Deborah Orr: He thinks he's heroic, when really he's just a fool

Related Topics

The latter was merely up in court for the umpteenth time, sucker enough to play the tragic figure of romance, believing he's a heroic figure, when really he's just being a fool. In court his defence claimed that he was only hurting himself. If only that were true. He is hurting his child, who he doesn't see much. He is hurting his mother, who pleaded for him - via Kirsty Wark on Newsnight, of all places - to sort himself out.

He has rarely been out of the tabloids for years, and while his claims that the media's interest does not extend to his work, the truth is that it was his work with the Libertines that first attracted acclaim. His new group, Babyshambles, just isn't as good.

Nevertheless, he received a non-custodial sentence, with community service and drug rehabilitation a condition of his sentence. Compared with Andreas, of course, he got off easy. Nevertheless, his acolytes and his business associates at the court burst into applause when they heard he wasn't going to jail.

The sentence is exemplary, of course. Doherty should be able to do some fabulous community service, and he certainly needs to get off drugs - though state-run systems are difficult to access without some money as they are funded from local councils with other priorities.

Mess that he is, though, the saddest thing about Pete is that many people profess to admire his awful self-destruction. They encourage his folly and also the folly of all those whose admiration prompts them to slide too far down the same path. A student friend of Andreas's, Tijana Djordjevic, went and gave evidence about Andreas's death. She saw him snort the heroin that killed him. Nothing romantic about that. The way in which Pete Doherty seeks to glamourise heroin is awful. The poster for the Libertines' second album, for example, is a portrait of Doherty and Carl Barrat shooting up heroin.

The way in which our culture is so avid to watch addictive decline is even more dreadful. We're all watching Doherty and he has that situation to deal with on top of the other issues that more commonly face addicts.

Doherty is being treated fairly gently, because he is a talented and supported man. Others are less lucky. Addiction can make the loveliest of people behave monstrously, and addicts can be hard to help. But what doesn't help is the divisive image around drugs - evil fighting with glamour. Drugs are neutral objects, and those who take them are not evil, just people who made bad choices. In Andreas's case, the choice was final. Doherty is a very lucky young man. What a shame he seems unable to realise it.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living