10

Although some muggles know about the Wizarding World (like a muggle-born's parents), hiding it from the majority of muggles is the goal of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.

Talking about Prime Minister of UK, one Prime Minister tried to throw the Minister for Magic out of the window and another ordered the removal of the magical painting from his office. How can such a powerful person be trusted? Can't he host a global-scale press conference with the help of other governments to disclose the Wizarding World? Good luck obliviating the entire world.

Other than that, the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy came into existence in 1689 because muggles were burning witches and wizards alive. Couldn't a terrified Prime Minister sign an executive order to nuke all of the wizarding villages?

And what was the point of talking to the Prime Minister? What purpose could a muggle Prime Minister serve when the Ministry of Magic had a dedicated department to handle muggle problems?

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    "Couldn't a terrified Prime Minister sign an executive order to nuke all of the wizarding villages?" Maybe the villages aren't on the map… – SdaliM Apr 20 '17 at 22:35
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    I'm reasonably certain that any PM who went on national TV to talk about how the world is secretly populated by wizards, goblins and pixies would be given a moderately cool reception. – Valorum Apr 20 '17 at 22:39
  • I think I can extrapolate your point: One Prime Minister claiming wizards are real would get him put in a psychiatric institution, but presumably, the Heads of State of other governments would also have to be told. If all of them collaborate the story, it's harder to say they're all insane. And it wouldn't make sense to tell the PM of the UK and not, say, POTUS, unless there are no wizards in the US. – Michael Apr 20 '17 at 23:29
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    It doesn't violate the statute because there's a exception clause - maybe for heads of state, maybe sufficiently influential figures, maybe more broadly for "those necessary to maintain secrecy". Whether that's a good idea or not, worth the risk or not, or whether the prime minister is a good choice for the exemption, is a different question. This is similar to how the decree for underage sorcery has a self-defense clause, because laws are all about the fine print and usually are as much about negotiating who gets to bypass them and why, as what they are intended to do. – Megha Apr 21 '17 at 23:04
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Because there may be situations that require the Prime Minister to be aware of dangers/situations that could affect to Muggles and only the PM was made aware:

"I'll only bother you if there's something really serious going on our, something that's likely to affect the Muggles"

How can wizards trust the PM won't say anything? Because it would undermine his credibility and possible call into question his sanity. The otherwise strong implementation of the Statute of Secrecy ensures that any Muggle would consider the PM a crackpot (much like the Second-Salemers in the USA were considered....odd)

The Prime Minister stood there, quite motionless, and realised that he would never, as long as he lived, dare mention this encounter to a living soul, for who in the wide world would believe him?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 1: The Other Minister [emphasis mine]

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    One has to wonder what would happen if the PM approached, say, the President of the US, or some other world leader. Presumably the American magical community talks to POTUS in the same way the British community talks to their PM. With enough world leaders on-board, they could probably pose a serious threat to the International Statute of Secrecy... – Kevin Apr 21 '17 at 0:51
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    MACUSA seems much more insular than even British wizards to my mind, so not sure if the US President gets the same info as the PM (maybe a question in that) – NKCampbell Apr 21 '17 at 1:01
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It is said in The Half Blood Prince that the Prime Minister of Britain and the Minister of Magic met just after the first one was elected, and they talk about the previous one.

So, we can deduce that each Prime Minister is informed personally by the Minister of Magic soon after his election precisely in order to help maintain the secrecy.

So it's something planned by the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy and thus cannot break it...

Cornelius Fudge: "The Minister of Magic only reveals him--or herself to the muggle Prime Minister of the day. We find it the best way to maintain secrecy."
Prime Minister: "But then, why hasn't a former Prime Minister warned me?"
Cornelius Fudge: "My dear Prime Minister, are you ever going to tell anybody?"
Half Blood Prince, Chapter 1 (The Other Minister)

And like Valorum and Michael pointed out, anyone who try to reveal that wizards exists won't be taken seriously and could even end up in a psychiatric institution (moreover if some wizard use oblivion on every other person that could help him confirm it...)

  • If they obliviated the world leaders after they'd told everyone, they would forget and think that they were losing their minds. Either way, an organised 'reveal' has the potential of being stopped. – marcellothearcane Jul 18 '17 at 19:02
1

The main reason is that in the HP world politicians (both magical and muggle) are incompetent and easily controlled, and they seldom take resolute action so they don't pose real danger.

They characterized as opportunistic people who make populistic decisions to appear good in their electors eyes creating the impression that they actually doing everything to promote the welfare and safety of their people, while in fact they are mostly interested in keeping their positions, devoting most of their efforts and time to machinations to conceal how ineffective they are to ensure they stay in power.

HP politicians also often blindly follow buerocratic procedures without inquiring as for the reason for it. For example, Fudge informing the PM about the dangerous creatures brought to the UK:

“Oh, and I almost forgot,” Fudge had added. “We’re importing three foreign dragons and a sphinx for the Triwizard Tournament, quite routine, but the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures tells me that it’s down in the rule book that we have to notify you if we’re bringing highly dangerous creatures into the country.” “I—what—dragons?” spluttered the Prime Minister. “Yes, three,” said Fudge. “And a sphinx. Well, good day to you.” ~HBP - The Other Minister

Now I ask you, what was the point informing the PM in this case? Fudge did not wait for the PM's approval, did not give any details about the logistic, timeframe, location and possible dangers entailed. What was the PM supposed to do with the information? Fudge was just following the regulations to the letter and the muggle PM accepting it without any objection.

To be fair, the open channel of communication between the ministers is useful when needing muggle assistence, for example catching Sirius Black:

“That man!” Harry said, forgetting his troubles for a moment. “He was on the Muggle news!” Stan turned to the front page and chuckled. “Sirius Black,” he said, nodding. “’Course ’e was on the Muggle news, Neville, where you been?” Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - The Knight Bus

Ensuring the muggle PM's accistance is actually helpful - after all, the muggle PM has access to mass media, resources, manpower to mobilize or to evacuate an area if needed. Even better, the PM could have been of assistance in the offensive war effort against Voldemort's armies, but it seems the idea (or any other helful idea really) never occured to Fudge.

Fudge himself apperently thought that the risk exposing the magic community is negligible as the information is too unbelievable to share::

it the best way to maintain secrecy.” “But then,” bleated the Prime Minister, “why hasn’t a former Prime Minister warned me—?” At this, Fudge had actually laughed. “My dear Prime Minister, are you ever going to tell anybody?” Still chortling, Fudge had thrown some powder into the fireplace, stepped into the emerald flames, and vanished with a whooshing sound.

The argument of the PM keeping silent else being ridiculed and doubted doesn't stand. At least not in the real world. Only someone as unimaginative and dim as Fudge could have thought that it would prevent a determined and resolute person who is reasonably intelligent from acting, especially if such an individual would have preceived the magic community as a threat or view them as an asset to be exploited. At the very least, he'd try to subtly conduct research on the 'wizards' collecting as much information as possible. After all in the real world PMs have secret services and research facilities at their disposal to investigate 'paranormal activities'. The PM could have initiated a project Toran Darel II style. It should have been be doubly true when there was an actual threat to life and property, with Voldy's people running amok.

Fudge even gave the PM opportunity to capture a test subject when he exposed his inside man posing as a secretary (Kingsley) to the PM. What would have prevented a real life PM to order the SIS to treat Kingsley as an extremely dangerous foreign spy / terrorist and capture him, using the best agents (as in slip him some sedative in his morning tea or take him out with use some nerve poison gas or employ a sniper to shot him up from afar with some anesthetic medication), then quietly take him to some secure research facility and question him?

A sedated and bound wizard without his wand can be a valuable source of information, and in the situation the PM found himself at the beginning of the HBP he needed information about those mutant freaks with paranormal abilities like he needed breathing.

After all, it seems said freaks at the time of the events in HBP were spit into two fractions engaging in a civil war which also threatened the lives of civilians - the members of the psychotic fraction were completely out of control, committing mass murders and destroying bridges and buildings just for the fun of it, while the more sane fraction tried to stop them, but apperently was doing a pretty sucky job at it. In a functioning government the PM would've thought of crisis management and the need to collect as much data as possible from the captured paranormal using the best neurologists on government payroll to check the freak's brain scans, radiowave composition and such to expose possible vulnerabilities or to find a way to build shields against magic energy waves (or whatever those creatures doing with their brains when they destroy bridges or slaughter old ladies in their homes with their freakish mental power and their channelling devices called 'wands'.)

The next rational step would have been to share the information with as much high ranking army/navy/intelligence officers with high clearance as possible so the so called 'wizards' couldn't take them all out, then negotiate with those 'magic ministry' freaks with bad fashion choices from a position of power, offer them a truce and alliance against the psychotic fraction, combine magic and technology to take the psychotic fraction out, then conduct even more in depth experiments to harness the magic power to use it for the 'good of humanity' (that is, to make weapons).

But luckily for Fudge in the HP world the muggle PM in HBP (and his predecessors) had the similar cognitive skills as the wizard politicians, therefore he did not pose any danger whatsoever.

  • 'The main reason is that in the HP world politicians (both magical and muggle) are incompetent and easily controlled, and they seldom take resolute action so they don't pose real danger.' As opposed to say, politicians in our world who are more than competent? And I strongly beg to differ that the Minster for Magic isn't dangerous; something about letting a certain Dark Wizard to gain might again comes to mind. As for easily controlled it's quite simple: fear. Fear makes people do the craziest, most ridiculous and dangerous things. Fear controls people. – Pryftan Jul 18 '17 at 20:38
  • @Pryftan our wise leaders are completely different, so i have no idea what youre talking about ))) as about mr Chamberlain-Fudge, you consider him powerful letting V outsmart him? – user68762 Jul 18 '17 at 21:00
  • Dangerous, not powerful. But in a sense that is powerful: the wrong kind of power he held caused a lot of damage, death and destruction. But as Dumbledore says, it often is neglect/lack of concern that does far more damage (though as I recall the context is different). And I presume the ')))' has a missing ':' but if that's not true I would presume you were serious; I certainly hope isn't the case. Ah, right. I see now. I missed the Chamberlain part. Yes, well, then you're not serious. I feel better now. – Pryftan Jul 19 '17 at 20:20
  • @Pryftan i am almost never serious on SFF. have too few shiny badges to weigh me down ;) – user68762 Jul 19 '17 at 22:38
  • That sounds like me in life in general. But good to know you weren't serious. Not that I have a chance to remember it. – Pryftan Jul 21 '17 at 0:22
0

I would think the PM (and other world leaders) are under constant surveillance. Kingsley Shacklebolt, an auror, is assigned to the task at some point (Half-Blood Prince, I think).

This, if a leader were to go off the reservation and threaten to uncover the wording world, action could be taken with a quick charm or other correction to prevent the disclosure.

We know exiting PMs have their memory wiped, too.

  • We know exiting PMs have their memory wiped, too. – Do you have a source for this? “We know” is definitely untrue (I, for one, don’t know it.) – chirlu Jul 18 '17 at 20:50
  • @chirlu I'll have to check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure that Cornelius tells this to the "new" Prime Minister in the beginning of the Half-Blood Prince. – HorusKol Jul 18 '17 at 22:30
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    Nope; as another answer states (verbatim quoting): Prime Minister: "But then, why hasn't a former Prime Minister warned me?" Cornelius Fudge: "My dear Prime Minister, are you ever going to tell anybody?" So it seems to me their memories are not wiped... – Pryftan Jun 6 '18 at 21:22

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