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pig protest
James Rippingale

Meeting the pig-faced protesters of Manchester

Rumours surrounding the Prime Minister’s alleged fumblings with a farmyard animal will not go away quietly

Sunday October 4. The streets of Manchester are a breaking point, busy with tens of thousands of protesters, in town for the annual Conservative Party Conference. The event itself collides with the annual Trade Union Conference and marks the start of a week of action in Manchester, attempting to show support for Labour and recapture the UK from the Conservative Party. The crowd’s an eclectic one. Trade Unions from Northern steel mills, doctors, nurses, teachers, anti-frackers, students and black blockers, those rallying for lowered tuition fees, refugee support, hunt-abolitionists and an ever-expanding sea of Labour supporters with an axe to grind. And in amongst the crush there’s a whole lot of pig masks.

But even in all its Hieronymus Bosch-esque glory, Cameron’s #piggate seems like more than just a story. To many, it’s the metaphorical apex of Conservative politics – a hallucinogenic, champagne-fuelled emblem of elitist decadence, depravity and a sheer disconnection to society which Cameron and the Conservative Party stand accused of. So we headed to Manchester to ask protesters a question: What does Piggate mean to you when it comes to politics?

“The right-wing media endlessly trashes the left with meaningless insignificant things. But even with Piggate, Jeremy Corbyn’s not sinking to their level. And I think that speaks volumes.”

“David Cameron’s used to feeding us fairytales. But I never realised Three Little Pigs was his favourite.”

“It’s not just this – Cameron’s covering up all sorts of abuses. He needs to be tried in court and he needs to go to jail.”


“It just shows how the elite – the establishment – will get up to all sorts of mischief in their well funded schools. And it goes to show that really these people are somehow devoid of any normal emotion. Which is why they’re so disassociated from the struggles of normal working people. And ultimately, whether or not it’s true, the fact that no-one’s really surprised by it says quite a lot.”

“It’s worrying what the Tories are potentially burying with all this focus on pigs. Who knows what other stuff they’re actually brushing under the carpet. But people need to know about this, because you just couldn’t make it up.“

“The people who we have in charge and the Bullingdon Club are absolutely disgusting. It all just makes me feel sick. And the pig thing is not even the worst of it. It’s just the funniest.”



“Pigfuckers…in parliament!”

“Piggate’s a very convenient way of illustrating the complete corruption that lies of the heart of the system itself. We fuel it and it’s terrible. The important thing is not what some sick gits get up to when they’re at school because there’s much sicker things going on out there that the Conservatives are doing.”


“Piggate is that typical public school, privileged "we can do anything we want - stick your dick in a pig and nobody cares" kind of thing. I mean I did some things back in the day. But I never stuck it in no pig.”

“There’s really, really nothing to say.”

“This is just another example of the arrogance of the Tory party – that a story like this can be dismissed so lightly and blithely by the mass media.”

“Piggate just goes to show the filth and the greed and the disconnection to people the Tory party have. And just how much David Cameron needs to listen.”

“Piggate symbolises everything that’s wrong with English democracy. It’s more than just the lurid details of putting your cock in a pig’s mouth. Ashcroft thought he could bypass democracy and buy a government position. Cameron already knew about Ashcroft’s tax status - so he’s taking money from a tax avoider. This means the government of our country is informed by people that are actively pursuing illegal means to avoid taxes. It’s an elite society that’s been set up and one where in order to maintain their footing they do so by blackmailing other people. It’s more than just fucking a pig’s head. Although that is quality.”