Can a game show us what would happen under far-right rule?


In a nifty series of articles, my friend Dan Griliopoulos has been modeling the United Kingdom's major political parties' stances in the simulation game Democracy 3. The latest piece tackles creepy far-righters UKIP, and the model isn't so favorable:

To balance its costs, we cut child benefit, in line with Ukip's two-child limit and the benefit cap. We also drop unemployment benefit. Sadly, they seemed to have dropped their old policy to force every unemployed person into work, which might have actually helped the economy a little.

It's worth saying all this spending has really unbalanced the budget. Our deficit is spectacularly huge. Even factoring in the billions we would have got from the EU and Scotland, we'd still be running a huge deficit. This isn't in line with CEBR predictions at all.

In line with that, as the global recession hits our credit rating is downgraded, and downgraded and downgraded, to a level as bad as the Tories. How will island Britain survive? Spoiler: it probably won't. I do a quick reshuffle, to maintain cabinet support for our policies, as one minister has already threatened to spend more time with his family.

Gril explains his methodology for testing the manifestos here; of course no simulation is perfect, and his work here is as much an interesting study of the limitations of political simulation games as it is of the likely impact of these policies.

It's fun writing that makes for a good read, though: See the entire series at the New Statesman for a look into what happened for the Greens, Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour in Gril's Democracy 3 experiments.