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Mark Andrews on Saturday: Woke coke, a great block, and why modern politics is a joke

By Mark Andrews | Opinions | Published:

Read today's column from Mark Andrews.

Ethically sourced coke?

According to investigative journalist Anthony Loewenstein, there is a burgeoning market for ‘woke coke’ in some of our trendier cities. Apparently, middle-class liberals who attend dinner parties in places like Islington are suffering pangs of guilt about where their cocaine comes from.

To counter this, they are turning to the dark web in search of ethical drug dealers, who presumably pay a fair price to their growers, employ only free-range child-mules, and ensure everybody gets the living wage.

Whatever next? Fairtrade heroin? Gluten-free cannabis? Along with farm-assured, GM-free magic mushrooms, obviously.

If the Government is really serious about tackling drug abuse, it should start inviting some of these bozos into schools to give talks.

“Look children, this is what drugs do to you. Just say no.”0

It was sad to hear about the death of Stan Hill at the age of 90. The driving force behind the Black Country Society, he worked tirelessly to change people’s perceptions of the area.

He also spent years trying to resolve the age-old debate about where the Black Country actually was, combing through mountains of historic documents, speaking to countless experts, and painstakingly researching the area’s history.

And the conclusion? “It’s a state of mind,” he replied, tactfully.

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Black Country hero: Stan Hill

Has anybody else had difficulty finding a bog-standard office diary? Not so long ago, any business worth its salt gave them away as a cheap way to promote their brand.

Not so these days, and when I finally got round to buying my 2020 diary the other week, I was surprised how few shops actually stocked them. Plenty of ‘travel journals’ and stationery sets with Frozen characters on the cover, but nothing you could sensibly use for work. It doesn’t help that I am stingy, of course, setting a maximum budget of £1. But even so, you would have thought Poundland might have had one.

Then again, last time I bought a diary from Poundland, it didn’t end terribly well. It looked beautiful, with a smartly embossed cover. It was only when I went to use it that I found it was multi-lingual ¬– with Russian as the primary language.

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Rebecca Long-Bailey: tribal

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey says she does not knowingly have any Tory-voting friends. And if she did, they wouldn’t admit to it ‘because I would be angry’.

Doesn’t that just sum up the nasty tribalism of modern politics? A humourless, illiberal void where no dissent is tolerated, where every choice is binary, and where virility is measured by the level of venom directed at one’s opponents.

And apart from being unpleasant, this attitude is also rather stupid. Assuming Mrs Long Bailey aspires to one day become Prime Minister, as opposed to leading a disgruntled protest movement, she will need to persuade millions of people who voted Conservative last time to change their allegiance. She will need to convince them that she, rather than Boris Johnson, best represents their interests, and stands the best chance of helping them fulfil their dreams.

Telling your main target market you are very angry with them and don’t want to be their friend doesn’t seem a very clever way to go about that.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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