God Save the Queen - Not
this time by Chris Oakley and Steve Payne
says: in which we develop a what-if story published in the
New Statesman in which Cameron is worse than we imagined, much worse.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily
reflect the views of the author(s).
Part 1: on April
16th, 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
On his watch 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
Part 2: on October
11th, 2010, Britain entered a fresh political crisis after David
Cameron rejected Nick Clegg's demand for an additional three Cabinet
Ministerial Posts in the Coalition Government just one day after the British
electorate voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Alternative Voting System (AVS).
During the formation of a "strong, stable and legitmate"
Government back in May, Cameron had devised an imaginative formula for the
division of powers. As a result, almost half of Liberal Democrat Mps had
received a Whitehall appointment, and Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime
Minister. Effectively, the Parliamentary Party had been bought off.
However, in seeking to drive a harder bargain, Clegg had engaged with
paralell talks with Gordon Brown. The fear of a Progressive Coalition being
formed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats forced Cameron to up his "big,
open and comprehensive offer". And as a deal-sweetener, Cameron went the
"extra mile" by offering a referendum of AVS.
Cameron and Clegg had agreed to maintain the Coalition up until 2015, a full
Parliamentary session. However the problem was that in the small print of
the deal, Liberal Democrats could campaign independently during European and
Local elections and so party politics remained a reality. And many Liberal
Democrats were eager to fight a General Election under AVS in the
expectation of at least doubling their number of Parliamentary seats. Such
an outcome, would of course dramatically imbalance the Cameron formula
because it would upgrade the Liberal Democrats to full partners.
Part 3: on April
21st 2015, James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and a
major tycoon in his own right, announced he was putting together an
investors' group to acquire a controlling stake in BBC1, which had been put
up for sale a few weeks earlier in a desperate attempt to resolve a growing
British government budget shortfall. .
The news of Murdoch's bid sparked grave fears among BBC1
employees, whose salaries had already been severely cut by the outgoing
Cameron administration and were likely to be slashed still further if the
Murdoch group succeed in its efforts to take over the longtime flagship of
the BBC network.
Part 4: on April
24th 2015, fearing for his life if he returned to Britain,
entertainer and former Beatle Paul McCartney, who'd been touring continental
Europe when David Cameron resigned as prime minister, went to the U.S.
embassy in Madrid and requested political asylum in America for himself and
That McCartney had considered such drastic action, much
less actually gone through with it, was one of the clearest signs yet just
how bad things had gotten in the swiftly and inexorably disintegrating
United Kingdom. Indeed, even as McCartney was filing his asylum request
dozens of London's top police officers had resigned their commissions in
disgust over the sky-high crime rate in the British capital.
Part 5: on April
26th 2015, maverick leftist author Christopher Hitchens was shot
and killed just hours after giving a CNN interview in which he lashed out at
the British National Party for what he called "s***ing on Britain's grave".
The timing of the attack sparked rumors that the BNP had
put a contract out on Hitchens; however, forensic evidence at the scene of
the murder would later prompt police investigators to conclude that the
crime had actually been commited by a Scottish left wing extremist who'd
been enraged by a critique of the Scot independence movement Hitchens had
published shortly before David Cameron's resignation as British prime
Part 6: on April
26th 2015, Gibraltar passed back into Spanish hands after centuries
of British rule.
The takeover, and London's feeble response to it, were
symptomatic of how badly Britain's international prestige had deteriorated
on David Cameron's watch.
Part 7: on May 1st
2015, voters in Scotland narrowly approved a referendum declaring
Scottish independence from Great Britain effective in two months.
Scotland Edinburgh would serve as the national capital
for the newly established Republic of Scotland; thousands of Scotsmen who
had been previously serving in the British armed forces would be recalled to
form the nucleus of a new Scottish national defense force; and Balmoral, the
British royal family's longtime summer residence, would be converted by the
Scottish government into a national historical museum.
Part 8: on May 2nd
2015, the New York Stock Exchange opened down 820 points in
reaction to the passage of the Scottish independence referendum.
Part 9: on May 4th
2015, Alex Salmond was officially inaugurated as the first
president of the Scottish Republic.
Part 10: on May 5th,
2015 on this day the United Nations General Assembly convened an
emergency session to debate the matter of who should replace the UK on the
UN Security Council.
That same day the new official Scottish Republic
government website RepScot.gov.sco went online for the first time.
Part 11: on May 6th,
2015, the last remnants of what had been the British Army's Ulster
contingent left Belfast.
Part 12: on May 9th,
2015, after four days of intense and sometimes bitter debate, the
UN General Assembly approved a resolution nominating India to assume the UN
Security Council seat formerly held by the United Kingdom.
Part 13: on May
10th, 2015, India officially assumed the UN Security Council
permanent seat formerly occupied by the United Kingdom
Part 14: on May
14th, 2015, Britain's last monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died of
heart failure at Oxford University Hospital.
Part 15: on May
16th, 2015, Wales declared its independence. Welsh Nation
Part 16: on May
17th, 2015, the International Olympic Committee convened a special
session to decide who should fill the IOC seat formerly held by the United
Part 17th: on May
19th, 2015, International Monetary Fund chairman and former British
prime minister Gordon Brown issued a sobering report predicting "we may be
only months if not weeks away from a second Great Depression" as a result of
the global economic turmoil triggered by the UK's collapse.
says to view guest historian's comments on this thread please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
A Selection of Other Contemporary
Chris Oakley and Steve Payne, Guest Historian and Editor of
Today in Alternate History, a Daily
Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
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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