BigBadBob

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Brilliant stuff, as usual! The opening and closing credits were particularly delightful. Couldn't help but sing them out loud (albeit, I stuck to the original, high-pitched voice, instead of attempting to mimic a choir).

I do have an in-depth look at the alt-Beatles in the works

I'm going to make a wild guess, and say Taxman may not be in this version's repertoire.
 

DensleyBlair

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Brilliant stuff, as usual! The opening and closing credits were particularly delightful. Couldn't help but sing them out loud (albeit, I stuck to the original, high-pitched voice, instead of attempting to mimic a choir).

Thank you, Sir Robert. All attempts at singing along are gratefully appreciated.

I'm going to have to think of something else to send up for the post-Mosley years, seeing as Red Adder has been so generously tolerated.

I'm going to make a wild guess, and say Taxman may not be in this version's repertoire.

A very astute guess. If only Paul had developed those late period outtakes about Enoch Powell…
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Yes minister, presumably to come full circle.

As this is the induction of ck3 into aarland awards, it wouldn't be nice to see some more people go vote for them, however I do realise (and I said this myself on the thread) that at present that's quite hard as you can literally be reading and active in all 55 CK3 AARs and thus not want to choose..
 

DensleyBlair

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Yes minister, presumably to come full circle.

Hmm, maybe. Although it might just end up being Dick Crossman's diaries with a few jokes sprinkled in. if I could figure out why it would exist, something like The New Statesman might be quite fun in the Seventies.

As this is the induction of ck3 into aarland awards, it wouldn't be nice to see some more people go vote for them, however I do realise (and I said this myself on the thread) that at present that's quite hard as you can literally be reading and active in all 55 CK3 AARs and thus not want to choose..

I feel like we're in a slightly strange period at the moment, where there are literally hundreds of great AARs out there and things are nice and lively, but at the same time being back to school season a lot of people have less time to go through and do the processing work a ballot requires. (Maybe. I might be overthinking it.) Either way, autumn slowdown is upon us.
 
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El Pip

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I'm still failing miserably to catchup on this, so I decided I'd just read the most recent one and try to wing it. This proved a wise decision as the Red Adder remains excellent (I read a previous one after you won one of your many weekly awards) and pretty much stands alone as a very entertaining read. Fine casting choices and as @Le Jones has said, the opening and closing lyrics are absolutely bang on and wonderful to sing-along with.
 
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DensleyBlair

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I'm still failing miserably to catchup on this, so I decided I'd just read the most recent one and try to wing it. This proved a wise decision as the Red Adder remains excellent (I read a previous one after you won one of your many weekly awards) and pretty much stands alone as a very entertaining read. Fine casting choices and as @Le Jones has said, the opening and closing lyrics are absolutely bang on and wonderful to sing-along with.

Cheers Pip. It’s a decent time to just go for it and take the plunge, seeing as Mosley’s just shuffled off. Join us as we head into the brave new world…
 
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DensleyBlair

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Could I ask a favour of any of the naval specialists reading for some advice on what sort of ships might be involved in a routine Soviet patrol of the Baltic c. 1965, whether they might be frigates, corvettes or what have you? It's a minor detail but as we all know not my area, so a pointer would be very appreciated.
 

El Pip

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Could I ask a favour of any of the naval specialists reading for some advice on what sort of ships might be involved in a routine Soviet patrol of the Baltic c. 1965, whether they might be frigates, corvettes or what have you? It's a minor detail but as we all know not my area, so a pointer would be very appreciated.
For a quiet routine patrol something like a Petya the Soviets designated it a "sentry ship" which sounds about right. They were small light frigates for sub hunting and patrol work, no missiles just old school guns and torpedoes. If instead you want something really small then a Poti corvette would do it, fast little 500t ships for coastal patrol, odd jobs and second line work.

They all served in and around the Baltic so pick the number you like best. Because sadly they only got numbers not names, which was very Soviet but not very evocative. Even those names were invented by NATO for reporting purposes, the Soviets just game them a Project Number. :(
 

DensleyBlair

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Got another @99KingHigh special coming up later in the week, so with that in mind I'm going to put the first proper Bevan update up a bit early. Look out for it within the hour.
 
Enter Bevan (1961–63)

DensleyBlair

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ECHOES%20HEADER.jpg



ENTER BEVAN
FROM A GOVERNMENT DIARY

DICK CROSSMAN
1975



19 September 1961

It has finally happened: Aneurin has accepted the nomination of the People’s Assembly and taken up office as Chairman of the Executive Committee. Having defeated John Strachey at congress by 62 per-cent to 38 per-cent of the party vote, Nye is confirmed in his position and the direction in which our momentum heads is clear: it is to be an end to Mosleyism. We now anxiously await the dawn of “Bevanism” in its place.

I met with Aneurin this afternoon. He has offered to me the education brief, which I was very happy to accept. After fourteen years in political office, I have at last reached a ministerial appointment. I intend to honour the trust that has been placed in me, and shall endeavour to exercise my new role with humility and good sense. I am lucky to be able to count on a very dependable team, and I am looking forward to the work of tackling necessary reforms to the schools and universities of Britain, which have hardly been touched since the 1930s.

Overall it looks as though Nye will be undertaking something of a ‘clear out’ of the most ardent Mosleyites. Strachey has of course discounted himself from contention for a place on the Executive, and privately I think Nye is quite relieved that he will not have to make a show of asking him to serve for civility’s sake. Harold Macmillan of course tendered his resignation last month before undergoing surgery. He is now returned to health, but I believe he intends to retire and so this issue also is avoided. The mercurial Hilary Marquand has also been overlooked in favour of ‘new blood’. His policy of appeasement as far as the Mosleyite–Bevanite bust-up went has done him no favours.

Of those staying, Jennie [Lee, Bevan’s wife] is to take up post as Director of the Office for Economic Planning. Ken Younger has been rewarded for his support in some key intra-committee battles during the Strachey ‘era’ and has been moved to Dafacom [Chairman of the Committee for Defence and Anti-Fascist Action]. He is succeeded at the International Bureau by Fenner Brockway, who has been coaxed out of retirement as a show of goodwill to the independent socialist group. While I have no reason to discredit him on grounds of age, that he is almost 73 will perhaps raise a few eyebrows. Annie Maxton, Jimmy Maxton’s younger sister, has also been brought into government as Director of the Office of Employment. She again is only slightly younger than Brockway, and without wishing to suggest that I do not approve of the appointments – far from it, I am glad that the grand socialist voice is being heard at last – I do wonder how long before a younger generation of independent figures come to the fore. No doubt, Mosley’s targeting of the tendency at the start of the last decade has done them no favours, and I am left with the sense that we may soon see a realignment of the political landscape.

In our own camp, Bevan has promoted a number of younger talents. Peggy Herbison, the vocal Scottish Assembly member, succeeds Bevan in his former brief at [the Bureau of] Coal and Steel. Meanwhile the canny Ian Mikardo has been voted in as Chairman of the Assembly.

From the Popular Front, the Tribunites are also represented. David Lewis is the headline, having taken the Domestic brief. Barbara [Lewis] is at Transport and Infrastructure. Michael Foot starts at Trade and Reg Freeson (only 37 years old) takes Housing.
There is some speculation as to who will take the Presidency, having only recently resurfaced from irrelevance after years annexed to the Mosley dynasty. My understanding is that Nye likes the idea of a popular figure who might reinvest some legitimacy into the role. Who this might be is another question entirely.



1960%20BEVAN%20JENNIE.jpg

The Bevans triumphant.



24 September 1961

What would politics be without discord. Strachey it seems will not go quietly; his people in the Assembly, such as they remain, are threatening to withdraw their support for the ministry. They argue that the Mosleyite continuity has not been represented in government, and that the Party of Action is being betrayed. Furthermore, he has been briefing against us in the Daily Herald, which has been a minor embarrassment to the government. Nye is reluctant to adopt a high-handed approach and simply remind the editors of their obligations and instead proposes that we attempt to blindside the Strachey group by divesting all control of the paper. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. In this case, I believe this may well hold true.

The other matter, the possible split, makes little difference as far as legislative arithmetic is concerned. Strachey I think could tempt at most 75 people over to his group, but with support from the Popular Front and the independent socialists our position would remain secure. Outwardly Nye remains entirely unfazed. Privately, I would not be surprised if he were to encourage the split. The break-up of the Party of Action would be no bad thing for someone intent on pushing ahead with their own path.

Otherwise I have been settling into my own role quite well. Mosley’s push towards the scientific and technical schools has left our higher education system imbalanced, and there is in general terms (and after only surface level inspection) a gap between standards in innovation in the sciences and the humanities, which have been left to suffer over the past two decades. A modern socialist society requires cutting-edge ideas as well as cutting-edge technologies, and I propose that the government must support the free flow of ideas within our universities and colleges. Aneurin has already spoken about harnessing the ‘white heat of technology’ for peaceful means instead of in the aid of international political projects. I am optimistic that we will be well able to make a real difference, should our ideas be given careful attention and a decent application.



1962 STRACHEY.jpg

John Strachey, the Nine-Month Chairman, 1962.



28 September 1961

The question of the presidency has been resolved. Three days ago Nye met with the old Communist Wal Hannington in the hope of persuading him to take the position. Wal held the presidency once before in 1933, during the Troubles, then only 35 years old and having achieved astonishing success as the leader of the Unemployed Workers Union [National Unemployed Workers’ Movement] during the revolutionary years. After Mosley came to power he returned to his trade as an engineer and remained active within the Amalgamated Engineering Union, at one point as their National Organiser, but he has not held a political role in a generation. Of course, he is near enough the only one of his generation left nowadays, and the symbolism of appointing him is evident. Strachey’s supporters were not keen and went so far as to accuse Bevan of seeking to erase the entirety of the Mosley years by winding back the clock, which is patently ridiculous. Nevertheless, there was some tension with a section of the Popular Front who had their reservations about a CPGB man being made head of state. I cannot pretend that I did not consider this fact, but I came to the conclusion that Hannington’s standing as a popular figure outweighs his possible allegiance to Moscow. The matter resolved itself when Hannington accepted the nomination, following which Rose Cohen [the CPGB leader] expelled him from the party for collaborating with the government, which was more than a little amusing.

Whatever the ideological consequences, I hardly believe that we have admitted a fifth columnist into our ranks. I have every faith that President Hannington will execute the charges of his office with all of the talent that he has displayed throughout his career. Moreover, I am glad that the Executive has now been completed, and that the government can now get on with its business without having to worry about filling up spaces.



1929 HANNINGTON.jpg

Wal Hannington addresses a crowd in Hyde Park at the height of the Revolution in 1929.



12 October 1961

Strachey has finally played his hand. His supporters have constituted themselves as the Group for Action, which seems to me an evident stab at the Mosleyite legacy. In the end 72 members went over to his side, which is about as many as might have been anticipated. Bevan in any case remains close to David Lewis and the Tribunites, and between his own supporters and the sympathetic wing of the Popular Front the government’s majority survives intact. The independents are to some extent an unknown quality, but in any event there remain about 250 Assembly members who may be relied upon to vote with us, which gives a majority of twenty-four.

Nye has been considering his response. I think he is leaning towards announcing a pact of cooperation with the Popular Front, which would at least solidify the government’s base in the Assembly. In the meantime, we must respond to the Group for Action with a positive declaration of our own. Bevan evidently does not care much for claiming the Mosleyite legacy associated with the call for ‘Action’, but we are nevertheless sensitive to the need for continuity on a national level. There has been one suggestion to revive the “Labour-Unionist Alliance”, which was active during the revolutionary years. Personally I think that something to the effect of the Labour Unionist Party would work neatly, but it remains to be seen where we will go.

I am disappointed that Strachey’s group persist in their wrecking; they lost the argument at congress, and it is disheartening that they have not given our executive a chance to prove itself on its own merits, much less shown it any hint of support. We have at least managed to convince the Herald that it is hardly a clearing house for partisan disputes, and that Strachey’s allies airing their grievances in the paper are in the interests of no one. The potential for embarrassment in the press has thus been significantly reduced. I hope that with this out of the way we might be able to get down to the brass tacks of governing.



1963 BARBARA LEWIS.jpg

Barbara Lewis, Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure.



13 June 1962

Bob Boothby has finished his term as Chairman of the Eurosyn Executive and is now back in Britain. This has caused a minor headache for Bevan, as there is a significant case for offering him a position in government, but there is none available. The two men have met already and Nye tells me talks were amicable. I gather from him, as well as the governmental rumour mill, that Boothby hopes to present himself as an ‘elder statesman’ who can help unify the party. If he could do so, it would be a considerable achievement. Perhaps he is the man for the job? His claim to being an elder statesman is at least, in my view, warranted by this point. In the last few years alone he has not only performed the work of getting Eurosyn off the ground admirably well, but he also oversaw the launch of the Galileo I satellite, which would be a glittering gem in any politician’s cap. Who could deny the man who led the effort that brought us so close to the stars?

The fact in the back of everyone’s minds at the moment is that the election is now less than a year away, and it is no certain thing how the government will do at the polls (excepting the fact that the governing coalition is likely to retain its majority). The great upset would be if Strachey’s group were to see a resurgence, although personally speaking I am not worried about this happening. They lack any sort of organisational capacity, and I would not be surprised if they are in fact disadvantaged by the election – though I do not wish to jinx it. The position of the independents after the election will be key; Fenner Brockway will doubtless retire for a second time, and Annie Maxton too I should imagine is unlikely to want to continue. Thus we will have to think carefully about how we approach the socialist bloc should we find ourselves in need of their support.

One possibility opened up by Brockway’s likely departure is, of course, that the International brief will be vacant. I dare say that should he desire it this would be Boothby’s for the taking.



1963 BOOTHBY.jpg

Boothby returns.



10 May 1963

The polls closed at ten o’ clock last night, and twenty-four hours later we now have a clear picture of how the Assembly is staffed. The headline news is that Bevan is safe, and so with little interruption to our position we will be able to finally embark upon the work of implementing our new programme free from the worry of losing our majority. As predicted, the Group for Action suffered heavy losses and secured only 32 seats; our Labour-Unionist Party by contrast has taken control of 161 seats, and so Bevan remains firmly in control of Mosley’s inheritance. How much of this was ultimately down to Boothby’s efforts as a mediator, I do not know, although I am certain that having him ‘onside’ has been invaluable merely for the fact that, so long as he is on our side, he is not on the other team. In any case he will surely be returning to government in the next few days, likely as International Secretary. There had been some talk of Philip Noel-Baker being brought back into government, although I understand that he instead is to be appointed the Commonwealth’s first Ambassador to the African Syndicate. This is an especially delicate task, and I am sure there will be many who sleep more soundly knowing Noel-Baker of all candidates is in control.

The Tribunites had a good night and continue to see their hold over the Popular Front secure itself. Those who were committed to the Mosleyite way are now few and far between, which I credit mostly to a ruthless control over the management of the party by the Lewises and their allies. They hold 138 seats, for all intents and purposes an equal force to our own. This I believe to be a good thing: for years we have persisted with the charade of maintaining a token opposition and actively discouraging people from taking up their voting rights. Yesterday saw the highest voter turnout since the revolution – well over half of those on the register – and I have a great hope that the fresh air of democracy is busy blowing away the cobwebs of the old regime. The socialist bloc is another beneficiary of this new enthusiasm for the democratic process, even if they are yet to translate that into a robust organisation. No real socialist leaders have emerged within the Assembly, and almost by default I think Annie Maxton may continue in government so as to give her bloc some representation within the coalition. In any case, she is an asset. One does wonder what effect it would have on our gentle democracy were the independent socialists actually to organise themselves. If Nye is successful I think we might be able to bring a good number of them over to our party. This is perhaps something to keep in mind over the next few years.



1960s NOEL BAKER.jpg

Philip Noel-Baker, the only person in history to have won an Olympic medal and received a Nobel Prize.



15 July 1963

Shocking news this morning. John Strachey has been forced to retire from active politics after suffering complications during an operation for a back problem. He has been left paralysed, which seems a cruel fate for a man always so vigorous in his work. Of course, we had our many disagreements in recent years, but I would not wish his injuries upon any man. The Group for Action have been greatly affected, needless to say. I do not suppose that they will wish to fold so soon after having established themselves, however small their representation may be. We will have to wait and see on that score. Nye was on the phone to Strachey’s wife this afternoon and has expressed his sympathy. I will be sure to send a card.
 
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And the 1963 election results:


—MAY 1963

LUPA[1]: 35.8% (161 seats) [-38]
PF: 30.6% (138 seats) [+3]
Ind. Socialist: 24.3% (109 seats) [+4]
GfA[2]: 7.1% (32 seats) [+32]
CPGB: 2.2% (10 seats) [-1]

Turnout: 58.6% (450 seats) [+4.0%]


NOTES
-------------------------------------
1: Labour–Unionist Party (Bevanite), continuing majority of the PLUA.
2: Group for Action (Continuity Mosleyite), John Strachey and allies.
 

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There is almost a painful naïvete to to these diary entries. So full of hope and promise. The historian in me fears for such optimism.
 
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A new dawn for britian. A glorious new dawn!
 

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Ah, the British level of "Bless your heart..."

I’m so very glad this was appreciated. :D

(In fairness, Strachey died during the OTL operation, so I did give him something.)

There is almost a painful naïvete to to these diary entries. So full of hope and promise. The historian in me fears for such optimism.

It’s the hope, every time. Always gets you in the end.

A new dawn for britian. A glorious new dawn!

That’s the spirit!
 
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The water will turn to lemonade!
 
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The water will turn to lemonade!

I love Crossman's diaries (or the few excerpts I've read) because they're just so full of that "It's the Sixties, man!" spirit that makes it quite hard not to want to just abandon all reason and jump right on board with the whole Tony Crosland-era Labour optimism stuff. (For the record, I've been there.) Like, when he was the Housing Minister he was writing about how excited he was to go and meet with local authority architects to talk about shopping precincts and CLASP systems and prefabricated structural panels for tower blocks (pre–Ronan Point anyway).

I have tried to avoid, I hope successfully, simply writing the Bevan years as a left-leaning Wilson years. But at its soppiest edges they share some of the same sort of blind faith in progress that was still just about possible by the middle of the 1960s. There's also a reason why I'm choosing to break for intermission in 1969, which is probably obvious, but (spoiler alert) a tone shift is coming. Lots of fun times ahead. Glad we've made it here at last.
 
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There is almost a painful naïvete to to these diary entries. So full of hope and promise. The historian in me fears for such optimism.
Absolutely this. Though I must admit my mind leaped to this diary being written as a voice-over, while on screen the actual events were playing out. So;

A modern socialist society requires cutting-edge ideas as well as cutting-edge technologies, and I propose that the government must support the free flow of ideas within our universities and colleges.
A group of government thugs are giving a professor and some students a thorough kicking for 'freely flowing' the wrong sort of idea.

Whatever the ideological consequences, I hardly believe that we have admitted a fifth columnist into our ranks. I have every faith that President Hannington will execute the charges of his office with all of the talent that he has displayed throughout his career.
Shot of Harrington at a 'dead drop' picking up his latest orders from Moscow.

We have at least managed to convince the Herald that it is hardly a clearing house for partisan disputes, and that Strachey’s allies airing their grievances in the paper are in the interests of no one. The potential for embarrassment in the press has thus been significantly reduced.
The thugs are discussing how flammable houses are and how easy it would be for children to have tragically fatal accidents. The staff of the Herald are on their knees promising to write whatever Nye wants if he will just spare their families.

I have a great hope that the fresh air of democracy is busy blowing away the cobwebs of the old regime.
The thugs are lighting their cigarettes with ballot papers, while their bosses decided how many representatives from other groups they will allow to be elected.

John Strachey has been forced to retire from active politics after suffering complications during an operation for a back problem. He has been left paralysed, which seems a cruel fate for a man always so vigorous in his work.
The thus are in the operating theatre, 'encouraging' the surgical team to cock up the operation if they want to carry on breathing.
 
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Absolutely this. Though I must admit my mind leaped to this diary being written as a voice-over, while on screen the actual events were playing out. So;


A group of government thugs are giving a professor and some students a thorough kicking for 'freely flowing' the wrong sort of idea.


Shot of Harrington at a 'dead drop' picking up his latest orders from Moscow.


The thugs are discussing how flammable houses are and how easy it would be for children to have tragically fatal accidents. The staff of the Herald are on their knees promising to write whatever Nye wants if he will just spare their families.



The thugs are lighting their cigarettes with ballot papers, while their bosses decided how many representatives from other groups they will allow to be elected.


The thus are in the operating theatre, 'encouraging' the surgical team to cock up the operation if they want to carry on breathing.

The directors commentary on the whole aar is an amusing idea, basically a more extreme example of the old unreliable narrator seen in past aars.

By the way, the bAAR's open again.
 
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