Do you UK folks have the same kind of hardball politics?
Yes we do but it's much more heavily concealed behind masks of politeness. We have a political tradition of secrecy which would make most Americans choke on their coffee!
For example there is little freedom of the press. A D Notice can suppress printing anything the Govt likes "in the national interest."
Plus we are manipulated by big USA interests. If you are critical of American activities expect your political career to flop before it gets started. You just won't get selected by the parties for anything more than very menial roles.
Our Civil Service is staffed at the top by our top "noble" families. Many quietly reach back for 600 years even 1000 years of using power. They know this area very well. Their children are trained to be detached, unemotional via boarding schools, and loyal only to their class. Various popular media puffs, soaps, spread the image of our upper classes as fools or amiable and slightly inefficient. They are neither.
There are some pretty dirty tricks but much better concealed than in other societies. Britain is centrally about keeping up appearances and very good at it.
There is some recent law Freedom of Information that gives the right to ask questions out of public interest but you need the power of a big newspaper to do it effectively. The regulations allow for endless foot dragging so in practice not much is extracted.
We are not a democracy even in the diluted form of democracy America has. We are not citizens, but subjects of a monarch. Who has a lot more power than people think, including veto on new laws!
We have very few rights indeed, to vote every 4 years; habeas corpus and trial by jury - both the last two are being reduced a good deal. Our unions were broken. We have a collapsing health service, and other public services similarly being plundered for big companies.
We have beggars everywhere, ditto homeless; useless and feral police, aggressive social services spies, spin spin spin. Starving children so aid agencies now stepping in to help us!
One hopeful sign is people getting wise, refusing to take on debt, and paying down what they have - which is causing the bosses a headache.
Welcome to sick Britain. Snob is alive and well, and children starve.