Equine lynchpin’s masterplan revealed
|March 9, 2012||Posted by Cameron MacLeod under national, satire|
There had to be someone right at the heart of it, at the eye of the storm. The Murdochs were too obvious, and too indiscrete. No, this symphony of illegality and institutionalised corruption needed a maestro. A mastermind. It certainly wasn’t going to be someone working directly for the tabloids; intellect was required, and it needed to be someone above suspicion.
On Friday 2nd March, the conspiratorial legacy of phone-hacking confederate Raisa was finally uncovered. The former police horse had been well known as a philanthropist and a close friend of the prime minister during her short life.
After a raid on her family estate in Witney, police uncovered correspondence linking the deceased horse to former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and illegal invasions of privacy carried out on the news company’s behalf. Some of the material seized by Thames Valley Police appeared to prove that Raisa had been dining regularly with key Scotland Yard officials and journalists associated with News Corp. between 2005 and 2007, supporting allegations of her improper conduct and intimate relations with colleagues during her time in the service.
The overhanging question is, of course, who else fell victim to this horse’s insatiable allure? Was Raisa merely a pawn within a horsey, high-profile ring of tabloid hacks and concubines?
Well, no, not quite. This was just a bizarre attempt to discredit the prime minister without really addressing anything relevant. Not that TSR isn’t a socialist rallying-ground, devoted to the deposition of the Tories and their bland, Lib Dem glove-puppet pals. It’s exactly that. Every last one of us publicly advocates the bludgeoning of David Cameron with his own riding crop. Honest. We mean it.
The most frustrating thing about this story is that there seems to be some genuine outrage about it. Even on the Daily Mail‘s article, people claiming that the story is irrelevant in the comments section of their terrifying, quasi-journalistic crusade on the issue seem to have been downvoted into oblivion. I assume the article was terrifying in some way, though I didn’t read much of it. The formatting and general page layout make me feel as though I’m trespassing in Charles Manson’s prison cell.
Come to think of it, the fact that this story has become a minor scandal isn’t even as annoying as horses are themselves, but we’ll get to that later.
“Horsegate,” as it has become known, is apparently a symbol of the unmasking of a system by which journalists and editors get just a little too cosy with politicians and public figures. First, anyone who didn’t already understand that the press keep in close contact with all manner of celebrities and ministers probably shouldn’t be working as a qualified journalist. Second, if you’re going to incriminate David Cameron as part of the phone-hacking investigation, it might be worth mentioning his decision to appoint Andy Coulson as communications Minister above a horse ride with a horse trainer. Naturally, I realise that this horse trainer is married to Rebekah Brooks, but the issue in question, as said before, is a horse ride with Charlie Brooks.
David Cameron can choose his friends, but not who they marry. For the benefit of real journalists, here is a list that does indicate how appalling a judge of character the PM is:
- Communications minister Andy Coulson: resigned owing to involvement in phone-hacking scandal; had received Dave’s support
- Defence secretary Liam Fox: resigned over charging lobbyists for meetings and for using his friend Adam Werrity as an advisor; received Dave’s support
- Yacht enthusiast Michael Gove: walking catastrophe; unaccountably a cabinet minister
- Jeremy Clarkson: shamelessly conceited Bullingdon wannabe; casual racist and purveyor of mind, noise and air pollution; Dave’s pal
- Steve Hilton: Dave’s policy advisor; currently leaving the country for a good year or so
- Energy secretary Chris Huhne: allegedly made his former wife take points on her licence for a speeding offence he committed; resigned as a result and now awaiting trial for perverting the course of justice
- “Families tsar” Emma Harrison: her company, A4e, provides work for people receiving state welfare and paid out £11m in dividends to shareholders despite all of its estimated £160-180mn UK turnover last year coming from the government; the business is now being investigated for fraud
The above list should be perceived as nothing short of a counter-intuitive car crash in terms of decision making, proving Cameron to be the approximate political equivalent of Bella Swan. Unless Raisa became some sort of perverse illegally-acquired information / bribe exchange hub, the horse story pales into utter insignificance.
I’ll resist the urge to draw out the predictable Twilight critique via an extension of my earlier simile, largely because Emma French did a better job already. Similarly, I will cease to allude to the use of a former police horse’s rectum as the epicentre of illegal parliament-press relations. Though it might well have been. We have no way of knowing now.
The Guardian seemed somewhat frustrated that Labour didn’t capitalise enough on this apparently golden opportunity to belittle the PM and sway voters away from the Conservatives. Evidently it wasn’t considered that any Labour leader who failed to take advantage of the appointment of at least three potential criminals to the cabinet might also struggle to deliver original equestrian quips until the prime minister saw no alternative but to resign in disgrace. Instead, David Cameron has the opportunity to sidestep another political shitstorm because the media have instead decided to focus on something far less incriminating and only slightly less boring.
I wasn’t particularly phased by the fact that No 10 tried to hide the fact that the PM had been riding with Brooks. While slightly dismissive of the whole thing, Cameron did manage to deal with the matter calmly, and without treating anyone with undisguised contempt. What annoyed me was that he felt the need to state that he was “very sorry to hear that Raisa is no longer with us.” Combined with some desperate allegations by the press that the horse was mistreated because it was not fit to be ridden, my suspicions of horse bias within major news organisations were confirmed.
Horses are roughly as intelligent as dogs, and ultimately only provide an outmoded form of transport, predominantly in the case of clichéd and often distasteful wedding carriages. Apart from the extreme costs involved, owning a horse is ultimately no different than owning any other conventional domesticated mammal. And yet there seems to be a special respect and prestige when we observe the animal kingdom that is reserved largely for dolphins, which are intelligent, and horses, which defecate up to 14 times a day. In my case at least, the reason why these demanding, capricious, spindly-legged turd factories merit a special place in each of our hearts, regardless of whether or not we actually own one (a horse, that is), is a mystery.
Ultimately, it seems “horsegate” has been preserved beyond its natural life as a non-story in order to provide overworked writers with an ample stock of unintelligent puns and an equally predictable “ironic” parody of these desperate abuses of the English language. Worse still, as is evident in the Guardian article referenced earlier, this trend has pervaded even the rhetoric within the House of Commons.
Yet more misery comes from the fact that similar facile “stories” have also been coming to the fore lately. Much to the ire of the pro-rape wing of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg appeared on BBC Breakfast recently, stating passionately that not only was rape a crime but also that the term referred to non-consensual sexual intercourse, and that he wanted to see a decline in the number of rape cases in the UK. Philip Hammond sparked controversy not long ago by condemning the use of IEDs by the Taliban. And London tube workers stunned the nation when they decided that the £500 extra pay they would receive for working during the Olympics is actually closer to an insult than a bonus, and subsequently held a strike ballot.
Unfortunately, I’ve had to write this article without the benefit of access to Raisa’s answering machine messages, so hopefully the Sun or the Mirror will be able to give you a better picture at some point.