There’s been all sorts of spluttering about the question Andy Marr asked Gordon Brown about whether he was using drugs or whatever. Sunny H has got very hoity toity about it for example.
However, here’s something I’ve not seen mentioned as yet.
Marr asked, something along the lines of “many people use prescription drugs or pills to get through….are you?” (there might have been a “to cope with pressure” or something in there).
To which Brown answered no.
However, the actual rumour, the gossip, was not that Brown was using valium, percocet, or other mood altering drugs at all. It was that as a result of mental illness he was using heavy duty anti-psychotics.
That’s not quite the same thing as was asked: you could, if you were a politician, find the question Marr asked to be about drugs to deal with stress and so on. You could, again if you were a politician, quite righteously answer “No” to the question about using drugs to get through, to cope, just as you would answer no if you were at the time taking penicillin to deal with that toenail fungus that wouldn’t go away.
As it happens I don’t think Brown is taking those heavy duty anti-psychotics: I’ve still enough faith in the political system that he would have been turfed out, if for no other reason that he’s got the button for the Trident missiles, if he were.
But he wasn’t asked and didn’t answer the actual rumour, yet everyone is acting as if he was and did.