AH Vignette: A Life more Northern

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Lindseyman, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Lindseyman Am I a Northerner? I think that I am!

    Oct 1, 2013
    Near Lactodorum
    Frank looked on happily as the election result for his old constituency was announced. His successor Rachael Maskell had won comfortably and had even increased the Labour majority! He then reflected on his parliamentary career, it had been full of surprising twists, one major success and one major disappointment.

    It had all started so innocuously leaving Archies and getting his B.Sc. in Economics at the LSE. Then a good job at the CEGB. However he had always been interested in politics so had stood for Camden Council in 1964 but had lost the election. Then in 1970 he had been offered a post at the YEB in Leeds. He accepted and had also been pleasantly surprised on being elected as a councillor on York City Council in 1971. He had rapidly risen to be leader of the Labour councillors and had been the obvious choice as Labour Candidate for the City of York when Alex Lyon had stood down in 1979, having had one too many disagreements with Jim Callaghan.

    Frank had retained the seat and its replacement York Central until he had announced his decision in 2014 to not contest the seat at the next election. His rise in the PLP had been as rapid as his rise in local politics. His pugnacious style of politics had endeared him to the left of the party even though he had distanced himself from them somewhat in the mid-80s. He had held several shadow cabinet posts and when Tony Blair won the General Election in 1997 had been appointed Secretary of State for Health. However his committed defence of the NHS had put him at odds with both Tony and the Civil Service. Even so Tony had later admitted that the increased spending on the NHS had been due in no small amount to his tenacious defence of the organisation.

    He had been dropped from the cabinet in 2000 and had adapted well to life as a backbencher until 2007. Then something strange happened. Tony had finally stood down and it looked as if Gordon would just be anointed as his successor. This didn’t go down well with the left of the party (such as remained) and Frank was persuaded to stand so that at least there was a proper campaign and no automatic coronation.

    Gordon had been apoplectic and had had one temper tantrum too many and to everyone’s surprise (especially his own!) Frank had won! He had offered Gordon the Chancellorship but not surprisingly Gordon had refused. However Frank had then had a brainwave. He engineered Mervyn King’s resignation as Governor of the Bank of England and offered Gordon the job. Gordon accepted and stood down as an MP at the election which Frank called in November 2007. He won a majority (albeit reduced) but had a clear mandate to govern.

    Then the Northern Rock and the rest of the financial crisis occurred. However Alastair Darling at the Treasury and Gordon at the Bank of England staved off collapse. Even so the economy took a nose dive and Labour were blamed. Frank and his government had limped on as best they could but Cameron and Osborne successfully laid all the crisis at Labour’s door and had managed to from a minority government with Lib-Dem Confidence and Supply in 2012, even though the economy had obviously turned the corner. Frank stood down from the Labour leadership and the subsequent leadership election had been won by David Miliband.

    Then in 2015 the Lib-Dems finally pulled the rug from under Cameron's feet and an election had been called. So Frank looked on as Rachael made her victory speech. However he worried for the future. It looked as if the SNP had all but wiped out Labour in Scotland and although Labour had made a few gains in England it was not enough to prevent Cameron again leading the biggest party in the new parliament. Still he was well out of it!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015