The Sheriff of Downing Street: Have We Regressed to the Middle Ages?

sherif1(Yes, it is a rare non-parenting post.)

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it has come to my attention that we, or at least our government, appear to have regressed to the Middle Ages. More specifically, the rule of Richard the Lionheart. Even more specifically – and worryingly – the rule of Richard the Lionheart, as portrayed in the film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. I know, I know, but stick with me.

1. The Sheriff of Nottingham

I can’t be the only one to have noticed that the Chancellor is the Sheriff of Nottingham, as characterised in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. He can surely be only one budget away from announcing: ‘Cancel the kitchen scraps for the lepers and the orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas!’

2. Robin Hood

Meanwhile, I am not yet entirely convinced by Iain Duncan Smith’s recent attempt to recast himself as Robin Hood, protector of the poor and vulnerable (though, admittedly, at least in the Prince of Thieves film, Robin did start out as a cruel, entitled arse, too). However, if he wants to learn archery, don a pair of tights, and rob some of Jeremy Hunt’s ample supplies of arrogance to redistribute amongst the less fortunate, I will reconsider the position.

3. Feudal Overlords

As far as I can tell, the government’s housing policy (you know, the ‘get rid of all the social housing and build new houses no one can afford’ one) is pretty heavily based on the feudal system/manorialism of the Middle Ages. The intention appears to be to return to a situation in which the peasants cannot own land, and have no option but to give all of their money to the feudal overlords/Tory crony landlords in order to live on their land/rented accommodation.

4. Education and Health care

It would appear that several key members of the government would quite like to see state provision of education and healthcare equal that available in the Middle Ages: none. (Though they seem to be aiming to achieve this goal by borrowing from another period of history: that bit where we got a load of British people to go to Australia.)

5. Prince John

Boris Johnson seems to have cast himself as Prince John in this ridiculous re-enactment, stirring up discord and making his bid to seize power. As with Prince John, it all seems vaguely ridiculous and unlikely to succeed at the moment, but they’ll probably nonetheless hand him the leadership at some point.

6. Animal Monikers

I think I’ve made my case, so I’ll just leave everyone to insert their own Richard the Lionheart style animal based moniker for our Prime Minister here. I doubt the animal would be lion. Or the body part a heart.


(Side Note: On the plus side, it should be noted that there is good news to be taken from the reign of Richard the Lionheart for the anti-Europe faction, who are terrified that we are being ‘ruled by Europe’. You know, like we were during Richard the Lionheart’s reign (and those of all the kings of that era). When our king was French. Spoke French. Had French parents. Ruled large areas of France. Lived in France. Visited England only a handful of times during his reign. Took England’s money to fund his Crusades. You know, that period where we were ruled by the French? That one we’ve kind of conveniently forgotten about. You know, Richard the Lionheart? Remembered as one of our most iconic English kings (or as Sean Connery), despite being French. The good news therefore being that, even if we were being ruled by Europe, we would presumably just block it out, continue to assume we were in charge, and eventually remember Angela Merkel as one of our most famed Prime Ministers.

And, yes, I have steered away from the issue of The Crusades, but suffice it to say there is probably a parallel in a general feeling of: ‘Excuse us, but what the hell do you think you’re doing? We were trying to live here!’)

BritMumsI am very excited to have been shortlisted in the ‘Writer’ category in the BiB Awards. If you’ve heard of my blog, like my blog, don’t want to vote for someone else in my category, aren’t sick of people asking, and have a minute to spare, I would love your vote! You can vote here.


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  1. I don’t really “do” politics, (I know, I should be slapped), but even I was nodding along and giggling at your analogies. In fact putting it into medieval terms made it slightly easier for me to get my head around! I’d quite like to see a joust of some kind at Prime Minister’s Question Time? Fabulous as always.

  2. This is brilliant and sadly worryingly true. I often find myself wondering if this current government actually does care about anything other than lining their own pockets. Lion and heart are definitely not two words I’d use in association with the Prime Minister. Good point too about Richard I being French and spending most of his reign away from England – I always find it very odd that our most iconic English King was not English at all and barely spent any time here! Maybe that’s why he’s so legendary. If he’d been here and actively ruling, chances are he wouldn’t have been half so popular.

    • Silly Mummy says:

      Yes, that may be it – perhaps we prefer our monarchs elsewhere! I don’t think many in this government do care at all, no. Their interests appear to be restricted to retaining privilege for the privileged, and ensuring they have the power they believe they were born entitled to.

  3. Min says:

    Yes, yes and yes, especially the bit about our dear feudal overlords to whom we should all be doffing our caps, as such is the natural order of things. #PoCoLo

    • Silly Mummy says:

      The terrible thing is, I think this is largely a government of people who really do believe it is the natural order – people who believe they are entitled to privilege & power.

  4. Bread says:

    I love the bracketed paragraph the most! Also, the current chancellor wouldn’t be the first polittician to cancel Christmas. Cromwell tried to do it too.

  5. sadly this is far too accurate. Funnily enough, this week I’ve also written a political post which I don’t ever do but it suddenly all felt too much. We peasants have to have a voice too! #sundaystars

  6. Fab post! I love your parallels, and it made me both smile and also feel a bit sad at the loss of the wonderful Alan Rickman this year. I think I might have to go and watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves again!
    Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

  7. I did a politics A level and since then have found it really interesting and also incredibly annoying. Nodding along to all of this reading it, loved the paragraph at the end. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

  8. Siena Says says:

    Brilliant post loved the links with Robin Hood, so true (sadly).

    I despair of this country at the moment and I’m not sure where it’s all going to end ;-(


  9. Mrs Tubbs says:

    Excellent post. IDS has to be the least convincing Robin Hood ever. And the fox from the Disney film could take him in a fight … Thank you for managing to make this government funny 🙂 That takes some doing!

  10. Brilliant, brilliant analogy! But yes, also very sadly worrying… You are so spot on, and I particularly nodded and chuckled at us going the same way we did with Richard the Lionheart, and remembering Angela Merkel the best prime minister ever!!
    Well done for making such a funny and creative post out of a fairly dire situation! Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink.

  11. John Adams says:

    I don’t know how old you are, but the present Government reminds me of the Major Government. With no effective opposition, we seem to be sliding back to the era of dirty Conservatism. I must, however, very politely challenge you on one point. IDS “started out as an entitled arse too”. Do the entitled not have a right to participate in politics?? I argue they most certainly do, alongside the less entitled. #brilliantblogposts

  12. Sounds a bit like that I guess 🙁 My husband blames George Osborne for EVERYTHING, even the weather. We can’t watch the news anymore without him bursting into expletives. Hopefully things will change (?!)

  13. Hmm interesting post. I’m very much in the camp of “can’t please everyone” when it comes to government so I tend to read up on everyone’s policies and cast my vote based on what will work for my family and policies that will benefit us. H x

  14. Kaye says:

    I’m terrible with politics too (so awful, I know) but this gave me a good giggle and informed me a bit more on the subject! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  15. I have to be totally honest and say I’m rubbish with the news and anything to do with the budget but this made me laugh and now I do understand some more, I think! Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  16. Love it! This is fun & entertaining with a lot of truth behind your words. I love the last bit about being run by France in the past & Europe now. Thanks so much for joining us at #bloggerclubuk x

  17. Linda Hobden says:

    Entertaining post as usual – and I think your Prince John (Boris Johnson) prediction might come true! I quite fancy Guy Guisburn (have I spelt it right?) in the TV series of Robin Hood … so if he was in power, I wouldn’t actually care what politics he was spouting! ?

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