Monthly Archives: June 2013

We’re All History (or Fantasy)

Spending reviews are a bit like historical dramas, not because they make up for their terrible inaccuracy with unnecessary sex (though wouldn’t that be interesting), but because they have recently moved from niche occurrences to mainstream regularity. You can thank George Osbourne and HBO for that.

That said, if we’re going down the route of dubious television comparisons (which I absolutely think we should) I believe Game of Thrones might be a more appropriate parallel for the wider political environment, and not just because I think it’s the total shiz. Let’s consider the similarities:

First, everyone wants to double cross everyone else and they often succeed. We only have to look to Australia to find the very same thing happening, with Julia Gillard having just been brutally overthrown by her former deputy, who was himself deposed by Julia a few years ago. I don’t think either of them has been sleeping with their sibling though. That would be weird.

Second, Game of Thrones dedicates a lot of time to the dubious relationship between the previously loyal North, and the increasingly panicked South who they now want to be independent from. This is something I find myself doing regularly as PM. The only difference is that I’m probably not going to declare war on Scotland (though who knows, they might yet declare war on me).

Third, everyone is watching everyone else. Game of Thrones teaches us that if you want to get ahead in life, you must have a network of spies to report on the activity of your enemies AND your friends. The USA is currently teaching us the same thing.

Fourth and finally, with George Osbourne in charge of the economic recovery the phrase ‘Winter is coming’ is pretty accurate in a metaphorical sort of way.

The many parallels got me considering any lessons I can learn from the show but I have concluded its guidance is unfortunately rather limited, at least until I discover a nest of dragon’s eggs and learn how to chill out in a bonfire without getting burnt. It has however become apparent that I should at least avoid boar hunting whilst Boris is around.

Anyway, I could spend this evening coming up with innovative ways of dealing with the county’s problems, or I could hit up season two of Game of Thrones on Netflix. Both options will probably involve lots of unscrupulous political decision making, an unnecessarily expensive banquet (burger anyone?), and, let’s face it, some nudity.


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Sun, Sex and Suspicious Citizens

Anyone who has heard the hit single by the Vengaboys (so everyone then) will be aware that Ibiza is the place to be. Despite the fact that the plane I flew out on wasn’t run by Venga Airways, the holiday did not disappoint. During the day I spent my time relaxing with the family, but the real party started once Samantha turned in for the night, and the lads and I headed on to the ‘strip’. When I say lads I mean a couple of Conservative policy officers and the guy who does the daily media briefings – I’m sure you can understand that they are where the party is at. Yes it was a tad overwhelming at first (poor Graham from the policy office had to have a bit of a sit down) but once I’d got a few buckets inside me and done that dance from the Inbetweeners movie (in a strictly ironic way you understand), I got into the swing of things.

Alas, this blissful (largely alcohol induced) ignorance didn’t last, and soon I returned to the UK to once again take on the rather overwhelming and frequently awkward task of ‘running the country’. But what am I facing now that I have returned? Well Michael Fallon, a Conservative Minister, has stated that being in a coalition ‘can be tedious.’ Thanks for that revelation Michael, I can see it’s your piercing insight that’s got you to where you are.

The never ending scrutiny of coalition-based gossip aside, the key issue of the moment is once again the secrecy of the state. This has materialised itself in two ways. Firstly, information has been leaked showing the US government working with communication and internet companies to look at private data. I approve of the companies’ reactions – outright denial. This method is probably the approach I favour the most when presented with comprehensive and totally undeniable proof regarding something I would rather not admit to. Put your head in the sand and hope it’ll all just go away. Particular credit has to go to Microsoft who are determinedly continuing with their ‘your privacy is our priority’ ads. Textbook stuff.

The other issue is a little closer to home. People are getting moody that I am attending the annual Bilderberg meeting, which is an opportunity to meet the world’s top dogs without fear of being ‘on the record’. Alright yes it is a lot of very powerful people talking about the future of the world in a completely unaccountable sort of way, and yes this is rather counter to my claim that I would lead the ‘most transparent government in the world’, but I’m pretty sure the people complaining are just annoyed that they haven’t been invited.

Anyway, not that this isn’t all very interesting and important and definitely my job, but I have to admit that right now I’m mainly focussed on my intense holiday withdrawal. Where to go next? It seems that I should have become better friends with Lord Laird – I quite fancy a trip to Fiji.


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