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DensleyBlair

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After a five week marathon I'm finally all caught up! What a gargantuan tale! I'd say, and I think most readers will agree, that what makes your work so enthralling and absorbing is the way you switch genres so effortlessly and cover the Commonwealth in all it's dimensions, from the first person view of a worker to the academic lectures on geopolitics, from comedic series to analysis of the musical underground! It feels really like it truly happened.
Thank you very much, @Von Acturus! I always say this, but the fact that people continue to take the time to catch up with now over three years of work is astonishing to me, and very heartening. I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed it, and I look to forward to having you along for the rest of this long, winding ride. :D

=================

EDIT: Seeing as we’ve moved another page on, I’ll drop a link to the latest chapter here for any who may not have seen it yet. :)
 
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It’s a dark day indeed when Echoes finds itself being topical

9294DED0-1EA8-4D24-8E6F-0864E16875F7.jpeg

(via the Telegraph)

What are the odds Rishi counters with a pledge to stand up to Welsh extremism?
 
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What is she going to do when the strikes carry on because changing the threshold changes nothing?
 
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What is she going to do when the strikes carry on because changing the threshold changes nothing?
Quite. Seeing as the RMT mandate is 89% in favour on a 71% turnout, fiddling with the threshold is going to do very little on that front.

Presumably at that stage she goes back to her Maggie cosplaying, only this time she actually goes through with the ‘enemy within’ speech and people end up coming to harm.
 
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Quite. Seeing as the RMT mandate is 89% in favour on a 71% turnout, fiddling with the threshold is going to do very little on that front.

Presumably at that stage she goes back to her Maggie cosplaying, only this time she actually goes through with the ‘enemy within’ speech and people end up coming to harm.
Two things.

One, have we had an NHS chapter yet? I can't quite recall one...

Two, yeah...they're going to have to start going after unions again. Only this time...they're going to have a problem. Social media means this generation of strikers can talk to people directly, and so far, they have been far more eloquent and persuasive and reasonable than anyone in the media or government trying to slate them off. One would hope this leads to a Labour party that actually supports the workers and unions striking...I mean, they seem to already do so really, since most of the opposition bench aside from the leader has joined a picket line and even he is being very half-hearted about 'condemning' such things.
 
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One, have we had an NHS chapter yet? I can't quite recall one...
Not a full one, no. I’m pretty sure I had one pencilled in oat some point last year, but it certainly never materialised. Closest we got was some early Bevan-period stuff about building new hospitals.

Two, yeah...they're going to have to start going after unions again. Only this time...they're going to have a problem. Social media means this generation of strikers can talk to people directly, and so far, they have been far more eloquent and persuasive and reasonable than anyone in the media or government trying to slate them off.
If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that when the left gets a chance to speak to people beyond the… how shall I say this without sounding like a crank… legacy media, people seem generally to respond well. Or better than they would with a Murdoch filter in the way of the messaging, anyway. So yeah, if every union can find themselves a Big Mick ‘the Butler’ Lynch, that would be grand. I reckon Dave Ward of the CWU has a decent shot at being the next one, with the BT strikes upcoming.

Though I have to say, there’s still a fair amount of hostility from social media users. It’s never going to evaporate completely, of course, but I was struck by the fact when seeing Mick speak at Paddington last month that any hecklers walking past all seemed to be about my age.

But then trains occupy a weird space in the British political imagination…

One would hope this leads to a Labour party that actually supports the workers and unions striking...I mean, they seem to already do so really, since most of the opposition bench aside from the leader has joined a picket line and even he is being very half-hearted about 'condemning' such things.
Yes, one would hope so. Though Keith seems content to persist in his farcical denunciations, which sort of makes a mockery of being a Labour Party at all… Whether he’ll wake up when the unions start disaffiliating and he finds himself left facing bankruptcy, who knows? Or maybe the political class will decide between them that the railways are the ne plus ultra and other, less ‘vital’ industries can be tolerated.
 
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Not a full one, no. I’m pretty sure I had one pencilled in oat some point last year, but it certainly never materialised. Closest we got was some early Bevan-period stuff about building new hospitals.
It is, almost certainly, the single most controversial and inflammatory thing in the New Britain. Every single argument over how far and how much it extends originally, only the socialists behind it never left power, and in fact got more socialist and more powerful.

So on the absolute right we have people wanting something akin to the OTL system we eventually got, where prescriptions and glasses and things eventually ended up costing money...and every to the left of that in an almighty battle to see how much the most tangible and successful and beloved social experiment goes.

Things have no doubt got even worse with Bevan dead and the New Left coming out of the univs even more energized and looking to expand the ideas of socialized welfare and healthcare further. After all, once doctors and hospitals are free, should there not also be universal health checkups, mental health clinics, abortion, opticians, dentists etc. etc.

Links in even with Mosely's obsession with making Britain a technocratic powerhouse of technology. Medical tech and science is going to be big in the country, and probably one of the driving forces behind lots of new unis is to open new medical and nursing schools, training hospitals which also care for local areas, and an expansion of industry healthcare.
If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that when the left gets a chance to speak to people beyond the… how shall I say this without sounding like a crank… legacy media, people seem generally to respond well.
Astonishing, isn't it?
So yeah, if every union can find themselves a Big Mick ‘the Butler’ Lynch, that would be grand.
Well, they need an old school union boss to keep the actual union well behaved and to smack down the legacy media, and a clever and passionate social media team to canvas the internet. Maybe they should also form some sort of collective movement that would reflect and promote their interests on a national scale, bring political as well as social and economic pressure on the country and industries. Some sort of...party of the workers, or something like that...
 
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So on the absolute right we have people wanting something akin to the OTL system we eventually got, where prescriptions and glasses and things eventually ended up costing money...and every to the left of that in an almighty battle to see how much the most tangible and successful and beloved social experiment goes.
Considering how many Gaitskellites are either allies of David Lewis, or waiting just off stage for one last bow, it would be a shame for the current intra-coalition spat to blow over without any mention of spectacles or false teeth. Though there's no Korean War for them to talk about diverting money to, so perhaps they're just biding their time…

The Left will definitely have a fierce love for the Syndicated Health. It and the basic housing system are more or less the only things left from the original CPGB state. An optimistic history would have a Finsbury Health Centre in every town as a minimum (you know, the one that appeared on those 'Your Britain: fight for it now!' posters during the war), and properly funded this time.

Things have no doubt got even worse with Bevan dead and the New Left coming out of the univs even more energized and looking to expand the ideas of socialized welfare and healthcare further. After all, once doctors and hospitals are free, should there not also be universal health checkups, mental health clinics, abortion, opticians, dentists etc. etc.
Oh yes. Particularly once the next wave of the feminist movement kicks in and we start having proper debates about caring responsibilities within society. And something like the Peckham experiment will probably be revived. It would have been in place under the CPGB, but seeing as top-down NHS planning killed it off OTL, I can't see it having survived Mosley.

Links in even with Mosely's obsession with making Britain a technocratic powerhouse of technology. Medical tech and science is going to be big in the country, and probably one of the driving forces behind lots of new unis is to open new medical and nursing schools, training hospitals which also care for local areas, and an expansion of industry healthcare.
One of Bevan's early policies was steering Mosley's technocratic state towards things like healthcare and medical tech, so that's been going on for a few years now. Industry healthcare will definitely be a big thing – especially considering howe many ageing miners we're about to have on our hands.

Maybe they should also form some sort of collective movement that would reflect and promote their interests on a national scale, bring political as well as social and economic pressure on the country and industries. Some sort of...party of the workers, or something like that...
Ah yes, the TUSC.

No, wait… hang on…
 
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One of Bevan's early policies was steering Mosley's technocratic state towards things like healthcare and medical tech, so that's been going on for a few years now. Industry healthcare will definitely be a big thing – especially considering howe many ageing miners we're about to have on our hands.
It will also naturally help with the hard sciences, especially physics. Most advanced medical machines are extremely applied electronic and quantum/particle physics. With that, and CERN starting a few years early in syndicalist Europe, this might be how nuclear stuff swings back round into the public view again.
 
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It will also naturally help with the hard sciences, especially physics. Most advanced medical machines are extremely applied electronic and quantum/particle physics. With that, and CERN starting a few years early in syndicalist Europe, this might be how nuclear stuff swings back round into the public view again.
True. ‘Atoms for Peace’ was already on the agenda for the anti-nuclear movement during the Windscale debates, so these sorts of applications should only help its standing. A canny pro-nuclear lobby could easily take advantage of its many amazing uses – particularly compared with… whatever the applied uses of coal technology are.
 
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True. ‘Atoms for Peace’ was already on the agenda for the anti-nuclear movement during the Windscale debates, so these sorts of applications should only help its standing. A canny pro-nuclear lobby could easily take advantage of its many amazing uses – particularly compared with… whatever the applied uses of coal technology are.
Did the clean air acts go through? Smog in the 50s was particularly getting awful, or rather, people had finally had enough of it.
 
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Did the clean air acts go through? Smog in the 50s was particularly getting awful, or rather, people had finally had enough of it.
I think it’s a safe assumption Bevan got round to it, even if Mosley didn’t.

I think it’s probably time for another slice of life series once we’re done with vol 1. Might make them a five-yearly thing, seeing as the first one was 1965. Good way to get a handle on a lot of these things which don’t necessarily justify a whole chapter of their own. One can be about a nurse, another about someone living in a new flat in a once-smoggy town… that sort of thing.
 
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On a night when the Conservative leadership election gets even more bizarre, I settle down, looking for solace, in quality work I know I will enjoy.

Wonderful
the deeper problems that had necessitated it in the first instance did not evaporate in the haze of cannabis smoke and acoustic guitars.

Sadly it was ever thus. Of course, my student days consisted of Middle Temple dinners and G&S recitals, so I don't really speak from authority.

What exactly economic liberalism meant to David Lewis and his allies was a vexed question, and one liable to elicit a fluid answer. As regarded the perennially thorny question of the mines, liberalisation meant compromise. At the start of July, before the beginning of the parliamentary recess, Lewis had succeeded in reaching an accord with the National Federation of Miners’ Unions (NFMU) to implement a new shop-steward-led management structure within the mining industry, starting from September. Although his initial hope had been to restructure the collieries along simple centralist lines, ie with state managers given wide new powers of initiative, Lewis had been forced into compromise by his coalition partners in the LUPA, who remained wedded to the Bevanite proposal for mining reform. Articulated shortly before Bevan’s death, the ‘January Settlement’ endorsed some measure of worker control over the pits, as had been demonstrated as feasible by the workers at the Free Pits in the South Wales valleys. Yet the push for worker self-management was a rank-and-file concern, and national union bosses were content to see the halfway measure of worker-elected managers implemented in its stead. TUC general secretary Jack Jones was a firm, public supporter of ‘shop-stewardism’, and its implementation by the government in the coal industry represented a serious victory for the wider union movement following a year of strained relations between the government and the workers. When the first elections for shop-steward managers began on the week of September 4, the NFMU national executive greeted it as a cause for celebration, heralding ‘the return of the union to its rightful position at the heart of the mining industry’.

And thus the Gordian Knot (or one of the thornier issues) arises. Reform is not, as tons of historical examples (the franchise, loosening of British control of India) a one-stop shop, it's a mudslide, an irresistable tide for more and more, and a slide becomes a torrent. Brilliant writing, BTW.


Only in Britain, in the 60s/70s (with the possible exception of Belarus) would these two feature. The false look of happiness at the seaside on what is probably a cheerless, freezing day. Gawd alive. The one on the left looks like an Eastern European dictator's wife. Is that the Grand Hotel in Brighton in the background, BTW?

Not everyone, however, was so keen or so quick to move past what they saw as the crimes of British Coal. At 11.23am on August 28, Bank Holiday Monday, a small bomb went off in the foyer of the Cardiff Coal Exchange, the headquarters of British Coal in Wales. The explosion blew the front doors off their hinges and damaged a portion of the building’s 19th century facade, although no injuries were recorded. Ten days later, another small bomb was discovered in a dustbin at British Coal’s West Midlands lorry depot in Worcestershire – the same depot from which trucks had been sent to collect coal from the Free Pits in the Taff Valley in January. The bomb failed to go off and the site foreman called in the WB, who were able to dispose of it without incident.

The Cardiff bombing and the attempted bombing in Worcestershire both made the front page of every daily newspaper in the Commonwealth, although no one came forward to claim responsibility for the attacks, and neither did the authorities have any leads as to the identities of the attackers. Indeed, the apparently simply question of opening an investigation into the attacks revealed the extent to which the Commonwealth’s domestic security apparatus had diminished in its capabilities since the dark days of Mosley deploying the Bureau of Domestic Intelligence as a secret police force. Bevan had retained the BDI, albeit gutting much of the Mosley-era hierarchy, and introducing strict limits on its powers of surveillance and detention.[7] Most of the Bureau’s work during the 1960’s focused on threats from the emergent far-right, particularly after the rise to prominence of Enoch Powell from around 1966. In reality, however, much of the legwork in the fight against resurgent right-wing extremism was done at the community level; as we have seen, countless groups across a wide constituency joined the effort against racialism from the middle of the decade. Similarly, day-to-day crime-fighting responsibilities had been devolved to the volunteers in the Workers’ Brigades, whose work within their local communities included a duty of keeping the peace.[8] On the whole, however, crime remained low when compared to comparable capitalist economies in the West, particularly after the abolition of numerous political offences with which former opponents of the Mosley regime were routinely charged. Overall, therefore, demands for policing were light.
I was about to type, as the paragraphs of looming industrial unhappiness built up, that a mere report and some light touch action wouldn't cut it. And then this. Very striking, very shocking.

Brilliant writing, the threads of the nation's social fabric are fraying, authority is losing its grip, and things can only get worse. Wonderfully written, my dear @DensleyBlair
 
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On a night when the Conservative leadership election gets even more bizarre, I settle down, looking for solace, in quality work I know I will enjoy.
Oh God. I was too busy playing, and then watching, football. Will save reading about those horrors for the morning…

Glad an Echoes chapter can be a respite, though! I’m not always sure…

Sadly it was ever thus. Of course, my student days consisted of Middle Temple dinners and G&S recitals, so I don't really speak from authority.
A dying breed in the Commonwealth, I fear. Though… I don’t see why G&S wouldn’t still be a thing? And actually, Lord only knows what happened to the Middle Temple. Hmm…

And thus the Gordian Knot (or one of the thornier issues) arises. Reform is not, as tons of historical examples (the franchise, loosening of British control of India) a one-stop shop, it's a mudslide, an irresistable tide for more and more, and a slide becomes a torrent. Brilliant writing, BTW.
Yes, exactly this. I think one of the flaws in Lewis’s strategy is that he rather hopes he can solve everything in one swoop, root and branch. Which is the result of impatience, rather than genuine naivety, so perhaps forgivable. But misguided all the same – and, at worst, outright harmful.

And thank you!

Only in Britain, in the 60s/70s (with the possible exception of Belarus) would these two feature. The false look of happiness at the seaside on what is probably a cheerless, freezing day. Gawd alive.
Brighton. October 1, 1966. Probably not the most pleasant seaside day in the world. Looks like there may have been quite a stiff breeze – although their hairstyles were more or less fixed like that, so it’s hard to say for sure.

I’ve actually cropped poor Bessie Braddock out of the picture: the three grandes dames of the Labour Party.

The one on the left looks like an Eastern European dictator's wife.
That would be Jennie ‘Lioness of Labour’ Lee MA (Edin.), LLB, the former Mrs Aneurin Bevan. Among other things, the driving force behind the foundation of the Open University.

Coming towards the end of her story arc, but not done yet. Not by a long shot.

Is that the Grand Hotel in Brighton in the background, BTW?
Yes! Well spotted.

Whether it will end up as… infamous in the Echoesverse remains to be seen.

I was about to type, as the paragraphs of looming industrial unhappiness built up, that a mere report and some light touch action wouldn't cut it. And then this. Very striking, very shocking.
I’m was hoping it would have that impact, so thanks for the vote of confidence @Le Jones! Wales is in for a time of it, I’m sad to say. It will come out the better for it, arguably, in the end – but it’s not going to be pretty.

Incidentally, you remind me that I made a copy of a timely article in the last issue of the LRB about Welsh political radicalism during our period. I’ll happily share it if anyone would like a bit more real-world context for the extremism on display here.

Brilliant writing, the threads of the nation's social fabric are fraying, authority is losing its grip, and things can only get worse.
The darkness before the dawn, I hope. (Admittedly, there’ll only be a whole new set of challenges waiting along with it.)

Wonderfully written, my dear @DensleyBlair
Thank you, my friend!
 
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As you know, here at Echoes HQ we love nothing more than seeing Oswald Mosley getting the absolute shit knocked out of him and his various ‘movements’. Today is an excellent day, as we get to mark one such occasion.

Sixty years ago today, on July 29 1962, Mosley tried – and failed – to lead a march of his ‘Union Movement’ through the streets of Manchester. Around eighty pro-Mosley marchers were met by a large crowd of anti-fascists, who confronted them and attacked Mosley himself. The Movement’s banner was torn to shreds in the melee, and the police eventually rescued Oswald and attempted to put the march back on track. It didn’t really work; scuffles continued all along the march route, and when Mosley eventually stopped to speak he was drowned out by protesters. He did not pass!

67EFE92A-9681-402A-9DCC-33CE79769B9F.jpeg


Alamy hold a good selection of images from the day, which anyone interested can see here.

A herald of what’s in store for our own Mancunian protestors? Find out in the coming chapter. :p
 
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Hilarious stuff, @DensleyBlair - while I would never condone a public order offence, there is something beautiful about bigoted old [SWEAR WORD IN WHICH PATERNITY IS DOUBTED] getting a true, unfiltered response to their views.

I have never been prouder of the North East, the shining beacon of hope etc, than this moment, their greeting to Farrage...

1659180683240.png
 
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while I would never condone a public order offence,
Don’t worry, Mr J – a nudge is as good as a wink. :p

I have never been prouder of the North East, the shining beacon of hope etc, than this moment, their greeting to Farrage...

1659180683240.png
A more innocent time, in many ways. The chief moral panic had nothing to do with bathrooms or history syllabi, but simply whether or not it was irresponsible for fast-food outlets to be selling milkshakes within spitting distance of a political photo-op.

And of course birthed the brief, hilarious ‘trend’ of bigots dousing themselves in the stuff to try and ‘own the libs’, as the kids say.
 
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Hilarious stuff, @DensleyBlair - while I would never condone a public order offence, there is something beautiful about bigoted old [SWEAR WORD IN WHICH PATERNITY IS DOUBTED] getting a true, unfiltered response to their views.

I have never been prouder of the North East, the shining beacon of hope etc, than this moment, their greeting to Farrage...

View attachment 864661

Nothing beats a good gunging.
 
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