A workers state with executive dysfunction

Skip to content

Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Joseph
    January 23, 2023 @ 11:45 am

    Possibly controversially, I think the film’s timeline of the virus and Norsefire’s camps and so on does actually work – because Norsefire are clearly 1) well funded 2) paramilitary, so it’s completely plausible to me that a combination of wealthy interests, corporations serving said interests, and paramilitary fascists could operate their own illegal but tolerated camps, a more extreme version of the existing “conversion” camps in the US. Norsefire takes people off the street whether or not they hold the legal levers of power, because they have been able to take hold of at least some of the ability to do political violence. That gets very blurry at the end of the film though, because it’s unclear, IIRC, if the army are “The British Army” or a Norsefire armed wing. Certainly, it seems clear to me that pre-Norsefire, the UK isn’t exactly a non-fascist state, after all whenever we learn about a member’s history, it’s stuff like “oversaw the invasion of Syria”.


    • Devin
      January 24, 2023 @ 2:26 pm

      It’s not impossible, no, but it does require explanation. Films are very simple creatures in that way, and I don’t think you get to say “Norsefire rose to power off the back of this faked bioterrorism, which they executed using their network of camps and extensive paramilitary organization with the ability to snatch people off the street without recourse.”

      You’d kind of have to say how it was that they had this two-step rise, where in the viewer’s world they don’t exist or barely exist, but then at some point they come to have at least one pretty extensive concentration camp and the ability to do arrests and so forth, and then later they become the whole government. That does require a bit of explanation. Obviously in the comic, this is supplied by a nuclear war, which scares people into accepting the “stability” promised by Norsefire. But in the movie, that role is taken by the virus, which doesn’t even exist until after Norsefire is, apparently, publicly able to just disappear whoever they like.

      While it’s perfectly plausible that V might have been some kind of illegal snatch or could have been in the camps because a relative signed a very dodgy power of attorney or something, the fact that Valerie’s narrative contains no hint of this and seems a straightforward act of a ruling body is a problem: either Norsefire had already “risen to power” by the time Valerie was arrested, in which case Valerie’s time at Larkhill could not have overlapped with V’s, or else Norsefire “rose to power” to a very, very significant degree well before the virus. What we’re told about Valerie suggests that she was the kind of person who couldn’t just be snatched by a paramilitary without some explanation, and yet she never mentions hoping that the police will rescue her, or that her MP might intervene, or any of the things that someone like her might reasonably hope for if kidnapped by today’s Norsefire equivalents in the US or UK. (I’m not, mind you, suggesting that those hopes would necessarily have come true. But the fact that she’s not imagining official rescue tells us that there was a very significant change in the world before she was snatched, which means either that was post-virus or else the film has two changes to explain, not one.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.