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.