Some time back I wrote an article comparing the current state of British politics to the original Star Wars trilogy. In response, I received many a request to give Westminster the Game of Thrones treatment. Problem was, I didn’t really see how it all fit; I just couldn’t puzzle out how all of those murderous clans were analogous to UK politics. But then it all came to me yesterday, in a moment of clarity.
The Tories are the Lannisters – ruthless, will do anything for power, a bit old school and incestuous, and their brightest sparks tend to be disregarded to the detriment of the whole family’s fortunes. Labour are the Starks – northern, care about their local community, well intentioned but destined to be outplayed (although this election campaign is proving otherwise). UKIP are the Iron Islanders – fiercely paranoid, stuck in another era, willing to fight to the death but ultimately due for emasculation. The Greens are House Arryn – kind of weird yet convinced they’re the sane ones; likely to be breastfeeding their younglings well into pubescence. The SNP are the wildlings, obviously – but please, call them Free Folk, if you wouldn’t mind.
The Lib Dems are either the Targaryens – down for now but destined to rise from the ashes, or the Tyrells – happy to sleep with anyone to get into power. I’ll leave that one with you.
However, none of this is what informed my epiphany of yesterday – I had figured out everything I just wrote months ago. The way in which Game of Thrones is most like British politics at the moment is that no one is really in a solid position of power, relatively unthreatened by outside interests. Everyone’s place in the scheme of things is constantly up for grabs; just when you think you’ve got seriously ahead, you are usurped by a challenger you hadn’t even taken seriously up until that point. The whole system is a free floating pack of tribes, all with competing interests.
No one can form a stable partnership for very long either, in both Game of Thrones and very possibly on our own sceptred isle from here on in. The largest clans talk simply about taking all of the power for themselves, when it’s obviously to any objective observer that the only way any of them can gain lasting power (and stop their family members being butchered, although thankfully we haven’t descended into bloodlust in Britain just yet) is by working with others.
Will the general election in 2015 end the same way that Game of Thrones does? I’m not enough of a nerd to have read the books the whole thing is based on, so beats me.
Or enough of a nerd to know that the books haven’t ended yet…
Yes, it appears I underestimated my lack of nerdiness even more than was required…