I am currently working on a book for Bloomsbury on the depiction of politics in fiction, from Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband to the present day. The research has been intriguing to say the least and has caused me to consider an eclectic bunch of works. I was recently working on the 1980s and this meant looking at, not only the inevitable Yes Minister but also The Professionals and Who Dares Wins – the latter two being about as far from Wilde as one could possibly go.
As I wrote in my personal blog, this popular television series and movie reveal quite a bit about the confrontational, authoritarian and paranoid nature of British politics in the fraught early days of the Thatcher regime, something which led the Prime Minister in July 1984 to tell a gathering of the Conservative 1922 Committee: ‘We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty.’