A spliff, for those of you not in the know, is what is sometimes known in America as a joint - a marijuana cigarette, in short.

Spliff politics are a dynamic which arises from the three fundamental rules of skinning up:

  • Thou shalt always offer thine spliff to thine neighbour.
  • Thou shalt make sure that all thine neighbours are offered it in turn and pass it on, or thou shall smite them with a poke in the ribs.
  • Thou shalt never, ever ask for a drag of a spliff that's not made of thine own naughty goodness.

The problem is simple: on the one hand, if you haven't got any shit of your own, you're forbidden to ask for drags of othre people's shit. On the other hand, if you manage to insinuate yourself into their group by striking up a conversation, they are obliged to include you in the spliff round.

So, spliff politics are the process of one person trying hard to mingle in a group which is trying hard to not let them (unless they're very stoned, in which case they won't care anyway).