Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Ming the Merciless – The Proof

"And from now on, you'll take your orders from the Imperial Ming!" The 1938 film serial ‘Flash Gordon’s Trip To Mars’ features Emperor Ming – exiled from his native Mongo by Flash-fomented revolution in the previous serial – as deputy to the too-trusting Azura, Witch-Queen of Mars. In Chapter Twelve, ‘Ming the Merciless’, she crosses him and he exploits her hidden weakness to destroy her power. He then underhandedly inveigles her own soldiers into blowing her up, after which he takes her place. How very unlike the home life of our own dear Liberal Democrats…

I’ll let you know if my extensive TV and film collection yields any entertaining parallels with Simon or Chris. However, as my Liberator colleagues somehow omitted to mention in the latest issue’s account of Charles’ downfall the ‘round robin’ reported by more than one Parliamentarian as organised by Archy Kirkwood on Ming’s behalf at the end of last year, this seemed only fair.

I was watching the 80s Flash Gordon film this weekend as it happens. In it, Ming rules over an empire of people who line up to declare loyalty to him, but secretly loathe him and get out their frustrations by warring with each other. How utterly unlike Ming's campaign team.

Of course, Ming is eventually overthrown by the inspirational figure Flash Gordon. Interestingly, the actor Sam Jones had his voice redubbed by someone else because it was too "boring". Again, there are no parrallels to be drawn from this either.
James is clearly wrong to say that no parallels can be drawn from it - given that (in the 1980 version at leasr) Ming is succeeded by a noble with a moustache, it's clear yet again that the election will inevitably be won by John Thurso after a massive write-in vote and/or tests of strength with the Chief Scout.
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