The Anglo-Saxon Social Model

On Crystal Palace, I'm happy for the 1936 fire to be butterflied away because it's a nice building but I'm not sure what it will be used for by the 2020s TTL. Seddon's imperial tower won't be around, I'm afraid, as I've always thought it looked a bit silly tbh.

Fantastic! I really like Crystal Palace, such a huge loss to the UK.


@Dr Dee I imagine during any war the glass would be covered or painted black to help prevent it being bombed. Plus decent fire prevention people and measures.

In the Radio/TV era it is possible the Crystal Palace is indeed the place the BBC started with the huge space being used as studios, sound stages and such? Perhaps with more space/basements etc the BBC don't wipe their early shows so we get full runs of some of the classics?

Other question- was Watkin's Tower in Wembley Park completed? I suspect it might have in a more successful Britain.
Subsidence, plus we wouldn't have the later twin towers of the empire stadium

Meh, better foundations due to building butterfiles and just build the Stadium next door! The Wembley Park Underground station and support the tourists for both!

In this Timeline I could see the New Brighton Tower surviving due to the changed circumstances at the turn of the century, though possibly not the Morecambe Tower of 1898.
Second Yugoslav War (2009-2029)
Hello all and welcome to what will be (I think) the final week of this timeline. Thanks to all of you who have been following since the beginning and to those who have joined since then. Today we will turn to the international situation to tie up a thread I'd left hanging before returning to the Commonwealth situation for the remaining updates.

* * *
Hell is a Place on Earth: The UN Mandate of Former Yugoslavia

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If the events of the First Yugoslav War had been a tragedy for the NATO, Soviet and French soldiers who had fought in it, it was an unmitigated disaster for the territory of Yugoslavia and its people. Nearly 230,000 Yugoslavians were killed in the fighting, around 130,000 of which were civilians, in addition to the over 350,000 maimed and injured, who would present a haunting corporeal reminder of the carnage for many decades to come. But, of course, that only covered the fighting between the NATO invasion of 7 August 2005 and the final withdrawal of NATO and Soviet troops following the Kirkuk Accords on 1 November 2009.

Pursuant to the Kirkuk Accords, independent Yugoslavian government was effectively abolished and replaced by a UN governing board made up of a representative of every permanent member of the Security Council and 15 members selected randomly from the other members of the General Assembly. They were supported by a multinational military force, known as the International Forces for the Former Yugoslavia (or ‘IFFY’), initially commanded by the Formosan Admiral Lee Hsi-ming. Noticeably, the Commonwealth, NATO, France and the Soviets thought it politic to not commit troops to this international effort. At the beginning, Japan, Brazil and China also took a back seat, committing men and machinery to IFFY but standing aside from the upper echelons of command.

Following the abolition of the Yugoslavian government, IFFY disbanded the Yugoslavian armed forces but failed to effectively secure all of their weapons caches, resulting in a low-level insurgency breaking out across the territory. However, in a divided polity such as Yugoslavia, the various militia groups failed to form a common front and were initially little more than a nuisance for IFFY forces. For the first five years, IFFY never exceeded 1,000 troops. However, in the mid-2010s, the outbreak of the African Wars of Independence and the French military sell-offs resulted in the explosion of a global legal and semi-legal arms industry, with some inevitably finding their way into the hands of various Yugoslavian militias. Many of these militias and paramilitaries had overlapping and confusing allegiances and objectives, with some seeking to carve out ethnic homelands for themselves, some being revanchist heirs to the Death’s Heads of Milosevic’s former government and others taking on a more radical, idiosyncratic tone (notably the radical Islamist ‘Islamic State of Europe’ or ‘ISE’).

Following Admiral Lee’s retirement in 2012, General Yousef Huneiti (from Arabia) took command of IFFY and oversaw the continued degradation of the security situation. Even as the rest of the world’s eyes were trained on the wars in Africa, IFFY forces expanded to 16,000 in 2017 but failed to gain control of the various anti-UN militias. In May 2018, an IFFY force transporting a weapons cache was ambushed by militias: three Brazilian soldiers were killed and the weapons disappeared. Following this, Brazil asserted its influence over IFFY, insisting on the appointment of the hardline general Jair Bolsonaro in September 2018 and an enormous expansion of troop levels to 180,000. Bolsonaro initiated a brutal crackdown on dissent, involving airstrikes, regular search and destroy patrols and even the moving of entire villages, accompanied by year-on-year increases in troop commitments. However, this failed to stop the violence or destroy the anti-UN militias and as early as March 2020 Brazilian Prime Minister Gleisi Hoffman and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Edano held a meeting where both expressed doubts about Bolsonaro’s strategy.

A six-month long IFFY campaign from January to June 2022 resulted in around 17,000 dead anti-UN militiamen but failed to break the insurgencies and was generally regarded as a failure. Bolsonaro was sacked in August and replaced by the Japanese Koji Yamazaki. Under Yamazaki, IFFY focused on building up friendly ehtnic militias and encouraging them to hold and administer territory. In March 2025, the long-delayed referendums on sovereignty were held, which resulted in the Athens Accords of January 2026. The Athens Accords divided former-Yugoslavia into eleven small states drawn as closely as possible to ethnic lines and attempting to respect the results of the referendums.

Yamazaki stood down that August, paving the way for the Kurdish general Sirwan Barzani to oversee the implementation of the Athens Accords and the drawdown of IFFY commitments in the region. In particular, IFFY oversaw the departure of thousands of ethnic-Serbian refugees from Bunjevci and Albania, as well as final campaigns to defeat the forces of ISE and the continuity Death’s Heads in the east and south of the territory. By this time, the anti-UN militias were struggling for funds and weapons following coordinated sanctions and regulations on arms companies put in place by the US, the Commonwealth and the Soviets and they were conclusively outgunned and outmaneuvered by their opponents.

The final IFFY forces departed on 31 May 2029. They left behind them states torn apart by nearly a quarter-century of war which had killed over 2,000,000 of their people. The states that were left were small, poor and populated by people suffering from a variety of physical and mental maladies. It was a peace, certainly, but only time will tell whether it would prove stable.

Countries contributing troops to International Force for Former Yugoslavia
  1. Arabia
  2. Argentina
  3. Benelux
  4. Brazil
  5. Chile
  6. China
  7. Formosa
  8. Indochina
  9. Japan
  10. Korea
  11. Kurdistan
  12. Malaysia
  13. Mexico
  14. Nordics
  15. Peru
  16. Spain (Kingdom of)
  17. Thailand
  18. Tibet
  19. Turkey
  20. Venezuela
Partition of Former Yugoslavia by the Athens Accords
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So what’s the reason for the protracted international administration? Is it just waiting for the security situation to settle down to hold the referendums and the situation never really stabilises enough?
So what’s the reason for the protracted international administration? Is it just waiting for the security situation to settle down to hold the referendums and the situation never really stabilises enough?

More or less. Certainly initially the rhetoric is very much "yes we'll definitely be having those referendums in about 18 months just as soon as we've calmed down this one last militia." From about 2018 onwards it's much more "referendums postponed until we've completely crushed the opposition."
Oh. This wonderful TL is ending... (I do hope you have some ideas in store for the next ;)).

It seems that the Serbs, Croatian and the rest of those amusing people managed to make a hellish situation going even worse. Satan must be pleased with them.
Stewart Ministry (2026-2031)
The New Old World: The Treaty on the Commonwealth Constitution

Jacinda Ardern was a curious figure: following a meteoric rise that had seen her appointed to Minister of Finance in Sandra Lee-Vercoe’s administration in 2014 she had been unanimously chosen as the new Prime Minister following Lee-Vercoe’s resignation two years later. However, New Zealand politics always seemed too small for her and few were surprised when she announced in 2023 that she would be departing Premier House in order to stand as the Speaker-designate of the Commonwealth Socialist grouping, even if there was some grumbling from those who regarded her departing in the middle of her tenure as ‘bad form.’

Ardern’s tenure as Speaker was, almost immediately, dominated by constitutional questions, most notably those triggered by the secession of West Canada and Westralia. Like the vast majority of her country’s political elite for over a century, Ardern was a keen defender of the Commonwealth as an institution, understanding its ability to protect its smaller members and allow them to ‘punch above their weight’ on the international stage. To this end, she had been key in taking a conciliatory approach towards the secessionist Canadian provinces, working to persuade the Ottawa government of the need to take a soft line. As a result, West Canada smoothly became a Commonwealth member.

However, this conciliatory line was later held to have been one of the key factors behind the resurgence of Western Australian secessionism that resulted in the successful Westralia independence referendum in 2027. In a straw that broke the camel’s back sense, this second referendum caused concern in many Commonwealth capitals. While few in Westminster or Karachi were actively worried about the possibility of the Celtic Fringe or Kashmir going wholly their own way (indeed, few in the Alliance Party or the Kashmiri Nationalist Party were active republicans), the Speaker’s office’s relaxed attitude towards the West Canada and Westralia referendums caused concern. A Balkanised Commonwealth, the belief ran, would make the intergovernmental cooperation upon which the organisation had heretofore been run impossible and leave it open to fracture and collapse through indecision.

However, relaxed is exactly not what the Speaker’s office was over all of this. They recognised that a combination of economic stagnation and the scandal-ridden collapse of establishment parties in countries as varied as East Africa, the Pacific Islands and, most crucially, Pakistan and the UK had created an opportunity to engage in thoroughgoing constitutional reform, meaningful progress on which had otherwise been stagnant for decades. At the prime ministers’ conference immediately following the Westralia referendum, Ardern delivered a speech reaffirming the Commonwealth’s commitment to improving democracy, transparency, cooperation and, crucially, efficiency between the member states. It was an innocuous enough speech in many ways but few, in this context, could miss the implication of her words.

The 2028 conference reached agreement on a 16-page mandate for an intra-Commonwealth committee which would be responsible for drafting the first set of proposals for far-reaching reform of Commonwealth governance. By the end of the year, the name Treaty on the Commonwealth Constitution (“TCC”) had been decided upon but it was only over the course of 2029 that it would become clear that this new agreement would necessitate the replacement of the member states by a single Commonwealth country. Although, for many practical purposes, the Commonwealth member states had acted on the world stage as if they were a single country, the fact was that many of the member states, such as the West Indies, Rhodesia or Ceylon, had developed a great deal of national pride and there was an instinctive recoiling in many countries from what this would mean.

Nevertheless, the first draft of the TCC was presented to an autumn conference of prime ministers in 2029. This conference allayed the fears of certain prime ministers by changing the proposed unicameral legislature to a bicameral one, with a lower house (called the Assembly) composed of members elected via STV in proportion to the population of the member states and an upper house (called the Senate) of five members from each member state. The proposed governmental structure combined elements of British devolution, federalism in Canada and Australia and the compromises of both federal US constitutions. Each member state would retain a broad series of competencies over education and their own legal systems, while the new Commonwealth Parliament would absorb most powers of the former national governments, notably most powers of taxation. Although it was only very briefly a point of discussion, it was confirmed that the monarchy would remain with the same level of powers as it had commonly exercised in the member states over the previous century (i.e. virtually none). The only important (by a given definition of important, of course) change would be that the monarch’s official title would change to ‘King/Queen of the Commonwealth.’

The two most important changes, however, attempted to deal with concerns related to economic stagnation and political distrust. On the topic of political mistrust, the TCC proposed the handing back of various powers from the government to citizens in the form of direct democracy rules. The TCC provided for groups of citizens to make a request to change the law. If the initial request received enough support (initially set at 4.5 million pledged supporters but subject to periodic review), then the request would be put to a Commonwealth-wide referendum three years later. During that time, any number of the original pledged supporters may withdraw their support, in theory preventing short-term political passions from dominating the referendum topics. All parties would then have the opportunity to issue formal opinions on the referendum in question. Perhaps as a response to the shoddy drafting the referendum question in West Canada, the TCC provided that the referendum would only join the Commonwealth statute-book if it received a ‘yes’ vote in all of the member states.

On the economic front, the TCC proposed a change to the way that the economic health of the country would be calculated, formally enshrining the Gross National Happiness Index as the main metric of success, with economic budgets focused on GDP to be replaced by annual well-being budgets. (The Bank of England, which would be the central bank of the Commonwealth, would keep on counting GDP, of course.) These budgets, and the government as a whole, would then be measured by four priorities that would be enshrined in the constitution: improving mental and physical health; reducing poverty; addressing inequality; and improving environmental sustainability. Of course, none of these were exactly unrelated to economics but the shift was still considered to be an enormous game-changer, at least in tone.

With the compromise TCC being signed as a Commonwealth Act in December 2029, all the member states were then required to pass legislation formally passing it into their law. The Commonwealth therefore formed a committee to try to ‘sell’ the agreement to the public and put pressure on what remaining national governments there were with cold feet. Drawn from across the political spectrum, the three key figures were drawn from the Commonwealth’s centre-left (Ardern herself), the centre (Rory Stewart) and the centre-right (Brian Lara, the Conservative home secretary of the West Indies). The biggest opposition came from governments in Canberra and Ottawa, who were concerned that the move to turn the Commonwealth into a single federal country would lead to the breakup of their own federations. The skepticism of two of the Big Four would, at one time, have been the immediate death knell of any major Commonwealth reforms: the fact that it wasn’t now was, in many ways, a testament to the Commonwealth’s development.

In May 2029, the Australian government of Malarndirri McCarthy, an opponent of federalisation, called a referendum on the proposed constitution. At first this threatened to derail the whole project, with certain polls in the final month of the referendum showing a ‘No’ vote ahead, as the anti-TCC campaign attempted to re-frame the document as meaning the return of direct rule from London. However, after hard campaigning by Ardern, Stewart and Lara in the country, the Australian people backed the constitution by a margin of 55% to 45% on a turnout of 92%. With that, serious organised opposition to the TCC dissipated and the way was cleared for its passing

In the UK specifically, Stewart and his government of national unity had taken up the cause of the TCC with vim, largely as a substitute for a transformative domestic agenda. The economy continued to chugg on much as it had done under Cooper, meaning that the switch to the National Happiness Index was an attractive way for the country to get out of its present sticking point. On the constitutional front, the widespread public disgust with all of the main parties as a result of the Leveson and Car Wash inquiries meant that a transition to multi-continental federalism mixed with direct democracy looked like a convenient way to escape this bind. (Curiously, Stewart himself, although technically a Liberal MP, had managed to carve an almost apolitical profile for himself, doubtless helped by his prior fame due to his actions in the African War.) Furthermore, many members of the Alliance within the coalition saw federalism as a crucial step towards the dissolution of the United Kingdom itself, albeit that Liberal, Progressive and Co-operative politicians tended to play down or otherwise elide this possibility.

Opposition to the TCC within the UK came from certain factions within the Conservatives (who were old-school romantics), the Libertarians (who wanted to embark on a deregulation programme probably impossible under a multi-continental federation) and Labour (who toyed with using it as a wedge issue against the government). Ultimately, however, none of these parties ever really attempted to mobilise anti-TCC thinking as official party policy, for two key reasons. Firstly, moving to a full federation was widely regarded, both by politicians and the public, as a good answer to the country’s economic and political malaise. Secondly, the UK had always been at the heart of the Commonwealth and the vast majority of the British public thought very fondly of the institution and the TCC, as the harbinger of ‘more Commonwealth’, commanded wide public support. In any event, as the day of the adoption of the TCC approached, party loyalties completely broke down as individual MPs crossed the floor, sometimes more than once, in order to sit themselves in the appropriate grouping for the new Commonwealth-wide parties that were appearing (the details of these parties will be covered later). Opposition thus never cohered into a single campaign.

As such, the winter of 2030 was both a sorrowful and a joyful one, as the final session of the Westminster Parliament as a national parliament drafted and debated the act that would acceed the country to the TCC. Symbolically, King George VII and his various governors general around the Commonwealth gave royal assent to the bills simultaneously on 1 January 2031. And, just like that, something of the old world had passed.

List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
  1. William Pitt; Tory; January - March 1801
  2. Henry Addington; Tory; March 1801 - May 1804
  3. William Pitt; Tory; May 1804 - January 1806
  4. Baron Grenville; Whig; February 1806 - March 1807
  5. Duke of Portland; Tory; March 1807 - October 1809
  6. Spencer Perceval; Tory; October 1809 - May 1812
  7. Earl of Liverpool; Tory; June 1812 - April 1827
  8. George Canning; Canningite Tory; April - August 1827
  9. Viscount Goderich; Canningite Tory; August 1827 - January 1828
  10. Duke of Wellington; Ultra-Tory; January 1828 - November 1830
  11. Earl Grey; Whig; November 1830 - July 1834
  12. Viscount Melbourne; Whig; July - November 1834
  13. Duke of Wellington; Ultra-Tory; November - December 1834
  14. Sir Robert Peel; Conservative; December 1834 - April 1835
  15. Viscount Melbourne; Whig; April 1835 - August 1841
  16. Sir Robert Peel; Conservative; August 1841 - June 1846
  17. Lord John Russell; Whig; June 1846 - February 1852
  18. Earl of Derby; Conservative; February - December 1852
  19. Earl of Aberdeen; Conservative; December 1852 - January 1855
  20. Viscount Palmerston; Whig; January 1855 - February 1858
  21. Earl of Derby; Conservative; February 1858 - June 1859
  22. Viscount Palmerston; Whig; June 1859 - October 1865
  23. Earl Russell; Whig; October 1865 - June 1866
  24. Earl of Derby; Conservative; June 1866 - February 1868
  25. Benjamin Disraeli; Conservative; February - December 1868
  26. William Gladstone; Liberal; December 1868 - February 1874
  27. Benjamin Disraeli; Conservative; February 1874 - April 1880
  28. Marquess of Hartington; Liberal; April 1880 - July 1888
  29. William Harcourt; Liberal; July - August 1888
  30. Joseph Chamberlain; Liberal; August 1888 - August 1895
  31. Lord Randolph Churchill; Conservative; August 1895 - February 1905
  32. Joseph Chamberlain; Liberal; February 1905 - July 1906
  33. Sir Charles Dilke; Liberal; July 1906 - January 1911
  34. David Lloyd George; Liberal; January 1911 - November 1921
  35. Lord Hugh Cecil; Conservative; November 1921 - October 1924
  36. Sir Austen Chamberlain; Liberal; October 1924 - May 1929
  37. Ramsay MacDonald; Labour; May 1929 - October 1930
  38. Ramsay MacDonald; National Labour ‘Grand Coalition’; October 1930 - November 1934
  39. David Lloyd George; Liberal; November 1934 - June 1940
  40. Winston Churchill; Country ‘Wartime Coalition’; June 1940 - November 1945
  41. Clement Attlee; Labour; November 1945 - November 1955
  42. Hugh Gaitskell; Labour; November 1955 - January 1963
  43. George Brown; Labour; January - February 1963
  44. Barbara Castle; Labour; February 1963 - June 1976
  45. Margaret Thatcher; Liberal; June 1976 - May 1981
  46. William Rodgers; Labour; May 1981 - February 1991
  47. David Steel; Liberal; February 1991 - March 1996
  48. Margaret Beckett; Labour; March 1996 - June 2005
  49. Bertie Ahern; Liberal; June 2005 - June 2011
  50. Nick Clegg; Liberal; June 2011 - July 2014
  51. Yvette Cooper; Labour; July 2014 - December 2024
  52. Douglas Alexander; Labour; December 2024 - July 2025
  53. Ed Miliband; Labour; July 2025 - July 2026
  54. Rory Stewart; Liberal; July 2026 - January 2031
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Rory Stewart as the last PM of the UK? Well, there are far worse choices. I'm a bit of a Rory fan, even if I'm not a fan of the Tory Party of OTL or TTL, especially after reading his book on Afghanistan.
The Wiki page for the ex-UK shows that the flag of the new Commonwealth super state is the Union Jack. How would other Commonwealth countries feel about that? Or ITTL, does Canada still have the Union Jack in the canton of its flag rather than a big maple leaf, for instance, so it's less of an issue?
The Wiki page for the ex-UK shows that the flag of the new Commonwealth super state is the Union Jack. How would other Commonwealth countries feel about that? Or ITTL, does Canada still have the Union Jack in the canton of its flag rather than a big maple leaf, for instance, so it's less of an issue?

So the flag I settled on is the one for the OTL Governor of New Zealand 1869-74 (OTL this came about as the result of a designer misunderstanding instructions which TTL is butterflied away). I've pasted it below so you can get a better view. The idea is that it would represent the nation's British heritage while paying homage to its global reach (the four stars represent the four continents where there are member states). All of the member states have their own flags, most of which will strip out the Union Jack as the century moves on. Stepping out of the TL, I used it because I don't have the skill to make a wholly new flag and I wanted to do something that wasn't the TTL Commonwealth flag.