in their late teens, but had been convicted at the ages of 14 and 15 of serious crimes (e.g. murder), tried as adults at the District Attourney's discretion and sentenced to life without parole. That could never happen here! A child is a child under English law, no question. The age of criminal responsibility kicks in at seven or thereabouts. And anyone who commits a crime, whatever their age after that, will be held responsible. But the court at which they're tried and the sentence will depend totally on their age.

Tthe death penalty was banned here in the 1950s. And the peculiarly American  ways your authorities have of doing it — electric chairs, (allegedly) agonizing lethal injection — would never be approved of over here, even if hanging were to be brought back.

I find it quite strange that two countries who consider themselves "cousins" if not "brother" nations can have such differing attitudes to something as fundamental as justice...

I can't put my finger on why the British should be so very much more tolerant. Perhaps, as the stereotype goes, we really are a more clement people. A trivial first offence (for example bog-standard marijuana possession) usually attracts a formal warning or caution. Whereas in America, "citations" seem to go flying out left right and centre. Though it's a popular catchphrase, often spouted by press-hungry politicians, us Brits never did quite get the idea of "zero tolerance"...

Hmmm... I don't feel like I'm being as analytical as I'd hoped. My point, to the American addicts reading this, is: you have my sincerest sympathy. Being a junkie is no walk in the park. And you seem to be having a far rougher ride than most of us...


Posted by gledwood at 11:53 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007 7:00 PM GMT
Sunday, 31 December 2006
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: tearfully - boo-hoo!
Topic: News Views

WHEN I WOKE UP yesterday with the radio telling me of the last moments of Saddam Hussein as he approached the hanging scaffold… turned down the offer of a hood, bowed his neck, calmly accepting the noose… exclaimed, “God is great!” — his last words — then:— WHAM!

   I was always against the death penalty when I was younger… (What if they got the wrong guy?)… more recently my mind began to change. Saddam Hussein kept alive in Iraq would always be liable to jailbreaks from his mobs of “insurgents”…

   But I have to admit, and I’m hardly Saddam’s #1 fan, that of all the things to feel on hearing of his death, I felt tearful. Why? Why do we feel sad when anyone dies? It’s often because of all that person didn’t achieve and all they were not. That’s why when someone like Mother Theresa goes, having lived a full and worthwhile existence, barely a tear is shed. But someone with a troubled life, someone like Princess Diana… see what I mean?

   Well, that’s my theory.

Posted by gledwood at 1:55 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006 9:34 PM GMT
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Candle in the Wind '97
Topic: News Views

… Incidentally, re Princess Diana and the Royal Family it amuses me the way they seem to be viewed by the foreign media:— almost as celebrities who don’t make films or records. Very modern Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan-type celebrities. Has Lindsay Lohan been in a film? Has anyone seen it?

   Our Queen is our Head of State much as an old granny becomes head of a family Since the Queen Mum died a few years ago our Queen ticks both of these boxes. She is loved and respected by a vast proportion of the population in a way I’m not sure Republic-dwellers could fully understand.

    An American President gets at most eight years. The former Irish President Mary Robinson (in a figurehead role more equivalent to that of our Queen) had a regal bearing but she only did the job for a few years.

    Queen Elizabeth II has reigned since 1952 and was well known to the public of course (as Princess Elizabeth) all her life up to then. We have seen how a woman perhaps not the most naturally gifted with “star quality” and charisma has performed the duties to which she was born with rare dignity, escaping the kind of scandals in which practically every other member of her family became embroiled.

    Diana was dangerous because while she was alive and popular she attracted public sympathies and support that might otherwise have been directed at Charles and the Queen. (Although there were signs that her popularity was perhaps just starting to falter when she died.)

   The Queen is little interested in her popularity ratings and though her “star” might well be at an all-time high today, there have been periods in history when the Royals weren’t all that popular at all.

   It is often said that in an ever more rapidly changing world the Queen provides Britons with a sense of constancy and stability.

   Perhaps it’s a paradox that as we gradually enter a sci-fi-comes-real style of future, the Royal family are becoming more indispensable to us than they’ve ever been in this present “Constitutional” age…

Posted by gledwood at 1:50 PM GMT
Sunday, 24 December 2006
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Cautiously optimistically...
Topic: News Views


One big PS re the Ipswich, Suffolk junkie prostitute murders.

Two men were arrested in the last week.

One, named Steve Wright, has been charged with the murders of all five girls...

... Innocent until proven guilty is the firm credo of English law...

Still, police do not charge someone with something that serious unless they believe they have pretty strong evidence against that person.

Only time and our courts of law will tell the outcome...

Posted by gledwood at 10:21 PM GMT
Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Haplessly
Topic: News Views


HOW CAN I, a hapless junkie, complain about this world of ours going to the dogs?


    Well, considering the state this planet’s in, all I can say is it surprises me EVERYONE’s not on ’em.


Posted by gledwood at 12:40 AM GMT
Monday, 18 December 2006
Daily Mirror
Now Playing: the Moderator
Topic: News Views

WITH THE RECENT MURDER of five drug-addicted street prostitutes in Ipswich, the papers are full of letters on the issue of drugs.

    These comments from today’s Daily Mirror:—

    The Ipswich killer is a piece of trash who will be caught anyway bit I regard him as the secondary killer.

    The people who took these girls’ lives in the first place are the scum who deal drugs.

    They have been slowly destroying our country in ways that Hitler or al-Qaeda could only have dreamt of.

    Put resources into stopping them before they finish the job.

Says Ian Crichton of  Birmingham.

    Heroin should be made available on the NHS which would curb drug dealing and prostitution. It’s time for a more enlightened approach.

    E Cosby, Leeds

    We need to adopt a realistic attitude towards prostitution — I suggest regulating it as the Dutch and Scandinavians do.

    Drug addiction is also a nightmare but trying to stamp it out will not work. We must seek to lessen its malignant influence by licensing drugs. Poverty too leads to degradation and despair.

    Perhaps these deaths will jolt enough people into realizing something must be done.

    David Sawtell, Tydd St Giles, Cambridgeshire.

    Yes, but what?

The tabloids have not always been so open-minded regarding drugs as they are today.

    But in a society where most people have a son or daughter, niece or nephew or at least know someone whose family has been blighted this way, it becomes more and more difficult merely to write off addicts as “scum”.

    There are too many of us about nowadays — and I don’t say this with pride — to ignore this situation. Addiction to hard drugs crops up e.g. on TV talk shows incidental to the main subject so frequently it suggests to me that the Government’s figures, a quarter of a million supposed heroin addicts in a population of 60 million, are wildly underestimated.

    There’s no point my demanding that someone ought to do something because I know they won’t. The problem will only get worse and society, like an already iceberg-hit Titanic, will continue to creak and groan and sigh in all its agonies. I believe our society is literally falling apart.

     One day soon, just like the legendary boat, our civilized society will suddenly sink without a trace.

    We’ll be left in anarchy and chaos, wondering how we managed to go so badly wrong.

Posted by gledwood at 9:44 PM GMT
Thursday, 14 December 2006
The Sun
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: thoughtfully...
Topic: News Views

THE SUN NEWSPAPER, not always a bastion of open-minded thinking in times past, published a remarkable editorial this morning.

    Under the banner, "The Sun Says"... "Deadly Craving".

    The five women murdered were all prostitutes.

    But they can't be dismissed as tarts who asked for all that they got.

    ... All five were somebody's little girl.

    Addiction drove them to risk everything. They craved drugs more than life itself.

    The most poignant image... of this horrific saga was a terrified girl starting her night shift...

   "I know the risk but I need the money," she said.

    A few hours later, Paula Clennell, 24, was dead.

    If there is a lesson it can be summed up by her distraught Dad, Brian: "Don't do drugs."

    The press is full of sad tales of these girls who, as the cliché  says, "had everything going for them" until drugs stole it all away.

    I feel so sad reading these stories of girls not that much younger than me, how drugs came into their lives — and the resulting decline and fall.

    As a heroin addict I've got used to living an existence I can't expect the outside world to understand.

    So when something truly awful happens like this I'm suddenly confronted by realities that from day to day I've almost managed to forget.

    Because drug-taking (hard drugs, anyway) is about forgetting.

    And remembering feels sometimes almost too painful.

    What else can I say? My thoughts aren't so much with those girls' families as with the girls themselves.

    Because I know that, put in the same situation, I'd be dead also.


Posted by gledwood at 5:45 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006 11:51 PM GMT
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
Serial Killer
Mood:  surprised
Now Playing: Disgusted Observer
Topic: News Views

WE HAVE A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE. In Eastern England this man (it almost definitely is a male) has been picking up young prostitutes, none of whom has been seen alive again. Five bodies recovered over two months; two of these were found in a stream last weekend.

    What the BBC are calling “sex workers” and the tabloids label “vice girls” or “hookers”, let’s be clear, are heroin and/or crack addicts driven to the streets to fund their own (and frequently their parasitic boyfriends’)drug habits.

    Some heartbreaking stories appeared in the newspapers this morning. Young women, bright-eyed, their whole lives laid out full of opportunities ahead . Along come hard drugs and — wham!— all dreams are shattered. Life reduces to a treadmill, working, scoring, using, sleeping, working, scoring… and so on…

    Confronted by (probably paying) journalists, the girls say mostly what they know is expected. But some have admitted the uneasy truth: while their every intuition warns them: keep off the streets, the pull of drug-money becomes stronger even than the instinct to preserve life.

    Police say their warnings have been heeded. I really don’t think so. When sex workers know their clients have been all scared off, why bother coming out? Maybe the girls can make a bit of money talking to journalists if they find the right ones. Otherwise I’d suspect the majority are relying on their families (if they have families) to support them, or else are robbing the local high street… all the time waiting patiently for the situation to die down.

    What motivates a man to such depravity? The police have conceded he knows enough about forensic techniques to strip the corpses and dump them in a stream (where two were round very close together). The culprit is, apparently, “well organized” and (this is where it gets truly frightening) dangerous even as serial killers go…

    Experts, of course, disagree on the details.

    To Radio 4, he is a charming man the street girls feel they can trust; to the Sun newspaper he’s inept and full of rage. He targets street girls because they’re the easiest women to get hold of and he’s angry, one expert theorizes, because he’s (sexually) inept and resent the (sexual) power such women wield over him.

    A supposed “fund” has been set up to cover these ladies’ living expenses: but to be blatantly frank I cannot conceive how on earth such a scheme could operate without being abused.

    Are they going to hand out £50 a day to anyone who says she’s a prostitute? If the girls say they need it, will they give them more?

   There are no answers to this nightmare situation. The sooner the monster(s) responsible are caught, the sooner (relative) peace and harmony can be restored…


Pete Doherty, notorious rocker fiancé of Kate Moss has been fined yet again for possession of crack cocaine and heroin.

    The judge or magistrate in the case went leniently because Mr Doherty is doing so well at his treatment programme.

    Doesn’t this judge read the newspapers? fumes Jane Moore, columnist in the Sun.

    Well excuse me, Ms Moore, but aren’t judges supposed to disregard hearsay (which, let’s face it, is what the papers are full of) and focus only on the facts presented in court. Isn’t that why justice is blind? If the tabloid press were granted the power over the law courts of the land they desire, imagine just how OTT the outcomes would be…

    For information, BTW, I hear Mr Doherty is fitted with a heroin-busting naltrexone implant. For about £3000, a private clinic will fit one of these internal patches that blockades the effects of heroin and all other opiates completely for up to three months.

    If Pete Doherty’s really fitted up with one of these, I’d point out that merely getting such a drastic device installed under one’s skin says more than a whole folder of “drugs progress reports” ever could…

    …Being in the public eye with a raging habit cannot be easy.

    So I say: hats off to Mr Doherty, for making the effort.


Posted by gledwood at 7:21 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006 7:28 PM GMT

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