There’s a spectre haunting British politics: the spectre of Peppa Pig. It seems the fictitious children’s character has become the new fault line in Westminster, following Boris Johnson’s lauding of the pink porker at the CBI conference.
Seeking clear blue water between himself and the Tories, Sir Keir Starmer has used an interview in today’s Times to attack the theme park centred around the animated animal, declaring:
“‘I have been to Peppa Pig World, of course I have. It’s dreadful.’
Given Sir Keir’s clear-out of the last of the Corbynites, his views on Trots are well known but it’s a far cry from Labour leaders of old. Party spin-doctors famously tried to get the popular children’s TV character to endorse Gordon Brown at a 2010 election rally. Such ham-fisted entreaties failed and Labour lost that contest. Will Starmer’s efforts produce a different result?
One Peppa-related area where Starmer and Johnson can agree on though is their children’s love for the character. Starmer told the Times that: ‘Our daughter was absolutely in love with Peppa Pig for a very long time. I’ve seen no end of Peppa Pig programmes.’
And Mr S can reveal that – far from distancing themselves from Peppa – the Johnsons have doubled down in their support for the cartoon critter. One of Steerpike’s spies reports that Carrie Johnson was spotted taking baby Wilfred to the Peppa Pig musical yesterday. Accompanied by Home Office adviser Nimco Ali, Mrs Johnson – looking resplendent in red – was spotted taking the blond baby into the Theatre Royal Haymarket which is currently hosting ‘Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever.’ The event promises ‘the best day ever for Peppa Pig fans’ with ‘something for all of the family and their friends to enjoy, including Miss Rabbit, Mr Bull, Suzy Sheep, Gerald Giraffe.’ What a shame Boris couldn’t attend too.
Forget migrant crossings or gender pronouns, it seems that the anthropomorphic animal has become the defining battlefield in the latest of Britain’s ongoing culture wars.