When Blackadder and Prince George are faced with dilemma of bribing an MP to vote in the princes favour they provide us with a description of a member of parliament called Sir Talbot Buxomly who is corrupt, cruel, ineffectual and open to bribes. According to Blackadder he is a perfect candidate to become a High Court Judge and even Prince George thinks he is “a little over qualified”. “Blackadder: Sir Talbot has the worst attendance record of any Member of Parliament…
but if we can get him to support us, we’re safe… he’s a violent, bigoted, mindless old fool” The use of satire here suggests that the high court judge isn’t necessarily as honest as you would expect a person with that much power to be. A comparison with this is Swifts description of the Emperor in chapter two. He describes how he is expensively dressed. ‘He had on his head a light helmet of gold, adorned with jewels, and a plume on the crest’. Swift compares him to the pompons King George the first.
He was king of England but was brought over from Germany and did not speak the language. When the Emperor speaks at Gulliver he cannot understand a word and this is his bribe at the king. Like Sir Talbot Buxomly, the Emperor is useless and incompetent. When it comes to the actual election, Blackadder confesses that they will cheat in order to win votes. He is not alone in this outlook as one of his opponents, Pitt the Even Younger confesses what he did in order to be a decent politician – bad mouthed the opposition.
– Bribed the newspapers. – Threatened to torture the public if his party lost. Once again driving home the point that the politicians will do anything within their power to get a seat in parliament. You can tell that cheating is certainly not beneath them when Pitt the Even Younger told what was a decent politician is in his opinion. “I fail to see what more a decent politician could have done” Similar examples of satire, which criticise politics and the government are also found in “Gulliver’s Travels”.
In Lilliput anybody who jumps over the highest rope gets a position in court and how candidates jump over and creep under a stick held at various heights win the silken threads which show the kings favourite. Just like in Blackadder getting a job in the court in lilliput is not to down how good you would be at the job but is down to how much you can creep, crawl and pander to the king. “Whoever performs his part with the most agility and hold out the largest in creeping and crawling, is rewarded… “