"Britain needs an Iron Lady" (An AH British Political Vignette)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Cevolian, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    (Once again this is not my format, but it is one I have quite an interest in!)
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    "Britain needs an Iron Lady"
    - Margaret Thatcher​

    Election night had finally come around, and David was beyond tense. The Shadow Home Secretary knew vaguely, that he might not even make it back into the opposition if things went sourly for the Conservative-Liberal Alliance. The polls were split; everyone knew that the Labour and Social Democratic Coalition would win a majority, that had been certain for months, but whether or not the CLA would remain the majority opposition party was uncertain.

    There was every chance, and it sickened David to think of it, that the National Democratic Party would come second for the first time since the nineteen seventy nine General Election, and the subsequent coup. He ran his hand through his hair and stared out from his office window towards the remains of the Palace of Westminster. The Nationals did that, he thought, and God knows they’d do it again if they got even half a chance. Maybe that was too harsh, but the fact was that there was still a lot of cross over between the Nationals of the seventies and the Nationals of the twenty first century.

    An aide brought him a cup of coffee and he drank it quickly. It was late at night and he should really have been in his constituency, but since it wouldn’t be announced until the next morning anyway he’d decided to buzz back off to Westminster to get some final preparations put in place in case of a hung-Parliament or a total CLA electoral collapse. He could be back in Oxfordshire in less than an hour if the result looked like it was about to come in suddenly.

    It had actually been Gideon and Nick’s idea for David to plan things out in Westminster, most things were, and he hadn’t really had that much choice on whether or not to accept the suggestion. David often wondered how much happier he would be if he could shaft Gideon and be Prime Minister, Nick might even still be his deputy; for a Liberal he seemed like a pretty good chap. David sometimes wished the Liberals weren’t in Affiliated Coalition with the Conservatives… forced the party to be too left-wing on the economics front. Gave the Nationals a leg up as “a genuine right wing choice”.

    David flicked on the flat screen TV in his office and saw Andrew Neil just as he introduced a brand new guest. And there he was; that smug bastard Rees-Mogg, deputy leader of the Nationals. He was sat there in the chair grinning as the two spoke. The BBC didn’t like the Nationals, or at least David was certain they didn’t agree with them, but even the anal Reese-Mogg knew how to be amiable it seemed. Of course he might just have been smirking at some pedantic correction he’d made.

    “Well Andrew I wouldn’t say that! The party might be the descendant of the Second National Coalition, but we don’t want a dictatorship and, if you remember, that coalition only formed as a response to the undemocratic policies of the Heath government.” Mogg said.

    “Yes that might be so, but do you not think it would be a bad message to vote for a party that has such a history?” Neil asked.

    “Not at all, Andrew. The Party was been thoroughly reformed and, if you remember correctly, Mrs Thatcher ended the dictatorship as soon as the economic crisis, string of international incidents, and political dissent threatening the country had ended.” Mogg replied.

    “Ah yes, Mrs Thatcher’s breakup of the anti-Heath anti-Coalition General Strike in nineteen eighty. That sort of anti-unionist and anti-socialist policy has been carried over to today, hasn’t it?” Neil said.

    “Yes, it has. That might cause tensions with Labour if we are the official opposition after the election, which I hope we are, but I think that a strong difference between government and opposition is a healthy thing, and we will not let our contempt for their dangerous views get in the way of being an effective part of this great country’s great system.”

    “Ah so you’ve completely rejected the notions of a National Democratic Victory then?” Neil asked.

    “Haha. A victory would be a miracle at this stage. The public are, rightly, recognising that the populist remnants of the Coalition, and I am of course talking about the CLA, are not a fit party for position in government or opposition, but not all of them have. The party’s leader and I agree on the fact that the right’s vote has been split, but she and I are confident that we will make up for that in the next election after the CLA’s true colours are shown.” Said the Nationals’ Deputy Leader.

    “Shown their true colours?”

    “Oh yes!” Once they’re out of the official opposition I’m sure we’ll see the CLA voting largely with the Socialists, and people will finally see that, apart from their sensible economics, the CLA are largely as irrational as their supposed enemy. David sucked in a sharp breath but kept on watching.

    “You of course mean the recent shift for the CLA under Gideon Osborne to a position of social liberalism, in particular their support of same-sex marriage and refusal to boycott the cross-party committee on marijuana legalisation.” Neil commented.

    “Of course. The CLA show their true colours when they refuse to defend the traditional values of this country. It disgusts me that they would abandon principle in this way…” David turned the TV off.

    The fact that the voters were choosing men like him and the bitch he answered too disgusted him. They were right-wing morons yes, but they were capable. They’d proven they were capable in seventy nine when Mountbatten and Thatcher’s National Party had called the first CLA (Heath’s Conservative-Liberal National Emergency Coalition) “illegitimate” and suspended democratic government in order to “safe-guard the voters’ choice of a right-wing party” and to “break up the pro-soviet socialist unrest”. And now the party’s new leader was clearly modelling herself after Thatcher.

    He shuffled the papers on his desk but couldn’t bring himself to draft any kind of official statement for the party. What worried him more than anything was the potential for political violence; of all the other traditions in the UK that the dictatorship had killed the culture of peaceful election seasons was the one David missed the most. As the seat announcements came in former National Front thugs, now almost all part of the pro-National Democratic militias, would come out and fight unionist and socialist thugs. Only the CLA explicitly told its members to stay out of it all.

    He sighed as he watched some of these groups already swelling in front of the ruins of the Palace of Westminster. It had been pro-National forces that had blown the palace up, in a false flag operation that finally gave the dictatorship a reason to come into existence and seize power in Britain. The police would probably be able to deal with them; water cannons would definitely be used, and maybe live ammunition if the protestors brought it in first. That, for David, was the only good legacy of the dictatorship; the strong police force to crack down against political violence.

    He looked down at the piece of paper in front of him, and began to draft.


    Twelve hours later and he walked back into the office after returning from his constituency the victor of yet another election. He lived in a firm CLA safe seat so that wasn’t really a surprise, but these things always left him nervous for a little while. He slumped back in his chair and the same aside brought him a cup of tea.

    “Thank you Frank, take the rest of the day off.” David said wearily. He was tired himself, but unlike Frank he had to be up until the election result was announced. He’d had a quick nap at home and on the way back, but now the final results were coming in and all the senior shadow cabinets members had been ordered back just in case.

    David flicked the television back on and felt as if he hadn’t left since his angry little outburst at Jacob Rees Mogg earlier. The final results were coming in and a tired, flustered, Andrew Neil was there announcing them. There was a wide range of guests up there including, David noticed, the CLA’s own Nick Clegg, LSDC deputy leader and current Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, and National shadow chancellor Douglas Carswell.

    “I’m going to have to stop you there Mister Carswell,” Neil began, “We’ve just had the result of a CLA victory in South Ribble, meaning that there are no seats left. With the final result I can tell you that, for the first time since the nineteen seventy three Labour and Tory collapses, and the divided parliamentary situation after the seventy four general election, Britain has a hung parliament. This is entirely against what the polls predicted, something which will no doubt come into question in the months to come. The current seat count for the three major parties is at two hundred and seventy eight for the Labour and Social Democratic Coalition, one hundred and forty three for the Conservative-Liberal Alliance, and one hundred and ninety for the National Democratic Party. We’re now going to a specialist analyst to examine the results.”

    The screen changed quickly from Carswell’s excited face, to a stern faced analyst. The Hung Parliament, David mused, was probably what the ignored texts from Gideon were all about.

    “Thank you Andrew.” She began, “As you can see from this result parliament is thoroughly split. Just thirty nine seats remain, with eighteen of those going to Northern Irish parties. The other twenty one were split between the SNP with ten, Plaid with three, the Green Party with three, and the Social Justice Alliance with five. No one party can make a majority, and even with all of the “left” parties forming an alliance with the LSDC they would not have a majority. The only result can be a coalition between two of the three major parties.”

    David was in shock at the result.

    “We could see a CLA-National Coalition with three hundred and forty one seats, giving them a slim majority of fifteen, or a LSDC-CLA coalition with four hundred and twenty one, giving them a super-majority of ninety five seats. The possibility of an LSDC-National Coalition is off the table considering their widely difficult policies. The CLA will play king-maker here; do they side with old enemy or current electoral rival?”

    “Thank you.” Andrew Neil said as his face returned to the screen, “Now we will have words from each of the three party’s leaders.”
    Gideon appeared first.

    “This is a monumental result, and one that will certainly have some serious repercussions down the line. For now the party leadership is trying to arrange what we view as the best possible partnership. I’ll let you know when Mister Cameron responds to my texts.” Gideon laughed and waved his phone at the camera as it cut to the dour face of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

    “Obviously there is only one outcome that we favour here; an LSDC-CLA alliance. Whilst our parties have had differences in the past we know that the CLA front-bench traditionally leans closer to us than the Nationals. I would implore Mister Osborne to corral the more extreme right wing elements of his party into joining a grand coalition against the fascist Nationals.” Gordon Brown said with a frown. David was shocked that he’d actually called the Nationals fascists. Not that they didn’t deserve it.

    “That was quite the statement from the Prime Minister.” Neil laughed, “And now for the Fuhrer herself.” Neil would get a suspension for that, David thought, but he’d probably survive it.

    The screen switched again and the triumphant face of Theresa May appeared.

    “Thank you for your comments Mister Neil.” She spat, “Britain teeters on a knife edge now, we need strong leadership to deal with the recession, the tensions in Ulster and the Demilitarised zone, the continuing wars in Iran and the Caucasus Federation. The Nationals will bring that leadership; we shall restore unity, faith in traditional values, and pride in this great nation. Our party has a troubled past yes, some call us fascists, but we have a reputation for restoring order and safety to our country! I strongly hope that the CLA will see reason and join us. To quote the great Mrs Thatcher, “Britain needs an iron lady”. I hope that lady will be me.” Mrs May raised her chin in noble defiance and looked directly into the camera.

    As the camera switched back to a still half-shocked Andrew Neil, David knew exactly who the party’s increasingly right-wing backbenchers would vote for, and he knew that it was the end for his country.

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  2. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Well that was rather grim.
     
  3. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    Grim as in good but dark or grim as in poorly written?

    If the former then that's good, I was going for slightly dystopic.

    If the latter well... :(
     
  4. Ivir Baggins leaving on a jet plane

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    I was expecting Nadine Dorries rather than Theresa May, but whatever. If the Liberals split from the CLA would that get LSDC over the line?
     
  5. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    Dorries was considered, but I doubt she could get high in any party, or at least not leader of a major party... May seemed like A) the Most recognisable potential leader, and B) the most likely to actually make it.

    And no, they'd need the lefty conservatives to break away as well (which is unlikely considering the party's harsh rhetoric on "traitors" since the collapse under heath) otherwise they'd be six or seven seats short. People like Dave might just do it out of fear of the Nationals, maybe Ken Clark and his lot too.

    EDIT: Actually if ALL the Liberals and the SNP (unlikely in this world since they want the Nationals to wreck the country so they get a yes vote for leaving) or the Social Justice Alliance (very likely since they hate the Nationals) and the Greens join then Brown could get a majority of two. That would last him, I think, the whole five years but as the economy and wars get worse I imagine the Nationals will suck more votes from the CLA (or rather just C now) and win very narrow majority in 2020, or at least be the biggest party...
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  6. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Definitely the former :D.
     
  7. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    Yay! Hopefully the idea of a Thatcher-Mountbatten dictatorship in the eighties is enough to scare most, but I thought I'd add the National Front, a dictatorial fascist resurgence and political violence to the mix as well :D
     
  8. Charles RB Well-Known Member

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    Grimmer than the Brothers Grimm and Werner Herzog playing Warhammer 40K
     
  9. KingCrawa Prayed for by a brace of Monks

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    I'd like a little more info on how the "Dictatorship" in the 80's came about.

    What happened to the Queen for example?
     
  10. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    If the CLA joins the nationalists I can see a situation where a lot of their socially liberal and centre-left leaning voter base might end up abandoning them in the next election, similar to what happened to the Lib Dems after the coalition government. Of course, this assumes that the country last long enough to have a next election.
     
  11. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    The dictatorships origins actually arose on the early nineteen seventies. The basic POD is that the hard left causes more trouble for Hetah, but also alienates the centre of the Labour Party, which collapses into two factions (The Labour Party and Social Democratic Party (Later the reunited LSDC) ).

    Heath meanwhile becomes more centrist and corporatist as politics become more radical and alienated. This puts off many of the more right wing members of the Tory Party who, after Margaret Thatcher leaves, break off to form the National Democrats. After the nineteen seventy four election there is a narrow Cinservative Minroity propped up by coalition with the Liberals. The perceived shift to the left by Heath sends more conservative voters to the Nationals under Thatcher.

    Role around the nineteen seventies and the Hard Left and Hard Right are fighting on the streets, largely United under the two radical new parties (although the Hard Left is technically still the Labour Party). The Conservatives and Liberals form the CLA and run in the election as basically one party. The result is a strange one, and the Nationals get a majority of votes (based on a message of strong foreign policy, a crack down on the strikers that plague the Heath governments final years, and monetarism saving the economy) but the CLA and Social Democratic Party (The centre of the former Labour Party) form a coalition to keep them out.

    The hard left is still displeased, and a General Strike is called. Three months after the general election a bomb explodes in an empty House of Commons chamber, destroying much of the palace. This is revealed years later to have been the work of the National Front. Seeing the country in turmoil and a mandate from the public Thatcher enlists the help of Mountbatten and the army to overthrow Heath's National Government and installs a Thatcher led National administrated military backed Junta in power. The queen tentatively supports this dictatorship.

    The dictatorship is basically an even further right Thatcher government, and lasts a similar length. They privatise almost everything (with the NHS a major exception) and impose ridiculously tight immigration restrictions. Britain leaves the EEC, but only before it can be kicked out. Defence spending is increased and a police crackdown on dissent is made.

    The dictatorship falls as the "Warsaw Spring" sweeps Europe during the (much bloodier) collapse of the USSR. Inspired by anti-communists in Eastern Europe, many Britons rise up and try to overthrow the dictatorship. Thatcher realises her days are numbered, and re-establishes Parliament (in a new building across from the Palace of Wrstminster) and requests the Queen dissolve her government.

    The dictatorship is, after eleven years, over. Democratic elections are held later that year, and the LSDC wins a five year term. They win the next term in 1995, but lose to the CLA in 2005. Gordon Brown wins it back for Labour in 2010 and, in a controversial move, removes the ban Labour originally placed on the Nationals from re-organising as a party. And then in 2015 we get the mess shown in the vignette.
     
  12. Alias Lord of Tanuki

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    So what's going on in Iran?
     
  13. KingCrawa Prayed for by a brace of Monks

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    It strikes me that this may have been a mistake
     
  14. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    The USA, Britain, and France invaded in the early 2000s after the People's Republic of Iran had seize drew power from a weaker Islamic Republic in the 1990s. They tried making nuclear weapons, which the US saw as unacceptable, so an expeditionary force was sent to stop them. This force was destroyed using remarkable guerilla tactics, and war declared. Right now they're clearing up to leave, but a huge Islamist-Socilaist hybrid movement is taking off.

    It was. Brown saw that the Nationals's successors (The Second National Front, The British Democratic Nationalist Party, and The Corporatist Party) were circumventing the ban and just using different names, so he removed what he saw as a silly and illiberal law. Turned out to spur the Nationals into reforming, as they could make a party without having to abandon their zealously legalistic principles. Not what Brown had wanted.
     
  15. Tovarich Lumpen Proletariat's Proliest Lump Banned

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    I'm guessing that TTL, when Thatcher popped her clogs, there were no invites to tea from Labour PMs and people who should've known better* weeping & wailing & gnashing teeth at her passing?

    BTW, how come the Nationals agree with the CLA economic policies if, as Cameron worries, the Liberals took the CLA economically leftward?
    Or did the laissez faire side of Thatcherism get dumped TTL to make room for more emphasis on Rightist social policy?

    *(not saying that because I was one of the gravedancers, but because all things considered she had a good long & happy life)


     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  16. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    The grave dancing was government sanctioned here. Thatcher spent the years between 1990 and her death with her friend Ronnie in the USA, she fled the UK almost immediately after dissolving her government, and left her allies to hang alone.
     
  17. Cevolian *Brooks Newmark Intensifies*

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    Would anyone be interested in more vignettes set in this universe? Or maybe even a string of vignettes making up a wider story?
     
  18. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    Yes please.
     
  19. Alias Lord of Tanuki

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    More vignettes! More vignettes! :) For this universe.