Being naughty is nothing to be ashamed of – it’s a vital life skill

I can’t shake my fascination with Theresa May’s response to the question: “What is the naughtiest thing you ever did?” She was doubtless being sincere rather than politically strategic in saying all she could think of was that she once ran through a mildly forbidden wheatfield. There were kids like her at my school. They were usually bullied, and you can kind of see why.

I was myself up to the age of 12 an extremely well-behaved and rather timid (and bullied) child. Then I discovered naughtiness. And I really had a feast. I was a very naughty teenager (my elder brother was compulsively well-behaved, in the way elder siblings often are, while my younger brother took after me – his speciality was truancy).

I prised off street signs and dropped them down drains. When it snowed, I delighted in filling unlocked cars with it. I took any drug

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