Surprise, surprise, Amy Winehouse is not to be charged over a video which the Scum "obtained" (i.e. purchased from one of Winehouse's "friends" for a no doubt colossal amount of money, much like the video of Kate Moss snorting what might have been cocaine was purchased from one of Pete Doherty's friends), meant to show her smoking crack cocaine. This is of course for the obvious reason that the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt in a court that what Winehouse was smoking was crack; the only way in which she could have been charged over the video was if she made the mistake of admitting to the police that yes, she had been inhaling that wonderful rock and getting completely off her tits. Doubtless when interviewed about it she maintained her right to remain silent, as even the most junior law student would have told her to.
According to the Sun, who after all, paid a lot of Rupert Murdoch's money for this footage, it's a front-page worthy outrage. As the learned Mr Power says, the issue with drugs is that it is not illegal to consume them in the privacy of your own boudoir or bedsit, but it is illegal to have them in your possession. La Winehouse, unlike her luminary Mr Doherty, tends not to make the mistake of continuously being caught with them, although she was fined after cannabis was found in her possession whilst in Norway. If Winehouse had been spotted smoking crack on CCTV, then it might be a different matter. My brother whilst on holiday in Whitley Bay made the mistake of going for a late night walk along the promenade while indulging in the wicked weed, only for the police to suddenly come blaring up, alerted by an eagle-eyed CCTV supervisor.
When it comes to weak, absurd and downright draconian arguments, the Sun's leader on why Winehouse should be brought before a court and presumably sent down for a long time takes the biscuit:
THERE cannot be one person who does not believe Amy Winehouse was smoking crack in a video obtained by The Sun.
That's not the issue here. The police have to be able to have a strong enough case for the Crown Prosecution Service to agree that taking the matter to court will both result in the high possibility of a conviction and that it is in the interest of both the public and the public purse. From just a video, especially one as badly lit and difficult to make out as the Sun's, that simply isn't possible.
Yet police will not prosecute her.
They think they could not secure a conviction on video evidence alone.
Which they certainly couldn't. The judge would throw the case out.
The Sun is deeply concerned.
When stars revel in the degradation of drug abuse, there SHOULD be a way to prosecute them.
Amy’s video is encouragement to break the law.
What utter twaddle. If a young, successful woman looking an utter state, in such apparent desperation that she has to take one of the most addictive but also destructive substances known to man is revelling in degradation or an encouragement to break the law, then the eye of the beholder who thinks in such a way is probably themselves already way beyond help. Fact is, no one would have known about Winehouse's taking of crack if the Sun hadn't bought the video off of one of her so-called mates; she's not encouraging people to break the law or revelling in the degradation of drug abuse to the public, but the newspaper that then brings such things to light when there is no public interest in such matters certainly is. All tabloid newspapers have very funny ideas of what privacy is, but none more so apparently than the Sun.
If you’re caught on CCTV using threatening behaviour, you are charged.
It should be the same for taking drugs on video.
The difference is that CCTV can be used to prove that you were being threatening: it cannot be used to prove that you're taking a controlled substance unless they get you completely bang to rights with you talking about what you're doing while injecting yourself or likewise. Even if you're filmed smoking what looks like a spliff you can argue that it's in fact a long roll-up as long as they don't actually catch you before you've finished it, and you can also argue that white substance you were snorting was not actually cocaine but flour, sugar or something else that looks suspiciously like cocaine when filmed in low quality. This ought to be common sense: otherwise we'd have busybody morons reporting every video featured on YouTube that might show someone taking drugs to the police, or even groups like Mediawatch reporting programmes to the police that show actors supposedly taking drugs. That's the kind of territory we're getting into.
We have laws against glorification of terrorism. So why not against the glorification of drug-taking?
Taking crack in private while talking to someone is now considered to be the "glorification of drug-taking". While we're at it why don't we also make glorification of hitting your husband while drunk illegal, or glorification of anything that breaks the law illegal? What the Sun is asking for is a law to be drawn up which means the press can legally justify their invasions of others' privacy.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith admitted yesterday that she herself SHOULD have been charged for smoking cannabis at university.
Which just proves what a vindictive petty little woman she is. Let's ruin the lives of everyone who dares to enjoy a drug which according to numerous studies is both less dangerous and harmful than either tobacco or alcohol. Incidentally, as we all know, journalists have never personally indulged in drug taking of any kind, and certainly don't snort for Great Britain at the weekend along with a distinct minority of the chattering classes of London. No sirree, they're most certainly not the most loathsome of hypocrites.
The law needs to be upheld in spirit as well as letter.
The Home Secretary accepts that. So let her create a law to save lives.
We're back to the same ignorant and patronising argument used for prohibition in general. The government is putting cannabis back in Class B to protect young people's health, not to placate right-wing ideologues in the so-called popular press who've been running hysterically distorted campaigns demanding just that. This isn't going to save any lives, it's instead crude gesture politics of the worst and most pitiful kind to cover up for the Sun's embarrassment in not getting their own way all the time.
Maybe Amy’s, too.
Oh yes, we have to remember, the Sun is doing all this for Amy's sake you see. It's not because it sells newspapers and brings major attention to the paper in general when it grabs such exclusives, it's because they deeply deeply care about Amy and don't want to see her talent being snatched away through the cycle of drug abuse.
The reality is that the last thing the newspaper wants to happen is for not just Amy, but for any celebrity in general to get off the wagon. After all, that means they don't have anything to write about or splash on their showbiz pages. Celebrity in going home and getting an early night outrage doesn't tend to make the headlines. In any case, just how much the newspaper cares about Winehouse was displayed when it and others crudely invaded and also probably set-up the circumstances in which she was previously photographed in tears in the street during the middle of the night wearing only a bra on her top half. That then was because they cared, not because it made such sensational copy and allowed them to ghoulishly and voyeuristically speculate on what she might have been going through while they profited from her discomfort. This is the legal kind of stalking, and it has no justification whatsoever. The war on drugs will not be won through such idiotic posturing, but through realising that prohibition and indignation go hand in hand in keeping the problem just the way it's been for the last 40 years.
Labels: Amy Winehouse, bullshit, drug policies, drug prohibition, drug stupidity, drugs, Scum-watch, Sun-watch