How is this timeline so far?

  • Great

    Votes: 39 48.1%
  • Good

    Votes: 30 37.0%
  • Okay

    Votes: 8 9.9%
  • Bad

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • Implausible

    Votes: 3 3.7%

  • Total voters
    81
K, apart from a few inconsistencies (Diamond Hill is a village in Cumberland, but you got the separate fire departments down pat - even though they too would also be village-based, more or less, but I'll let that slide; also, fortunately RI is one of the few states that has no governor's mansions, but your use of mixed case there makes the point enough), things are actually much worse than you'd imagine downstream. I can't speak to the water supply in Cumberland, but in Pawtucket, well, it's going to be crazy. I remember as a very young kid we had a water crisis because of some bacteria in the water supply, so for a long time we had to get bottled water at the local fire station until the problem was fixed. Guess where Pawtucket's water supply is located?

Yep, the Diamond Hill Reservoir (our luck, eh? :rolleyes:), which is so deep that even during a drought we can still get water. That and the neighboring Arnold Mills Reservoir would be more likely to get contaminated before the Blackstone River does. So we'd have to do the bottled water routine and temporarily get our water elsewhere (either from Providence via the Scituate Reservoir or even another city/town over the line in MA (Attleboro, for example) until the contamination in the Diamond Hill Reservoir is removed (and you bet that would take priority). That would also affect local politics, too - Sarault may be a crook of a mayor, but even he would get pissed and demand something be done immediately to fix the problem. We're already down in the doldrums already as a city, and the accident at Diamond Hill just made things even worse.

Speaking of which - the accident also is going to send a good portion of MA's border communities, from Wrentham and Attleboro (which directly border Cumberland) outwards, into just as much of a panic as Rhode Island. So even Beacon Hill (the Massachusetts state government and its politicians) is going to be pissed and would demand something be done.

I do like the whole Rhode Island Revolution, though. Warms my heart a bit. We'll see what happens next - and would it be ironic if Heritage Credit Union (the one that ultimately started the whole banking crisis mess in the first place) only started to collapse just now, during the break, creating yet another domino effect in the middle of an FBI corruption investigation. Even Kiely could be just as paralyzed on this as DiPrete was IOTL (handing the mess off to Sundlun to fix it in the process). As if things can't get dramatic enough in the Ocean State.
 
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The one thing I am a little unsure of is how he treated his wife. Now naturally she divorced him in 1983, so clearly their marriage was always on the rocks. But to be outright abusive? I get that he's now in full panic control and meltdown mode, but....eh. It's a minor quibble. Can't wait for the next chapter.
As OTT as it sounds, much of it (from what we know from the public record) is largely extrapolated from OTL. No wonder why he ended up cheating on her and all that.
 
Thanks for the feedback! In not the next chapter but the one after the next one (hint; Jenkins Moment) I’ll cover the ensuing investigation. Kiely’s going to wonder why there was no one else who could take power as he’s caught between collapsing banks, a terrified legislature, and cleaning up the Diamond Hill Disaster. Glad you like the Rhode Island Revolution! IMO it was the only logical conclusion after the OTL corruption you've described and the Diamond Hill Disaster.
Haig and Rudy are going to be the heralds who were against Cianci. Cursed are we. Now all we need is Pat Robertson to tag along.
So far, we have Haig, Giuliani, and Pat Buchanan as those who have accused Cianci of corruption or are actively fighting him now. Truly a cursed list.
Oh come on, how corrupt could he-- *googles Blanton* Ah. Well then. That all makes sense.
Like Cianci I didn't think he could be that bad but then I actually read up about him. Honestly, only James Traficant and Cianci are more mind blowing in how they didn't get at least a decade in prison. Perfect for TTL.
It's odd, at the beginning of this timeline I had thought that Cianci's crimes were a little over the top. This is not a problem, by the by, all timelines have an element that might seem over the top or bizarre by their very definitions, I'm more interested in entertainment. But after reading up on Cianci and bringing his misconduct prior to the office of President back to haunt him in a big way, it actually puts a lot of this into perspective. Of course it seems over the top, he was only the Mayor of a single area in OTL. But given more power and who knows where that would have taken him? I'm fully on-board with this, this is a really fun timeline to read.

The one thing I am a little unsure of is how he treated his wife. Now naturally she divorced him in 1983, so clearly their marriage was always on the rocks. But to be outright abusive? I get that he's now in full panic control and meltdown mode, but....eh. It's a minor quibble. Can't wait for the next chapter.
Honestly, I didn't plan for Cianci's crimes to be so severe. Then I read up on Operation Gladio and about the Gayle Reddick case. Also, the thought of Propaganda Due and Cianci working together was too good to pass up. Glad you're having fun and thank you!

As for the way he treated his wife, my rational was that he wasn't ever abusive towards her until now, but the pressure ended up getting to him in this case. Seeing her as a threat to his power who must be intimidated and in the heat of the moment, he decides to send a message. Furthermore, considering he was a violent thug IOTL, threatening to cave Raymond DeLeo's face in with a log I thought it was believable that he would push her and vaguely threaten her family, a threat she knows he has the power to back up and get away with. So, she stays quiet, and her hatred grows, as Cianci becomes distant to her, until Congress asks her to testify which she gladly accepts.
 
Thanks for the feedback!
You're welcome. :)
In not the next chapter but the one after the next one (hint; Jenkins Moment) I’ll cover the ensuing investigation. Kiely’s going to wonder why there was no one else who could take power as he’s caught between collapsing banks, a terrified legislature, and cleaning up the Diamond Hill Disaster.
That would be great. Speaking of which, after I typed up that post, I remembered a few other things:

*Your mention of the Blackstone River reminded me of how, IOTL (well before I was born), there was actually a grassroots movement developing in the '70s and '80s that sought to have the Blackstone cleaned up. Already in 1900, historically, there's reports of it being polluted with industrial waste and all that, to the point where in 1990 (while I was a baby) the Feds finally recognized the river needed to get cleaned up. Hence the formation of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (which is now a national "park") that not only recognized it as part of a conservation effort, but to draw attention to its historical and cultural value both to Rhode Island and, as an early center of the Industrial Revolution, to the United States as a whole. Because of the huge amount of pollution, I don't know if there would be any city or town along it that would take it as a water supply (but I'll digress on that). If the conservation effort happens ITTL as well (as, since it started before the POD, it definitely would), then the Diamond Hill Disaster would probably provide further impetus for getting the river cleaned up, from Worcester (MA) on down to Pawtucket. A parallel effort would also be happening at the Ten Mile River in terms of addressing the legacy of industrial pollution there.

*As for the whole sealing off of Cumberland as a contamination zone and all that - well, there's probably going to be a bit of a chance that, as people tend to be stubborn, residents of Cumberland as a whole and Diamond Hill (the village) in particular will want to go back and rebuild their lives there, despite all the warnings. After all, even a change of water supply for the town (even Valley Falls, another village in Cumberland, which is hooked up to the Pawtucket water supply and also IOTL gets its water from Diamond Hill) could, in the eyes of residents, make the place somewhat liveable again.

So, another part of the Rhode Island Revolution would be Cumberland residents wanting to go back despite being told it's on uninhabitable land and rebuild their lives. After all, Hiroshima was rebuilt after WWII despite nuclear radiation from the atom bomb, so why can't Cumberland do the same? Decontamination can happen alongside reconstruction and rebuilding. To everyone else in the US (even within Rhode Island), that would seem to defy all logic. The money's there (if spent in a non-corrupt fashion, which means not only Cianci has to go, but also the state needs to change - which it looks like the Revolution will do), so it could be done. Even if it means hiring international experts to sort through it (and, in the current situation, RI could - for once - be finally open to outside opinion on anything and everything wrong with the state).

Glad you like the Rhode Island Revolution! IMO it was the only logical conclusion after the OTL corruption you've described and the Diamond Hill Disaster.
Definitely. RI needed to get out of its funk, so we'll see ITTL how it goes from there.
 
Chapter XXXI: Coalitions and Coal
The SDP-Liberals in 1982 made history, electing the first person from neither the Labor nor Conservative Parties since David Lloyd George in 1918. The meteoric rise of the SDP-Liberal Alliance had been backed by millions of hopeful Britons who had grown sick of the hard-left and hard-right. The wave of optimism had not been seen since Clement Attlee’s election in 1945 but that optimism was not to last as Jenkins was wrong man at the wrong time. His coalition with the Conservatives instantly made him controversial within all three parties. Within the Labor Party members felt as if they were cheated out of 10th Downing Street as they had won the most seats in parliament.

Within the Conservatives the pro-Thatcher “Drys” of the Party was angry that they were relegated to being a junior partner in a coalition knowing that they’d be forced to compromise, and the anti-Thatcher “Wets” were angry that Thatcher embarrassed them. Soon after the coalition was hammered out by Thatcher, she resigned, and Willie Whitelaw became the interim leader of the Conservatives. The ensuing leadership battle could best be described as a blood bath. The four main candidates were former Peter Walker, Francis Pym, Keith Joseph, and John Biffen. Francis Pym, managed to become the front runner after the first debate that saw Joseph and Biffen attack each other over their differing social views, which drove a wedge between their supporters. Meanwhile, Walker was visibly sick, spending more time coughing and blowing his nose than speaking which made him look unprofessional. Coming out of the first debate Pym was the one who looked the most professional. On the first ballot, which was held on October 3rd, 1983, Pym came in first place with 39.4% of the vote and Walker only captured an abysmal 10.2% of the vote. Pym, seeing Walker’s potential endorsement as what he needed to secure his spot as leader offered Walker the spot of Home Secretary in the coalition (which was currently occupied by Pym). Walker accepted and soon after Pym secured his position as leader of the Conservatives, becoming Deputy Prime Minister. Almost immediately, Edward du Cann, the leader of the right-wing 1922 Committee expressed discontent with Pym’s compromising attitude towards the SDP-Liberals.

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The Conservatives new leader.

Within the SDP-Liberals the success of the Alliance would lead to immediate talks about merging the two parties. But first came managing the coalition that was already incredibly unstable. In the coalition you had people ranging from the hard-right Paymaster General Alan Clark and the radical Minister of Agriculture Archie Kirkwood who would never get along with each other. This left Foreign Secretary David Penhaligon as the “firefighter” of the coalition who desperately tried to keep everyone happy. Two men who did get along were Peter Walker and David Steel, who both came from the moderate wings of both of their respective parties. The two men swiftly got to work cutting taxes and raising spending for certain welfare programs. Walker and Steel even created a new welfare program, to the dismay of the right of the Conservatives. The program would be suggested by the radical Michael Meadowcroft who believed the program would reduce lifestyle diseases and decrease pressure on the NHS. The proposal, which would see two billion pounds dedicated to preventive healthcare and create the Ministry of Preventive Healthcare was supported by all three major Parties and passed 634-16 on January 4th, 1983.

Soon after the bill passed Labor would begin the process of electing a new leader. Michael Foot was expected to deliver Labor a majority but instead was embarrassed by the SDP. Foot didn’t have to resign and if he didn’t resign as leader, he would have certainly become Prime Minister. However, two factors persuaded him to resign. The first was the glaring issue of unity. His time as leader had angered the right and center of Labor with his divisive and unpopular positions on leaving the EEC and nuclear disarmament. Second was his age, assuming he became Prime Minister in 1987 he would be seventy-four years old, the oldest Prime Minister in British history. There were younger and more effective socialists who could lead the Labor Party to victory. On September 19th, 1982. The ensuing leadership race was once again a conflict between the right and left. The three main candidates were John Silkin who represented the mainstream left of the Party, Neil Kinnock who was a leftist who ran as a socialist who would advance economic and social justice while being amicable to the right and center of the part. The right the Party was represented by the young John Smith who ran as a modernizer who would move Labor away from Foot and defeat the SDP-Liberals. Several other candidates ran for leadership, but the only one worth talking about is Shadow Chancellor of Exchequer Peter Shore who ended up splitting the left of the Party with Silkin. To the shock of the Labor Party Kinnock and Smith came in second and first respectively. Silkin won 22% of the vote, Meacher 23%, Kinnock 23%, and Smith 24%. The first-round victory for Smith solidified his position along with Kinnock whose promise of ending Labor infighting appealed to the victory-starved left. The second ballot would see Kinnock win 36% of the vote, Smith 34%, and Meacher 30%. The third ballot would see the hard-left rally behind Kinnock who won with 61% of the vote. Upon his election as Labor’s new leader Kinnock got to work moderating the Party. He removed the radical sections of the manifesto, including the promise to withdraw from the EEC.

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A month later the left of the Labor Party would strike back in the Deputy Leadership Election which was triggered when Healey became Shadow Foreign Secretary in the Kinnock Shadow Cabinet. Originally, the left was going to support the hard-left Tony Benn, but he lost to the Liberal’s candidate in Bristol East. With Benn out of Parliament the left decided to rally around Jo Richardson who proceeded to defeat the Kinnock aligned Gerald Kaufman. Despite the media portraying Kaufman as a shoe in for Deputy Leader the exact opposite happened as Richardson would successfully rally trade unions, left-wing MPs, and feminists to support her. Furthermore, Kaufman’s support was hampered by his open sympathy to the plight of Palestinians which caused him to be associated with the left of the Party. The final ballot would see Heffer win with 53% of the vote to Kaufman’s 47%.

Shortly after Kinnock became the leader of Labor in March the SDP and Liberals begun talks of an official merger rather than an alliance. The success of the 1982 election would accelerate the process, which was expected to take a year at least. Instead, the process only took two months as Jenkins and Steel agreed on most issues and Jenkins agreed that Steel would be Deputy Leader of the new Party. The name of the Party was decided to be the Democratic Party, which Jenkins and Steel agreed on over Democratic Labor, Radical Party, or Alliance.

It was on July 9th, 1983, the Democratic Party was announced.

Almost immediately after its founding it was embarrassed. The youth wing of the Party, Young Democrats set out to elect its first leader. The election wasn’t considered important by any of the mainstream Democrats but for the radicals they saw an opportunity to cement the radical legacy of the Liberal Party. The ignored race provided the perfect opportunity as the radicals met in the house of member of the House of Lords and priest Tim Beaumont. The meeting was comprised of Michael Meadowcroft, John Pardoe, Simon Hughes, Felix Dodds, Des Wilson, and Tony Greave to discuss the election. Figuring the moderates of the party wouldn’t show up they decided to run Louis Eaks[1] who was notable as a LGBT+ rights advocate who served as chairmen of the National League of Young Liberals from 1969-1970. The member of the “Red Guard” faction that advocated for libertarian socialist policies, sanctioning South Africa, nuclear disarmament, and LGBT+ rights. The election wasn’t going to be something that was covered by most major news stations and papers as it was expected that Chris Huhne would win against the no-name candidates. In fact, Jenkins didn’t even know Eaks was running. Much to the shock of the media and Democratic Party Huhne lost to Eaks 44%-40%. Unlike Eaks, Huhne had barely campaigned for the presidency of the Young Democrats as he believed he was a shoe in. Eaks on the other hand made sure his supporters would vote while Huhne supporters, sure of his victory stayed home and watched in horror as the BBC highlighted Eaks’s proposed platform that included nuclear disarmament.

The Conservatives especially were pissed as Eaks horrified the socially conservative base of the party. Minister of Industry and Trade Geoffrey Rippon was quick to criticize Eaks and the right of the Conservative Party demanded Eaks be replaced with someone more moderate. Jenkins refused and Rippon took the matter to Pym. Pym flat out refused to put pressure on Jenkins, believing that the Young Democrats held no sway over the Democratic platform. This nonchalant attitude towards the radicals of the Democratic Party would serve to alienate the right of the Conservatives. The feeling of alienation wasn’t helped when the Conservative Party introduced the Obscenity Act into Parliament. The act would ban teachers from promoting homosexuality in schools, or in other words, mentioning it in a positive light. The bill was introduced by five right wing MPs on June 9th. The ensuing conflict over the bill would divide all three parties. Kinnock and Jenkins opposed the bill while Pym supported the bill. The ensuing fight threatened to tear the coalition apart as the Democrats and Conservatives attacked each other ruthlessly. It didn’t help that both the Democrats and Conservatives despised their position in Parliament. The Democrats believed that they should be the biggest Party in Parliament due to winning the popular vote and not having to rely on the Conservatives. The Conservatives on the other hand hated how they were larger than the Democrats, yet the Democrats were the coalition leaders. This would influence the increasing hatred of each other as every cabinet meeting, they clashed.

The debate over the Obscenity Act would become the greatest rallying point for the right of the Party as the Democrats united with Labor to defeat the bill, 397-253. The cracks in Jenkins coalition were obvious but what was less obvious were the cracks in the Conservative Party. Du Cann and Pym clash behind the scenes due to du Cann’s belief that Pym isn’t using the full weight of the Conservative Party to force a right-wing agenda. Pym responded by reminding du Cann that the Democrats were the ones with the power, as they could easily call a new election and most likely win. du Cann on the other hand believed that the Conservatives could bully the Democrats to the right due to a Democratic-Conservative coalition being the only realistic possibility due to Labor despising the Democrats. For now, at least, the split wasn’t big enough to destroy the coalition.

What doomed the coalition was the decision to close twenty colliers, which would cut 20,000 mining jobs. The mining industry, which had become increasingly unprofitable, and Coal Board Director Ian MacGregor sought to decrease the Coal Board’s deficit. He was backed by Steel who wanted to decrease the government’s spending to straighten out the budget. On February 19th, 1984, MacGregor announced the closing of twenty unprofitable colliers.

Unfortunately, this decision would end both men’s careers.

The National Union of Miners (NUM) was understandably angry at the decision. Since 1922 the coal mining industry had gone through a stunning collapse as more efficient power sources had been introduced. Since 1922 the coal mining industry had gone from a million miners to 200,000 in 1984. The proposed cut of 20,000 jobs that would primarily hit towns that relied exclusively on the coal industry for their survival would have been decimated. Facing the decimation of not just their families but their communities' miners pushed for a strike. Leader of NUM, the far-left Arthur Scargill would announce his opposition to the closing of the colliers the same day they were announced, making a strike impossible to avoid. On February 8th Scargill announced a national ballot for NUM to go on strike, which was overwhelmingly approved. The motion passed and 145,000 miners walked off the job and joined the picket line.

The strike divided the Democratic-Conservative coalition as Jenkins hoped to wait out the strike while Conservatives such as Airey Neave and Edward du Cann wanted the government to go all out against the miners. Striking workers weren’t given welfare benefits but those dependent on them were, so even though the strikers weren’t being paid their families were still receiving money from the government. The Conservatives wanted to eliminate the welfare benefits their families were receiving but the Democrats were opposed to the measure, with Jenkins believing the measure to be unnecessary and cruel. Even Steel, who staunchly opposed the strike and accused Scargill of being a Stalinist wasn’t willing to pass a bill denying benefits to those dependent on strikers. Labor, would unsurprisingly oppose the proposal and it was easily defeated, angering the right wing of the Conservatives. A day after the proposal was defeated the NACODS union, commanding 16,000 workers voted to go on strike. Despite negotiations with the government, pressure from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and NUM convinced the NACODS to join the strike, substantially increasing the pressure on the government.

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Women protesting the planned pit closures (1984).

The TUC would also announce its support for the strike, but Scargill denied the TUC’s offer to initiate a solidarity strike, with Scargill blaming the TUC for the failure of the 1926 General Strike. He was smart enough to accept financial aid from the TUC and the TUC would engage in grassroots fundraising efforts to help striking miners. By the end of the strike millions of pounds were raised for the strikers, with the TUC, NUM, and local activists, holding rallies and demonstrations to secure funds for the miners. One notable example was when a gay member of the Communist Party, Mark Ashton organized his friends in the LGBT+ movement to organize in solidarity with striking miners. Eventually, the group would raise 22,000 Pounds for mining community of Onllwyn.

On February 19th, a week after NACODS went on strike Labor Leader Neil Kinnock met with striking miners in Kent and gave a speech supporting the strikes. The Labor Leader, whose dad was a miner provided crucial support to the miners, calling on the UK to get behind the strike and emphasizing that average miners were at risk of losing their livelihoods if the cuts went through. The next day the Labor Party voted to adopt a resolution that gave "unconditional support" to the miners. Despite Scargill and Kinnock’s shared hatred for each other the alliance between Labor and NUM strengthened as Deputy Labor Leader Jo Richardson aggressively pushed for other trade unions to publicly support the miners and routinely condemned the government response. On March 3rd another union joined in the strike, the National Union of Seamen joined the strike, refusing to transport coal shipments. The strike would divide the NUS but support from Richardson and pressure from NUM kept most workers on strike.

By August the government and the miners hadn’t budged but the pressure to do so was enormous in the government. The cost of the strike had dramatically increased the deficit and support wasn’t dwindling. Despite the Sun and Daily Mail viciously attacking the strike newspapers such as the Daily Mirror, Guardian, and Daily Star gave sympathetic coverage to the miners. By September the situation was looking dire for the government. Minister of Defense David Owen estimated that enough money was raised to keep the strike going for another one and a half years, assuming no more money was raised. Furthermore, the courts had ruled that due to a national ballot the strike was legal which only further dug the government’s grave. By November Jenkins decided to begin negotiations with the strikers. That’s when the Conservatives revolted.

An angry du Cann and forty other MPs demanded that Pym pull support from the coalition if Jenkins bowed to Scargill. Pym refused, saying “would you rather have Scargill’s puppets in charge?” That didn’t stop the right from rebelling as the right of the Party disregarded Pym’s orders and resigned from the Jenkins cabinet. First was Minister of Trade and Industry Geoffrey Rippon, second was Paymaster General Alan Clark, and du Cann, Keith Joseph, and Airey Neave followed suit. The resignations marked the collapse of the Democratic-Conservative coalition as du Cann, and Clark made moves behind the scenes to oust Pym as leader. Pym found out about this and denounced the plan during a BBC interview. In retaliation the 1922 Committee prematurely held a vote to oust Pym. The vote saw Pym survive but that wouldn’t stop the rebellion. On October 19th Alan Clark left the Conservative Party along with Airey Neave, and Keith Joseph. du Cann would follow suit with sixteen other MPs, seeing the success of the Democrats they figured, why couldn’t they replicate that?

du Cann was selected to be the first leader of the new 1922 Conservatives that claimed to be the true Conservatives that would give a voice to the voiceless. Not all members of the right-wing joined the 1922 Conservatives, with Margaret Thatcher, Peter Lilley, and John Biffen, staying behind to support Pym.

The chaos in the Conservative Party would spill over to the Democrats when on December 1st, 1984, the Jenkins government made a deal with the strikers. The deal would be nearly the same as the 1973 agreement with Jenkins promising to not shut down any colliers. Just like in 1973 the deal would bring down the government as Pym and numerous Democrats were horrified at the loss. The breaking point came when David Owen resigned not just as Minister of Defense but from the Democrats, affiliating as an independent. In his resignation letter he denounced the deal as giving into the far left and criticized the Democrats for allowing Louis Eaks to lead the Young Democrats. Home Secretary Peter Walker resigned an hour later and said he would support a vote of no confidence. A vote of no confidence was introduced by du Cann of the 1922 Conservatives and easily passed with Labor and both Conservative Parties supporting it.

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Neil Kinnock reacting to the chaos in the Conservatives.

The ensuing election would be the messiest until 2022 with Labor, who somehow came out as the most unified party out of the three major parties. Despite the right and left of the Party disliking each other they understood this was not the time to fight each other but rather the Democrats and the forces of the right so they could mold the UK in their own image. For now, the Labor Party was the most united in decades as the left and right of the Party worked in harmony to run a ruthless campaign that saw the Democrats torn apart for failing to fix the economy and for continuing aid to Israel after they invaded Egypt. The Conservatives were attacked for being incompetent, with Kinnock and Jenkins pointing to the Thatcher years and the Conservatives uncooperative attitude during the Jenkins years. The Conservatives weren’t a legitimate political party this election but rather a punching bag for the other three parties who attacked the Conservatives and then proceeded to tell the public why their policies were better rather than the Conservatives who destroyed the economy and couldn’t help but screw up everything during their time in government.

The Conservatives tried to go on the attack, denouncing the Democrats as radical antisemites due to Eaks’s condemnation of Zionism as racism. An attack that was surprisingly popular in Britain (who was not nearly as pro-Arab as say Italy, Ireland, or the US) but one that had lost a decent amount of luster due to Israel’s increasingly extreme foreign policy (though, along with Russia and India the UK would remain one of the most pro-Israeli nations on earth). Furthermore, the Conservatives tried to tie Kinnock to Foot which backfired for obvious reasons. Their most effective attack was their attack on Labor for supporting the Miners' Strike which galvanized upper- and middle-class voters but then the inevitable question came up for voters.

Why vote for the Conservatives when they upheld the Democrats?

That question would drive voters to the 1922 Conservatives who released a right-wing platform that promised to keep the UK’s nuclear weapons, crack down on unions, pass anti-LGBT laws, reaffirm the UK’s alliance with Israel, and cutting all military aid to Italy. The 1922 Conservative platform was popular with right-wing voters which was terrible for the right as the 1922 Conservatives and real Conservative Party split the right-wing vote. In fact, the Democrats and Labor wouldn’t attack the 1922 Conservatives for that reason.

The last week of the campaign was by far the most brutal with all four parties throwing everything they had at each other. Pym accused the Democrats of being ran by “obscene radicals” due to having Eaks, an openly gay, self-described libertarian socialist as the leader of their youth wing and Roy Jenkins for giving into NUM’s demands. Jenkins retaliate by accusing Pym of supporting apartheid due to the Thatcher government’s support for the Botha regime. Kinnock would be accused by Pym and du Cann of being “Britain’s Berlinguer” (an accusation that was ironically supported by Arthur Scargill). Kinnock would join in on the fun, pointing out how the Democrats tried to cut 20,000 jobs and gave weapons to South Africa until Malan came to power. Jenkins responded by accusing Deputy Leader Jo Richardson of being a Communist. The political blood bath would worsen when Lord Mountbatten, a prominent naval officer and relative of the royal family whose granddaughter, Amanda Knatchbull was married to the future King Charles III was accused of being a pedophile. The story shocked the UK and to the detriment of the Democrats confidence in the government collapsed. The scandal was covered extensively not just in the UK but all over the world which greatly embarrassed the royal family and the UK. Combined with the political bloodbath, voters went to the polls begging for the UK to return to normal. The result of this attitude was a Labor landslide.

On election day Kinnock watched as seat after seat flipped red. Labor came back with a vengeance as the Democrats and Conservatives fell. Shirley Williams was the first to go, Bob Maclennan was the second, and finally Jenkins fell to his Labor opponent, marking the first time that an incumbent Prime Minister had lost re-election. Jenkins losing his seat would be dubbed a “Jenkins moment” in the UK, a term that would become a colloquial term for an unexpected and greatly embarrassing loss, at first just in British politics but with the advent of the Cybernet it has become used for sporting events. It’s hard to know who exactly got off worse, Pym or Jenkins as the former would lose his seat to the Democratic candidate due to once again vote splitting. The loss wasn’t decided until two weeks later after multiple recounts as the Democratic candidate, Peter Lee pulled ahead by ten votes. As the recount went on that decreased to four and to the horror of the Conservatives Pym would lose his seat.

Due to vote splitting and an atmosphere that overwhelmingly favored Labor candidates thought to be too extreme were elected with sweeping pluralities. Most notably was Lawrence “Lol” Duffy[2], a Trotskyist who would become a thorn in the side of Kinnock. As the night went on seats that no one thought would flip six months ago went to Labor as the 1922 Conservatives and Conservative Party split the right-wing vote, allowing safe blue seats to narrowly go to Labor. One notable example was in Southwest Hertfordshire where future Labor Leader Ian Willmore won with 27.4% of the vote as incumbent Richard Page was pushed to third with 26.5% of the vote behind the Democratic candidate and Willmore due to the 1922 Conservative candidate winning 25% of the vote.

By the end of the night Labor had 430 seats, (with thirteen still being undecided and going to recounts before going to Labor anywhere from a day later or two weeks). The Conservatives came second in the popular vote, winning 23.2% of the vote while the Democrats won 22.1% of the vote. The 1922 Conservatives would win 10.4% of the vote while Labor won 40.7% of the vote. Labor won 443 seats, while the Conservatives formed the official opposition with 111 seats, beating out the Democrats and 1922 Conservatives who won 56 and 23 seats respectively.

Going forward the future remained uncertain for the Democrats and the Conservatives. The Democrats were on the heels of the Conservatives but without a majority they would always play second fiddle to the well-established Conservatives and Labor Parties. A problem they would deal with in the future. The Conservatives were in the worst position since, well ever. Both Parties knew that they could never win if they didn’t reunify ASAP, but both couldn’t predict who would be the next leader. All they knew was that it wasn’t going to be a pretty battle. Labor on the other hand was doing great. Kinnock had put the Democrats and Conservatives in their place and now had a commanding majority to mold the country in his vision.

[1] Like John W. Kiely, Louis Eaks is a real person. Just one that's very obscure.
[2] Lol Duffy is another very obscure figure that I found due to @Time Enough using him and providing information on him.
 

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I hope the continued UK gridlock prevents both the Thatcherites and the Callaghans from being able to force their right and left wing dystopias on the country.
 
I hope the continued UK gridlock prevents both the Thatcherites and the Callaghans from being able to force their right and left wing dystopias on the country.
Callaghan was on the right of his party so I don’t get exactly how he would push for a left wing Britain? The far-left ITTL would be Lol Duffy and other Trotskyites such as Dave Nellist and Ken Coates.
 
Interesting stuff, a thing to mention, @ZeroFrame (sorry for not getting back earlier, I’ve been busy) in the early 80s, Silkin was seen as representing the ‘Old Left’ sections of the party, whilst Kinnock was seen as more Radical but amicable to the Centre and Right.

So Silkin would be seen more off a establishment Left Candidate instead of a Hard Left Candidate.

Additionally Eric Heffer wouldn’t become Deputy, given how he was essentially a Trotskyist and kind of weird. I think if you were to have a Left Wing deputy the original plan for the Hard Left, Otl 1983 leadership election was Michael Meacher as leader and Jo Richardson as Deputy, Jo Richardson would probably appeal to the Centre and Soft Left more.

Hope that helps.
 
Interesting stuff, a thing to mention, @ZeroFrame (sorry for not getting back earlier, I’ve been busy) in the early 80s, Silkin was seen as representing the ‘Old Left’ sections of the party, whilst Kinnock was seen as more Radical but amicable to the Centre and Right.

So Silkin would be seen more off a establishment Left Candidate instead of a Hard Left Candidate.

Additionally Eric Heffer wouldn’t become Deputy, given how he was essentially a Trotskyist and kind of weird. I think if you were to have a Left Wing deputy the original plan for the Hard Left, Otl 1983 leadership election was Michael Meacher as leader and Jo Richardson as Deputy, Jo Richardson would probably appeal to the Centre and Soft Left more.

Hope that helps.
Thank you. If you're apologizing for not getting back to the PM, then that's fine. Real life comes before the internet. I'll change the Deputy Leader to Richardson and have Meacher run for Leader. Is the rest of the chapter good?
 
I mean the Eurocommunism thing that worked under Berlinguer or however you spell his name will probably come around at some point. The 70s/80s were famously not a great time to be British.
 
Kinnock Kinnocking on heaven's door?

Have to say, you do love to see Labour winning in the eighties! Also fair credit to you for pulling together a group of rather eccelctic Tories to focus upon, there's a tendency to over focus on Thatcher and those imminently close to her, but there's a good mix of relatively unknown figures here. Makes for a rather interesting experience.
 
Kinnock Kinnocking on heaven's door?

Have to say, you do love to see Labour winning in the eighties! Also fair credit to you for pulling together a group of rather eccelctic Tories to focus upon, there's a tendency to over focus on Thatcher and those imminently close to her, but there's a good mix of relatively unknown figures here. Makes for a rather interesting experience.
Thank you! Thatcher is IMO significantly less interesting (probably because she’s been used a lot in alternate history) than her allies and enemies. Peter Walker and Edward du Cann being particularly interesting IMO. Minus the Cianci storyline my second goal for TTL was to (plausibly) change world politics and use more obscure yet interesting characters.
 
Chapter XXXII: The Fight for Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Revolution is viewed by many as the most shocking and memorable event in modern American history (minus Cianci's fall from power of course). Not even the American Revolution was as sporadic, decentralized, and bloodless. The revolution itself saw the deaths of twenty people, mainly from being trampled while four were shot by a self-described “Marxist revolutionary” who was quickly shot dead by a police officer. After Kiely was sworn in as Governor the protests dissipated as most felt Kiely was on their side. Most politicians and those in the state department opposed it and were terrified that it actually succeeded. When the protests first broke out, most believed that it wouldn’t change anything but after the storming of the Capital D.C panicked. Most politicians didn’t appreciate people overthrowing the government, even if they were justified as they worried that it would soon become a trend to overthrow the government. The military was also outraged that the National Guard basically mutinied which in most circumstances wasn’t going to be tolerated. But the same dilemma that haunted the D.C establishment haunted the military and that was the fact that punishing those who rebelled would destroy the public’s trust in the government and ignite a firestorm that everyone knew wasn’t going to be survivable. The tough fact for D.C that they accepted was that a super majority of Americans supported the Rhode Island Revolution, believing it was in line with the legacy of the American Revolution.

So, D.C tried to do damage control, an effort that saw Oliver North pressure Kiely into condemning the revolution “in spirit.” An idea that got North cussed out by Kiely as he proceeded to pardon all members of the National Guard who participated in the de facto mutiny. Combined with no local prosecutor who remotely cared about their career investigating the storming of Providence City Hall or the storming of the Capital almost everyone who participated in the Rhode Island Revolution went home without a charge, with only the aforementioned mass shooter being prosecuted along with those who looted businesses.

With the revolution secured Kiely would begin to deal with the monumental task of reconstructing Rhode Island into a truly free and democratic state. The problem was that the corrupt state legislature, despite having fled Rhode Island was still in charge of the small state and without the legislature passing a bill that recalled the legislature or the legislature resigning they could easily block Kiely’s proposed reforms that included the ability to recall governors, proportional representation, publicly funded elections, harsh punishments for corruption, free healthcare for those who suffer from radiation poisoning, and an independent democratically elected commission to investigate corruption in Rhode Island. Unsurprisingly, the state legislature refused to pass any of these reforms, claiming that due to the revolution it was too dangerous to return to Rhode Island to pass anything. In response Kiely told the state legislature to hold a vote via phone call. An action that the legislature refused to carry out. On June 19th Kiely flew to Massachusetts to personally try and get the politicians to return to the Rhode Island. Every single one of them refused and an angry Kiely told the National Guard to apprehend the state legislature. In response, Speaker of the House Frank J. Fiorenzano threatened to impeach Kiely. A threat Kiely flipped on its head when he asked Fiorenzano how he would do it when he wasn’t in Providence. Fiorenzano responded by saying he’d record a written vote from every state senator and representative which got him immediately panned in the press for his hypocritical stance. Fiorenzano nonetheless began impeachment proceedings which Cianci covertly supported. Cianci knew Kiely was the greatest immediate threat to his power and he made sure that Rhode Island’s politicians knew that if he went down, they went down. On the day of the vote to begin impeachment proceedings CIA Director John K. Singlaub flew to Boston to meet with Fiorenzano and make sure he had the votes to remove Kiely. Singlaub was one of the aforementioned members of the state department who wanted to make sure that mutinies weren't tolerated, it didn't help Singlaub also compared the Rhode Island Revolution to the Russian Revolution of 1917, believing it was a Soviet and Italian backed coup.

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"Cianci bravely defended both America and Italy from Communism and you commies want to impeach him?"

The impeachment investigation was obviously a sham, considering the impeachment managers had never set foot in Rhode Island yet the “House” (now residing in a conference room in a Hilton Hotel in Boston Massachusetts) voted to impeach Kiely for abuse of power. The state senate the next day held a vote to remove Kiely, but it was delayed as the Massachusetts state police and FBI raided the hotel that the state legislature had decided to meet in. There Speaker of the House Fiorenzano was arrested on charges of laundering money from infrastructure projects. The meeting got even more chaotic from there as the FBI arrested seven members of the state senate for being connected to organized crime. The vote was paralyzed from there as protestors surrounded the hotel. The protestors were both from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, with them protesting the corruption of the state legislature, the lack of punishment for the corrupt legislators, and what they called a coup against Governor Kiely.

The crowd was also made up of those displaced by the Diamond Hill Disaster who due to the contaminated water supply in towns along the Massachusetts-Rhode Island Border who got their water from the Scituate Reservoir. Governor Hicks had decided to have them housed temporarily in Boston until a permanent solution could be found. When the three thousand displaced Bay Staters found out the legislators who had allowed the Diamondhill Power Plant to disregard safety requirements they decided to make their voices heard. When the impeachment vote was set to resume ten thousand people surrounded the hotel and attempted to storm the hotel. The Boston Police were not too keen on having a Rhode Island Revolution in Massachusetts and retaliated by deploying tear gas on the protestors. From there a riot broke out as the police descended on the crowd with batons and tear gas, which only angered the crowd further. The police, who had been heavily militarized and protected by the government from being punished for their excessive use of force incorrectly believed that a bloody brawl could suppress the protestors. Instead, the police found out quickly that didn’t exactly work when a protestor pulled out a pistol and fired at the police who fired into the crowd, killing nine people.

The protest from there descended into a riot, one that saw the police barricade themselves in the hotel and the rioters from there took control of the streets of Boston. In retaliation for the police firing into the crowd, the rioters descended on the Boston police station and lit it on fire. Fueling the tide of anger was the excessive use of force the Boston police had become known for since the election of Louise Day Hicks as Governor in 1982, which only caused more people to join the rioters once the news of the now dubbed Hilton Massacre broke out. The ensuing riot put the result of the impeachment vote in doubt. The corrupt legislators at this point understood that removing Kiely would surely get them killed and the police pressured the legislators to not convict Kiely, fearing the riot would only worsen as Kiely had become a hero overnight. The State Senate continued the vote and narrowly voted to not convict Kiely.

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Pro-police protestor attacking anti-police protestor (1985).

Of course, the riot would continue as anger at Governor Hicks had reached a boiling point, with rioters chanting “Massachusetts is next!” in reference to the Rhode Island Revolution. The proposed Massachusetts revolution was swiftly crippled by the riot that turned public opinion against the idea, not to mention the Massachusetts government wasn’t nearly as corrupt as the Rhode Island government and actually cared about the people that elected them. The riot dissipated once the police focused on the center of Boston and were backed up at 1:23 AM with five hundred National Guardsmen. Still, the Hilton Massacre managed to cause a massive backlash against the police and law and order politics in general as the toll it took on society became increasingly obvious. The rest of the week would see clashes between anti-police and pro-police protestors which often times descended into violence before the police got involved.

The failed impeachment of John Kiely would cement the Rhode Island Revolution and finally destroy the attempts at reversing the Rhode Island Revolution. But the work that was needed to complete the transformation of Rhode Island was still monumental and needed to be completed.

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The former Heritage Loan and Investment Building (2025).

For starters the investigation by the FBI had begun to cover the extensive organized crime in Rhode Island and it began to become increasingly clear that the banks were the primary culprits of laundering money and exploiting the poor. So, the FBI decided to target them to cut off what they perceived as the head of the snake. The ensuing investigation would put enormous pressure on the already unstable banking industry that was propped up by fraud, money laundering, theft, and bribery. Something had to give and on August 19th, 1985, the President of The Heritage Loan and Investment Bank fled the state when he was informed the FBI was investigating him. A week later the FBI indicted him on charges of bribery, embezzlement, and fraud. The same day The Heritage Loan and Investment Bank collapsed and closed its doors. The next day three more banks failed and by the end of the week forty-five banks had collapsed. The Kiely administration and federal government were paralyzed by the crisis as the Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation (RISDIC) had reassured Kiely that most banks were stable. However, that was 8a lie and corrupt and unstable banks collapsed as their fraud came to light. Kiely rushed to implement a banking holiday but by then the damage was already done.

By the end of the year sixty percent of Rhode Islanders would lose access to their money in what would be a precursor to the Meltdown of 1986. In the immediate aftermath of the Rhode Island Banking Crisis the stock market dropped seventy points. The economic crisis would set off another round of protests as thousands of people lost their jobs and businesses. Kiely, who had no economic experience struggled to find anyone he trusted to advise him on the ensuing crisis. He decided to try to get Congress to bail out Rhode Island but Cianci decided this was the perfect opportunity to destroy Kiely. However, the anger that Rhode Islanders felt was not towards Kiely, as he had not participated in the corrupt system that had allowed the banks to defraud and steal from ordinary people. What people did get angry at Kiely for was his refusal to allow people to return to Diamond Hill or Cumberland. Kiely’s reasoning was logical, he had seen the effect radiation had on his fellow soldiers and didn’t want anyone to suffer from the same fate his soldiers were going to suffer.

Still, stubborn residents wanted to rebuild their lives. One man in particular named Theodore Bowie Roosevelt[1] tried dozens of times to breach the perimeter that was under 24/7 guard by federal soldiers armed with M16s. Roosevelt gained folk hero status for his effort to try and rebuild his life against all the odds. On Roosevelt’s fourteenth attempt to break into his now contaminated house he was finally sentenced to a year in prison, with the judge saying to him “this is for your own good. I do not believe you are a threat to society but a threat to yourself.”

The imprisonment of Roosevelt would become a source of outrage for Rhode Islanders who once again felt as if the government cared more about what hard working citizens did over what the criminal state legislature and bankers did. The public soon after Roosevelt’s arrest began to pressure Kiely to pardon Roosevelt. Kiely refused but came up with an effective compromise. The compromise was to decontaminate Diamond Hill, Cumberland, and the land in the three mile long and wide contamination zone.

The plan would take tens of billions of dollars and on October 5th, 1985, the plan was approved simultaneously by the state legislature and United States Congress, with Rhode Island voting to spend $2 billion dollars over twenty years to make the three-mile contamination zone livable again and Congress voted to allocate $10 billion to the cleanup effort. The cleanup effort would see the soil gradually replaced with non-contaminated soil brought in from around the country. But first, came the problem of contaminated buildings and pipes that had been contaminated when radiation seeped into the water supply below the Diamondhill Power Plant, thus meaning every single pipe, water treatment plant, and home needed to be replaced. Some people were resistant to the idea of having their belongings and homes replaced. While most residents supported the government’s effort to completely replace the towns of Cumberland and Diamond Hill a very vocal minority didn’t. This minority, led by self-described Libertarians who rallied with families who wanted to keep their homes intact. The campaign to keep homes intact would not succeed, as Kiely ordered all homes destroyed but the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island would see its profile boosted significantly, with its platform of dismantling the corrupt government bureaucracy, cutting taxes, direct democracy, abolishing the state senate, electoral reform, a moderate economic policy[2] and social liberalism appealing to the liberal and anti-government Rhode Island populace, which would allow the Libertarians to elect its first governor in American history and carry out a series of reforms more rapid than even the Progressive Era.

1660270594636.png

Modern logo of the RI Libertarian Party (2025)

[1] An allusion to Harry R. Truman
[2] ITTL Ed Crane and Ed Clark manage to keep the Libertarian a moderate political party, essentially, it's policies can be described as low tax liberalism.
 
Thoughts?
I'll have my detailed thoughts later (I'm on my way to work), but for the most part it looks spot on to how we would react. :) Just one minor quibble - RISDIC insured not just banks, but also credit unions who wanted to avoid falling under NCUA membership/jurisdiction - a key problem as Heritage Loan and Investment Trust was, officially, a credit union (even if it, along with Bonded Vault back in the day, was basically the Mafia's bank). Doesn't change a thing, but it should be pointed out.
 
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