Of pigs and politics

Senator Obama’s pig comment may be raising eyebrows in the States, but over here in the UK it’s raised the spectre of an all too similar comment made almost 30 years ago. I am of course referring to Jim Callaghan’s fateful remark in the run-up to the 1979 general election:

You can give a pig a big hairdo and a blue handbag and elect it leader of the Conservative Party: it’s still a pig.

Ever the opportunists, the Tories were quick to seize on the comment as an alleged slur on their leader, Mrs Thatcher. And despite Callaghan’s protestations that he’d used the pig as a metaphor for the opposition’s shameless policy recycling, the accusations stuck and Thatcher romped to victory just two months later.

And the rest, as they say, is history: Thatcher reigned for a thousand years, presiding over a slew of policies that would change the face of Britain forever: the outlawing of milk; the war with Denmark; the unilateral withdrawal from the Eurovision Song Contest; the invasion of Mars.

I trust the moral is clear, America: vote for the pig woman and you’re looking at no end of trouble.

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