Sunday, 31 July 2011


Even people who don't follow the Potter cycle will probably recognise some of the buzz-words, chants, charms of JK Rowling's fantasy world. The most memorable of these is "expelliarmus". This is uttered when one wizard seeks to "disarm" another.

It's sometimes used to comical effect as one wizard arrives on the scene and disarms another, only to find himself swiftly disarmed by a third wizard, who in turn is disarmed by a fourth wizard, and so on. For example, Potter enters stage left, waves his magic wand and disarms Sirius Black, then Snape strolls in, wand aloft, and disarms Potter; he is, in turn, disarmed by Remus, who is then disarmed by a renascent Potter - each wizard crying out the immortal phrase "expelliarmus" in the process.

It's a bit like politics (or Pottertics) really:-

Murdoch: (to Kinnock) Expelliarmus!

Mandelson: (to the trots) Expelliarmus!

Blair: (to Major) Expelliarmus!

Brown: (to Mandelson) Expelliarmus!

Bush: (to Saddam) Expelliarmus!

Brown: (to Blair) Expelliarmus!

Johnson: (to Livingstone) Expelliarmus!

Taxpayers: (to bankers) Expelliarmus!

Obama: (to Bush) Expelliarmus!

Journalists: (to expenses-fiddling MPs) Expelliarmus!

Electorate: (to Brown) Expelliamus!

Egyptians: (to Mubarak) Expelliarmus!

Libyans: (to Gaddafi) Expelliarmus!

Watson: (to Murdoch) Expelliarmus!

Cameron: (to Coulson) Expelliarmus!

Murdoch: (to Wade) Expelliarmus!

Wade: (to NOTW journalists) Expelliamus!

Select Committee: (to Met chiefs) Expelliarmus!

There's a lot of this "disarming" goin' round these days. Where it'll end is anyone's guess. One thing's for sure: JK herself is unlikely to be disarmed any time soon. No doubt she's already planning her next work. And of one thing you can be sure: It'll certainly "disarm" her readers. Unless it's another Potter novel of course.