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“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

In many ways, Cersei Lannister might not seem an altogether ridiculous comparison for Theresa May’s style of leadership. Tough, uncompromising, a deadly adversary – particularly for men who commonly underestimate her, fiercely loyal to her faction, and determined to win at all costs.

However, when Cersei’s crimes are brought to light and she’s sent on a ‘walk of shame’, she becomes even more dark and twisted, even more tunnel-visioned in her desire to destroy everyone and everything around her. And she eventually blows up half the kingdom and makes herself Queen.

I’ll just leave that one there.

Assuming anyone reading this has not watched Game of Thrones, I only draw what might seem a bizarre comparison, because in response to Nicola Sturgeon’s call for another Scottish independence referendum, Theresa May actually had the gall to lecture the SNP leader on how “politics is not a game”.

Well, as Cersei Lannister so memorably argues, it clearly is. To suggest any political party wouldn’t use real-world circumstances to advance their definitive political goals is clearly just unrealistic. George R. R. Martin has taught us that much. The SNP wants Scottish independence?? Shock horror!  Next they’ll be telling us the Greens are fond of vegetarians, and the Tories like rich people…

Irony is dead

But for that specific criticism to be spewed forth from a woman who has callously abused the rights of EU citizens living in the UK as a bargaining chip, like pawns on a chess board?? A woman who, despite the best attempts of the Lords to protect EU citizens, has bullied the entire House of Commons into backing down from their constitutional responsibilities?? 

A woman who played the ‘game’ of supposedly being a remain supporter, and then once handed the keys to No10, quelled dissent like a medieval monarch and went on a rampage to enforce the most extreme opposite – the most brutal and hardest of hard Brexits?

It’s entirely beyond the pale.

Not only that, but May’s reasoning for why Scotland should not be permitted another referendum is just laughable:

Well, I’d certainly love to hear her description of what Brexit’s done to the nation then.

Jekyll & Hyde

Another post on the Facebook page, Britain Against Britain First, made an acutely amusing analogy of May’s hypocrisy:

“If Nicola Sturgeon gets her way, and Scotland holds a second referendum in independence before the UK leaves the EU, Theresa May will be forced to do the following.

On the one hand, she will have to warn voters that to leave a longstanding union with their country’s most important trading partners would be an act of economic self-harm. In fact, it would be a disaster. Anyone who tells them otherwise, the Prime Minister must argue, is not living in the real world.

On the other hand, she will simultaneously have to reassure voters that to leave a longstanding union with their country’s most important trading partners will not be an act of economic self-harm. In fact, it will be a success. Anyone who tells them otherwise, the Prime Minister must argue, is engaged in baseless scaremongering.

Mrs May has 18 months to work out how best to phrase all this. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with.

New rules

UK politicians do seem to be following suit from Trump’s style of politics – where even the most outlandish claims and blithe hypocrisy are simply ignored, submerged beneath an over-saturation of powerful, impassioned rhetoric. Simply because the core themes of the rhetoric appeal to its target audience. Whether the actual reasoning has any substance whatsoever, is almost immaterial.

Many of us sat over here in the UK with our jaws on the floor, watching the new US president squirm about on camera. Watching his point-blank lies, his disputes and denials of things he’d quite clearly said in the past, and on national television. It all seemed just incredible. And yet merely days ago, back here in Blighty, Tory minister Doctor Liam Fox was exposed telling a categorical lie to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, blissfully unaware that proof of his deceit was quite literally on a giant neon flashing sign hanging in the background. (Or a large TV screen, at any rate.)

In this instance, it might actually seem quite funny, but really, it’s anything but. This isn’t You’ve Been Framed. Politicians are edging towards a total lack of accountability for deceit and/or hypocrisy. Fox will not be punished or reprimanded, there will be no repercussion. No-one who supported him before that moment is likely to have changed their opinion of the man, in light of the flagrant indiscretion. In the past, politicians have had to go to great lengths to disguise their motives and seedy secrets, to at least appear straight down the line and truthful to their voters, but the rules have changed. We love a scoundrel, after all. And now, a big fat lie or breathtaking hypocrisy is just a momentary blip in the 24/7 world of reality television.

Simply put, any hope of solving a problem is irrevocably lost if the equation you’re trying to solve is misrepresented by unreliable figures.

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