Did David Cameron really fuck a pig?
Indeed, have undergraduates at Oxford ever engaged in pig-fuckery as part of their initiation into one of the university’s notorious drinking clubs, the Piers Gaveston Society?
That is the question that has unexpectedly dominated British media and society today.
And happily for Mr. Cameron, and the dignity of the prime ministerial office, the answer to both seems to be a resounding ‘no’.
The Royalist is, however, led to believe that, historically, “buggering chickens” has long been rumored as an occasional after-dinner activity at Oxford’s Bullingdon Club—the oldest and best established of Oxford’s drinking clubs.
The Piers Gaveston Society, founded in 1977, is actually a Johnny-come-lately to the world of Oxford drinking clubs.
The Bullingdon Club, of which photographic evidence exists to prove that Cameron was a member, was founded over 200 years ago. The club was banned by the university from meeting on its grounds in 1894, after its members engaged in a celebrated orgy of vandalism, smashing up Peckwater Quad.
They continue to be noted for their fondness for trashing the restaurants in which they eat.
Other clubs include the Assassins, the Dangerous Sports Club, the Musketeers, and The Miller club.
Tatler claimed in a recent article to have counted 48 so-called secret drinking clubs at Oxford.
However, former members of Oxford’s Piers Gaveston society and guests at the annual “Piers Gav” ball (actually a cross-dressing rave in the Oxfordshire countryside) have firmly denied that bestiality formed any part of their idea of a good night out.
“The party was more about doing E and snogging people,” said one former attendee.
Indeed, insider details of the party antics which the club championed—as related by the Daily Mirror today, for example—seem to paint a picture of a tight-knit group of privileged kids doing little more than using prodigious amounts of drugs.
And none have been able to testify to having witnessed—or indeed ever heard of—an initiation ceremony in which new boys simulated being given head by a dead pig, as David Cameron allegedly did.
“It wasn’t even really a society,” said another Oxford alum. “There was certainly a party called Piers Gav in a field with lots of drugs and debauchery, but I don’t think they went in for secret initiations.”
That said, there does seem to be a definite “dead pig” theme running through some of the former members admittedly hazy recollection of events.
One attendee at the club’s annual party themed around “Caligula” in the ’90s—staged in the countryside at a secret location to which partygoers were bused—told how the path leading to the venue was adorned with decapitated pig’s heads mounted on spikes.
“I suppose someone might have interfered with one of the pigs sexually but it seems unlikely,” says a source. “The Piers Gaveston was more of a massive snogging and wearing fishnet stockings opportunity. That kind of boorishness (no pun intended) would not have worked very well there.”
This particular pig head-related Piers Gav anecdote took place a few years after Cameron had left Oxford.
None of the Royalist’s sources were able to lend any credence to the tale of an initiation ceremony involving oral sex with a dead pig, although one did say that rumors abounded of undergraduates “fucking chickens” at the Bullingdon club.
“It was really talked about a lot, it was always a rumor about the Buller,” said one former undergraduate, “But we never really knew if it was true or not. It was more a way of commenting on what fucking idiots the people in the Buller were.”
Sources said that most of the clubs “initation ceremonies” actually involved drinking large quantities of Champagne.
“It was called being ‘sconced,’ and if you were ‘sconced’ you had to purchase and drink a bottle of Champagne, and then you were in.”
The Bullingdon Club was however famous for welcoming new members by breaking into their rooms and smashing them up.
The journalist James Dellingpole has said, “I used to lie awake at night, yearning for that moment when I heard a commotion outside my window. Then, one night, it happened. All these incredibly glamorous undergraduates appeared in my dingy little flat, dressed in the full regalia, and started breaking things. I thought, ‘Hallelujah, it’s finally happening.’ In fact, they’d come to recruit my flatmate.”
Another undergraduate told the Royalist that bizarre stories and rumors quickly gained currency in the febrile Oxford atmosphere of the ’80s and ’90s as they were often published in the university’s unofficial newspaper, the Cherwell.
“People were really shockable, very open to gossiping,” the source says.
The Bullingdon was satirized as the Bollinger in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Decline and Fall.
A fictional Oxford dining society inspired by clubs like the Bullingdon forms the basis of Posh, by Laura Wade, a play staged in April 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre, London.
Membership of the club while a student is shown as giving admission to a secret and corrupt network of influence in British politics later in life. The play was later adapted into the 2014 film The Riot Club.
Toby Young, who has written about the story today, told The Daily Beast: “People like the idea that there is a secret society at the heart of the British establishment. It feeds people’s paranoid conspiracy theories. Like most conspiracy theories it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
“The particular initiation rite described in Ashcoft’s biography strikes me as wildly implausible. I wrote about the Piers Gaveston Society for Vanity Fair in 1995 and no-one I interviewed claimed the PM had been a member of the Piers Gaveston.
“There was no initiation rite at the Piers Gaveston. It wasn’t that organized. It was just a bunch of undergraduates calling themselves a silly name to get pretty girls to come to their party.”
Young adds that the book, entitled Call Me Dave, looks set to rebound negatively on its co-authors, Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott.
“It’s been a disaster for them,” Young said. “This book has long been billed as a serious biography of the prime minister with revelations that are going to shake the government to its foundations. It turns out the centerpiece of this £5m project is a flimsy story that wouldn’t have passed muster at the News of the World.”