Originally broadcast on December 12th 1993, these edited excerpts from the BBC’s ‘House of Cards’ are incredibly prescient, in light of the events of last Tuesday. The obvious satirical commentary of the show highlights the withering opportunism of governments and media alike to jump on such stories. The points are made in general, but I found the arguments around social injustice, and the nature of the cause of the tragedy – a gas explosion in a run-down tower block – particularly chilling. Especially uncanny are the details of the degraded state of public housing, and even the specific points that a small fire on the fourth floor began the blaze, and the death toll being 72 (an estimated figure of around 70 from the fire service yesterday was given in relation to Grenfell).
I have absolutely zero intent to offend the victims, their families or the survivors of this dreadful and shocking event, nor to trivialise the nature of this disaster in comparing real world events to fictional television shows, and I wholly apologise if that is how this is judged. Neither do I wish to make a further comment on either the real event or opinions voiced in the fictional dialogue. What I will say though is that Urquhart’s reaction in the BBC interview is chilling, and I hope not at all prescient. Beyond that, I am simply struck by how a 25-year old show can so closely resemble today’s reality, with seemingly so few of the issues having been addressed in the interim.
Furthermore, I intend no copyright infringement by uploading this clip, and cite fair use laws in doing so. I have edited this video myself and I believe it falls under the terms of fair use as a comparison piece to current events, and I have selected only those scenes and exchanges which speak to this point, and I have clearly credited the copyright holders. (In fact, I would urge people to buy this show and learn its many lessons, because it is fantastic.)