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Alternate Wikibox Thread


Edward Heath was a British civil servant and amateur sailor who famously disappeared while competing in the Sun-Globe Round-The-World Race, a single handed, round-the-world yacht race.

A decorated veteran of the D-Day Landings, Edward Heath initially worked post-war as a civil servant but his hobby of sailing soon turned into a full-time endeavor, inspired by several major yachting records and races achieved in the 1960s. He participated in two transatlantic crossings and the Sydney-Hobart yacht race. In 1969 ailing Sun newspaper, recently purchased by Robert Maxwell, sponsored a round-the-world yacht race and personally sponsored Edward Heath; as the most prominent British contestant he was portrayed in the press as a patriotic sporting hero.

While Heath and his yacht Morning Cloud started off among the frontrunners, it soon fell behind. His intermittent communications caused consternation amid concerns that his over-engineered yacht was ill-prepared for rough Atlantic weather, and it was alleged by friends and colleagues that he had been pressured to set sail and continue sailing by his sponsors despite his own personal safety concerns. Heath's last radio transmission was broadcasted on July 17 1969; he has not been seen since. Despite an extensive international search (also sponsored by Maxwell), no trace of Heath or the Morning Cloud has ever been found. He was declared dead in December of that year.

Heath's mysterious disappearance has been the subject of much speculation and fascination from commentators and artists in the years and decades since. Conspiracy theories speculated that he had been abducted or killed by pirates or a naval vessel of a hostile power or that Heath, a former civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, was a KGB spy who used the race to successfully defect. It has inspired a number of books, stage plays and films, including a documentary, Deep Water (2004) and the feature film Morning Cloud (2011), in which Heath is portrayed by Hugh Grant.

Edward Heath is not to be confused with British musician and big band conductor Ted Heath, who died the same year.
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As it turns out, the third time really is the charm.

After running two failed presidential campaigns, most assumed that Bernie Sanders, Vermont's long time Social Democratic maverick Senator, would finally hang up the gloves. His first campaign in 2016 had reignited a spark long thought dead in the American political consciousness as Sanders dared to ask What if we come together to make things better and people listened. In 2020, his second campaign had shown how far the American left had come since the beginning of the Red Scare, as Sanders almost rode the power of a disaffected, marginalized and motivated working class all the way to the White House. Yet he had come short despite everything and most assumed that Sanders, ascending to the position of Senate Budget Committee Chairman upon the Democrats narrowly recapturing the Senate, would remain content with being one of the architects of a Democratic legislative project unforseen before in scope. Of course, to be a successful architect, one must actually see their buildings built and to see ones' building built, you must have people who know how and want to build your building. This is the fundamental problem Sanders was faced in the first two years of the Biden Administration, as the stubborn old Vermonter worked tirelessly over the course of many months to craft legislative responses to the various crisis facing the working people of America only to see Democratic leadership completely fail to whip their disparate caucus into actually passing something. Like herding cats addicted to bribes from the pharmaceutical and gas industries.

So, as Sanders and others within Congress begged Democratic leadership and the White House to achieve something, anything, the Senator found himself ever and ever more embittered as the party saw their chances to actually improve lives and confront the crisis at hand fade away quickly. Even after the Republicans underperformed, the victims of their own unpopular political platform and poor candidate selection, the Democratic Party was stuck without a majority in either house of Congress. In this climate, Sanders would retreat increasingly from parliamentary affairs and would return once again to where the aging Hebrew hippie felt most at home; on the streets and in the factories, among rank and file workers and organizers of a movement growing every day to match the worsening realities of life. All the while, polls showing Sanders at the top of the Democratic Primaries would be released.

Weeks would turn to months as international conflict, supply shortages and the Covid-19 Pandemic raged on, history moving forward and for seemingly the first time in decades, the people on the ground actually experiencing the effects would begin to move forward with it. Organized labor would be on the move challenging major corporations that had made immense profits during the pandemic for better pay and conditions, taking advantage of the fact that many workers had finally had the false illusions of the 2010s shattered by the soul crushing day to day life of pandemic era employment. The feminist movement, emboldened and reignited by the overturning of Roe v Wade and further attacks on reproductive rights, would find themselves on the streets, dragged into open conflict with police and white nationalist militias as the response from the powers at be became more and more heavy. Immigrants rights movements, anti-police brutality movements, queer and LGBT movements, all would find themselves in open conflict with the established order as conditions worsened and in a landmark moment in American history, all would find themselves in a loose united front on the basis of their opposition to brutality and exploitation.

It would be this, more than anything, that would convince Sanders to run once again. Despite being older, Sanders was nevertheless spry and sharp and the Senator had once again found his rage after four years of crushed hopes and logistical nightmares. The people on the ground, the youth and the workers and the marginalized, we're ready for real change and for once, they were organized. If nothing else, Sanders reasoned to himself, his campaign could serve as a voice for the average person, send a message to Democratic leadership that the party was either going to deliver real change for it's citizens or it would lead to political or societal ruin. Ironically, it was reasoning similar to that which saw Sanders launch his first campaign for President and like in 2016, Sanders was under no real impression that he could win the nomination running a third time.

Funny how things work out sometimes.


(This wikibox is provided generously by @Kaddeus)
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The 1987 Channel Tunnel Fire took place on 18 August 1987, when a cargo train caught fire in the northbound tunnel. Fire was seen on the train as it entered the tunnel and, in line with the policy at the time, an attempt was made to drive to Britain where the fire would be dealt with. However, the locomotive and train were rapidly enveloped in thick smoke, and the locomotive along with the entire tunnel lost power. This caused a troop train entering the southbound tunnel at Dover to become stranded as both tunnels filled with smoke; the majority of casualties were on the southbound train. It was the worst railway disaster in British history and the second-worst disaster to occur in Britain during the Great Eastern War.

The Channel Tunnel between Dover and Calais had opened in 1973 but since the outbreak of the Great Eastern War in 1985, civilian traffic in the tunnel was heavily restricted under the Civil Contingencies Act. It was used mainly for cargo and troop movements between Britain and the continent. The traffic evening of 18 August 1987, a movement of soldiers from Northern England towards the Balkan and Turkish fronts and a goods train of heavy machinery and petrochemicals from Straßburg to London was typical.

Pre-war, fires had occurred in heavy goods vehicles transported through the tunnel, and concerns were raised about inadequate design and safety protocols; planned improvements had been delayed and scrapped due to wartime shortages, and pre-existing safety protocols had been relaxed to maximise the amount of traffic able to use the Channel Tunnel. While the exact source and cause of the ignition is not known, the northbound train's cargo of foodstuffs and petrochemicals could be easily ignited. The rescue effort was also hampered due to wartime shortages and a lack of coordination between British and French authorities, a concern that had also been repeatedly raised since before the tunnel's opening.

The disaster was not well-documented at the time due to wartime reporting restrictions, and public campaigns by survivors and bereaved families were controversially suppressed under the Civil Contingencies Act. Public controversy grew post-war over allegations of coverups and negligence by the wartime government. The Illustrated London News's 1989 report into the disaster drew attention to this cover-up and directly led to the collapse of the 1985-89 National Government; the Radicals won the 1989 general election in large part upon a promise to properly investigate the disaster.

The Booth Inquiry held in 1993 concluded that the disaster was the direct result of a wartime culture of negligence and lack of attention to detail due to wartime pressures at British Railways and the Ministry of Transport, stating that the northbound cargo train should never have been allowed to enter the tunnel. The inquiry strongly criticised the wartime government for censoring the disaster and failing to allow a proper investigation.

Despite the intensity of the fire, the superstructure of the tunnel survived in relatively good condition. It remained closed for the remainder of the war and re-opened after an intense rebuild in 1993.
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Interesting stuff, 80s Jim Prior is always an interesting possibility and all that (Soft Neoliberalism and all that), indeed I do think something like that would be the outcome of a Labour victory in 78 and all that.

That being said, I don’t see Benn being the choice following a failed Healy tenure, probably an a more unreconstructed Kinnock or Meacher than Benn (though I get that’s dramatic licence and all that).
Since the Chip N Dale movie mentions Senator Butthead in the background, I had a couple ideas for elections in that universe.



I should point out that in the Birdman movie special,Harvey’s boss becomes Prez by accident and he has to impeach him on his orders because he doesn’t know how to be President and has caused numerous crimes against humanity.

Also Dan isn’t a Republican,he openly said that he loathes both parties and refuses to vote.
I should point out that in the Birdman movie special,Harvey’s boss becomes Prez by accident and he has to impeach him on his orders because he doesn’t know how to be President and has caused numerous crimes against humanity.

Also Dan isn’t a Republican,he openly said that he loathes both parties and refuses to vote.
Dan may hate both parties and refuse to vote, but my headcanon is his car failed to pass its emissions test and Dan swore revenge against Newsom by unseating him as governor. Plus it wouldn't be the first time Dan has sworn revenge on a California governor.

In stark contrast to America, Japan was not a country well versed in terrorism. It wasn't so much that they were naive, they just didn't have time to think about these kinds of things; Japan was, after all, the only country in the world where "death by overwork" is a recognized and alarmingly common medial term. This is, perhaps, why so many weren't prepared for the events of Day Zero, the long awaited hour of biblical reckoning that was the end goal of Aum Shinrikyo.

Aum was a doomsday cult, one of the biggest in Japan, as well as the most wealthy, despite the 99% of its members who lived in squalor. At it's head was Shoko Aasahara, an imposing, portly man in purple pyjamas and a seemingly always neutral expression. People knew Asahara as the funny looking man who'd come on talk shows to talk about kundalini lines, and they knew the Aum as a bunch of delirious but devoted worshippers who'd often be seen wearing electrode caps. Behind the comical veneer was a horrifying mix of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, deranged psychological torture, mass murder, drugs and, most importantly, a stockpile of increasingly dangerous chemical weapons. Asahara, who believed himself to be the reincarnation of Jesus, Buddah, Shiva and whatever other mystical being he had decided on during his regular acid trips, had a vision of the end of the world, one that his cult was supposed to survive. Very quickly, that morphed into a doomsday his cult was supposed to bring about, and Aasahara had the money to make that happen; in addition to training select members in military combat, Aum began purchasing things like a derelict gun factory, a discounted military helicopter from the USSR, even whispers of enough plutonium to produce a dirty bomb, if the guru so chose. The end result, much like his belief system, would be a crude mashup of all the ideas Asahara had to bring about the end times, with disastrous results.

As people clogged the streets to get to work on the morning of March 20th, 1995, a lone helicopter suddenly appeared on the horizon, quickly approaching. By the time people started realising something was wrong, the helicopter released the first of several plumes of white mist onto the crowds below. They were the first of many to be struck by a sarin gas attack. As the streets clogged in a panic of either screaming or quickly dying innocents, the Soldiers of White Love, Asahara's hand-picked group of toughs, added to the chaos by beating random passers-by with clubs, smashing store front windows, throwing smoke bombs and marching towards the Japanese National Diet building. With proper protective wear and injections of sarin antidote, the Soldiers were virtually unopposed on their march as police either tried to coral the panic or succumb to the effects of the sarin.

While the casualties skyrocketed in the first minutes, the flaws in the plan quickly bore fruit. The Diet building was quickly evacuated as soon as word reached them of the chaos and death outside. If the Soldiers of White Love even made it inside the building, the would have found it vacant. Tokyo police did their best to corral victims away from other uncontaminated civilians, and emergency triages were quickly set up. Despite not knowing what was actually happening, a former military doctor delayed on his morning commute quickly identified the frothing at the mouth and mass vomiting before death as symptoms of Sarin. Two helicopters belonging to the Police Aviation Unit were launched to chase the Aum helicopter, until a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Bell AH-1 Cobra shot it down, sending it spiralling into a thankfully vacant stretch of Yoyogi Park.

As with the terror from above, law enforcement seemed to have taken care of the Soldiers of White Love. Despite forming an offensive ring around the Diet building, police soon found the cultists were dropping even before they were hit with clubs. The reasons varied, but all of the soldiers were suffering from a combination of malnutrition and what was reported to be extremely potent amounts of LSD running through their system. Some became vacant and wondered away, others thrashed and screamed like wild animals about the devil coming to eat them for "failing the great guru".

The guru himself was quickly discovered in a secret compartment within his own Mount Fuji compound. Recovered plans seem to suggest Asahara would be escorted into Chiyoda once the soldiers had 'secured' the abandoned building, and would have been proclaimed "Holy Monk Emperor" in order to lead Japan into a war with what he referred to as the "Zionist States of America". Other compounds littered the country, and all were subsequently raided, each producing new numbers of emaciated devotees of the Aum Supreme Truth. Components for a nuclear of dirty bomb were never actually seized during the raids, despite the popular myth among Japanese youths that Aum was planning to blow up Times Square.
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What if Pär Nuder falls down a mine shaft or something in the early 90s and the person who becomes Göran Persson's closest confidant and protege is a certain former swimmer from Uppsala? A few butterflies flap their wings, the close 2006 election is still very close, but favoring the centre-left rather than the right, and here we are.

Magdalena Andersson is a Swedish politician who served as the Prime Minister of Sweden from 2009 to 2014, and from 2018 to 2021. During this time she was also the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. She first rose to some national prominence when then-Prime Minister Göran Persson appointed her as his State Secretary in 1997, in spite of her being a largely unknown figure who was plucked from academia to become one of Persson's advisors a few years earlier. Five years later she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Government Coordination, still largely viewed as Persson's right hand woman. When she was elevated to become Minister for Finance a few years later, speculation that she was Persson's preferred successor grew immensely. Yet when it was rumored that Persson would step down in 2005, when Andersson's name was mentioned it was usually just to quickly rule her out. She was still deemed too fresh, too close to Persson and percieved as someone without much support among the party districts. This had all changed four years later when Persson actually announced his resignation. With five years behind her as Finance Minister she was finally seen more as her own woman, both within the party and outside of it, and crucially the emerging financial crisis had made her one of the most well known and popular politicians in Sweden. By contrast Ulrica Messing and Mona Sahlin, the only two other likely successors to Persson seemed like yesterday's news. With broad support the Social Democratic congress elected Magdalena Andersson as the party's next leader in 2009, and subsequently she became Sweden's first female Prime Minister.

As Persson's successor she inherited the coalition government he had formed with the Greens in 2006, a coalition she chose to continue when she became Prime Minister in 2009 and after she had won the 2010 general election. After losing the 2014 election she elected to stay on as leader of the Social Democrats in opposition, successfully leading them back into power in 2018 as the head of a majority coalition government with the Left Party and the Greens.

I may return to this later. I have some additional notes but I haven't found the time to flesh them out yet. Oh and the reason why there's such a large percentage of votes going to parties outside of the Riksdag in 2010 is due to the Pirate Party still very much being a thing ITTL (I imagine them siphoning off a few votes from the Greens in particular) and the Sweden Democrats not making the threshold. They're both hovering around 3%. The Sweden Democrats have a leadership coup the next year, some of the losers join up with disaffected Christian Democrats and Moderates to form the Freedom Party which initially places more emphasis on euroscepticism rather than immigration, etc. One of those things I have notes on but haven't fully fleshed out yet.