I struggled to sleep last night, partly because I had just watched The Hunger Games and felt very on edge. And partly, because just before my head hit the pillow, I read an article claiming that the Government is toying with the idea of freezing or cutting the minimum wage.
The bedroom tax is now in force, the doors have been opened for the privatisation of the NHS, legal aid has been cut, and now they are talking about getting rid of the minimum wage. You know, to make work pay.
This Government seems to have it in for everyone, except the very rich. They hate the benefit scroungers, they hate those with low paid jobs, they hate the teachers and the probation officers, and they hate the badgers. They seem intent on doing evil at every possible turn. It’s like the entire Cabinet Office is made up of a caricature of tired cliches of Disney villains.
Jeremy Hunt as Stromboli
You might not remember this evil bearded character from Pinocchio, but once he discovered that the puppet could sing and dance, he set him to work an reaped the financial rewards. A bit like that lovable Minister (use your Radio 4 voice here) Hunt. Ah the NHS, providing free health care as a public service since 1948. The Conservatives stroll into power, and within months have announced plans to privatise the NHS. Apparently that thing that saves lives, just isn’t doing enough for the country. Public services and profit making always go pretty well together though, so I’m sure it’ll be just fine. No need to worry.
Osborne as Ursula
George Osborne, he just loves austerity doesn’t he? It’s for the best, he tells us, while he sits atop his many millions. His personal bank account probably has more money in it than the UK’s piggybank. As we stay drowning in recession, Osborne pushes forward with his austerity cuts under claims it is working. A bit like in the Little Mermaid, when Ursula exploits Ariel’s love for her own gain. Ariel, who sells her voice for a chance at true love, believes she has entered into a fair deal, when in fact she is being played by Ursula. Osborne is pushing austerity measures pretending they will help, when in fact they support the core Tory agenda of protecting the rich and exploiting/killing off/villainising the poor.
Owen Patterson as Cruella De Vil
“Poison them, drown them, bash them on the head. Got any chloroform? I don't care how you kill the little beasts. Just do it, and do it NOW! “ screeches Cruella De Vil. Similarly, in spite of scientific evidence that the badger cull will do little to eradicate the problem of bovine TB, the Conservatives press ahead with a cull. After 10 years, the Independent Scientific Group concluded that a cull would make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control. So, why do it? Because, when it comes to animals, the Conservatives want to hunt, eat or maim it.
Iain Duncan Smith as the Evil Queen
“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” asks the Evil Queen in Snow White. Of course, Iain Duncan Smith wastes no time in pondering this question aloud, for he knows that the benefit reforms are fair. As a man with an estimated wealth of £1 million, it seems only right that he should dictate the pittance awarded to the less fortunate amongst society. With his four spare bedrooms, he has plenty of space to pace while considering how he could live on £53 a week with ease.
David Cameron as Maleficent
As the ultimate pig-faced, out of touch, dead-eyed, smug-mouthed, stumbling, awkward, dough boy with a forehead as shiny as the foreskin on an erection, David Cameron has to be the ringleader of all evil. And in Disney villain terms, that makes him Maleficent. The Disney villain so cruel she would curse a newborn baby. The devil-like horns atop her head are comparable only with the horn Dave gets when he hears stories about poor people dying due to lack of free health care, warmth and food. He’s hard for that shit. School history lessons about the Victorian era used to make him feel excited, and he’s been desperate to recreate them ever since.
But alas, these detestable characters who score much worse than their Disney counterparts for evil, are not fictional. We cannot hope for the Sword of Truth, or any other Disney invention, to end the reign of evil and allow flowers to bloom and birds to sing again. There is no happy ending. These Disney villains are here to stay.
Can you think of any political Disney villain wannabes?