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Like every Prime Minister before himDavid Cameron has continued the great British tradition of rewarding his friends and his party supporters with knighthoods and honours but, unlike others before him, he has admitted it by openly stating that this year’s New Year’s Honours awards were in service of his “Pig Society” initiative.

Announcing the list of recipients, the Cabinet Office said:

A lot of the people honoured have been recognised as fully-paid up members of the Prime Minister’s pig society, and are well known in the community for having their snouts in the trough even at a time of austerity like this.

As an illustration of this policy, among those receiving high-profile awards are fat-cat hedge-fund boss and Tory donor Paul Ruddock, who has given more than £500,000 to the Conservatives and who made millions betting on the collapse of Northern Rock as well as family friend of the Camerons, the actress Helena Bonham Carter.

Officials claimed that although honours are recommended by an independent committee, the list reflected the prime minister’s “strategic agenda” of rewarding people who have selflessly contributed to society by donating stackloads of money to his party or alternatively have been deeply involved in solving the many problems facing their communities by benevolent actions such as being invited to his house for dinner.

The award of honours for party political purposes has been common for many years, but it is highly unusual for them to be so overtly tied to such self-serving interests by the Prime Minister openly calling them part of his Pig Society agenda.

Ruddock said:

I am staggered and honoured and can’t quite believe the Prime Minister gave me this award after I cost the UK taxpayer billions by short-selling Northern Rock shares. Hopefully this will encourage others to realise that by donating a substantial amount of dosh to the Tory party, you too can be rehabilitated in the eyes of those that matter, regardless of your greed or incompetence.

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