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Tibby's Graphics and Grab-Bag Thread.

Turquoise Blue

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After a long period of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that my old map of "Further Madagascar"/the raised Mascarene Plateau was completely unrealistic and based on nothing but an old, very old map a decade ago. Hence I have gone to the effort to make it actually like the Mascarene Plateau.

A comparison is below. Old one is the left, new one on the right.
old further madagascar.png
 

Turquoise Blue

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Also because today is a day of reflection and destroying bits of the map that I were deeply unhappy with, the state of Romani that is on the map, taking parts of Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria in OTL, is gone. Totally. This is what the map of that area currently looks like.

1623018017219.png

But does that mean there's no state for the Romani? Far from it, as I have now implemented a massive change. I already established that this state of Romani was far more than the land allocated to it, and that all Romani, as long as they register with the organisation, are recognised as citizens of the "Union of the Romani Nation". That was my attempt at representing how a state representing a traditionally itinerant people would work.

That has been kept. The Romani Nation is an internationally-recognised "culture-state" without any set land borders. The state represents the people, and not any firm land permanently apart from embassies [including the permanent delegation at the Concord of Nations].

Now how do I represent this non-land state on my map? Well, that's where the change comes in.
1623018379811.png

Before this was just some map keys for a blank QBam. I've repurposed it. It'll be used for nations that cannot be represented adequately on the map.
 
Morning in America: Julia Casanova

Turquoise Blue

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Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

Name: Juliana Maria Pia Luna "Julia" Casanova
Age/Date of Birth: 41 y/o (born 14 September 1943)
Political Party (Faction): Republican (Libertarian)
Occupations and List of Offices:
Businesswoman (of a medium-sized import/export company)
Biography: Julia Casanova is if anything a consummate woman keenly aware of her image. She spends a lot of her time perfecting how she comes across to others, keenly aware that in those junta years, a woman in the business sphere is walking on extremely thin ice. Known to be an economic libertarian, she privately dislikes the junta regulations and would like for America to have a free economy. Privately, she wishes for the same on the social sphere, seeing the government as too controlling on the people both economically and socially.

Back before the junta years, she was somewhat of a 'rebel', but had enough nous to realise that if she continued like that, she would be dead soon, and hence she returned to her family and through extensive persuasion, got a middling position in her family's import business (nepotism, of course, and it still remains seen as that to some even now), and really worked on her image to ensure that even the most crusty of misogynists see her as 'respectable'. She has not married, which is by far the main grievance (beyond daring to be in business in the first place) that people have with her.

Charisma - 5
Organization - 3
Command - 1
Jive - 4
Chicanery - 4
The Future of The Country -
It is quite self-evident that people consume better and make purchases and sales far better when their government is a democracy. A dictatorship leads to a cooling of capital. We should see to restore democracy. Something new? Well, I can tell you that a good brand is gold with customers, and the old Constitution still remains gold with many. No need to rock the boat, just put in an amendment forbidding new acts of reconstitution.

Race and Civil Rights -
Well, let us focus first on democratisation and bringing back the good old Constitution before we discuss anything like that. Truthfully, we should repeal all laws stopping women, homosexuals and blacks from having equality, but I won't say such for now.

Matters of Faith -
While I believe that America should continue to be a country guided by Christian values, we should seek to uphold what the Founding Fathers believed for America, that of a country so secure in its faith that it can afford to welcome people of other mainstream religions and denominations. Satanists however? They're not a religion, they're just a bunch of sickos that pretend to be a religion.

Matters of Economics -
End the regulations holding America back. Not just the ones of the junta, the ones before that. America should be a land of true freedom, and the government intruding into the economy in any way is a threat to freedom.

Law & Order -
While we should pay heed to what some of the more respectable protesters say and support reforms to bring back the constitution and democracy, we should seek to avoid giving too much to some of the protesters' demands. Because some of them sound like communists. Of course it's the men breaking all the windows, and making messes. Not like we women. But I won't say that because it offends important people.

Immigration -
Oh look, is that the time? Thank you very much for the meeting, do you want me to show you out?
 
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Rooin Mahmood

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india
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he/him
Sultanate of Jabal Shammar
ALIGNMENT - TENSE

The Rashids are seen by Western opinion as more moderate than the Saudis, but that does not mean they does not have ambitions. Sultan Muhammad bin Abdullah has been known to spend his family's wealth from the coastal oil reserves on considerable private military corporation (PMC) interest, especially from other Muslim states. This has led to tension between the PMC and the people of Jabal Shammar, but the Sultan's aim seems clear, ending the Saudi state once and for all.
YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
 
This Sceptred Isle: Tiffany Comyn

Turquoise Blue

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Henrietta Maria of France
Name: Tiffany Comyn (reigning as Empress Tiffany)
House: Comyn
Date of Birth & Age at Ascension:
January 9, 1503 (19 y/o)
Relation to the Previous Monarch: Great-Granddaughter to Malcolm I & V
Personality: Artistic, creative, likes to think of herself as "broad-minded", tends to rely on advisors a lot, not particularly great at "statecraft" and tends to be easily distracted (but is aware of that and tries to snap out of it).
Style of government: A "courtly government" with royal favourites and the imperial legislatures having great say, with the Empress herself aware that she's not a natural leader, so she will gladly defer to them. If possible, she will try to form a "cabinet" of important favourites.
Spouse/Potential Marriage: The King of France [or his heir, which one is closest to her age]. Failing that (hopefully not!) she will seek to marry a close relative of the French King who will not seek to push themselves as consort. [the aim is really an alliance with France].

Main Goal: The Tiffanic Renaissance
Being a woman of the modern 1500s AEnglund, the Empress is keen to continue her great-grandfather's legacy.

She will continue his sponsorship of the universities, and seek to sponsor the creation of one in the west of AEnglund in the growing city of Brickstow ('Bristol'), aware that both universities as is are on the eastern half of AEnglund. This university is aimed to appeal more to the western English and Welsh intellectuals and the growing importance of the Atlantic Ocean for the Empire. She hopes it will be named the Imperial University, but won't push.

She will set up an "Imperial Society of Natural Philosophy" on advice from her more scientific-minded advisors, and hope that there will be many natural philosophers keen to join the Society. Members of the Imperial Society will have imperial favour of course, and given that Tiffany doesn't know much of natural philosophy and of the emerging science, she will seek to try to give her favour as neutral as possible, and based on clear proof.

Keenly aware of her relative's reputation as "Arthur the Navigator", she will also set up an imperial company of people who are employed to explore the world and (ideally) discover riches unexploited or trade routes once-undiscovered, and of course claim it all so it may be enjoyed by the Empire. The "Imperial Company of Navigators" sounds like a good name.

On much more familiar grounds, she will seek to encourage the more... artistic element in life. The growing popularity of plays in Westminster has caught her eye and she is keen to cultivate it, with her even attending some of the plays and inviting certain playwrights and their company to perform for her. Perhaps if one of the companies catch her eye, they could end up "The Empress' Men"...

And of course she will seek to invite renowned artists and philosophers to court. She does like the paintings and the philosophic wit over such... cold things such as natural philosophy (even as she sponsors it anyway). She will try her best to encourage the artistic element with her favour. The art she will favour will tend to be more inclined to the kronisket theory, with a sense of imperial unity being encouraged. The Scots, the Welsh, the English, the Norsh and the Atlantic folk, they're all united in one loving empire.

As a part of this favouring, she will try to encourage more Francophile art, or art that represents the Frank as a 'natural' ally against the Germans, and perhaps a play or a painting here and there that implies that the Northron has more in common with the French, anything to justify her big plans.

Major Goal 1: The Grand Concord
As part of her attempt to marry in the French royal family, she will seek to orient Northron foreign policy towards a more pro-France stance and establish closer ties between the Empire and France, continuing on Cead's legacy, but overall she will try to stay reasonably aloof from war in Europe, well knowing the Empire is exhausted from the most recent Northern War. Perhaps this is just a reasonable geopolitical stance, but her writings suggest it is more motivated by a deep distaste of the idea of being a 'warrior queen' like Etheldreda and Caitlin.

Influenced by some Italian advisors, she will seek to employ the use of "ambassadors" and "embassies" to the countries which she (and her advisors) find crucial to the Empire's interests. Namely, France, Frisia, Austria, Aragon, León, Hungary and of course her relatives (are they still related?) over in Egypt. The Hardradas of Egypt and those of the Empire has long diverged, but she is keen to rekindle relations especially with this new idea of diplomacy. She will also, if possible, send an envoy to Lithuania to establish relations, but if it is unworkable she will not bother.

While she will not seek a binding alliance within her reign with all those countries, she will seek to cultivate warmer and more consistent diplomatic relationships, especially with France which she would be the first to admit the Empire has ran hot-and-cold on.

As part of this diplomatic effort, she will seek to create a military attaché system where the military people will seek to learn from the new ideas emerging elsewhere. She will also host the ambassadors from those countries [if they so desire return any] and welcome them the warmest possible.

Major Goal 2: A Renewed Government for Peace and for War
Some of the Empress' advisors (especially the Italian ones) have been quietly dismayed at how inefficient and how reliant on one person the Imperial structure is. So they have encouraged her to at least dabble in some government reform.

The Flottecortes, Colloquium, Riksdag, Løgting, Alþingi, Inatsisartut and Avalonic Alting (which she would try to gently counsel to change to a new name out of personal confusion at it and the Icelandic one having the same name) would remain of course. The imperial system flourishes on those regional parlements. In addition to those number, and only if the Flottecortes consent, she will set up a Senedd for the Welsh nobles, elevating it to a nation in itself equivalent to the Faroes and Iceland. This was very much influenced by her more romantic side fuelled by kronisk rhetoric (as well as her brief time being Princess of Wales leading to her visiting her new realm and liking their music a lot).

However, it is true that the current system is woefully inefficient. The advisors do not counsel a major change in the system, pointing to the woes of the Wyrmcrieg and the incoherency of the three-parlement system (and of course, the Riksdag actually has power). Hence the regional parlements will continue as they are, and she will merely ask them all to send a set number of 'delegates' to a much expanded Imperial Court - justifying it as an expansion of the old court to take in account the parlements' wishes, and actually a show of respect to them all.

She will still make herself available to the parlements if they so desire (well, maybe not for the Avalonic Alting. But to be the first European monarch to step foot on Avalon soil... now that's tempting). However, all of this court reform comes with the second aim at a government "renewal".

Namely the bureaucracy. It has been much straining to do the tasks it currently needs to do, and hence that is why she will seek to expand it further - into a proper "Imperial Civil Service". She will also encourage the expanding civil service to open itself up to less noble sorts, as long as they show some intellectual qualification of course. The Empire needs every intelligent subject, not just the nobles (as appreciated as they are).

She will also put the head of the new civil service in her Imperial Court, so he can advocate for the civil service's interests. No more will bureaucrats silently toil with the government and the monarch unwittingly adding more work.

All this is hoped to make the government run more efficiently (and maybe with less money waste?).

On other matters, after months of arguing between some counsellors who wish for an expansion of the military and others which wish for an expansion of trade routes, the Empress (normally willing to let them come to a conclusion) lost her patience and told them all she has made her decision.

Which is... Both.

Yes. Both.

As her advisors stare at her in confusion, she elaborates on her plan. The North Sea Empire is one ruled by the sea, correct? Hence the logical thing is to expand the Navy, but ensure that the Navy also protects and expands the trade routes the Empire can control (and those the Society of Navigators discover too). Hence we will have far more secure trade and stronger economic grounds to build off of.

The Army, ah, that's something to reform indeed. She will, this time deferring to her counsellors, go for a gradual move of the Huscarls to a less "frontline" position and try to utilise more modern ideas to expand the army. She will seek to further encourage the innovation of technology for military means. However, she will pain herself to ensure that the Huscarls see this as not a removal, but as a promotion. They are the eldest and well respected class, and after the ah, Northern War debacle, surely they would be up to helping the Empress modernise the army, with them of course as... officers? Yes, that sounds good. A formalised military hierarchy with the huscarls kicked upstairs to "officer" status.

The huscarls will serve as the core of what her advisors now eagerly describe as a "professional army" like the Eastern Roman Empire. A core of well-trained officers, with local soldiers buttressing up the rank and file, with there being a clear hierarchy of command going all the way up to... oh. The Empress as commander-in-chief. She shows her distaste at having a military role, even if purely ceremonial, but relents to pressure.

With the Navy now oriented to protecting trade and the Army hopefully professionalised, the whole thing should be far less of a money-sink and far more efficient. Gosh does her councillors like that word. Less money for more action. Hopefully it works.

Minor Goal 1: The Female Art
As much as the Empress likes to present herself as very different from the previous queens [Ethelreda and Caitlin] by being a far more peace-loving and consensus-oriented monarch, she does have her own wishes. A far more humble one of course, but one all the same.

She will seek to encourage some of the noble women to participate in painting and in wider art, with a few receiving her support. If there's enough interest to work with, she will present her paintings to court as a way to signal that even the empress paints, so it is not just a masculine thing.

Eventually she will wish to paint a self-portrait, distrusting anyone else to truly capture her image. One day, yes. And it'll be beautiful.

Minor Goal 2: A Family Woman
Keenly aware of the AEnglisk tradition of warm royal families and the shortcomings of the Comyns in that area, she will seek to ensure that her own family, her husband, etc., are well-looked after. The Empress will try to set aside a period of time every week to spend with her children, and her husband [if the King of France and his heir] will be kept in regular contact [hopefully helped by the navy being improved] and have enough time to well, produce any children. The ultimate aim is to reintroduce some true family to this Comyn [Bourbon?] dysfunction.

The Empress will also make sure that all her children are well-accommodated to the various heritages they have - the French, English, Scottish, Norwegian and Welsh heritages - as much as possible. Her first son will be granted the Prince of Wales title [as well as Duke of Lothian yes] and when he reaches his tens, be sent to learn as much as possible of the realm of Wales and hopefully grow to like it as much as she does.

Minor Goal 3: A Taste of Fashion
The least of her priorities, but still one, is encouraging a more simple fashion for both men and women. Less large dresses for women, less elaborate clothing for men. This comes from her frustrations at doing anything in an elaborate dress that reduces her to just standing around and looking pretty.

But simple doesn't mean drab, though. She'll try to ensure it remains colourful, just... less complicated.
 
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Turquoise Blue

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As Tiffany Comyn continued painting on her latest work, she found every day more unbearable than the last. She loved her great-grandfather. She wanted him to live forever. But she knew that wouldn’t happen. He would die. And then…

Sighing, she cursed herself. The painting needed more colour. Way too dark. Her father, when he was alive, very much encouraged her to take to more intellectual activities and that was why she was putting colour to canvas. She was in many ways the final produce of her great-grandfather’s enlightenment in that sense.

Still, once her father realised that she would be his heir, his mood darkened. He wished for a son, that much was obvious, and once his wife went past child-bearing age he gave up all hope. Such prejudice. Dabbing more in the palette, she elected to go for a lighter gold. And so silly. Was it not true that Ænglund had great queens? None she would look up to, granted, but great all the same.

Upon her grandfather’s untimely death and her father becoming Duke of Lothian and Prince of Wales, her much more astute great-grandfather realised that she would be empress one day, and even in his ageing state arranged for lessons in statecraft. To tell you the truth, most of it was incomprehensible to her.

But she tried. God knew she tried.

Putting a little more gold, she hummed. And of course, the day when she found out her father died in a shipwreck made her inconsolable. Even as they got on poorly, she still loved him. Not as much as she loved her great-grandfather, granted. But still, he was her father. And she was his daughter. Only a person with a heart of ice would smile at their parent’s death.

She was adding the final touches when the door opened. And she heard those words she never wanted to hear.

Your Imperial Majesty...”
 
The National Fiction

Turquoise Blue

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Kings and Queens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1947)
Victoria (Hanover) 1837-1901
Edward VII (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1901-1910
George V (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1910-1936
Edward VIII (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1936-1943*
George VI (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1943-1952
[-1947]
Elizabeth II (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1952-present [never reigned]

Today, plates are laid out in Buckingham Palace for meals that will never be. Ceremonies are held every once in a while to announce the "arrival" of a monarch to their new palace, when nobody came. The nation sings God save the Queen, but the truth was that God did not save her.

Every day, the United Kingdom of Great Britain tries to deny what happened. It pretends that the Royal Family were never executed by Americans in a misguided nationalistic zeal against the "heirs of George the Tyrant". The brief republic, like the first one was in all but name, erased out of history.

To admit that the Royal Family is dead is to admit that the country failed, utterly. Hence this ghoulish fantasy is continued, that the Royal Family are still alive. The Royal Family unites the nation, unites Britain. They must do. Because the alternative is too horrifying to admit.

The Regent attends all important ceremonies, videos are faked, and there has been consultations with the Japanese about possibly "helping" the Royal Family appear to the people, with the first virtual presence of the Queen planned for the 2022 State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen is planned to 'pass away' on her 120th birthday, and her heir, named George after his grandfather, will take over as Britain's first completely fictional monarch. Many 'quirks' were developed for "George" to sell him as human, and he has a perfectly happy (but not too happy) family including two children which each has their own children. The heir to "George" is "Edward" who is hoped to take over as Edward IX after George VII 'passes away'.

The Royal Family has never died. They live on. Britain endures. It has to.
 
The Doctor is Who?: Matthew Thomson as Danny Rennie

Turquoise Blue

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1624129920322.png
Matthew Thomson in a scene as Danny Rennie
Actor's Name: Matthew Thomson
Companion's Name: Danny Rennie
Biography/Career: Matthew Thomson (known as “Matty” to friends and co-workers) is a child actor who has been in the business for four years with middling success, and as he celebrates his big 1-0, he has landed his biggest role yet, of being a companion to the ‘Doctor’ in this new science-fiction show called Doctor Who.

Thomson loves the character of Danny Rennie, which is obvious in how he speaks of Danny and his enthusiasm in acting the often-energetic schoolboy, and hopes to in some way bring the independent spirit of Danny into himself.

Companion Profile: Danny was conceived from the base of “time-travelling Bash Street Kid”, with the character aimed to skew the show away from being pure education and add some levity and fun to the dynamic, with Danny expected to sort of be an ‘agent of chaos’ in how he could be the cause of a plot in some episodes with his mischief.

Thomson loves the character, being someone who reads the Beano regularly, but he wants to add a little more ‘cunning’ to Danny, have him sometimes outwit even the Doctor and Simon, but all this is underlined by a strong loyalty to the crew – Danny is never evil, nor will he really betray the crew, he just wants to have his fun in the places the crew visits.

Goals:
- A Goal (1): The Star
Matthew (and his manager) would like for this to be his breakout role, and get his name out there more than his previous roles ever did, and hopefully land him more roles in the future in high-profile shows or movies.
- B Goal (1): The Menace
Matthew also hopes that Danny will get enough of a 'cunning' streak to him and be more of a trickster than a two-dimensional 'schoolboy who does pranks', and lean more into the clever street kid than the 'naughty schoolboy' at times.
- C Goal (1): The Independent
Matthew wishes for this role to give him enough of a profile that he can start to stand on his own two feet (as an actor who people want to cast) and push against the manager and his family's control of his life. It is quite unlikely though...
 
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These Fair Shores: List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom

Turquoise Blue

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Monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland (-1801)
George III
(George William Frederick) (Hanover) 1760-1801 [Regent: George, Prince Regent, 1798-1801]

Monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801-1987)
George III
(George William Frederick) (Hanover) 1801-1820 [Regent: George, Prince Regent, 1801-1819]
George IV (George Augustus Frederick) (Hanover) 1820-1830
William IV
(William Henry) (Hanover) 1830-1837
Victoria
(Alexandrina Victoria)
(Hanover) 1837-1901
Edward VII
(Albert Edward) (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1901-1910
Edward VIII
(Albert Victor Ferdinand Edward) (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1910-1919
George V
(George Ernest Frederick Albert) (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1919-1931
Edward IX
(Edward Albert Ferdinand George Andrew Patrick David)
(Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) 1931-1934
George
VI
(Albert Frederick Arthur George) (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha/Britannia) 1934-1952
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Maria) (Britannia) 1952-1987

Monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and Hong Kong (1987-present)

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Maria) (Britannia) 1987-present

=====

Prime Ministers of the Kingdom of Great Britain (-1801)
Frederick North, Lord North (Northite) 1770-1782
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (Rockinghamite) 1782
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne (Shelburnite) 1782-1784
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (Fox-Northite) 1784
William Pitt ‘the Younger’ (Pittite) 1784-1797
Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds (Independent Pittite) 1797-1799
Francis Rowlings-Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira (Whig) 1799-1801
William Pitt ‘the Younger’ (Pittite) 1801

Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801-1987)
William Pitt ‘the Younger’ (Pittite) 1801-1806

Henry Addington (Pittite) 1806-1809
William Windham (Pittite) 1809-1815
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (Pittite) 1815-1825
George Canning (Pittite) 1825-1827

John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham (Pittite) 1827-1830
David William Murray, 3rd Earl of Mansfield (Pittite, then Tory) 1830-1838
Joseph Planta (Liberal) 1838-1845
Robert Peel (Tory) 1845-1849
Edward Knatchbull (Tory) 1849-1851

Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (Liberal) 1851-1860
William Ewart Gladstone (Tory) 1860-1867
Isaac Butt (Tory) 1867-1871

Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 4th Marquess of Landsowne (Liberal) 1871-1874
Benjamin Disraeli (Tory) 1874-1883
William Ewart Gladstone (Tory) 1883-1889

Randolph Churchill (Democratic) 1889-1890
Joseph Chamberlain (Radical, then Liberal, then Liberal Imperialist) 1890-1905
George Wyndham (Conservative) 1905-1913
Richard Haldane (Liberal) 1913-1920
Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) 1920-1927
Noel Skelton (Conservative) 1927-1935
Leo Amery (Conservative) 1935-1941
Malcolm MacDonald (Labour) 1941-1946
Clement Attlee (Conservative) 1946-1952
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury (Conservative) 1952-1959
Alan Lennox-Boyd (Conservative majority) 1959-1966

Roy Jenkins (Liberal Coalition) 1966-1978
Shirley Williams (Liberal Coalition) 1978-1981
Chris Brocklebank-Fowler (Liberal Coalition) 1981-1986
Ian Wrigglesworth (Liberal Coalition) 1986-1987


Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and Hong Kong (1987-)
Ian Wrigglesworth (Liberal Coalition) 1987-1989

Michael Dibdin-Heseltine (Liberal Coalition) 1989-1991
Glenda Jackson (Liberal Coalition, then Liberal) 1991-2000
Bryan Gould (Liberal) 2000-2002
Angela Eagle (Liberal) 2002-2009
John Major (Liberal) 2009-2014
Wendy Alexander (Liberal) 2014-2017

Dominic Grieve (Liberal) 2017-present
 
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These Fair Shores: Background Context for 1966.

Turquoise Blue

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Right, so put yourself in the head of a Briton, circa 1940. Your country is all but demolished from twenty years of bombardment – the Tempest. The Empire is triumphant. France lies defeated at last. You’re generally happy it’s over, but as your house still has damage on it. The Empire talks a lot of just victory, but as one of the victors, you feel like you should really get something from it. You don’t. Hence why you vote Labour.

It’s a bit of a scandal in the Empire that Britain voted socialist, but Malcolm MacDonald makes sure he will deliver. He brought the NHS (although that was tripartisan), keeps the tracks nationalised, etc., but finds his more ambitious ideas such as a permanent state bargain with trade unions like one pushed by the late Tory wartime Prime Minister Noel Skelton, frustrated by Imperial interference keen to water down Labour’s ‘radicalism’. This, combined with a lot of internal division and the fickleness of the Liberals, leads to five years of pathetic government comparable to 2017-2019. The Tories are back in. Luckily for you, it’s under a Skeltonite – Clement Attlee. Attlee is the one to truly bring around the postwar consensus, and his years are remembered as ‘basically what Skelton would have wanted’.

However, the Tory right strike just as he won a comfortable victory, and threw him out in favour of the Lord Salisbury.

Over those last few decades, especially the wartime era, you’ve grew used to imperial troops from all over fighting for you, and Salisbury is to you an unpleasant reminder of the old days. He promises to ‘keep Britain white’, and ‘reclaim Britain’s glorious past’. A die-hard Imperialist, he sees Britain as the core of the Empire, but just over the course of the Fifties embarrass himself and Britain in the process, accelerating the shift of power from Prime Minister to Lord President. But within his time, he politicised a lot of Britain’s past and associated them all with a fading glory of Britain as the sole dog in the Empire.

Once he was thrown out by the moderates coming back for revenge and replaced with similarly-conservative-but-not-deeply-racist Lennox-Boyd, you grow to sigh. Britain for the last two decades was a laughing stock, and you grow to have less pride in its past. The opposition is fractured after the collapse of Labour, and the government seeks to prioritise the Empire above really developing Britain as a whole.

Perhaps you flirt with separatism before reminding yourself it’s illegal, perhaps you drop out of politics altogether. But by 1966, there’s a man around, who promises to throw out all of the oh-so-bad past and make a new Britain. One that will be respected around the Empire. He promises scientific development, he promises a technological renaissance. And most crucially, he promises a rebirth. A rebirth of hope, of belief, of the idea that Britain matters even without Empire.

And that is why you vote for the devastating social revolution of Roy Jenkins and the Liberal Coalition in 1966.
 
These Fair Shores: Notes from Grigori Berezhnoy (1966).

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Notes from Grigori Vladimirovich Berezhnoy, a Russian socialite and amateur politician on a visit to Britain, circa 1966.

“When I visited England [sic], it was a very strange experience. The country at once feels like it never recovered truly from the war against Napoleon and yet feels like it’s on the brink of surprising us all.

The moment I first gazed at an English town, I was amazed. Not at any stunning development, for there were none. Not at any new and modern buildings, for very few existed. What made me amazed was what was happening in that town. There was a general election campaign going on, and it was very different from what I’m used to in Russia. In Russia, one does not stoop down to appeal to the mass. But in England it is different. Politicians are expected to answer to the masses at all times. How anarchic.

There were a plethora of posters on every other brick wall I encountered, and almost all of them were green, for the Liberal Coalition. They are a very unusual party, united not by any economic ideas but by this strange ambiguous idea of what they call a ‘scientific revolution’. When I saw that, I was taken aback because frankly the last time anyone associated science or any advancement with England was when their Queen Victoria was on the throne. Since then, they’ve been consumed by the war which seemed to have destroyed their brain cells for decades.

I was invited by my friend here to what they call a ‘hustings’, and how to describe it? It is utterly alien to any Russian experience, and is this raw experience where the politicians come among the populace, unarmed, unscripted, unbound, with only their wit and quick thinking saving them. I was quite amazed by the Liberal candidate’s performance even if irked at how they avoided economic details, very unimpressed by the Conservative candidate (who apparently was the incumbent legislator) and looked baffled at the socialist candidate for their strange tangents that the audience booed thoroughly.

What really interested me about the Liberal candidate was that he spoke of England not as it is, nor as what it once was. He never once mentioned English history, and yet spoke of local issues (for English politicians are expected to speak of matters of bins and potholes in the same breath as those of grand national issues such as defence and the economy) as if they were integral to England’s future. For it is the future he spoke of, and it is a future I both dread and anticipate in equal fashion.

Some of my countrymen may say that England is obsessed with its past, that the people invoke old glories to help their ignorance of their decaying status, that they are fine with their island being reliant on their Empire to maintain relevancy in an age of Russian and emerging Chinese power. Even I had that presumption. No longer. The Liberal candidate is one of many, yes, but I have not yet found any evidence that he is anything but the expectation of what a Liberal should be.

He spoke of nothing but an utter transformation of England. The old ideas swept away. The old ways destroyed. There were some sops to local norms, but none of it obscured his frank vision, that the England of the present was too burdened by hang-ups of the past, and that to truly make England great, prosperous and respected it should become one of radical thought, one that thinks of the future before it thinks of the past. He appealed to a crowd which seemed fed up of stagnation, fuelled by this oppressive belief that England was falling apart and needed a shake-up. And they were very much willing to follow the Liberals and their big ideas all the way to make England, England mind you not just the Empire, respected in the world.

I have met England’s Napoleon. And he is not a man, but a party.”


“I’ve decided to, after the exhausting day of yesterday, visit my friend at his manor. His manor is still visibly in repair – his family still doesn’t have enough money to fix the war damage apparently – but he still feted me well and granted me the finest of his cigars and whiskey.

After chatting about piffling familial matters, what was my sister, his brother, my nephew, his aunt, doing, we moved on to my favourite subject which I never get to discourse with others back in Russia. I opened up the topic of local politics in his dear England, expecting him to look disparagingly at the local Liberals, only to see he is fully welcoming their seemingly-inevitable victory.

For you see, my friend is one of those people who you would have assumed would be a perfect Conservative – wealthy, landed, from reasonably old nobility. Yet he speaks highly of the Liberals because they seemingly have something the Conservatives have seriously lacked – vision. As I write all this, the more I am frustrated with this election. The economy, I’m told, is recovering. There’s no scandals bringing down the Prime Minister. The Liberals are promising grand, but vague stuff.

Ultimately, the Liberals and their promise of radical transformation is a curious brand of populism, I wager. They are profiting extensively off this deep-set unease at how England has increasingly ‘lost’ itself inside its Empire, and promises to make it respected again at any cost. How else can you explain the fact that both labourers and the landed sort welcome the green tide? The Conservatives are ultimately the Party of Empire, as seen in supporting the expansion of Hong Kong. But as my friend says – ‘what good is the empire if our England is lost?’.

Now of course, the Liberals are nowhere near the socialists. They are still very much pro-empire and nowhere near the silly decolonialist nonsense the fringe promote. I have on my desk a copy of the Liberal Manifesto, and on page 41 it says ‘An Empire for All’, including this very curious idea of taxing the colonies to make living in England itself cheaper. It’s quite a revolutionary idea, but then what they are promising is quite a revolution.

Perhaps that’s ultimately the difference between Russia and England. Russia resists revolutionary change, preferring slow and steady reform with a cool head dominating the proceedings. But England, we must not forget that it was in England first that they chopped off their king’s head a full century before France. The people have a deep distaste of rule from overseas and a strong sentiment of localism seeps into the very soil. They have a history of revolution, both peaceful and violent, and many of their democratic achievements come by the sword. This latest revolution is thankfully non-violent, but… it’s definitely in the air.

After supping with my friend, I elected to meet with a prominent Liberal politician (whose name, like all others here, are anonymised for their own behalf). He is the ‘shadow’ minister for his portfolio, and has took a certain interest in my presence here in England. Keenly eager to actually delve into some economic questions, I had the good luck of someone who granted me some answers, or at least humoured me my questions. And after a while of extensive tea (such is the English custom), I found a window in the government-in-waiting’s plans.

I’m still left wanting for details, and frustrated once again at the Liberals campaigning mostly on ‘winds of change’ and other vague sentiments. But thankfully I think I grasp it. It’s a very curious model, one that the politician told me was internally called the ‘Second Industrial Revolution’. Which is namely a focus on developing internal industries and preventing an exodus of jobs overseas to other parts of the Empire. He was quite sure that it would be developing ‘the industries of tomorrow’, or as he says it ‘whatever industry Woy likes today’. ‘Woy’ here refers to their leader Roy Jenkins, who is inexplicably named ‘Woy’ by his fellow English because of his accent.

Granted, that comment was after I poured us out some whiskey. A curious thing is that the politician was pretty sure that Jenkins would try for a domestic wine industry ‘by hook or by crook’, as the man seemed to drink more than his fair share in wine and had a very oversized control of the party.

‘It was him really, Woy that is, who came up with the idea of grouping the various centrist, not Tory, not Labour, parties into the Liberal Coalition. He said something had to give, and that our country needed someone to ride the wave, that’s a surfing term, do you surf over in Russia, ah no good waves I guess, anyway, back to Woy, that was a year ago. At that point, the Tories was in for donkey’s years, oh that means for a long time sorry if I’m confusing you, and nobody believed him, when he said we could win the election. If it was anyone else being right all along, I would be fine, but Woy is really an ass. Bet you he’ll flame out within a year or two, wait do you need me to explain that?’ was his delightful explanation, of which I understood entirely perfectly despite him seeming to believe I only knew a year’s worth of English and understood not one idiom.

Nevertheless, I get it – Jenkins is above all the chief ideologue and it is from him that the party, and the messaging of utter change, flows. I wonder how the party would do without him. One last thing I did wonder loudly was the chance I could be a Russian spy, and he laughed – ‘No way you’re a spy, none of them think we’re any good’


“After dealing with my friend and with the shadow minister who likes to talk a lot about his leader, I’ve decided to do what very few Russian politicians do – meet the people. I’ve dressed up on my friend’s advice into attire people associate with a journalist, complete with a microphone and recorder. The feedback I’ve got was interesting, some unfortunately too commenting on my clear Russian accent and saying ‘hello, Auntie is employing Russkies?’. ‘Auntie’ is the English way of treating their state media company as a part of their family in a bizarre parasocial relationship that would terrify any Russian, it means the BBC. Others presumed I was from a Russian media company and refused to do interviews. Thankfully most people were open with me, especially after I lied and said I was with their favourite ‘aunt’.

The reception I got by asking about the expectations of a Liberal win confirmed my suspicions, but even then, there were a lot of scepticism that they would actually follow through on their promises and many believed that the Conservatives would still win (against the expectations of every poll) because ‘they always do’. Still, people seemed moderately upbeat about a change in government leading to an improvement in the country. Regarding the Empire, most people were divided about it, with most agreeing that it was a good thing but when asked if it was a good thing for England, or for themselves in particular they tended to answer in the negative. The final question was if they expect the Liberal Coalition to put their interests first above the Empire, they tended to agree.

One fascinating gentleman who said he was in the war (I presumed the one against Napoleon) said that he fought to stop England being controlled by a foreign power, and he stated ‘I have nothing but love for the Empire, but they shouldn’t control us. That’s why I’m voting Liberal’. All I could do was smile and nod as he stated such. If even military veterans who fought alongside people of the Empire were disaffected with the way things were, no wonder why Liberals appealed.

I did note that the youth were more Liberal than the elders, an unsurprising trend given the Liberals promise the youth what they want – drugs, sex and mind-numbing music.”


“It is now election night. I have unfortunately laid off on my notes, and have suitably reproached myself for such loss of duty, but tonight is the moment of truth. I have chosen to go with my friend to his local election-watching party – as he says just a ‘select few odd people’. He has a very unusual definition of ‘few’ as it was a very busy get-together. The television set they rolled out to present to the crowd was set to BBC 1 (unlike Russia, all television channels are a variety of BBC), meaning it was the election coverage.

The British coverage of the election is very different from the Russian, including this peculiar ‘swing-o-meter’ and an inordinate focus on local results. The screen was in black and white, but as a fellow guest of mine said ‘don’t worry, if we win it’ll be colour soon enough’. How can a screen change mid-way through a broadcast? Obviously they mean the Liberals will buy Russian television sets rather than the Conservatives’ backwards intransigence.

To nobody’s surprise, the Liberals swept all the seats needed to win a landslide, and by the end of the night there were as much drunk people as Liberal seats. I preferred to refrain from the alcohol tonight, leading my so-called friend to tease me – ‘Are you really a Russian?’. One thing I did do notice was that there were a few men and women who were kissing while under the influence, and not always to the opposite gender. I believe the Liberals promised to legalise homosexuality.

One curious event was that my friend got really drunk and tried to kiss me while still extremely happy about the election results. I didn’t find it entirely unpleasant, and returned the kiss before we went upst- but politely declined his offer, making it clear I was not a homosexual.”


“I am currently writing this while getting ready to board a plane back to Russia. The news has spread all over the world, that England is now under new management. I just hope my fellow Russians do not remain thinking that England is what it once was before the election. That England is dead and buried. This England is a bright young thing, with new and perhaps dangerous ideas.

Frankly, I’m not sure anyone can stop them at this point.”
 
These Fair Shores: Pathé and Spods

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“Only in our fair Britain can the cast-outs of Japanese artistic talent, newly packaged under a French name, become a global sensation that the world envies.”
- Prime Minister Michael Dibdin-Heseltine, 1991.

The cultural eras of pathé [IPA: peɪt] has to be understood by the stages in where they first emerged.

The first era was the “Hong Kong Era”. At this time, it was not associated with British Pathé, and was mainly seen by observers as a primarily Hong Kong thing created by Japanese exiles as the State of Japan clamped up on creative expression and pushed the more ‘subversive’ ones out, and Hong Kong was a promising area to them. This was where it remained up until the war era.

To understand the war era of pathé, you must understand one thing – British Pathé was in a very tenuous position regarding the war. It was quite visibly French, and even owned by a French film-maker (who was in France and couldn’t manage the British branch at the time though). So it had to compensate for this by skewing quite pro-Britain in its reporting, up to releasing what was tantamount to war propaganda, and replacing the French rooster logo with a British lion.

However, even then, it struggled to get people to work for it beyond its die-hard employees. It needed something to break out. Then this desperate company mostly specialising in entertainment and now forced by necessity to go propagandistic struck gold. Because of inherent distrust in Asian artists, very little other animation sought to employ the burgeoning Hong Kong animation industry in any way. So when British Pathé in the early 1930s, motivated by a deep need for more people to work for a company that was itself distrusted for its ‘Frenchness’, approached them with relatively generous offers, some accepted.

The war era animations, the very first of the pathé as we presently understand it, weren’t much. They were mainly commissioned, and artists were paid by the project. But they were distinctive. The entertainment stories appealed to viewers far more than other animations, and as British Pathé realised that their weakness in journalism (no matter what, not everyone would trust a ‘French’ company with reporting truthfully and anyway the BBC was set up for that so less people were watching cinematic journalism not from them) would be far more than made up with animated entertainment, they shifted more focus onto the animations.

By the time the Continental War concluded, British Pathé’s path was set. After securing the final and long-sought (and by then de facto already existing) break from French Pathé, British Pathé sought to ensure the post-war audience’s appetite for light-hearted escapist animation was more than fulfilled. It is here you can see the connection between the strong British comic industry and the pathé industry emerge as emerging comic artists sought to imitate in some form the pathé style (which was by then a very well-known style) and many innovations were exchanged between the two industries. ‘Pathé’ as a term referring to the style can be found circa the early 1950s as a clipping of ‘(British) Pathé(-style animation/cartoons)’.

But let us return to the original Japanese animators in Hong Kong. Many of them were there because of rejection of the increasing authoritarian nature of the Showa era, and as more animators moved to join the rest in the burgeoning Hong Kong (fuelled by British wishes to make it the ‘new jewel of the Empire’ leading to vast investment and urban expansion), the output turned far away from the commissioned animations into what they really wished for, a far more daring social commentary model. While British Pathé was not keen to take this up, the animators had considerable clout from the popular war animations that the Hong Kongers enjoyed it considerably and it trickled back to Britain via cinemas needing stuff to fill up the schedule that originally was full of newsreels (damn that television!).

This is the curiosity of the post-war era, conventionally defined as from 1940 to 1960, as it was one of two outputs, that of increasing ‘mainstream’ appeal of pathé and the narratives of such but it split into two. One was still dominated by British Pathé and enjoyed a long honeymoon on the television as the BBC begrudgingly approved some of its output for the afternoon slots, but on the big screen you see more of a social commentary and more mature narratives. Writers at the time referred to those films as ‘independent pathé’, as they were working independently of British Pathé but in the style that was by now inexorably and irreversibly tied to the brand name.

The breakdown of the strict division between ‘telly pathé’ and ‘movie pathé’ would characterise the end of the postwar era as British humour continued to grow more and more with a taste for the surreal and nilihistic as people sought to cope with the wartime trauma. Independent pathé grew to gradually influence even the pathé approved for television, but it faced some pushback from a Conservative government unwilling to move on from what a critic called ‘old maids cycling to church under overcast skies’ – what Roy Jenkins famously dismissed as ‘conservative, complacent and insular’. The tension as the clear lines broke down and ‘bleed-over’ occurred would contribute to a greater social shift, one that would leave the Conservative Party behind in the 1966 election.

This era is often overlooked in favour of its predecessor and successor, but it is undeniable that the sixties had its share of memorable pathé that contributed to and was modelled on a shifting society. More and more commentary about social inequality grew to enter the television pathé as the BBC was dominated not by arch-conservatives who despised change but by people who could be seen more as what people those days on Connectr would call ‘social connectors’, people who wanted to connect people with new ideas and challenge old orthodoxy because they believed that the broader British society’s mind is, the better it is. This can be aptly summed up by the chair of the BBC at the time once quoting a stanza of Rule Britannia - “wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set”.

Ultimately, the Continental War ended the Britain of old and the next thirty years was just its slow lingering death with the funeral being held on Thursday, 5 May 1966 as the electorate turned green. By riding a tide of social change first through independent movies than through television animation, pathé instantly associated itself with the youth and with a more Liberal idea of Britain. It could only grow from here. The only reason the Sixties is often overlooked is because it is an awkward middle between the more staid but contrastive post-war era and the more experimental era that followed it. But it was crucial and transformative to the history of pathé.

Pathé in the 70s was a key part of what Roy Jenkins envisioned as his Grand Project to build his ‘Civilised Society’. Restrictions on social mores in pathé were loosened to the point of non-existence and television pathé were permitted to engage in narratives that would have been scandalous barely a decade ago. One such pathé to engage in boundary-pushing narrative was Doctor Who, which had as part of its original aim to educate people about history. As part of the ‘Civilised Society’, some of those historical stories included lesbian and gay characters (sometimes historically justified, other times not quite). This was done very gradually, first with hints and then as the 70s entered its dusk, openly. It would still cause a stir of course.

But Doctor Who’s gay representation was far from the most controversial show ever approved for television. In the zeal for social experimentation and pushing boundaries, a television show aired for one episode in late 1978 before being taken down instantly due to a strong backlash and all copies overwritten. There was a certain extent that British society could accept the state pushing its boundaries, and this was where it met society’s new limit. The BBC would never air anything regarding that matter ever again, and indeed it continues to deny that episode ever existed.

But on the whole, the 70s was the height of testing boundaries (most successful, some not), and the 80s only sought to entrench those expanded boundaries. Pathé would acquire its more… salacious reputation with this socially liberal streak as both the establishment and the anti-establishment sought to transform society. Abroad, movie pathé (not the television kind which tended apart from bleed-over ones to be more ‘moderate’) was distrusted by more socially conservative areas as spreading degeneracy and un-traditional ideas, especially ones of sexual liberation. In one or two countries it was even forbidden to broadcast pathé, fuelled by moral scares. One of those bans were the United States of America, deeming pathé to be “English propaganda”.

However, there is a key theme shift from the 70s to the 80s in terms of pathé. The 70s were a more optimistic era in Britain despite the Bengal War, as the heady social transformation was under process, and its pathé reflected that attitude. The 80s however, was a more contemplative period with pathé acquiring a deeply philosophical streak, and growing more and more mature in their stories, with darker stories acquiring more popularity as the decade went on. A popular trend in the 80s was to take ‘classic’ stories and reinterpret them as more modern, dark stories. However, even as pathé in general darkened, television pathé re-established its boundary with its movie sibling, and sought to carve out its own identity. Part of this was a renewed focus on children’s entertainment not as part of some social engineering project, but just as a genuine way of entertaining children. You get some popular space exploration pathé here as that was a genre ripe for exploration.

The 1980s also brought with it a disturbing experience for Britain and the Britons. While many abroad hated pathé, there was a slice that were just obsessed with it and wider British culture. The Britons ended up calling them ‘spods’, from a 1980s slang term for people who spend a lot of time on non-productive activities (what would be called a ‘nerd’). While Britain was still firmly in its heady cultural revolution (as a later prime minister would dub the process), it grew to see the rest of Europe as ‘sadly backwards’ and Europe them as debauched hedonists. This would fuel a general cultural apathy towards Europe and more of a focus on the Commonwealth and above all on itself.

As pathé grew to international stature for good or for ill, the 90s brought with it a certain taste for… ambitious storylines. Perhaps most well known is the pathé adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henriad leading to other adaptations of his plays. The BBC pathé adaptations remain today many young people’s first encounter with the Immortal Bard. The focus was on both accessibility and accuracy, the characters would speak a modernised form of their script, but overall it would remain close to the plot, a clear departure from past decades.

The movie pathé were not except from this, as writers and animators (many from a generation that grew up with pathé) wished to do grand stories of their own. The most notable from the movie pathé is of course, Star Wars, a loose (and I mean very loose) adaptation of the Chinese work The Romance of the Three Kingdoms but located in space. The whole thing lasted five hours. After feedback, it was split for cinemas into two ‘volumes’, each two and a half hours. This along with the Henriad established the ‘grand pathé’, that of multiple ‘volumes’.

Also benefiting this is the growth of portable video technology such as videos and later on DVDs. While they were all dependent on the BBC’s approval and a requirement to be in movie or television broadcast first, they proved a boon for the emerging ‘grand pathé’ genre as people could watch those impossibly-long stories at their own pace. This innovation would lead to terminology such as ‘cramming’ being extended to consumption of media as some were noted to be keen to watch all of it in one go as much as possible.

The 90s also brought with it one final push at the social boundary, this time entrenching transgender people and (albeit early to mid-00s) non-binary people into the cultural consciousness, with laws being already passed since the 80s for the former and laws accompanying the later in the 00s. All of this of course made Britain look even more peculiar with the world, but Britons long stopped caring what the world thinks of them.

The 00s was a return to form for Britain and a slight retreat from grand plotlines. Inspired by the Y2K craze, apocalyptic pathé proved popular in the early decade, but by the mid-decade, things were inching more and more at comic adaptations, with many beloved comic characters (both from children’s comics and more mature ones) being adapted to the animated format. Also starting this decade is a format that first taken off in Britain, the animated adaptation of the biography. The first one to start this was an adaptation of a biography of Queen Victoria.

But overall, as pathé grows and diversify, with even the other Imperial countries having their own versions (some a fair lot less… radical), it proves harder and harder to make out trends in a widespread genre.

As people all over the Empire enjoy the latest instalment in The Crown (behind doors known to be extremely scrutinised before release) on BBC Online and spods gawk at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in amazement at recognising it from their favourite pathé, it is undeniable that what was once a desperate French company hiring some Japanese artists in Hong Kong has turned into a juggernaut of British cultural domination.

British Pathé still exists, but it has been incorporated into the BBC after a quiet purchase in the late 60s.
 
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Power to the Many: Austin Blanchet (the Younger)

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Character Sheet:

Sir Henry Mather Jackson, 2nd Baronet
Name: Alexander Justin Blanchet - referred to as "Austin the Younger" to distinguish him from his father.
Date of Birth/Age: 18 November 1753 - 32 years old
Gender: Male.
Place of Birth: Blanchet Estate, Wilmington, Delaware Colony, British North America.
Nationality: American - Anglian - Delawarean
Religion: Church of England (relatively lax)
Faction: Liberal - Conciliator (American) - Shelburnite/Liverpudlian - Whig (British, loose association via his father)
List of Offices and Occupations Held:
- Soldier in the Delaware Loyalist Militia during the Columbian Rebellion - 1774-1778
- Deputy Trader (in his father's business) - 1778-1781
- Member of the Anglian House of Assembly from Delaware - 1781-present
Biography: For way too long, Austin the Younger has stood in his father’s shadow. It was why he was so eager to join the militia over his father’s objections and even march with other soldiers to fight for the British Army. However the hard truth was that the elder was already a figure everyone knew for good or ill, and it would take a long time for the younger to carve out his own reputation.

While the father was ultimately a man of peace who loved to come in after a battle and try to fix matters, the son was one shaped by the trauma of war and by his committing murder against his fellow Americans. And he knew coming home that he would want his own way, that he desired control over his own life, be his own man. The war tore away the boy that his father still believed existed in him, and replaced it with a man. While accepting a job at his father’s business for needed revenue, he chose to purchase his own Wilmington house and distance himself at least spatially from him.

Hunting was a favourite pastime of his, the assertion of man over nature. What more splendid could be any activity, nor more innate to the human condition? The wilderness was a refuge from expectations, and it was on one of those hunting trips that he encountered a Nanticoke village. The Nanticoke were a people who were in regular contact with the colonials, and many of their boys went out to fight for the British. Knowledge of English was considerable at this time, and it was why Austin had little issue making himself understood.

And it was in one hunting trip in 1780 that he met his future wife – a Nanticoke woman who he would know as Arabella. It was not love at first sight, in fact she didn’t notice him the first time and he originally paid the interaction little heed. But as he increasingly stopped by the village, the two grew to like each other, and that liking grew into something more.

While the business was closing for the day, his father stopped him and asked him if he would like to be in the Anglian Assembly, as he was looking for ‘men of quality’ and of course his son was one of those such men. While Austin knew this would be obvious nepotism, and bind him politically to his father, he accepted sure in the knowledge that he would use the office for his own means. He did however, extract a concession from his father for his continued political loyalty – he would not object to Austin’s future bride.

This the elder Austin cheerfully agreed to. The election went smoothly, and Austin the Younger was elected as one of the elder’s men of quality, even as there were some murmurs of nepotism from a man who was supposedly above it all. After getting Arabella’s agreement to wed, he told his father of his intended bride, and the elder Blanchet sighed but agreed, providing the marriage was in a Christian church, muttering that at least it was a loyalist.

With the son now married, he realised the one advantage he had over his father, and used it judiciously. The elder Austin pushed back, but the two came to an agreement – the father would use his connections to help his daughter-in-law’s tribe gain recognition, in exchange for the son not breaking from the Liberal line and not signing up to Brown’s manifesto.

The deal was struck, and as the Viceroy proves sickly and his replacement grows inevitable, the Prime Minister is no longer Chastleton but Blackburn, and change is in the air, Austin the Younger feels that 1785 is his year. With three children [the obligatory Austin the Third among them] and a fourth on the way, he feels confident enough to step out of his father’s shadow. Will he?

-The Pioneers
“What use is a foolish pioneer risking life and limb on a dead dream? Pah! They’ll all die eventually.”

-Native Neighbors
“The issue is quite simple – a question of loyalty. The Iroquois and the Nanticoke both are loyalists of the deepest colour, but many of the rest were ones that took up arms against the Crown. But I am not my father. I don’t make the hypocritical distinction he makes between ‘civilised’ and ‘brute’ tribes. Merely ask all, like we do with the so-called ‘Patriots’, to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown and be open to integration of their towns and villages and possibly tribes into the British system.”

-Tensions over Slavery
“Slavery? It is a fundamental truth of our society and any abolitionist rhetoric is naught but nonsense pushed by weak-minded men. However, I myself prefer to refrain from owning any slaves as I do not hold a grand estate like my father, preferring my own humble abode to be one based off the efforts of my own hands and those of other honest men of good stock I can rely, rather than any slave that I can only rely to cower under the whip. I do however, support laws that work against the enslavement of Indians, however.”

-North and South
“As a resident of the ‘brooch’ province, all I can say is that there are more uniting us than dividing us. Delaware has always prospered best when the northern and southern colonies cooperate in peace with the British Crown. However, we all must remember that we all are Englishmen, and seek to cooperate as part of the Empire.”

-Economic Progress
“Change is natural. I have every faith that those changes that are happening are to our best interests. However, if any of them prove to be our displeasure, I am sure we can lobby our good Viceroy, whoever they may be, to change their policies or to adjust. The Viceroy is supposed to be a neutral figure, disconnected from petty local politics after all, and be above all a servant of the Empire.”

-Colonial Reforms
“The new system may be alien and unfamiliar to many, but I believe it will work to our interest. I have as a member of the Assembly taken extensive notes of the structure and the expectations and although frustrated by our old Viceroy’s secretive nature, I believe I understand it the most of any of my faction. The new Viceroy, I have faith they will cooperate to make certain of the political support for their policies. And I will take charge of such cooperation from my side, as my father has grown rather poorly recently.”

-The West
“The West? It is irrelevant to me as a Delawarean. Delaware out of the colonies never had any western ambitions, and I see no reason it would do so now. If there are any who wish to seize the new land, all I can say is travel safe, and look out for new friends and enemies.”
 

theev

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@Turquoise Blue I could be misremembering things but did you ever make a wikibox series Amy Klobuchar became President and the main opposition party were the Libertarians?
 
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Turquoise Blue

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@Turquoise Blue I could be misremembering things but did you ever make a wikibox series Amy Klobuchar became President and the main opposition party were the Libertarians?
Yes, all the way back in 2017! I'll paste them here.

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Trump by 2020 is incredibly unpopular, but Kasich's independent run takes a lot of Republican voters especially in the Midwest and South, leading to Klobuchar winning states like Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi, not to mention Alaska. The Republican South has been broken. Klobuchar's performance does see states trend towards the Dems like in Appalachia as Trump's popularity flatlines there and he increasingly relies on tribal Republican voters instead of the people who turned out for him four years before [which are incredibly disillusioned and stays at home].

As of 2040, this is the best Republican performance of the last twenty years. After that, the GOP goes into a death-spiral.

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In 2024, the Republicans fracture. Steve Bannon narrowly wins a majority of delegates despite the now moribund establishment (led by Rand Paul) fighting against him. Jeff Flake, candidate of the Libertarians and 2020 running-mate to John Kasich, ensure an influx of moderate establishment Republicans into the party, surging them to prominent-party status while Ted Cruz sets up his own "Christian Values Party" as a religious-right party.

Of course, this bitter three-way division at a time when the Democrats are very popular and President Klobuchar is credited for the economic recovery, leads to a very, very obvious outcome.

Notable here is that Puerto Rico is admitted as a state in 2022 and the total Electoral Votes will be 540 after 2030. For the 2024 and 2028 elections, its 6 votes are just added to the existing 438 to make up 544.

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The 2028 election was a winnable one for the Democrats. Despite a surge of Libertarians and Christian Values in the 2026 midterms leading to some shock wins [A Libertarian Senator from Connecticut?!], it was widely accepted by everyone that the Democrats would cruise to another comfortable win. Certainly, the Libertarians couldn't appeal to people outside the "right-wing" and the Republicans were dead-in-the water.

Despite some turbulence when Senator Peta Lindsay challenged the Vice-President, it proved a cruise to the nomination for Vice-President Harris. The Republicans and Christian Values surprisingly came to an agreed ticket of Alex Jones and Richard Spencer, despite the CV people wishing for elder statesman in the party Rick Santorum instead. The Libertarians denounced the two parties as "authoritarians" then went and nominated Raúl Labrador and Tom Cotton as their 2028 ticket on a "Live Free, Vote Libertarian" platform.

The polls were all confidently predicting a Democratic landslide, with the Libertarians just coming in second. Sure, the economy was a bit sluggish after the boom for most of the 2020s, but it was still fine! Then came along two events that torpedoed Democratic hopes. First was Alex Jones' sudden death in the second debate. He was in the middle of a big rant condemning the Democrats' socialist-liberalism and the Libertarians' "permissive" stances when he just collapsed on to his lectern, dead. The third debate was cancelled.

The second event, and the most impactful, was the economy going into a sharp recession in late October, the "ultimate October Surprise" according to many newspapers. Polls were saying that a lot of Jones voters were switching to Labrador as the only alive anti-Democratic nominee and that a lot of undecided voters were now leaning Labrador because of the economy going into recession. Harris pushed her campaign to the limit to prevent a Libertarian winning, underlining their anti-welfare policies, and there was a big internet "Yellow Scare" move in which memes were widely used to undermine the Libertarian ideology.

In the end, the result came and there was no majority despite a very, very weird election map due to America still in transition between two duopolies. Harris succeeded at undermining Labrador enough to deny him an outright majority and she hoped the result would go to the Democratic majority House after the Electoral College vot- Oh.

Alex Jones was dead, and his electors were not technically bound to him any longer. Four of them still voted for him, two voted for their once-desired running-mate Rick Santorum, a whopping seven voted for Jones' running-mate Richard Spencer, and the final thirteen... Well, they saw where the wind was going, and voted Labrador to give him an outright majority.

America now had its first Hispanic president, its first Idahoan president and its first non-Dem/non-GOP president in a century and three-quarters.

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On the surface, 2032 went as expected, an easy re-election for a popular incumbent. But that betrays the shifts happening under the roof. The most obvious sign of the importance of the 2032 election was the collapse of the Republican Party. For many who still stuck to the party in the hope that they could keep it from going fully to the alt-right, Spencer's nomination was a confirmation that their hopes were unfounded.

The three states that voted for Alex Jones in 2028 went their own ways, with Oklahoma and Tennessee voting Labrador while Kentucky voted Gabbard. Another notable thing was that despite Labrador's gains elsewhere he faced a swing to the Democrats in New England as his 2028 voters [who voted for him as a vague protest vote] were heavily turned off by his hardline economic-liberalism and rallied behind Gabbard.

For Tulsi Gabbard, Labrador knew full well that her weaknesses were buried in her past. A history of being a hardline social conservative and a reputation as a supporter of fascism elsewhere, those were expertly used to scare moderate voters to vote Labrador, and some would argue that it ensured the Democrats would fully absorb Appalachia into its column as the swing there was considerably more than expected.

In the end, Gabbard would be the first Democrat since Adlai Stevenson in 1952 to win Kentucky while losing the national election. America's decade-long re-alignment was now complete.

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Many hoped that this would be the return of the Republicans. President Labrador's second term was heavily controversial resulting in his vice-president was primaried in favour of an one-term no-namer and the Democrats went ahead and nominated a socialist. Surely this was the time of the Republicans to return from languishing in a humiliating third place?

Well, many Republicans hoped so, and they did nominate someone vaguely "respectable", namely Julia Hahn, long-time political commenter and former Special Advisor to a President [everyone knew it was Trump, the campaign just never specified on who because of Trump's unpopularity]. Running with well-known controversial Internet star Jon Jafari [better known as JonTron], this was the most prominent Republican ticket since Alex Jones' death.

But they miscalculated. Michael Henderson might have been an one-term Senator, but despite his generic-looking face [which he did turn into a positive, he was the "everyman" according to many, many adverts] he represented a break from Labradorism. Adopting a more socially-neutral attitude, including a vow to not attempt an abolishment of the Department of Education while the Democrats held Congress, he rebuilt support with middle-class voters unsure about the Libertarians after Labrador's presidency. And to ensure the base would turn out he chose Governor William Paul of Texas, the latest scion in a Libertarian dynasty, as his running-mate.

But neither did the Democrats choose a weak nominee. Senator Peta Lindsay of Pennsylvania was no rookie at presidential elections, she ran in 2012 for the Party of Socialism and Liberation and famously challenged Vice-President Harris in 2028 when it was expected to be unopposed. Now in 2036 it was her time, and she ran a deeply pro-labor campaign, attempting to portray Henderson as merely a new face of anti-labor Libertarianism. Her campaign was primarily focusing on undermining Henderson's "new face of Libertarianism" by tying him with the controversial Labrador administration.

Neither Henderson nor Lindsay ignored the rising polls of Hahn, and they both fired hard at the Republicans, underlining their strong association with right-wing extremism. Footage of Hahn defending former President Donald Trump and Jafari's many controversial sayings over the years made a dent in their polling and they were now projected as going below 20%.

As the election went on, minor issues such as Paul's arrest for driving while drunk in 2015 came to the fore despite a strong and at times relentlessly-negative campaign from all three tickets, driving the fourth-party vote to a record low. As Election Day loomed, the polls grew closer and closer. Hahn and Jafari went on the offense, arguing that America's morality was "soiled" and returned to the old anti-immigrant stance, portraying Henderson and Lindsay as "weak" on immigration, up to using dog-whistles of past decades including implying that President Labrador was weak because he was Hispanic.

This received an immediate backlash and on Election Day, they only won 16% of the vote while many of their Congresspeople were turfed out in favour of Democrats and Libertarians. After the election, the party went into infighting and rapidly became irrelevant by 2040, with the combined three Republican tickets only combining a meagre 7% that year.

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The 2040 election would be a hotly contested one between the Libertarian incumbent, President Michael "Mike" Henderson of Virginia, and the Democratic challenger Senator Caitlin Rodriguez of Texas. As was typical in the new party system, the focus was on the economy and on foreign policy issues where the two parties most disagreed with. Rodriguez argued for an active government fighting against income inequality as well as liberal internationalism, Henderson arguing for government keeping out of people's lives and out of foreign wars unless necessary. None of them were advocating anything like the "America First!" policies of the old Republicans, of course. Such a thing was heavily unpopular and thus politically unelectable in 2040.

It was shaping up to be a close race, but Rodriguez always had the upper hand as the nation was slowly tiring after twelve years of Libertarian presidencies. Maybe it was time for the Party of Klobuchar to return to government. Fiscal reports of an increase in income inequality and a decrease in class mobility, widely spread by Democrats, merely sealed the deal as people rallied behind Rodriguez.

President Henderson would go down to a respectable defeat, netting 231 electoral votes and 44.9% of the popular vote, while the victorious Senator Rodriguez won 309 electoral votes and 47.3% of the popular vote. Notable here was the final collapse of the "Grand Old Party" as its three nominees [due to a convention dispute] all failed to get over 5% of votes. Nobody missed them.

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All of this came from a back-formation of the 2040 election being one based off Cato's Freedom in the 50 States ratings for 2017.
 
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