Dateline  Newcastle upon Tyne - Tuesday 16th July, 2024 16:17


by Jonathan Hamblin, 2nd June, 2017

I know some younger voters might be struggling with working out who to vote for in the upcoming election, so in 30 Rock-style, I'm going to explain it to you in Harry Potter. Please Share with anyone you think it might help. ;)

Years ago, Britain was ruled by a dark witch called Margaret Thatchermort. She was a powerful being, who managed to convince many of the muggles to worship her, even though some suspected she did not have their best interests at heart. From her post in the Ministry of Magic, she worked with a power-crazed media mage named Rupert Merlock. Together, they wove a powerful confundo spell to keep the muggles confused and compliant. Eventually, Thatchermort fell, after being hit with an Avada Kedavra curse from her own Death Eaters.

But although she was defeated, her acolytes were everywhere. Over the next 20 years, they slowly consolidated their power, forming secret clubs in their expensive boarding schools, which were essentially like Hogwarts, only every house was Slytherin.

Eventually, the Death Eaters rose to power again, under the rule of David Hameron, a slightly incompetent wizard, who rumour has it spent much of his private time casting waddiwasi on pig's heads for some reason. He only had a small amount of Thatchermort's power, and he needed more to keep his grip on the country.

Luckily for him, the muggles were still under the influence of Thatchermort and Merlock's confundo spell. Every day for the past 20 years, papers like Merlock's The Mug and the Daily Muggle (Run by the evil Lord Daggar) had been printing stories that suggested that the country was under a dark spell from the European Wizarding Council, and that Britain was constantly under threat of being flooded with unskilled foreign wizards, who would either provide low quality spells, or refuse to perform magic at all, preferring to sit at home squeezing 60" flat screen TVs into their lounges, and living the life of Riley off the vast bounty that was the £49 a week unemployment benefit.

This constant rhetoric lead to the rise of a new faction, UKID (United Kingdom Independent Dementors party), who wanted to send all the foreign wizards and witches back to Azkaban (or wherever they came from). UKID gained traction with the muggles, because, thanks to the years of propaganda from Merlock and Dagger, it actually began to seem plausible that the country was under threat of imminent collapse.

Unfortunately, UKID were so successful, some Death Eaters started to worry that Hameron would lose his grip on the country, and so he made a pact to cast the Referenduerum spell on the populous if the dissenting Death Eaters supported him at the next election. Referenduerum was a spell that would give every muggle in the country a choice - to remain part of Europe, or to cloak the country in a permanent fog of invisibility. Privately, he thought it was a low risk strategy, as clearly no muggle would be willing to choose isolation from the world that cloaking the country would bring. Plus there was every chance that the Referenduerum spell wouldn't actually work - nothing would change, and he'd be able to go back to weaving his dark magic on pig's faces.

But what he didn't know, was that Merlock actually wanted the Referenduerum spell to work, so that the country would be unshackled from the rules of the European Wizarding Council, and be controlled by the Death Eaters to boot. And as he controlled the Death Eaters, it would mean that he could effectively rule the country from the shadows, changing laws to suit his personal needs and tastes. His disgusting, disgusting tastes.

In association with Lord Dagger, Merlock ran a misinformation campaign in the press that ensured the Referenduerum spell's success. Hameron was now faced with casting Brexitus, a powerful cloaking spell that would make the United Kingdom completely disappear from the face of the Earth. Quivering with fear, Hameron immediately quit the Ministry to spend more time with his pigs, ironically losing his grip on the very power he'd cravenly pursued in the first place.

In his stead rose Theresa Maytrix Le Strangle, a dark witch who used a metamorphmagus spell to appear more approachable and sensible than the other Death Eaters. She spent the next year explaining to the British what the Brexitus spell would mean. Unfortunately, she didn't have much understanding of the spell herself, so she simply stated "Brexitus means Brexitus" over and over again. For Brexitus had never been cast before, and even though Maytrix put her best wizards on it, they were not the brightest (In fact, they made Goyle and Crabb look like Ron and Hermione). After spending an afternoon looking into it, they quickly began to realise that the effects of Brexitus would be disastrous, and that they would need to weave a new confundo conjuring on the populous. But to cast it, they would need to draw more power from the muggles. A lot more power.

You see, belief plays a big part when it comes to conjuring, and the more muggles that supported the Death Eaters, the greater their power grew. And while the Death Eaters already had a majority in the Ministry of Magic, they still needed to increase their grip on power, by gaining more seats and thus influence on ministerial matters.

And the only way to do that was hold an election.

Which would have worked perfectly if it were not for a man named Corbyn Black. Born to an unassuming background, as a young man Corbyn had once faced Thatchermort during the Minister's Question Time and lived to tell the tale, the only sign of their skirmish being a small lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. A small section of the wizarding community named The Order of the Rose realised that he could one day prove a valuable asset in the fight against Thatchermortism, and so they used an obscurism spell to hide him and his many good deeds from the view of the Death Eaters.

He eventually grew into a wizard of powerful convictions, a man who didn't always manage to tuck his shirt in properly or wear his tie straight, but he loved his quiddich, and he always fought for the underprivileged muggles of society. The sort of guy you could go for a butterbeer with, y'know? He rose up through the wizarding ranks to become the leader of the Order of the Rose, and a thorn in the side of Theresa Maytrix Le Strangle. Merlock and Dagger hated him of course, because there's nothing worse to a tabloid than a man of principle. Not because having principles is a shameful thing, but because he can't be bought.

As the election was announced, battle lines were drawn.

Maytrix promised to give away the homes of the elderly to private firms, sell off the NHS to The highest (or middlish, she wasn't fussy) bidder and bring back house elf hunting, a particularly cruel sport that saw house elves being ripped apart by packs of vicious manticores. Apparently this was to reduce their numbers, but seeing as no-one could afford a house anyway, it seemed unlikely that house elves were really that much of a problem.

Many believed Maytrix had also been secretly collecting Thatchermort's horcruxes, in order to resurrect her mentor, but this was never confirmed. She ran a campaign of fear - fear that things might not turn out ok if she wasn't there to oversee them. Fear that the country might become flooded with Eastern European wizards. Fear that things might be different.

By contrast, brave Corbyn promised to look after the muggles, offering young student wizards the chance to attend Wizarding Universities at no cost. He also promised to raise the national minimum wage to £10, and to eliminate zero hours contracts, to help those muggles who were struggling at the fringes of society. He promised to put more money into the NHS and the Police, to ensure that when things went wrong, there would be services to help the muggles. He offered an antidote to a population of muggles that had begun to think it didn't matter who you voted for, because the wizards always got in. But Corbyn also offered hope - hope that people still cared about their neighbours. Hope that people still believed that muggles of different nations and creeds strengthened our country. Hope of something different.

Now the election is nigh, and the Ministry is up for grabs. Who will you support, Maytrix, or Corbyn? The choice is yours.

Timothy Pickford-Jones

Timothy is a mature northerner with a background in electronics and public transport, who lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

As well as having a keen eye on the political scene, he is a photographer, with an interest in architecture and history. Timothy has been active on the web since the mid 1990s, having curated the Timmonet site from its inception.

Since retiring from full time work, Timothy has found time for travel, creativity, and maintaining his lifelong interest in the arts.

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