Sunday, April 17, 2005


There's a big my drug and sex shame intervew with Pete Doherty in this week's News of the World, which in the past could only have meant one thing: a dealer expecting a settlement. This time, though, it looks like the NOTW has just paid writer bloke Pete Walsh to use chunks of his book about the Libertines. But what have the News of the World got for their money? A "confession" that Pete was a rentboy (can you count it as an exclusive confession if anyone who's interested has heard the tales a thousand times?) and the usual ho-hum hijinks on the road. And Pete sold drugs, apparently. Who knew?

We love the little warning the paper sticks into its copy, though:

Read on, but prepare to be shocked...

Curiously, of course, this article is framed not as a 'isn't Doherty awful?' piece but as a warning to Kate Moss:

Sorry Kate, just when you thought he couldn't get any worse, Doherty confesses... I sold drugs and serviced old queens!

Although, presumably, Kate would have known all the stuff in the book anyway (if she's even interested any more).

The real shock, of course, is to discover that the NOTW is still living in 1903 when it comes to the idea of men having sex with other men - they're "old queens", "pervert gay punters"; it gives the paper an unsolveable ethical condundrum when it reaches the point in the book where Doherty fleeces a customer:

"I was working in a bar, selling drugs, working on a building site, writing poetry in the graveyard shift at The King's Head—and I was spunking off old queens for, like, 20 quid. I did it a couple of times, yeah. I remember once being taken back to this mews house in Chelsea, right old fucking badger he was. It was a bit daft actually. As he slept I locked him in his room, tied a pair of trousers over his head and nicked all these American dollar bills out of his drawer."

Without a hint of shame at his revolting crime, Doherty then joked: "He's probably still there, with a hard-on, listening to Classic FM."

There is nothing more terrible than forcing a man to wake up with his head in his own trousers and Simon Bates blaring out in the corner of the room. But why is the NOTW so outraged? Surely this "gay pervert" deserved everything he got; wasn't he an old man preying on young boys like the NOTW is supposed to be saving us from? That's the trouble with false moral outrage - if it's not really based in anything ethical, it becomes difficult to know how you're meant to be honking.

The best bit of the article are actually chucked away at the end, when Carl tells how he came home one day when he and Pete were still flatsharing:

"I came back to the flat and found the record contract carelessly left out on the table. And I thought maybe Pete had been reminiscing, cherishing and pondering how far we'd come. I went to pick it up and saw the back of it where my signature was and realised that it was sort of embossed. Then I found a cheque missing from the joint account cheque book—and he'd had himself a grand. Of course he was oblivious to being in the wrong when I approached him on this and made out that I was being a greedy fool."

Oddly, the NOTW seems not that bothered by this sort of betrayal. Stealing from your mates is fine, providing there's no sex involved.

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