Echoes of A New Tomorrow: Life after Revolution in the Commonwealth of Britain

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stnylan

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Thank you :)

As it turns out I'm now stormbound (fellow Brits may be likewise) so my family stay is going to be extended by a few days. The plus side (of a sort) is that with the horrendous weather will no doubt come an opportunity to get the update out anyway. Something to look forward to as the coming storm plays out summer to a sopping anticlimax.

Stay safe all. Check back in a couple of days for the Kenya update.
I may catch the edge of it, though it can be hard to tell how much we'll get impacted.Stay safe.
 
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Le Jones

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Right, caught up on the update and the usual threadwars after anyone writes a good chapter to their AAR.

Yes. And watch, with the original cast, live on stage.

She found out they were getting an award, hijacked it so she was presenting it to them and forced them to act her self-insert fanfic out with her as the fictional PM. Live on air.

It is...something, let me tell you.

You're right - it is up there with "it's a royal knockout" and the early Brit Awards as something that you half-believe you've dreamed (after a heavy toasted cheese supper - another UK TV reference). It is catastrophically bad.

Yes Minister is a really good show for education because they made up a department all about administering the rest of goverment (so they could do topics on anything). You hate the civil service on principle, until they suddenly are the only ones thinking long term and have to fight a dangerous (popular) poltical decision for the sake of the country (or at least the goverment).

Yes Prime Minister is a really good (depressing) show on the reality of politics and goverment. How he got the job in the first place is some first class party games (and worthy of a double length Christmas special) but following the high of that, things get pretty bleak pretty quickly behind the jokes. Not just because there is a greater sense of peaking behind the curtain and seeing the awful truth of things but because by that time, Hacker is actually pretty damn good at fighting the Civil Service and shows how much of a bastard you have to be to both stay PM and get things done.

So I love Yes Minister and it's successor, and "Party Games" is a wonderful episode, the bit where Hacker thinks Sir H is dying is just so well done. Having bounced around the public sector intermittently, there are still traces of it. Having seen the interplay between some senior types and their staffs, the tradition is still strong!

They certain,y grow on you, and I remember still the firs time I watched the first episode, knowing that I was watching something great as Sir Humphrey enters for the first time. Hacker is a bit of a boob in the first series but fairly likeable, and there are hints already of potential within him, whereas Appleby springs fully formed as the modern classic of a magnificent bastard. Add Bernard in for relief and a gobetween and they were onto a winner from the off. Truly they were fortunate to get a man who could say a lot of speeches very well, and a man who could respond without speaking at all.

I actually feel very sorry for Paul Eddington that he didn't receive an award for his portrayal. For Sir H to be effective, you need a good opposite number and Eddington (particularly as the series develops) nails it.

I was watching Hawthorne in the Madness of King George the other week, and he is very very good. Had never realised he was Sir Humphrey. Loveable boob is a good way of characterising Hacker as I've seen him so far.

Another favourite - and perfectly cast. Rupert Everett (usually a pompous ass playing pompous asses) is excellent as Prinny, and Ian Holm is also excellent. My favourites are Julian Wadham (Pitt) and John Wood (as a fantastically sinister Lord Chancellor).
As it turns out I'm now stormbound (fellow Brits may be likewise) so my family stay is going to be extended by a few days. The plus side (of a sort) is that with the horrendous weather will no doubt come an opportunity to get the update out anyway. Something to look forward to as the coming storm plays out summer to a sopping anticlimax.

It's just very, very windy here on the South Coast. Mercifully the children can (just) enjoy the garden, so my sanity remains...
 

TheButterflyComposer

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after a heavy toasted cheese supper - another UK TV reference

I'm not entirely sure what they were thinking for that episode, other than perhaps they wanted to see how filthy they could get for very early seventies comedy, and to actually show Mainwaring as Napolean.

So I love Yes Minister and it's successor, and "Party Games" is a wonderful episode, the bit where Hacker thinks Sir H is dying is just so well done.

The writers often wrote a line reaction for Eddington, and then next to it write (you don't have to say this Paul) and just keep the reaction silently written across his face.

I actually feel very sorry for Paul Eddington that he didn't receive an award for his portrayal. For Sir H to be effective, you need a good opposite number and Eddington (particularly as the series develops) nails it.

I feel sorry for him for that, and moreso because he was dying of a horrifically painful and wasting disease for much of the making of the show, which is why later on they have him mostly sat in various comfy chairs having *just come* from somewhere. Good enough that you wouldn't really notice if you weren't told, but sad both for the man and because had this not been the case, they would have carried further with the show and probably have Hacker fight an election campaign as PM.

As for the storm, Manchester is stormy as expected, though I don't believe the north west has seen flooding yet, which is what people were truly afraid of.
 

DensleyBlair

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Right, caught up on the update and the usual threadwars after anyone writes a good chapter to their AAR.

Excellent stuff. And just in time for the next one.

You're right - it is up there with "it's a royal knockout" and the early Brit Awards as something that you half-believe you've dreamed (after a heavy toasted cheese supper - another UK TV reference). It is catastrophically bad.

Maggie trying to be likeable… *shudders*

Another favourite - and perfectly cast. Rupert Everett (usually a pompous ass playing pompous asses) is excellent as Prinny, and Ian Holm is also excellent. My favourites are Julian Wadham (Pitt) and John Wood (as a fantastically sinister Lord Chancellor).

The cast is indeed impeccable and I agree Holm is excellent. I'm also quite partial to the young Adrian Scarborough's performance as Fortnum, and Rupert Graves of course as Greville.

I may catch the edge of it, though it can be hard to tell how much we'll get impacted.Stay safe.
It's just very, very windy here on the South Coast. Mercifully the children can (just) enjoy the garden, so my sanity remains...
As for the storm, Manchester is stormy as expected, though I don't believe the north west has seen flooding yet, which is what people were truly afraid of.

I'm in Wales at the moment so thought I'd have a worse time of things, but thankfully most of the rain passed us by and we just got the winds. Had been planning to drive back to Somerset this afternoon, but didn't seem the best idea considering how reliant that route is on a great big bridge.

Anyway, update time.
 
Land Before Nation: Crisis and autonomy in Kenya, 1950–56

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ECHOES%20HEADER.jpg



LAND BEFORE NATION
CRISIS AND AUTONOMY IN KENYA, 1950–56

GEORGE PADMORE
1956



The area that would become Kenya first came under British control in the aftermath of the infamous conferences in Berlin (1884–5) that sparked the so-called ‘Scramble for Africa’ and formalised European colonialism on the continent. Between 1895, when the British first seized land on the Kenyan coast held by the Sultan of Zanzibar, and 1950, when Kenya was granted self-rule as an Autonomous Commonwealth within the British sphere, the East African territory was controlled directly the British. Relations with the native peoples were initially characterised by both hostility and cautious welcome. At the close of the 19th century, the British colonial rulers sought to assert their control over Kenya through campaigns of force intended to push the African populations into submission. Random killings of Africans were common, and any lingering welcome for the British amongst the Kenyan tribes soon evaporated. The Kikuyu people attempted to mount some resistance to the British punitive expeditions, but their resistance was met with a brutal response from the settlers, who carried out executions and retributive attacks against the Africans. This violent campaign, combined with the arrival of famine and disease soon after the British, had predictably dire results for the indigenous population. By the start of the 20th century, the African population in Kenya had been significant losses of life and property.


Colonial dominance is an exercise of power relations between dominant and subordinate groups. This relationship is maintained through instances of both overt violence and softer coercion. In the years before the Great War, European settlers embarked upon a programme of mass reallocation that saw the African populations dispossessed of their own land. This land, often the most fertile in any given area, was appropriated by white settlers, usually from Britain or South Africa, who in effect installed themselves as feudal lords over the African peoples. This relationship was only exacerbated in the years after the War, with the British government keen to resettle many ex-soldiers on Kenyan land. The rampant expropriation of land was met with resistance from the indigenous peoples, who organised the East African Association in 1921 to campaign for greater indigenous land rights. The EAA was banned only a year after its formation, and, in spite of the British Revolution of 1929, it would take until 1942 before another group, the Kenyan African Union (KAU), emerged as new advocates for reform. In the meantime, Africans (and Indians brought in to work on the new railways) were often rewarded with privilege and wealth if they collaborated with the British regime.


In 1929, the ruling Communist Party of Great Britain promised immediate self-determination and the promise of friendly cooperation for all British colonial subject nations. The removal of the CPGB from power in 1934 complicated this promise, and by the 1940s British decolonialisation remained limited. Following the expansion of the Anti-Fascist Wars into Africa in the early 1940s, ideas of African self-determination became widespread among indigenous populations. The International African Service Bureau had been founded in London in 1937, and as the Forties progressed acted as a coordinating group for African movements seeking to establish a presence in Britain. The IASB also promoted pan-Africanism, hoping to see close collaboration and warm relationships between newly independent African states. The KAU affiliated to the IASB in 1943, and after Ghanaian autonomy in 1945 began to ramp up pressure for Kenyan self-rule.



1935%20IASB.jpg

Members of the IASB speaking at Trafalgar Square, 1937.


Two years after Ghanaian autonomy, in 1947 leadership of the KAU passed to Jomo Kenyatta. Kenyatta had been active in the IASB since its formation, having previously travelled to London after the 1929 Revolution to lobby for Kikuyu land rights. He was well known to British officials, and after studying at the London School of Economics in the 1930s became acquainted with the Popular Front circle around Harold Laski. This close contact with the Commonwealth establishment served him well after his return to Kenya, and as leader of the KAU Kenyatta became the acceptable face of Kenyan self-determinism.


There is some debate surrounding the nature of Kenyatta’s meteoric rise. By the end of the 1940s, he was regarded as a national figure within Commonwealth Kenya, praised as the “Hero of Our Race” by the Kikuyu and well regarded by the Mosleyite Anglo colonial leadership. No doubt spooked by the unilateral declaration of autonomy that heralded Ghanaian independence in 1945, the British adopted a more conciliatory attitude in Kenya. Kenyatta was the man who would allow this conciliation to succeed. During his pre-autonomy years as leader of the KAU, Kenyatta espoused a gradualist programme that aligned with the interests of the Anglo presence in Kenya. In the aftermath of Mosley’s bruising butting of heads with the unions in Britain at the end of the 1940s, Kenyatta made pains to oppose worker action in Kenya, and repeated Mosleyite lines about the necessity of productivity for the creation of a viable Kenyan state. In recognition of his valuable service, Kenyatta’s reward was power. On 1 September 1949 the Bureau of Commonwealth Relations in London announced that Kenya would have autonomy before the end of 1950. On 1 May 1950, Kenya gained self-determination as an Autonomous Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta was appointed its first president.



1930s%20KENYATTA%20LSE.jpg

Jomo Kenyatta, left, President of the Autonomous Commonwealth of Kenya (1950–63) shown as a student at the LSE in the late 1930s.


Kenyatta’s Kenya, it soon became apparent, would not fulfil every promise of liberated African state. Although formed on a bed of Kenyan nationalism that accompanied self-determination (or, more particularly, a Kikuyu nationalism that excluded the Maasai people) Autonomous Kenya from its earliest years showed little signs of a true break with London. Most controversially, Kenyatta’s government wavered on the long-contested issue of land reform, which had first galvanised calls for freedom from British rule well before the 1929 Revolution. Nowhere was this conservatism on the land issue more evident than in the curious figure of Bruce McKenzie.


McKenzie was born in South Africa in 1919. Something of an adventurer, he had arrived in Kenya in 1944 after serving in the British Air Force in the North African campaign against Mussolini. Granted land by the Commonwealth administration, he became a successful member of the Anglo farmer class that made up the backbone of the economically-enfranchised Kenyan population. Even at the time of autonomy, white-settler led agriculture contributed over 80 per-cent of Kenyan exports, and almost single-handedly propped up the national economy. Kenyan soil is amongst the richest in the world, and much farmland is at an elevation that makes it possible for Europeans to reside comfortably. With autonomy on the horizon from 1945 onwards, the settler-farmer class feared for the security of their holdings – particularly those, like McKenzie, who had only recently come to East Africa following wartime service. Colonial administrators in London and Kenya realised that uncertainty over the question of land would hamstring the independence project, increasing the likelihood of a contested transfer of power out of British hands. This had the knock-on effect of making economic disruption more likely, which would have been disastrous to British interests in the region at a time when Bob Boothby’s Office for Economic Planning operated on the assumption of friendly links with emerging African markets.


In order to keep the good graces of the Anglo settlers while also giving the appearance of treating the issue of land reform, Kenyatta and the KAU struck a deal with Anglo representatives as part of the transfer of power between 1949–50 that would settle the issue of ownership. The Anglos were represented in these discussions by Bruce McKenzie, who within the space of only five years had become an influential figure within the white population. He had established numerous business interests in East Africa, apparently with the support of backers in both his native South Africa and also in Britain. This convergence of interests merits some speculation. In 1948, the National Party took power in the South African Union and, four years on from the death of Edward VIII, formally declared the country a presidential republic free from the continuing Windsor Monarchy. In the years after the institution of the republic, the National government constructed a racialist state that legally enshrined the oppression of the Black African class. At a time of anxiety amongst white Europeans in Africa, the emergence of a white nationalist South African state gave confidence to settlers wary of African autonomy (and the associated possibilities of Marxist government and the expropriation of white-held land).


South Africa and the British Commonwealth by no means enjoyed cordial relations, yet in the figure of Bruce McKenzie their interests coincided. Between 1944–50, McKenzie worked tirelessly to ensure the security of the Anglo position (and, by extension, white dominance) within Autonomous Kenya. The One Million Acre Scheme, announced in March 1950, did just this. Under the terms of the scheme, one million acres of white-held land would be offered up for purchase by unlanded Africans in an effort to redistribute the ownership of Kenyan agriculture. Africans wishing to take advantage of the scheme would be required either to buy the land with their own money, or to make the purchase with money loaned at a nominal rate from the British government, to be repaid over thirty years. This was agreed to by all parties: Kenyatta and the gradualist KAU; McKenzie and the Anglo farmers; and the British authorities in both London and Kenya. The eventual aim of the scheme was to see one million acres of white-held land (out of a total of 7.5 million acres) transferred to Black ownership by 1955. For the purposes of achieving this, the British government advanced Kenyatta’s new government a loan of 21 million pounds sterling. Responsibility for overseeing the scheme’s implementation went to Kenyatta’s Minister of Agriculture – one Bruce McKenzie.



1950s%20McKENZIE%20MOI.jpg

Bruce McKenzie with Vice-President Daniel Moi, late 1950s.


Amongst the Kenyan opposition, speculation is rife as to the likelihood of both McKenzie and Kenyatta being foreign agents. Some suggest that Kenyatta is a British asset, intimately friendly with the Mosleyite regime in London. Others suggest that McKenzie is working for either Britain or South Africa, and that Kenyatta is merely his puppet. The truth is probably far murkier, and will likely remain unknown for many decades at the least. What can be said is that, from the control of land and economic power to links within the civil service (controlled by Kenyatta loyalist Charles Njonjo, the new Attorney General) British influence remains ever present in Autonomous Kenyan society. This has caused no end of friction on the ground.


Since the end of the 1940s, the ambiguously anti-British approach taken by the KAU had been opposed by more radical, militant sections of the opposition. This fraction was drawn primarily from young Kikuyu who had been reduced to the status of squatters on their own land and resented the prevalence of collaboration with the British (and British-backed) authorities. In 1949, with the announcement of the formation of the commission that was to produce the One Million Acres Scheme the following year, militant Kikuyu organised themselves as the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army (KLFA). Unlike the KAU, the KLFA was prepared to use force to achieve its aims (freedom from British influence and the unqualified restitution of land to African populations). At the 1950s dawned, the KLFA were able to consolidate their position throughout the Kenyan highlands. Members demonstrated their commitment to the anti-colonialist cause by the swearing of oaths, a Kikuyu ritual that demonstrated loyalty to another person. Their first targets were generally other Kikuyu who collaborated with the British regime, and later with Kenyatta’s British-backed government.


The growth of the KLFA was problematic for Kenyatta, who only years before had been acclaimed as a Hero of the Kikuyu, and whose government remained generally popular amongst his people. He denounced the violent movement as a threat to the success of the autonomy project and reaffirmed the need for dedication to the Kenyan state and economy. Kenyatta also issued a blanket ‘cleansing oath’, leveraging his stature amongst the Kikuyu, to absolve any wavering radicals of their sworn oath to the anti-governmental cause. Initially, this strategy paid off, and for the first two years of Kenyatta’s presidency the KLFA was confined to small-scale guerrilla activity against settler-farmers in the Highlands.



1950s%20KLFA.jpg

KLFA guerrillas with livestock expropriated from settler-farmers, early 1950s.


This changed in October 1952, when KLFA soldiers assassinated Senior Chief Waruhiu, a prominent collaborator with the colonial regime and an outspoken critic of the militants among the Kikuyu chiefs. The assassination of Waruhiu was met by dismay in Nairobi, where Kenyatta became more vocal in his opposition to the KLFA and threatened reprisals against seditious villages. The KLFA remained undeterred, and continued with a low-level campaign against white farmers in the Highlands. This was not tolerated by the Kenyatta government, and on 25 October Charles Njojo authorised the declaration of a State of Emergency in Kikuyuland that granted heightened powers for the government to deal with the insurgency. On the night of 28 October, armed police carried out mass arrests of suspected KLFA soldiers across central Kenya. 187 Kikuyu were interned in Nyeri, while many remaining KLFA loyalists left their homes to set up camp in the forests of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. Arrests continued throughout the winter, but hostilities were relatively subdued and there were no further high profile incidents. Nevertheless, the State of Emergency remained.


On 26 March 1953, the tentative calm that had endured over the winter finally broke when the KLFA launched an assault on Naivasha police station, resulting in the release of 150 prisoners from an adjacent detention camp. Two days later, 76 KLFA soldiers were killed by Kikuyu loyalists, armed with machine guns, at Kiambu, just north of Nairobi. Thus began the bloodiest period of what was fast developing into a civil war in Kenya.


From the summer of 1953, the Kenyatta government reacted to the KLFA resurgence with an amendment to its already contentious land policy. In late May, Bruce McKenzie announced a policy of housing reform, more widely known in this country as ‘villagisation’. Presented as an attempt at modernising dwelling in Kenya along the pattern of social housing construction in Britain and elsewhere, villagisation entailed the forced migration of scattered rural populations, subsequently rehoused in newly built villages under the control of the government. Overwhelmingly, those targeted for rehousing were members of Kikuyu settlements suspected of being either KLFA agitators, or simply sympathetic to their cause. Concurrently, the Kenyatta government attempted to isolate the KLFA and ensure the loyalty of other Kikuyu groups by giving them priority within the One Million Acres Scheme.


By the end of 1953, with the Aberdare forests firmly established as a guerrilla war-zone controlled by increasingly well organised KLFA units, the number of arrests of suspected insurgents and sympathisers reached 100 thousand. This campaign of mass detention reached its peak in January 1954, when over 10 thousand Kikuyu men were arrested on the streets of Nairobi in what was called Operation Anvil. News of Operation Anvil reached anti-imperialist groups back in Britain in the spring of 1954, when the IASB published an expose of the plight of the imprisoned in Kenya – the vast majority interned in camps that were prone to famine and disease.



1954%20MAU%20MAU%20FIGHTERS.jpg

KLFA guerillas in the Aberdare forest, 1954.


Immediately, the KLFA cause was taken up by the left opposition in Britain. Socialist Front leader Fenner Brockway, in one of his last interventions as a member of the Assembly, demanded that the government commit to interceding with the Kenyatta ministry to restore peace in Kenya, outlining the Commonwealth’s commitment to upholding friendly relations and peaceful cooperation with its former colonies. Brockway’s intervention included a demand for meaningful land reform. Quickly, the Kenyan example became a cause célèbre that seemed to suggest that continued British exploitation and a tolerance for authoritarian government was endemic across the former Empire.


Mosley demurred, keen to stress a policy of non-intervention that respected the right of the Kenyan government to self-determination. In keeping to this line, he overrode the protests of International Secretary Philip Noel-Baker, who was committed to a settlement that included land justice. This dispute spelled the end of Noel-Baker’s time in government, and his replacement by Mosley protégé Kenneth Younger as part of a wider reshuffle in May 1954. Against the backdrop of continued sweeps of KLFA territory by Kenyan government forces throughout 1954–55, British opposition figures continued to question the extent of British involvement in the Kenyan Crisis. No answers were forthcoming, and we await them still. It will perhaps be a fruitless endeavour.


Presently, the situation in Kenya is bleak for those invested in the triumph of justice. The KLFA are weakened after a series of defeats in the second half of 1955, and the Kenyatta government enjoyed a publicity success in March of this year with the capture and trial of six men alleged to be KLFA leaders. By the admission of the advocate for the defence, the case against the Six was “childishly weak”, and their subsequent conviction has been protested by figures as diverse as President Nkrumah of Ghana and former President Nehru of the Indian Commonwealth. Today, with near enough the entirety of the Kenyan opposition either imprisoned or else otherwise subdued, it may only be concluded that autonomy has been little more than a sham cover for continued domination by the British government and its allies. The case of Kenyan freedom must remain on the lips of all presently engaged in the struggle for international liberation.


To all those sympathetic to the cause of African independence, ask yourselves: What use is a nation without land? What use is self-determination without freedom and justice? The Kenyatta regime is no more than Mosleyism with African characteristics. We must move beyond it, towards a true libationary doctrine free of the pernicious influence of European control.



George Padmore (b. 1903) is a Trinidadian writer and revolutionary. This text, first published in the journal International African Opinion, is adapted from a lecture delivered under the auspices of the International African Service Bureau’s Extramural Department in 1956.
 
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Been catching up with this over the past few hours - I’m deeply impressed at the consistently quality prose you’ve put out while writing in a variety of styles and sources. Good stuff man, good stuff.
 

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Another log for the fires of internationalism at some point in the near future. Also, the former empire remains surprisingly well-knit together, at least in Africa. We know that isn't the case in the former dominions, but perhaps this is a window of oppurnity to both expand the revolution and open some dialogue with the Canadians, Australians etc?
 

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So I have mentioned before one of the things I like best about this AAR is the historiagraphy as much as the history. This update is a case in point.

What I especially like is that, in the beginning, our writer is setting out his stall, as it were. I especially like how he introduces Kenyatta in quite positive terms. It comes across as a serious, thoughtful account of recent events. And then, within a few paragraphs at the end, the entire character of the article changes from a scholarly pursuit to a clarion for action. Not an action based on a short-term sense of anger, but an action based on a rational and long-thought out rage.

It is very effective.
 

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Been catching up with this over the past few hours - I’m deeply impressed at the consistently quality prose you’ve put out while writing in a variety of styles and sources. Good stuff man, good stuff.

Hey man, great to see you again! Glad to hear you've been enjoying catching up. Would love to hear any standout thoughts you have.

Another log for the fires of internationalism at some point in the near future. Also, the former empire remains surprisingly well-knit together, at least in Africa. We know that isn't the case in the former dominions, but perhaps this is a window of oppurnity to both expand the revolution and open some dialogue with the Canadians, Australians etc?

In hindsight I probably could have had some more fun with the specifics of how exactly the African colonies managed to stay so close together throughout the revolutionary period. The former Raj is markedly more independent in its affairs than the former(?) Black African colonies, which is probably a case of colourism in action on the part of the British administrators in the 1930s. The British sphere includes more or less the rest of the old empire, exercising various levels of autonomy and enjoying a vaguely defined relationship with the metropole.

The Sixties will see a lot of shifts as we start to navigate Third Worldism in a world with a polycentric Cold War. As bloc building remains the de facto method of international diplomacy, the precise nature of Britain's relationships both with notional allies and with rivals is obviously going to come more sharply into focus. A handful of flashpoint in particular will call into question the role of the 'syndicalist empire' quite soon.

Détente with the Windsor monarchy would be on the cards by the Seventies, I reckon. Purely because its outside of my immediate scope, and because it would probably derail me a fair bit, the domestic state of the former dominions isn't too well defined – except that South Africa–Rhodesia is still racist and the Australians are also pretty dodgy. That's something to expand in due course.

So I have mentioned before one of the things I like best about this AAR is the historiagraphy as much as the history. This update is a case in point.

What I especially like is that, in the beginning, our writer is setting out his stall, as it were. I especially like how he introduces Kenyatta in quite positive terms. It comes across as a serious, thoughtful account of recent events. And then, within a few paragraphs at the end, the entire character of the article changes from a scholarly pursuit to a clarion for action. Not an action based on a short-term sense of anger, but an action based on a rational and long-thought out rage.

It is very effective.

Thank you, I'm glad you found the shift manageable. Personally I'm always a bit wary trying to mix the personal with the academic; I think a lot of the time to ends up a bit neither/nor and runs the danger of falling flat. But in this case I think it suited the purpose, so happy to hear it seems to have worked.
 

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I have been waiting to hear more about decolonisation for a long time and... Wow, that post delivered. Your style of writing is so immersive yet doesn't skimp on the historical narrative.

To what extent are other powers watching this? For instance, would the USSR ever consider training or otherwise supporting the KLFA? I suppose that here, socialism doesn't quite provide the clarion call for decolonisation that it did for our world. Would rebels really be interested in debates over British revisionism, for instance? Lots to think about.
 

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I have been waiting to hear more about decolonisation for a long time and... Wow, that post delivered. Your style of writing is so immersive yet doesn't skimp on the historical narrative.

Thanks man, glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'd been wanting to write about Kenya ever since I read a twitter thread about Bruce McKenzie back around May. It seemed obvious that, bubbling up for most of the Fifties, the OTL Mau Mau emergency would prove a headache for Mosley et al.

To what extent are other powers watching this? For instance, would the USSR ever consider training or otherwise supporting the KLFA? I suppose that here, socialism doesn't quite provide the clarion call for decolonisation that it did for our world. Would rebels really be interested in debates over British revisionism, for instance? Lots to think about.

The US will be watching, but at this precise moment they're still wrapped up in the Pacific. This will change going into the Sixties. The USSR are currently tangled up in Eastern Europe (which we'll actually read about later this week) but no doubt in time we'll see something like a 'second scramble' as the Cold War powers move into the 'Third World' (or maybe even the 'Fourth World' ITTL?)

Without wishing to reveal anything before time, the British revisionists will get their say in Kenya eventually. Rebel Hayekian guerrillas in the global south would be an interesting twist on things, but will probably have to wait until the Seventies if at all. (I like Allende too much to go down the Pinochet route, mind. No doubt there'll be a battle over Chile with @99KingHigh when the time comes.)

_________________________

As promised I'll likely put the next update out over the weekend. Maybe Sunday, just to give anyone still waiting more of a chance to read the Kenyan chapter without worrying about falling behind. The next one is our last update before we get into the long awaited "part four", which gets pretty quickly into Mosley's downfall (yes, for real this time). We start with a Hobsbawm three-parter on 1956 and all that, before taking a look at the formation of Eurosyn and then getting onto Mosley. From there it's a brisk 20k word journey until we arrive at the sunny uplands of the Bevanite ascendancy.

Usually after finishing a part I'd do a recap/synopsis update. Still undecided on whether I'll work particularly to get that out 'on schedule', or whether I'll just get around to it in due course.

And just to give some idea of where we're ending up at the end of all this, as it stands I've got something like 8 chapters marked out still to write on the state of the world in the mid-Sixties, which will take in most of the usual topics. To repeat @Le Jones's generous offer in his outstanding A Royal Prerogative, if there are any fan favourite figures from the Sixties you'd like to see woven into the timeline between 1965–7, I'll happily do my best.
 
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Perhaps we can get a cricketing look-in?

Otherwise Shirley Williams seems like a potentialy interesting figure to pick up at the start of her political career?
 

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Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Roald Dahl.
Everyone from the 'british invasion', both generations.
Bertrand Russell.
David Attenborough.

Also, what happened to the City of London, which has more in-built protections than even the monarchy in parliment?
 

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Perhaps we can get a cricketing look-in?

I have to admit to cricket being a large gap in my sporting knowledge, but I can certainly brush up enough to include it within a more general sporting overview, perhaps? I'd be interested if you have any idea about how the game might develop during the Commonwealth era. I only have vague notions of the effect of a lack of public schooling, but that could be stereotyping on my part.

Otherwise Shirley Williams seems like a potentialy interesting figure to pick up at the start of her political career?

Certainly we can take a look at what Shirley is up to. :)

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Can do.

Roald Dahl.

Now this is a good shout. Everything from Tales of Childhood onwards would presumably be radically different. Seeing as his mother only kept him in Britain to go to public school, there is always the possibility the Dahl's just straight up emigrated back to Norway in the 1930s. But that feels like a bit too much of a cop-out. I'll have a think.

Everyone from the 'british invasion', both generations.

Naturally this is already in my plans. By both generations are you thinking 60s/80s, or are you splitting the 60s?

Bertrand Russell.

I have plans afoot for Russell.

David Attenborough.

Sure. I might add him into some stuff I've already got about the evolving CBC.

Also, what happened to the City of London, which has more in-built protections than even the monarchy in parliment?

This I could barely begin to imagine, frankly. Which is why it's been notably absent so far. Mosley had big plans for monetarist policies in the 20s, but I've no idea how they might translate into taking on the City. We can start on the assumption that the CPGB nationalised the banks (without compensation) between 1929–34, but after that it's a mystery to me. Perhaps you have a feeling for what might've been going on?
 

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As to cricket I have two thoughts, more about context than the game itself.

Firstly it is a game with a far greater rural/semirural following than urban. I think this has a certain potential to go political in the more controlled world of this Britain.

Secondly is is a game that laid very strong roots during Empire... roots that are starting to seriously flourish in the 60s in OTL. In this timeline there is no reason the same transformation of the game is about to take place, which also I think proffers an interesting dynamic.
 

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Now this is a good shout. Everything from Tales of Childhood onwards would presumably be radically different. Seeing as his mother only kept him in Britain to go to public school, there is always the possibility the Dahl's just straight up emigrated back to Norway in the 1930s. But that feels like a bit too much of a cop-out. I'll have a think.

Yes, big new money in the 20s, boarding school and wmpire business in 30s, fighter pilot and spy in 40s, writer from then on. Very well connected, very varied life.

alas, probably would leave England in childhood but would be interesting to see what hijinks hed get up to partying it up in Washington whilst also trying to convert and seduce his way through the crowd.

The problem with pop culture after the 50s is that everyone who would have risen to prominence has to not have any aristocratic or super capitalist background, which guts the Cambridge footlights and most 20th century comedy...as well as most famous academics and writers etc. The middle and working class figures would survive though, presumably. Will Russel would do very well in the new order.

This I could barely begin to imagine, frankly. Which is why it's been notably absent so far. Mosley had big plans for monetarist policies in the 20s, but I've no idea how they might translate into taking on the City. We can start on the assumption that the CPGB nationalised the banks (without compensation) between 1929–34, but after that it's a mystery to me. Perhaps you have a feeling for what might've been going on?

Oh, I don’t know...it's pretty much without precedent in british history for a new government to emerge and completely change/crush the city. The closest three circumstances are:

  1. The Norman conqeust, which led to the city getting lots of legal immunity, parliment seats and privileges
  2. The Civil War, where parliment first really found out how much power the city had gotten and Cormwell started dictating foriegn affairs, especially with the dutch, depending on how it helped the city. So a complete revamp of british society, law and goverment led to the city getting more powerful and established.
  3. The Dutch Invasion, where finally someone who knew about international finance and how to handle them came to the throne and redid some city deals and treaties. That being said, it also got its own stockmarket and exchange which led to basically running the world of finance within a few centuries.
I...don't know what would happen here. The City is set up and designed to not change regardless of who or what is in power, but this time communists are running the country so you'd assume something would change, especially as parliment and thus the special protection members, are now gone.

...maybe, perhaps, under mosley, the City did a deal so that they were basically Hong Kong in China, and capitalism under some form of goverment oversight thrived in the square mile limit. I can see mosely wanting it, I can see the city going for it, I can sort of see them both convicting everyone else that it needs to happen at least for a 'transition period' that under mosley would never end.

Of course, when he's gone...
 

DensleyBlair

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Firstly it is a game with a far greater rural/semirural following than urban. I think this has a certain potential to go political in the more controlled world of this Britain.

So I'll tell you what my first thought was when you brought up cricket. Back in second year, I was writing a short paper on the importation of English picturesque gardens to Wales in the late 18th century. One of the references I used I distinctly remember discussing the development of cricket in the context of the gothic and the picturesque, as well as linking cricket (with its boundaries and well-kept lawns) to the wider discussion about enclosure and exclusion that follows on from any investigation into landscaping.

I've just gone back and managed to relocate the reference paper, and the conclusions it draws are pretty fascinating. The main thing that interested me was the fact that cricket was more or less a folk game, once considered a great nuisance, later co-opted by country gentlemen because it looked good viewed from the house (the happy sight of men enjoying their leisure at the squire's allowance) and also encouraged the assiduous mowing of the level lawns. With the country houses taken into public use after the Thirties as apartment buildings, convalescent hospitals and so on, I could quite easily imagine some folk revival of cricket in this context.

What sort of impact this might have a few decades down the line, I'd have to give a little more thought.

Secondly is is a game that laid very strong roots during Empire... roots that are starting to seriously flourish in the 60s in OTL. In this timeline there is no reason the same transformation of the game is about to take place, which also I think proffers an interesting dynamic.

Cricket and Empire has already had a little outing with the mention of CLR James and Learie Constantine, so canonically it is at least still being played at international level somewhere. And come to think of it, I think it's established that Constantine was playing in Lancashire in the Thirties. Perhaps cricket becomes a very regional thing, with strong uptake in the traditional hotspots but limited national coordination and little impetus for a national side? My feeling actually is that by the Seventies some sort of "Commonwealth" (or likely England) team could be put together to do a sort of goodwill tour of Windsor Australia. Like Fischer–Spassky but with a revived Ashes, which I'd had ideas about doing with snooker anyway. Maybe I'll hold off on a cricket overview until "book two" and do another sporting diplomacy piece…

Yes, big new money in the 20s, boarding school and wmpire business in 30s, fighter pilot and spy in 40s, writer from then on. Very well connected, very varied life.

alas, probably would leave England in childhood but would be interesting to see what hijinks hed get up to partying it up in Washington whilst also trying to convert and seduce his way through the crowd.

There's also that fact that he was a pretty unpleasant person when it comes down to it. I've been planning already for some opposition groups towards the end of the Sixties, so maybe I'll fold him into that stuff. Without going too much into the truly dark territory, that is.

The problem with pop culture after the 50s is that everyone who would have risen to prominence has to not have any aristocratic or super capitalist background, which guts the Cambridge footlights and most 20th century comedy...as well as most famous academics and writers etc. The middle and working class figures would survive though, presumably. Will Russel would do very well in the new order.

This is something I've been quite excited about since the start of the project, tbh. Python and the Goodies are maybe out, although the Goons would I guess still be around – even if not on the CBC in the Fifties – so there'll be something of that tradition established somewhere. Obviously Moore, Cook and Sellers are already canon with The Red Adder. In book two things get easier because we can bring in Victoria Wood to put everyone in their place.

Willy Russell is a good shout, and a bit later there's obviously Loach and Leigh and so on to come. I'll probably also bring in people like BS Johnson and a few others from the working class avant garde. The class thing is somethign I've been interested in because with stuff like Beynd the Fringe you have all these middle-class kids who probably would've been civil servants or whatever, but they were a few years too late so ended up at satire. Here the switch takes place a generation earlier, so you end up with people who would've been bourgeois actually just being like everybody else.

That said, one of my all time least favourite genres of British comedy is the sort of BBC-friendly "hackneyed class analysis as stand-up routine" stuff that was popular around the last decade, so I'm very happy to establish a more interesting course in the long run.

...maybe, perhaps, under mosley, the City did a deal so that they were basically Hong Kong in China, and capitalism under some form of goverment oversight thrived in the square mile limit. I can see mosely wanting it, I can see the city going for it, I can sort of see them both convicting everyone else that it needs to happen at least for a 'transition period' that under mosley would never end.

For ease let's just say this is what went on. Mosley would definitely go for it, and being in charge of overseeing the CPGB economic restructuring (talk about fox in charge of the henhouse…) there'd be little any of the communists could really do to stop him. I will probably revisit this once things have settled down a bit in the Seventies.
 

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So I'll tell you what my first thought was when you brought up cricket. Back in second year, I was writing a short paper on the importation of English picturesque gardens to Wales in the late 18th century. One of the references I used I distinctly remember discussing the development of cricket in the context of the gothic and the picturesque, as well as linking cricket (with its boundaries and well-kept lawns) to the wider discussion about enclosure and exclusion that follows on from any investigation into landscaping.

I've just gone back and managed to relocate the reference paper, and the conclusions it draws are pretty fascinating. The main thing that interested me was the fact that cricket was more or less a folk game, once considered a great nuisance, later co-opted by country gentlemen because it looked good viewed from the house (the happy sight of men enjoying their leisure at the squire's allowance) and also encouraged the assiduous mowing of the level lawns. With the country houses taken into public use after the Thirties as apartment buildings, convalescent hospitals and so on, I could quite easily imagine some folk revival of cricket in this context.

What sort of impact this might have a few decades down the line, I'd have to give a little more thought.
Along these lines one should remember that there was and remains a flourishing village cricket scene.
 

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Along these lines one should remember that there was and remains a flourishing village cricket scene.

Yes this is pretty much my thinking. My intuition is that this would continue to thrive (perhaps even more so than nowadays, what with expanded land rights), but there would be less of a drive towards “professionalisation” in whatever form it may take.
 

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Yes this is pretty much my thinking. My intuition is that this would continue to thrive (perhaps even more so than nowadays, what with expanded land rights), but there would be less of a drive towards “professionalisation” in whatever form it may take.
If you can get hold of it I might recommend John Major's history of early cricket More Than a Game. If you are not already aware of it.