The ‘woke’ who do coke: Middle-class drug users are behind London’s murder epidemic

The ‘woke’ who do coke: Middle-class drug users are behind London’s murder epidemic. By Alastair Thomas.

The number of Londoners killed by violent crime this year has reached 62 — 37 of whom have been stabbed to death. Crisis levels. Most of the victims are young, black and at least peripherally connected to gangs who make their money selling and trafficking drugs. The capital’s voracious appetite, especially for cocaine, has more than a small role to play in the deaths of these kids, yet it is rarely asked: who’s buying the cocaine that fuels the drug wars?

The answer is, exactly the sort of British men and women who pride themselves on being more ethical than previous generations. More than 4 per cent of all 15- to 34-year-olds in the UK confess to using cocaine in the past year, twice as many as in the rest of Europe. And that’s just those who admit it. To get the true measure of UK cocaine use in you need only look at the sewers. London has the second-highest level of wastewater cocaine residue in Europe, at 900mg per 1,000 people, way above third-place Barcelona. London falls just behind Antwerp, a port city with direct trade links to South America. …

These are the same people who buy fair-trade coffee and agonise over the conditions animals are kept in. They don’t wear fur, sometimes they’re fashionably, and loudly, vegan — but a gram of coke is as much an essential part of a night out as a selfie in the loos. …

It’s also because cocaine is a gentrified drug. Sheltered middle-class users are drawn to the convenience and discretion of its complex delivery systems using encrypted social media and the dark web, a far cry from the days of the shady alleyway drug dealer. Cocaine dealers are now more likely to be middle-class and presentable, meaning the user never comes into contact with a gang member from an estate. The slick means of getting it from dealer to customer has sanitised the act of drug-taking, sheltering the middle classes from the unpleasantries involved in getting cocaine to them.

hat-tip Nick