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The Loud Blast That Tears The Skies


Bloody Difficult Woman
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
A recent conversation with @Sideways reminded me of this small unpublished part of The Loud Blast That Tears The Skies, originally envisaged as the flash-forward to open a Part 2 covering 1965-2015 in the timeline, or else as a finishing epilogue to cap a full 1908-2008 centenary. As I now have no intention of ever continuing the published book as it stands, there's no harm in letting it see the light of day, and with it give a few hints as to where I might have taken the timeline.

The text is unedited from how I wrote it in early 2015, with one minor revision [an allusion to a more widespread bigotry in TTL, which now in light of current OTL events just seemed gratuitous].


February 2010

To: Rt. Hon Peter Foot MP

Dearest Mac,

I must remark how terribly sorry I was to read of the passing of your uncle Michael. You know he was a very great inspiration to me during my early years at IBN. I know that you feared he never fully approved of your political direction but I'm sure he would have always admired your commitment to Parliamentary Democracy, and to neo-liberalism. The thoughts of myself and of my family are of course with you at this time.

I should very much hope that yourself, Isaac, and the children will be able to join us once again at the villa in Borsh. Harriet remarked last time how nice it was to have everyone there. We were hoping to go down in early June. Before the rush and the German invasion (ha!). I know that you'll want to be back for Remembrance Day, though I gather things will be rather less elaborate this year – the centenary was rather overwhelming after all. Hell, if I can take a month off then a Cabinet minister definitely can, right? Father will be down I imagine – he practically lives there these days. His health hasn't been good lately I'm afraid, but hopefully the climate helps. Better than Scotland at any rate!

Congratulations by the way, on the passage of the European Economic Act. Harriet and I were both very impressed by your speech to the Commons. I guess having that literary heritage helps eh? I'm just pleased that we'll soon no longer have to change banknotes in Vlore. I'll need to make sure that our forthcoming coverage isn't too biased – you know how the left like to grumble! One day we may drag the Democrats out of their isolationism – sad really, to see what's become of them. Anyway, I'm very pleased for you. I rather hope that Julia has some sort of reward in mind for you!

Incidentally, I don't know if you've been following the career of old Ian? He was at the Tribune while you were Editor? Anyway I hear he's to become Imperial Press Secretary over in Berlin. Seems odd that they'd go for an Englishman, especially one so fond of making jokes and being sued, but that's Kaiser Fred for you. Maybe you'll get a chance to catch up on your next foreign trip?

Anyhow, must dash. Got a whole week of meetings with IBN Trust to look forward to. Some sort of looming scandal they want me to head off. Let's be clear, I certainly don't intend to let it damage the future of the government. Hope to see you this side of dissolution!

With best wishes and thoughts,

Your friend and loyal student


Donald Cameron
Imperial Broadcasting Network

To: Donald Cameron B.A. (Oxon)

Dear Donald,

It's wonderful as ever to hear from you. Your kinds words mean a lot, they really do. Dear Michael was such an influence on the both of us, as I'm sure you know. Dad would never admit it, but I think he rather envied my uncle – ensconced quietly away in Hampstead with his rooms full of books. Not a bad life at all. Learn from his example dear boy – never go into politics!

I fear I won't be visiting our German cousins for quite some time. Julia has me going to France next week to meet President Miliband. A quite insufferable dirge that is likely to be. You know I met M. President's father many years ago? Very pleasant man was old Adolph. Now I don't like to make a habit of associating with Marxist-Makhnovites, but if you kept the conversation away from politics he was quite decent. Hated Britain of course, but that's par for the course with Frogs. Uncle Mac got it worse in '68. I'm told that Samuel has reformist tendencies, so I may yet get blood from the stone.

I'm very much looking forward to joining your family on the Riviera. Will Ossy be bringing his yacht round the harbour again? Keep it under your hat, but Julia's probably going to call the election for April, so that should give me a good window for some time off after we've been (hopefully) re-elected. As you say Bore's lot are a shambles, so its probably a shoe in. With any luck I'll be pensioned off to the Lords or something.

As for that potential scandal: I wouldn't worry about it too much - probably nothing. The Guardian are bound to make hay no matter what the outcome, but mostly It'll just blow over. Of course if it does all go tits up, and I mean “if”, then you know we've always got your back.

Thanks again for your kind words on the EEA. It really was about time we followed the Danubians on that one. The right are (as usual) worrying about how this conflicts with the League, along with all that xenophobic nonsense. We've assured them that any talk of political union is a fool's dream. England prevails!

Do keep in touch, and give my regards to the other Old Salopians.


Peter Mackintosh Foot
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Foreign Office


Bloody Difficult Woman
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Elected Presidents, if I recall, with Samuel being an older alt-sibling of Ed and the other one. Terms in office c. 40 years apart

Ralph keeps his pre-anglicised given name, what with having no impetus to change it, or indeed to seek refuge in England.

France happens pretty much off-screen in TLBTTTS, so this bit was mostly a nod to alternative migration patterns. Also it allowed for the obligatory contemporary meta-jokes, because 2015.