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Alternate Wikibox Thread

Bolt451

Anxious millenial cowgirl
Location
Sandford, Gloucestershire
Pronouns
She/Her
New Beginnings (Part 3 of 3)

"Good afternoon. I would like to confirm to you that this morning I saw Her Majesty the Queen and sought her permission for a dissolution of Parliament and a general election on 25th October. I am pleased to say that Her Majesty has given her permission for that to go ahead."

Reassured by the local and European election results in the spring and a string of strong polling results through the summer, David Steel and Roy Jenkins met together at Chequers in late September to agree that the time was right to pull the plug on their minority government and to go to the country to seek a majority government. Standing together outside of Number 10 on a mild and damp 1st October, they set out their case to the people - saying that while they had made some progress over previous 12 historic months, in order to achieve real and lasting change they needed a majority - or at least get much closer to one.

That it was the Alliance in a minority and now asking for a majority was still an absurdity for many people. The pace of change in British politics had been so rapid that just 12 months on from when Margaret Thatcher looked still to be in with a chance of holding 200 seats for the Conservatives and when Michael Foot looked likely to be heading for power at the head of a minority government, it was now a question of how much further Geoffrey Howe's Conservatives could drop and how far the Alliance could advance at the expense of the Tories and Labour for Election 84.

Geoffrey Howe insisted that the Conservatives were not out of the race for power and that the volatility of politics and the tight margins in dozens of constituencies made it a theoretical possibility that they could put themselves back in a strong position. However, almost everyone - including most Conservative MPs and candidates - acknowledged that their campaign would be about mitigating potential losses rather than striving for gains. The mood of the British people had softened towards the Conservatives over the last year, but with the Alliance government proving popular it was of no help to them at all.

Labour was in a rather awkward situation going into the election. Their losses of just 10 seats a year before and the looming prospect of an imminent second election had allowed Michael Foot to stay on as leader - leading the party to positive performances in May and June's elections. But it was still clear that the public were weary of the prospect of Foot as Prime Minister and while the national Labour campaign was focused on laying a path for Labour to make gains and possibly go into government, at the local level candidates knew that they were playing a defensive game in this election.

The polls at the start of the campaign showed the Alliance on course for gains, but it was touch and go for the 326 for a majority. By the end, however, the polls had shifted more decisively in their favour and they looked on course for a small majority of possibly 2-20 seats. By the time that polling day had arrived on 25th October it was a nervous wait for both Steel and Jenkins as they waited to see if their gamble had paid off and if they would make history yet again.

"He who dares wins," is what Jenkins is reported to have told Steel on the morning of 26th October as they arrived back in Downing Street together. Armed with a larger than expected majority of 36 seats, the Alliance could now embark on a raft of radical reforms in Britain and ensure that Election 84 would be the last held under first-past-the-post. It was also at this stage, it would later be said, that the two men agreed to begin the process of merging the Liberals and the SDP into a single party united under a single vision.

For the Conservatives, the election marked another low point for them - falling to under 27% of the vote and barely keeping their head above 50 seats. Labour suffered a small reduction in their share of the vote, but their number of seats dropped by another 20 and marked the end of the road for Michael Foot's leadership. In the space of 12 months, the right-wing experiment in the Conservative Party and the left-wing experiment in the Labour Party had both been decisively rejected by the British people on two occasions in favour of what seemed to be a new liberal and social democratic consensus forged by an alliance of a party with deep historical roots and a fledgling new force.


Obligatory "do they introduce electoral reform" question. Given they manage a majority under FPTP and the Tories have fallen to shit
 

Oppo

Erik Ƭ̵̬̊
Pronouns
he/him
"I believe that President Reagan can say these things only because he knows that the American people will never hold him accountable for what he says; it is history that holds you accountable, and I've already expressed my opinion that Americans are not big on history. How many of them even remember their own, recent history?

Was twenty years ago so long for Americans? Ronald Reagan had not yet numbed the United States but he had succeeded in putting California to sleep; he described the Vietnam protests as 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy.' As president, he still didn't know who the enemy was."
-A Prayer for Owen Meany (1987)

 

cikka

Sexomarxist, Globalist, Environmentalist
"I believe that President Reagan can say these things only because he knows that the American people will never hold him accountable for what he says; it is history that holds you accountable, and I've already expressed my opinion that Americans are not big on history. How many of them even remember their own, recent history?

Was twenty years ago so long for Americans? Ronald Reagan had not yet numbed the United States but he had succeeded in putting California to sleep; he described the Vietnam protests as 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy.' As president, he still didn't know who the enemy was."
-A Prayer for Owen Meany (1987)

til that gerald ford's predecessor in the house was fucking "Bartel Jonkman"

great wikibox
 

rosa

Well-known member
"I believe that President Reagan can say these things only because he knows that the American people will never hold him accountable for what he says; it is history that holds you accountable, and I've already expressed my opinion that Americans are not big on history. How many of them even remember their own, recent history?

Was twenty years ago so long for Americans? Ronald Reagan had not yet numbed the United States but he had succeeded in putting California to sleep; he described the Vietnam protests as 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy.' As president, he still didn't know who the enemy was."
-A Prayer for Owen Meany (1987)

This is amazing. Did he run in '88?
 

rosa

Well-known member
Was thinking he’d retire (unsure if Dole or Trump should be the Republican nominee).
Trump would be interesting, depending on how well Ford is perceived (also the funny route would be Jackson from 1989-1993), and then he's defeated by someone/Ford :p
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
He/Him
"I believe that President Reagan can say these things only because he knows that the American people will never hold him accountable for what he says; it is history that holds you accountable, and I've already expressed my opinion that Americans are not big on history. How many of them even remember their own, recent history?

Was twenty years ago so long for Americans? Ronald Reagan had not yet numbed the United States but he had succeeded in putting California to sleep; he described the Vietnam protests as 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy.' As president, he still didn't know who the enemy was."
-A Prayer for Owen Meany (1987)

Jesse Jackson beating Ford is...something. Also that Paul Simon pic *chefs kiss*.
 

ES1702

Well-known member
Location
Cambridge, England
Pronouns
He/Him
Balls.pngEdward Michael Balls (born 25 February 1967) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2015 to 2026 and Leader of the Labour Party from 2010 to 2026. He served as the Member of Parliament for Normanton and later Morley and Outwood between 2005 and 2028. Outside of politics, Balls is a broadcaster, writer, economist and professor. His political views have been described as Brownite, referring to his predecessor as Labour leader Gordon Brown, although these have since become synonymous with Balls. Alongside Harold Wilson and Tony Blair, Balls is one of only three Labour leaders to have formed three majority governments and one of only two, with Blair, to have won three successive general election victories.

Balls attended Nottingham High School before studying philosophy, politics and economics at Keble College, Oxford, and was later a Kennedy Scholar in economics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was a teaching fellow at Harvard from 1988 to 1990, when he joined the Financial Times as the lead economic writer. Balls had joined the Labour Party whilst attending Nottingham High School, and became an adviser to Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown in 1994, continuing in this role after Labour won the 1997 general election, and eventually becoming the Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury.

At the 2005 general election, Balls was elected as the MP for Normanton (which in 2010 became Morley and Outwood), and in 2006 became the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. When Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, Balls became Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, serving until the 2010 general election; Labour were at that point defeated after thirteen years in government, and returned to Opposition. Balls was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Education under Harriet Harman during her time as acting leader. After the Labour Party was defeated at the 2010 general election, Brown resigned as Leader of the Labour Party. After a short leadership contest, Balls was elected to replace him in July 2010 defeating David Miliband, Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham.

Under Balls, the Labour Party shifted leftwards compared to New Labour. In the 2015 general election, the Labour Party were widely expected to become the largest party in another hung parliament. The final results produced an unexpected majority for Labour of sixteen seats.

Balls' first government was fiscally disciplined but used the re-introduction of the 50% tax rate and the new tax on properties with a value of over £2 million (known as the 'mansion tax') to fund an extension of free childcare and additional spending for the NHS and schools. Extension of the voting franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds, devolution of more powers to the nations and regions and the abolition of the House of Lords and creation of the Senate of the United Kingdom were defining constitutional reforms all occurred during his first term. In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and led to section 1(5) of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 being used for the first time which postponed the 2020 general election from 7 May 2020 to 2 July 2020.

In the 2020 general election the Labour Party won a landslide victory with a record number of votes on a high turnout of 74.5%, the highest since 1992, which was fuelled by a substantial increase in postal voting caused by the pandemic. The first year of Balls' second government was dominated by the response to the pandemic and the rollout of vaccines. Pandemic stimulus measures were introduced including the 'High Street Voucher Scheme', while a one-off wealth tax was introduced to fund the new British Wealth Fund. Domestically, the second term of Balls' government also saw the hosting of the COP26 summit, the abolition of inheritance tax, the abolition of the apprenticeship levy, the staging of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the launch of the 'GreenGO' scheme and the rollout of universal free at the point of use bus travel in England.

In the 2025 general election, Balls led the Labour Party to a third successive victory with a reduced majority. Although Balls would resign as Prime Minister just one year into his third term, it saw the launch of 'Green Skills Academies', the creation of the National Investment Bank, the introduction of 'Productivity UK', the introduction of regional economic executives in England, the completion of the National Care Service and the launch of the ultimately successful joint Manchester-Liverpool bid for the 2036 Olympic Games.

Balls oversaw the end of the United Kingdom's military presence in Afghanistan in 2021 and authorised the bombing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria in 2015. Balls authorised, without parliamentary approval, missile strikes against government targets in Syria in 2018 in response to the use of chemical weapons. The Trident nuclear deterrent was renewed in 2016.

Balls announced that he would resign as Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister in March 2026 and was succeeded by Andy Burnham in May 2026. Serving for 11 years and 5 days, Balls' time as Prime Minister was the longest of any Labour Prime Minister and the longest overall since Margaret Thatcher, making him the 8th longest serving Prime Minister.
 
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