Was this David Cameron’s piggest mistake?
Patrick Freyne: In my opinion, being part of a club that trashed restaurants and used their wealth to buy their way out of trouble was far worse
David Cameron, or Dapig Hameron, as he will now forever be known, once introduced his aristocratic man member into the mouth of a dead pig.
He did this while studying at Oxford. I know little about Oxbridge, but apparently it wasn’t part of the curriculum. The incident occurred at an initiation into one of the many odd little clubs favoured by Cameron and his foppish Tory pals (these include the hell-raising Bullingdon Club and a dope-smoking club called the Flam club).
This emerged today on the front page of the Daily Mail. The article was about disgruntled former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, who has written an expose of Cameron, entitled Call Me Dave.
“That’s what he said to the pig,” says you.
There’s loads of other stuff in the book. However, because it alleges that David Cameron had intimate relations with a dead pig, frankly we’re not really interested in those other things right now.
We didn’t see it coming (“Nor did the pig!” says you). At no point in any of his speeches has Cameron ever said the words “back in my Oxford days, when making sweet love to a pig” or even hinted at porcine yearnings with a dark reference to his “deep love for the British pork industry”.
In 2011, the journalist Charlie Brooker wrote an episode of the TV series Black Mirror in which a fictional British prime minister had sex with a pig. But Brooker’s character – the lightweight – was blackmailed to do so to save the life of a captured royal. David Cameron apparently carried out his prank because he wanted to.
Now, many political leaders have indiscretions in their pasts.
I've never been more pleased to be a vegetarian.— Tim Farron (@timfarron) September 20, 2015
Typical! David Cameron once again hogging the headlines at the Lib Dem Conference.— Paddy Ashdown (@paddyashdown) September 21, 2015
Just to clear it up: nope, I’d never heard anything about Cameron and a pig when coming up with that story. So this weirds me out.— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) September 20, 2015
I'm curious how the papers will treat #PigGate after the fuss they made of Corbyn having a relationship with a human woman 40 years ago— Emer Sugrue (@EmerSugrue) September 20, 2015
Bill Clinton did some drugs but did not inhale.
George W Bush did almost all the drugs. And he started two wars.
Tony Blair started two wars and was in a terrible band.
Charles J Haughey smuggled guns.
Albert Reynolds had close links to country ’n’ Irish music.
Arguably some of these things are more historically relevant than pork-aided onanism, and yet David Cameron’s pig-bothering ways created a joyous festive atmosphere akin to Christmas over on Twitter (hashtag #piggate). There, as I type, gleeful Guardianistas make bacon-themed jokes and Tory MP’s bluster and engage in what-aboutery.
“Boys will be boys!” they cry. “And sometimes boys will be boys with dead pigs.”
“Who among us has not molested dead lifestock?!” they moan, starting a supportive #imwithcameron hashtag to which supporters can post pictures.
“Cameron may have had sexual relations with a pig, but Jeremy Corbyn won’t straighten his tie!” they wail.
But should a politician’s youthful pig-loving indiscretions be dredged up for public consumption?
Personally I’d argue that being part of an elitist club that trashed restaurants and used their inherited wealth to buy their way out of the consequences (a favourite activity of the Bullingdon Club), says more about Tory politicians than a little bit of bacon fondling.
That said, this incident will still be of interest political philosophers for generations.
“Was it a British pig?” they’ll ask. “And if not, how does will this sit with the Eurosceptic wing of the party? Could this be read as a coded snub to the British beef industry? Will Cameron now have to demonstrate his “love” for cows? Was the pig a Tory, or possibly a Lib Dem? Does Cameron remember that day with sweet, nostalgic, sepia-tinged fondness and lament the passing of the boy he once was?”
One way or another, David Cameron will be the answer to a very interesting pub quiz question for years to come. To paraphrase an old joke: You can undermine the welfare state and crush the working poor and no-one will bat an eyelid, but have sexual relations with just one pig . . .