BOZO Investigates: Soberarchy and Skaghead Privilege
"I wanted to get a job in marketing, but when I mentioned I was a skaghead at the interview they told me to leave". Dave (name changed), speaks to us on a bench on a rainy day just outside London's Waterloo station – invisible to the thousands of non-skagheads who are on their commute to the jobs that Dave has been denied the right to.
Dave is 32 years old, has 9 GCSE’s and 3 O levels but still finds it hard to find or hold down a job. His crime? He likes to chase the dragon every now and then. "It’s like Game of Thrones but much better," he says, “I just don’t understand what everyone’s problem is, it’s this sobriety society shitting on the little man”.
Dave is part of a small minority: out of every 1000 people in the United Kingdom, only 9 are registered addicts. Their number is small, but their representation in top-tier jobs is even smaller. “I wouldn’t even consider applying to become a pilot” Dave laughs, “it’s just not what skagheads do, it’s not even on our radar”.
Dave’s abuse started at school when he was separated from the other children multiple times after being caught hanging out with Mary Jane. “MJ was my only real friend back then, I’d always loved watching Spider-Man – you know: Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can – but I never thought she’d end up being the only one there for me and that society would consider me lesser than both spider and man”. For young skagheads, this kind of discouragement can have devastating consequences – 70% of all adolescent suicides involve substance complications.
In government, the prejudice is even worse. With 650 MPs in parliament, at least five are firing the ack-ack gun on a regular basis – hitting up the H as much as the PMQs. Most skagheads are afraid of coming out, and within Westminster’s walls, where anti-skaghead bias is rife, the stakes are even higher. Jolly pop higher – as Labour MP Keith Vaz discovered last year. Mr Vaz wouldn’t even be considered a full-on skaghead by someone like Dave, but after coming out as a poppers-loving-player last September he managed to attract a witch-hunt that has since led to his resignation and no other MPs coming out – silencing the skaghead community's voice.
Not only are skagheads massively unrepresented in UK Parliament, but in the police force too. Officers are actively encouraged to say if they expect a fellow officer of drug use, and if the tests come back positive, the skaghead is forced to resign. One officer, who didn’t wish to be named, told us that all officers are taught to target and detain skagheads whenever they see them. “I’m not proud of it,” she says “my cousin is an e-tard, but we’re told on day one that those geek monsters have to go”. Such ingrained prejudiced policing has to lead to many skagheads having to hang around under bridges and behind B&Qs in order to live their lives without prejudice – their culture is literally on the run.
Anti-skaghead bias within the force has meant that last year 116,539 arrests were made for possession in the UK – more than for murder – compared to the 1,024,969 arrests in total. This means that although those who wish to swim the channel only make up 0.009% of the UK’s total population, they make up a whopping 10% of arrests across the country.
But 'The Man’ working against skagheads is not solely a UK problem – it is part of a global movement against puff daddies in general. Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte for example, continues to brag that he would kill his own son if he came out as a skaghead. All over the world, skagheads are having to Anne Frank it every time they want to dip and dab.
Back in the UK: since the smoking segregation laws came into force in 2006, support has grown for those fighting anti-skaghead mentalities as other minorities have begun to be sidelined. Non-smoker privilege has permeated the UK and is on the rise. Vapists now prowl the streets, nonchalantly culturally appropriating what smokers have been doing for years whilst still reaping the benefits of non-smoker privilege. Vape culture continues to subjugate smokers at every turn, and smokers are now becoming more and more associated with the even lesser respected skaghead society.
I had a chance to speak to Dave one last time before he headed back up to Skagness for a big one. "The truth is", he said sadly, "if you're not a skaghead, you don't know what you're talking about and really you're just part of the problem". I didn't know what else to say, but before he left he told me:
With around 585,000 skagheads in the UK alone, we have to address their lack of privilege sooner rather than later. Addiction itself is as much about genetics as being fat, thin, black, white or red all over. Discriminating someone because of how their genetics have built them up to be isn’t just wrong, it’s unethical. In today’s society we shouldn’t limit opportunities to those whose behaviours are preprogrammed and outside of their control. Whomever the person, whatever they’re up to, how they feel or what they think, we should always give them a pat on the back and a big bag of birdie powder.
"Just because someone is skaghead, doesn’t mean that they’re better off dead". – anon.