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

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stnylan

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Yes, he was high up in BBC even back then, the only reason he was never director was because he didn't want to stop making TV programmes himself.
Which was what I was alluding to.
 

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America does seem rather ripe for a revolutionary change or three - to mirror what is happening across the pond.

I'm not entirely privy to the details of how America will be ending the decade, but what I do know is that things will not get better for some time. So you are on the money, as ever.

Did like the detail of David Attenborough in CBC 2 - one of the most important figures in the history of British television.

Yes, he was high up in BBC even back then, the only reason he was never director was because he didn't want to stop making TV programmes himself.

It seemed a gratuitous little reference when I put it in, so I'm glad it was enjoyed. Really astonishing what he's done with the years when you look at it in full. I think we can be glad that he was never DG on the basis of what he was able to do instead, but I would love to know how the BBC might have developed if he had stayed on doing directorial stuff.

_____

Small note to mark the fact that this thread has officially hit 100k views. I have no idea where all of these viewers come from, but if you are out there reading your presence is always appreciated. Please do feel free to drop by and leave a comment if you have anything to say!
 

El Pip

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Because I am catching up - Kruschev! A figure I sort of feel sorry for in a strange way, he may well have been the only Soviet leader to ever really believe in Communism as a good idea. Obviously it wasn't and his entire reign was one of him being constantly disappointed at how terrible Communism is in practice, but there was an almost endearing child-like faith he had in it that never seemed affected by the bitter reality. It is an amusing coincidence that "We will bury you." occurred at almost the exact point when the Soviet economic system was really starting to fall off the rails, only to be "saved" by Siberian Oil.


On the growing horrors of Bevan;

This was dealt with swiftly, which meant twenty months after coming to power.
And some people still wonder why the nationalised industries were so relentlessly awful.

in favour of raw and innovative editing techniques, a verité-style social realism
*Shudder*. Bring back the censor, all is forgiven!

Over the decade, the paper shifted towards a broader editorial line that expressed support for the Bevanite coalition while turning a critical eye to the Mosleyite past. This was the sort of introspection that Bevan and his ministers hoped would help to reignite the British democratic tradition.
Always the classic sign of a free and "introspective" press - blind support for the current regime while all problems are blamed on the predecessor.

Still, if one was incredibly generous and squints a bit, you could call it a tiny amount of progress. However after a reminder of how grim Britain is I cannot face the horrors of the US, so I will catch up on that later.
 

DensleyBlair

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Because I am catching up - Kruschev! A figure I sort of feel sorry for in a strange way, he may well have been the only Soviet leader to ever really believe in Communism as a good idea. Obviously it wasn't and his entire reign was one of him being constantly disappointed at how terrible Communism is in practice, but there was an almost endearing child-like faith he had in it that never seemed affected by the bitter reality. It is an amusing coincidence that "We will bury you." occurred at almost the exact point when the Soviet economic system was really starting to fall off the rails, only to be "saved" by Siberian Oil.

I think out of the lot I do have the most sympathy for Khrushchev. I had originally planned to keep him around a few years longer and give him a 'nice' Soviet retirement, but once @99KingHigh and I had finished planning the middle of the decade it seemed more reasonable to have him basically leave on schedule. Which is a shame, because I agree: he does give off this endearing child-like aura. Far better him than *shudders* Brezhnev…

It's a real shame that it's basically geriatric technocrats from here on out for the USSR. I will be switching things up a bit compared to OTL, but as we all know, scratch the surface and you inevitably get a "Brezhnev" somewhere.

Always the classic sign of a free and "introspective" press - blind support for the current regime while all problems are blamed on the predecessor.

Or, if not the predecessor, some other 'enemy within'.

I wrote it a long time ago so this wasn't in mind then, but now you say it I am reminded of certain contemporary British politicians (and the 'papers' that support them) making ridiculous claims to be 'fixing a broken system' despite having been in power for a decade…

Still, if one was incredibly generous and squints a bit, you could call it a tiny amount of progress. However after a reminder of how grim Britain is I cannot face the horrors of the US, so I will catch up on that later.

I do look forward to your perspective on the US. Happy reading.
 
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Fight fight fight fight fight

Come now, we all know better than to engage dear Pip on the distinctions between Communism, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and whatever the hell the Soviets were doing by 1965. It would end well for none involved.
 
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stnylan

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Come now, we all know better than to engage dear Pip on the distinctions between Communism, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and whatever the hell the Soviets were doing by 1965. It would end well for none involved.
A couple of years ago I went down a very entertaining rabbit-hole one evening of the history of the communism in the UK - nothing detailed, just superficial ... but oh my goodness the splinters. I mean, it was like they were trying to satirise the Judaean Peoples Front! :D
 
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El Pip

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Come now, we all know better than to engage dear Pip on the distinctions between Communism, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and whatever the hell the Soviets were doing by 1965. It would end well for none involved.
Well indeed. It would be like trying to identify the 'best' veneral disease, there probably is an answer but in truth they are all bad and you don't want any of them anywhere near you.

I'm more surprised I got the "Khrushchev was the only Soviet leader that believed in Communism" line through without comment.
 

DensleyBlair

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A couple of years ago I went down a very entertaining rabbit-hole one evening of the history of the communism in the UK - nothing detailed, just superficial ... but oh my goodness the splinters. I mean, it was like they were trying to satirise the Judaean Peoples Front! :D

Might I suggest that you will quite enjoy volume 2 when it arrives. :D

A good rule of thumb is to be suspicious of anyone who insists that communism involves a political party. An even better rule of thumb is to avoid like the proverbial anyone who insists that left-wing organising involves standing round with clipboards collecting signatures at demos.

I'm more surprised I got the "Khrushchev was the only Soviet leader that believed in Communism" line through without comment.

Eh, I'm not going to worry too much over the implication that most Soviet leaders used 'Communism' as a tool to feather their own nests.
 

El Pip

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Eh, I'm not going to worry too much over the implication that most Soviet leaders used 'Communism' as a tool to feather their own nests.
Most sure, but I'd be prepared to conceded a discussion can be had about Gorbachev. Was he a slightly naive true believer who lost control of his reforms, or was he always a social democrat trying to bring the system down from the inside.

I'm mildly interested in him, not to the point of spending any money buying an autobiography or doing any actual research, just enough to occasionally wonder quite what he was planning.
 

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Most sure, but I'd be prepared to conceded a discussion can be had about Gorbachev. Was he a slightly naive true believer who lost control of his reforms, or was he always a social democrat trying to bring the system down from the inside.

I'm mildly interested in him, not to the point of spending any money buying an autobiography or doing any actual research, just enough to occasionally wonder quite what he was planning.

It is a valid question. 'Wrecker or naïve?' is something that could be asked about most reformist Soviet politicians. Has the makings of a very revealing 'How many hats?'-style gameshow.

I have a similar fascination but for Kosygin, which I will be sort of indulging as events unfold. No real knowledge of the man or his process, but an instinctive fascination for his efforts. I'm yet to decide whether Gorby will make a starring appearance once we get to the period.
 

stnylan

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Most sure, but I'd be prepared to conceded a discussion can be had about Gorbachev. Was he a slightly naive true believer who lost control of his reforms, or was he always a social democrat trying to bring the system down from the inside.

I'm mildly interested in him, not to the point of spending any money buying an autobiography or doing any actual research, just enough to occasionally wonder quite what he was planning.

It is a valid question. 'Wrecker or naïve?' is something that could be asked about most reformist Soviet politicians. Has the makings of a very revealing 'How many hats?'-style gameshow.

I have a similar fascination but for Kosygin, which I will be sort of indulging as events unfold. No real knowledge of the man or his process, but an instinctive fascination for his efforts. I'm yet to decide whether Gorby will make a starring appearance once we get to the period.

I actually shook Gorbachev's hand once, as part of a crowd of schoolchildren greeting him when he visited Bristol in the 90s (by which I mean my hand was one of several thrust out from a crowd he briefly took and shook has he moved passed, not an ordinary handshake).

Having read his autobiography I think he was a genuine believer, but not a blind one. Hence the need for reforms. I am not sure I would call him nice though - one does not become General Secretary of the Soviet system by accident. Would he have managed to keep control of things if Chernobyl did not blow is one of those great what ifs - it is hardly the first time a reforming administration has gotten in trouble after all.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Well indeed. It would be like trying to identify the 'best' veneral disease

Fight fight fight fight fight!

I'm more surprised I got the "Khrushchev was the only Soviet leader that believed in Communism" line through without comment.
Most sure, but I'd be prepared to conceded a discussion can be had about Gorbachev. Was he a slightly naive true believer who lost control of his reforms, or was he always a social democrat trying to bring the system down from the inside.

I'm mildly interested in him, not to the point of spending any money buying an autobiography or doing any actual research, just enough to occasionally wonder quite what he was planning.

A most interesting man. Depending on your perspective, a VERY useful idiot, a strange noble figure, an absolute failure, one of the better statesmen of the USSR...
 

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I actually shook Gorbachev's hand once, as part of a crowd of schoolchildren greeting him when he visited Bristol in the 90s (by which I mean my hand was one of several thrust out from a crowd he briefly took and shook has he moved passed, not an ordinary handshake).

That really is quite the encounter.

(The best story on this theme that I can claim, incidentally, is having been made as a school-kid to go and watch Prince Michael of Kent open a local park. It was incredibly dull, but it did knock out three hours of a Monday, so not all bad.)

Having read his autobiography I think he was a genuine believer, but not a blind one. Hence the need for reforms. I am not sure I would call him nice though - one does not become General Secretary of the Soviet system by accident. Would he have managed to keep control of things if Chernobyl did not blow is one of those great what ifs - it is hardly the first time a reforming administration has gotten in trouble after all.
A most interesting man. Depending on your perspective, a VERY useful idiot, a strange noble figure, an absolute failure, one of the better statesmen of the USSR...

As I say, I'm yet to decide where I'll take the Soviets when we get to the end of the Eighties. Seeing as I've already established a habit of using massive industrial disasters as pretext for political change, maybe I'll think of something a little more original and butterfly Chernobyl away. (This world could use a win, after all.)

Fight fight fight fight fight!

One! Two! Three! Four! I declare a Tankie war!
 

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It is a valid question. 'Wrecker or naïve?' is something that could be asked about most reformist Soviet politicians. Has the makings of a very revealing 'How many hats?'-style gameshow.
Werewolf, Soviet Economists Edition. Most players are naive economists but there are a number of wreckers. Every round all the players make outrageously bad economic suggestions and the group has to vote on who they think the wrecker is and which policy to implement. Game continues until they have unmasked the wreckers or crashed the economy.
 
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DensleyBlair

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Do people still play Werewolf in the OT forum? That sounds like an excellent premise if ever there were one.

On another note, I’ll be away between Friday and Monday so I’ll aim to put the next update out later on today.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Werewolf, Soviet Economists Edition. Most players are naive economists but there are a number of wreckers. Every round all the players make outrageously bad economic suggestions and the group has to vote on who they think the wrecker is and which policy to implement. Game continues until they have unmasked the wreckers or crashed the economy.

Thats a fantastic idea. Must steal or put in the suggestions box.
 

DensleyBlair

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Thats a fantastic idea. Must steal or put in the suggestions box.

I just went back to have a cursory look through the old Werewolf masterthread in the OT because I was so sure that someone must have thought of it before, but it looks like there has never been a politburo game. Which frankly beggars belief. It’s so well suited.


I’ve got some more earnest Sixties reformism for you all to gawp and gasp at coming up in today’s update. Counting on you for some vintage cynicism, @El Pip.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I just went back to have a cursory look through the old Werewolf masterthread in the OT because I was so sure that someone must have thought of it before, but it looks like there has never been a politburo game. Which frankly beggars belief. It’s so well suited.


I’ve got some more earnest Sixties reformism for you all to gawp and gasp at coming up in today’s update. Counting on you for some vintage cynicism, @El Pip.

I only ever played Werewolf the physical card game. Much like secret Hitler, funner in person.
 

DensleyBlair

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I only ever played Werewolf the physical card game. Much like secret Hitler, funner in person.

Yeah, I can’t say I ever joined in any of the OT games. I only thought to look because I recalled that they usually had pretty wild themes.

Anyway, now that my cunning plan to get to the bottom of the page has worked, time for the next update.