Politicians have been channelling 'The Force' for years in parliament to win an argument or make a point. With the release of the long-awaited Star Wars flick, The Force Awakens, we have listed some of our favourite references to the space opera series.
Dark side of General Franco's dictatorship
Between 1969 and 1972, when I was young, I lived in Spain. I remember the government under Franco. I remember driving past the political prison in Carabanchel and seeing the guards outside with their Darth Vader hats.
The country has changed dramatically. Some people have been rather caustic about Spanish democracy. Spain has, in fact, managed the transition to democracy with considerable aplomb, as Simon Hughes mentioned. We need to recognise those issues.
Rhondda MP Chris Bryant speaking during a 2001 debate on the future of Gibraltar.
I know that the Secretary of State will want to blame the Treasury for the National Audit Office's damning indictment that Government failure to assess the impact on consumers of investment in infrastructure might lead to consumers facing financial hardship and unplanned taxpayer support being required. That damning report shows that Whitehall Departments are forgetting the needs of consumers, and therefore the cumulative impact of household bills.
I know that some in the Government want to cast the Public Accounts Committee as the dark side, but I fear that consumers will feel the Sith inhabit the Treasury, not Committee Room 16. Why does the Secretary of State therefore not use the Bill to address that gap and to help such hard-pressed households, as well as to show that he gets the need to tackle the rip-off charges and broken markets in goods and services that they face?
Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy speaking during a 2014 debate on consumer rights.
The Honourable Member from Alderaan
I crave the indulgence of the House in interrupting such an important and enjoyable debate to deliver my maiden speech. Furthermore, as the first Jedi Member of this place, I look forward to the protection under the law that will be provided to me by the Bill.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed delivering his first speech in the Commons since being elected in 2005. MPs were debating the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill.
Attack of the metaphor
The most obviously fractured coalition in the Carter consensus revolves around the contentious and controversial issue of illegal downloading. The advocates of illegal downloading-for that is what it is-have succeeded in painting a picture that is very seductive, but very misleading.
The best way to illustrate this is by means of an old-tech linear-medium metaphor. In this metaphorical world that they have constructed, my hon. Friend Mr. Watson, who is in his place but not paying attention, is Luke Skywalker. He is the little guy, the plucky loner fighting the machine. Clay Shirky is the wise, broad, almost mystical guru figure. Peter Mandelson is obviously Darth Vader. Rather more counter-intuitively, however-this is where the metaphor begins to fracture-the evil Sith Chancellor Palpatine, the most evil universally bad figure of all, turns out to be Steven Spielberg.
That is who Luke Skywalker is fighting-the ultimate rights holder, the acme of creative content ownership. When Spielberg turns out to be the ultimate evil, we know that the metaphor-otherwise quite cleverly constructed by the freedom fighters-is not just flawed, but misleading, damaging and dangerous. When Spielberg is the ultimate evil, it turns out that creativity is the enemy. It is creativity that Luke and his pals are after.
Former Birmingham Erdington MP Siôn Simon speaking during a 2010 debate on Britain's creative industries.