By Calvin Palmer
Amy Winehouse enters the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London, today, where she was cleared of assaulting dancer Sherene Flash while backstage at the Prince’s Trust Ball in Berkeley Square, central London, last September.
District Judge Timothy Workman said: “Having heard the evidence from all the witnesses, I cannot be sure that this was not an accident. The charge is dismissed and the defendant discharged.”
The picture of Winehouse is my picture of the day. I cannot quite decide if she resembles Elsie Tanner on acid or Keith Richards in drag, and on acid.
But it is the trademark cigarette that makes me warm to Winehouse. It is defiant. It tells the world, “I will do my own thinking, thank you very much.”
Her looks and manner are perfect to become a figurehead for all the oppressed smokers in Britain; nay, the world!
She could don the mantle of Boadicea who challenged the might of the Roman Empire circa AD 60. With her two-tone hair and heavy mascara, Winehouse would strike terror in the hearts of health ministers, and those squeaky clean medical talking heads who ‘know’ what is right for each and every one of us, in much the same way as Boadicea did to Roman legions.
I learned about the exploits of Boadicea while at junior school in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Boadicea she was then, in 1963, and Boadicea she is now.
The revised name of Boudica probably gave some academic a bestselling book and professorial chair but for me it is, and always will be, Boadicea.
With Winehouse leading the charge, daubing faces with woad would be optional, we smokers could reclaim the pubs, stadia, parks, beaches and other public places where our dying art has been banished.
And following our triumph, the Benson & Hedges Cup could be restored to cricket; the John Player Special Formula One car could once again scream round the Grand Prix circuits of the world; Park Drive could again publish football books.
Cinema audiences could marvel at the surreal adverts for Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges. Manikin and Hamlet adverts could grace television screens.
And the nation would be better for it. After all, happiness is a cigar called Hamlet.
All of that may seem like the stuff of dreams but for me, and many others, it was a living reality.
Where did it all go so badly wrong? Answers please on a postcard.
[Based on a report by The Daily Telegraph.]