« London calling to the faraway towns. Now war is declared - and battle come down. » (The Clash, London Calling)
The balance between the different forces composing british society relies on an implicit and fragile deal between those who rule and those who are ruled on a subjective basis of common interests. And numerous thinkers, authors or artists, conscient almost at a level of prescience of how much the deal is fragile, regularly asked themselves what would happen - in a country with a non-written constitution - if the deal was broken by a government with nothing more to often than an excessive exercise of the attributes of its regalian functions : police, justice, and army forces.
THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS... NOW
« Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves » (William Pitt)
Numerous are the british books, television or movie productions who dare to go « five minutes into the future » (like the subtitle of the Max Headroom tv-series) in order to speculate on the idea of an England ruled by a dictatorship : George Orwell’s 1984 (1950), of course - and its adaptations of 1954 (by the BBC) and... 1984, and tv-serials like the forgotten The Guardians (1971), 1990 (1977), or the underestimated Knights of God (1987).
This political and artistical catharsis found its expression not only in England but also in the United States (It can’t happen here, the novel by Sinclair Lewis - writtten years before 1984, or the mini-series V by Kenneth Johnson) or in France (Les Hordes, 1991). But V for Vendetta is to us the closest of this reflection. Because the future is in five minutes...