Hot news in the Daily Mail on this gloomy Monday morning. Did Prime Minister David Cameron ‘dabble’ in hard drugs when he was at Oxford University, asks Lord Ashcroft, rhetorically. The question, he writes in that reflecting glass into which millions of middle-England hypocrites like to gaze over breakfast each morning, has been ‘hotly debated’ in political circles for a generation.
No it hasn’t, Lord Ashcroft, you seedy little tosser. You have a book out, purporting to be an expose of Cameron’s supposedly wild days at university, and it needs all the publicity you can generate. This apparently includes an extract about an episode at a college party in which Cameron, as part of some initiation rite, stuck a part of his anatomy into the mouth of a pig (presumably giving rise to the parliamentary expression, private member’s bill).
The book, by the way, has been co-written by a journalist. I won’t mention her name, because she will in time seek to distance herself from it.
Ashcroft is a Conservative party donor scorned. He has coughed up tens of millions to the Tories in the hope of getting a senior position in government and has yet to be given one. The chances now are between none and not a chance. Cameron, according to Ashcroft, claimed that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, of the Liberal Democrats, coalition partners in Cameron’s first administration, vetoed any appointment for Ashcroft. Clegg has denied this. Well, he would, wouldn’t he? But who would argue with him? Who would want to be a member of any government of which Ashcroft was a prominent member? Or, for that matter, the doorman.
The book, which I have not read, and won’t be reading even if one arrives on the doormat as a donation, seems to offer no startling fresh information or insight into Cameron’s personality. I’m not sure there’s anything worth exposing. Even if there is, I’m not interested. The future prime minister’s behaviour at Oxford, and perhaps even at Eton, may have been short of exemplary at times, but so what?
And what’s remotely interesting about Cameron possibly having had a go at certain soft drugs, and joining a students club at which – Heavens above! – drinking was a preoccupation? Next thing you know, there’ll be news of an affair. The bounder!
Now, I’ve ingested a few drugs myself, made a lifelong habit of drinking, and will readily admit to have ‘dabbled’ occasionally with members of the fair sex. All I can say is that I’d do it all over again if I wasn’t as old and decrepit as I’ve become of late.
And so, I presume, would a great many of Ashcroft’s readers, if there are any.
Cameron may be no saint, but which do you prefer, the man who has made a few mistakes in his life – or, if you prefer, lived it – or the man who seeks to exploit and profit from writing about them? Ashcroft is an unpleasant, puerile, resentful and vengeful man – and an idiot, to boot. I think I’d rather read a book by the late Jackie Collins, who died over the weekend. At least the bonking would be graphic.
Anyway, I thought the silly season was over. It must have been extended due to the clement autumn weather.