"Fight and be Right"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by EdT, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Cromm Crúaich Well-Known Member

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    While i don't have enough knowledge about the period to make any real observations, i'm enjoying it so far.
     
  2. maverick Banned

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    Me too, and whether it's Albert Edward or Alfred, things are gonna be quite interesting...besides, the Duke of Clarence's death in 1892 will surely be avoided given enough butterflies...
     
  3. EdT Member

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    Glad people enjoyed that- more to come soon, probably this time next week unless I have make ridiculous progress writing over the weekend, I currently have four completed parts in reserve and am trying to finish one a week...

    Couple of points/answers- Firstly, Prince Albert Victor (who is not the Duke of Clarence and Avondale quite yet) is indeed the successor if the Prince of Wales were to die before reaching the throne- not that that's neccesarily going to happen of course, as there are other ways you can fail to become King. Butterflies make it unlikely that the Prince will die as OTL however, so unless something else happens we're rather unlikely to see a George V.

    Secondly, Cecil Rhodes will have a part to play later on in a number of guises. Just because he's friends with Randolph doesn't mean the two will always be singing from the same hymnsheet however, as he has his own agenda; that said, his memory will be even more controversial than OTL.

    On the broader point of Africa, it goes pretty divergent rather quickly- indeed it's the first place where real changes happen after Britain. It is a region and era which is incredibly vulnerable to butterflies after all. The African section is all written and ready to go actually- I think it's quite fun, although you may need a copy of wikipedia to hand for bits of it.

    And finally, V-J - you mentioned that you aren't a fan of Salisbury. I completely disagree- think Salisbury deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Disraeli and Gladstone in historical importance myself. Mind you, soaking Cameroon that I am he occupies a place in my holy trinity of PMs alongside Baldwin and Macmillan...

    Anyway, point being that removing him is a massive deal- this TL is largely about what might happen if you out somebody in charge who is replaces Salisbury's moderation and cool detachment with enthusiasm and mercurial opportunism. I always find it interesting that at the height of British power OTL we had such a sensible and cautious leader; ITTL there will be a man who is nopt only happy to play the jingo card but actually genuinely buys into it. That's quite a scary prospect.
     
  4. V-J Industrial Shite And Magic

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    That's good!

    Well as I said, he kept the tiller straight in foreign affairs during a potentially volatile period. But I'm not sure I'd rate this as much of an achievement. Perhaps I am slightly ignorant as to the man's true achievements, but he's always struck my as a typical Cecil tbh - a manager rather than a leader. His interest was primarily in foreign affairs, and tbh I don't see any reason why the country would have done any worse if he'd stopped at the FO and someone like Northcote had taken over the party itself.

    But there you go. That's just my opinion. :)

    Oh, and what I said earlier about the succession is innacurate, I think. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but even if George and Albert Victor died off, Edward VII's daughters would then get first dibs before the succession went to their uncles. So on an outside chance, we could get a Queen Louise...
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  5. EdT Member

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    There's something in that, certainly. It may just be that I like his politics and indeed his character, but there's something about Salisbury that I think deserves more recognition- same thing as Baldwin in a way, he steered the country through some very choppy waters and made them unremarkable in a way that people in different TLs would find quite strange. This TL is meant to have a hint of that, actually.

    Anyway, since I've been quite industrious today I think I'm going to post Part 2 now instead of next Friday...
     
  6. EdT Member

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    Chapter 2

    “I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.”


    __________________________________________________


    (Taken from ‘Lord Randolph Churchill’ by Timothy James, Picador 1978)

    “The Conservative Party’s abrupt entry into opposition and Churchill’s loss of office hardly dented the enthusiasm of the former Minister; indeed, while the mood of the Tory benches in April 1880 was despondent, even bewildered, the young Parliamentarian found that the freedom the backbenches offered him suited him far better than the strictures of the Colonial Office.

    It did not take long for Churchill to make his mark. Fewer than two months after the election, an initially minor controversy regarding the desire of the Atheist MP Charles Bradlaugh to affirm rather than swear the Oath of Allegiance blew up into a national cause celebre thanks to the intervention of two Tory Members, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and Mr John Gorst. Drummond Wolff and Gorst frustrated Bradlaugh’s attempts to take his seat at every turn, and soon Churchill joined them, speaking so forcefully and charismatically that in later years he would be credited with originating the controversy. Over the next few months Churchill, Gorst and Drummond Wolff contrived increasingly ludicrous reasons to prevent Bradlaugh from affirming the oath, to the great amusement of the House and the intense discomfort of both Gladstone and Stafford Northcote, the new Tory leader in the Commons[1]...”


    (Taken from “The Encyclopaedia of British Politics”, ed Fred Timms, Star 1976)


    FOURTH PARTY, THE: The “Fourth Party” was the name given to an alliance of four MPs, Lord Randolph Churchill, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, John Gorst and Arthur Balfour, in the 1880-1885 Parliament. Brought together during the ‘Bradlaugh Affair’ of 1880, the group sought to highlight the weaknesses both in the Government and increasingly also the Conservative opposition[2]...


    (Taken from ‘Britain, from Churchill to Chamberlain’ by Peter Moorcroft, Star 1983)

    “In the opening years of the 1880 Parliament, the ‘Fourth Party’ soon became infamous; by early 1881 Churchill, Gorst, Drummond-Wolff and Balfour harassed the Government at every opportunity, often to a surreal degree. Hours, even days of Parliamentary time would be wasted discussing the smallest detail of the affairs of the Academy of Music, or the Meteorological Office, and the Prime Minister was unable to impose himself on the House. Time and time again, his natural love of debate and oratory would draw him into the trap of responding to his tormentors; as Balfour later related,

    Lord Randolph would merely ask, in a charming way, a number of detailed questions of Mr Gladstone on which he requested elucidation. The Prime Minister would respond- at which point Lord Randolph would lean forward and develop his theme, emphasising his points by moving his head and keeping his hands quite still. As he continued, the Prime Minister would stir like an irritated lion, crossing and uncrossing his legs and shuffling his feet, and as the cheers of the Opposition mounted he would cast aside all dignity and start shouting ‘No! No!’ as the whisper went around, ‘Randy’s drawing him!

    Mr Gladstone would eventually jump to his feet, recover his composure, and deliver a majestic reply; at which point another of us would jump up, and politely beg a further question of him... This could frequently go on for days at a time!
    ’[3]

    ...at the time, the ‘Fourth Party’ was indulged with faint condescension, seen as a group of four irrepressible and roguish young men descending on the House of Commons after an excellent dinner with nothing but a fertile imagination to guide them[4]. This image hopelessly underestimated the four men however; while their colleagues rolled their eyes, chuckled or despaired at the new lows to which parliamentary behaviour had sunk, the ‘Fourth Party’ had in fact signalled the end of the Victorian political era. The passing of the great Benjamin Disraeli in April 1881 was another signal of the coming revolution; the increasing hostility of the ‘Fourth Party’ to the hesitant leadership of Sir Stafford Northcote was another...”


    (Taken from ‘Enfant Terrible: Randolph Churchill, the early years’ by James Roberts, Imperial 1978)

    “As early as October 1880 Lord Randolph found himself looking to the question of the future leadership of the Party, should Lord Beaconsfield retire. His conclusions were characteristically impudent, although ironic in retrospect. Stafford Northcote, whom he derisively referred to as ‘the Goat’, was;

    quite nauseating, and simply unworthy of the leader of the Tory Party. I have heard that Lord Beaconsfield is quite unwell and before long we may have to choose a successor. The Fourth Party are thoroughly in favour of Lord Salisbury as opposed to the Goat...

    The death of Beaconsfield in April the following year and the establishment of as ‘dual leadership’ with Lord Salisbury as Leader of the Lords and Northcote as Leader of the Commons[5] was a bitter disappointment to Churchill. For a time, he continued his pro-Salisbury stance; indeed, the involvement of Salisbury’s nephew Arthur Balfour in the Fourth Party inclined many to believe that the grouping was simply a way of spreading Salisbury’s influence in the Commons. However, even as early as the following autumn the group showed more independence of mind when an anonymous article written by ‘two conservatives’, appeared in the Fortnightly Review. It launched a full-scale attack on the Tory leadership and the aloofness of its ruling circle, and was widely assumed to have been written by Churchill and Gorst[6]...


    (Taken from “The Encyclopaedia of British Politics”, ed Fred Timms, Star 1976)


    PHOENIX PARK ATROCITY: Assassination of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Earl Spencer by Irish Nationalists in June 1882[7]. In May that year, W.E Gladstone's decision to release the Irish Nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell from prison and the subsequent ‘Kilmainham Treaty’ led to the resignation of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, W. E. Forster. As a result, Earl Spencer was asked to return to his old position as Lord Lieutenant to take charge of the Government's Irish policy. Barely two weeks after he arrived, the Earl was walking in the grounds of the Viceregal Lodge in Dublin when three men ran up to him and stabbed him repeatedly with surgical knives[8]. The murder provoked outrage in Britain, and Charles Parnell’s speech condemning the attack proved to be one of the factors that catapulted him to national fame...


    (Taken from ‘Lord Salisbury: A Biography’ by Ian Jenkins, Star 1987)

    Attacking Gladstone’s Irish policy in public meetings over the ten days following Spencer’s assassination was liable to offend sentiments and backfire, and Salisbury told his colleagues he would not do it. But Randolph Churchill had no such objections. Just a week after the killing on May 18th Churchill sent a letter the Times commending the Cheltenham Conservatives for their resolution that the murder was due to ‘the feebleness of the Government’; he wrote that ‘The resolutions appear to me to be absolutely right, not only in the horror they express at the crime committed in Dublin, but also of the close connection they trace between the crime and the so-called ‘treaty’ that has caused it!” This was as good as blaming Gladstone for his friend’s death[9].

    The letter was generally regarded to be in somewhat bad taste. Yet it nonetheless struck a nerve within the Conservative Party. Stung into action by its reception, Salisbury was keen to emphasise his own credentials on the issue and in June, he spoke out against conciliation and Parnell’s freedom; ‘Where there is suspicion or a strong belief that your conciliatory measures have been extorted from you by the violence they are meant to put a stop to, all their value is taken away’...


    (Taken from ‘Enfant Terrible: Randolph Churchill, the early years’ by James Roberts, Imperial 1978)

    “Churchill’s policy in Opposition had become clear by 1882, and it consisted mostly of the tactic of “stealing the Radicals’ clothes”. He had the priceless ability of adopting other people’s arguments and using them to far greater effect; by the end of the year, his success was causing much alarm amongst both the Radicals as well as amongst the more respectable elements of the Tory Party.

    Churchill was not a man who settled down to long term projects; his politics were mainly intuitive. Crucially however, he appreciated the huge vacuum at the heart of British politics, a vacuum that would be filled by the Unionists and the political reorganisation of the 1890s. This unstable situation had been created by the two developments of the previous generation; firstly the growing ‘Whig-Radical’ rift in both parties[10], and secondly the vital importance of the new electorate created by the Reform Act of 1867. By the early 1880s, the political fault lines of the coming generation- Ireland, Reform, Protection, the popularisation of Socialism- were already beginning to become apparent. There was strong disillusionment with both major parties which made a responsive atmosphere to a new and invigorating philosophy...

    The twin fathers of this great political shift would be Churchill and Chamberlain, and their political paths first crossed in the summer of 1882. Churchill had made a series of speeches across the country enunciating a vague doctrine of ‘fair trade’, which was in fact a precocious attack on the sacrosanct laissez faire. This achieved such surprising popularity that Gladstone asked Chamberlain to follow Churchill around the country answering him. It was by reading Randolph’s speeches that the first seeds of Tariff Reform were sown in Chamberlain’s mind, as well as his growing realisation of the political kinship the two men shared. Many years later, Randolph’s son Winston asked Chamberlain when he first began to have doubts about the Liberal Party. ‘It was following your father around the country’ was the reply[11]...”


    (Taken from “Tory Democracy, Churchill and the emergence of the Unionist Party” by George Farr, in the British Political Review, August 1983)

    The Burkean principle of the complete independence of parliamentarians had previously been a touchstone of Conservative thought; traditionalists such as Salisbury and Northcote had always looked askance at the Liberal notion that the Party’s voluntary sector could seek to direct what MPs did in Parliament. In September 1882 Randolph Churchill set out to change this tradition, as part of the drive towards what he had begun to refer to as ‘Tory Democracy’. At this point Churchill still had little idea of what the phrase meant, only that it had political utility. In conversation with Balfour that summer, he said; “I have no notion of what this Tory Democracy is. To tell you the truth, I believe it is principally opportunism. Say you are a Tory Democrat and that will do.”[12]

    Churchill’s plan was deliberately controversial; he intended to transform the entire political structure of the Conservative Party. In September, he used his popularity to be elected Chairman of the key seven-man Organisation Committee of the Party’s Council of National Union, and the following month he passed a motion at the annual meeting of the Union calling for the abolition of the Party’s central committee. The Party leadership were not amused. For once acting swiftly, Stafford Northcote angrily reproached Churchill, accusing him of causing ‘infinite soreness and difficulty’. Lord Randolph’s rejoinder was blunt;

    I do not see my way to complete acquiescence in the views you have been kind enough to express to me; Since I have been in Parliament I have always acted on my own account, and I shall continue to do so for I have not founds the results of such a line of action at all unsatisfactory

    The row was by now serious enough for Lord Salisbury to intervene; to Randolph’s (largely unjustified) surprise and irritation, he came down on the side of Northcote, pointedly praising him for his ‘sagacious guidance’ which he claimed had produced an ‘energetic and united party in the Commons’. Salisbury’s intervention was enough; a chastened Churchill decided to withdraw the motion and wait for another, more opportune moment[13]...”


    (Taken from “Irish Terrorism; 1880-1940” by Eoghan Matthews, Republic 1982)

    “On the evening of March 15th 1883 a lady’s hat box was placed in Printing House Square in London, in front of the offices of The Times. At around 8.30 PM it exploded, smashing windows and injuring one bystander. Half an hour later, a large bang interrupted MPs having dinner in Parliament. Rushing outside, Members discovered that a large bomb had been placed behind a ground floor balustrade in the Government Offices of Charles Street, which housed the Local Government Board and the Home Office[14]. For the first time, the heart of British Government had been touched by American –made terror...”


    (Taken from ‘Lord Salisbury: A Biography’ by Ian Jenkins, Star 1987)

    The Arrears Bill disaster two years previously had caused Salisbury acute embarrassment[15], but this was nothing compared to the political scandal that broke when Salisbury wrote an article for the National Review advocating State intervention in the financing of slum clearance[16]... Coming as it did a month after the anonymous publication of The Bitter Cry of Outcast London, a bestselling attack on overcrowding in which the words ‘Incest is common’ shocked the Victorian conscience, Salisbury’s article engendered huge public controversy....

    Salisbury was attacked on all fronts: for crypto-socialism by the 10th Earl of Wemys, by the left-wing press for not going far enough, and for political opportunism by Joseph Chamberlain. The scandal deepened in December. THS Escott of the Fortnightly Review had decided to send a former war reporter, Archibald Forbes, to Hatfield in the hope of finding Salisbury’s own labourer’s cottages in disrepair. Upon missing his train, Forbes lazily reported back that while Hatfield was in perfect condition, his London properties in the vicinity of St Martin’s Lane ‘were amongst the worst in London’[17]. To everybody’s surprise, when Escott sent a second investigator to verify Forbes’ findings they were found to be accurate. Furnished with proof of the hypocrisy, Joseph Chamberlain wrote a devastating riposte to Salisbury’s article in the December issue of the Fortnightly Review, accusing him of ‘fine words and no action’, and asking if he would now support free schools and trade unions.

    The resulting storm of criticism made the previous controversy seem minor by comparison. Salisbury was universally derided as the worst kind of absentee landlord; Punch produced a famous cartoon entitled the “Tory Tenement”, depicting Conservative figures living in drunken squalor while Salisbury looked on nonchalantly. Salisbury’s political enemies made great use of the scandal as well. In January 1884 the Government announced the creation of a Royal Commission on Housing as a deliberate demonstration that Government was willing to do more than simply talk about the issue[18]...

    Coming so soon after the disaster of the Arrears Bill, the housing scandal left Salisbury a much diminished figure on the Tory benches. By February 1884 Gladstone was nicknaming Salisbury “Prince Rupert” for the way he misled his Party, always at the charge. The same month Drummond Wolff wrote to Churchill to say that Salisbury was like ‘a broken reed’. The embarrassment of the hypocrisy charge was deeply wounding, but in ideological terms Salisbury now found himself the subject of distrust on the Right for betraying lassiez-faire principles. His admirable qualities- intelligence, wit, oratory and political calculation- were undiminished. But by the spring of 1884 there was a general sense that Salisbury had passed his peak of influence in the Conservative Party. The controversy over the Reform Bill six months later would only serve to entrench this impression...”


    __________________________________________________

    [1] All of this happened OTL; the Bradlaugh controversy occupied the attentions of the British public for several months and became increasingly ludicrous as time went on; it marks the only time that an MP has been imprisoned in the Clock Tower, for example...

    [2] This is all OTL as well, although there a few differences here and there.

    [3] This frequently happened OTL too, although Balfour didn’t describe it quite this way.

    [4] This was the attitude in OTL as well as ITTL, and both are hopelessly wrong; for a start, both Gorst and Wolff were actually middle-aged

    [5] This occurred OTL.

    [6] A similar article was written in late 1883 OTL; ITTL Churchill is more prominent and more willing to risk things like this.

    [7] Thanks to various butterflies in Ireland caused by the Duke of Malborough not being sent to be Lord Lieutenant in 1876, this TL’s equivalent of the Phoenix Park murders is slightly different to OTL.

    [8] OTL Earl Spencer heard the attack while sitting in his drawing room, and was not a victim.
    [9] OTL Salisbury said something similar; ITTL Churchill is making the running on Ireland, quite unlike OTL where he was surprisingly moderate. This is not the case ITTL because he did not spend time in Ireland during his enforced exile from London.

    [10] ITTL for reasons that will become clear, there is a historiographical argument that both the Liberals and Tories in the mid 19th century were divided between ‘whig’ and ‘radical’ factions, and not merely the Liberals as in OTL.

    [11] This happened OTL too, although in this TL more prominence is placed on the event.

    [12] This is a real quote of Churchill’s.

    [13] This is all happening a little earlier then OTL, when Churchill escalated the situation into a trial of the Party leadership’s strength- Churchill’s increased prominence has made him more impatient and so ITTL instead of causing a minor crisis in the party as the affair did OTL, he is easily seen off. This doesn’t mean that he won’t try again however...

    [14] The first bomb was placed nearby OTL, but misfired. The second bomb exploded exactly the same ITTL as OTL.

    [15] In 1882 ITTL as well as OTL, the Government passed the Arrears of Rent (Ireland) Act, which cancelled rent arrears for Irish tenants occupying land worth less than £30 per annum who were unable. Salisbury led the opposition to the Bill, and failed spectacularly, causing him a major setback.

    [16] This article was written OTL; it caused similar controversy.

    [17] Forbes was just as lazy in OTL where he claimed that Salisbury kept a brothel at Hatfield; ITTL he is luckier in his lying, and stumbles upon the genuinely poor condition of Salisbury’s properties in London.

    [18] OTL Lord Salisbury was a key figure in calling for this to happen; ITTL the Government decides to steal his thunder and embarrass him sooner, hence the slightly earlier creation of the Commission.
     
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  7. Shadow Knight Grand Master of the BAM Order

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    Yet another good update. It's times like this that I wished I knew more of British history to really understand the changes you are making EdT. :)
     
  8. EdT Member

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    Well, things are still gathering pace at present and the big changes are still to come, but the most important change so far is that Lord Salisbury is far weaker then OTL- and considering he was the dominant force in British politics from 1885-1902, this could be quite important.

    Hopefully the footnotes will help in distinguishing what happens in TTL from OTL, although at present a lot of things are very similar.
     
  9. alt_historian Has returned

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    As usual with your TLs, Ed, I'm following this one with interest... although I don't know much about Randolph!

    I can easily imagine Gladstone getting drawn into long debates like that - after all, he did tend to give hours-long speeches on nothing in particular... :)
     
  10. Japhy Second Best Poster on the Site

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    I haven't read A Greater Britain but if its as good as this is so far I'll have to jump into it. This is, an excellent, peice of work. The Prolog was fantastic and the chapters here are painting an very original and interesting picture.
     
  11. stevep Member

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    EdT

    I'm reminded of the old line about the car crash. Everything is happening in slow motion but you can't seem to do anything to prevent disaster. That's the impression I'm getting reading this. Fascinating but deeply disturbing about how dark its already getting. Didn't know a lot about Randolph but seems to have been a highly repulsive character.

    Steve
     
  12. Nekromans Mernber

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    I see him more as a Magnificent Bastard.
     
  13. EdT Member

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    Glad people are still enjoying this. There is an aspect of car crash in there, I agree- although I try to make my TLs value-neutral and neither dystopic or utopic, just different. Randolph Churchill will lead to 'interesting times' in the Chinese sense though...

    I'd actually say that Mosley is more of the arcetypal 'magnificent bastard', going by that definition! Any film adaptation would have to involve Leslie Phillips twirling his moustache... Churchill certainly has similarities ITTL, and more will become apparent as things go on. He also has some very unpleasant character attributes, much like his son- one of the points of TTL is to demonstrate that the two men were very similar, and yet by changing the circumstances in which they operated they could be remembered very differently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  14. RCTFI Thandajji

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    Well, having read what there is of the TL so far, I must say that I'm interested, even if I must also admit that I don't know enough about British history at the time to really everything that you're setting up.
     
  15. Magnificate Member

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    That definitely is one of your timelines’ main advantages.
    One could argue that OTL WWII went just right for Winston Churchill to be remembered as a hero, despite his character flaws and not always strategically sound decisions.

    About the Prologue. It’s very well written, but I’d advise against putting it in your finished e-book. Instead you might want to use it as a separate teaser, placed directly on your website, and as a single post in the Timelines & Scenarios section of this messageboard. Or maybe at the end of the e-book? In fact I’d put chronological order and “developing storyline” over this type of suspense. Unless of course your are specifically aiming for building “Babylon 5”-type anticipation.

    Well, I guess we’ll see what’s the best option after “FaBR” is completed.

    BTW, there are new comments in “Greater Britain” timeline.
     
  16. Alberto Knox Incurable Intellectual

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    Bump and by the way...great work :D
     
  17. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    Just one question: What makes it American-made terror?
     
  18. maverick Banned

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    "Irish terrorism" as the actions of the Irish are depicted, are obviously financed and supported by the Irish-American community...
     
  19. jmberry Well-Known Member

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    Interesting development so far. I just wish I knew more about parliamentary history to properly critic.
     
  20. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    The phrase "American-made" suggests rather hostile relations.