Monday, August 01, 2011

Amy Winehouse: The Betty Ford of our generation?

If Mitch Winehouse does pull off his still-fag-packet-back plans to open a rehab place in Amy's memory, there will be something odd about the royalties from Rehab flowing into partly funding rehab.

Arguably, the finest rehab that money could buy didn't do much good for Amy in the end, which would make her a strange figurehead for drying-out clinics.

But it's not unprecedented for someone famous for not being on the wagon to become a beacon for sobriety: Betty Ford managed to turn her name from being a byword for liking a drink into being a brand of addiciton-free living. It might be nice if, in ten years time, people heard "Amy Winehouse" and thought of mended lives, rather than one big wasted one.

Mitch is looking for the government to put up some of the cash, so it's possible it won't ever happen. Notably, the coalition couldn't be arsed to put up a spokesperson to talk about Winehouse's plans on Channel 4 News this evening. But the cost of sorting people's problems with drugs and booze out is a fraction of the price of letting them drag on. Let's hope Mitch's determination and Cameron's love of a photo-op come together for a result.