A Rat King (Roi des Rats) if you are unfamiliar with the phrase or have never seen one before, is a pretty nasty (possibly crypto-zoological) phenomenon. That is basically a collection of rats that are inextricably bound together through being born into and growing up in a restricted environment.
Due to this close proximity their tails become entwined, and are then eventually fused together by excrement, blood, dirt and other nasty detritus into a complicated knot. Once inseperably joined together they have no choice but to continue to live, and I guess try to do the things that rats generally do. But because of the repugnant mess of tangled tails behind them their movements are restricted and I imagine they are pretty limited in the individual decisions they can make.
I cannot think of a better simile for the state of British Politics today.
You might have seen the politicians presenting their pathetic promises on the pop idol podium parade of the televised debate over the last few weeks. You may have even believed their pompous prattling or applauded their petty arguing. You might even go as far as to actually vote for one of them. But what you won’t have seen in the cautiously scripted debates, or the stage-managed pictures of politicians bottle-feeding farm animals, chatting with carefully selected children or knocking back pints with hardworking plebs, is that behind each and every one of these rats is a tail that is inextricably intertwined with the others.
Tails matted together by the corrupt banking system, snarled by the powerful big corporations, and twisted by the biased media. The filthy restricted environment where they were born and raised: the private schools, elite universities, jobs for the boys corporations, and private members clubs sealing their fates and fusing their unpleasant appendages together. The dirty stinking underbelly of the political system that has added grime and filth to their interconnectedness has also left them powerless as individuals.
And it doesn’t matter which rat you vote for, regardless of what they promise as individuals, when the results are counted you’ll always get the rat king.