It’s the little things that matter. Whether aiming to lead the country, a political party or the Cleckhuddersfax Clogs Sinfonia, attention to detail is everything.

How a leader is perceived – rightly or wrongly – means a lot to potential followers. Is he or she reliable, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, strong enough to withstand conflict... and what would be their drug of choice?

It’s important to know now that contenders in the Tory leadership race are spilling beans on past misdemeanours - illegal substance wise.

Running through wheat fields is old hat all of a sudden. Crossing the road when the red man shows doesn’t register as anywhere near naughty enough. Neither does riding your bike on the pavement. Mind bending is what counts.

Michael Gove admitted to snorting cocaine with chums on social occasions and promptly shot himself in the foot. Personally, I thought he should have aimed higher.

Rory Stewart, Cumbria’s poster boy for PM, owned up to smoking opium at a wedding in Iran because... well, it would have been rude not to.

The others have been dredging memory for times when the lager and lime barrier was crossed with cannabis or whatever. Because when one looks ‘cool’ they all need to look ‘cool’. Begging the question – are they more followers than leaders?

I’m starting to wonder if I might be the last person left who hasn’t done drugs – the banned kind. My poison has always been the heavily taxed sort. Beer, wine, gin, tobacco. I’m not cool and will therefore never make it in politics. For small mercies I’m grateful.

What a circus this whole carry-on has turned into. With apologies to Rory and his campaign launch tent, I doubt I’ve witnessed anything so collectively weird since my dad took me to Billy Smart’s when I was nine and we left early, having failed to see the point of dressing up monkeys and making them dance.

Not that they’re all monkeys. Dear me, no. But do they all have to have a drugs history? Really?

Seems to me that the party faithful – generally elderly and hopeful of some form of recognisable order – aren’t necessarily going to get excited by a prime minister who brags about law-breaking, while legislating against law-breakers.

It doesn’t add up. Even when less than stone cold sober or experiencing an illicit dandelion and burdock high.

Detail, see? Details matter because they tend to be remembered.

I was reminded this week of the time during Rory Stewart’s early days as Penrith and the Border MP when he made a comment about some of his “primitive” constituents holding up their trousers with twine.

He was misunderstood. I argued so at the time. He was trying to debunk the idea that this was a comfortably rich county well able to withstand spending cuts. Which was a commendable aim.

But there are still some here who remember his words as hurtful to pride. In all the current hullabaloo, it’s the nearly nine-year-old detail they carry with them.

Little things are important. Like taking away free TV licences from the over-75s, while promising tax cuts to high earners, for instance. Bad timing or what?

It costs us 43p a day to receive the BBC’s package of information, education and entertainment over all its many platforms. The licence fee (tax) is an antiquated way of funding the broadcaster and needs reform. But 43p a day – even given presenters’ salaries of up to £2m a year – isn’t really that much.

Turn that around and look from the other side; 43p a day isn’t an overly extravagant benefit to offer old people who have worked all their lives and contributed so much to a society that can now afford to allow MPs to claim their licences on their dubious expenses.

To deny them is mean. It’s a coldly thoughtless move, dreamed up with no consideration for damaging detail – the kind that won’t be forgotten.

I’d wager that the majority of old people, who rely on their TVs and radios for company and windows on the world, would happily forego cocaine, cannabis and opium in exchange for the privilege of remaining compassionately awarded what they’ve earned.

It’s the little things...