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

Probably kept the overseas territories like the Channel Islands, Isle of Mann/wight
Technically the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are semi-independent (as they are directly administered by the Crown, with their own governments, and hence not part of the UK), which I would think means they are not subject to the First Lord and after. So the normal machinations of government would probably go ahead as if nothing happened (even when submitting laws to the Privy Council for approval). The other Overseas Territories, like Bermuda or Gibraltar, OTOH, would be something I'd like to see more of from @powerab - we already have it as canon that HK is lost and a *Falklands War does happen, though the international response is different from TTL in both cases and only serve to highlight the junta's pariah status. (The Isle of Wight, OTOH, is unfortunate in that as part of England it is subject to everything happening so far ITTL.)

So with the junta gone, I would assume a newly democratic UK would be in a better shape to negotiate with equally-democratic Argentina and Spain over the Falklands (plus SGSSI) and Gibraltar, respectively. Eventually, they would probably come up with some sort of special status for both (Spain already has such things embedded in its democratic system, while Argentina would just have to reactivate the National Territory status, unused since 1990 with the conversion of Tierra del Fuego into a province, and use it as a base for creating an autonomous region of sorts), maybe even cases of transitional joint sovereignty in the case of Gibraltar especially. So that could have also been another trigger for the British 23F - much like negotiations for autonomy IOTL with regards to Galicia, Catalonia, and the Basque Country were a big factor in Spain's own 23F.
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Wikibox: 2009 British coup d'état attempt

The 2009 British coup d'état attempt, known in the UK as 10/8 was an attempted coup d'état or putsch in the UK on 10 August 2009. General Jonathon Riley led 200 armed Civil Guard officers into the House of Commons during the swearing in of MPs. The parliamentarians were held for 25 hours, during which time Queen Elizabeth II denounced the coup in a televised address. Though shots were fired, the hostage-takers surrendered the next evening without killing anyone.


The coup attempt was linked to the British transition to democracy. Four factors generated tensions that the governing SDP could not contain:
  • almost 20% unemployment, capital flight and 16% inflation caused by the 2008 economic crisis
  • agreed devolution to British regions
  • increased violence by the Scottish terrorist group SNLA
  • opposition to the fledgling democracy from within the British Armed Forces
The first signs of unease in the army appeared in April when 500 retired military officers, known as the "Catterick Collective" wrote to the Queen urging her to block another SPD led government. This was a result of concerns around the Socialist Alternative, SNP and Plaid Cymru's support for the Johnson Government.

While seditious sentiments grew in the military and extreme right, from 2005-2009 the government faced a series of crises. Key events saw the 2008 financial crisis; the arrest of several politicians for corruption and a fractious General Election.

On 1 May, the "Catterick Collective" published an insurgent article in the right-wing newspaper The Express. The Express was commonly known as the mouthpiece of the Junta hardliners, including Robert Kilroy-Silk, and Godfrey Bloom. From 2 to May, the Queen and Prince Philip travelled to Eastern Scotland, where the deputies of the RISE party received them with boos and various incidents. On 6 May, an engineer and trade union activist from the Torness power station was found murdered, having been kidnapped a few days earlier.

In this atmosphere of mounting tension, the process of choosing a Prime Minister began. Between May and July, the SDP party agreed to a confidence and supply agreement with the Socialist Alternative, SNP and Plaid parties.

Assault on the Houses of Parliament

Several BBC cameramen filmed almost all the event, providing the world with an live audiovisual record of the attempted coup. This meant that the general public was able to follow along by radio as events unfolded.

At 16:00, the swearing in of newly elected MPs began. At 16:34, as SDP MP Shabana Mahmood was being sworn in, 300 Civil Guard agents led by General Jonathon Riley burst into the chamber. Riley immediately shot Speaker Vince Cable and shouted ("Nobody move!"), ordering everyone to remain seated.

As the highest-ranking military official present, Defence Secretary Charles Guthrie confronted Riley and ordered him to stand down. Opposition Leader Tim Collins made a move to join Guthrie, who scuffled with several civil guards until Riley fired a shot into the air. (The shots wounded some of the visitors in the chamber's upper gallery). 78-year old Alternative MP Dennis Skinner had to be wrestled into his seat and gagged by three Civil Guardsmen.

After several minutes, all the MPs retook their assigned seats. Riley demanded silence and announced that all those present were to wait for the arrival of "the competent military authority."

At 16:46, Prime Minister Johnson stood up and asked to speak to the commanders. Shots were fired in response, and a guard flashed a rifle towards the MP's seats, demanding silence. One of the assailants ordered, "Mr Johnson, stay in your seat!" Finally, Riley ordered Johnson, Guthrie and Collins, removed from the chamber, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Rosie Boycott, National Deputy Leader Theresa May and SA leader Michael Meacher. When Johnson demanded that Johnson explain his "lunacy"; Riley's only reply was "for Queen and Country". When Johnson cited his authority as Prime Minister, Collins replied, "You are no longer the Prime Minister of anything!"

Shortly afterwards, the six politicians were given papers setting out their resignation and a transfer of power to sign. Despite being held at gunpoint all six refused to sign, with Michael Meacher claiming every pen provided to him had run out of ink.

Almost at the same time, the Commander of of the Northern Ireland Regional Command, James Hamilton joined the coup with a revolt in Belfast. Hamilton ordered tanks to be brought out onto the streets in an attempt to convince other senior military figures to support the coup. At 22:00 that evening, Buckingham Palace announced that a provisional government would be formed. Attorney General Sadiq Khan, as the highest-ranking free official was named Acting Prime Minister.

The coup was condemned by member countries of the EU. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany called the coup a "terrorist act." Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, described the coup as an "unspeakable act".

Meanwhile, a smaller group of plotters secured control of Broadcasting House. This allowed the coup forces to take control of State radio and television headquarters. Former Head Anchor of the BBC and coup supporter Robert Kilroy-Silk would lead pro-Junta coverage of the events for several hours.

Dannatt’s Soft Coup

Originally, Field Marshall Richard Dannatt, one of the coup's conspirators, had advocated a "milder" course of action, which he then proceeded to implement. Arriving at Buckingham Place, Dannatt offered the monarch a trade-off. Dannatt offered to head a new grand coalition government that would replace the elected one. Dannatt argued this would appease Riley and his forces and thereby avoid a return to the full military dictatorship.

The Queen refused to receive Dannatt, who, shortly before 11pm, entered Parliament alleging that the Queen had ordered him to assume leadership. As Dannatt was not the "competent military authority" that Riley had been waiting for, the latter rejected Dannatt's claims.

Military occupation of Northern Ireland

Shortly after Riley took control of Parliament, James Hamilton, Commander of the Irish Region executed his part of the coup in Belfast. Deploying nearly 3,000 men and 70 tanks from his Motorised Division, Hamilton occupied the Northern Irish Parliament. The revolt, known as Operation Fist, was considered key if other military regions were to become involved in the coup. By 22:00, radio stations began broadcasting the state of emergency declared by Hamilton. Well into the night, Belfast, Derry and Lisburn were occupied and forces loyal to the coup closed the Irish Border. Snipers took their places on rooftops, military marches were played on loudspeakers and a curfew was imposed on the citizens. An armoured convoy was dispatched to the RAF Aldergrove to convince the commander there to support the coup. The Colonel in charge of the base not only refused to comply, he threatened to deploy three attack helicopters armed against the tanks sent by Hamilton, forcing him to withdraw. This setback meant coup forces were unable to secure Belfast Airport, adjoined to Aldergrove. This was seen as the first hint of the impending failure of the London coup.

Elizabeth’s repudiation

Queen Elizabeth refused to endorse the coup. The monarch was convinced of her military leaders' loyalty to herself. Three hours after the seizure of Parliament Elizabeth phoned the 40 provincial presidents, assuring them that everything was under control. Khan, before midnight that evening, made a short speech via broadcasting stations inside Buckingham calling for peace. Until 6:00 in the morning, negotiations took place outside Parliament between the acting government as well as Marshall Dannatt who would later be relieved of his duties under suspicion that he had participated in planning the coup.

At 4:25, the Queen appeared live on television, wearing a military uniform. She announced her opposition to the coup and its instigators, and disavowed the authority of Dannatt, Hamilton and Riley.

From that moment on, the coup was understood to be a failure. MP John Denham stated that when he saw Riley reading a special edition of the Sun newspaper, which condemned the hostage situation, he knew that the coup had failed. For his part, Hamilton, alone and thereafter isolated, abandoned his plans at 9:00 that morning and was arrested. Scores of civil guards clad in military fatigues attempted to jump out of the Palace of Westminster trying to flee. Others ran out the front door into the arms of officers who had surrounded the building through the night. The deputies were all freed by 11am after emerging one by one from their all night ordeal. Riley resisted until midday on and was arrested outside the Palace of Westminster.

Alternative theories

The bloodless unravelling of the coup, the plethora of unanswered, the staunch monarchist allegiance of the main conspirators and the Queen's lengthy absence before she finally made a early-morning public television address have fuelled conspiracy theories on the coup.

These theories cast doubt on the sincerity of the Queen's defence of democracy and qualify the coup as an example of coercive realpolitik. In essence, this version of events alleges that the coup itself was orchestrated by the Security Services in connivance with the Palace. The plot was dubbed Operation Dannatt, a "soft" coup aimed at a government headed by Dannatt himself, consisting of an array of ministers from all the main parties. The first aim was to oust Prime Minister Johnson, who had been criticised by the military for months partly due to Johnson's reformist agenda. The second aim of the purported "soft" coup was to ensure a bipartisan and moderate parliamentary monarchy. This aim required both purging the armed forces of its most reactionary elements and frightening the common voter into accepting the monarchy and the two-party system.

Yet another and more concrete goal would have been to neutralise an imminent and "hard" coup d'état planned for later that year. A major clique among the instigators of this alleged coup was the so-called General's group, headed by CNI chief Richard Dearlove.

According to these theories, Riley's guileless belief that he was at the heart of a hardcore coup plot, the media field-day prompted by shooting Vince Cable, and his refusal to accept the multi-partisan government proposed by Dannatt, resulted in the simultaneous aborting of the "hard" and the "soft" coup plots by those who had planned them.

MI6 chief Richard Dearlove, plays an ubiquitous role in these theories. Many theories place him as a major player within the conspiracy as well as the man responsible for coalescing all the different plots into one. It has been alleged that during a break in the coup trial, and after being subjected to a particularly intense grilling session by the prosecutor, Dearlove was heard saying: "if this guy keeps pressing me like this, I'll spill the beans about Wareing". The prosecutor's questioning allegedly lost a great deal of intensity when court resumed after the lunch break.

These theories have never worked their way into mainstream consciousness.
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One things for certain, TTL memes about what happened in the coup attempt are most certainly gonna be pretty interesting
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?
The European overseas territories such as the Isle of Mann etc remained pretty much the same.

Bermuda would gain independence immediately after the coup.

For Gibraltar, Johnson negotiated a shared sovereignty agreement as part of Spain not vetoing Britain's entry to the EU/NATO.

Most other overseas territories remained part of the UK as independence wouldn't really be viable and they were allowed to keep their local democracies
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Bermuda would gain independence immediately after the coup.
You just perked my ears up on that. And I'd like to know more about the Gib shared sovereignty deal, and whether Britain would apply it to, say, the Falklands+SGSSI ITTL and if doing that was another motivator for the coup.
You just perked my ears up on that. And I'd like to know more about the Gib shared sovereignty deal, and whether Britain would apply it to, say, the Falklands+SGSSI ITTL and if doing that was another motivator for the coup.
Britain was forced into a shared sovereignty arrangement with Spain as the Spanish threatened to veto UK entry to the EU and NATO. The Argentines had no such leverage so the Falkands and SGSSI remain firmly in British hands.

A broad summary of the Gibraltar deal is as follows:
  • Gibraltar’s right to self-governance would be incorporated into the Spanish constitutional system
  • Gibraltarians would be able gain British and Spanish citizenship.
  • Gibraltar retains its own tax system and other financial exceptions from UK/Spain
  • The fence, erected by the UK in 1909, and the border on the isthmus, was brought down
  • Spain and the UK jointly exercise authority over international relations, defence, security.
  • Spain committed not to interfere in the Gibraltarian way of life, customs or traditions.
  • Free movement of people and goods would be protected under the EU framework
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Chapter 49: Gods and Generals

As the gavel fell for the coup plotters, Johnson took a hammer to the military

“Johnson’s renewed focus on the military reflects a desire to strengthen accountability for matters of defence. Two issues are at stake: the role of Parliament in overseeing defence policy, and the administrative processes of the Ministry of Defence. Johnson has argued that the Commons should have the right to decide on the deployment of British Forces, and should play a larger role in shaping defence policy. It would allow the House of Commons to play a far larger role in defence decisions. If the White Paper passes, the decision to send the armed forces on an operation would be a choice made by the people’s elected representatives. Critics argue reforms must respect the principles of responsible government. They argue the adversarial character of Parliament will weaken defence accountability.”
- Accountability for National Defence, Institute for Public Policy (2009)

To maximise the political capital generated by the trials, the newly inaugurated Johnson administration ploughed ahead with reforms to the armed forces, presenting a White Paper to Parliament in late 2009. The paper introduced sweeping reforms to the armed forces, effectively dissolving the British Armed Forces to be replaced with the “Self-Defence Force of the United Kingdom” (SDFUK). Among these reforms included abolishing the navy, army and air-force as separate organisations, instead incorporating them as autonomous branches within the Defence Force. The White Paper also called for the forced retirement of any serving military officer over the age of 70, (conveniently catching Guthrie and several senior officers).

Most importantly were the political reforms, the military would be specifically designated as a non-political entity, with serving soldiers and officers banned from joining political parties or holding office, as well as a ten year ban on political activity for officers leaving the Defence Force. New members of the Force would be required to swear loyalty to the British people as well as the Queen. Servicemen, especially officers, would be given mandatory citizenship training with characteristics such as loyalty, compassion and respect for human rights drilled into recruits at Sandhurst. Finally it was made overtly illegal for SDF personnel to participate in collective insubordination or to command forces without authority.


New Secretary of State for Defence Toynbee planned to break up the Ministry of Defence's boy's club

Military action would have to be directly approved by the Commons, rather than just the Prime Minister Serving military officials would also be banned from holding ministerial or any other political positions within the Ministry of Defence. The office of Secretary of State for Defence would no longer be reserved for the military but would be a civilian parliamentarian, appointed by the Prime Minister with the consent of the Commons. Johnson announced he would be appointing Education Secretary Polly Toynbee to the Ministry of Defence should the White Paper pass. Toynbee, a feminist writer who had been harassed by the military Junta, would become Britain's first ever woman Secretary of State for Defence, and the first civilian in over 40 years.

Opposition within the military, especially the officer class, was deafening. Some in the military argued they were being unfairly persecuted, and the Johnson administration was taking advantage of the coup crisis to purge outspoken officers from the military. Nearly a dozen officers would publicly announce their resignation from the military, most notably Colonel James Cleverly, commander of the Gloucestershire Headquarters. These former officers and their supporters would go on to found the “National Association for Defence” or NAD, a pressure group to “combat smears in the media” that called for further support for the military.

“Foreign Secretary Chris Huhne hit back today at former defence chiefs who accused the government of treating the armed forces "with contempt". In a press conference yesterday five former chiefs of the defence staff lined up to condemn what they claimed were "attacks" on the military. Retired Chief of the Naval Staff Micheal Boyce attacked Alan Johnson for a perceived lack of interest in the armed forces. The prime minister also entered the fray today, insisting he had "enormous respect" for the armed forces. Admiral Boyce said Alan Johnson had treated troops "with contempt" by forcing through reforms to the military. In a robust defence of the government's record, Huhne insisted today that the reforms made no difference to the military's effectiveness. No serving members of the forces had raised the issue during his latest trip to Afghanistan, he stressed.” - UK Foreign Secretary hits Back at Admiral's Criticism, Associated Press (2009)


Admiral Boyce would lead opposition to the reforms.

One factor that helped the reforms was Defence Secretary Charles Guthrie’s relative silence. Whilst he didn’t openly support the reforms, he didn’t throw his weight against them either. Friends of Guthrie reported he had been thoroughly shaken by the events in August and the breakdown in the chain of command. Guthrie did quietly call up old friends in the military establishment asking them not to shout too loud or join Cleverly and the NAD in resigning their posts. Guthrie was an old man and like many others who had served during the Junta, he was worried about his legacy. He could either be dragged kicking and screaming from his post, or go with the tide and secure a favourable telling in the history books - Guthrie chose the latter.

Opposition in Parliament was mixed, nearly every party except for National gladly signed onto the White Paper, glad to remove the Sword of Damocles hovering above them. National was decisively split on the issue, on one hand there were the reformers, people like Kenneth Clarke who wanted National to move away from it’s militaristic, pro-Junta image and prove it’s overwhelming support for democracy. On the other side there were the hardliners, especially Shadow Foreign Secretary David Davis who were outraged at the reforms. They claimed to oppose the reforms on cultural grounds, arguing the white paper would remove the rich history of the RAF and Royal Navy. They agreed with the NAD that the army was being unfairly punished.

Stuck in the middle - still with a thoroughly broken nose - was Tim Collins. General Collins now had to choose which way the whip would fall. Politically he was a dead man walking, after losing two elections any semblance of control over the National Party caucus had melted away long ago. With nothing left to lose Collins decided he would try and save his reputation - and his place in the transition history book - by ordering his MPs to vote for the White Paper. Over 40% of his MPs would break the whip and five of his Shadow Cabinet Ministers would resign, but the White Paper passed parliament. Collins announced his resignation the next morning.

Johnson Cabinet 2009-
  • Prime Minister - Alan Johnson (SDP)
  • Deputy Prime Minister - Rosie Boycott (SDP)
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer - Alan Sugar (SDP)
  • Foreign Secretary - Chris Huhne (SDP)
  • Justice Secretary - David Miliband (SDP)
  • Defence Secretary - Polly Toynbee (SDP)
  • Home Secretary - Eddie Izzard (SDP)
  • Development Secretary - Charles Kennedy (SDP)
  • Education Secretary - Peter Mandelson (SDP)
  • Industry, Tourism and Trade Secretary - Ed Balls (SDP)
  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Secretary - Sandi Toskvig (SDP)
  • Public Administrations Secretary - Alistair Darling (SDP)
  • Culture Secretary - Floella Benjamin (SDP)
  • Health Secretary - Douglas Alexander (SDP)
  • Environment Secretary - Alastair Campbell (SDP)
  • Housing Secretary - Paddy Ashdown (SDP)
“National Leader Tim Collins has announced he will stand down "sooner rather than later" to allow a new leader to take over. Mr Collins said he would stay as leader until the party had the opportunity to decide on a successor. Mr Collins said the party's seat increase from 2005 meant that it could now "hold its head up high". Mr Collin's said after his party's recent progress, there must never be a return to the "bickering and backstabbing of the past". Speaking at a rally in Wandsworth, Mr Collins said his association with the military meant he could not lead the party into the next election. "I am a military man at heart. But the events of the last few weeks have shown me that blurring lines between military and political life can only led to trouble. It is time for our party to elect a civilian leader to bring our caucus together and move us forward to the next election." - Collins will stand down as National Leader, BBC News Bulletin (2009)


Collins' call for a civilian leader angered National's solider parliamentarians
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Ah now this is more like it! The White Paper is a terrific start to ensuring such actions can't happen again, and it's got far reaching consequences. Collins retiring amid the chaos makes me very curious to see who'll succeed him. Makes sense too, to have lost two elections and have insinuations about your link to the military invading Parliament is not a good look. With National trying to tear itself in two, the new leader is going to have to be someone pretty impressive to hold them together.
They claimed to oppose the reforms on cultural grounds, arguing the white paper would remove the rich history of the RAF and Royal Navy. They agreed with the NAD that the army was being unfairly punished.
What was Junta era and Post Junta Britain's view of its extensive military history and military heritage?
How are things such as the Imperial War Museum, HMS Victory, Trooping of the Colour, changing of the Guard, ect, ect viewed by the democratic government and wider public?
In light of events over the last few decades and especially are symbols of Britain's military heritage enthusiastically embraced or seen as more as a bit of an embarrassment?

Is the SDFUK a rebranding of the existing armed forces or a complete replacement? As in are things like uniforms, traditions, regimental lineages being inherited by the new organisation or a complete clean break and start over?
Anyone against the white paper wants to bring back the day of military rule where the army can harass and kill anyone they don't like. Arrest them all.
I'm really hoping ttl version of me left to work in the EU. My French and German were pretty good back then.
Chapter 50: Dishonourable Discharge

William Hague was Collins' preferred successor

“Tim Collins yesterday ended a National Caucus meeting with a warning that it must change to win over first-time voters. Echoing a series of stern lectures, he warned: "If anyone thinks we can sit tight and wait for the pendulum to swing back to National, think again." As Mr Collins reminded his audience that "no party has a God-given right to govern", maneuvering intensified among his potential successors. Aides denied the outgoing leader's call for his party to embrace the Britain of democracy was a coded endorsement of William Hague. But his appeal to adapt "timeless National values, of personal responsibility, fair play and a sense of nationhood". Yesterday Mr Collins refused to back any candidate for opposition leader, calling on the party to avoid "friendly fire".”
- Collins tells Tories to target young voters, Micheal White, The Guardian (2009)

Where to go for the National Party? On one hand, National had a strong four years in opposition, they greatly increased their seat count to be the largest caucus in the Commons. The SDP Government had the slimest majority and was reliant on four other parties to keep it going. Many of Collin’s personal reforms had been successful - The party had been reformed in Collins’ image with both staunch reformers like Nick Clegg and hardliners like Kilroy-Silk removed from the picture. Yet the party was facing an existential crisis, two former National MPs had played a part in the attempted coup of 2009, even though National wasn’t involved, the constant threats of military action and the party’s closeness to the Junta didn’t help.

Whilst the party had managed to unite the right of British politics, they appeared to have hit their political ceiling. Even with all the chaos Johnson faced in his first term, they were still unable to drag him from Downing Street. The act of a leadership election was new to the National Party. Usually a National Leader ran the party until death did him part. Peter Hill Norton had seized the party through swift brutality in the 80s after Mountbatten died, and General Collins had simply been far enough away from London so that when all the knives landed he was the last major player standing.

Unlike the other parties that elected their leaders through party membership or conferences, National’s elections were an MP only affair. The party had no democratic culture of history, having succeeded the Conservative Party which chose it’s leaders via “Magic Circle”. Whilst things were a bit more orderly and democratic than the great chess game of Junta era leadership selections, Collins was still keen on keeping some form of magic circle intact. Collins was eager to see no public infighting between senior party figures, the party’s elites would all agree on a leader and then coronate them, the knives would all remain sheathed.


Collins wanted his legacy to be a united party

In Havilland Hall on the Isle of Guernsey, the National Party “Magic Circle” would meet, hosted by David Rowland a multi-millionaire property developer, and National’s largest donor, a dozen party bigwigs - including Collins, Deputy Leader Theresa May, Shadow Chancellor William Hague and Former Shadow Foreign Secretary David Davis - would meet at Havilland House to select their new leader. Davis, Hague and May were generally seen as the three front-runners, and the Magic Circle was adamant a direct competition between the three could not be allowed to happen. Their number one priority was avoiding a split, therefore they had to keep someone from “the wings” out of power.

“Even without being snubbed by the Magical Circle, Davis' path to the National Party leadership was never really viable. Davis had angered his allies on the hardline for his libertarian politics, and angered the moderates by voting against EU membership. If Davis had been intent upon challenging Hague at the leadership election, then he would have had to be mindful of party opinion as well. And of course Davis' personality was a complicated one - from a hardline right winger, he had traveled towards a much more liberal position. Some of these positions may have been influenced by the discourse of the transition, which favored social liberalism. The Havilland meeting was the stage for a confrontation between two very different personalities. Hague‟s personality was not strong enough to override Davis' in this confrontation.” - The 2009 National Party Leadership Contest, Lecture by Philip Williamson, Durham University (2014)

On the reformist side of the party possible candidates discussed included Shadow Health Secretary Mark Oaten, as well as moderate backbenchers like Jeremy Hunt and Anna Soubry. Possible hardline wing candidates included figures such as Shadow Housing Secretary David Richards or backbenchers Bob Stewart and backbencher Christopher Monckton. If Collins had resigned a year or two ago, May would have been the obvious candidate, a middle class civilian vicar’s daughter. May represented the rural, anglican, middle class voter that made up National's base. Unfortunately for May her stock in the party had fallen somewhat in recent years, she had failed to impress during the General Election campaign with wooden performances on the stump and gaffe in the studio.


National MP Slyvia Hermon had defected to the Reform Party in the days following the coup

Where May fell Shadow Foreign Secretary David Davis seemed best placed to lead the pack. Whilst Davis was a military man, he was only a squaddie, rather than an officer, Davis’ allies argued he was the best placed to unite the party - his military background appealing to the hardliners and his libertarian ideals wooing the reformists. However Davis wasn’t without his flaws, at 61 he was over a decade older than Tim Collis - he had also opposed EU membership in the referendum despite overwhelming public support for the European project. The Magic Circle decided with Davis at the helm, a mass exodus of moderates to Reform or even the SDP was a possibility.

That left Shadow Chancellor William Hague. Hague had a lot going for him, being in his 40s he was relatively young for a senior National politician, from his time as Chief Whip he had developed connections and friendships across the party. Hague was also an accomplished orator - many in the Circle recalled his excellent performance at the Dispatch Box when he was promoted to Shadow Chancellor last-minute following Nick Clegg’s arrest. Most importantly no one knew which way Hague had voted in the referendum. During the EU referendum Hague was serving as Chief Whip, in the name of party unity he had been granted special permission by Collins not to openly campaign for EU membership. Hague was a reformist - but not too radical - the candidate best placed. Over port and cigars the Magic Circle talked long into the night, and Hague would emerge as it’s candidate, now they had to sell him to the party.

“In the wake of the coup attempt, very few National politicians spoke of the fear which gripped them. Fear of a party which splits apart and hands power to the Social Democrats for a generation. William Hague was Tim Collin’s preferred successor because he had abundant talent, yes, but not least because he was the candidate with the least number of enemies. This is the best predictive factor in how far one rises in the National Party. We knew the Government's majority was flimsy and we expected a snap election to be a matter of "when" rather than "if". Solid diplomatic effort by Tim Collins, and General Secretary Michael Gove, delivered a party willing to change.” - Excerpt from National MP Andrew Lansley’s Diaries (2019)


General Secretary Michael Gove - A Collins ally - began to fix things behind the scenes for Hague
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What was Junta era and Post Junta Britain's view of its extensive military history and military heritage?
How are things such as the Imperial War Museum, HMS Victory, Trooping of the Colour, changing of the Guard, ect, ect viewed by the democratic government and wider public?
In light of events over the last few decades and especially are symbols of Britain's military heritage enthusiastically embraced or seen as more as a bit of an embarrassment?

Is the SDFUK a rebranding of the existing armed forces or a complete replacement? As in are things like uniforms, traditions, regimental lineages being inherited by the new organisation or a complete clean break and start over?
Apologies I missed this question.

Junta Britain was very pro military history, things like the Imperial War Museum etc received a huge amount of funding and military was put at the heart of British culture. In the post Junta age these things still exists but they're a lot more nuanced i.e. the War Museum has a section on crimes committed by the Junta era military.

Its more of a re-branding, regiments and uniforms etc are still the same.