There is a constant threat of decline, accompanied by a pervasive mourning and sense of wrongness in the world. There are kings and king makers, trial by combat, scheming and betrayal and a delicious habit of bumping of the biggest stars. This is not some medieval fantasy or an episode of Game of Thrones this is the modern day public sector in a time of prolonged austerity. Temporary alliances form and reform, local authorities group together to enhance their power, hospitals merge in order to dominate a region, social services and health pool budgets and join forces. Old hostilities are put a side, at least for the time being. Old structures are torn down and new ones built, people are forcibly moved, men and women with experience and wisdom are denounced as heretics and dispensed with, a management cull ensures only true believers occupy positions of power. The budget cuts are bloody, they fall disproportionately on the poor and there is no end in sight.
Things are bad up north, things were always bad up north. The North is cold and wet, life as harsh as the climate, the poverty is more visible, food banks and pay day loan companies abound, life expectancy is some ten years shorter. The public sector was the biggest employer, the public sector was hardest hit by budget cuts. Things are grime up North. The Wall is in disrepair, those beyond it are bold and getting bolder. Soon their influence will be felt in the capital. The city where the climate is sunny and life is good for the elite may soon find itself bending to the will of those beyond the wall.
This is not an episode of A Game of Thrones this is real life.
Blair McPherson www.blairmcpherson.co.uk