#Piggate: so much less than meets the eye
Are David Cameron’s #piggate and Jeremy Corbyn’s “fling” worth the media circus around them? No, says Connor Sturges.
#Piggate. If you don’t know what that hashtag refers to, then you’ve undoubtedly been living under a rock, as the public can’t seem to get enough of it. According to a biography titled ‘Call Me Dave’, written by journalist Isabel Oakeshott and Lord Ashcroft, the current Prime minister placed a ‘private part of his anatomy’ in a hog’s head. Lord Ashcroft, may I add, has previously admitted to a bitter relationship with the current Prime Minister, adding to the theory his allegations are nothing other than slander.
However, true or not, should the acts of a young, naïve and intelligent (despite your political views, he did make it to Oxford), young man be spread across tabloid papers and tweeted about endlessly? In my opinion, the answer is no.
In fairness, the act David Cameron is said to have done is… bizarre, to say the least. However, the things we do when we are young are often considered strange and ridiculous. Consider the initiation tests that are reported to have taken place at Cambridge, another of the UK’s most prestigious institutions. Supposedly, live goldfish have been swallowed, and raw squid has been consumed. Even the thought of the slightly more common initiation of drinking one’s own urine makes most people retch, but people only do such things in their youth because it appears to be a good idea at the time, and more importantly because they feel they need to fit in with a particular social group, something Cameron was most likely trying to do.
The point is, why does the media insist on dragging up politicians’ history instead of focusing on their current dealings and political agenda? Another story recently revealed that Labour MP Diane Abbott allegedly had a ‘fling’ with current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, wait for it, in the 1970s. Is the news that two individuals in the current political field were once lovers and rode a motorbike around Germany more than a quarter of a century ago of real political interest? No, not really! However, the political agendas of those in control of our country, the economic deals they are agreeing to, and the visits they are making abroad do matter, and these should come before scandalous allegations, also known as ‘gossip’, in respected newspapers such as The Independent.
It’s extremely obvious that there are more important things going on in the political and legal worlds. A majority of the public, politically interested or not, will now know about the allegations around Cameron placing his genitals in a pig’s mouth, and some will know about the relationship between Corbyn and Abbott. However, a majority will not know about the new laws regarding smoking in cars with children, the 30-day return guarantee being made law, or that George Osborne has put £3million of taxpayer’s cash into developing grassroots football in China, the world’s second richest nation! These things are key and affect the public in more serious ways.
Yes, Cameron placing his genitals in the mouth of a pig’s head as a part of an initiation test and dabbling with drugs during his youth are hardly things you’d see on the job description for Prime Minister. Yes, if Corbyn and Abbott’s relationship is the reason she is rising within the party then there is a bit of a problem there. However, what Cameron has achieved over the last five years, including a majority government with the Conservatives this year, should not be changed by what he did in his youth.
It’s not fair to fill all the media with slander. Leave that to the cheap magazines please, and focus on real news that truly affects us all.