How 'Harry Potter' helped me understand British politics     DATE: 2024-07-22 08:00:57

LONDON -- As a non-British person in my first year of living in London, following UK politics in their current state has been more than a little confusing.

SEE ALSO:If the British royal family members were 'Game of Thrones' characters

I've found that learning by association can help. 

Using a highly scientific algorithm that draws on an admittedly selective combination of factors including personality traits, physical characteristics, political ideology, and my own general sense of the person, the following list attempts to match several prominent names in the UK political sphere with their counterparts in the magical realm of literary fiction provided to us by J.K. Rowling - a realm that increasingly seems no more bizarre than reality. 

So, without further adieu, here is the non-exhaustive, unofficial, inconclusive, and undeniably biased (I tried, a little) "If-UK-Politicians-Were-Harry-Potter-Characters" guide to the zany world of British politics. 

Nigel Farage - Voldemort

Mashable ImageCredit: getty images / Ben Pruchnie / warner bros / mashable composite

Who is he? The recently resigned leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and a Member of the European Parliament. Known for his often controversial public statements and far-right views, he was one of the major promoters of the Leave campaign. 

Why Voldemort? This may seem like a pretty dramatic comparison, but many view Farage as the ultimate super-villain in UK politics. Also like the Dark Lord, it often seems like Farage has gone from the political scene for good, but somehow he manages to keep coming back.  

Jeremy Corbyn - Sybill Trelawney 

Mashable ImageCredit: getty images / Matt Cardy / warner bros / mashable composite

Who is he? The current Leader of the Labour Party. Corbyn self-describes his political ideology as democratic socialism, and his position on Brexit remained relatively ambiguous during the European Union referendum campaign to the indignation of many of his fellow party members. 

Why Trelawney? Much like the quirky and eccentric Hogwarts professor, Corbyn has a following of passionately dedicated followers while many remain skeptical of his oft-thought to be esoteric or radically leftist political stances. 

Boris Johnson - Horace Slughorn 

Mashable ImageCredit: getty images / leon neal / warner bros / mashable composite

Who is he? The guy with the hair. Also, a politician and previously the Mayor of London from 2008 - 2016. Johnson strongly backed the Brexit camp, and at one point was thought to be a likely contender for prime minister until he further shook up the British political scene with the announcement that he would not be seeking the position. 

Why Slughorn? Slughorn is a wizard well-known for his entertaining demeanor and selectiveness concerning the people with whom he surrounds himself, exampled by his infamous "Slug Club." Likewise, Johnson is a politician known for his humourous personality, as well as a tendency to favour his friends -- he is subject to frequent accusations of elitism and cronyism. Moreover, Johnson's decision to jump ship after the Brexit decision came through rather than running for prime minister mirrors Slughorn's dislike of taking responsibility for the consequences of his actions, i.e. teaching Voldemort to create Horcruxes. Plus, Boris, Horace - they rhyme!!  

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Nicola Sturgeon - Minerva McGonagall

Mashable ImageCredit: getty images / Dan Kitwood / warner bros / mashable composite

Who is she? Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party. Following the result of the EU referendum, she pledged to the Scottish people a second independence referendum and a chance to stay in the EU. 

Why McGonagall? If the UK was divided into houses, Sturgeon would be to Scotland as McGonagall is to Gryffindor. Sturgeon and Professor McGonagall are two powerful, strong-willed Scottish women notable for their fierce sense of pride and loyalty when it comes to their constituents/students. 

David Cameron - Cornelius Fudge 

Mashable ImageCredit: getty images / Dan Kitwood / warner bros / mashable composite

Who is he? The prime minister of the UK, expected to resign imminently. Although he opposed Brexit and campaigned to remain, Cameron is credited as proposing the idea of a referendum to leave Europe. Following the results, he announced that he would step down from his position.   

Why Fudge?Notwithstanding a pretty strong doppelgänger argument, as the prime minister of the UK, Cameron is the UK's equivalent to the Minister of Magic, an office held by the wizard Cornelius Fudge. Just as Fudge makes severe misjudgments at various critical points such as the return of Voldemort, Cameron, a Remain campaigner, appears to have downplayed the possibility of a Brexit to save political face. Although slightly different scenarios, both men will ultimately have left their offices under less than ideal circumstances.

Sadiq Khan - Remus Lupin 

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Who is he? The recently elected mayor of London. Khan was an outspoken backer of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, and is a member of the Labour Party.

Why Lupin? Remus Lupin is thought by many to run in tough circles, and Khan's political career has drawn criticism from those who claim links exist between him and extremists. Despite the dark and uncertain times that lie ahead, Khan maintains an air of calm and integrity about him that mirrors the endearing Lupin's persona. 

Theresa May - Rufus Scrimgeour 

Mashable ImageCredit: getty images / Peter Macdiarmid /warner bros / mashable composite

Who is she? Home Secretary since 2010, Conservative Party politician May is set to become the next prime minister of Britain and the second woman ever to hold the post.

Why? Scrimgeour succeeds Cornelius Fudge as Minister of Magic, and May will replace David Cameron as the next prime minister of the UK. Scrimgeour and May are both veterans of the political arena, and with the challenges of Brexit looming ahead, May faces almost as difficult a premiership as Scrimgeour did with the return of Voldemort. TBD if May's leadership will be as fraught with turmoil as the ill-fated Scrimgeour's time in office. 

In times of such uncertainty and divisiveness, painfully absent from the UK political scene at the moment is an Albus Dumbledore-like figure.

But who is Harry Potter, you may ask? A wise person I know once said, "We are all the Harry Potter of our own lives." We must go forth courageously and do our best to meet such tumult with bravery, kindness and integrity -- although if anyone comes across the Elder Wand, that might be helpful too. 

Good luck, young wizards.

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