Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Media
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.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly round-up of The New Statesman's climate, environment and sustainability content.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

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.