Australian politics is just like bloody medieval television epic Game of Thrones, right? Well, not really, but ex-ex-prime minister Julia Gillard laboured a comparison in a piece for The Guardian splashed on the front page in Britain …

“I first felt the addictive power of Game of Thrones when I was prime minister, living in a world where power was also pursued relentlessly, albeit far less colourfully. Certainly the characters of my world were nowhere near as good looking or exotically dressed …

“Drawn in, I binged on series one over three days on brief Christmas leave in 2012. I devoured the second and third as soon as I could. Fiction and reality started to collide. Returning to my office after an aborted coup in March 2013, I was greeted with posters of sword fighting with the slogan: ‘What do we say to the god of death? Not today.’ I made it known I was barracking for the Khaleesi. After all, what girl has not yearned for a few dragons when in a tight spot?”

What girl, indeed.

The hundreds of comments left on the story are more entertaining (“you were and probably still are, one of the villainous pursuers of power for your own sake”, noted “LoveMustBeTough”). Then there was this one from “historyhead”:

“What I would like to know though is why your government didn’t introduce cultural anti-siphoning laws to Australian pay-TV. From next August, all BBC programmes except Dr. Who will be on Pay-TV only, and will take up to two years to appear on free-to-air. We are left with only one recourse, which is to buy the series that interest on DVD when they eventually go to DVD. Why didn’t you stop this when you could when you were PM.”

It’s a more pertinent question to Gillard than what she thinks of the Khaleesi’s future. Most Australians — the most ruthless internet pirates on the high seas — would have downloaded GOT yesterday from file transfer sites, the only alternative to an expensive, long-term contract with a monopoly pay TV company.

Maybe Gillard did, too.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey