2030 The Lottery by Peter Moore is a pseudo-Orwellian peek at a possible British future. In contrast to Orwell, who placed his all-powerful state almost 40 years into the future, Peter Moore sets his just 23 years hence. This suggests that the author believes that many of the changes in Britain’s social and political fabric that he depicts in his book have already taken place. Indeed there are references to a certain war that no-one wanted, changes to the country’s sovereignty status and well reported, now familiar questions concerning political integrity.
But still, the 2030 that the book depicts is considerably further removed from the present that its twenty-odd years of displacement might suggest. The position of the Royal Family has been undermined, parliament has lost all authority and, indeed, credibility, and the country’s interests and assets have been sold off to foreigners. Perhaps it’s not so far-fetched, some might argue.
Britain is under the despotic rule of Cromwell. His political style is to brand anyone who is not wholly with him as being utterly against him. This is not a tolerant regime. And those who are against him are ruthlessly pursued.
Wat Tyler and his wife, Pandora (who has a box!) lead an opposition group. Wat is arrested and tortured, and though the authorities have perfected chemical tortures that leave the body apparently unharmed, Cromwell has his captive murdered and Pandora opens the box. A full scale revolt ensues, but only after it starts with a women’s protest. A leading opposition politician takes up the cause and there is a good deal of mayhem.
Throughout Peter Moore uses character names and settings to evoke previous wars, revolts and rebellions. Cromwell sanctions a civil war in response to Wat Tyler’s peasant revolt. But in 2030 The Lottery, it is Bradley tanks and fighter aircraft that engage in locations where pikes, swords and muskets were once employed.
The book requires considerable suspension of belief – it is a novel, after all. It will appeal to readers who like to poke a finger of ridicule in the direction of public figures who have lost political trust.