Cameron: does it actually matter?
So what does the Cameron-pig incident actually tell us?
One you get over the visceral horror of the image – the Prime Minister sticking his dick in a dead pig’s mouth – one starts to wonder what it means. Beyond Cameron forever being seen as “a bit gross”, does it speak in any way to his political ability? I think, in a way, it does – though not necessarily the way you might expect. Here’s some of the “defenses” I’ve seen used of Cameron:
A man’s sexual proclivities are none of our business
See this one is true. Even though necrophilia is illegal, and beastiality is illegal, if you do both at once it’s not actually a crime. Nor should it be, really – if we’re allowed to eat it then defiling it sexually doesn’t seem much worse. It’s just… sorta gross. The thing is, we’ve all done things in the bedroom others would consider weird or even gross. And the media, Twitter, et al would have reported this with just as much glee had it been revealed that he ever did anything remotely kinky. And that would piss me off.
But then, this isn’t about sex is it…
“It was just a silly student dare”
And this is where I start to worry. I was a student. On occasion, I was dared to do stupid things. Occasionally I did. We got up to all sorts of “wacky behaviour” – y’know, like stealing traffic cones or climbing a thing you’re not meant to climb. But I can, hand on heart, honestly tell you, that were I, or anyone I hung out with at university, dared to get our cock out and stick it in a dead pig’s mouth, the response would be a clear and undebatable “fuck off”.
And that’s a worry, isn’t it? If we accept there was nothing sexual about it, that Cameron got no pleasure from doing it, then the conclusion has to be: he didn’t want to do it. And yet, he (allegedly) did it. Isn’t that a problem? That he didn’t have the backbone to stand up to a bunch of bullies asking him to put his cock in a dead pig’s mouth? Much was made before the election about how Milliband just wasn’t “tough enough” to be PM. That if he was in a room with Putin, he would just fold. That might well be true. So now instead we have a PM, who, in a room with a bunch of friends, was convinced to stick his knob in a pig’s mouth. And yes, he was drunk. Best hope Putin doesn’t offer him any Vodka before the negotiations.
[On the other hand, if we’re going to governed by a Tory, maybe I’d prefer being governed by the one that got bullied rather than the ones who did the bullying.]
“But we all do stupid things when we’re young, don’t we”
Generally, yes we do. But perhaps more telling is a variation on this:
“If there’s a dead pig’s head in the room, someone is going to stick their cock in it”
That might well be true. I wouldn’t know. Neither would most of the country. Because most of us have never been to a party where there happened to be a dead pig, especially not as a poor student, and even if in our later years we’ve been to a hog roast, we’ve never been to one where it would be appropriate or permissable to even take one’s todger out, let alone put it in to the food.
And that’s why Cameron wouldn’t win another election. It’s somewhat of a moot point, as he won’t be running again, but the problem for most people won’t be the initial disgust at what he did, it’ll be them asking themselves “how does that even happen?” We, the “not-rich”, comprehend things like the Bullingdon Club in abstract terms. It’s where rich students make “trouble”, smash up “things”, burn £50 notes infront of “beggars” (who even the middle and working class tend to look down on). This brings the nature of those rich, domineering institutions right home in a way the abstract ideas about them never did. In a sentence it explains graphically the level of decadence in which our PM lived. That he could go somewhere as a student, where there happened to be a dead pig, and that people would get their cocks out and violate said pig. And it’d all be fun and games. It marks him and his experiences out as truly alien to 99% of the electorate. It’s like not being able to eat a fucking sandwich.
The electorate need one of two things in a PM. They need to believe that they’re “one of us”, have had similar experiences and are relatable. Or they need them to be so far above us, so unflappable and statesmanlike so as to appear perfect. Milliband had neither: he was a bit nerdy and awkward, which would be okay, but rather than embrace it he ran from it trying to be the statesman figure instead, and ended up in the middle ground which was useless. Likewise this one story both destroys any attempt Cameron makes to be above the fray, while also ruining any chance he has to be seen as “one of the people”.
All academic of course, at least until someone offers Lord Ashcroft a lot of money for information on George Osborne’s initiation.