Always on about Europe: British Political TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Shads, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Shads Peter Shores Ghost

    Nov 23, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Brown’s Mandate
    Gordon Brown was over the moon. Labour had secured a third term and Brown had a strong majority of his own. Labour was obviously equally jubilant in that the Tories had not made any major strides towards power and the party was united behind Brown. Brown found himself being well liked by the public as a combination of the optimism of Blair and New Labour but yet a more down to earth statemanlike approach to politics. A benefit to Brown of the lost seats is that many of the most marginal Labour seats had been held by ardent Blairites who disliked the increased cooperation between the left and right that Brown had extended. In the manifesto Brown had pledged to look into renationalisation of the railways due to the increased wait times and fares under network rail in a move praised by backbenchers such as Jeremy Corbyn and Dennis Skinner. The policy was popular with at least 65% of likely voters supporting such a move. Of course there was no chance of the “Beast of Bolsover” being welcomed to cabinet anytime soon with the traditionally Republican Skinner making one of his traditional black rod quips of “51 years, is it past it’s sell-by date?”. Crucially after the Iraq war vote, under Brown Labour was feeling like a united party once again.

    The election proved, as comparisons had been made on Election Night, to be the Conservatives 1987 moment only they were roughly 100 seats less than Kinnock was after his dissapointing first election. There were mixed feelings on whether or not Howard should step down as leader as although at least this time the Tories had gained seats they were nowhere near a majority. Howard had proved a good unifying figure amongst the Tory party but he was not a very charismatic or inspiring leader. It was announced that Howard would be staying on as leader for the time being so as to not disunite the party with a leadership contest. One of the few gains made from Labour was Nigel Farage, former UKIP MEP candidate, getting a surprise victory in South Thanet after he had returned to the Conservatives 4 years prior. The 3rd place in the popular vote was disheartening but the Conservative Party would stress to its members that it was seats that mattered and there was still a significant distance between the two parties. There was plenty of time to prepare for the next election and the scar of 1997 was finally starting to heal.

    The Pact too had cause for disappointment but also for celebration. Once again the Tories had remained as the opposition despite hopes that Clarke and Daveys charisma would be able to outshine Howard and many had thought a period as the opposition would be the natural step forward to a 2007 or 2008 Government. However, together they had overtaken the Tories in the popular vote by a narrow 0.2% margin. The fact that they had less seats and yet had came second furthered their calls for electoral reform more than ever before. The day after the election Davey called for the introduction of proportional representation in all future general elections although these sympathies weren’t widely held outside the Lib Dems and the minor parties. The parties 82 seats would continue their strong voice in Parliament. However, just like before 1988, whispers of calls for a merger of the two parties in The Pact would grow louder.
  2. Shads Peter Shores Ghost

    Nov 23, 2018
    United Kingdom
    If anyone has any suggestions for a Conservative party leader to follow Howard in late 2003 or 2004 (preferably not Cameron to differ from OTL) I’d be all ears. Also struggling to think up of a name for a united pro-euro Tory Lib Dem party.
  3. jhenderson 20 Member

    Jun 23, 2018
    The Democrats.
    Simple and catchy. Not a longwinded acronym either. The media will lap it up. Oh there would be dissenters but it would be a good name.
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  4. Shads Peter Shores Ghost

    Nov 23, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Yeah I was considering it, was wondering if it sounded too American though.
  5. sarahz Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2013
    Charles was of course elected at 26 as SDP so yes a Social Democrat, but very much a Jenkinsite rather than an Owenite. The thing is most Liberal Democrat Members and most Councillors and MP's were not economic liberals/orange bookers actually a rather unpopular brand in the party outside of Nick Clegg/David Laws and a few others, the main result of which was helpful in establishing a relationship with Cameron but otherwise not so much. My view is you can achieve the result you want, but it needs some work on what the policy issues are here that are different. Perhaps Davy revives some of Grimond's more radically anti-statist policies, particularly in relation to competition? Perhaps as Charles and Chris campaign in the future they could clarify why they left?
  6. Shads Peter Shores Ghost

    Nov 23, 2018
    United Kingdom
    I was thinking of having an interview with Charles and Chris as to why they changed party. (Charles comfortably held his highlands seat due to being a popular mp while Chris’s Eastleigh seat was far more narrow and has became something of a 3 way marginal) thanks for the clarification on Grimond. I’m far from an expert on the post war liberals but I could definitely see Davey reviving said anti-statist policies given his record on advocating for allowing smoking in pubs as well as his OTL support for the free market, criticism of price controls advocated by Ed Milliband and stating how he is “in favour of competition” .
  7. Shads Peter Shores Ghost

    Nov 23, 2018
    United Kingdom
    The Two Cabinets
    After the hype of his victory started to die down Brown was able to reveal his cabinet appointments. It reflected an obvious shift from the “Blairite” wing of New Labour to the “Brownites” that reflected a slight shift leftward as well as a more nationalist tone noted by his stance on the Pound.

    Cabinet of the Prime Minister

    Prime Minister - Gordon Brown
    Chancellor of the Exchequer - Alistair Darling
    Foreign Secretary - Hilary Benn
    Home Secretary - Jack Straw
    Education Secretary - David Milliband
    Defence Secretary - Des Browne
    Health Secretary - Alan Johnson
    Business Secretary - Jim Murphy
    Trade and Industry Secretary - Ed Balls
    Food, Fisheries and Agriculture Secretary - Margaret Beckett
    Environment Secretary - Ed Milliband
    Transport Secretary - Yvette Cooper
    Scotland Secretary - Douglas Alexander
    Wales Secretary - Kevin Brennan
    Northern Ireland Secretary - Harriet Harman

    The Milliband brothers were some of the most notable promotions, both of whom had promise as future leaders of the party. Most saw David as friendlier to Blair who incidentally remained as member of Parliament for Sedgefield and, despite rumours that he could be foreign secretary, had chosen a term as a backbencher. One of the first motions of the new government was the beginning of the renationalisation of British rail which could easily be done with the strong economic gains of the last 6 years.

    The Conservative Shadow Cabinet changed significantly, with Michael Howard performing a decisive reshuffle to accommodate some rising stars in the party. Some snickers were made at the appointment of the single Welsh and Scottish mps to the respective positions.

    Conservative Shadow Cabinet

    Leader of the Opposition - Michael Howard
    Shadow Chancellor - Philip Hammond
    Shadow Foreign Secretary - William Hague
    Shadow Home Secretary - David Cameron
    Conservative Party Chairman - Michael Portillo
    Shadow Education and Employment Secretary - John Bercow
    Shadow Defence Secretary - Eric Pickles
    Shadow Health Secretary - Liam Fox
    Shadow Business Secretary - George Osborne
    Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary - Damian Green
    Shadow Food, Fisheries and Agriculture Secretary - Boris Johnson
    Shadow Environment Secretary - David Davis
    Shadow Transport Secretary - Iain Duncan Smith
    Shadow Scotland Secretary - David Mundell
    Shadow Welsh Secretary - David Davies
    Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary - Jeremy Hunt

    Rumours had begun to circulate that The Pact was assembling their own cabinet due to their position that, as the 2nd place in the popular vote, they wanted their own voice as the opposition in Parliament. The party struggled to get representative positions between Clarke and “Junior and Senior” with the only parts of the cabinet confirmed for now were Davey as “leader of the opposition” and Clarke as Chancellor. Clarke and Davey continued to peruse a Libertarian economic and social policy with Daveys frequent cries that the “Nanny State” of Blair hadn’t changed under Brown. Clarke had a more layed back less flashy criticism of Brown but was well respected as an elder statesman. It was further and furthered argued that Britain had become a source of three party politics.
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