Distancing himself from the attacks on Nick Clegg by the No to AV campaign yesterday, David Cameron said: “I don’t run the No campaign, I run the Conservative No campaign.” By extension, Scrapbook assumes he will be apologising for the xenophobic briefing issued by his press officers.
In addition to Australia and several jurisdictions in the United States, countries using the Alternative Vote system include the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, ranked 137th on the Human Development Index and classified as having “low” development by the United Nations.
One can only imagine what possessed CCHQ to encourage national newspapers to print pictures of Papuan tribeswomen breastfeeding pigs, suggesting that this is “what we might have to look forward to under AV.”
The People originally reported the story this weekend, attributing the claims to “Tory campaign literature”:
Tory campaign literature says: “We’ve taken a look at Papua New Guinea and Fiji to see what we might have to look forward to under AV.”
It includes photos of topless Papuan women suckling pigs – which are “peace offerings between warring tribes”.
And it says Fiji’s Mahendra Chaudhry, their first PM under AV, was convicted of manslaughter after a hit-and-run.
It also taunts Fijians about witchcraft and cannibalism.
Having spent the past two days trying to track down a dodgy leaflet, however, Scrapbook now understands the provenance of these smears to be a press briefing from CCHQ. An email sent to newspapers on Friday attached images of topless women from Papuan hill tribes dressed in grass skirts.
The memo echoes comments made by Boris Johnson in 2006 for which he was forced to apologise:
Was this briefing composed after a long Friday lunch?