Monday, August 15, 2005

BABYSHAMBLES MELTDOWN COUNTDOWN: The slap made as the rubber glove is pulled on

What do you call a man with a high-profile drug problem who tries to smuggle crack and heroin through airport customs? We're going with 'a bit of a moron', but if you answered Pete Doherty, you can have a point. He and another bloke got caught with a gramme and a half each of crack and heroin by customs at Oslo. Besides getting fined (£700 - which, he might figure, is getting off really lightly), the band also wound up turning up five hours late for their Oya rock festival appearance, the highlight of which was Pete throwing up on stage. The 3am girls also find space to tut over Pete "smoking at the non-smoking airport", although since he had a bunch of drugs up his ass-crack as he was going through customs, that might seem to be the lesser of the two evils.

There's a curiosity in the way both the Mirror and The Sun cover the story, both taking a "Potty Pete does it again" style angle; both, curiously, using a nickname which nobody else ever calls Pete by (hitherto, it's been Kate Moss' junkie rocker boyfriend or nothing), and which is both misplaced - surely if we're going to have a cutsie name for him based on his drugs habits, it should be "Skagcase Pete" or "Crackvictim Pete" or "Sadcase Early Death Pete" - and surprisingly indulgent. Are we to assume that Murdoch's press empire has decided that drug smugglers deserve a little light punning and to be sent on their way?