Video: David Simon on Margaret Thatcher & Drugs

The decriminalisation of drugs is one of the most contentious issues in the modern world, one that instigates debate in United Nations Conferences, local pubs, government cabinets and committees, school classrooms, local pubs – any place in which people are prepared to share their opinion(s). Following my article on the subject (‘Should Drugs Be Decriminalised?), here is an interview with David Simon, creator of The Wire, a television series in which drugs were actually decriminalised, that appeared in The Guardian on May 25th, 2013. With drugs, specifically the American war on drugs, forming the crux of The Wire – each season adopts a different viewpoint in regard to how they infiltrate each part of Baltimore’s society, the city in which the series is based – Simon has clearly given the issue some considerable thought over the past decade. Indeed, he argues what is perhaps the most controversial point of view in the drug-decriminalisation debate, suggesting that the war on drugs, via the consistent condemnation of the lower classes for drug-related crimes over the past half-century, has become a class war – a war, in other words, of rich against poor.


  1. grammatteus says:

    What an excellent interview! What a great man! One of the newly-made millionaires who refuses to chuck his principles in the bin and just ‘join the elite’ – I agreed with every word he said. Think I might share this on my own blog since I got into a lot of hot water for denouncing Thatcher myself; Simon is eloquent and agreeable since he’s NOT coming from the POV of a raving lefty loony (like me LOL). Thank you for this.

    • benstupples says:

      Hello, grammatteus! It’s good to hear from you again. David Simon, I agree, is indeed a great man. I just watched an episode of The Wire, incidentally. (If you haven’t watched it yet, do. It is an extended metaphor of what he argues in the Guardian interview, and it is brilliant.) It saddens me to say it but, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States, there is a class war of the rich against the poor. It has, as Simon suggests, been raging since the decline of the industrial sectors of each country, and governmental policy has been the principal factor in its cause, a depressing thought. If you haven’t read it already, read ‘Chavs’ by Owen Jones. It relates to the topic that Simon discusses, which is perhaps why it caught my eye, but it is more specific to the United Kingdom and, crucially, the sociopolitical effects of Thatcherism.

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