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

Looking forward to reading more of this TL!

Edit: I'd also be interested in hearing about the structure/makeup of the Armed Forces ITTL; National Service seems to have been phased out by the time of the Coup; was it re-instated? How internally cohesive are they? What are Officer-Squaddie relations like etc.
National Service was never reinstated as it had been scrapped for eight years and was likely to be unpopular. The armed forces are a lot more political for obvious reasons, several officers have been elected as National politicians. Officer-Squaddie relations are fairly strong, but Officers are almost all National supporters whilst the average solider is more conflicted. There haven't been any major mutinies over the Junta's lifetime.
 
You've mentioned Canada and Australia as popular destinations for British exiles but did many end up in Ireland?
Northern Irish Republicans would probably end up in Ireland so would it be the same deal with Scottish or Welsh separatists?
 
First, it's a well written and coherent TL so many thanks @powerab

I struggle with a 1968 coup - a 1975 coup might have been more realistic in the aftermath of the 3-Day Week and the failure of the Heath Government to enact the radical proposals in the Selsdon House Manifesto.

I suppose there's a European parallel in the 1967 coup in Greece and while the US might have preferred NATO be a democratic bulwark that wasn't the principal objective. Indeed, Washington might have preferred a 1968 coup in Paris or Rome rather than London where the street protests were primarily about Vietnam rather than any actual counter culture. I'm going to assume the Mountbatten Government continued the policy of non-involvement in Vietnam.

The "threat" of left-wing Unions acting as a stalking horse for a left-wing Labour Government was much more pronounced in the 70s than the 60s. Let's not forget the 1983 Labour Manifesto in OTL advocated withdrawal from both NATO and the EEC - Foot may have been of that view but Wilson in the 60s wasn't - his physical decline by the mid 70s was much more apparent.

I also struggle with a British junta lasting 40 years - the last military Government in England lasted just 11 years. Authoritarianism was curiously enough on the retreat in Europe in the 70s - the regimes in Greece, Spain and Portugal had all reverted to democracies by the end of the decade and I can't see Jimmy Carter for one thinking much of the British military rulers.

The other problem the National Government will face is the one the civilian Government faced in the 1970s - the economic collapse of Butskellism following the huge hike in oil prices in 1973. Yes, you could argue the weak Labour Government was all too ready to cave in to excessive wage demands which themselves fuelled inflation but the economic response (the Howe Budget in 1981) continued and intensified the retrenchment of the public sector begun under Healey and began the decimation of manufacturing industry.

Does the Junta face down the Unions and then the rioters and is its only answer bullets? Does it have the political imagination to enact Thatcherite economic policies - I'm going to assume it does and that may well buy it some time but economic liberalisation isn't the be-all and end-all (we aren't China for example). Tianamen and the fall of the Berlin Wall will be the end of the junta and I would argue by 1990 it will be forced to re-store normal political life - perhaps an envoy from the George HW Bush administration will "persuade" London it's time for the armed forces to return to barracks.
 
Global economy must've had some dark years with a financial powerhouse like London falling under the control of a dictatorship - although I understand not including that and keeping non-British history relatively the same because otherwise you'd need to write a novel to cover all the changes!
 
First, it's a well written and coherent TL so many thanks @powerab

I struggle with a 1968 coup - a 1975 coup might have been more realistic in the aftermath of the 3-Day Week and the failure of the Heath Government to enact the radical proposals in the Selsdon House Manifesto.

I suppose there's a European parallel in the 1967 coup in Greece and while the US might have preferred NATO be a democratic bulwark that wasn't the principal objective. Indeed, Washington might have preferred a 1968 coup in Paris or Rome rather than London where the street protests were primarily about Vietnam rather than any actual counter culture. I'm going to assume the Mountbatten Government continued the policy of non-involvement in Vietnam.

The "threat" of left-wing Unions acting as a stalking horse for a left-wing Labour Government was much more pronounced in the 70s than the 60s. Let's not forget the 1983 Labour Manifesto in OTL advocated withdrawal from both NATO and the EEC - Foot may have been of that view but Wilson in the 60s wasn't - his physical decline by the mid 70s was much more apparent.

I also struggle with a British junta lasting 40 years - the last military Government in England lasted just 11 years. Authoritarianism was curiously enough on the retreat in Europe in the 70s - the regimes in Greece, Spain and Portugal had all reverted to democracies by the end of the decade and I can't see Jimmy Carter for one thinking much of the British military rulers.

The other problem the National Government will face is the one the civilian Government faced in the 1970s - the economic collapse of Butskellism following the huge hike in oil prices in 1973. Yes, you could argue the weak Labour Government was all too ready to cave in to excessive wage demands which themselves fuelled inflation but the economic response (the Howe Budget in 1981) continued and intensified the retrenchment of the public sector begun under Healey and began the decimation of manufacturing industry.

Does the Junta face down the Unions and then the rioters and is its only answer bullets? Does it have the political imagination to enact Thatcherite economic policies - I'm going to assume it does and that may well buy it some time but economic liberalisation isn't the be-all and end-all (we aren't China for example). Tianamen and the fall of the Berlin Wall will be the end of the junta and I would argue by 1990 it will be forced to re-store normal political life - perhaps an envoy from the George HW Bush administration will "persuade" London it's time for the armed forces to return to barracks.
I think whilst when we look back a 68 coup was unlikely it is very possible https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson_conspiracy_theories
 
Is the post of Deputy Prime Minister now defined as an actual Deputy a la Vice President, or is it still an honorific title with no real status? Does Britain get a line of succession established akin to the American equivalent (where it's known, rather than the story there is one but it's only known to a limited number of people).
 
What happened to the House of Lords?

What are Britain's 40 provinces?
The House of Lords was abolished under the Cardiff Accords to be replaced by the Senate. The Senate is an extremely limited upper house seen to represent the provinces of Britain. Each province gets 4 elected seats in the Senate as a baseline, with the other 134 elected seats distributed proportionally. Furthermore, a further 71 seats are directly appointed by provincial legislatures with the larger provinces getting two appointed seats and the smaller provinces getting one.

The Senate has less power than the Commons. it can veto legislation, but its veto can be overturned by an absolute majority in the Commons. Its only exclusive power concerns the provinces, in line with its nature of "provincial representation". By a majority, the Senate decides on arbitrations between National and Provincial Governments. It is the only body able to adopt measures to enforce a province's compliance if it is seen to have failed its constitutional duties.

During the Junta years, Britain was divided into 40 administrative zones, mostly combining two or three smaller counties together into mega-counties. these have been reformed into provinces with legislatures and powers roughly equal to the powers of OTL devolved administrations. Keeping the provinces has been controversial especially with the separatists as both Scotland and Wales have been balkanized into different provinces, the SNP, Plaid and RISE call campaign for unified single Parliaments for their nations. The provinces are as follows:
  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • Cheshire
  • Cornwall
  • Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • East Anglia
  • East Wales
  • East Yorkshire
  • Eastern Scotland
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hampshire
  • Herefordshire
  • Highlands and Islands
  • Inner London – East
  • Inner London – West
  • Kent
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Merseyside
  • North Eastern Scotland
  • North Yorkshire
  • Northern Ireland
  • Northumberland
  • Outer London – East
  • Outer London – South
  • Outer London – West
  • Shropshire
  • South Western Scotland
  • South Yorkshire
  • Surrey
  • Tees Valley
  • West Midlands (county)
  • West Wales
  • West Yorkshire
 
You've mentioned Canada and Australia as popular destinations for British exiles but did many end up in Ireland?
Northern Irish Republicans would probably end up in Ireland so would it be the same deal with Scottish or Welsh separatists?
Yes absolutely, through either family ties or logistical convenience a lot of exiles ending up in the Republic of Ireland. Especially various Celtic separatists who sought exile in Dublin. Most notably Tommy Sheridan, Leader of the SNLA sought shelter in Ireland and trained with the IRA. At its peak in the 70s the Northern Irish border saw hundreds of crossings a day and was heavily militarized.
 
I'm not sure if this was your intent but I love the concept of John McDonnell as Britain's Gerry Adams.
 
First, it's a well written and coherent TL so many thanks @powerab

I struggle with a 1968 coup - a 1975 coup might have been more realistic in the aftermath of the 3-Day Week and the failure of the Heath Government to enact the radical proposals in the Selsdon House Manifesto.

I suppose there's a European parallel in the 1967 coup in Greece and while the US might have preferred NATO be a democratic bulwark that wasn't the principal objective. Indeed, Washington might have preferred a 1968 coup in Paris or Rome rather than London where the street protests were primarily about Vietnam rather than any actual counter culture. I'm going to assume the Mountbatten Government continued the policy of non-involvement in Vietnam.

The "threat" of left-wing Unions acting as a stalking horse for a left-wing Labour Government was much more pronounced in the 70s than the 60s. Let's not forget the 1983 Labour Manifesto in OTL advocated withdrawal from both NATO and the EEC - Foot may have been of that view but Wilson in the 60s wasn't - his physical decline by the mid 70s was much more apparent.

I also struggle with a British junta lasting 40 years - the last military Government in England lasted just 11 years. Authoritarianism was curiously enough on the retreat in Europe in the 70s - the regimes in Greece, Spain and Portugal had all reverted to democracies by the end of the decade and I can't see Jimmy Carter for one thinking much of the British military rulers.

The other problem the National Government will face is the one the civilian Government faced in the 1970s - the economic collapse of Butskellism following the huge hike in oil prices in 1973. Yes, you could argue the weak Labour Government was all too ready to cave in to excessive wage demands which themselves fuelled inflation but the economic response (the Howe Budget in 1981) continued and intensified the retrenchment of the public sector begun under Healey and began the decimation of manufacturing industry.

Does the Junta face down the Unions and then the rioters and is its only answer bullets? Does it have the political imagination to enact Thatcherite economic policies - I'm going to assume it does and that may well buy it some time but economic liberalisation isn't the be-all and end-all (we aren't China for example). Tianamen and the fall of the Berlin Wall will be the end of the junta and I would argue by 1990 it will be forced to re-store normal political life - perhaps an envoy from the George HW Bush administration will "persuade" London it's time for the armed forces to return to barracks.
Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

This is all fair criticism I'll try and address your points as they come.

Yes, a late 60s coup is fairly unlikely, I would justify it by saying the Wilson of this world is slightly more radical than of OTL, more in line with his time as a Bevanite in Government. Whilst he certainly didn't support withdrawal from NATO, his moves away from Empire and towards more economic interventionism made the establishment jittery.

The Johnson administration already had poor relations with Wilson, and as a nuclear power and large military would be very interested in keeping Britain in the tent, by any means necessary. The Junta did support the South in the Vietnam War, sending advisers, medics, and other support personnel, but never a full involvement on the level of the States.

Yes, the Junta surviving for 40 years is fairly unrealistic, however, I would point out other European Juntas like Franco's Spain survived for a similar amount of time (of course the time and context around Franco rising are completely different). Since the major themes of the story are the fragility of democracy I wanted to write it so the Military had been in charge for a considerable amount of time. If the Junta had only lasted a few years a la Agent Lavender I feel like that would detract from the story. But from a purely historical perspective, I do accept it is unrealistic.

In terms of the 70s and economic policy, the 70s were defiantly the most unstable years for the Junta, this saw the peak of paramilitary activity and political violence alongside all the economic problems. This would represent the height of the regime's repression via things like political prisoners and soldiers on the street. In terms of economics whilst the Junta did institute some neo-liberal economic reforms, as several commentators have pointed out Mountbatten was hardly a raging Thatcherite, being more an authoritarian social democrat/one-nation conservative. So the economic reforms of the 80s were a lot more moderate than in OTL and key industries remain in the hands of the state, thus ITL Britain is economically more left-wing that OTL 2005 Britain, despite the military Junta.

With the events of the 90s such as the Berlin Wall etc, the Junta does liberalize under pressure from Washington and the EU, including the release of most non-violent political prisoners, relaxation of trade union laws and elections on a local level, these reforms all mean that when Hill-Norton dies the whole thing comes crashing down.
 
Global economy must've had some dark years with a financial powerhouse like London falling under the control of a dictatorship - although I understand not including that and keeping non-British history relatively the same because otherwise you'd need to write a novel to cover all the changes!
Absolutely, whilst London does remain a financial powerhouse it is not the undisputed European centre it was in OTL, seeing a lot more competition with Frankfurt and Paris.
 
Is the post of Deputy Prime Minister now defined as an actual Deputy a la Vice President, or is it still an honorific title with no real status? Does Britain get a line of succession established akin to the American equivalent (where it's known, rather than the story there is one but it's only known to a limited number of people).
The DPM is a legal second in command to the Prime Minister, assuming its duties when the Prime Minister is absent or incapable of exercising power. There is an order of succession as follows:
  1. Prime Minister - Alan Johnson
  2. Deputy Prime Minister - Alan Milburn
  3. Speaker of the House - George Young
  4. President of the Senate - David Clark
  5. President of the Constitutional Court - Nick Phillips
  6. Chancellor of the Exchequer - Simon Hughes
  7. Foreign Secretary - Tony Blair
  8. Justice Secretary - David Miliband
  9. Defence Secretary - General Mike Jackson
  10. Home Secretary - Peter Tatchell
  11. Development Secretary - Jack Straw
  12. Education Secretary - Glenda Jackson
  13. Industry, Tourism and Trade Secretary - Chris Huhne
  14. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Secretary - John Prescott
  15. Public Administrations Secretary - Charlie Falconer
  16. Culture Secretary - Rosie Boycott
  17. Health Secretary - Peter Hain
  18. Environment Secretary - Valerie Amos
  19. Housing Secretary - Polly Toynbee
  20. Ambassadors accredited to Britain (by order of tenure)
  21. Former Prime Ministers (by order of tenure)
  22. The Presidents of the Provincial Governments (by order of tenure)
  23. Leader of the Opposition - Tim Collins
  24. Attorney General - Patricia Scotland
  25. Deputy Ministers according to the precedence of their ministries
  26. The Chief of the Defense Staff - General Mike Jackson
  27. The Chief of Staff of the Army - General Richard Dannatt
  28. The Admiral Chief of the Naval Staff - Admiral Jonathon Band
  29. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force - Air Chief Marshall Glenn Torpy
  30. Members of the House of Commons (by order of tenure)
 
Did the previous Junta try to form some sort of alternate national labor unions? How did the treat the City of London? Did they try to regulate them or steer investment?
 
Top