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

I wouldn't be surprised if National breaks over this, with the extremists going one way and the moderates another.
Kinda assumes it'll be enough to save the party. Like I said, between that pretty veiled threat before, and this? People might not be willing to extend any more benefit of the doubt.
I wonder if even some of the hardliner MPs might rethink their position after seeing Collins roughed up and the House of Commons taken over by thugs with guns.
Either way, I don't see Collins lasting much longer as leader of the party, what with his words to Johnson in the aftermath of the election
Chapter 47: The Queen’s Speech

Civil Assistance would incite pro-Junta civilians into riots

“Cordoned off from the Parliament by riot policemen, crowds of young rightists and leftists sparred. "Kill them, Jonny!'' screamed the rightists, urging General Jonathon Riley to execute Alan Johnson and the other politicians held hostage. The leftists responded by chanting, ''The people united will never be defeated!'' Several regional commands have gone on alert. Scattered reports suggest that a few other commanders might throw their lot with the plotters if they gather strength. The ease with which Riley stormed Parliament with complete surprise also points to hidden complicities. After moving into the building, the General waited for a higher officer to appear, but none did.”
- UK Enters Standoff, Sarah Lyall, New York Times (2009)

To everyone’s surprise the Black Eyed Peas didn’t topple the Salvation Forces. Several more hours passed and the nation entered a standstill. Whilst most uprisings had been crushed, the Salvation Forces still maintained control of Parliament Square, Northern Ireland, and a handful of military bases up and down the country. The provisional leadership had made sure to deploy riot police, rather than soldiers, to Salvation controlled areas - as well as not trusting the army, many in the Provisional Government wanted to resolve the situation peacefully and avoid a civil war. The Palace had been deathly silent for almost eighteen hours, whilst she had called for Khan the Queen had refused to intervene directly. At midday on the 11th of August this would change and her majesty would talk directly to the country.

The Queen was broadcast on television sets and radios across the nation. Dressed in her full military uniform she officially gave the order as Head of the Armed Forces that all military units should take “any and all measures necessary to uphold the democratic settlement under the Cardiff Accords and restore order to our United Kingdom”. She added “one will not tolerate anyone through use of force attempting to disrupt the accession of the democratic government the British people approved in an election.” She finished her speech with a direct order to Riley, Hamilton and their fellow conspirators, ordering them to lay down their arms and surrender to the civilian administration. It had taken her almost 24 hours, but the Crown had come down on the side of the democratic government.

Left-wing papers would describe the queen as a "fair-weather friend" to democracy

“Brits had heard for weeks of the possibility of a “touch on the rudder”. No one wanted to transform a “soft” coup into a “hard” one through staunch and immediate opposition. In not immediately opposing the coup, institutions hoped not to be counted among the vanquished if the coup should succeed. Whatever the reason, the majority of Brits, with the notable exception of the young, watched in silence as Riley took Parliament and the coup’s initial plans succeeded. There were many reasons why the coup attempt failed, and it is unclear the extent to which the Queen’s speech aided in this failure. What is undeniable though, is after the Queen’s appearance on television, cascades of condemnations of the coup poured forth. The Queen's words were echoed by trade unions, regional governments, local councils and the press. Thus the Queen's unequivocal denunciation of the military coup signified the triumph of democracy. Those who had been wary to intervene for whatever reason knew that without the Queen’s support, the coup could not succeed.”
- The Queen's Role in the British Transition to Democracy, Lecture by Vernon Bogdanor, University of Oxford (2017)

On Her Majesty's order the remaining neutral military forces came down on the side of the Provisional Government and several Salvation-aligned barracks uprisings surrendered to armed police. In Belfast, Hamilton began to lose control of the soldiers underneath him and ordered his troops back to their barracks and surrendered to David Cass of Belfast Airport, the highest ranking military official in Northern Ireland loyal to the Provisional Government. Whilst some of the loyalist paramilitaries who had joined in the uprising refused to stand down, order was eventually restored by the end of the day, with the Irish Border once again reopened. Alongside the airforce and the Northern Irish Police Force the civilian government of Northern Ireland under Provisional President Michelle Gildernew retook control of Stormont and the province.

In Westminster, with the dulcet tones of Will-I-Am playing in the background, videos emerged on Twitter showing dozens soldiers abseiling out of the Commons or trying to escape through the Palace of Westminster's various tunnels, to be quickly arrested by awaiting riot police. Despite losing control of some of his men Riley and those still loyal to him refused to surrender and continued holding their hostages. After a series of negotiations between Khan representing the Provisional Government and Riley, eventually the plotters surrendered at roughly 5pm, 25 hours after they had first stormed the building. The MPs were released shortly after, and both sides scrambled to control the narrative of the coup, with National MPs singing “God Save the Queen”, the Alternative’s Members singing “The Red Flag”.


Meacher would address the young protesters, hoping to bring them into the SA fold

Khan surrendered control of the British Government to Johnson on the green outside the Palace of Westminster. Surrounded by international media and the young protesters Johnson made a speech to the nation. Johnson promised the perpetrators of the coup would be brought to justice and he would seek overarching reform of the military, promising an incident like this would never happen again. He announced a plan to solidify civilian control over the Ministry of Defence, promising to end the Military’s guaranteed seat at the Cabinet table, and bring in legislation for a civilian Defence Secretary: “The Military can no longer pretend to be above the people it serves”. The ball was firmly in Johnson’s court - behind him Guthrie grimaced, maybe he should have joined Riley after all.

Johnson announced the creation of a “Northwood Commission'' to investigate the events of the coup and prosecute those responsible. Johnson refused calls for a court marshall making clear this would be a civilian trial. He appointed Supreme Court Justice Willy Bach to head the Commission. There were many questions still left unanswered, what was the Place’s role in the attempted coup? Who knew what and when? Were any civilian politicians in on the coup? And the most important question, would this happen again and how long did they have to get their house in order, before it all came crashing down again. The dark underbelly of transition Britain had been revealed to the world, could it be swept back under the rug?

“Conspiracy theories have run rampant ever since the day of the coup. On the night of 24th March 2015, Adam Curtis’s latest documentary, "Operation Buckingham'', was broadcast on Channel 4. It received the highest viewing figures of any non-sports programme ever shown on the channel. The hour-long show made a series of extraordinary revelations. It claimed the 2009 coup was not a real coup, but a planned operation designed to shore up support for the Queen in the country. Some of the MPs who had been present on the day knew about the operation and testified to this fact in interviews. Curtis claimed the coup had been directed and filmed by Danny Cohen who confirmed in an interview that he had been hired to grip the public’s imagination. And then, at the end of the broadcast, Curtis admitted it was all a hoax. He had created the mockumentary, because no one knows what really happened behind the scenes in 2009. His aim, he said, was to ask the question: can a lie explain a truth?” - Operation Buckingham and 2009 Conspiracy Theories, Rob Orchard, Delayed Gratification (2014)


Operation Buckingham was the conspiracy theory that the Palace had attempted to launch a "soft-coup" but lost control of Riley and the more hardline elements of the military
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A lot of Spanish vibes with regards to coup being a plot by the Palace to shore up support. This is going to split public opinion about the royal family the same way as the Spanish royal family. Meanwhile, for Johnson, this is time to consolidate civilian control on the MoD, but Johnson is cursed with eternal irritation of keeping an eye on both the military and the restless paramilitaries ripping this divine Union apart.
Trust me, as a Pakistani, it's going to take more than a civilian defence minister to reign on the military.

Nick P

What charges would the plotters face?
Attempted murder of Vince Cable has to be one. You cannot shoot someone on live TV and get away with it.
Kidnapping, Assault, Threatening Behaviour, Carrying a firearm with criminal intent, Trespass with a Firearm etc.
Treason is a step too far politically unless limited only to the ringleaders as it would really upset the Army.

The role and spread of Civil Assistance will have to be investigated and a way found to wind up their activities. Making membership illegal?


Gone Fishin'
"Kill them, Jonny!'' screamed the rightists, urging General Jonathon Riley to execute Alan Johnson and the other politicians held hostage. The leftists responded by chanting, ''The people united will never be defeated!''
leftist slogan: translation of a south american slogan to celebrate the chilean popular front government and mourn its martyrdom at the hands of foreign backed repression, itself harking back to the similar spectacle of the spanish republic and the iconic cry of no pasaran, tracing a line of broad-based, hopeful humanism through a century that was none too kind to it
rightist slogan:
when you kill protestors

Bottom Text


At this point the army is overdue reforms, all coup leaders immediately relocated to somewhere isolated pre-trial, maybe gruinard or perhaps St Helena would be appropriate?
Part of said army having tried to pull of a coup and failed have zero standing and get as upset as they want. They can't do anything about it. Unless (random thought) the UK is in ways like Japan pre WW2
Part of said army having tried to pull of a coup and failed have zero standing and get as upset as they want. They can't do anything about it. Unless (random thought) the UK is in ways like Japan pre WW2
Especially since they really need to explain why exactly they shouldn't be reformed heavily, given a coup literally just happened.

Threatening to enact another one is not exactly a good way to convince people that no, really, that was just some idiots.
Well, well, well, a great version of a British take on 23F. We'll see if the Government takes the opportunity to press ahead with reforms. (Maybe pull off a reorganization akin to the Canadian Forces and/or the JSDF, for example? Because of the origins of the JSDF as an expansion of the post-war police, maybe the Government could also pull off a big-time reform/reorganization of its law enforcement?)
Chapter 48: Picking up the Pieces

The army was firmly in the spotlight

“Amid high public expectations, the trial of the 429 soldiers and 32 civilians accused of plotting last month's failed coup opened today. The trial began with the reading of a detailed indictment chronicling the seizure of Parliament. Case 8/09 is being considered by a panel of 23 high ranking judges. Seated by rank in two rows the accused listened as the accusation of ''military rebellion'' was amplified over loudspeakers. Occasionally, defendants turned and waved to wives and other relatives from behind a big pane of bulletproof glass. General James Hamilton, found himself sitting next to Field Marshall Richard Dannatt, who had planned to propose himself as Prime Minister. Since the coup's collapse, the two have become bitter foes. Hamilton has hinted that Marshall Dannatt is covering up some involvement by the Queen.”
- Trial of Coup Plotters Opens in UK, John Burns, New York Times (2009)

A few weeks later Johnson was back in Downing Street, Parliament was in full swing and everything was back to normal. Well as normal as things could be for Europe’s newest democracy. The country’s media and political class were getting ready for the trial of the century as the rogue Generals of 2009 faced the music. Johnson played a visit to RMA Sandhurst, Britain’s largest officer school, and tried to strike a conciliatory balance. Whilst he warned the young officers “thoughtless actions” would do nothing for the security of the state, he also called on the media not to “apply moral sanction to an entire institution because it contains those who believe the only way forward is violence”. Much to the disappointment of the political left, Johnson tried to portray the coup as a “few bad apples” rather than evidence of the military being inherently anti-democratic.

Over 400 servicemen and 30 civilians were awaiting trial for their role in the coup. The men included Jonathon Riley and James Hamilton of course, but also Field Marshall Richard Dannatt, suspected of masterminding the coup behind the scenes. The civilians on trial included Robert Kilroy-Silk, the Juntaist’s “voice” and Paul Golding, a New Nationalist Party local Councillor and one of the armed Civil Assistance paramilitaries who helped take Parliament. Considering over 2,000 men had risen up in Northern Ireland, many were disappointed at the small scope of the trial, but Johnson was eager to only target only officers to avoid a backlash from the military grassroots. The Government was also keen only to bring to court those they were sure they could prosecute.


Collins was called as a witness and testified he had no knowledge of the coup

The trial opened on the 18th of September and lasted for four months into the new year. Over 70 witnesses took to the stand including Johnson himself, the trial was attended by nearly 500 observers from the military, political parties and international media. Whilst Johnson had tried to avoid the trial turning into a media circus he roundly failed - with every moment and testimony being filmed and broadcast. The throng of observers would often come to blows, John Haylett, editor of the Morning Star, was removed after heckling Tim Collins during the National Leader’s testimony. Occasionally military observers would come to blows with observers from the Alternative and left-wing journalists.

“The tactics used by defense lawyers in the trial of coup plotters appear to have backfired. During the trial, lawyers have attempted to implicate Queen Elizabeth by hearsay evidence in the August plot. But instead of being discredited, the Queen has gained popular support. Politicians have been outraged at the ''smear campaign." They claim the coup plotters are attempting a character assassination. Last week the government itself felt obliged to release a statement expressing ''revulsion for the abusive use of the Queen.'' Throughout the trial, which began in September, the Queen's name is mentioned frequently. Lawyer after lawyer repeats questions like, ''Did you believe you were acting in the name of the Queen? What did you think the Queen said, thought, etc." Although none of the defendants offer any evidence, the subliminal message is clear.” - Defense lawyers' tactic to implicate Queen backfires in coup trial, Richard Palmer, the Express (2009)

The “triumvirate” of Riley, Hamilton and Dannatt all declared themselves not guilty, basing their argument that the Palace had been involved in the planning of the coup. Riley and Hamilton both claimed Dannatt had organised the coup, telling them he had the Queen’s approval. The pair testified that Dannatt and the Palace had hoped to launch a “soft coup” creating a government of national unity involving both National and the SDP with Dannatt at it’s head. This would be a temporary government to keep the SA and SNP away from power until fresh elections could be held (preferably resulting in a National victory). Riley told the court that he and Hamilton had disagreed with the “soft coup” approach and hoped to force the Palace’s hand and reignite a military dictatorship. Riley and Hamilton’s lawyers claimed they had been duped by Dannatt and that the men had been acting in the “firm belief of following instructions emanating from Her Majesty the Queen”.


No evidence was presented of the Queen's involvement, and many in the public saw her as a hero for preventing the coup

The Palace and Dannatt’s lawyers both denied any involvement in the coup plotting, and Riley failed to produce any evidence to prove the Queen’s involvement. Riley had already harmed himself in the country of public approval by turning on his co-conspirators so easily. Nonetheless eyebrows were raised when the Queen invoked her royal privilege to avoid testifying at the Northwood Commission. Whilst this caused an uproar amongst the prosecution, the Comissions’ Chair Bach decided to leave Pandora's Box closed for another day, keeping the scope of the commission firmly focused on the officers involved. Whilst the Queen’s timely intervention in stopping the coup had won her plaudits from many, she would never escape doubts as to her role in the uprising.

The top defendants turned out to be their own worst enemies throughout the trial. Any form of discipline broke down and there was continuous disloyalty and backstabbing between the men on trial, especially among the triumvirate. Dannatt never even spoke to Riley and Hamilton, who regarded him as a traitor and a coward. Whilst the defendants’ lawyers hoped to portray them as honorable, patriotic heroes who thought they were doing what was right for their country, instead the court saw the plotters as self-serving, fanatically right-wing and heavily incompetent. None of them had any media training and they all resoundingly crumbled under the pressure. Riley blew up several times on strange rants against socialists, immigrants and the European Union. All 461 defendants were found guilty of at least military rebellion; the gavel had fallen.

“The court-martial of Mountbattenists who tried to overthrow British democracy ended Monday when one ring-leader was ordered to leave the courtroom for accusing his superiors of cowardice. Jonathon Riley, was removed during the final minutes of the trial amid applause and chants of 'bravo' and 'traitor' from rival spectators. 'Let me manifest my disgust of the great majority of my commanders for their cowardice,' Riley said before he was interrupted by the judge. Riley's display of contempt for his superiors came on the last day of the trial set aside for closing statements from 32 leading defendants. I love Britain,' said James Hamilton. 'Many military men thought that under the command of the supreme commander we could have set a soft coup in motion. This is the truth of this case -- the rest is details.'” - Trial ends for coup plotters, Associated Press (2010)


The ringleaders would spend the rest of their lives in prison
Noice, time to catch some terrorists.
One question, what's the situation of overseas territories? Did UK retained or lose some colonies?
I'm not gonna be surpsied if there's gonna be purges of the ranks, being as Johnson said that it was the action of a "few bad apples" it looks like he may have to inspect the apples and toss any rotten ones out the basket
Noice, time to catch some terrorists.
One question, what's the situation of overseas territories? Did UK retained or lose some colonies?
Probably kept the overseas territories like the Channel Islands, Isle of Mann/wight

Speaking of which, @powerab how did the Junta administrate said territories?

Well, the few bad apples approach is....well look, at some point you've got to stop looking at the apples themselves and start really thinking about the soil the seeds were planted in. I mean I get pragmatism, but...eh, what do I know? The main faces are getting punished and I am glad that Robert Kilroy-Silk is getting grilled as well. Johnson....really doesn't know how the hell trials like these work. I assume that even in the very different timeline of the Junta the internet and television has come a long way, a lot of the information is going to be getting out there at a tremendous speed. The involvement of the Royal Family is going to be fodder for conspiracy theories throughout. And, of course, I worry that Johnson's left-wing allies are going to start getting angry with all of this, that coalition does not look particularly strong at present.
I hope the UK puts the military in it's place. Otherwise they may try again and we could end up like Thailand. I don't like the army couping everytime the people vote for the wrong party.