Question rokitit Politics & International Relations

Modern Politics - The Beehive

In what ways can the modern political hierarchy be likened to a beehive?

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The comparison between the beehive and British politics was first made in 1840 by George Cruikshank. He suggested that like a beehive the British political system followed a specific if not somewhat more complex order. Both systems begin with the Queen and her family at the top ruling over, before descending down through the social scale from politicians and religious leaders to greengrocers and chimney sweeps. This is then followed by a base of support, in this analogy provided by the Bank of England, the army and the navy.

While this comparison is now somewhat dated it is clear that the beehive analogy still has some relevance today. The Queen may no longer sit atop where she once did, but while Parliament is sovereign they are still in essence reigning over the people, albeit with accountability in place via the election process but with elections only once every 5 years there is most definitely still comparisons that can be made to a sovereign monarch. Underneath parliament we have the large business owners who hold a great deal of power and could at one point in the future step into a sovereign role, much like when a Queen is dethroned in a beehive. The comparison can continue to be made with the working class and the worker bees as they support the classes above while themselves being left with very little, be it money or honey.

One big difference between the beehive and the British people is the altruistic nature of bees. While in the beehive all the bees work to support one another and those above, while the UK populous can an often be seen as individually focused.