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

Social Democratic Party Leadership Election, Part 2


Burnham had dropped much of his soft-eurosceptic rhetoric

"The biggest decision facing our country right now is over the bailout deal and our relationship with the European Union. I want to create an outward-looking, confident Britain. And yet we are becoming more divided, more inward-looking, more isolated from our European partners. I will hold Mr Hague to account, I won’t let the National Party put their own interests before the country. I am pro-European and, I am ready to provide the leadership that you need. I am a man on a mission, with a clear sense of what I want to achieve. I want to give the country a Social Democratic Party that people can relate to and believe in. That talks their language, that celebrates the spirit of enterprise, that helps all people to get on. A strong SDP voice that will help hold us together, maintain our place in Europe and guide the country through the uncertain times in which we now live." - Andy Burnham Victory Speech (2014)

With a clear mandate Andy Burnham was elected leader of the Social Democrats, 56% to 44% of the vote. In a few short years Burnham had gone from a relative unknown to leader of Britain’s largest opposition party. In a way his rise had been fairly extraordinary, with luck playing a large role in his rise. All possible major contenders for the SDP’s leadership, from Sugar to Cooper had all crashed and burned in one way or another. SDP MP Chris Bryant compared Burnham to a bicycle, saying to reporters “a bicycle can even win a Formula 1 race, because if all the cars crash the bicycle will still be there.” Burnham represented a literal - as well as a symbolic - changing of the guard. Burnham was the first “peacetime” SDP leader, who wasn’t directly involved in the British civil resistance movement, Burnham had spent his time honing his craft in Ireland, away from the bullets and batons of Junta Britain.


Burnham had been safe in Dublin as the tear gas flew

Burnham’s victory conference was conciliatory, stressing his pro-European views and promising to “take on board” the ideas expressed by Boycott and Khan. Burnham pledged to bring the SDP back in line with grassroots voters, whilst shying away “from populism and demagoguery,” in a veiled reference to the People’s Party. Burnham unleashed a barrage against William Hague, declaring his election “the beginning of the end for National''. Burnham to both try and attract back radical left voters whilst at the same time avoiding spooking the horses and being seen as taking a lurch to the left. Burnham would also have to deal with a staunchly liberal deputy in the form of Chuka Umunna, who had handily beaten left-wing Len McCluskey for the deputy leadership. Now Burnham had to appoint his Cabinet against the backdrop of a despondent and divided parliamentary caucus.

“Andy Burnham was accused of demoting prominent Johnsonites today after he appointed his Shadow Cabinet. Peter Mandelson and Clare Gerada lost their jobs in the SDP’s top team, moving to junior minister posts outside the Shadow Cabinet. Floella Benjamin, the shadow Public Administrations Secretary was sacked from the Cabinet entirely. Dave Prentis, the left-wing leader of the AGO union, has urged Mr Burnham to drop Johnsonites from his top team. SDP sources dismissed as “nonsense” National claims that Johnson allies had been purged, saying the party had “moved on”. One Burnham aide said: “He has not discussed the reshuffle with Dave Prentis.” SDP sources pointed to the promotion of two Johnsonite rising stars – Douglas Alexander and Rachel Reeves - as proof Burnham was “promoting on the basis of talent rather than faction.” - Andy Burnham accused of lurch to the left, Andrew Grice, The Independent (2014)

Burnham Shadow Cabinet 2014-
  • Leader of the Opposition - Andy Burnham
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition - Chuka Umunna
  • Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer - Douglas Alexander
  • Shadow Foreign Secretary - Polly Toynbee
  • Shadow Justice Secretary - Ed Balls
  • Shadow Defence Secretary - Alistair Darling
  • Shadow Home Secretary - Tim Farron
  • Shadow Development Secretary - Rachel Reeves
  • Shadow Education Secretary - Margaret Hodge
  • Shadow Industry, Tourism and Trade Secretary - Sadiq Khan
  • Shadow Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Secretary - Tristam Hunt
  • Shadow Public Administrations Secretary - Frances O'Grady
  • Shadow Culture Secretary - Keith Vaz
  • Shadow Health Secretary - Lynne Featherstone
  • Shadow Environment Secretary - Caitlin Moran
  • Shadow Housing Secretary - Len McCluskey

Burnham had to reassure international observers - as well as sceptical backbenchers

The biggest promotion of Burnham’s reshuffle was Douglas Alexander, the Scottish Toynbee backer who saw an explosive rise from Shadow Culture Secretary to Shadow Chancellor, leapfrogging more senior ministers like Ed Balls and Alistair Darling. Other notable promotions included Tim Farron to Shadow Home Secretary, Reeves to Development and Margaret Hodge to Shadow Education. Burnham also kept his promise to include both his opponents in his Cabinet, leaving Toynbee in Shadow Foreign Affairs and elevating Sadiq Khan to the Industry brief. The losers tended to be older shadow cabinet members or those with considerable baggage, Peter Mandelosn, Sandi Toskvig and Clare Gerada were all sacked in a cross-factional purge of the codgers to make room for the party’s younger talent. Now almost all of the senior Shadow Cabinet jobs were held by people under 50.

Now Burnham’s top team had to begin the difficult climb back to power, the SDP faced disillusioned voters and divided the Parliamentary caucus. But the most important issue in the short term was money. The party was on the verge of bankruptcy after several of its largest donors left with Alan Sugar to form Unity, and many smaller unions had abandoned the SDP to affiliate to the People’s Party instead - although Burnham’s closeness with the unions had quickly stemmed that bleeding. But Burham’s biggest worries would be the MPs sitting behind him in Westminster, Burham was not the first choice of the party’s centrist establishment - with both Reform and Unity doing well many of his MPs were considering a better deal.

“Last month Andy Burnham was chosen to be the new leader of Britain's centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP). The Sun called his appointment a “renewal” of the SDP. Burnham seems to have been chosen because he is too unknown to suffer from the revulsion most Brits feel towards the establishment. But as the SDP’s new leader, and without much of the baggage carried around by the older generation of leaders, Burnham has a choice facing him. If he expects his party out of its current crisis, he must recognise that the crisis is a conflict between Europe's bankers and Europe's workers. He must reengineer the SDP’s policies in favour of Britain’s very anxious working and middle classes. If not, he will watch as Europe’s extreme right takes control of the debate.” - Can Andy Burnham Save the SDP?, Michael Pettis, CEIP (2014)


One poll showed the SDP losing it's official opposition spot to the People's Party in a snap election
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New Statesman Article: SDP Leadership Runners and Riders
Hi team,

I just realised I never uploaded this - whilst it's been thoroughly spoiled now I thought some might like to read anyway




SDP Leadership: Runners and Riders

By Anoosh Chakelian

After David Miliband resigns following his party's EU election defeat, eyes turn to who may replace him as the next SDP leader.

A SDP source has told the New Statesman that Andy Burnham, Polly Toynbee and Len McCluskey are mulling a run for the party leadership.

Ed Balls is not ruling it out either.

Here are some more details about them and other names in the frame to replace David Miliband:

Douglas Alexander


The shadow health secretary has shown himself to be a consistent and capable performer making him an obvious front-runner. A close ally of Alan Johnson and a native Scot, he is likely to be a standard bearer for the moderate wing of the party. Might struggle to form a majority as leader though - his hatred for the Alternative and Scottish Separatists is well documented.

Ed Balls


The shadow home secretary has maintained a high-profile in challenging the Government over organised crime. Seen as a possible unity candidate between the liberal and populist wings of the party. Although his brash personal style might hinder any outreach attempts. Ed has moved in a more eurosceptic as shadow home secretary, calling for the Barnier Commission to "get a grip" on Europe's border crisis.

Rosie Boycott


Many may have looked to the SDP veteran and current deputy leader as a safe pair of hands, but she has announced she is to step down. Still, she might be tempted to reconsider if things get really dire. If she changed her mind Boycott would be in a strong position, warmed and well liked - she has the phone number of every SDP MP, Senator and MEP

Andy Burnham


A rising star and darling of the populists, Burnham has made no secret of wanting a second go after his narrow loss to David Miliband in 2012. Burnham is best placed to counter the People's Party's yellow wave. Although if he wants to have another crack he'll have to reassure the SDP's intellectual base of his pro-European credentials. If he runs he'll likely have the backing of Amicus and the AGO.

Yvette Cooper


A year ago Yvette would have been a shoe in. The plan was to spend a few years scrapping with the separatists before triumphantly returning to Westminster - but her disastrous campaign for the Scottish Parliament has severely diminished her odds. Yvette is now stuck in St Andrew's house without even a free Presidential question to her name,

Sadiq Khan


A folk hero to many, Khan had his 15 minutes of fame when he stood up to the 2009 coup and led military reform. His book on the 2009 coup "The Witness" has become an international smash hit. Would Khan be willing to make the jump from national treasure to the dirty world of front-line politics? Despite his reputation as a self-promoter, Khan has solid political instincts, he was the first SDP politician to sound the alarm bells on the People's Party.

Len McCluskey


Every few months "Red Len" threatens to defect to the Alternative but never does. A former union shop steward, McCluskey is the leader of the SDP's increasingly small number of old-school social democrats. McCluskey has called for a "popular front" with the Alternative and People's Party to fight the next election. Although allies have called on him to run for the more winnable deputy post instead.

Rachel Reeves


The quiet rise of Rachel Reeves has been something to behold. She has been assiduous in developing SDP fiscal rules as a junior treasury minister. She knows the SDP is seen as over-spenders and is determined to attack this perception. If the Social Democrats want to face down National's defect attacks head on, they could do worse than a former Bank of England economist.

Polly Toynbee


Polly Toynbee remains an influential figure on the right of the party and long may she do so. She has her fair share of detractors, but what she says matters in centrist circles. Alan Johnson has called on Toynbee to run calling her the party's "best hope". Still unlike Johnson Toynbee has few friends in the unions, an open primary is probably her best shot at the crown.

Chuka Umunna


He comes across as reasonable, and appears to be the sweet voice of Johnsonism, but he is developing an inner steel. However he is seen to be all things to all men with few enemies on the SDP benches - but also very few friends - If he is to cement his position as a potential leadership candidate he needs to develop some identifiable beliefs.
  • New Statesman, 2014
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I think you may have misplaced "Labour" in place of "SDP" in a couple of places, also, wasn't the coup attempt in 2009 rather than 2012?

Other than that, good job with the updates, interested in what Burnham' plans are for the SDP
I think you may have misplaced "Labour" in place of "SDP" in a couple of places, also, wasn't the coup attempt in 2009 rather than 2012?

Other than that, good job with the updates, interested in what Burnham' plans are for the SDP
Yes good catches, my brain is not working today!
Len McCluskey, a Social Democrat? I think you've slipped into ASB territory here :p
Tbh McCluskey's rhetoric is fairly left but his actions have always been fairly centrist. He backed Burnham initially OTL until Corbyn picked up steam (and apparently preferred Burnham privately).

Historically he was seen on the reasonable wing of the union movement (as compared to Scargill or Jerry Hicks)
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Tbh McCluskey's rhetoric is fairly left but his actions have always been fairly centrist. He backed Burnham initially OTL until Corbyn picked up steam (and apparently preferred Burnham privately).

Historically he was seen on the reasonable wing of the union movement (as compared to Scargill or Jerry Hicks)

Len himself would dissagree with you - he always refers to himself as a Socialist.
Chapter 74: The Carrot

National was weak but benefited from a divided opposition

“National faces several stumbling blocks in renewing its support from British citizens. Unemployment remains high, and most of the new jobs created are precarious. Social inequality and child poverty have also skyrocketed. A wave of corruption scandals involving leading figures within the party, have also eroded National’s popularity. In Scotland, separatist sentiment has increased, led by the radicalisation of the regional government under Patrick Harvie. Again, inaction has characterised Hague’s response. Hague’s approval rating and the electoral prospects of his party are disturbing. Opinion polls show that the 52-year-old Prime Minister has the lowest approval rating among all the main party leaders. Pollsters also suggest that National's voters are wavering and it's electoral share may plunge around 15 percentage points.”
- National are leading in polls but William Hague’s future is far from secure, Steven Erlanger, New York Times (2014)

William Hague was also feeling the pressure, he wasn’t far off following his old rival Miliband to the metaphorical guillotine. Despite a pyrrhic victory, the EU elections were still a disaster for Hague and his allies within the party, the church and the military were all losing patience - not to mention the general public’s barely contained rage. Maybe it was time to loosen slightly the two years of harsh austerity Hague had inflicted on the public realm. Like all politicians with their back against the wall, Hague decided it was time for a massive tax cut. Hague announced a massive 12.5% reduction in income tax across the board, with a further 5% cut in business rates.

Whilst the tax cuts were generally popular with Britain’s middle class, they did draw criticism from right and left. The People’s Party objected to the cuts as the tax rate was reduced equally for both the highest income bracket and the lowest, effectively saving tens of thousands of pounds for Britain’s very highest earners. The People’s Party argued the cut should only go to the lowest income bracket, whilst the remaining funds should be spent on a job guarantee to help tackle Britain’s record 26% unemployment rate. The fiscal conservatives on National’s own benches also raised concerns at the massive hole the cut blew in Britain's finances, just as the Treasury was starting to get a grip on Britain’s mounting debt.


Hague was seen as a reliable partner in Brussels

The cuts also displeased the Troika, under Britain's bailout agreement she was to get her national deficit to 3% of GDP by 2016, from the 5.6% it currently stood at. In talks with Hague’s Cabinet, EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen had “gently” suggested offsetting these cuts with an increase to VAT - which the Government had refused. Chancellor Bob Stewart argued a short-term tax cut would boost economic growth, allowing Britain to boost it’s income in the long term and pay back it’s European Central Bank creditors. Hague called on the Troika to “soften demands” as Britain's economic strategy was “finally bearing fruit”. The economic situation had certainly improved from earlier in the decade, where Britain’s banking sector stood on the edge of collapse.

“Britain's economic recovery gathered momentum between July and September, with growth for a fifth consecutive quarter. The economy grew by 0.5% in the third quarter, according to the statistics office. This was slower than the 0.6% growth achieved in the previous three months. It took Britain’s annual rate of growth to the highest level in more than six years at 1.6%, up from 1.3% in the second quarter. Britain was one of the worst hit by the eurozone crisis, suffering a housing market crash which brought its banking system to the brink of collapse. It is now outperforming some of its bigger eurozone peers, including Germany, where the economy contracted by 0.2% in the second quarter. Economist David Tinsley, said: “The comeback has been impressive, but it remains premature to assume that a self-sustaining recovery has taken hold.” - UK's economic recovery gathers momentum, Angela Monaghan, The Guardian (2014)

Britain had seen a surge in foreign investment as international confidence grew in the ECB to contain the eurozone debt crisis, and with even lower taxes - and relatively low labour costs compared to other leading European economics - Britain was a prime target for investors. Gross foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 8.8% in 2014 to €15.8 billion euros. A large source of foreign investment was Britain's growing renewable energy market. With strong winds, a cheap labour pool, little red tape and a government eager to please, internationally owned private offshore wind farms were exploding across Britain's coastline, nearly 20% of Britain’s energy costs were met by renewable sources, putting it ahead of richer countries like Italy, France and even Germany.


The NHS meanwhile faced a winter crisis

Under the provision of the bailout Britain had to start paying back it’s debt from September 2014, this began with a 1.8 billion euro payment to the Troika from Britain's Treasury. The first payment being met on time and in full was a propaganda win for Hague, demonstrating Britain's strengthened economy. Hague did a victory lap across the media declaring that National had “taken the first steps in cleaning up the Social Democrat’s mess”. Ironically, the repayment also boosted the People’s Party - close to overtaking in the polls - who railed against the repayment, arguing the 1.8 billion could be spent on Britain's crumbling schools and hospitals.

The tax cuts also had a political purpose, and fed rumours Hague was looking to call a snap election. With the SDP in chaos, Hague could secure a second term before Burnham - a relative unknown with the voting public - had a chance to find his feet. Despite their issues, most polls showed National ahead of the SDP by nine or ten votes as the People’s Party continued to eat the Social Democratic base. Hague still had to rely on the Reform Party and SNP in order to govern, meaning he couldn’t be more aggressive in taking on the Troika or the Scottish Government without upsetting one of his parliamentary partners. Still Alan Johnson had called a snap election, and it had thrown his party out of power - one could never be certain in politics.

“We have our usual rush of Monday polls today, all showing a healthier result for the People's Party. Populus’ weekly poll had topline figures of PP 31%, NAT 25%, SDP 18%, REF 5%, UNI 4% and SA 4%. Before any People's Party fans reading get too excited I should note this victory isn't reflected in any other poll released today. Michael Ashcroft‘s weekly poll had topline figures of NAT 31%, SDP 25%, PP 22%, SA 4%, UNI 4% and REF 3%. Compared to his recent polls both have SDP down, National and People's both up. The daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of NAT 27%, PP 26%, SDP 20%, SA 7%, UNI 4% and REF 3%. So again, the SDP is lower than usual and the People's Party higher than usual.” - UK Polling Report, November 2014 (2014)


One poll showed the People's Party winning a plurality of steats
Is is correct to say that the difference between Socialist Alternative and People's Party is similar to the one we have OTL in Portugal between Communists/Unitary Democratic Coalition and Left Bloc?
What's the European party affiliation of Unity?
What are the EU parties/groups to the right of the EPP ITTL?
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Is is correct to say that the difference between Socialist Alternative and People's Party is similar to the one we have OTL in Portugal between Communists/Unitary Democratic Coalition and Left Bloc?
What's the European party affiliation of Unity?
What are the EU parties/groups to the right of the EPP ITTL?
I'm afraid I don't know a huge amount on Portuguese politics beyond what I can read on Wikipedia but from what I can tell the UDC/Left Bloc allegory correct.

The People's Party is much more "New Left" like Podemos, Syriza or arguably Momentum in the UK. It emerged through bottom-up social movements and campaigns rather than from an established organisation. Thus the People's Party tends to be a bit more libertarian and socially progressive than the Alternative, as well as having a more open internal structure, as well as being less strongly eurosceptic. More Clive Lewis than Richard Burgon. The Alternative is more meanwhile old-left (Die Linke, Izquierda Unida), it emerged from the armed resistance struggle and the left-unions. This means it has a much more rigid top-down, almost military organising structure. As well as a stronger focus on economic rather than social issues.

People's Party voters tend to be younger and more diverse, with their strongholds being student cities like Brighton, Bristol and Sheffield, whilst the Alternative is older and whiter with it's strength in Merseyside and the West Midlands.

Unity is affiliated to the ALDE group, their is very little effective difference between Unity and Reform, apart from the egos of their respective leaders. Like many new democracies Britain's parties are often based on personalities rather than ideologies.

There is no right-wing group in the European Parliament, instead OTL ECR parties are spread between the EPP, Marie Le Pen's Europe of Nations and Freedom (which is stronger than OTL) or non-inscripts. Law and Justice did try and set up a Conservative grouping alongside the New Flemish Alliance and Danish People's Party but they simply didn't have the numbers.
Chapter 75: Defence of the Realm

Britain's police demanded new counter terrorism powers following the Charlie Hebdo attacks

“William Hague will take part in a rally against terrorism on Sunday in Paris in the wake of an attack on the French newspaper Charile Hebdo. "I will be in Paris on Sunday to lend support to the French people. Britain will join together with France against terrorism and for freedom" Hague wrote on his Twitter account. His spokesman said he had been invited by the French government. The news came as elite French police stormed a printworks Friday, killing two brothers wanted for the Charlie Hebdo attack. Explosions rocked the small printing firm as smoke poured from the building as the armed forces mounted their assault. The two Islamists launched a desperate escape bid, charging out of the building firing at the security forces.”
- PM to join Sunday demo in Paris, BBC News Bulletin (2015)

2015 started in a bloody fashion when the Paris offices of satire magazine Charlie Hebedo were shot up by radical islamic militants, leaving a dozen people dead. The shocking attacks sparked outrage and fear across the European Union as member states raised their terror levels as other terror attacks struck the continent. The UK had never been a major target for Islamic terrorism, it’s relatively small Muslim population coupled with it’s withdrawal from Iraq as well as it’s refusal to join in with campaigns in Libya and Syria meant Britain wasn’t a high priority target - especially when compared to France. Britain’s security services had always seen dissident separatist and the occasional domestic political extremist as the main threats to national security.

Now with groups like Daesh becoming increasingly organised, and internationalist in it’s targets, islamic extremism rose up Britain's anxiety list. Home Secretary Steven Woolfe confirmed Britain would be increasing it’s terror readiness levels in response to the attack. This meant increased police presence at critical infrastructure points, stronger border checks and even the occasional deployment of servicemen when needed. Prime Minister William Hague also announced his intention to make changes to Britain's criminal code to make illegal sharing or possessing content that would “insight others to join a terrorist group”. In other words, anyone accessing website deemed to encourage terrorism could face time in prison.


The People's Party condemned changes to the criminal code as "soft authoritarianism"

Hague’s national security package also included reintroducing surveillance powers to the security services - powers that had been stripped in the Dearlove intelligence overreach scandal of 2007. Security services would once again be given the power to tap citizen’s mobile phones and other electronic communications without needing a warrant from a judge. Finally these reforms would create a national passenger airline database, allowing the Home Office to access the manifest and flight records of everyone flying in or out of the UK. The act of Parliament was known as the “Security for Citizens Act” and was described by journalist Helen Lewis as “the biggest attack on democratic rights since the dictatorship”.

“The legislation will now head to the House of Commons where it is expected to be ratified by the end of the month. Greenpeace has spoken out against the legislation. “It’s our right to express our opinion, to march to parliament, to go to power plants to say that they are dangerous” said John Sauven. Recent months have seen thousands pour into the streets of more than 25 cities and towns to voice their discontent with the bill. Protesters tie cloth over their mouths to show the chilling effect the law would have on free speech. A poll found that 82% of the 600 people queried thought the legislation should be modified or abandoned. The legislation is disproportionate, said Maurice Frankel of the Information Freedom Platform. “This is one of the worst attacks on liberties that we’ve seen in the UK since the time of Mountbatten”” - Woolfe puts 'gag' on freedom of expression, Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian (2015)

In cross party talks to secure support for this controversial new bill, Hague found an unlikely backer. The bill has split the Social Democrats with a group of over 20 backbench Social Democratic MPs calling on the party to support the bill. Under the leadership of Berkshire MP Luke Akehurst, the rebels argued that by voting against the bill Andy Burnham would send a “weak” “unpatriotic” message to the voting public. Even when Burnham put his foot down, declaring a whip against the bill, the rebels still declared their intention to vote with the government. Whilst the SDP split was small it did represent Burnham’s weak position even within his own party, as he struggled to control backbench MPs. The Social Democrats still struggled to reconcile the more authoritarian instincts of the trade union half of their base with the liberal inclination of the middle class intelligentsia side of the party’s supporters.


Charities warned the gagging law would make promoting peaceful direct action effectively illegal

Comparisons to Mountbatten’s “Defence of the Realm Act” (DRA), that the First Lord passed in 1969 formalising Britain as a dictatorship, were not lost on protesters. The DRA too brought in harsh new measures for dissent and increased police surveillance powers. Protesters would travel down to Westminster to speak out against the new bill, they held placards of Hague, Akehurst and Woolfe’s face photo-shopped onto Mountbatten’s body, or wore tape over their mouths in silent protest. Whilst MPs from the Alternative, People’s Party and SDP would join protests - students, islamic rights groups and others civil society groups would lead the charge around Parliament square. Home Secretary Woolfe in particular became a main target for the protesters, as when asked if the law targeted Muslims they told reporters the law should only worry “the violent ones”.

With the support of Akehurt’s rebels a watered down version Citizen’s Security Act did pass the commons. Whilst the SDP rebels and the SNP had managed to talk Woolfe off the airline database, the meat of the bill - including strict punishments for encouraging terror and increased surveillance powers made it onto the statue books. The “gag law” as it was known by opponents was now the law of the land. The legislation was widely criticised outside the UK including by a panel of five UN human rights experts who, in a statement, noted that the reforms “unnecessarily and disproportionately restrict basic freedoms”. The new, hip liberal National party was starting to look a lot like the old National Party.

“The lower house approved the Citizen's Security Act in January, and, despite pleas from rights groups and the United Nations, the Senate approved it last month. The law’s main purpose, it appears, is to discourage the protests that have snowballed into widespread support for the People's Party. The People's Party looks set to make major gains in elections next year. The European Commission should act to condemn the new law. Maina Kiai, the special rapporteur at the UNs on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, has urged lawmakers to repeal the measure. Britain’s new gag law harkens back to the dark days of the Mountbatten regime. It has no place in a democratic nation, where Brits, as citizens of the European Union, have more than a virtual right to peaceful, collective protest.” - Britain’s Ominous Gag Law, New York Times (2015)


Hague was taking after continental strongmen
SNP is going to suffer for this, I can see RISE claiming they sold Scottish freedoms to the Neo-Mountbattenits for a little of power. Maybe Unity can make the same argument against Reform.
I’m pondering if SA and People’s Party can strike a deal for a joint platform like the Izquierda-Podemos “Unidos Podemos” list in Spain (maybe called People’s Alliance or People’s Alternative).

By the way what is the term for the Senate? Is that similar to the Commons or to the local elections?