I was – I have to confess – fascinated by that whole business some time ago concerning David Cameron and the pig, and no, not for the reason you think I was.
The idea that, back in the day, the future leader of a western democracy might have touched his intimate member to the husk of a dead porker is not, bizarrely enough, all that shocking. I’ve met some of the sons and daughters of our present day oligarchies, and if upward mobility continues to be what it is in western democracies, i.e. essentially non-existent, the pig fondling may one day be the very, very least of our worries. Indeed, imagine if Donald Trump was implicated in a similar scandal? Would he lose much of his fanatical support if he simply said “yeah. I did it. So what? It was a frat boy thing. The Mexicans made me do it. Move on.”
The shadow of pig-gate has long passed from our beleaguered frontal lobes. This is partly because the great majority of us have so much else to worry about: avoiding homelessness, avoiding any prolonged dealings with organs of the state, worrying about the very latest media headlines warning of imminent extinction from the radioactive carcass of a dead pig etc.
But whoever thought up pig-gate is a clever, clever bastard. He’s Tywin Lannister clever. He (let’s assume it was a he) knows enough about humanity and its beleaguered frontal lobes to know that, from now on, no one will ever be able to hear the words ‘David Cameron’ again without thinking of a dead pig and a set of genitalia. Imagine being a poor waiter at one of those European Union gastrofests whose job it is to inform the Prime Minister that one of the items on tonight’s menu is stuffed pork?
It is this which makes me suspect the story isn’t true. It’s too perfect, too gross, too absent of even the tawdriest whiff of redeeming humanity. The pig wasn’t some buxom country wench with whom posh toff Dave enjoyed an orgiastic but ultimately ill starred liaison across a dinner table. He or she wasn’t some lascivious gypsy from a troupe of migrant acrobats, briefly carrying away the heart of impressionable, impressively fresh faced Dave. It can’t even be spun as one of those sentimental episodes of adolescent homosexuality so beloved of the British, because this was a dead pig, not some handsome, sensitive, artistically minded boy.
Human mores have yet to progress to the stage where the delicate emotional tracery of inter-species love is something which can be discussed without sniggers on the editorial page of The Guardian. Some day, perhaps, but not now. And after all, the pig wasn’t even alive. Even the slinkiest spin doctor on the planet is going to have trouble with that.
No, whoever concocted this brew knew exactly what he was at. He may even be a secret devotee of Hunter S Thompson, who ridiculed the various labels thrown on him during his life – racist, misogynist, homophobe, communist etc. – by pointing out that his prejudices were far too broad for such lazy second hand monikers. He was an equal opportunities hater, he said, who believed that all people were basically pigf***ers.