Let’s not be beastly to Dave for wrong reasons

Now that Ashcroft’s book has come out, everyone and his brother is talking about Dave Cameron’s youthful indiscretions, throwing stones as if they themselves were without sin.

Being a kind, liberal and forgiving man, I feel like saying to them, come on, fellows.

Who among you wasn’t a bit wild during your university years? Who didn’t drink like a whole school of fish? Who didn’t trash the odd restaurant or two? Who didn’t use every known drug, either naturally or synthetically derived? Who didn’t try to score some of those drugs off two KGB officers on a Crimean beach?

Who, I ask you, didn’t copulate with everything that breathed – and a few things that didn’t, like a dead pig’s head (I assume Dave didn’t go the whole hog)? Rather than ganging up on Dave, you should praise him for his necrophiliac prudence.

Let’s be honest, if a young man bursting with testosterone has to corrupt someone’s morals, a dead pig is preferable to a live girl. After all, 50 years later the girl could, at the same time, complain to the police and sue her abuser for zillions, something a dead pig won’t do because a) it’s dead, b) it’s a pig and, most important, c) it won’t have the money to instruct a shyster lawyer.

Actually I’m inadvertently slandering Dave by suggesting that the porcine episode had something to do with amorous gratification. In fact, it was at base social rather than sexual.

Doing that to a dead suckling (not to be confused with a live sucking) pig was part of the initiation ritual at some quasi-masonic Oxford student society, not dissimilar to Yale’s Skull and Bones.

There the aspirant is supposed to masturbate publicly in a coffin surrounded by Skull and Bone members. I always picture that ritual when looking at the list of famous Boners, which includes both Bush presidents and the current Foreign Secretary John Kerry. And no one in the States bats an eyelid! How come we are so prudish?

Who among you… Well, actually, on second thoughts I’m sure that most of you have not done all the things Dave is alleged to have tried in his young days. Specifically those things, that is.

Yet most of us did all sorts of wild and crazy things in our salad days – and those indiscretions don’t even show as much variety as Dave can boast. We all did roughly the same stupid things.

The difference is that some of us still managed not to grow up as total nonentities and some, like Dave, didn’t. And that, rather than his drinking, drugs and dead farm animals, is what we should be talking about.

The question we should be asking is not ‘did he or didn’t he?’, but how is it that a man so openly devoid of any qualifications, be it those of intellect, morality or character, is in a position to lead a nation caught at the crossroads of a dying civilisation.

What is it about our system of government that allows this particular substance to rise to the top with unfailing regularity, only once interrupted in the post-war years by the emergence of Margaret Thatcher? One could say all sorts of negative things about her, but what she definitely wasn’t was a self-serving, spivocratic featherweight.

So what have we done to deserve all those subsequent Johnnies, Tonies, Gordies and Daves? I try to answer such questions in my book How the West Was Lost, the second, paperback, edition of which is coming out in a couple of weeks.

You can either read it or, better still, come up with your own answers. What none of us should do is dismiss the question as inconsequential. It isn’t. It’s a matter of life or death.






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