Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve probably heard more than enough about #PigGate. The internet and newspapers have been going mad about the allegation against David Cameron by ex-Tory donor Lord Ashcroft and, honestly, quite rightly so. The allegation that David Cameron put the “private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig’s mouth as part of an initiation in the oh-so-exclusive Piers Gaveston club at Oxford University is not something that can be easily forgotten. Unfortunately for a lot us, the image is scorched into our minds, even if David Cameron and Tory officials have denied its truth. But PigGate is a lot more than just “David Cameron did something very strange with a dead pig”. PigGate gives us a broader image of all those at the top of the political food chain, and perhaps that is more worrying than what Dave does in his spare time.
The allegations made against David Cameron were published by the Daily Mail in conjunction with the release an unofficial biography written by none other than Lord Ashcroft himself. The biography ‘Call Me Dave’ features more than just the pig allegation but, frankly, nobody cares. The biography, which was co-authored by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, also claims that Cameron used to smoke weed with Oakeshott whilst listening to a Supertramp album during his Oxford days and that Cameron knew about Ashcroft’s non-dom tax status well before he claimed he did. The former is more embarrassing than anything but the latter is a much more important claim, and it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. But more than anything, it leaves us, the public, with a bitter taste in our mouths. We know very little about those we’ve elected into power and what we do know is not written in stone, which is quite worrying with all the power they have.
When we look at the wider picture we can see that out of the country’s 54 Prime Ministers, 41 have been educated at Oxbridge. Whatever your opinion of David Cameron, this scandal is important. David Cameron may have been unlucky that he was scorned by Lord Ashcroft, but how many more PigGate stories are floating about out there, unknown to the general public because we’re excluded from exclusive societies made up by our country’s politicians? These are the same politicians that we are then expected to vote for and to trust. Young people in predominantly poorer areas of the country are imprisoned for possession of marijuana but we let politicians off the hook for the same mistakes because, after all, we were the ones who entrusted them to run our country.