House of Cards creator slams independence TV debate

The author of the best-selling political novel and award-winning TV show, House of Cards, has said he was “appalled” by the televised referendum debate, it was revealed today.

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards
Kevin Spacey in House of Cards

Conservative peer Michael Dobbs, who created the political villain Francis Urquhart, portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the US series, felt the Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling debate was more of a “prize fight” than politics.

He made his comments while in Aberdeen to join the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence.

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Lord Dobbs had been in Los Angeles during the televised date and held off attending the Emmy Awards so he could continue watching the unfurling drama.

Michael Dobbs

He said: “I delayed going to the ceremony so I could see much of the debate, but I thought it was absolutely appalling.

“It wasn’t a debate, it was like a prize fight, which may be a great spectacle, but it’s pretty rotten politics.”

He suggested the first minister could even have been inserted as a character into his famous political creation.

He said: “Alex would make a wonderful character in House of Cards, there’s no doubt about that.

“But Francis Urquhart would be saying ‘I don’t want to be playing on the small stage, I want to be playing on the larger stage’.

“That’s where he would have most power, that’s where he would have most impact.

“He wants to follow in the footsteps of other Scots like Balfour, MacDonald, Macmillan, Brown, so many Scottish prime ministers, or prime ministers with Scottish roots.”

Lord Dobbs gave his own views on the referendum and said he would be “desolate” if Scotland voted in favour of independence on September 18.

He has insisted it is perfectly possible to be a proud Englishman or Scotsman, as well as being “a proud Briton”.

He said: “Politics is often about division and a fierce fight and yet we get together and we move on.”