Thursday, December 07, 2017

Ending in Fire

I'm a little hesitant to write this post. It has been my contention for some time that anyone who interprets politics through the lens of Harry Potter is equivalent to Dolores Umbridge teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts: lacking a proper understanding of the subject, they're forced to revert back to an inadequate textbook.

And yet, I'm about the note a big parallel between UK politics and "Babylon 5". But, oh well.

So, here it is: in B5, the Centauri Republic most readily match up to the UK - a proud, decadent people, that are somehow both a democracy and ruled by an emperor, long since past their prime, and busily sucking up to the Earth Alliance (that is: America).

In this arrangement, Nigel Farage is Londo Mollari, and especially in his answer to the famous "What do you want?" question: "Do you really want to know what I want? Do you really want to know the truth? I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the galaxy. I want to see the Centauri stretch forth their hand again and command the stars. I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power! I want to stop running through my life like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look back or look forward. I want us to be what we used to be! I want... I want it all back the way it was. Does that answer your question?"

(There's a really big weakness of the analogy right here - in the show Londo is deeply flawed, but he's actually a sympathetic, albeit tragic, figure.)

Of course, things don't go well for our hero. But I'll get to that.

As the show progresses, the various species eventually find common ground in the Interstellar Alliance, of which the Centauri are somewhat uncomfortable members. So, that's the EU. Meanwhile, through a combination of mad circumstances, the Centauri find themselves ruled by a spectacularly weak Regent (May), who is being influenced or controlled by shadowy figures called the Drakh (Boris, Gove).

And following a further sequence of events, apparently caused by the Centauri, but really brought about by the secret influence of the Drakh, the Centauri Empire declare that they are leaving the Interstellar Alliance in order to stand alone. So far, so Brexit-y.

Unfortunately, what happens next is "The Fall of Centauri Prime", and a generation of misery for the people of that Republic.

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