Does David Cameron really exist? Doubts are increasingly being raised as to the reality of the Tory leader, with some commentators suggesting that he might simply be a media construct, created by a shadowy right-wing think tank. “Just think about it, had you ever actually heard of him, let alone seen him before he stood for the leadership of the Conservative party?” asks investigative journalist John Pilchard, who has spent the last year investigating the enigmatic leader of Britain’s opposition. “He just came out of nowhere at the last Conservative Party leadership contest with no apparent political baggage, no embarrassing past misdemeanours and untainted by power. He was the perfect candidate at the right time!” Too perfect and too well timed, according to Pilchard. “After three consecutive election losses, the Tories were desperate for a leader who could represent a clean break from the party’s disastrous recent poll showings, and who could connect with the public,” he says. “Lo and behold, along comes Cameron, right on cue. He seems tailor-made to appeal to the whole party – he’s a bit of a public school toff, but at the same time a populist who listens to The Smiths on his iPod. He even combines a Scottish-sounding name – to appeal to North of the border voters – with an English accent!” The journalist firmly believes that ‘Cameron’ is the creation of Tory focus groups; the distillation of all the feedback they received on what would make the ‘ideal’ party leader. From this data was developed a computer simulation of a ‘perfect leader’. “They’ve got a set of algorithms which can generate the look, tone of voice, posture, mannerisms, even clothes required to elicit a favourable response from the average voter, regardless of what the candidate is actually saying, or the extremity of their policies,” says Pilchard. “All they needed was an actual person to go with this image!” Pilchard claims that the Tory ‘Grandees’ opted for a ‘composite’ figure for their virtual leader. “For TV appearances they have a computer-generated simulation, but for personal appearances, Commons debates and the like, they hired an actor who met the physical criteria established by their computer simulation for a ‘perfect leader’,” he declares. “He’s perfectly inoffensive and nondescript to look at. Just try to remember what he looks like when he isn’t on TV or in the papers – you can’t, can you? That’s the idea – when you try to picture his face, you just see some mental construct of what you think the average bloke next door should look like!”

In order to establish ‘Cameron’ in the public consciousness, an entire personal history and background had to be created for him. “Trust me, it’s easier than most people realise to create a fake personal history, even for a public figure. If you tell people that someone was an MP enough times, show them a few photos of him shaking hands with local worthies and the like, and they’ll believe it. It is especially easy for the Tory party, who have most of the British press in their pockets,” Pilchard contends. “The real MP for Witney was a 64 year old retired headmistress called Edith Blunderstock. She was paid to disappear shortly after the 2005 General Election and ‘Cameron’ replaced her. He was never elected, he just appeared in the constituency party! Official records were altered to give the impression he’d been elected in 2001. Photos were faked, Hansard was altered to make it appear he’d been making speeches in the Commons since 2001, and party records were rewritten so that it seemed he’d held all sorts of high-profile positions.” The deception worked. Cameron’s authenticity wasn’t questioned by press, public or politicians. “They relied on the fact that most people in this country are so disinterested in politics they don’t even know who their own MP is, let alone who’s in the shadow cabinet,” says a disgusted Pilchard. “The press are no better – they’re only interested in politicians when they get involved in sex scandals.” As well as political biography, ‘Cameron’ was also furnished with a personal history, including a family. “Aren’t they just too good to be true?” asks Pilchard, who maintains that the entire ‘Cameron family’ are played by actors. “The disabled child for the sympathy vote, the spouse who is the perfect traditional wife, yet also has that tattoo to suggest she’s just a little bit ‘radical’ and ‘rebellious’ – establishment and counter-culture in one package. All-in-all, the perfect family for the politician trying to pitch himself as Mr Average caring bloke.” However, behind this façade of perfection lies a sinister secret. “He’s little more than a puppet, his every word and action dictated by the computer at Conservative Central Office,” says Pilchard. “Every time there’s a new political development, they just feed the data into the computer’s ‘perfect leader’ simulation and it provides them with the ‘perfect’ response. Why do you think Cameron’s been getting the better of Gordon Brown lately? The Tory geeks have simply tweaked the program and improved its performance!”

The reporter believes that behind the ‘Cameron Project’ lies the mysterious ‘Forum for a New Britain’, a right wing think tank dedicated to the re-establishment of ‘traditional values’ and a ‘proper social order’. “The Forum includes some of Britain’s top industrialists and wealthiest financiers,” Pilchard explains. “They’re using this puppet leader as a mouthpiece for their reactionary policies – he’s so bland nobody could imagine that he’d say anything extreme, so they just assume everything he does say is completely innocuous!” Cameron’s recent rise in popularity is evidence that the Forum’s campaign of subversion by stealth is working, argues Pilchard. “Every day he proposes something even more right wing and nobody bats an eyelid,” observes the journalist. “Just look at his recent policy initiative on inner-cities – he proposes turning them into concentration camps and everybody praises him for his liberalism!” Pilchard’s claims have been dismissed out of hand by both the Conservative Party and the ‘Forum for a New Britain’. “To say that Mr Cameron is being used to sneak extremist policies past the electorate is simply ludicrous,” comments a party spokesperson. “Take his inner-city policy initiative – far from proposing to turn them into concentration camps, David actually suggested they become ‘gated communities’. The barbed wire, watch towers and checkpoints are to keep drug dealers, thieves and vandals out, not to keep ordinary residents away from nice middle class areas. Identity passes and security checks would simply be used to ascertain that only people entitled to be on the estates can enter them.” For its part, the Forum has laughed off Pilchard’s claims that it was laying the ground for public acceptance for the idea of deploying low-yield neutron bombs against urban crime spots – only the criminal occupants would be killed, the valuable land would be left unscathed for property developers to exploit. Pilchard remains unconvinced. “If we’re not careful, we’re going to find ourselves being governed by the ‘Leader Who Never Was’,” he warns, “a phantom image being manipulated by the shadowy financiers and corporate interests that lurk behind the Conservative Party.”