Alternate PMs #1 - It's a Wild World

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Techdread, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Techdread Loyal Oppositionist

    Jun 22, 2010
    City of Edinburgh

    Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world
    It's hard to get by just upon a smile
    Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world
    I'll always remember you like a child, girl

    The rest of the world seemed to be falling into ruin & chaos, but the Prime Minister would be damned if he was going to let his country fall like the rest of them. It seemed he might be damned regardless of whether he tried or not though. I didn’t ask to be put in charge of this, he thought to himself. Whether he’d been asked or not was no longer an issue though; he had been appointed as Prime Minister and was obligated to keep the United Kingdom united.

    “Where’s Michael?” he asked an aide. The young man, looking dishevelled in his worn suit glanced momentarily to the uniformed soldiers standing either side of the doors. “He should be here, so where is he?” The aide looked aside again before stuttering out a reply.

    “He…he’s on…his way back from a meeting at…”

    “Where is he?” cried out the PM. The aide seemed to collapse under the pressure, crying into his chest. A tear-strewn face looked up at the PM who was visibly unmoved despite dealing with greater stress & pressure. “Where is my Chancellor, David?” The cold words from his master seemed to bring a stillness to the young man.

    “He’s on his way back from a meeting with the Home Office, P..Prime Minster,” he spluttered out. Leon looked away from the boy and back to the documents and papers that littered his desk and the floor surrounding it. “The Home Secretary should be…coming back with him too.” He returned to convulsing on the ground in a fit of tears and agony.

    The Prime Minister looked to the soldiers guarding the doorway for a moment. Nodding in compliance, they moved to carry the PM’s assistant out of the room; he wasn’t in any fit state to carry on working. Neither was Leon, but he had little choice. Just as the boy was being carried out, two men walked through – both were wearing armoured vests over their greying business suits. Their faces were steely and unmoving, but their eyes carried the weight of tens-of-thousands of sleepless nights.

    “Michael, Norman – what’s happened?” asked the Prime Minister. His voice was tinged with concern & panic. “We’ve not heard anything about what’s happening in Birmingham or Liverpool – what’s going on?” The Home Secretary took a step forward – his eyes were like those of a shark about to attack a helpless bloated seal.

    “They’re gone,” he tersely replied. The Prime Minister, already weak from lack of sleep, turned a pale colour. “The docks are in flames, riots and armed thugs have taken over most of the place. Hatton has declared their independence as the People’s Republic of Liverpool, but no-one seems to be listening to him really.”

    “And Birmingham?” the PM tentatively asked. The Chancellor, quiet but distant throughout the conversation so far, moved to answer the question.

    “Parts of the city are still under our control, but the gangs seem to be more organised than in Liverpool,” he replied. “We might be able to restore order, but…”

    “I did not wish to continue that conversation, Michael,” Leon spat back. The Home Secretary swung in.

    “That conversation is about to become a reality, Leon. Whether you want it to or not,” snarled Norman. The Prime Minister blinkered between his two cabinet ministers. The penny dropped.

    “So, this is a coup now, is it?” Michael looked away, both in shame & disgust. “Have we really lessened ourselves to this? Joining the likes of the Italians and the Spaniards, eh?”

    “Do we look like military officers, Leon?” barked the Home Secretary. The Prime Minister, now a deep maroon colour instead of his peaky cream earlier was hastening behind his desk. “We need to restore order to those cities and the rest of the country or we’ll end up losing it all.”

    “I will not be the man who broke our nation!” declared the Prime Minister.

    “But you will be the man who let it fall,” retorted the Chancellor. “I don’t like the idea either, Leon, but we have no other option. Ireland has become a bloodbath – we don’t even know what’s going on there anymore!”

    “So you want to make the rest of our islands like that?”

    “Sometimes, you need to break a few eggs to make an omelette, Prime Minister,” growled the Home Secretary. “And if you want to stop this country from breaking apart, something else might need to.”

    “Martial law will allow us to retain some kind of control for a bit longer,” quietly and empathetically added Michael. “We can only keep the peace for a while longer before we’re at risk here.” The Prime Minister, sitting behind his desk in his chair, stared into the distance. His mind raced back over his brief time in office; the Oil Crisis, the crash, the rioting, the madness…

    “What would Margaret have done?” he asked. His voice had become almost childlike; innocent & lost, looking for light & guidance in the dark. The Chancellor was dumbfounded by the question and unable to give any coherent answer. Norman, on the other hand, was immediate.

    “Whatever would need to be done, Prime Minister,” he stated. “She wouldn’t be afraid to use whatever action was needed in the face of chaos.” The air was still for a moment. It felt like the first time there’d been any real silence & calm for a very long time. Leon remembered seeing her speech after the Persian Gulf War about how Britain stay strong despite the crisis. With Mrs Thatcher at the helm, it seemed possible. Margaret had never been one to shirk responsibility; she’d been willing to tackle the unions and stand in the face of bloodshed in Northern Ireland, but that’s what ended up costing her everything. Even her life.

    “I’ll make the announcement shortly,” the Prime Minister said. “Have the forces ready to do what needs to be done.” Norman smiled with a toothy grin.

    “Of course, Prime Minister,” he obeyed. “I’ll get it done now.”

    “And Michael?”

    “Yes, Prime Minister?” the Chancellor meekly answered.

    “Find something presentable to wear,” the Prime Minister advised. “You’re about to be risen up again, I should think.” Michael had been blindsided by this action. Opening his mouth to speak, the PM hushed him to be quiet and leave the room.

    Alone with his thoughts for a moment, the Prime Minister looked over all of the reports covering his desk. Northern Ireland was gone, Scotland was a hotbed of fighting and the North was in the midst of civil violence. Like the rest of the world, the country had fallen into madness. No-one should have to lead a country into its death, but at least his Chancellor might be able to do so with grace & delay it. Better him than Norman; the Home Secretary had seemingly succumbed to the same madness that had gripped the rest of the world.

    Preparing his speech for the nation and his resignation letter for the Queen, Leon Britten had a single thought running through his mind. What a lovely day, what a lovely day…
    Comisario likes this.
  2. Comisario ‘Lim’ is short for ‘Liment Voroshilov’

    Aug 2, 2013
    Plaistow, London
    Jesus H. Christ...

    That was brilliant!
  3. Callan Absolutely Dire

    Nov 4, 2013
    Bloody hell. That was really good. You quite conveyed how Brittan only now seems to be (sort of) facing up to the fact that everything's falling apart around them.

    What has caused everything to go to shit? Did the Gulf War cause an economy-destroying Oil Shock?
  4. Techdread Loyal Oppositionist

    Jun 22, 2010
    City of Edinburgh
    Thank you very much :D

    Ah, this is a very different Gulf War than OTL - much earlier in fact with different players and (obviously) different endings for the world.
  5. Zeldar155 Humanity First Banned

    Sep 12, 2010
    Kingdom of Norway
    Iraq and Iran in the 80s, I guess?
  6. Techdread Loyal Oppositionist

    Jun 22, 2010
    City of Edinburgh
    That's one player, but not the other; although I think a different ending to the Iran-Iraq War would be necessary to start the ball rolling, of course.

    There's a bit of a sly reference in there about the world this takes place in - if it help, here's the soundtrack I had whilst writing it.