Still here? Cool.
OK, so. Here's the thing. The only way I can put together an entirely coherent political reading of the film is to assume it's trying to defend the most obnoxious and soulless positions held by contemporary Republicans.
Consider its position on the rich. When Selina criticises Bruce, she's entirely incorrect. When Bruce mouths off about selfish charity galas to Miranda, he turns out to be completely wrong. In my last post, I assumed that at least in the former case, we were supposed to consider Selina's mistake as being who she was having a go at, and not her position on the rich per se. But let's imagine I got that wrong. This is a film about a cat burglar who has set herself up in opposition to the privileged, and the very first thing she steals is someone else's inheritance. She's the Death Tax personified. That's your first call, by the way: eyes down for GOP Bingo.
Next up, we have Pesky Environmentalists. By persuading Bruce to funnel so much of his money into her plan to create nuclear fusion, environmentalist Miranda Tate takes a massive chunk out of the Wayne family fortune, to the point where there's not enough money to help orphanages any more. If there's a clearer metaphor for the position that money spent on the environment would have been better spent elsewhere, I've never come across it. And that's before we get to the point where the film's representative of the environmental movement - often labelled as terrorists by hyperbolic Republicans - turns out to be an actual goddamn terrorist., who has fooled the well-meaning but ultimately naive Batman (OR SHOULD THAT BE MOONBAT?) with the result that he comes within a whisker of being killed.
And what saves him from this terrible fate? Selina Kyle, who has concluded that a) the assault on the rich by the baying mob of the working class (and what more obvious nod to Class Warfare could there be than a janitor who's brought an automatic weapon to the stock exchange to attack the job creators) and b) Batman's no-guns policy - a kind of personalised Gun Control - could never possibly work. New ally of the rich Catwoman shoots dead the nasty terrorist, because Moonbat couldn't bring himself to do it, and someone has to do the dirty work. Jack Bauer, all is forgiven.
Also: Doc Crane? Sitting up there ignoring Gotham's legal framework in favour of doing whatever he wants? Activist Judge, right there, Legislating From The Bench. This is particularly egregious when you consider the last eight years have been close to crime-free in Gotham, because of new super-tough crime legislation. What do we learn from this? That Soft On Crime was always the wishy-washy bullshit conservatives knew it was. Remove the possibility of parole and the streets will become an untroubled paradise, and only the occasional Bleeding Heart Liberal will be left to bitch about Convicts' Rights.
Of course, having that many prisoners locked up in one place proves pretty useful to Bane (I mentioned this all being very Reign of Terror/French Revolution last time round; the obvious nod to the storming of the Bastille is one major reason why), but that just makes another point exceptionally clear: Death Penalty Protestors are idiots who helped bring about the subjugation of Gotham City.
Honestly, we've pretty much got the full house, here. All the film needs is for Bane to have spent some time as an abortion doctor, and to have found some way of weaponising Anchor Babies. Perhaps Nolan has saved that for the director's cut...