The real scandal of David Cameron

In a recent post, I said that I felt that the attention being given to an allegation involving British prime minister David Cameron engaging in a sex act with a dead pig while a student at Oxford University was excessive, given that he was a young man at the time and young people do stupid things. I suggested that we give people a pass for the things they did before the age of 25 and not hold it against them later in life.

But reader GenghisFaun has kindly provided me with a link to an astonishing article that paints a much darker picture and says that the Cameron incident is a symptom of a much deeper problem.

The author says that by focusing on the embarrassing details of the pig story and speculation that its revelation was an act of revenge by someone whom Cameron had not rewarded sufficiently, we are missing the far more important story about what it says about the class-dominance in Britain, where a small coterie of wealthy people who join elite secret societies use these acts as both team building exercises and also to serve as blackmail fodder to make sure that people work for the benefit of other members of the ruling class and not entertain thoughts of becoming traitors to their class.

When Cameron was at Oxford, he was a member of several secret societies of rich young men. The most famous of these is the Bullingdon Club, after which Yale’s infamous Skull and Bones is fashioned. The aim of the Bullingdon Club is ostensibly to dress up fancy with the chaps, get blind drunk at an expensive restaurant or private dining room, and trash the place – because they can afford to pay for the damages without doing a day’s work. Among their known initiation rites, they are said to have to burn a £50 bill in front of a homeless person.

And that leads to the other side of what the Bullingdon Club (and societies like it) is about: upper class right wing team-building. The friendships and alliances forged in the secret drinking societies of powerful rich kids go on to define their careers, and these young men all have access to the highest rungs of British society. Three prominent members of Cameron’s cabinet were members, whilst many others went on to run the banks that crashed the economy in 2008 and the media empires that protect them.

Burning money in front of a homeless person isn’t just intended to be a nasty prank, it serves to train a Bullingdon boy’s senses, to make other humans seem somehow less. That David Cameron and his allies George Osborne and Boris Johnson have all done this, and that they have all presided over a sharp spike in homelessness in London and throughout the UK, are not coincidental. The MP who provided Lord Ashcroft with the details of the pig story attended one meeting of the expensive club but left in disgust because ‘it was all about despising poor people’.

There is a lot to find objectionable about these acts but the one about burning a £50 bill in front of a homeless person really angers me, like the story from a few years ago about another wealthy young man who gave a homeless man in Los Angeles some money to pour soda over himself, to the great amusement of the young man and his friends.

But there’s more.

The pig scandal that now has the world laughing at Cameron wasn’t from the Bullingdon Club but the Piers Gaverston, less well-known (until this week), but with a reputation for bizarre sexual rituals and initiation rites. Where the Bullingdon boys built their fraternity around shared values of hating the poor, the Piers Gaverston was about sexual humiliation and the creation of shared secrets. Its structural function is as an agreement of mutually assured destruction between the rulers of tomorrow – I know your secret and you know mine, so let’s stay on the same side, yeah?

This forms one of the core mechanics of the British ruling class – why reveal someone’s dirty little secret when you can keep schtum about it and control them? This forms the basis of the parliamentary whipping system, where the Chief Whip of each respective party is expected to have an arsenal of dirt locked away in their office so that when the time comes, their party leader can ‘whip’ rebellious backbenchers with threats that sometimes include leaking that story about you that you really don’t want to be leaked.

In this elite culture not all corruption is financial. When it comes to the top of British politics, sound character and a clean record do not make you an asset. You’ll have a hard time joining unless they can confirm that you are scum – and can make sure that the public don’t know about it.

The power circles are riddled with these scum who prattle loudly about how they believe in a meritocracy (and of course see their own exalted position as due to being meritorious) when in reality they have only reached their positions because of birth and connections.

Something grievously misunderstood by many members of the British ruling class is that they believe hatred of the ‘Bullingdon boy’ archetype comes from mere jealousy. The vast majority of the privately educated men who run the country really think that everyone wants to be more like them, and that therefore any criticism of elites comes first and foremost from envy.

This is in large part because one of the core beliefs instilled into the 7% of pupils who attend Britain’s divisive independent schools is that of meritocracy. This despite the fact that not only can most people not afford to send their children to these fee-paying schools, the ones who do attend them end up getting an easy ladder up to high society. They make up a third of MPs, nearly half of all newspaper columnists, a majority of Lords, diplomats and senior civil servants, and over 70% of senior judges. It is common knowledge that the old boys’ network looks after its own.

This shows why anyone who truly represents a threat to this class’s power and speaks to the needs of ordinary people, like Jeremy Corbyn, will have scorn heaped upon him by the so-called objective newspaper columnists.

The US is no different. There is a ruling class of business-politics-media people who all protect each other from any threat posed by an outsider to their dominance.


  1. says

    People like Stephen Knight, David Icke and others have been making these claims for decades (bribery, corruption, freemasonry, pedophilia and satanic rituals practiced by members of the British government and royal family, etc.). The only thing that’s new is the accusations are being corroborated.

    In the past, writers were labelled as “cranks” for circulating these stories. But with the proof of systemic and systematic rape of children by the likes of Jimmy Savile and former PM and conservative party leader Ted Heath, among others, people are willing to listen. We need more victims to speak up, and more people to leak their dirty secrets.

    It was really no surprise when the dossiers of pedophiles in the British goverment disappeared or were destroyed. Now we know for certain that it wasn’t due to incompetence.

  2. EigenSprocketUK says

    The power circles are riddled with these scum who prattle loudly about how they believe in a meritocracy … when in reality they have only reached their positions because of birth and connections.

    And that’s the original meaning of meritocracy: progression not through actual talent, but instead through possessing the right qualifications (educational or otherwise) to which only the privileged had access, or for which only the privileged were able to cram and prepare. It’s a far more insidious meaning, and the one your reader was using.

  3. Pen says

    The British public knows these things, yet a majority re-elected his party anyway. You sow what you reap.

  4. Nick Gotts says

    The linked article assumes the piggygate story is true, but that seems increasingly unlikely, as no-one has come forward to support it, or to contradict the assertion on Cameron’s behalf that he was not a member of the Piers Gaveston. Of course that could be a lie, but if so it would be a huge, career-risking hostage to fortune. It weakens the article to assume the truth of a probable falsehood, although its main point stands: the British elite is largely closed, decadent, and corrupt. The satirical magazine Private Eye has a front cover showing Ashcroft and Cameron, with speech bubbles as follows:

    Ashcroft: Do you admit to a disgusting act?
    Cameron: Yes, I took your money

  5. lorn says

    Burning the 50 pound note in front of a homeless person seems like the less evil. It is, presumably their note, they perform the labor of setting it alight in person and, because they do this in person, take the credit/blame while observing the effect upon another while close enough to see their face. It is mean … and heartless, but it is also getting their hands dirty, accepting responsibility, and seeing someone poor, as an individual, at close enough range to see their eyes while you are being mean. It is both forthright and honest in its heartlessness.

    This is, perhaps the most honest of their acts screwing over the poor. Once in power or office they can metaphorically burn bullions of pounds before the eyes of millions of poor people and do it anonymously but then go on TV to explain that it is painful (pleasurable) but absolutely necessary (when it is not) and that they (we noble and long suffering few in power) feel really bad (good) that it has come to this sad (happy) turn of events. After there will be high-fives, Cubans, and brandy as his secret society brothers compliment him on his ability to keep a straight face while lying and faking both sincerity and concern in just the right proportions.

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