Siddy is an Anglo-Indian raised in a white family a stone’s throw from ‘The Frontline’ in the black capital of Europe, Brixton.
That part of south London was the Eighties battleground for two major riots, which shaped race relations in Britain for a generation.
The atmosphere created by an abusive police force and an alienated, poverty-stricken population drew comparisons to occupied west Belfast.
Siddy tells tales of growing up in that tough environment, which was normality for him. He is a one-man class and race melting pot and became a serious dope smoker aged 15, hence this book’s title.
He started out as a journalist in the ethnic minority media aged 22 and somehow found himself at the heart of the Murdoch Empire within five years.
The first half of the book provides snapshots of his life, from Brixton to Bombay to Beirut, via Armageddon, to Fortress Wapping…and beyond.
This is in the context of having an undiagnosed, severe mental illness until he cracked up in 2008, leading him to violently resist arrest and be sectioned.
The second half has more of Siddy’s life and also expands on how he views the world through the prism of his often troubled existence.
But he is a keen student of English gallows humour and is capable of seeing the funny side of things even in the darkest of moments.
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