New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
14 February 2017

Jeremy Corbyn compares Brexit to The Hunger Games with no explanation whatsoever

Has he seen it?

By Media Mole

The Labour leader – or He Who Has Neither Heard Of Ant Nor Dec, which your mole believes to be his official title – has compared No 10’s approach to Brexit to teen dystopi-romp The Hunger Games. With no explanation.

Responding to a Guardian report about the backlash UK nationals in Europe could face due to the treatment of EU migrants in Britain since Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn said:

“There must be an end to this Hunger Games approach to Brexit negotiations, which gives no consideration to EU nationals in our country or British nationals living abroad.”

Considering how little Corbyn knows about popular culture, it is entirely possible that he doesn’t know the exact story of The Hunger Games – a series about children fighting to the death and then eventually overthrowing a repressive regime – because your mole has been left scratching his snout about how it works as a metaphor for the EU27’s stance on reciprocal rights for migrants.

Perhaps Corbyn sees London as the Capitol, the lavish seat of power, and the Tories as the government of Panem, the series’ crazed wigocracy whose main tenets are flamboyant facepaint and the massacre of its own citizens. But being a London MP, Corbyn would be right inside this weird decadent pageant, sinisterly picking roses with Donald Sutherland.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

So it can’t be that.

It could be that Corbyn sees a metaphor for divided Britain in all the deprived, downtrodden different Districts of Panem warring with London, or the Capitol. Perhaps he sees Hull as the Fishing District (“often overlooked”, according to Hunger Games literature). And Barrow-in-Furness is the Power District, harnessing nuclear for “our great nation”. The Mining District may now be a post-industrial heartland, where most of the tributes offered up are from lower-paid jobs in the service sector on zero-hours contracts. Perhaps Corbyn sees tensions mounting in the Agriculture District, or the town of Boston, which relies on seasonal migrant labour.

But where do the other EU countries fit in? Maybe Corbyn means that each different EU state is one of the various Hunger Games Districts. Does that make the UK the Capitol, subjugating all the others? This mole reckons Theresa May – whose message to voters so far has been to ignore the negotiating power of 27 other countries – would be quite happy with that analogy.

Either way, Corbyn missed out on a good pun: May the odds be ever in her favour. Come on, Jez.

Content from our partners
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit