Tory pop culture and magic metaphors

Once the extension to the Article 50 people is agreed, I should get on and finish my essay on Brexit, Hannan in Spandau. I have about 16,000 words to wrangle, but in the meantime, Cat Vincent asked me about “the Tory use of pop culture magic metaphors”.

I’ve been collecting references to children’s literature and fantasy related to Brexit, and have copied a few of them below. Please let me know of any I’ve missed.

Game of Thrones


  • Daniel Hannan in Conservative Home: What I Learned about the Hobbit From Reading it to My Children: “When the editor of ConservativeHome phones me, he often begins by wryly declaiming some line or other from Tolkien. If I can, I reply with the next line, and so on. He tends to get the better of our exchanges: his knowledge of the text is encyclopaedic.
  • In his book What Next? Hannan compared his years campaigning on Brexit to Galadriel, “fighting the long defeat”.
  • From Aaron Bank’s book The Bad Boys of Brexit, describing his visit to Donald Trump: “we found ourselves walking down Fifth Avenue towards the famous skyscraper which the liberal cry-bullies had officially designated as America’s answer to Barad-dûr.
  • From 2005 in Conservative Home: J R R Tolkien: Lord Of The Rings (Tory Version)
  •  From 2023: Robert Halfon refers to Lord of the Rings as a source of comfort in his resignation letter. (link)

Watership Down


  • Daniel Hannan talks about a legal problem for his wife – “a criminal record is no joke. It follows you everywhere, like a daemon in a Philip Pullman novel.”
  • Hannan uses Dr Seuss to mock Gordon Brown
  • 17/1/19 Andrea Leadsome leads a parliamentary flurry of Winnie the Pooh quotes.
  • Via Ross Kempsell on Twitter: Tory source on PM pivoting to Labour: “It’s getting like the bit in Harry Potter where Voldermort’s soul breaks apart. She is now tearing apart the soul of the party. She has split the soul into a Labour horcrux.” (thanks, Cat!)
  • And a tragic near-miss: Theresa May once part-owned a horse called ‘Dome Patrol’. Oh, for one letter, and a horse called “Doom Patrol”.
  • (14/5/19) Conservative Home produced a picture of Philip Hammond as Eeyore, having previously drawn him as Tigger.
  • (4/12/22) In the Liz Truss Biography Out of the Blue, Simon Case‘s “rapid transformation into a Truss ultra-loyalist would earn him the nickname Varys among some in No. 10, after the highly manipulative eunuch in Game of Thrones who manages to seamlessly retain power despite brutal politicking at court.”
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