Inconsistencies: the Drug Dealer With a Taste for Fine Art

I hope I did not dream it. I think I heard a BBC Radio 4 announcer this morning say that the lost Stanley Spencer, Cookham from Englefield (which you can see and read about here:, had been recovered, sitting next to a drug dealer’s stache of drugs. My first reaction was one of gratitude, that the painting had been found; but then I caught myself thinking about the circumstances of its recovery. I do not immediately associate drug dealers with a taste for fine art. My mental image of them (based on complete ignorance, I should add) is of peddlars of death and destruction who like fast cars, fast women and loads of bling. The reality is probably less sensational, and in the case of our man/woman, shot through with inconsistencies. How can someone responsible for so much misery and human degradation be sensitive to the beauty of Spencer’s work? Was it mere chance that the painting ended up where it did, or did our drug dealer arrange for it to be stolen because they coveted it, as one may covet anything that is beautiful and ‘speaks’ to us? I do not know, but I find it a powerful reminder that human beings are inconsistent. We may have the holiest of aspirations but still be drawn to some dreadful sin. We may seem the most evil person alive yet have a care for the poor and the weak. Chinks in our armour that, at the best, let grace through. The alternative scarcely bears thinking about.


10 thoughts on “Inconsistencies: the Drug Dealer With a Taste for Fine Art”

    • Aren’t you possibly confusing the peg with the point of my post: that we are all a bundle of inconsistencies and need to be watchful over ourselves? It’s my fault for not writing absolutely literally.

  1. There is a very old Yorkshire saying – “There’s nought as strange as folk!”. The average drug dealer sees themself as the provider of a necessary service to those who have the misfortune to need their wares. The dealer in this case may be a serious art connossiuer who funds his collection from the ill-gotten gains from drugs. I acknowledge your view of the deathly and evil nature of this trade.
    I do not now see the need for drugs, even though I used to smoke and drink alcohol when I was younger. They are props which are wholly unnecessary. The love of the Lord and the beauty of His world are so much more stimulating to the soul than any narcotic. Loving our Lord and our neighbour as best we can provides so much more satisfaction in life.

  2. Yes I’m afraid a rather wrong image. In the summer in our little market town of 6,000 people we had a murder in our park in broad daylight. Those arrested were an apparently respectable couple who lived two doors from where my mother used to live who were very nice couple with a pleasant manner and a sweetie shop. The other arrest was of the son of one of our neighbours about 100 feet from my front door. All apparently ordinary and respectable. They were it turns out running drugs in tbe town through the shop. So they are hard to spot.

Comments are closed.