21/09/2015 11:47 BST | Updated 21/09/2016 06:12 BST

Plotting Behind #PigGate Makes Our Democracy Stink to High Heaven


"He put a private part of his anatomy into a dead pig's mouth."

That isn't a sentence we're going to forget in a hurry.

Like almost everyone else on social media, I reveled in the accusations of drug use and lurid debauchery by David Cameron like a pig in the proverbial.

There were hashtags like 'Bae of Pigs', 'Hameron' and 'Porkward'...

Emojis were put to good use: 🐷 🐽

There were plenty of bloody brilliant puns and quips, not least the sidesplitting "Netflix and swill".

People questioned whether Cameron had been talking of a 'Pig Society' all along.

And it's inspired a viral trend that's crisscrossed the globe, with the universal appeal of a politician caught with their pants down.

It was amazing. What a time to be alive.

But as the dust begins to settle - it's occurred to me that the entire thing stinks to high heaven.

In Lord Ashcroft, the man behind Call Me Dave the tell-all expose of Cameron due to published soon, we have someone who donated millions of pounds to the Conservative party.

Who did so with the purpose of placing said party into government.

And who appears to have expected something - a job, power or influence - in return.

And then when he didn't get what he wanted, he spent five years plotting, spending and - now it appears - writing and researching in order to seek 'revenge' against those who didn't scratch his back.

I'm certainly no fan of David Cameron, and certainly not of the Conservative party.

But I am a fan of democracy.

And for all those sharing the allegations with fervor on social media - perhaps the much bigger, and more concerning issue is with how we've come to hear of them in the first place.

It all comes from a single, unsubstantiated source who Ashcroft, and his co-author journalist Isabel Oakeshott, trust enough to publish claims which would make the average Mail reader queasy at the very least.

Yes, it's certainly an interesting story. No, we shouldn't feel bad about taking an interest in it. And as Oakeshott told the World at One programme on Monday: "It made us laugh".

That's fine. It did.

But also note the carefully choreographed timing: after May's general election, and four years before the next campaign.

This considerably reduces the effect of the book's publication at the ballot box but still does Cameron a bit of personal harm - especially in how he is perceived on the world stage if nothing else.

So let's also not forget the circumstances of how we came to hear of #PigGate.

And what it really says about the British brand of democracy.