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Lists of Heads of Government and Heads of State

theev

Las Vegas is a society of armed masturbators
Pronouns
he/him
So this wound is still fresh.

Morrissey Gets Everything He Wants
Or
Be Careful What You Wish For: The Smiths Edition
And to every action there's an equal and opposite reaction.

Billy Bragg Gets Everything He Wants
Or
Another England (with the Blokes)

1979-1987: Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
1979 (Majority): James Callaghan (Labour) , David Steel (Liberal)
1983 (Majority): Michael Foot (Labour) , David Steel (Liberal) , Roy Jenkins (SDP)

1987-1994: Neil Kinnock (Labour)
1987 (Majority): Margaret Thatcher (Conservative) , David Steel (Liberal) , David Owen (SDP)
1992 (Majority): Norman Tebbit (Conservative) , Paddy Ashdown (Liberal Democrat)

1994-2003: Robin Cook (Labour)
1997 (Majority): Paddy Ashdown (Liberal Democrat) , Teresa Gorman (Conservative)
1999 House of Lords Reform Referendum: Yes def. No
2002 (Majority): Charles Kennedy (Liberal Democrat) , John Redwood (Conservative)
2003 Scottish Independence Referendum: Leave def. Remain

2003-2010: Oona King (Labour)
2005 (Majority): Chris Huhne (Liberal Democrat) , John Redwood (Conservative)
2006 Welsh Independence Referendum: Leave def. Remain

2010-2017: Chris Huhne (Liberal Democrat)
2010 (Majority): Oona King (Labour) , Liam Fox (Conservative)
2015 (Majority): Jon Cruddas (Labour) , Liam Fox (Conservative) , Caroline Lucas (Green)
2016 EU Membership Referendum: Remain def. Leave

2017-2017: Vince Cable (Liberal Democrat)
2017-0000: Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)

2017 (Majority): Vince Cable (Liberal Democrat) , Caroline Lucas (Green) , Boris Johnson (Conservative)
 
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Elephant_trail

Active member
Gone Fishing
Nicholas Murray Butler }Charles Curtis (R)
1929-1933

Many who worked in President butlers admiration thought him incredibly arrogant. He attempted to appeal prohibition and failed. like otl. the d
depression cost him the presidency.

Franklyn Delano Rosevelt 1933-1945


Same as otl. (D)

Douglas Macarthur (R) 1953-1961

Korea is unified after great Korean war.

Lyndon Baines Johnson
1961-1964


Draged u.s. into war with cuba racial riots in early 60s
lost to California senator.


Richard Nixon
1965-1973


Known as one of the most honest men in washington brought peacefullend to u.s. cuba r war peaceul relations with u.ss.r

john Wayne
1973-78


first actor presidnet kept pananma canal.unfortunalty died in office.
Gerald Ford

79-81
couldn not keep u.s. out of recession.
Jimmy carter
1981-1985
considered by many a 2nd F.D.R.

SAW end of cold war. energy bill.electric cars.
 

Callan

Racist name by the way,
Published by SLP
Location
Toronto
This is a doozy of a list that I’ve been working on for a couple of week, more to get out of my system than anything else.

I didn’t intent to use so many non-OTL politicians, it’s just how it worked out. The PoD is vaguely in the 1880s/90s so I didn’t want to get too hung up on just using OTL politicians; and often it was simply that a non-pol figure with some political motivations was a better fit than any OTL figures. I feel like I have fictionalised anyone’s motives here, and that I can justify most of the non-politician figures I’ve used.

It’s also a hell of a lot longer than I originally thought it would be. With thanks to @moth who helped me brainstorm bits of this list and @Elektronaut did a list a while ago on the other place that heavily influenced this one.

1983-1994: Jeremy Ashdown (Labour)
1983 (Majority): Jean Barker (Centre), John Amery (Union), Neil Blaney (Saor Éire)
1987 (Minority): Honor Blackman (Centre), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Neil Blaney (Saor Éire)
1989 (Majority): Ian Gilmour (Centre), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Éire)
, Mike Hicks (Solidarity)

The Ashdown premiership came about entirely by chance: the abrupt death of David Lewis left the forces that had been snapping at the heels of his confused leadership unprepared and disorganised. This left Ashdown’s leadership bid not nearly as remote as it initially appeared, and he easily beat Dan Smith to the leadership on the final ballot. After Labour had languished in third for much of the seventies (the Centre and Union parties trading places for most of the seventies), Britain was ready to give Labour another chance and with a charismatic, highly-organised campaign Labour romped home to the largest majority since the electoral reforms of the thirties.

Ashdown sought to reshape Britain, invoking the Labour Government of the sixties in his rhetoric. But while Fred Copeman oversaw the nationalisations and mutualisations of vital industries, Ashdown took on a more populist stance, pouring billions into the welfare state and nationalising failing industries without much care the long term-sustainability of these industries, while courting the favour of big businesses for economic legitimacy.

A tightly-wound micromanager, Ashdown tolerated little opposition within his party, and purges of the higher ranks of the Labour became common. This intolerance of dissent extended to the trade unions, as Ashdown was determined to avoid the non-stop strikes that had plagued Barker and Amery’s governments. When his wage control policy led to an inevitable call for a general strike, the government responded with a brutal strikebreaking tactics and utilising Amery-era security legislation to break the trade union movement for decades to come. Such ruthlessness was lapped up by large swathes of the electorate, even as it allowed the far left to stir up for the first time in decades.

His autocratic tendencies at home contrasted with his multilateralism abroad; it was under Ashdown that the UK finally joined the German-dominated free trade area, poured money into international brigades fighting in the Amazon and led the effort for an armed intervention into the Persian Civil War.

The 1992 London Olympic proved to be Ashdown’s downfall. He had vocally campaigned for London to be chosen as a host, and had micromanaged large portions of the preparations. The games themselves were marred by fascist terror plots and the mounting financial black hole which nearly bankrupted the Greater London Council. While Whitehall ultimately picked up the tab, it only added to the central government’s budget woes. Ashdown’s populist campaigns of welfarism and tax cuts had been sustained by complaint Chancellors and mounting debt, which had become increasingly unsustainable as the long boom of the eighties subsided.

While still held in high regard on the left and with the public, he is held in less esteem by much of Britain’s liberal intelligentsia, who saw his tenure as leading to the fatal hollowing out of the Labour Party and the main cause of the crises that followed his time in office.

1994-1997: John Turner (Centre)
1994 (Minority): Jeremy Ashdown (Labour), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Honor Blackman (Radical), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Éire) Bob Hoskins (Solidarity)
1996 (Minority): Jeremy Ashdown (Labour), Ann Winterton (Union), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Eire), Rosie Barnes (Radical), Bob Hoskins (Solidarity), Jonathan Porritt (Ecology)


Turner was less of a compromise candidate for the leadership of the Centre Party and more the last man standing after eleven torrid years in opposition. For all of its sixty year history, the Centre Party’s founding liberal and conservative factions had been united by the principles of staying in power and keeping Labour out of it. A decisive failure to achieve both those goals had triggered mass bloodletting between its “Reform” and “Tory” factions which had allowed Ashdown to rule almost unchallenged. As Ashdown faltered, an exhausted party coalesced around the figure of Turner, who had managed short spells in all three great offices of state during the Barker years and had languished as the Next Prime Minister for even longer.

But like the ambiguous means he came to the leadership, his election victory was less an endorsement of Centrist Values (no one having yet resolved what they were) and more a sign of the exhaustion of his opponents. Without a majority or a mandate, he accomplished little in power. Shortly after the election it became clear that the books had been cooked even more than Turner had alleged during the campaign, and he was forced to row back most of his election promises, clamp down hard on austerity and take increasingly stringent terms from international financiers- all without a majority or anything close to a mandate. A snap election only added to the uncertainty, with Centre only creeping forward due to Labour slipping back. Frantic negotiations in New York and Geneva finally brought back a bailout package, but the strict term of austerity and denationalisations attached to it were politically toxic. With the opposition still scattered, Turner put the passing a bailout to a confidence vote. It didn’t work.

1997-1998: Peter Taaffe (Labour)

After a decade of Ashdown’s purges, he was finally dislodged by a previously staunch ally who only reinforced the tone of his predecessor’s party. Calling Turner’s bluff, he formed a government with the Ecologists and Centrist splitters. While he had a majority, he had no more of a mandate than Turner could muster.

Brought to power in a backlash against the bailout and the austerity that came with it, Taaffe found that it was impossible to extricate Britain from it’s situation. Promising a campaign of brinksmanship against the forces of international finance, parliament’s second rejection of the bailout was met with indifference in the international community. Escalating threats on both sides saw Marie Korbelova, Chair of the International Finance Organisation, turn into a hate figure across Britain. The brinksmanship led to a near-default, which in turn saw worldwide markets crash, the pound collapse, mass-bank runs and riots in the streets. Parliament finally blinked and pass the bailout package on the third go. While this modified version was in many ways more generous than the one Turner tried to put through, it was a colossal betrayal on Taaffe’s own terms, signing Britain up for decades of Austerity measures. Two hours after the bailout package passed through the Commons, Peter Taaffe announced his resignation from outside of Downing Street, his agenda and Britain’s reputation in tatters.

1998-2001: Greg Dyke (Labour)

Greg Dyke, who had maintained an innocuous profile as Education Secretary through all this carnage, got to pick up the pieces. While historians credit him for restoring stability to the streets of Britain and the financial markets of the world, his government merely drifted for three years, its agenda in tatters, forced to implement the same austerity agenda they had fought against. The Dyke government’s biggest achievements were with socially liberal legislation (an omnibus bill legalised same sex marriage and gender recognition certificates in one go) and overseas. The Dyke ministry finally brought troops back home from Persia and spearheading the League of Nations’ Space Agency, which twenty one installed a League-Mandated moonbase. While managing goodwill at home and abroad (and recovering Labour’s poll ratings slightly), voters were in no mood to forgive. Labour saw its worst election result since the 1910s and it’s coalition partners were wiped out.

2001-2006: Denis O'Brien (Centre)
2000 (Majority): John Pinninger (Union), Bob Hoskins (Solidarity), Bob Geldof (Saor Éire), Greg Dyke (Labour)
2005 (Coalition with National Labour): Eric Pickles (Solidarity-Left Unity), John Pinninger (Union), Mike Hancock (National Labour), Bob Geldof (Saor Éire), Frances O’ Grady (Independent Labour- Left Unity)

2006 Irish Independence Referendum: LEAVE 56%, STAY 44%

The Centre Party won the 2001 general election because they’d made no grand promises- people knew exactly what they were getting, even if it was more austerity. With a managerial sensibility and enough personal charisma, O’Brien promised a return to stability and living within his means.

The O’Brien Ministry was marked by an explosion in political violence, which has slowly risen during the nineties. The panic of ‘98, the “lost decade” of austerity and the collapse and fragmentation of the Labour Party empowered the far left and far right and their more favoured approaches of direct action. Street marches, clashes, riots, “disappearances” and even the occasional bombing became common, and that was nothing compared to what Irish Republicans were up to. There was a widespread feeling that O’Brien was losing control, exacerbated by how the National Constabulary increasingly functioned as a law unto itself. The attempted assassination of Home Secretary Trevor Philips was a low ebb that allowed for a half-hearted crackdown, and muddled the 2005 election enough to allow the Centre Party to cobble together a slim, if dysfunctional majority. But the economy was returning to proper growth, finally, marches were becoming less frequent and there were even murmurs from oversea about potential restructuring of Britain’s loans. All that was needed was some more time, some more consistency, and then maybe everything would be okay.

Then Ireland voted for Independence.

The Irish People’s Party (formerly the Irish Parliamentary Party) had ruled Ireland since Home Rule was established a century previously, but by the late 1990s a once formidable political machine had run down into nothing- O’Brien proved to be one of its last successes. In its place came a renewed Saor Éire which knew exactly what it wanted, and harnessed the unpopularity of the economic settlement (and the Prime Minister’s personal unpopularity in his home nation) against the union. O’Brien took an active, personal role in the “Stay” campaign and employed every resource at his disposal for it, while refusing to countenance what might happen it Ireland voted to Leave.

What no-one was quite expecting was Geldof to unilaterally declare independence a week after the vote, or O’Brien to try and disregard the it altogether. The long-time rivals were quickly superseded by events, as markets crashed once more and Volunteer groups on both sides began to mobilise. Every Saor Éire MP resigned their seat in the aftermath of the referendum and the governing coalition won most of the thirty confused, low-turnout by-elections, theoretically boosting the government’s position. In practice, O’Brien’s position was untenable and he was forced out by his cabinet as rioting in Dublin entered its third day.

2006-2007: Philip May (Centre)

A consummate placeholder, the rise of May to the Foreign Office (and then Downing Street) said more about the hollowing out of the Centre Party than the man’s own abilities. The Westminster government still technically refused to recognise the referendum but its grip on Ireland was tenuous at best. With the international reaction muted and confused at best (Germany took Britain’s side, not wanting to encourage secessionist movements at home, while America took a “wait and see” approach), May was reluctant to use force to quell the Irish situation. The “accidental” death of Geldof in a car accident left Saor Éire in diassaray, and Irish Republican leaders feuded with each other over the next course of action as Unionist groups in Ulster took up their pre-referendum promise to take up arms. In Edinburgh, Unionist Chief Minister Souter was of the view that the UK was finished and began making his own plans.

As the economy crashed, Parliament deadlocked and political violence on both islands escalating, May was in office but not in power. Following a failed parliamentary resolution to negotiate “sovereignty association” with the Irish Government, May went to the palace to ask the King for a dissolution of Parliament for an election Eric Pickles looked certain to win.

2007-2014: Clive Crook (Centre)
2009 (National Government): John Bercow (National Union), Caroline Flint (National Labour), Richard Barnbrook (Salvation), Terry Deary (Solidarity), George Monbiot (Alliance for Democracy), Various (Independent Nationals)

That could not be allowed to happen. Unbeknownst to May, a plot was underway restore stability to Britain and keep the communists out. What became known as “the Magic Circle” was a group of around a dozen or so prominent figures; members of the O’Brien and May cabinets, prominent businesspeople, the civil service, the odd trade union leader and backchannels to the palace. What finally secured the National Government was the co-operation of Union Party leader John Bercow, whose attempts to modernise his party were being increasingly thwarted by the far right who sought to remove people like Bercow from the party altogether. Abroad, they gained the support of foreign leaders and creditors, most notably America’s Liz Herring, who feared that Britain would merely be the latest domino in the “Red Tide”, which had seen Miguel Portillo elected President of Spain and Tariq Ali sweep to power in India.

While the events of March 2007 are often described as a putsch, most of it was constitutional. May went to the palace to request a dissolution of parliaments. On previous advice, the King refused, sending for former Chancellor Clive Crook. As soldiers were sent to “protect” landmarks, infrastructure and the headquarters of the National Broadcasting Service, Crook announced that he had been asked by the King to form a Government of National Unity, one with a sizeable majority across parliament but nonetheless prorogued to better deal with mounting crises. The army and the National Constabulary were given free reign to truly deal with terrorists and homegrown paramilitaries, although notably most of their successes were against communists.

Established in power, the National Government quickly turned to Ireland. By 2007 most Ireland was effectively an independent country, but one marred by political violence; sectarian violence in particular had made Belfast ungovernable and near lawless, the half-hearted British presence there accomplished nothing. Here, Crook and the National Government quickly leveraged their international connections. League of Nations Chair and former Russian Finance Minister Helena Mirronoff was an old colleague of Crook’s, and the League sanctioned a peacekeeping force for Ulster. Ratcheting up international pressure had the ideal result for the still-squabbling Irish Government, and by 2010 Ireland had formally left the union. The Treaty of Cardiff formally established the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the Commonwealth of Ireland and the Ulster Free State, the four Protestant-Majority Counties which formed a League Mandate which sent non-voting delegates to London and Dublin. Crook got the credit in Britain, President Galifianakis got the credit in America but it was newly-elected Premier of Ulster Kenneth Branagh who earned a Nobel Prize.

With Ireland largely dealt with, establishing electoral hegemony was easy. The mix of price controls, selective welfare expansions and the easing of austerity within the approval of Britain’s creditors earned the national government popularity. But the government still had their thumbs on the scale, with censorship and arbitrary detentions common. The civil service was purged, culminating in the public sacking of NBS chief Charles Kennedy. Eric Pickles and many of his Solidarity colleagues were arrested due to alleged complicity in far-left terrorist plots (never proven, but tied them up in court for years) and the Union Party’s Primrose League (known by almost all as the Blueshirts) “spontaneously” disrupted opposition meetings and protests. This left the opposition, scattered, confused and divided; and the National Government easily triumphed over a mix of proxies, convenient headbangers and the politically defective.


2014-2016: Tim Congdon (National)
2014 (Majority): Yvonne Ridley (Solidarity), David Myatt (Salvation), Jon Bartley (NeoLiberal)
2016-2019: Robert Webb (National)

With stability, growth and a smack of firm government achieved, Crook swapped jobs with his Chancellor. While the real power of the National Regime still lay with the “Magic Circle” who had founded it, the lacklustre successors to Crook showed that they couldn’t control all the strings. Congdon continued the economic boom that he had started as chancellor, enabled by high levels of foreign direct investment and a corporatist culture. But by the ten year anniversary of the National Government there was an increasing sense of stagnation and boredom amongst the prosperity and conservatism of the new Britain. The collapse of de Davilland and the literal collapse of Manchester’s Dell Centre became symbols of who was allowed to prosper in the new Britain and who got left behind.

The election of a leftist coalition in Germany (the first proper one in thirty years) added to the National Government’s beleaguerment. Reichskanzler Christian Klar had in opposition previously spoken against Germany’s role in the putsch, and even when tempered by the Berlin establishment he took a dim view of the National Government, who saw their relationship with their most important political and financial ally cool quickly. The Magic Circle was destabilised with Congdon’s retirement, Bercow’s scandals and the failing health of Peter Stringfellow, a one-time cabinet minister under O’Leary and chief financier for the National Government. The chief symptom of this dysfunction was Robert Webb. Personally charismatic but politically defective, Webb was prone to knee-jerk decisions and incoherent policy. His initial burst of popularity dissipated as corruption scandals mounted and he lost control of demagogic cabinet members like Jeremy Kyle who had previously served merely as useful conduits for the prejudices of the voters, but now signed off on increasingly dubious policies of social cleaning and persecution of dissidents. Webb’s heavy-handed response to student protests and associated strikes (and the international condemnation of them) threatened the National’s hegemony just months out from a general election.

2019-: Lorraine Kelly (National)
2019 (Majority): Yvonne Ridley (Solidarity), David Mayatt (Salvation), Sally Illman (NeoLiberal),
Next: Jeremy Kyle (New Union), Alan Milburn (Solidarity), Emily Thornberry and Jameela Burton-Jamil (Justice), Sally Illman (NeoLiberal)


Ultimately, a backroom putsch saw Webb announce his retirement through gritted teeth four months before the election. His replacement was a sign of the loosening grip of the Magic Circle; even just a year before a Minister of Kelly’s popularity and political independence would never have been allowed in a Great Office of State- it was a roll of the dice, if nothing else. Always on the liberal end of the National Government, Kelly was seen to be a breath of fresh air. The rejection of austerity economics after 25 years and anticorruption rhetoric would’ve easily won her a thumping majority even without the Nationals’ thumbs on the scale.

She took her mandate as an opportunity to purge out the corrupt and reactionary elements of the National Government, with Kyle and much of the Blueshirts cast out in a post-election reshuffle and put under investigation. Her, relaxation of censorship, denouncement of Kyle and the Blueshirts and releases of dissidents (including the increasingly frail Eric Pickles) earned her admiration at home and abroad. The Scottish Catholic with an Irish name was well-placed to finally normalise relations with the Irish Commonwealth. Her historic visit to Ireland and meeting with President Sinéad Cusack proving to be a high pint of her premiership, boosting her prestige even further. The Kelly Ministry was part of a zeitgeist of a global progressive awakening, embodied overseas by Russia’s van der Bellen and Persia’s Heideh Amanpour.

But as the economy slows down, the shine is beginning to wear off. With the Magic Circle enfeebled and divided, Kyle took the outraged and exiled far right and reformed it into a truly independent opposition party that snaps at Kelly’s heels. The left felt empowered by the denunciations of corruption, but felt outraged at Kelly’s refusal to truly change the confines of the regime (Clive Crook is still firmly ensconced at the Treasury, and the National Constabulary maintains a strong grip.). One of her earliest and most popular decisions (and biggest mistakes) was to refuse to dismiss Emily Thornberry as Director of Public Prosections, her own anti-corruption crusades having threatened many beneficiaries of the National Regime. Two years later Thornberry resigned anyway to form a new left-wing political outfit with Jameela Burton-Jamil, a leading figure in the student protests under Webb.

While still legitimately popular, the Kelly Ministry’s loosening grip is proving to be its saviour and it’s downfall, as Britain looks forward to its first genuinely competitive elections in nearly twenty years.
 
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Yokai Man

Well-known member
This is a doozy of a list that I’ve been working on for a couple of week, more to get out of my system than anything else.

I didn’t intent to use so many non-OTL politicians, it’s just how it worked out. The PoD is vaguely in the 1880s/90s so I didn’t want to get too hung up on just using OTL politicians; and often it was simply that a non-pol figure with some political motivations was a better fit than any OTL figures. I feel like I have fictionalised anyone’s motives here, and that I can justify most of the non-politician figures I’ve used.

It’s also a hell of a lot longer than I originally thought it would be.

1983-1994: Jeremy Ashdown (Labour)
1983 (Majority): Jean Barker (Centre), John Amery (Union), Neil Blaney (Saor Éire)
1987 (Minority): Honor Blackman (Centre), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Neil Blaney (Saor Éire)
1989 (Majority): Ian Gilmour (Centre), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Éire)
, Mike Hicks (Solidarity)

The Ashdown premiership came about entirely by chance: the abrupt death of David Lewis left the forces that had been snapping at the heels of his confused leadership unprepared and disorganised. This left Ashdown’s leadership bid not nearly as remote as it initially appeared, and he easily beat Dan Smith to the leadership on the final ballot. After Labour had languished in third for much of the seventies (the Centre and Union parties trading places for most of the seventies), Britain was ready to give Labour another chance and with a charismatic, highly-organised campaign Labour romped home to the largest majority since the electoral reforms of the thirties.

Ashdown sought to reshape Britain, invoking the Labour Government of the sixties in his rhetoric. But while Fred Copeman oversaw the nationalisations and mutualisations of vital industries, Ashdown took on a more populist stance, pouring billions into the welfare state and nationalising failing industries without much care the long term-sustainability of these industries, while courting the favour of big businesses for economic legitimacy.

A tightly-wound micromanager, Ashdown tolerated little opposition within his party, and purges of the higher ranks of the Labour became common. This intolerance of dissent extended to the trade unions, as Ashdown was determined to avoid the non-stop strikes that had plagued Barker and Amery’s governments. When his wage control policy led to an inevitable call for a general strike, the government responded with a brutal strikebreaking tactics and utilising Amery-era security legislation to break the trade union movement for decades to come. Such ruthlessness was lapped up by large swathes of the electorate, even as it allowed the far left to stir up for the first time in decades.

His autocratic tendencies at home contrasted with his multilateralism abroad; it was under Ashdown that the UK finally joined the German-dominated free trade area, poured money into international brigades fighting in the Amazon and led the effort for an armed intervention into the Persian Civil War.

The 1992 London Olympic proved to be Ashdown’s downfall. He had vocally campaigned for London to be chosen as a host, and had micromanaged large portions of the preparations. The games themselves were marred by fascist terror plots and the mounting financial black hole which nearly bankrupted the Greater London Council. While Whitehall ultimately picked up the tab, it only added to the central government’s budget woes. Ashdown’s populist campaigns of welfarism and tax cuts had been sustained by complaint Chancellors and mounting debt, which had become increasingly unsustainable as the long boom of the eighties subsided.

While still held in high regard on the left and with the public, he is held in less esteem by much of Britain’s liberal intelligentsia, who saw his tenure as leading to the fatal hollowing out of the Labour Party and the main cause of the crises that followed his time in office.

1994-1997: John Turner (Centre)
1994 (Minority): Jeremy Ashdown (Labour), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Honor Blackman (Radical), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Éire) Bob Hoskins (Solidarity)
1996 (Minority): Jeremy Ashdown (Labour), Ann Winterton (Union), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Eire), Rosie Barnes (Radical), Bob Hoskins (Solidarity), Jonathan Porritt (Ecology)


Turner was less of a compromise candidate for the leadership of the Centre Party and more the last man standing after eleven torrid years in opposition. For all of its sixty year history, the Centre Party’s founding liberal and conservative factions had been united by the principles of staying in power and keeping Labour out of it. A decisive failure to achieve both those goals had triggered mass bloodletting between its “Reform” and “Tory” factions which had allowed Ashdown to rule almost unchallenged. As Ashdown faltered, an exhausted party coalesced around the figure of Turner, who had managed short spells in all three great offices of state during the Barker years and had languished as the Next Prime Minister for even longer.

But like the ambiguous means he came to the leadership, his election victory was less an endorsement of Centrist Values (no one having yet resolved what they were) and more a sign of the exhaustion of his opponents. Without a majority or a mandate, he accomplished little in power. Shortly after the election it became clear that the books had been cooked even more than Turner had alleged during the campaign, and he was forced to row back most of his election promises, clamp down hard on austerity and take increasingly stringent terms from international financiers- all without a majority or anything close to a mandate. A snap election only added to the uncertainty, with Centre only creeping forward due to Labour slipping back. Frantic negotiations in New York and Geneva finally brought back a bailout package, but the strict term of austerity and denationalisations attached to it were politically toxic. With the opposition still scattered, Turner put the passing a bailout to a confidence vote. It didn’t work.

1997-1998: Peter Taaffe (Labour)

After a decade of Ashdown’s purges, he was finally dislodged by a previously staunch ally who only reinforced the tone of his predecessor’s party. Calling Turner’s bluff, he formed a government with the Ecologists and Centrist splitters. While he had a majority, he had no more of a mandate than Turner could muster.

Brought to power in a backlash against the bailout and the austerity that came with it, Taaffe found that it was impossible to extricate Britain from it’s situation. Promising a campaign of brinksmanship against the forces of international finance, parliament’s second rejection of the bailout was met with indifference in the international community. Escalating threats on both sides saw Marie Korbelova, Chair of the International Finance Organisation, turn into a hate figure across Britain. The brinksmanship led to a near-default, which in turn saw worldwide markets crash, the pound collapse, mass-bank runs and riots in the streets. Parliament finally blinked and pass the bailout package on the third go. While this modified version was in many ways more generous than the one Turner tried to put through, it was a colossal betrayal on Taaffe’s own terms, signing Britain up for decades of Austerity measures. Two hours after the bailout package passed through the Commons, Peter Taaffe announced his resignation from outside of Downing Street, his agenda and Britain’s reputation in tatters.

1998-2001: Greg Dyke (Labour)

Greg Dyke, who had maintained an innocuous profile as Education Secretary through all this carnage, got to pick up the pieces. While historians credit him for restoring stability to the streets of Britain and the financial markets of the world, his government merely drifted for three years, its agenda in tatters, forced to implement the same austerity agenda they had fought against. The Dyke government’s biggest achievements were with socially liberal legislation (an omnibus bill legalised same sex marriage and gender recognition certificates in one go) and overseas. The Dyke ministry finally brought troops back home from Persia and spearheading the League of Nations’ Space Agency, which twenty one installed a League-Mandated moonbase. While managing goodwill at home and abroad (and recovering Labour’s poll ratings slightly), voters were in no mood to forgive. Labour saw its worst election result since the 1910s and it’s coalition partners were wiped out.

2001-2006: Denis O'Brien (Centre)
2000 (Majority): John Pinninger (Union), Bob Hoskins (Solidarity), Bob Geldof (Saor Éire), Greg Dyke (Labour)
2005 (Coalition with National Labour): Eric Pickles (Solidarity-Left Unity), John Pinninger (Union), Mike Hancock (National Labour), Bob Geldof (Saor Éire), Frances O’ Grady (Independent Labour- Left Unity)

2006 Irish Independence Referendum: LEAVE 56%, STAY 44%

The Centre Party won the 2001 general election because they’d made no grand promises- people knew exactly what they were getting, even if it was more austerity. With a managerial sensibility and enough personal charisma, O’Brien promised a return to stability and living within his means.

The O’Brien Ministry was marked by an explosion in political violence, which has slowly risen during the nineties. The panic of ‘98, the “lost decade” of austerity and the collapse and fragmentation of the Labour Party empowered the far left and far right and their more favoured approaches of direct action. Street marches, clashes, riots, “disappearances” and even the occasional bombing became common, and that was nothing compared to what Irish Republicans were up to. There was a widespread feeling that O’Brien was losing control, exacerbated by how the National Constabulary increasingly functioned as a law unto itself. The attempted assassination of Home Secretary Trevor Philips was a low ebb that allowed for a half-hearted crackdown, and muddled the 2005 election enough to allow the Centre Party to cobble together a slim, if dysfunctional majority. But the economy was returning to proper growth, finally, marches were becoming less frequent and there were even murmurs from oversea about potential restructuring of Britain’s loans. All that was needed was some more time, some more consistency, and then maybe everything would be okay.

Then Ireland voted for Independence.

The Irish People’s Party (formerly the Irish Parliamentary Party) had ruled Ireland since Home Rule was established a century previously, but by the late 1990s a once formidable political machine had run down into nothing- O’Brien proved to be one of its last successes. In its place came a renewed Saor Éire which knew exactly what it wanted, and harnessed the unpopularity of the economic settlement (and the Prime Minister’s personal unpopularity in his home nation) against the union. O’Brien took an active, personal role in the “Stay” campaign and employed every resource at his disposal for it, while refusing to countenance what might happen it Ireland voted to Leave.

What no-one was quite expecting was Geldof to unilaterally declare independence a week after the vote, or O’Brien to try and disregard the it altogether. The long-time rivals were quickly superseded by events, as markets crashed once more and Volunteer groups on both sides began to mobilise. Every Saor Éire MP resigned their seat in the aftermath of the referendum and the governing coalition won most of the thirty confused, low-turnout by-elections, theoretically boosting the government’s position. In practice, O’Brien’s position was untenable and he was forced out by his cabinet as rioting in Dublin entered its third day.

2006-2007: Philip May (Centre)

A consummate placeholder, the rise of May to the Foreign Office (and then Downing Street) said more about the hollowing out of the Centre Party than the man’s own abilities. The Westminster government still technically refused to recognise the referendum but its grip on Ireland was tenuous at best. With the international reaction muted and confused at best (Germany took Britain’s side, not wanting to encourage secessionist movements at home, while America took a “wait and see” approach), May was reluctant to use force to quell the Irish situation. The “accidental” death of Geldof in a car accident left Saor Éire in diassaray, and Irish Republican leaders feuded with each other over the next course of action as Unionist groups in Ulster took up their pre-referendum promise to take up arms. In Edinburgh, Unionist Chief Minister Souter was of the view that the UK was finished and began making his own plans.

As the economy crashed, Parliament deadlocked and political violence on both islands escalating, May was in office but not in power. Following a failed parliamentary resolution to negotiate “sovereignty association” with the Irish Government, May went to the palace to ask the King for a dissolution of Parliament for an election Eric Pickles looked certain to win.

2007-2014: Clive Crook (Centre)
2009 (National Government): John Bercow (National Union), Caroline Flint (National Labour), Richard Barnbrook (Salvation), Terry Deary (Solidarity), George Monbiot (Alliance for Democracy), Various (Independent Nationals)

That could not be allowed to happen. Unbeknownst to May, a plot was underway restore stability to Britain and keep the communists out. What became known as “the Magic Circle” was a group of around a dozen or so prominent figures; members of the O’Brien and May cabinets, prominent businesspeople, the civil service, the odd trade union leader and backchannels to the palace. What finally secured the National Government was the co-operation of Union Party leader John Bercow, whose attempts to modernise his party were being increasingly thwarted by the far right who sought to remove people like Bercow from the party altogether. Abroad, they gained the support of foreign leaders and creditors, most notably America’s Liz Herring, who feared that Britain would merely be the latest domino in the “Red Tide”, which had seen Miguel Portillo elected President of Spain and Tariq Ali sweep to power in India.

While the events of March 2007 are often described as a putsch, most of it was constitutional. May went to the palace to request a dissolution of parliaments. On previous advice, the King refused, sending for former Chancellor Clive Crook. As soldiers were sent to “protect” landmarks, infrastructure and the headquarters of the National Broadcasting Service, Crook announced that he had been asked by the King to form a Government of National Unity, one with a sizeable majority across parliament but nonetheless prorogued to better deal with mounting crises. The army and the National Constabulary were given free reign to truly deal with terrorists and homegrown paramilitaries, although notably most of their successes were against communists.

Established in power, the National Government quickly turned to Ireland. By 2007 most Ireland was effectively an independent country, but one marred by political violence; sectarian violence in particular had made Belfast ungovernable and near lawless, the half-hearted British presence there accomplished nothing. Here, Crook and the National Government quickly leveraged their international connections. League of Nations Chair and former Russian Finance Minister Helena Mirronoff was an old colleague of Crook’s, and the League sanctioned a peacekeeping force for Ulster. Ratcheting up international pressure had the ideal result for the still-squabbling Irish Government, and by 2010 Ireland had formally left the union. The Treaty of Cardiff formally established the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the Commonwealth of Ireland and the Ulster Free State, the four Protestant-Majority Counties which formed a League Mandate which sent non-voting delegates to London and Dublin. Crook got the credit in Britain, President Galifianakis got the credit in America but it was newly-elected Premier of Ulster Kenneth Branagh who earned a Nobel Prize.

With Ireland largely dealt with, establishing electoral hegemony was easy. The mix of price controls, selective welfare expansions and the easing of austerity within the approval of Britain’s creditors earned the national government popularity. But the government still had their thumbs on the scale, with censorship and arbitrary detentions common. The civil service was purged, culminating in the public sacking of NBS chief Charles Kennedy. Eric Pickles and many of his Solidarity colleagues were arrested due to alleged complicity in far-left terrorist plots (never proven, but tied them up in court for years) and the Union Party’s Primrose League (known by almost all as the Blueshirts) “spontaneously” disrupted opposition meetings and protests. This left the opposition, scattered, confused and divided; and the National Government easily triumphed over a mix of proxies, convenient headbangers and the politically defective.


2014-2016: Tim Congdon (National)
2014 (Majority): Yvonne Ridley (Solidarity), David Myatt (Salvation), Jon Bartley (NeoLiberal)
2016-2019: Robert Webb (National)

With stability, growth and a smack of firm government achieved, Crook swapped jobs with his Chancellor. While the real power of the National Regime still lay with the “Magic Circle” who had founded it, the lacklustre successors to Crook showed that they couldn’t control all the strings. Congdon continued the economic boom that he had started as chancellor, enabled by high levels of foreign direct investment and a corporatist culture. But by the ten year anniversary of the National Government there was an increasing sense of stagnation and boredom amongst the prosperity and conservatism of the new Britain. The collapse of de Davilland and the literal collapse of Manchester’s Dell Centre became symbols of who was allowed to prosper in the new Britain and who got left behind.

The election of a leftist coalition in Germany (the first proper one in thirty years) added to the National Government’s beleaguerment. Reichskanzler Christian Klar had in opposition previously spoken against Germany’s role in the putsch, and even when tempered by the Berlin establishment he took a dim view of the National Government, who saw their relationship with their most important political and financial ally cool quickly. The Magic Circle was destabilised with Congdon’s retirement, Bercow’s scandals and the failing health of Peter Stringfellow, a one-time cabinet minister under O’Leary and chief financier for the National Government. The chief symptom of this dysfunction was Robert Webb. Personally charismatic but politically defective, Webb was prone to knee-jerk decisions and incoherent policy. His initial burst of popularity dissipated as corruption scandals mounted and he lost control of demagogic cabinet members like Jeremy Kyle who had previously served merely as useful conduits for the prejudices of the voters, but now signed off on increasingly dubious policies of social cleaning and persecution of dissidents. Webb’s heavy-handed response to student protests and associated strikes (and the international condemnation of them) threatened the National’s hegemony just months out from a general election.

2019-: Lorraine Kelly (National)
2019 (Majority): Yvonne Ridley (Solidarity), David Mayatt (Salvation), Sally Illman (NeoLiberal),
Next: Jeremy Kyle (New Union), Alan Milburn (Solidarity), Emily Thornberry and Jameela Burton-Jamil (Justice), Sally Illman (NeoLiberal)


Ultimately, a backroom putsch saw Webb announce his retirement through gritted teeth four months before the election. His replacement was a sign of the loosening grip of the Magic Circle; even just a year before a Minister of Kelly’s popularity and political independence would never have been allowed in a Great Office of State- it was a roll of the dice, if nothing else. Always on the liberal end of the National Government, Kelly was seen to be a breath of fresh air. The rejection of austerity economics after 25 years and anticorruption rhetoric would’ve easily won her a thumping majority even without the Nationals’ thumbs on the scale.

She took her mandate as an opportunity to purge out the corrupt and reactionary elements of the National Government, with Kyle and much of the Blueshirts cast out in a post-election reshuffle and put under investigation. Her, relaxation of censorship, denouncement of Kyle and the Blueshirts and releases of dissidents (including the increasingly frail Eric Pickles) earned her admiration at home and abroad. The Scottish Catholic with an Irish name was well-placed to finally normalise relations with the Irish Commonwealth. Her historic visit to Ireland and meeting with President Sinéad Cusack proving to be a high pint of her premiership, boosting her prestige even further. The Kelly Ministry was part of a zeitgeist of a global progressive awakening, embodied overseas by Russia’s van der Bellen and Persia’s Heideh Amanpour.

But as the economy slows down, the shine is beginning to wear off. With the Magic Circle enfeebled and divided, Kyle took the outraged and exiled far right and reformed it into a truly independent opposition party that snaps at Kelly’s heels. The left felt empowered by the denunciations of corruption, but felt outraged at Lelly refusal to truly change the confines of the regime (Clive Crook is still firmly ensconced at the Treasury, and the National Constabulary maintains a strong grip.). One of her earliest and most popular decisions (and biggest mistakes) was to refuse to dismiss Emily Thornberry as Director of Public Prosections, her own anti-corruption crusades having threatened many beneficiaries of the National Regime. Two years later Thornberry resigned anyway to form a new left-wing political outfit with Jameela Burton-Jamil, a leading figure in the student protests under Webb.

While still legitimately popular, the Kelly Ministry’s loosening grip is proving to be its saviour and it’s downfall, as Britain looks forward to its first genuinely competitive elections in nearly twenty years.
Ohhh,I like this.I always look forward to your writing.

Say,what WAS the POD?
 

Elephant_trail

Active member
Gone Fishing
1972: Edmund muskie {Wilbur Miles

def.Richard M.Nixon}Spiro Agnew

1976 Edmund muskie {Wilbur Miles

def.Ronald Reagan}Gerald Ford

1980
Charles Percy}Howard Baker
def. Wilbur miles [Jimmy carter
1984 Charles Percy}Howard Baker
def.Gary Hart]john Glenn

1. The presidency of Edmund Muskie
elected to senator of Maine mostly a republican state.I n 1968 Muskie was the unsuccessful running mate to Humphrey in 68 .4 years later he narrowly won nomination despite fowl play from the othe rside. defeated President Nixon in a close election.
reelected with a good economy the veitnam war over.
2. Percy was a rare breed, a Rockefeler Republican run after the conservative lost in 76. Percy ran unsuccessfully for governor of illinois. in 64 successfully elected senator in 67of illinois. last cold war president..last Libaral republican elected in 21 st century;;
 

Elektronaut

Opinions from the Student Union
This is a doozy of a list that I’ve been working on for a couple of week, more to get out of my system than anything else.

I didn’t intent to use so many non-OTL politicians, it’s just how it worked out. The PoD is vaguely in the 1880s/90s so I didn’t want to get too hung up on just using OTL politicians; and often it was simply that a non-pol figure with some political motivations was a better fit than any OTL figures. I feel like I have fictionalised anyone’s motives here, and that I can justify most of the non-politician figures I’ve used.

It’s also a hell of a lot longer than I originally thought it would be.

1983-1994: Jeremy Ashdown (Labour)
1983 (Majority): Jean Barker (Centre), John Amery (Union), Neil Blaney (Saor Éire)
1987 (Minority): Honor Blackman (Centre), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Neil Blaney (Saor Éire)
1989 (Majority): Ian Gilmour (Centre), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Éire)
, Mike Hicks (Solidarity)

The Ashdown premiership came about entirely by chance: the abrupt death of David Lewis left the forces that had been snapping at the heels of his confused leadership unprepared and disorganised. This left Ashdown’s leadership bid not nearly as remote as it initially appeared, and he easily beat Dan Smith to the leadership on the final ballot. After Labour had languished in third for much of the seventies (the Centre and Union parties trading places for most of the seventies), Britain was ready to give Labour another chance and with a charismatic, highly-organised campaign Labour romped home to the largest majority since the electoral reforms of the thirties.

Ashdown sought to reshape Britain, invoking the Labour Government of the sixties in his rhetoric. But while Fred Copeman oversaw the nationalisations and mutualisations of vital industries, Ashdown took on a more populist stance, pouring billions into the welfare state and nationalising failing industries without much care the long term-sustainability of these industries, while courting the favour of big businesses for economic legitimacy.

A tightly-wound micromanager, Ashdown tolerated little opposition within his party, and purges of the higher ranks of the Labour became common. This intolerance of dissent extended to the trade unions, as Ashdown was determined to avoid the non-stop strikes that had plagued Barker and Amery’s governments. When his wage control policy led to an inevitable call for a general strike, the government responded with a brutal strikebreaking tactics and utilising Amery-era security legislation to break the trade union movement for decades to come. Such ruthlessness was lapped up by large swathes of the electorate, even as it allowed the far left to stir up for the first time in decades.

His autocratic tendencies at home contrasted with his multilateralism abroad; it was under Ashdown that the UK finally joined the German-dominated free trade area, poured money into international brigades fighting in the Amazon and led the effort for an armed intervention into the Persian Civil War.

The 1992 London Olympic proved to be Ashdown’s downfall. He had vocally campaigned for London to be chosen as a host, and had micromanaged large portions of the preparations. The games themselves were marred by fascist terror plots and the mounting financial black hole which nearly bankrupted the Greater London Council. While Whitehall ultimately picked up the tab, it only added to the central government’s budget woes. Ashdown’s populist campaigns of welfarism and tax cuts had been sustained by complaint Chancellors and mounting debt, which had become increasingly unsustainable as the long boom of the eighties subsided.

While still held in high regard on the left and with the public, he is held in less esteem by much of Britain’s liberal intelligentsia, who saw his tenure as leading to the fatal hollowing out of the Labour Party and the main cause of the crises that followed his time in office.

1994-1997: John Turner (Centre)
1994 (Minority): Jeremy Ashdown (Labour), Ricky Tomlinson (Union), Honor Blackman (Radical), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Éire) Bob Hoskins (Solidarity)
1996 (Minority): Jeremy Ashdown (Labour), Ann Winterton (Union), Eamon Dunphy (Saor Eire), Rosie Barnes (Radical), Bob Hoskins (Solidarity), Jonathan Porritt (Ecology)


Turner was less of a compromise candidate for the leadership of the Centre Party and more the last man standing after eleven torrid years in opposition. For all of its sixty year history, the Centre Party’s founding liberal and conservative factions had been united by the principles of staying in power and keeping Labour out of it. A decisive failure to achieve both those goals had triggered mass bloodletting between its “Reform” and “Tory” factions which had allowed Ashdown to rule almost unchallenged. As Ashdown faltered, an exhausted party coalesced around the figure of Turner, who had managed short spells in all three great offices of state during the Barker years and had languished as the Next Prime Minister for even longer.

But like the ambiguous means he came to the leadership, his election victory was less an endorsement of Centrist Values (no one having yet resolved what they were) and more a sign of the exhaustion of his opponents. Without a majority or a mandate, he accomplished little in power. Shortly after the election it became clear that the books had been cooked even more than Turner had alleged during the campaign, and he was forced to row back most of his election promises, clamp down hard on austerity and take increasingly stringent terms from international financiers- all without a majority or anything close to a mandate. A snap election only added to the uncertainty, with Centre only creeping forward due to Labour slipping back. Frantic negotiations in New York and Geneva finally brought back a bailout package, but the strict term of austerity and denationalisations attached to it were politically toxic. With the opposition still scattered, Turner put the passing a bailout to a confidence vote. It didn’t work.

1997-1998: Peter Taaffe (Labour)

After a decade of Ashdown’s purges, he was finally dislodged by a previously staunch ally who only reinforced the tone of his predecessor’s party. Calling Turner’s bluff, he formed a government with the Ecologists and Centrist splitters. While he had a majority, he had no more of a mandate than Turner could muster.

Brought to power in a backlash against the bailout and the austerity that came with it, Taaffe found that it was impossible to extricate Britain from it’s situation. Promising a campaign of brinksmanship against the forces of international finance, parliament’s second rejection of the bailout was met with indifference in the international community. Escalating threats on both sides saw Marie Korbelova, Chair of the International Finance Organisation, turn into a hate figure across Britain. The brinksmanship led to a near-default, which in turn saw worldwide markets crash, the pound collapse, mass-bank runs and riots in the streets. Parliament finally blinked and pass the bailout package on the third go. While this modified version was in many ways more generous than the one Turner tried to put through, it was a colossal betrayal on Taaffe’s own terms, signing Britain up for decades of Austerity measures. Two hours after the bailout package passed through the Commons, Peter Taaffe announced his resignation from outside of Downing Street, his agenda and Britain’s reputation in tatters.

1998-2001: Greg Dyke (Labour)

Greg Dyke, who had maintained an innocuous profile as Education Secretary through all this carnage, got to pick up the pieces. While historians credit him for restoring stability to the streets of Britain and the financial markets of the world, his government merely drifted for three years, its agenda in tatters, forced to implement the same austerity agenda they had fought against. The Dyke government’s biggest achievements were with socially liberal legislation (an omnibus bill legalised same sex marriage and gender recognition certificates in one go) and overseas. The Dyke ministry finally brought troops back home from Persia and spearheading the League of Nations’ Space Agency, which twenty one installed a League-Mandated moonbase. While managing goodwill at home and abroad (and recovering Labour’s poll ratings slightly), voters were in no mood to forgive. Labour saw its worst election result since the 1910s and it’s coalition partners were wiped out.

2001-2006: Denis O'Brien (Centre)
2000 (Majority): John Pinninger (Union), Bob Hoskins (Solidarity), Bob Geldof (Saor Éire), Greg Dyke (Labour)
2005 (Coalition with National Labour): Eric Pickles (Solidarity-Left Unity), John Pinninger (Union), Mike Hancock (National Labour), Bob Geldof (Saor Éire), Frances O’ Grady (Independent Labour- Left Unity)

2006 Irish Independence Referendum: LEAVE 56%, STAY 44%

The Centre Party won the 2001 general election because they’d made no grand promises- people knew exactly what they were getting, even if it was more austerity. With a managerial sensibility and enough personal charisma, O’Brien promised a return to stability and living within his means.

The O’Brien Ministry was marked by an explosion in political violence, which has slowly risen during the nineties. The panic of ‘98, the “lost decade” of austerity and the collapse and fragmentation of the Labour Party empowered the far left and far right and their more favoured approaches of direct action. Street marches, clashes, riots, “disappearances” and even the occasional bombing became common, and that was nothing compared to what Irish Republicans were up to. There was a widespread feeling that O’Brien was losing control, exacerbated by how the National Constabulary increasingly functioned as a law unto itself. The attempted assassination of Home Secretary Trevor Philips was a low ebb that allowed for a half-hearted crackdown, and muddled the 2005 election enough to allow the Centre Party to cobble together a slim, if dysfunctional majority. But the economy was returning to proper growth, finally, marches were becoming less frequent and there were even murmurs from oversea about potential restructuring of Britain’s loans. All that was needed was some more time, some more consistency, and then maybe everything would be okay.

Then Ireland voted for Independence.

The Irish People’s Party (formerly the Irish Parliamentary Party) had ruled Ireland since Home Rule was established a century previously, but by the late 1990s a once formidable political machine had run down into nothing- O’Brien proved to be one of its last successes. In its place came a renewed Saor Éire which knew exactly what it wanted, and harnessed the unpopularity of the economic settlement (and the Prime Minister’s personal unpopularity in his home nation) against the union. O’Brien took an active, personal role in the “Stay” campaign and employed every resource at his disposal for it, while refusing to countenance what might happen it Ireland voted to Leave.

What no-one was quite expecting was Geldof to unilaterally declare independence a week after the vote, or O’Brien to try and disregard the it altogether. The long-time rivals were quickly superseded by events, as markets crashed once more and Volunteer groups on both sides began to mobilise. Every Saor Éire MP resigned their seat in the aftermath of the referendum and the governing coalition won most of the thirty confused, low-turnout by-elections, theoretically boosting the government’s position. In practice, O’Brien’s position was untenable and he was forced out by his cabinet as rioting in Dublin entered its third day.

2006-2007: Philip May (Centre)

A consummate placeholder, the rise of May to the Foreign Office (and then Downing Street) said more about the hollowing out of the Centre Party than the man’s own abilities. The Westminster government still technically refused to recognise the referendum but its grip on Ireland was tenuous at best. With the international reaction muted and confused at best (Germany took Britain’s side, not wanting to encourage secessionist movements at home, while America took a “wait and see” approach), May was reluctant to use force to quell the Irish situation. The “accidental” death of Geldof in a car accident left Saor Éire in diassaray, and Irish Republican leaders feuded with each other over the next course of action as Unionist groups in Ulster took up their pre-referendum promise to take up arms. In Edinburgh, Unionist Chief Minister Souter was of the view that the UK was finished and began making his own plans.

As the economy crashed, Parliament deadlocked and political violence on both islands escalating, May was in office but not in power. Following a failed parliamentary resolution to negotiate “sovereignty association” with the Irish Government, May went to the palace to ask the King for a dissolution of Parliament for an election Eric Pickles looked certain to win.

2007-2014: Clive Crook (Centre)
2009 (National Government): John Bercow (National Union), Caroline Flint (National Labour), Richard Barnbrook (Salvation), Terry Deary (Solidarity), George Monbiot (Alliance for Democracy), Various (Independent Nationals)

That could not be allowed to happen. Unbeknownst to May, a plot was underway restore stability to Britain and keep the communists out. What became known as “the Magic Circle” was a group of around a dozen or so prominent figures; members of the O’Brien and May cabinets, prominent businesspeople, the civil service, the odd trade union leader and backchannels to the palace. What finally secured the National Government was the co-operation of Union Party leader John Bercow, whose attempts to modernise his party were being increasingly thwarted by the far right who sought to remove people like Bercow from the party altogether. Abroad, they gained the support of foreign leaders and creditors, most notably America’s Liz Herring, who feared that Britain would merely be the latest domino in the “Red Tide”, which had seen Miguel Portillo elected President of Spain and Tariq Ali sweep to power in India.

While the events of March 2007 are often described as a putsch, most of it was constitutional. May went to the palace to request a dissolution of parliaments. On previous advice, the King refused, sending for former Chancellor Clive Crook. As soldiers were sent to “protect” landmarks, infrastructure and the headquarters of the National Broadcasting Service, Crook announced that he had been asked by the King to form a Government of National Unity, one with a sizeable majority across parliament but nonetheless prorogued to better deal with mounting crises. The army and the National Constabulary were given free reign to truly deal with terrorists and homegrown paramilitaries, although notably most of their successes were against communists.

Established in power, the National Government quickly turned to Ireland. By 2007 most Ireland was effectively an independent country, but one marred by political violence; sectarian violence in particular had made Belfast ungovernable and near lawless, the half-hearted British presence there accomplished nothing. Here, Crook and the National Government quickly leveraged their international connections. League of Nations Chair and former Russian Finance Minister Helena Mirronoff was an old colleague of Crook’s, and the League sanctioned a peacekeeping force for Ulster. Ratcheting up international pressure had the ideal result for the still-squabbling Irish Government, and by 2010 Ireland had formally left the union. The Treaty of Cardiff formally established the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the Commonwealth of Ireland and the Ulster Free State, the four Protestant-Majority Counties which formed a League Mandate which sent non-voting delegates to London and Dublin. Crook got the credit in Britain, President Galifianakis got the credit in America but it was newly-elected Premier of Ulster Kenneth Branagh who earned a Nobel Prize.

With Ireland largely dealt with, establishing electoral hegemony was easy. The mix of price controls, selective welfare expansions and the easing of austerity within the approval of Britain’s creditors earned the national government popularity. But the government still had their thumbs on the scale, with censorship and arbitrary detentions common. The civil service was purged, culminating in the public sacking of NBS chief Charles Kennedy. Eric Pickles and many of his Solidarity colleagues were arrested due to alleged complicity in far-left terrorist plots (never proven, but tied them up in court for years) and the Union Party’s Primrose League (known by almost all as the Blueshirts) “spontaneously” disrupted opposition meetings and protests. This left the opposition, scattered, confused and divided; and the National Government easily triumphed over a mix of proxies, convenient headbangers and the politically defective.


2014-2016: Tim Congdon (National)
2014 (Majority): Yvonne Ridley (Solidarity), David Myatt (Salvation), Jon Bartley (NeoLiberal)
2016-2019: Robert Webb (National)

With stability, growth and a smack of firm government achieved, Crook swapped jobs with his Chancellor. While the real power of the National Regime still lay with the “Magic Circle” who had founded it, the lacklustre successors to Crook showed that they couldn’t control all the strings. Congdon continued the economic boom that he had started as chancellor, enabled by high levels of foreign direct investment and a corporatist culture. But by the ten year anniversary of the National Government there was an increasing sense of stagnation and boredom amongst the prosperity and conservatism of the new Britain. The collapse of de Davilland and the literal collapse of Manchester’s Dell Centre became symbols of who was allowed to prosper in the new Britain and who got left behind.

The election of a leftist coalition in Germany (the first proper one in thirty years) added to the National Government’s beleaguerment. Reichskanzler Christian Klar had in opposition previously spoken against Germany’s role in the putsch, and even when tempered by the Berlin establishment he took a dim view of the National Government, who saw their relationship with their most important political and financial ally cool quickly. The Magic Circle was destabilised with Congdon’s retirement, Bercow’s scandals and the failing health of Peter Stringfellow, a one-time cabinet minister under O’Leary and chief financier for the National Government. The chief symptom of this dysfunction was Robert Webb. Personally charismatic but politically defective, Webb was prone to knee-jerk decisions and incoherent policy. His initial burst of popularity dissipated as corruption scandals mounted and he lost control of demagogic cabinet members like Jeremy Kyle who had previously served merely as useful conduits for the prejudices of the voters, but now signed off on increasingly dubious policies of social cleaning and persecution of dissidents. Webb’s heavy-handed response to student protests and associated strikes (and the international condemnation of them) threatened the National’s hegemony just months out from a general election.

2019-: Lorraine Kelly (National)
2019 (Majority): Yvonne Ridley (Solidarity), David Mayatt (Salvation), Sally Illman (NeoLiberal),
Next: Jeremy Kyle (New Union), Alan Milburn (Solidarity), Emily Thornberry and Jameela Burton-Jamil (Justice), Sally Illman (NeoLiberal)


Ultimately, a backroom putsch saw Webb announce his retirement through gritted teeth four months before the election. His replacement was a sign of the loosening grip of the Magic Circle; even just a year before a Minister of Kelly’s popularity and political independence would never have been allowed in a Great Office of State- it was a roll of the dice, if nothing else. Always on the liberal end of the National Government, Kelly was seen to be a breath of fresh air. The rejection of austerity economics after 25 years and anticorruption rhetoric would’ve easily won her a thumping majority even without the Nationals’ thumbs on the scale.

She took her mandate as an opportunity to purge out the corrupt and reactionary elements of the National Government, with Kyle and much of the Blueshirts cast out in a post-election reshuffle and put under investigation. Her, relaxation of censorship, denouncement of Kyle and the Blueshirts and releases of dissidents (including the increasingly frail Eric Pickles) earned her admiration at home and abroad. The Scottish Catholic with an Irish name was well-placed to finally normalise relations with the Irish Commonwealth. Her historic visit to Ireland and meeting with President Sinéad Cusack proving to be a high pint of her premiership, boosting her prestige even further. The Kelly Ministry was part of a zeitgeist of a global progressive awakening, embodied overseas by Russia’s van der Bellen and Persia’s Heideh Amanpour.

But as the economy slows down, the shine is beginning to wear off. With the Magic Circle enfeebled and divided, Kyle took the outraged and exiled far right and reformed it into a truly independent opposition party that snaps at Kelly’s heels. The left felt empowered by the denunciations of corruption, but felt outraged at Kelly’s refusal to truly change the confines of the regime (Clive Crook is still firmly ensconced at the Treasury, and the National Constabulary maintains a strong grip.). One of her earliest and most popular decisions (and biggest mistakes) was to refuse to dismiss Emily Thornberry as Director of Public Prosections, her own anti-corruption crusades having threatened many beneficiaries of the National Regime. Two years later Thornberry resigned anyway to form a new left-wing political outfit with Jameela Burton-Jamil, a leading figure in the student protests under Webb.

While still legitimately popular, the Kelly Ministry’s loosening grip is proving to be its saviour and it’s downfall, as Britain looks forward to its first genuinely competitive elections in nearly twenty years.
This is great. Am I being too self-regarding to detect a hint of inspiration from my list on the old board?
 
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