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The Straw that broke the Camel's back by Chris Oakley

Author says: this entry for Changing the Times Magazine was inspired (and partly modeled on) a "What if?" article that was published in the New Statesman. Also it is the first post in the thread God Save the Queen - Not This Time on the Today in Alternate History Web Site where the story continues. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

April 16th: on this day in 2015 Conservative Party leader David Cameron, elected as prime minister of Great Britain five years earlier in response to popular disenchantment with the policies of Labour PM Gordon Brown, was forced to resign after a host of political and economic miscalculations that had pushed Britain to the verge of collapse.

On his watch Britain had seen its road and rail transport systems grind to a halt; its international standing plummet after a number of Tehran schoolchildren were killed when a missile went astray during a joint US-UK-Israeli air strike against Iranian nuclear weapons production complexes; five major British retail store chains go bankrupt; public services to Britain's less fortunate citizens slashed to the bone; the BBC, formerly the world's most respected broadcast network, reduced to a shadow of its former glorious self; unemployment pass the 4.5 million mark; the fascist British National Party make unprecedented inroads into Parliament; the House of Commons twice come within a cat's whisker of passing referendums that would have terminated Britain's membership in the European Union by 2016; and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond push for a vote on whether to declare Scotland's independence from the rest of the United Kingdom.

As if all that wasn't enough to undermine British voters' confidence in their prime minister, the British Army was stretched to the breaking point in Afghanistan and Yemen; the neo-Peronista regime in Argentina was actively working to acquire a nuclear bomb and was also rumored to be drafting plans for a new invasion of the Falkland Islands; the National Health Service was being steadily dismantled; and the royal family were virtual prisoners at Buckingham Palace thanks to the almost-daily rioting going on in London and other major cities in the UK as economic and racial tensions worsened.

But the straw that truly broke the camel's back for the Cameron administration came in March of 2015 when two of the UK's largest banks crashed within days of each other, plunging Britain into its worst internal financial crisis since the Great Depression. By early April former PM John Major, in one of his last major public statements before his death, was blasting Cameron for--in Major's words--"pouring petrol on the fires that threaten to burn Great Britain from the pages of history". Even Margaret Thatcher, who had campaigned extensively Cameron's behalf during the 2010 general elections, was going out of her way to distance herself from the incumbent PM.

Chris Oakley

Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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