WI: Neville Chamberlain lives longer

So, assume that the interwar british prime minister often blamed for giving nazi germany a jumpstart for WW2, Neville Chamberlain, does not contract cancer and lives to a riper old age beyond 71.
Will he still resign from his post during WW2 or is parliamentary conservative support for him high enough for that to be avoided? How will he react to the Battle Of Britain and other events? Will he surrender to the germans? If he feels some regret for the Munich Agreement and instead pursues a war strategy, how different will WW2 be for the wallies?
 

shiftygiant

Gone Fishin'
Given how he resigned in May and his cancer only became apparent in July (when Doctors also discovered it), yes, he'd of still been pushed out of office and Churchill would have still succeeded him. He may remain as Lord President of the Council, holding the position instead of Anderson, however it's likelier he'd retire as Churchill reshuffles the Cabinet to accommodate Labour.
 
Given how he resigned in May and his cancer only became apparent in July (when Doctors also discovered it), yes, he'd of still been pushed out of office and Churchill would have still succeeded him. He may remain as Lord President of the Council, holding the position instead of Anderson, however it's likelier he'd retire as Churchill reshuffles the Cabinet to accommodate Labour.
Why exactly did Chamberlain resign?
When did he start complaining about illness before his cancer diagnosis? Did that affect his political willingness?
 
Why exactly did Chamberlain resign?
When did he start complaining about illness before his cancer diagnosis? Did that affect his political willingness?
Norway, losing the confidence of Parliament and being unable to form a war-time coalition. And being a shit war leader.
 

shiftygiant

Gone Fishin'
When did he start complaining about illness before his cancer diagnosis? Did that affect his political willingness?
The signs of his stomach cancer, as far as I can tell, only started to emerge after he left office, when it was too late for him. This effected his political willingness in the sense he resigned from the Cabinet when he finally learned what was up (as his Doctors kept the initial discovery from him in July as there was nothing they could do).
 
Now, running a quick research and assumption, i'm afraid Chamberlain could indeed keep himself in his position if he willed, and if he had a bit more luck.
When parliament was convoked after the failed defense of Norway, it is reported that Chamby said:
"I call upon my friends—and I still have some friends in this House—to support the Government tonight."
If the source of this information is valid, then it is said that such a quote (referring only to "friends") from him caused commotion across parliament and further galvanized his opposition.
It is said that the conservatives wanted him to stay in power and were still willing to keep him there, but Chamberlain was too scared of the opposition and wanted to resign. If he was a bit bolder and luckier with his health, i believe he could still keep his priministerial post. if still with a very large opposition within the british government, but he could try to use the most powers he had.
Maybe if Churchill dies before the war and Chamberlain's cancer is butterflied, we could still see the desired scenario in place, unless Halifax remains a big headache for the pro-war politicians.
I personally am one to think Chamberlain could still be a decent war leader for Britain, if still not as memorable as Churchill. I see most of his mistakes (such as Munich) as being just some lack of research on part of Hitler's plans -- during the war, he could take a 180 degree turn on the issue and try to adipt a policy of taking down Hitler, unless his joining of Churchill's pro-war group is just political pragmatism.
 
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shiftygiant

Gone Fishin'
Now, running a quick research and assumption, i'm afraid Chamberlain could indeed keep himself in his position if he willed.
When parliament was convoked after the failed defense of Norway, it is reported that Chamby said:
"I call upon my friends—and I still have some friends in this House—to support the Government tonight."
If the source of this information is valid, then it is said that such a quote (referring only to "friends") from him caused commotion across parliament and further galvanized his opposition.
It is said that the conservatives wanted him to stay in power and were still willing to keep him there, but Chamberlain was too scared of the opposition and wanted to resign. If he was a bit bolder, i believe he could still keep his priministerial post, if still with a very large opposition within the british government.
It is said the Conservatives wanted him to stay, but the reality of the situation was that he was outright being told to stand down by Conservative Members of Parliament. Those that wanted him to stay had voted against his Government for their ultimate failure to be a War Government, recognising that the Government needed to be restructured if it were to survive, Chamberlain would only do so if Labour would come in to join him. But this is the kicker- following the invasion of the Low Countries, Chamberlain faced the same crisis as H.H. Asquith; he needed to form a Coalition, but the Opposition wouldn't if he was the leader. They would only do so under someone else. If Chamberlain was bolder, he would have faced dismissal or, worse, no confidence. If he tried to run a Government that contained a strong and large opposition to him, he would have been out within a matter of months.
 
It is said the Conservatives wanted him to stay, but the reality of the situation was that he was outright being told to stand down by Conservative Members of Parliament. Those that wanted him to stay had voted against his Government for their ultimate failure to be a War Government, recognising that the Government needed to be restructured if it were to survive, Chamberlain would only do so if Labour would come in to join him. But this is the kicker- following the invasion of the Low Countries, Chamberlain faced the same crisis as H.H. Asquith; he needed to form a Coalition, but the Opposition wouldn't if he was the leader. They would only do so under someone else. If Chamberlain was bolder, he would have faced dismissal or, worse, no confidence. If he tried to run a Government that contained a strong and large opposition to him, he would have been out within a matter of months.
So the guy was basically a lost cause beyond the munich agreement.
 

shiftygiant

Gone Fishin'
So the guy was basically a lost cause beyond the munich agreement.
Post-Norway his days were numbered. A non-Cancerous Chamberlain would have likely still left Churchill's Government for the sake of government unity, as the Labour and Liberal Party opposed his continued membership as Lord President of the Council. Beyond that, I'm not sure; he may have been able to fight Cato's accusations, and he would have certainly been promoted to the Lords. But beyond then... it's unclear where he would have gone.
 
Now, running a quick research and assumption, i'm afraid Chamberlain could indeed keep himself in his position if he willed, and if he had a bit more luck.
When parliament was convoked after the failed defense of Norway, it is reported that Chamby said:
"I call upon my friends—and I still have some friends in this House—to support the Government tonight."
If the source of this information is valid, then it is said that such a quote (referring only to "friends") from him caused commotion across parliament and further galvanized his opposition.
It is said that the conservatives wanted him to stay in power and were still willing to keep him there, but Chamberlain was too scared of the opposition and wanted to resign. If he was a bit bolder and luckier with his health, i believe he could still keep his priministerial post. if still with a very large opposition within the british government, but he could try to use the most powers he had.
Maybe if Churchill dies before the war and Chamberlain's cancer is butterflied, we could still see the desired scenario in place, unless Halifax remains a big headache for the pro-war politicians.
I personally am one to think Chamberlain could still be a decent war leader for Britain, if still not as memorable as Churchill. I see most of his mistakes (such as Munich) as being just some lack of research on part of Hitler's plans -- during the war, he could take a 180 degree turn on the issue and try to adipt a policy of taking down Hitler, unless his joining of Churchill's pro-war group is just political pragmatism.
It's Hansard, the official record of Parliament.
 

shiftygiant

Gone Fishin'
He actually resigned on the day the Germans attacked the low countries.
For the love of

If you'd read the rest of the thread, you'll notice this:
It is said the Conservatives wanted him to stay, but the reality of the situation was that he was outright being told to stand down by Conservative Members of Parliament. Those that wanted him to stay had voted against his Government for their ultimate failure to be a War Government, recognising that the Government needed to be restructured if it were to survive, Chamberlain would only do so if Labour would come in to join him. But this is the kicker- following the invasion of the Low Countries, Chamberlain faced the same crisis as H.H. Asquith; he needed to form a Coalition, but the Opposition wouldn't if he was the leader. They would only do so under someone else. If Chamberlain was bolder, he would have faced dismissal or, worse, no confidence. If he tried to run a Government that contained a strong and large opposition to him, he would have been out within a matter of months.
 
So the guy was basically a lost cause beyond the munich agreement.
No he just needs one of,
1) AH not to attack Poland.
2) Joint entente (French) army to advance and win a small but significant victory in 39.
3) RN to destroy the KM over Norway spectacularly, making invasion fail.
(and later no FoF or he goes then)

Any of the above probably saves him as he looks like he is doing a good job.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
The reason why the "friends" quote caused such commotion & dismay in Parliament was because in Westminster terms friends refers to the honourable member's party comrades. In other words Chamberlain was seen to be (even if he did not actually mean it this way) reducing the vote to a simple issue of party loyalty. Given the Conservatives' huge majority this would be a win. However those Conservatives who were considering voting against their own government were effectively threatened to be outcasts.

It should be noted that Chamberlain actually won the vote in Parliament, but the moral effect of so many Conservatives voting against or abstaining was what convinced most people, including Neville himself, that he could carry on.
 
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