Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer with Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey appears in the new trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as the head of a private military contractor, voicing political opinions never heard in the series before. Screengrab/YouTube

Not more right-wing bullsh*t, please. Not now.

In America, we have a conservative class that would rather see the country's infrastructure shut down than let poor people have healthcare. And here, in Britain, UKIP is about to steal the European elections.

We live in a West that, for the past decade, has grown steadily hard-line. Nigel Farage says he wants to close the borders and pull Britain out the EU, and no-one bats an eye – so long as they won't have to keep paying foreign aid.

The media has gone haywire as well. Instead of chasing business cheats and politicians, newspapers and broadcasters have begun a war against the poor. Look at the Daily Mail's "expose" on food banks, or Channel 4's Benefit Street. These stories are tailor-made to generalise and demonise the most vulnerable in society.

20 more years of this, and we'll be back to paying rent to land barons, and doffing our caps as we walk past city gents.

Pulled the plug on democracy

The welfare state is in jeopardy. The responsibility Western powers have to support the developing world is being neglected. Our armies abandoned Iraq and abandoned Afghanistan. Despite ending a civil war that's killed more than 600 people, the US has condemned a peace deal between Hamas and Fatah. And Tony Blair has given backing to the new Egypt government, which this week sentenced 529 people to death.

It's as if we've pulled the plug on the democratic ideal, as if we've chosen to watch our own poor bleed to death and let the rest of the world just fight amongst itself. It's a political climate seemingly echoed by the next Call of Duty game.

That might seem like a dramatic change of subject, but hold on.

The first trailer for "Advanced Warfare" features a digitised Kevin Spacey bemoaning how some countries - some peoples – are unprepared to accept democracy. "People don't want freedom," he says. "They want boundaries, rules, protection."

It's a speech tinged with racism, the kind of paternal, "they can't help it" bigotry that characterised Teddy Roosevelt.


But thankfully, there's another part of Spacey's soliloquy: "You think you can just march into these countries based on a few fundamentalist religious principles?" he asks. "Just drop a few bombs, topple a dictator and start a democracy?"

That sentiment is, firstly, the total opposite of Call of Duty's usual political leanings. Secondly, it's the antithesis of legislation proposed by parties like UKIP and the Republicans.

These are organisations which base their policies around the hallowed word of a mythical "man on the street." They call them "common-sense" ideas, snappy, trite solutions, which the party leaders promise will solve everyone's problems. Close the borders. Leave the EU. Cut foreign aid. That's the kind of thing we hear from today's right-wing.

And in the past, Call of Duty has emulated that sort of firebrand rhetoric: terrorists are evil, soldiers are honourable, America leads the way.

Political middle ground

But in a climate of simplified politics, where parties, particularly in the UK, are convincing people to just cut and run, here's a character who seems genuinely concerned, genuinely accepting of the complexities global politics brings with it.

The West has learned that invading a country, tearing out its infrastructure and then exiting it doesn't work. But at the same time, doing nothing, abandoning the impoverished to totalitarian regimes and letting war-torn nations continue to tear doesn't help either.

There's a political middle ground that is yet to be explored, a renegotiation of the West's global position that will only happen if UKIP's "sod the lot of them" policy is shouted down. So here's hoping that's what Call of Duty will examine. Here's hoping it provides a more nuanced representation of Western politics than it ever has before.

Today's right-wing parties, and the people that vote for them, seem despondent about the power and the obligations that the West has. They want to retreat behind their borders, to put their hands over their ears, to ignore what happens over there and focus on just what's here. That line from the CoD trailer is a different voice. It's the voice of a character who still has faith, pride even, in the West's ability to help the less fortunate.

Politicians and voters have grown so cynical. As tiny and insignificant it may be, it's refreshing to hear just one utterance that signals optimism.