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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DensleyBlair

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I found myself oddly gripped by Baldwin’s speech. The high drama of it all really came through (and I’m not exactly one for parliamentary drama, so bravo).

Now, what hell awaits us?
 

Bullfilter

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So now we are falling, but have not yet struck the rocks at the bottom. Though almost.
I end his premiership by not disliking him, despite his evident failures of leadership and policy. If that sounds like ‘dammed by faint praise’, then that is probably accurate.
It does, and it is. ;)
and has all but guaranteed a tortuous autumn and winter.
... of our discontent. And no lion in it, but a bunch of mewling kittens and barking dogs. I offer no predictions (in large part because I’m mainly unfamiliar with the game and this focus tree in particular) but am just along for the wild ride.
 

Director

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It was not so much the content of Baldwin's speech that struck me as it's relatively plain and simple delivery. I heard strains of 'Pagliacci'... I wish the old man peace in his few remaining days.

So we go to round two with body-blows struck but no decision. We are after all in the same position, with the same simple choices: either the King yields or... well, if a minority government comes in and loses a vote of confidence then we are right back in the same place. There appears to be no way out so long as principle holds stronger than ambition in the party leaders. I'd be tempted to say something snide about Chamberlain but I do think he has his principles. What he wil lsay or do when it dawns that he will never hold power unless he compromises... well, in OTL he was known to be willing to compromise. Here, I think he will hold and hope to deal with a successor.

Only if a leader of a major party yields and forms a government - assuming he could take his party with him to such a decision - or the King yields, can this be resolved. Unless of course a minority government is formed and some great issue causes the nation to rally behind it, which could postpone things a bit.

Or unless the King simply says, 'Hang you all and damn the consequences, I will not yield. Work it out!' In which case... what? How many minority governments fall?

So the cycle of collapsing governments continues, or the King yields, or a great crisis sustains a minority or... what? There is nothing but love of country and tradition to impel the King to yield, and if he ignores that - how, precisely, can they force him short of ending the monarchy?
 
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El Pip

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Given all Baldwin did in the early part of his career it is a shame he faced this test right at the end when he was so reduced. Then again all political lives end in failure unless cut off midstream, as the quote almost goes, so it was never going to end well for him regardless.

I remain mildly surprised at Churchill's part in this, support and sympathy for the King certainly, but it is hard to square the threatened political tricks with his love and respect for parliament. When things get dirty, as they undoubtedly will, I suspect there may be regrets. Or he will just 'cross the floor' again as he so often did and rejoin the mainstream.

DLG however is doubtless in for the long hall, I have no doubts he is a man who would set fire to a kitten orphanage if he thought it would get him a sniff of power,
 

Akela

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Late arrival, but I've caught up now. Things are certainly looking interesting in this timeline...

You are impressively going down one of the strongest event chains for Britain, yet constantly hinting you're going to swerve at the last possible moment into the worst possible position they can be in (no stability, no pp, no dominions and pretty much no empire, and a year of wasted focus tree focuses).

Though I suppose it is still technically possible this is all a big build up to the King's Party and the empire being reformed under the iron grip of Churchill, LG and Edward. Basically the same end game as imperial federation, just with lots more blood.
An OOC observation here: IIRC the event where the government resigns is the point-of-no-return in this event chain. Our esteemed author can of course mod things if he wishes, so this isn't hard proof of anything, but by vanilla mechanics the King can no longer change his mind and abdicate. We're now locked out of every political branch that is not A King's Party - although technically there's no requirement to ever actually take AKP, so we can potentially linger in this limbo indefinitely...
 

TheButterflyComposer

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An OOC observation here: IIRC the event where the government resigns is the point-of-no-return in this event chain. Our esteemed author can of course mod things if he wishes, so this isn't hard proof of anything, but by vanilla mechanics the King can no longer change his mind and abdicate. We're now locked out of every political branch that is not A King's Party - although technically there's no requirement to ever actually take AKP, so we can potentially linger in this limbo indefinitely...
Thats what I'm saying. Either the author is throwing loads and loads of red herrings or they're going to stay in the legal limbo forever.
 

El Pip

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Thats what I'm saying. Either the author is throwing loads and loads of red herrings or they're going to stay in the legal limbo forever.
Or, as mentioned, modding. Which has always been my working assumption, I don't see the author limiting his options just because Paradox have made some poor choices (that's life choices and game design choices).
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Or, as mentioned, modding. Which has always been my working assumption, I don't see the author limiting his options just because Paradox have made some poor choices (that's life choices and game design choices).
Nah. HOI4 is a wonderfully serious and realistic game with modding totally unnecessary...

Just look at Italy.
 
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1.png


Chapter 51, Parliament, 24 September 1936

The Prime Minister rose heavily from his seat on the nervous looking front bench for this, the second emergency statement this week. He stroked his white moustache, eyes twinkling, looking confident, in command. He offered an irritatingly ‘chipper’ smile to the array of members opposite him. Again, with a tightening of the stomach, he realised that in front of him, across the aisle, sat many of the ‘Great and the Good’ from British politics and public life; behind him, in a ‘majority’ that defied mathematical definition, sat his ‘Loyalists, his cross-party coalition and a minority government. And now this debate; thankfully the conventional parties were in as much chaos as the Government. Baldwin had resigned and had almost literally disappeared; Chamberlain was rallying the Conservatives, although the ripple of defections from the Conservatives was a debilitating ‘running sore’ as was a surprisingly chipper campaign by Eden and the suddenness of Oliver Stanley’s candidature. Chamberlain had waspishly and publicly muttered that Lloyd George was buying time for his chaotic little administration, buying time by feeding the press and public high profile defections to his ramshackle coalition. The Beaverbrook press, ever loyal to the King, had excoriated him for this; the irony was that it was true, as Lloyd George and Churchill fought to give their fledgling Cabinet the one thing that it needed more than anything else: time.

Labour, insulated from most of the issues surrounding the fragmentation of part of the Conservative Party, was nevertheless in its own crisis; how to cope with the loss of some high profile ‘big beasts’ while it struggled to reabsorb (or even to agree to reabsorb) those members who had defied the whip and had followed MacDonald into the National Government. Little Attlee, opposite, squirmed uncomfortably. Nobody wanted this. Well, almost nobody...

1618129227347.png


He rose, thick spectacles on as he stared at his notes. “Mister Speaker”, he began, easily sounding lyrical, eloquent, “I yesterday spoke with his Majesty. He has asked me to try and form an effective Government, in his name, and that, Mister Speaker, is what I shall do!”

There was heckling now, random, ranging and fractious irritation with this painful, humiliating fiasco now boiling over to be directed at the small, frail Welshman at the Dispatch Box. It wasn’t solely his fault, but he accepted it; he knew this place, he knew that if he could get the measure of it, master the correct tone, then nothing was impossible. “This is not, Mister Speaker, the time, nor the place, for pitch and panic,” he said in his melodic voice, still passionate, still carrying the old Celtic charm. “Nothing is more certain or more obvious than that recrimination or controversy at this time would be not only useless but harmful and wrong. What is done is done. What has been done or left undone belongs to history, and to history, so far as I am concerned, it shall be left.”

The Opposition benches paused in their heckling; many a good turn of phrase had swung the mood, and, while they weren’t won over, they paused long enough to hear the old man’s words. Or, they were just catching their breath before the next round of heckling.

“I will, therefore, make two observations only. The first is this: it is clear from what I have been told this week that there was at no time any constitutional issue between the King and his Ministers or between the King and Parliament. The supremacy of this Parliament over the Crown, the duty of the Sovereign to act in accordance with the advice of his Ministers, neither of those was ever at any moment in question.”

That was stretching it, putting it mildly, and the Opposition benches erupted in rage and mockery. The heat of the dust in the packed Commons chamber didn’t help the atmosphere. The rage an anger rolled down the Opposition benches, Lloyd George could almost feel the waves striking his little coalition MPs. Baldwin had resigned to prevent further crisis and the future of this temporary coalition was far from secure. Their own patience was starting to wear thin, from behind Lloyd George there was laughter and braying.

Lloyd George ploughed on. “Indeed, Mister Speaker, I venture to say that no Sovereign has ever conformed more strictly or more faithfully to the letter and spirit of the Constitution than his present Majesty. In fact, he has voluntarily made a sacrifice for the peace and strength of his Realm which goes far beyond the bounds required by the Law and the Constitution. He will not marry until this present unpleasantness is resolved. That, Mr Speaker, is sacrifice of the highest order, delaying his personal happiness to put that of his realm first! But, Mr Speaker, mark our words, he will marry, but his new wife, for whom we offer our best wishes, will not be Queen. That is my first observation. My second is this.” He paused now, the screaming from all sides drowning out his words, as well as the Speaker’s hopeless efforts to calm them, letting them wait for his words.

“My Right Honourable Friend the Member for Epping and I have, throughout this affair, pleaded for time.” He glared down his spectacles at the Opposition benches. “Anyone can see how grave would have been the evils of protracted controversy. On the other hand, it was, in my view, our duty to endure these evils even at serious inconvenience, if there was any hope that time could bring a solution. Some, on the benches opposite, and indeed throughout the Realm, will wonder whether there is any hope or not. Mr Speaker, that is a mystery which, at the present time, it is impossible to resolve.”

That was a surprise. They had expected the old man to charge on, heedless of the constitutional realities. But he was now showing, either through calculation or genuine character a fig leaf of respect for this place, and his frankness disarmed them.

“Time was also important from another point of view. It was essential that there should be no room for aspersions, after these events, that the King has been hurried in his decisions. I tell you, wholeheartedly, that the decision taken this week has been taken by His Majesty freely, voluntarily and spontaneously, in his own time and in his own way. As I have been looking at this matter, as is well known, from an angle different from that of most Members of the House, I thought it my duty to place this fact also upon record.”

“We will go on,” he said, forcefully, “we will work with His Majesty and this House to proceed, forward, together, in resolution of the current disputes.”

It was a thin speech, a meagre offering, he had a handful of MPs and could be doomed as soon as a vote was taken. It had been agreed by all, to a mixture of relief and resigned consternation, that Attlee, as the one leader who had both a mandate (although Herbert Morrison and others in the Labour Party were causing trouble amongst the membership) and the cool temperament that was judged to be required for this time, would remain, for the moment, as Leader of the Opposition. Many in the three main parties had quite openly opined that there would be another round of ‘musical chairs’, either after an election, or as a result of the King relenting and abdicating. Attlee, slender, precise, stood up to muted cheers from his benches.

“I am grateful,” he began in his thin, precise little voice, “for my Right Honourable Friend for permitting this debate. Indeed, I must convey my surprise, and that of all of my strange bedfellows on these benches, for allowing a sitting at all.” The Labour benches chuckled at his levity.

“Mr Speaker, there will be no winners in this shameful escapade, an adventure with the constitution, only losers of the most profound nature and magnitude.” The Conservatives loyal to the old National Government, now on the Opposition benches, now heckled many of their former colleagues. Old grudges, half-forgotten slights, the spectre of shabby deals thought dead and buried now bubbled to the surface. The Labour and (and now some National Labour) elements, most of them loyal (at least now in theory) to Attlee, were more muted as they willed their leader to land a blow.

Attlee had spent a few minutes criticising the failure of the King’s advisors to little effect. “Parliament must be recalled early from its summer recess. The Dominions and the Commonwealth have been ignored, the Church of which His Majesty is Head openly scorned, and the needs of the working man, simple in his loyalty for King and country disregarded. Will the Prime Minister listen to and heed this debate, and recall this House for a thorough examination of this matter?” As he sat down, he noted that the noise was different; the Conservatives on his side were silent now, not supporting further debate. It was Labour MPs cheering now, chiding and nagging the Government to answer their leader’s question. Attlee looked across to Chamberlain, deep in conversation with the interim Conservative leader, Kingsley Wood. He then leaned over to Greenwood.

“The Tories?”

“What about them, Clem?” He had to raise his voice slightly as Patrick Donner, a Conservative rebel, was lauding the King in a pondering speech.

“They’re not ready.”

“The vote?”

“They don’t want one yet. They want their leadership contest out of the way first. This whole spectacle is a waste of time.”

Maxton was called to speak next. “Brace yourself,” Attlee heard one of the Tories on the Opposition benches say with mirth to one of his colleagues, “and try to remember that this mad Marxist is on our side in this one!”

“Mr Speaker, I beg to move, to enter into the record instead of ‘Statement by the Prime Minister,’ to ask a question…”

“…golly he’s going to do it,” Greenwood said in terror. “We’re not ready.”

Attlee didn’t move.

If the next words were ‘that this House has no confidence in His Majesty’s Government’ then they were in for a truly interesting day. But Maxton was toying with them. “It should read ‘that this House declines to give proper time for a situation which has been necessitated by circumstances which show clearly the danger to this country and to the British Commonwealth of Nations inherent in an hereditary monarchy, at a time when the peace and prosperity of the people require a more stable and efficient form of government of a republican kind, in close contact with and more responsive to the will of the mass of the people, and which fails to give effect to the principle of popular election."

There was a mix of heckling, laughter and groaning. Maxton delivered, in raising the heart rate of everyone, now relaxed into his speech. “I am concerned primarily in this House with the condition of the people and with the economic problems of our time. I am concerned, like the Leader of the Opposition, with the breaking down of class barriers, and I endorse fully his statement of two days ago on that matter. Here today we are confronted with an important political problem, probably one of the most important political problems that this House will have to confront during its years of existence, and to me it seems quite the wrong way to tackle it that there should be a general suggestion by those opposite that there is nothing wrong, that all is well, and that in this democratic House, elected by the people on diverse political principles, there should be a breathless hush, and that no suggestion of any division of opinion between the warring political principles upon which this democratic assembly is got together should be voiced. I have been sent here, election after election, standing as a Socialist, as was the Leader of the Opposition, telling our people frankly that we were Socialists, for the socialist system of society as a society of equality,” he paused, staring down at Attlee, “economic equality, social equality with neither Kings, nor courts, nor nobles, nor peers, for a no-class society. Here today we are asked to give our consent to the continuation of the outstanding symbol, the very head and front, of a class society. We would be prepared to say, although, on every occasion, during Jubilee celebrations, Civil Lists, Oaths of Allegiance, we have always taken what opportunities there were of putting forward our anti-monarchist views. I say to this House and to the country that after the experiences of these last few weeks republicanism has become more an issue of practical politics than it has been for many years. I know that a large proportion of the Members of this House will do their utmost to place monarchy back in the position it was in some months ago. I want you to remember your childhood's nursery rhyme, ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the King's horses and all the King's men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back again."

“Together again!” The House corrected him. There was chuckling, Maxton sat down, and the tension eased.

The rest of the debate was as petty as it was long, the Speaker increasingly gazing up to track the lengthening shadows as the drew in, and to look at the bored, weary expressions of the Parliamentary correspondents. Sensing that the energy of the Commons was spent, he called the Chancellor of the Exchequer to wind up the debate.

"The House will, I hope, bear with me for a minute or two, because it was my duty as Home Secretary, more than a quarter of a century ago, to stand beside his Majesty and proclaim his style and titles at his investiture as Prince of Wales amid the sunlit battlements of Carnarvon Castle.” It was, as ever, romantic and sweeping, and the House listened with a degree of respect. “There was and ever since then he has honoured me here, and also in wartime, with his personal kindness and, I may even say, friendship. I should have been ashamed if, in my independent and unofficial position. I had not cast about for every lawful means, even the most forlorn, to keep him on the Throne of his fathers, to which he only recently succeeded amid the hopes and prayers of all. In His Majesty I discern qualities of courage, of simplicity, of sympathy, and, above all, of sincerity, qualities rare and precious which will, if he is given the chance, make his reign glorious in the annals of this ancient monarchy. It would be the acme of tragedy should these very virtues lead only to a melancholy and bitter conclusion. Our hopes are, as yet, unwithered, and still I will assert that this reign will be cherished by history and in future ages, that even now he has the support, the loyal support, in the homes of his poorer subjects, and that they will ever wish from the bottom of their hearts for the success of this reign and his private peace and happiness and for the happiness of those who are dear to him.”

“I must say one word more, and I say it specially to those here and across this land. All of us have been most poignantly afflicted by what has occurred. Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford, we have no right, to look back. We must look forward.” He pounded the Dispatch Box to emphasise his intent. “We must obey the exhortation of the people to look forward. The stronger the advocate of monarchical principle a man may be, the more zealously must he now endeavour to fortify the Throne and to give to His Majesty that strength which can only come from the love of a united nation and Empire.”

He sat down, it was over.

As the new Prime Minister and his Chancellor filed out they exchanged tired glances. “We bloody survived it,” Lloyd George said with awe.

Churchill smiled like a delighted toddler. “My dear David, they had no choice. Attlee is the only one with a party. But he hasn’t got the seats.”

“While Neville…”

Churchill beamed like a child. “Has the seats if he but knew it, but not the party, not yet.”

====
GAME NOTES

So, with an apology for the delay (blame the disgraceful way in which property law is conducted in England and Wales) a slight fight of fancy for, dear reader, and I am not entirely sure that this debate would ever, could ever take place. I’ve allowed it, after some self-reflection, as I wanted to show the new administration bedding in, overplaying the lack of unity in the Conservative Party and Attlee still rallying his troops. While I do think that the minority administration would collapse at its first outing, I have deliberately allowed a random fluke, an illogical event.

There are two elements to this update which will hopefully begin to answer the speculation about the course of the AAR and how that relates to gameplay. The first is to history; in the main I have stayed reasonably close to what, I think, the key personalities would have done in this scenario. I have tweaked, as you know the, King's willingness to resist establishment pressure (but not his strength of feeling) and indeed declared that as a major POD months ago (in game and real world time). The AAR posits that King Edward would dig in and fight on for Wallis as spouse / morganatic sort-of-Queen. None of this is too far from the real OTL. I have based the reactions of key figures based on their OTL comments, so DLG and Sinclair willingly pull the Liberals to support HM, and some senior Tories (mainly on the right of the party, though this is by no means predictable) support the King out of principle / hatred of Baldwin and Chamberlain, and Labour, well, we'll look at the Labour defections (along with some others) in a couple of updates but I'm floating two senior defections. And so, here, we see the principal actors in our drama align themselves as I think they would. David Lloyd George would, as has been commented, have absolutely dragged the Liberals along (remember that their leader, Sinclair is on board) on this mad frolic, and I note the question marks hanging over Churchill. Would he, really, have thrown his lot in with the rebels? Well. I remain convinced that he would, or else that he would have been a prisoner of his early rhetoric (although he certainly counselled in private against the morganatic proposal, he was a public backer of the Kings right to explore the possibilities). I think that the timing of the OTL Abdication Crisis and our TL's Royal marriage crisis were, well, lousy for Winston; already viewed with distrust over the 1935 India debacles and hated by Chamberlain and his acolytes, embarrassed by the defence coordination and supply ministries not being given to him in 1936 he is, in the assessment of more than one of his parliamentary colleagues, "a man with a great future behind him". I therefore conclude that the pressures to try another reinvention and bring his remaining 'heft' to the rebels would have been irresistible. I could see a world in which he offers to behave, one last attempt to curry favour with Baldwin and Chamberlain, but with Baldwin gone, exhausted and ill, and Chamberlain openly contemptuous of him, I think that the romance of the rebellion would be too attractive. To reiterate in the historical analysis, I do think that this minority administration will collapse, it's just a case of when and who gets Downing Street after the almost inevitable election. In a couple of update we'll look at who in the big parties will back the rebellion (or otherwise).

The next analysis is the game. HOI4 and its focus trees are a mess; great in principle, but far too unyielding and inflexible in practice. The commentatAARs are correct, at this stage in the game I have "fallen Government" which saps PP and reflects the chaos that I have described in the update. The next step, the only one (disgracefully, IMO) offered by PDX, is to go down the (gags on the bile) "King's Party" route; I wont do this unless I conclude, at the historical analysis above, that it would happen. SPOILER ALERT: I didn't and I haven't reassessed this analysis. I will therefore have to use a console command at some point to get a new PM in place; I will not reveal what I did, and actually how I did it, as it will give a lot of the remainder of this part of the story away.

The key speeches, Lloyd George, Churchill and Maxton (who did indeed half-sing 'Humpty Dumpty' in the Commons) are drawn largely from their OTL speeches. Attlee's is a mash up of a couple of remarks; he has already given a speech so this is a flatter, tired effort.
You are impressively going down one of the strongest event chains for Britain, yet constantly hinting you're going to swerve at the last possible moment into the worst possible position they can be in (no stability, no pp, no dominions and pretty much no empire, and a year of wasted focus tree focuses).

Though I suppose it is still technically possible this is all a big build up to the King's Party and the empire being reformed under the iron grip of Churchill, LG and Edward. Basically the same end game as imperial federation, just with lots more blood...

You are essentially correct, Sir. The impact of this chaos, assuming an election in late '36 (that's not, really, a spoiler) will be a year of wasted focuses / foci (FFS) and wasted PP. As for the Dominions and Empire, well. There is of course, the looming event for the Dominions (inexplicably including India) which I will deal with when we get there; for now it will have to be enough for me to say that some gameplay tweaking will be required.

Alea iacta est! Now, how will the King respond? And more importantly, how will he respond to the inevitable failure of his initial response?

I'm keeping the King out of the spotlight for a bit; this bit of the story is firmly the property of the politicians, but he will feature as the problems stockpile.

That really is quite the sapping of the government's ability to act. And your writing highlights what the whole Political Power item is supposed to represent at all, but that generally doesn't come across.

Thank you - it was a rare moment when the game accurately portrayed what I think would happen. PP is probably one of the better HOI4 innovations, the ability to invest in government changes.

I found myself oddly gripped by Baldwin’s speech. The high drama of it all really came through (and I’m not exactly one for parliamentary drama, so bravo).

Now, what hell awaits us?

Thank you, I hate to focus too heavily on Parliament, but it is now the centre of the story. Hopefully you enjoyed Maxton's outing!

So now we are falling, but have not yet struck the rocks at the bottom. Though almost.

... of our discontent. And no lion in it, but a bunch of mewling kittens and barking dogs. I offer no predictions (in large part because I’m mainly unfamiliar with the game and this focus tree in particular) but am just along for the wild ride.

We're nearly at rock bottom. The analogy I would use is that 'the brakes are off'.

It was not so much the content of Baldwin's speech that struck me as it's relatively plain and simple delivery. I heard strains of 'Pagliacci'... I wish the old man peace in his few remaining days.

So we go to round two with body-blows struck but no decision. We are after all in the same position, with the same simple choices: either the King yields or... well, if a minority government comes in and loses a vote of confidence then we are right back in the same place. There appears to be no way out so long as principle holds stronger than ambition in the party leaders. I'd be tempted to say something snide about Chamberlain but I do think he has his principles. What he wil lsay or do when it dawns that he will never hold power unless he compromises... well, in OTL he was known to be willing to compromise. Here, I think he will hold and hope to deal with a successor.

Only if a leader of a major party yields and forms a government - assuming he could take his party with him to such a decision - or the King yields, can this be resolved. Unless of course a minority government is formed and some great issue causes the nation to rally behind it, which could postpone things a bit.

Or unless the King simply says, 'Hang you all and damn the consequences, I will not yield. Work it out!' In which case... what? How many minority governments fall?

So the cycle of collapsing governments continues, or the King yields, or a great crisis sustains a minority or... what? There is nothing but love of country and tradition to impel the King to yield, and if he ignores that - how, precisely, can they force him short of ending the monarchy?

All very apposite points @Director. I think that the election is this TL's Rubicon. The King's advisors can swerve, with decreasing credibility, around the issue of confidence in the Commons but an election after which the rebels will still be huuuuuuugely unlikely to command a majority is incendiary.

Given all Baldwin did in the early part of his career it is a shame he faced this test right at the end when he was so reduced. Then again all political lives end in failure unless cut off midstream, as the quote almost goes, so it was never going to end well for him regardless.

I remain mildly surprised at Churchill's part in this, support and sympathy for the King certainly, but it is hard to square the threatened political tricks with his love and respect for parliament. When things get dirty, as they undoubtedly will, I suspect there may be regrets. Or he will just 'cross the floor' again as he so often did and rejoin the mainstream.

DLG however is doubtless in for the long hall, I have no doubts he is a man who would set fire to a kitten orphanage if he thought it would get him a sniff of power,

Hopefully I have at least offered why I have gone for Churchill as a rebel, @El Pip - the loathing of Chamberlain, Wilson and (to a point) the Halifaxes of this world is why the timing of this is so critical. If the OTL Abdication Crisis had happened in 1934, would he have been a potential rebel? Not sure, but by 1936 I am convinced that it is a realistic prospect.

Late arrival, but I've caught up now. Things are certainly looking interesting in this timeline...


An OOC observation here: IIRC the event where the government resigns is the point-of-no-return in this event chain. Our esteemed author can of course mod things if he wishes, so this isn't hard proof of anything, but by vanilla mechanics the King can no longer change his mind and abdicate. We're now locked out of every political branch that is not A King's Party - although technically there's no requirement to ever actually take AKP, so we can potentially linger in this limbo indefinitely...

Welcome @Akela - pour a glass of brandy / port, take an armchair, a valet will be by in a moment to offer you a newspaper.

You're right, of course, hence my point in which I concede that at some point I will have to tweak the game. I will declare what I do (and how I achieve it) but this is a failure of HOI4; it doesn't reflect that a King's Party is nowhere near the only possible outcome.

Thats what I'm saying. Either the author is throwing loads and loads of red herrings or they're going to stay in the legal limbo forever.

Or, as mentioned, modding. Which has always been my working assumption, I don't see the author limiting his options just because Paradox have made some poor choices (that's life choices and game design choices).

@El Pip - I'll declare my hand, chaps, when we get there!

Nah. HOI4 is a wonderfully serious and realistic game with modding totally unnecessary...

Just look at Italy.

@TheButterflyComposer - or Turkey (starts weeping). Post SCW is a also pretty rubbish...
 
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Bullfilter

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Hitler must be guffawing with poisonous laughter by now. He should be bringing forward all his revanchist plans. Especially if France chooses this time to descend into its own political crisis. Then Lindbergh wins the next Presidential election in the US. Hell is approaching and the West will probably all be jumping into their own hand baskets for the ride.
 

DensleyBlair

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A revealing look at the utter mess Westminster is in, packed with the usual crowd being their usual selves. Churchill as chancellor is horrifying so let’s hope the government falls soon before he can get the gold back out. But then I suppose it could have been worse and he could’ve gone back to the Home Office… Meanwhile DLG is looking suspiciously like Michael Foot. (Frankly, would that it were Foot in power instead…)

As for the opposition, such as it is… Glad to see Stanley making a go of it in the Tory race, tho no doubt he’ll be going nowhere. I reckon he’d be a decent war leader anyway, thinking about what may be in the future. Attlee meanwhile is being characteristically prudent. I wonder if he has a plan beyond ‘don’t fuck anything up.’ Not that this isn’t valuable, of course, but it would be fun if he could turn this to his advantage somehow.

While I do think that the minority administration would collapse at its first outing, I have deliberately allowed a random fluke, an illogical event.
I cannot help but feel (as it stands, notwithstanding the undoubtedly rapid pace of coming developments) that a possible alt-historical hypothetical within this world would be, ‘What if Maxton asked the other question?’. As i say I suspect it may soon be irrelevant anyway, but these ‘flights of fancy’ do make for intriguing counter-counterfactuals.

Hopefully you enjoyed Maxton's outing!
What can I say? In his admittedly eccentric way, the man does make some solid points. :p
 

Director

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I read that last update with pleasure. No expert on the personages am I, but it all rang true to my ear. I'll offer that Churchill might be going along with the rebels because they offer him a chance to get something done about Hitler, whereas Chamberlain would not. Lloyd George cannot last (friends come and go but enemies accumulate) and I see no one who will succeed in squaring the circle. So... chaos.

As remote as the possibility is, we should all bear in mind that Parliament does have the power, sanctified by precedent, of declaring that Edward is not King. I do not think I see a modern Cromwell among the members of this House, and yet... if the King remains intransigent, if the Church will not compromise, if no government can form and keep the confidence of a majority...

Well, this is politics and not a birthday party, so someone is going to think of it. You don't have to draw a gun to make a credible threat out of owning one, but if you draw it you had better be ready to use it. In that vein (heh) has anyone gotten a reading on what Bertie thinks? It would be a mistake to take his quiet shyness for pliability.

If Edward decides to go forward with the marriage and the Church refuses to officiate - won't that be an enormous, embarrassing and politically disastrous pie-in-the-face? Can he get someone in the COE to defy Canterbury and officiate?


What's going on overseas? Are Hitler and Mussolini moving? The Ethiopian fiasco should be over at this point and the US presidential and congressional elections in full swing. Roosevelt should win - in our timeline it was one of the greatest electoral sweeps in history - and put the Democrats firmly in power though fixed on domestic issues. And what's going on in France? Have they realized that the coming crisis with Germany may fall on them - alone?
 

Captured Joe

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If Edward decides to go forward with the marriage and the Church refuses to officiate - won't that be an enormous, embarrassing and politically disastrous pie-in-the-face? Can he get someone in the COE to defy Canterbury and officiate?
A modern day "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest" moment, perhaps!
 

Cromwell

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Well the new regime is over the starting line. I must confess to being a little disappointed we won't be seeing a King's Party though. :p
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Turkey (starts weeping). Post SCW is a also pretty rubbish...
It is fantastically easy for Italy to form the new roman empire, as a thrilling new documentary shows.

As for Turkey, paradox has given them three different ways to reform the ottoman empire, and I suppose a hidden fourth way (surrender to Greece and help build the Byzantine Empire back up again).
 

El Pip

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This is a bit of luck for DLG and Churchill, a bit more time before the election is exactly what they need. That said the King's quixotic endeavour is still a minority interest and when it becomes apparent just how much the Dominions dislike this plan it is only going to become more unpopular, the Empire was popular and the idea of the King putting himself before that will swing quite a few people against him.

I suppose I can see Churchill leaping onto this endeavour, a bold principled leap that he hasn't properly thought through is within character. But I maintain when DLG starts suggesting dark tricks to buy even more time and further delay the election his current good humour will not last. Hell it might not last him finding out exactly how chummy DLG is with Hitler, that would be a meeting to look forward to.

I'm sure the King can find a priest to marry him, whether said priest survives in the Church after the ceremony is a different question. Certainly Rev Jardine who married him in OTL was kicked out of his parish and felt the need to leave the country after he had done the deed. A more relevant question is will the Archbishop and Synod trigger the ultimate option and kick the King out as Supreme Governor of the Church, he would be blatantly breaking Church Law so it would be justifiable and frankly something the Church would have to do if it wanted anyone to take them seriously ever again. But if the King has decided to not marry until this is sorted then perhaps it never comes up, because @Le Jones is going to have to pull some incredibly implausible rabbits out of hats for a pro-Royal Marriage party to emerge from the inevitable election.
 

Bullfilter

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As remote as the possibility is, we should all bear in mind that Parliament does have the power, sanctified by precedent, of declaring that Edward is not King. I do not think I see a modern Cromwell among the members of this House, and yet... if the King remains intransigent, if the Church will not compromise, if no government can form and keep the confidence of a majority...
Good point. And in a different kind of context, a previous Edward was also removed via a Parliamentary act (the Fifth, by Richard III). A Titulus Regulus 1936 to be passed?
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Hell it might not last him finding out exactly how chummy DLG is with Hitler, that would be a meeting to look forward to.
Funny dinner parry scene.

It looks like we have the three problems. The empire, the church and the Parliament.


It's HOI4 so the church is irrelevant. Easy peasy, author can write around pretty much anything.

The empire is going to split under normal HOI4 rules, and then have to be conquered back using king party powers. But the author isn't going to do that, so I'm not sure what's going to happen. I imagine South Africa and King's Canada will try to leave, and SA might even succeed cleanly. But HOI4 has it that everyone leaves, except the African colonies and Egypt. And I think bits of Asia under British control (Malaysia too?).

In any case, a much reduced and weakened empire with no chance against Hitler.

As for parliament, the problem can be resolved, as everyone already knows, by anyone opening their trap and calling for a vote. What happens after that may be a total mess, but given the above two problems being far worse, I'm sure the british will give this one total priority...
 

Bullfilter

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In any case, a much reduced and weakened empire with no chance against Hitler.
Yes, weaker in one sense, but also without having to defend so many far-flung outposts, either, which must be some mitigation? And what of their chances if they side with Hitler? But that would presumably tear the (in universe) King’s Government apart, wouldn’t it? This is one thing DLG and Winnie should presumably be a great distance apart in.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Yes, weaker in one sense, but also without having to defend so many far-flung outposts, either, which must be some mitigation? And what of their chances if they side with Hitler? But that would presumably tear the (in universe) King’s Government apart, wouldn’t it? This is one thing DLG and Winnie should presumably be a great distance apart in.
That's true. In game; it's very easy to side with Hitler and indeed a good idea, because you'll be going to war with the US at some point to reclaim the colonies.