Nadia Whittome, the new Labour Member of Parliament for Nottingham East, said that entering Parliament now is “like joining Hogwarts but when the Death Eaters have taken over.”
Whittome, 23, who is one of Labour’s new intake, and the youngest MP in the House of Commons, compared the new Conservative administration to the Death Eaters, the magical Nazis of JK Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter book series:
It’s like no workplace I’ve ever been in before, it’s literally crumbling, which feels like a bit of a metaphor for our crumbling democratic system. It’s a lot to get used to, it feels like joining Hogwarts but when the Death Eaters have taken over. I’ve got my acceptance letter, but I’ve rocked up and Severus Snape is the headteacher, the Death Eaters are all teaching.
— Peston (@itvpeston) January 15, 2020
Of course, Twitter was unimpressed by her tired analogy, and set to ripping her apart:
Okay so I hate to say this because I quite like Nadia Whittome but I have to be an equal opportunities online influencer
read another book https://t.co/40nPRExFOt
— Democratic Yenneferist ↙↙↙ (@lituainianach) January 16, 2020
My fave comedy show Peston doesn't dissapoint, just minutes in there's some Labour MP on saying that having "rocked" up to Parliament it's like Hogwarts with the Death Eaters and Caroline Lucas saying she's now on a Police Extremist List.
For being extremely boring I'm guessing?
— Tara Carter (@taracartergmc) January 15, 2020
If your going to make a Potter reference at least be accurate!
Snape was a hero and I doubt she meant to describe BJ as such.
Regardless it is just a tad pathetic to compare the government to ‘death eaters’ but very much on brand for Labour atm https://t.co/6qXaxdPJrl
— Michael Forrest (@MichaelForrestt) January 16, 2020
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the quality of elected representative that we have in the UK in 2020. God help us.
— Dr. Alfred Theodore Percival Brian Xenos (@atpbx1) January 16, 2020
This isn’t even the first time that Whittome has used the metaphor. Just a few days after she was elected as a Labour MP, she first made the Death Eater comparison in an interview with the BBC.
Comparing current politics to Harry Potter seems to be a mainstay of the political left, and especially among the younger generations. Writing in The Guardian in 2017, Rebecca Nicholson argued that as Harry Potter gave “a generation a simple tale of good triumphing over evil,” it was inevitable it would be a “frequent and controversial point of reference in these times of political divisiveness”:
At the worldwide Women’s Marches in January, there were plenty of homemade signs that showed Princess Leia as the face of a new resistance, but there were as many Potter ones, such as “Dumbledore’s army”, inspirational quotes from the series and references to Hermione’s role in Harry’s survival. Perhaps these placards had been inspired by an outpouring of affection for the books following the US election in November, as people began to post quotes on Twitter. “Order of the Phoenix, mount up,” wrote Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. There is even a Chrome extension that changes any mention of Donald Trump or his cabinet to the name of a notable Death Eater. Install it, and your browser will instantly refer to Betsy DeVos as Dolores Umbridge, Jeff Sessions as Antonin Dolohov or Rex Tillerson as Draco Malfoy.
If like me you’re tired of hearing Orange Man Drumpf being called Voldemort every 5 seconds, or Brexiteers being called Death Eaters, there is a solution. The next time you see someone making these comparisons, simply tell them to read another book!