Call me Dave’s pulled pork – do you actually care?

Granted, most of us have never or will never place our genitalia near an animal (dead or alive) of any kind

468660224Unless you have been living under a rock away from civilisation for the last week, you will probably be aware of the biggest political story of the week. If not, allow me to give a brief rundown of events.

Lord Ashcroft is a businessman who pretty much bankrolled the Conservative Party from the late-1990s till the 2010 General Election. He’s non-domiciled in the UK, meaning that he pays limited tax on earnings outside the country. For the record, while many people frown on this practice, it is a perfectly legal thing to do. Once the Conservatives came into (coalition) power in May 2010, he expected a high-profile position in return for his role in bankrolling the party. Instead he got offered a junior whip position at the Foreign Office, which he turned down and then went off in a huff.

So what does he do instead?

Well on the one hand, he sets up an independent polling company in order to gauge public opinion in the run up to the 2015 General Election. What makes his polling stand out is the fact that he conducted a lot of constituency-level polling. The end result? His predictions were way off the actual result, although considering that most other pollsters got it wrong, this isn’t particularly much of a shock. However, Lord Ashcroft’s polling was slightly different to other polling companies. Firstly, as already mentioned, he conducted a lot of constituency-level polling. Individual constituencies are notoriously hard to successfully poll because the sample size isn’t big enough. Secondly, he didn’t name the candidates running in the seat. This is important because having politicians with top name recognition does alter the figures. The knock-on effect of all of above – Ashcroft was sure that Cameron was going to be out of Downing Street after May 7th.

So what else is he doing? Well, this is where the news from this week comes in, with the serialisation of Lord Ashcroft’s biography (‘Call me Dave’) of David Cameron in the Daily Mail. Ashcroft assumed he’d be publishing the book with Cameron already in retirement having been defeated, so it would embarrass and deflate even further an already deflated loser. The problem is, Dave won in May. Furthermore, with Jeremy Corbyn having just been elected as Labour leader, 2020 seems like a pretty safe bet for the Conservatives. Cameron isn’t exactly down in the dumps.

So, what have we learnt so far? Well, apparently David Cameron is posh and out of touch . In other news, the Pope is a Catholic and bears shit in woods. It’s hardly news is it? Furthermore, it’s a common occurrence in the polls that David Cameron polls better than his party.

Finally, the pig story. Whilst at Oxford, the PM, so the book tells us, apparently stuck his honourable member into the mouth of a dead pig. As any spin doctor will tell you – whether it actually happened or not really doesn’t matter (a single, anonymous source seems pretty shaky); a story like that sticks. Having said that, does anybody actually care if this did happen? Granted, most of us have never or will never place our genitalia near an animal (dead or alive) of any kind. But it’s hardly a scandal; just (incredibly odd) teenage drunken foolery at university.

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