“There’s no doubt that we’re losing the war on drugs – there’s only one solution,” former Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke allegedly told the Commons Select Committee on drugs shortly before being demoted to Minister without portfolio, drawing on what appeared to be a huge spliff before outlining his new strategy. “We have to negotiate a peace deal, which means that we are going to have to consider some kind of limited decriminalisation of Class-A drugs – but only for the right sort of people, of course.” Whilst both Downing Street and the Ministry of justice have both categorically denied that the incident ever took place – video footage of Clarke’s testimony to the Committee have mysteriously disappeared, and the written record doesn’t include his alleged comments – or that it had anything to do with his move away from Justice in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, his alleged sentiments have struck a chord with many other senior politicians. “It’s been obvious for years now that drugs aren’t the problem, so much as the people who take them,” Tory backbencher George Fartington told the Sunday Bystander in a recent interview. “The fact is that the lower classes simply can’t handle class A drugs – just look at the state they get into taking the heavily cut crap that their dealers supply them with. The better classes, by contrast, can handle their consumption of purer product far more discreetly. You don’t see bankers, city traders or peers of the realm burglarising people’s houses to finance their habits, or off their faces in sordid council flats, now do you? It is all a question of character.”

Fartington – an influential member of the Select Committee on drugs – has the support of the government’s controversial former advisor on drugs, Professor Donald Fruit, who was sacked from his former position after attempting to demonstrate that Class A drugs weren’t harmful by shooting up in front of a group of MPs. “My own experiments have conclusively shown that tolerance to narcotics is inextricably linked to social class,” he declared in a recent television interview. “Only the other day I conducted a scientific test whereby I got some chav in from the street and we then both proceeded to snort an identical line of cocaine. Not surprisingly, he was quickly bleeding from his nose and completely incapable of walking in a straight line, let alone speak coherently. For my part, I was able to go and deliver a lecture to a group of students on the benefits of crystal meth and write a paper for The Lancet on the most effective technique for enjoying crack cocaine – no ill effects whatsoever, I think you’ll agree!” Fruit is convinced that the differing class reactions to drugs is down to genetic heritage. “It’s quite literally about breeding,” he opined in the TV interview. “Under the influence of drugs, the more bestial heritage of the lower classes is unleashed, whereas the more refined genetic heritage of their betters, unsullied by miscegenation and inbreeding, based upon the careful selection of suitable partners from the right background, ensures that exposure to drugs can only emphasise their innate class.”

However, Fruit’s so-called scientific research has been dismissed by other experts as worthless, who point out his lack of proper controls or application of any scientific method. “Just look at that cocaine snorting experiment he cites,” declares Dr Joan Sotts of the University of Staines. “It clearly wasn’t a controlled test – he knew nothing of the drug history of the ‘volunteer’. If he had never taken drugs before then obviously he’d suffer more adverse effects from snorting coke than somebody like Professor Fruit, who has been taking all the drugs he can lay his hands on – purely for the purposes of scientific research, he claims – for decades now!” Dr Sotts is equally dismissive of Fruit’s theories on drugs and social class. “It’s got nothing to do with breeding, it’s just about money,” she opines. “These wealthy bastards can afford expensive rehab programmes and purer, uncut, drugs, that’s why they appear to be able to handle the stuff better than the poor working class bastards who can only get their hands on cheap shit cut with scouring powder, and who have no access to rehabilitation schemes.”

Fartington is unimpressed by Sotts’ opinions, standing by Fruit’s analysis of drugs and social class. “Surely the evidence of one’s eyes should be enough to tell that he is absolutely right. I mean, just look at the terrible squalor those working class drug users live in – the grotty bedsits full of rubbish, the diseases, the open sores and the crime to pay for their habits,” the MP told a recent constituency meeting. “By contrast, how many times have you seen, say, the drug-addicted heir to a packaging system fortune, living in sordid conditions in his mansion with his wife’s decomposing body in the next room? Exactly, that just couldn’t happen! Addiction is for the lower orders, not the likes of us!” Fartington then went on to outline his vision for a new drugs policy for the UK, with the use of Class A drugs being legalised on the basis of income. “If we restrict their consumption to higher rate taxpayers then it will be beneficial for everyone,” he told the assembled middle aged ladies, bankers and small business men of his constituency party. “Suppliers will be able to raise their prices, thereby compensating them for the loss of all those Chav buyers, secure in the knowledge that they’ll be paid, in full, in cash and on time! As far as the customers are concerned, they’ll have a guaranteed legal supply of high quality stuff, without having to run the risk of the social embarrassment of being arrested.”

Incredibly, Fartington has even argued that his proposals would bring benefits in terms of law and order. “With the more responsible wealthy drug users monopolising the product, then supplies to the lower class users will be cut off,” he mused at the constituency meeting. “Naturally, that would result in the virtual cessation of drug-related crime. Most importantly, it would greatly reduce the risks to the better off of being mugged or having their houses burgled!” The Conservative leadership have roundly rejected Fartington’s ideas on drugs, reiterating that remains committed to the ‘war on drugs’ and has no plans to legalise narcotics of any kind. They have also rejected his claims that his policies have been endorsed by a cabinet minister, categorically denying that Kenneth Clarke either smoked a joint or advocated the legalisation of drugs during his recent Select Committee testimony. “There has been no cover-up, as some individuals have implied,” a party spokesperson stated to a press conference. “The only thing he smoked was one of his trademark cigars and the absence of video footage of his testimony was down to a technical fault. Just because Mr Clarke listens to jazz music, enjoys a smoke and wears suede shoes doesn’t mean he’s a drug fiend!” Fartington disagrees. “Oh come on, I was there myself,” He told a tabloid newspaper. “I might have been off of my face after dropping a couple of tabs before we started – and believe me, I’m not the first Tory to have performed in parliament under the influence, so to speak – but I’m sure that’s what Ken said!”