Claims that David Cameron performed an obscene act with a dead pig and smoked cannabis during his studies at Oxford University are spreading around the world.The extraordinary allegations were made in a new unauthorised biography of the Prime Minister written by Lord Ashcroft.The Conservative peer and donor claimed an anonymous MP had seen a photo of the alleged incident with the pig, during a Piers Gaveston Society event, although he had not seen any evidence himself.
The unverified claim, which immediately scandalized the nation he leads, was made all the more shocking by the fact that a popular British television show more-or-less imagined such an act a few years ago.
, a dark science-fiction anthology, premiered in 2011 with a morality tale about the internet that ends—and, naturally, this is a spoiler—with the fictional prime minister having sex with…a pig.
The similarities were striking enough that Charlie Brooker, the show’s creator, took to Twitter to call it a coincidence. In fact, the episode’s lessons are particularly relevant to how certain scandals—like, say, a politician sodomizing a farm animal—can take hold of the public’s imagination and become their own mega-memes.
Here is what happens in the episode, “The National Anthem.” The princess is kidnapped, and her captors ask for an unusual ransom: As she explains through tears in a video, “There is only one demand, and it is a simple one.
At 4pm this afternoon, prime minister must appear on live British television—on all networks, terrestrial and satellite—and have full, unsimulated sexual intercourse with a pig.” But after the ransom video is posted on You Tube, and the kidnappers seem to cut off the princess’s finger, opinion begins to turn against the PM.
A rescue attempt goes awry, and at that point, the public is nearly unanimous in feeling that the PM, for the good of the princess, should go on television and have sex with a pig, whether he wants to or not.
The idea consumes all of British life, not unlike the current reaction to the claim about Cameron.
(Can you imagine people discussing anything else this week?
) As the story grows in the minds of the public, it seems more palatable for everyone—except, of course, the prime minister.