Independent Interview with Michael Dobbs

Michael Dobbs talks House of Cards, Margaret Thatcher and having a labour (and Chelsea FC) supporting son in The Independent today!

Where are you today?

I’m sitting on the terrace of the House of Lords, by the river, in the gentle sunshine, watching the Clerk of the Parliaments tuck into an enormous cooked breakfast.

You’ve done well to end up there. What first attracted you to politics?

Alcohol. I was having a drink in the pub and somebody mentioned to me something called the Conservative Research Department. I popped in to pick up some leaflets and two hours later the director had offered me a job. I said, “How much are you offering, in terms of pay?” He looked across the desk and said, “You require a salary?” That was the start of my crazy career in politics.

Do you think House of Cards is in fact better suited to US politics?

American politics has more power, and it has more money. I think that encourages the darker side of politics. So in a way, House of Cards is an even more natural fit to the US system than the British one, because it does concentrate on that side of things. Remember it’s a drama, not a documentary – it misses out the vast majority of politics. It sits very neatly in Washington DC and the cultures of power there. But it would sit just as neatly, I suspect, in the Kremlin. Although I don’t suppose there, for instance, Mrs Khrushchev would have had quite the same sort of impact as Clare Underwood would have.

To read the full interview click here and to find out more from Michael himself, follow him on Twitter @dobbs_michael