Right off the bat, we get more information about Charles Collingridge’s character. He’s the prime minister’s little brother that never seemed to be able to live up to him, despite the privileges that they shared growing up. Still, despite his drunkenness and general lack of political talent, Charles still has a way into British politics. Is this a comment on the nature of British politics, especially with titles that remain in the family even to this day?
It sort of reminds me how England still has a queen and royal family, even despite the lack of clear need to maintain the monarchy. It may just be as an American, but I do struggle to see the point of British taxes finding their lifestyle. Back in 2011 when William and Kate got married, I found it kind of strange that even in a country that fought a war to get away from the British monarchy, you could find DVDs of the royal wedding in the grocery store. It seemed to be the only thing that anybody would talk about. It seems to be less of a spectacle with Meghan Merkel, but still, it’s weird. Not weird enough for me really to be angry or feel like something needs to be done, just scratching my head a bit.
We’re introduced to another character, Roger O’Neill, Director of Publicity for The Party. Not specified, just The Party. Maybe that means something to a British audience, but I’m not quite sure. I guess it’s like the GOP in the United States. It stands for Grand Old Party, which I just realized has no indication of what it means or what party it refers to. For anyone unfamiliar with American Politics, it’s the Republican Party. As of writing this in 2018, they’re in the majority in Congress and the sitting president, Donald Trump, is a Republican. Just in case anybody is unaware or is reading this in the future, assuming that humanity survives Trump’s tenure. I’m joking, but I won’t pretend to like the guy.
As the polls close back in the world of fiction, it seems like the current majority party is going to remain in power by a considerable margin. Predictably, not everybody is happy with this, but that’s just how elections go. It turned out to be about half right. The majority party remained in power but lost some seats. O’Neill has to figure out how to get what The Party wants into the media. He’s told to even make up figures if he needs to. This seems at first like a strange slowdown in the pace of the novel, but it helps to foreshadow the drama and intrigue that’s to come.
Overall House of Cards is building its action at a steady crescendo, and the information seems to have slowed down enough to be easier to comprehend. I’m excited to see what happens next.