The great pig scandal: what have we missed?
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Since Monday the British media has obsessed over allegations of “drug taking and debauchery”, but has this provided a welcome policy veil for the Conservatives? On Sunday evening the Daily Mail began serialising Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott’s unofficial biography of David Cameron. The book, based on numerous interviews with friends and political adversaries, including “Downing Street insiders”, has been a revelation. Cameron’s spokeswoman chose not to “dignify” the biography with a response. In the absence of an instant denial however, passing comments that could have been quickly dismissed have opened a Pandora’s Box of criticism on the Prime Minister. The story has featured in every national newspaper and magazine across the country even making appearances globally, running in the New York Times. There have been countless articles collating and rating the best Twitter reactions, of which there were over 450,000 in two days, according to analytics engine Topsy. Yet three days on and the British public are still no closer to discovering the truth or falsity of the widely unexpected (or completely understandable, dependent on your knowledge of public education and Oxbridge) revelations. But do we even need to know? Arguably not. Moreover, the truth of the matter doesn’t really have any bearing on the smokescreen it has and will continue to create whilst the Conservatives implement further ideologically motivated austerity. The anti-Jeremy Corbyn rhetoric since the election of the new Labour leader is testament to this. So, blinded by “pig-gate”, what important developments have been clouded since Sunday? On the day of the Daily Mail ‘annoinkment’, there was wide speculation that George Osborne is readying to scrap universal free school meals primary school children. The flagship policy of former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg provides free school meals for all five to seven year olds across the UK.
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