"A Very British Transition" - A Post-Junta Britain TL

Eventually, I decided to vote how OTL me would vote.
I went for how OTL me would vote. I think my dad in TTL would likely be dead or in prison while my mum would have emigrated.

My dad sometimes talks about getting swept up in radical campus politics after the death of Kevin Gately. The student union banned police from his university campus and would throw bricks at their cars if they came onto university property, among other things. I can't imagine he'd have a happy ending in TTL
 
I went for how OTL me would vote. I think my dad in TTL would likely be dead or in prison while my mum would have emigrated.

My dad sometimes talks about getting swept up in radical campus politics after the death of Kevin Gately. The student union banned police from his university campus and would throw bricks at their cars if they came onto university property, among other things. I can't imagine he'd have a happy ending in TTL
I've thought about where I'd be in this world too,

My granddad on my Mum's side was an Northern Irish Republican who moved to Birmingham after "the prods" burnt his house down, although he was a pacifist there's a few family stories of great uncle Jimmy being in the RA.

My dad's side of the family is an old military family, Great Granddad fought at Dunkirk, my Granddad was an army Colonel and a Tory/UKIP voter (knowing his political views I wouldn't be surprised if he was first on the Junta train.)

So in all likelihood I probably wouldn't have been born, if I had, I'd still be a child at this point in the TL.

Since I've worked as a Labour Party staffer in the Commons, adult me would probably be on the radical edge of the SDP or an Alternative supporter. All things considered I'd probably find myself in the Alternative but on the democratic socialist John McDonnell/Michael Meacher wing rather than the Tankie wing.
 
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You did Nick Clegg very dirty by promoting Jeremy Clarkson.
So Johnson has survived a terror attack, what kind of Armageddon is now pending for the PM to survive.
Another unrelated question is whether there is any movement to de-Balkanise British provinces and what's the support between seperatism and union in non-English provinces.
 
So Johnson has survived a terror attack, what kind of Armageddon is now pending for the PM to survive.
Supervolcano under Hull, maybe?

Joked about Johnston needing a natural disaster to complete his Crisis bingo card but unless some major butterflies flapped, it doesn’t look there are any real major ones beyond some flooding and heavy snowfalls. That said, if Johnston or his successor can be seen being proactive in dealing with those, it would certainly help boost their public image.
 
You did Nick Clegg very dirty by promoting Jeremy Clarkson.
So Johnson has survived a terror attack, what kind of Armageddon is now pending for the PM to survive.
Another unrelated question is whether there is any movement to de-Balkanise British provinces and what's the support between seperatism and union in non-English provinces.
The SNP, RISE and Plaid want to see an end to province balkanisation. Especially the SNP who have made their main aim the establishment of a unified Scottish political body, as opposed to RISE who want to get out of the Union asap and sort it out from there.

There are also some smaller movements especially in Yorkshire to unite some of the more historic regions
 
2009 Election Debate
Candidates spar in British election debate

By Victoria Burnett

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In a tense televised debate, British PM Alan Johnson and opposition leader Tim Collins focused on immigration, terrorism and the economy.

Johnson and Collins clashed in a high-stakes election debate, with opinion polls indicating the SDP incumbent bested his rival.

The incumbent Prime Minister attended the debate with his arm in a cast, after surviving an assassination attempt by far-right paramilitaries.

Two polls released immediately after the face-off, indicated Johnson had scored a victory over Collins.

The BBC's polling said 50.8 percent of people thought Johnson had won and 29 percent believed Collins had. ITV reported figures of 49.2 to 29.1 percent respectively.

"Johnson uses policy to counter Collins' gloom," headlined the centrist Sun newspaper on Tuesday.

Collins is facing his last chance to deny Johnson a second mandate.

The latest opinion polls give Collins' opposition National Party a lead of about two percentage points over Johnson's SDP but the Social Democrats have been closing in.

"It's double or quits for Collins today in the debate," said the right-wing Daily Mail, while the Mirror described it as his "last chance to reverse the tide."

The opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the economy and has vowed to take a hard line on immigration if elected.

According to the BBC, the debate netted 17.54 million viewers the highest ratings of any live TV since the live signing of the Cardiff Accords in 2004

A combative Collins charged Monday the prime minister had "got his priorities wrong."

"We need a government that provides certainty and security. A government that takes care of the real problems and does not divide us," Collins said, referring to Johnson's social reforms that have upset the powerful Anglican Church

Collins said immigration "is not being controlled."

"There are Brits who lose out because foreigners come with lower incomes and get priority help from social services," said Collins.

Johnson responded that the only immigrants who can remain are "those who can legally work."

Collins accused the government of "negotiating with terrorists" in its failed peace process with SNLA dissidents.

Johnson vowed to support whatever government is elected in the fight against terrorism. "I would like to hear him say the same thing," he said.

Mr Johnson accused the opposition of “doing nothing more than weakening the government’s hand in the fight against terrorism”.

Collins accused Johnson of insulting the victims of terrorism by negotiating with terrorists, who he said were now occupying town hall posts, paid for with taxpayer's money.

Johnson countered he received no support from the opposition for its anti-terrorism policies. He argued this made it impossible for him to bring peace to the Scottish provinces.

Sparks flew over the fate of Rory Steel, a teenage SNLA fighter imprisoned under Terrorism Laws, the youngest person imprisoned under these laws.

The Johnson Government came under pressure from human rights law to transfer Steel to a lower security young offenders institution.

Collins promised to change the law to ensure teenagers imprisoned under terrorism charges would remain in maximum security prisons.

Collins also accused Johnson of "ignoring reality" over the slowing economy, while Johnson promised to revive it.

Commentators agreed that Mr Collins had looked formidable as he attacked the government’s management of the economy. He made repeated reference to the higher cost of food staples, while depicting a country where people feared for their jobs.

The economy is likely to be the key to this election. During the debate, the two leaders traded statistics on everything from the price of eggs to unemployment. They waved graphs and polls at each other to support their arguments.

Collins said that under Johnson "prices have gone up" and "unemployment has risen". Johnson replied that the country had enjoyed "four years of spectacular growth".

He also blamed immigrants for rising crime levels and stretched social services in the country. He reaffirmed his party’s hard line on forcing foreigners to integrate into British society.

Mr Johnson countered with his government’s record on social reform as well as spending on pensions, education and research.

Immigration has become a key issue, in a country where 6% of the 60 million inhabitants are foreign-born. Collins accused Johnson of ignoring the rising phenomenon. "You are not interested in talking about immigration, but I am - 30% of prisoners in jail are foreign.

“We have to establish some order and control and your party does not want to."

Despite net emigration being much higher than immigration, polls show older Brits are especially concerned around incoming migrants.

Collins has made this a central plank in National's campaign, targeting lower class families worried about competing for scarce jobs.

Johnson retorted that when he came to power in 2005 there were 300,000 illegal immigrants. "We have given them contracts, with the agreement of companies and unions," he said.

Johnson, 59, scored a surprise victory over Collin, 49, in a March 2005 election, months after the passage of the Cardiff Accords.

Johnson drew support from many Brits who saw the ruling National Party as too close to the Junta Government of Peter Hill-Norton and Louis Mountbatten.

On taking office, he withdrew Britain's troops from Iraq, something he recalled at Monday's debate.

But Collins accused the prime minister of lying to the British people by supporting a UN resolution on Iraq two months later.

It was the second televised debate between the two candidates, following a tense confrontation on May 25.

The debate was criticised by smaller parties who were not given the same mass-media format to present their programmes.

Michael Meacher, leader of the Socialist Alternative, described the event as “two monologues".

Neither the debate's mediator nor the public were allowed to ask questions. This left both sides repeating well-rehearsed arguments. Unlike the US elections, which have been enlivened by audience participation, the debate felt old-fashioned.

The candidates were incapable of rising above dry statistics to give a broader vision of the future.

At the end of the debate Johnson chose to sign off by saying "Good night, and good luck", in the fashion of Edward Murrow.

Opinion polls released afterwards indicated Johnson scored a points victory but not a knock-out blow.

A poll published in the Telegraph on Monday found 43 percent of voters supported National against 41 percent for the SDP.

That would give Johnson's party between 197 and 211 seats in Britain's 497-seat parliament, compared with 206 to 220 for the National Party.

This leave the left-wing Socialist Alternative (polling 18-32 seats) and the moderate Reform Party (polling 9-23 seats) as the kingmakers

The poll predicted that turnout would be between 76 and 78 percent. This is more than the 75 percent which some analysts estimate is necessary for a win by the SDP, whose voters are less likely to take part.

“The debates won’t convince voters to change parties, but they could convince them to go out and vote,” said Stephan Shakespeare, of YouGov.

In the last week before the vote, the SDP has focused on achieving a high turnout. They warn of the risk of a "radical" right-wing government that would reverse Johnson's liberal social reforms.

  • New York Times, 2009
 
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So Johnson won and Collins is screwed.
Meanwhile the military is conducting routine 'exercises' around Whitehall and BBC Broadcasting House.
 
Hello lovely readers!

I am moving house tonight to sunny London, our wifi company says it will take over a week to get our internet set up so there might be a bit of a hiatus on updates. I'll try and upload what I've written on my lunch break using my work's wifi but still updates might be a bit spotty.

No one coup the thread whilst I'm gone!
 

dcharleos

Donor
Hello lovely readers!

I am moving house tonight to sunny London, our wifi company says it will take over a week to get our internet set up so there might be a bit of a hiatus on updates. I'll try and upload what I've written on my lunch break using my work's wifi but still updates might be a bit spotty.

No one coup the thread whilst I'm gone!

Don't be gone too long. Mountbatten and I are pooling forces even now...
 
Glad to see Johnson doing well! I’m interested to see what role the Socialist Alternative will play in the future with Meacher at the helm.
 
2009 Election Special, Part 2
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Johnson was the SDP's biggest, maybe only, asset

“The popularity of British Prime Minister Alan Johnson has hit a four-month high, according to a survey by the Star. The Prime Minister's approval rating rose to 57 percent in the first week of June from 53 percent in mid-May. This compared with a smaller drop of 2 points to 44 percent for Opposition Leader Tim Collins, the survey showed. Fifty-eight percent judged Johnson's response to the financial crisis to have been positive. In another poll by Opinium, 55 percent of those asked said they felt Johnson had managed the global economic crisis well. But almost two-thirds of participants said the billions released to save the financial system had been badly used. Major companies had benefited most from the PM's policies, which had not led to better regulation of capitalism, according to the views expressed in the poll.”
- Johnson’s popularity rises after debates, Reuters (2009)

After a strong performance in the debate, the SDP continued to close the gap with National, but Johnson still had a problem, he was personally more popular than the Social Democratic brand itself. The party strategists either had a choice, keep Johnson at the forefront of the campaign and reap the rewards of his personal popularity, or step back and allow other Cabinet Ministers to take leadership roles, with the hope of strengthening the SDP brand. Johnson’s top team would opt for the latter option, and Johnson would focus on barnstorming speeches across the country, whilst media appearances would be handled by trusted lieutenants including Deputy PM Alan Milburn, Chancellor Simon Hughes and Foreign Secretary Rosie Boycott.

National began to pivot to warning of an unstable SDP coalition, reliant not only on the Alternative but also MPs from the SNP and RISE. Collins warned a government involving seperatist parties would form an existential threat to the Union and would force Johnson to “invite terrorists to the Cabinet table”. With both parties neck and neck governing arithmetic became difficult. The Alternative’s membership were hesitant around another term with the SDP, and would never agree to working with National. Reform said it was open to either major party but would never work with radical leftists or separatists. The SNP’s leadership said it was open to working with either parties as long as it was offered comprehensive reform of Scottish governance, in other words a powerful central Scottish authority, if not an outright independence referendum.

“Plaid Cymru and the SNP MPs have formed a new "Celtic alliance" at Westminster in a bid to increase their influence over a possible minority government. Helen Jones of Plaid Cymru and John Swinney of the SNP signed a joint agreement to press for a "four-point programme" in a future hung parliament. The new nationalist bloc currently has a total of 20 MPs out of the 497 currently at Westminster; 13 SNP and seven Welsh nationalists. Both the SNP and Plaid believe they can increase that number. Swinney's party is confident it will win at least 20 seats at the election, while a Plaid spokesman said it hopes for a "marked increase" on its seven seats. But, Plaid in particular is facing a tougher time making gains than Jones had predicted.” - SNP and Plaid Cymru form Celtic alliance to influence hung parliament, Severin Carrell, The Guardian (2009)

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The Celtic Alliance would form a strong voting bloc in the likely event of a hung parliament

On the National side, Collins was trying to counter criticism that he had moved his party to the right after the sacking of Nick Clegg. The SDP had warned Collins was eurosceptic at heart and would frustrate Britain’s further integration to the EU. To counter this Collins gained public endorsements from his European People’s Party allies, including French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both Sarkozy and Merkel had taken a more fiscally conservative attitude to EU action post-crash, compared to Johnson who had favoured Obama’s stimulus route. They would be quite happy to push Johnson out and get a fellow fiscal conservative in Downing Street. Either way, most EU leaders just wanted a strong government of either party, they feared if Britain collapsed again,refugees would go streaming into their borders.

Collins also rallied the powerful Anglican Church behind him. In an unprecedented display Arch-Bishop of Canterbury Michael Nazir-Ali gave National a public endorsement, calling on all good Christians to vote against Johnson’s government. Nazir-Ali pointed towards Johnson’s legalisation of same-sex marriage, the liberalisation of aborition laws and attempted reforms to the curriculum as proof Johnson was running an ungodly administration. Just under a fifth of British voters attended Church just once a week, so Nazir-Ali’s statement was powerful. But on the other side of the coin secular, Catholic and other non-Anglican voters were turned off by the Church getting involved so directly in politics. SDP MP Norman Warner warned of a “state religion” should National be returned to power.

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Laws being made in Canterbury, not Westminster, worried some secular votes

The Reform Party was having a fairly quiet election, after being locked out of the debates they were struggling to keep themselves relevant, and tensions were building behind the scenes between Brown and her Deputy Ruth Davidson. As with most third parties, the main question journalists wanted to ask was which party they’d team up with in a hung Parliament. Brown preferred the Social Democrats whilst figures on the party’s right like Ruth Davidson and John Bercow preferred National. This came from a conflicting vision on what the party should be, Brown wanted the party to be a bastion of moderate, dragging the Social Democrats away from the Alternative and towards the centre, whilst Davidson wanted the party to be a party of unionism above all else, working with National to ensure devolution went no further.

The main beneficiaries of Reform’s struggle was the SDP, with centrist voters returning to the devil they knew. What had been striking about the campaign was that no third party managed to break through, despite the corruption scandals and general poor approval ratings of both major parties. The big two had consistently improved in the polls since the election was called, especially the SDP who had gone from five points behind in some early polls to being basically neck and neck with National. National had failed to capitalise on the gift that had been the financial crisis, and whilst around the world politics was turned on its head politics in Britain had been surprisingly stable. The main issue now was what came after the election.

“On June 7, 2009, six years after the death of Peter Hill-Norton, Britons are electing new Parliament. It is the second contested parliamentary election, and it produced scenes that Mountbatten would have abhorred. In Merseyside, Communists are waving red banners, chanting slogans, and singing the Internationale. In Humberside, the dynamic leader of the Social Democrats enters rallies with his left hand in a clenched fist salute. Celtic politicians speak Irish, Welsh and Gaelic, all forbidden languages a few years before. More than 37 million Brits are voting in a peaceful campaign that presented all points of view, no matter how repulsive to the memory of Mountbatten. Taking advantage of a strong debate performance Prime Minister Alan Johnson is hoping to win a second term in office.”
- Britain's New Democracy, Foreign Affairs (2009)

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Collins had stumbled and lost momentum in the last days of the campaign
 
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