• The point where the game diverges at large from reality is August 1987.
• All legislation, regulation, history, events and other matters from before 1991 are valid in game. The only difference to this round is that a few events have been added to these or modified in minor ways. You can't attack other parties directly for these events, unless they specifically claim credit or involvement with them.
• The round will start on January 1st, 1991 with a four-month IG period for players to elect leaders and plan for the election.
• After this period on May 1st, a General Election will be held via whichever electoral system is decided by a majority vote in Parliament.
• The winner(s) of this election will propose the United Republic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland's Constitution to Parliament. If 66% approve, it will be submitted as a referendum, which requires majority approval from the public.
• 1959: as a result of moderate Labour MPs' failure to amend clause IV due to sustained pressure from the TUC and the Bevanite wing of the party, Hugh Gaitskell along with his allies walked out of the Labour Party and formed the Democratic Labour Party.
• The remaining members of the Labour Party, free of constraints upon their more radical egalitarian agenda, re-formed as the Workers Party.
• However, the TUC were keen to see the left wing united going into future elections, and only provided funding to the Workers Party and DLP, provided reached a pact. This would see them work together in the future in Parliament, and not stand against one another in elections. They would stand in equal numbers of seats, and both local associations would campaign for the joint candidate.
• To clarify, there is no alteration of what Labour did in the Governments of 1964, 1966 and 1974 (February and October). In game, these shall be treated as having been DLP-WP Coalition Governments. Likewise their actions in opposition between those times. If an MP from this period was a moderate, they were probably DLP. If they were a socialist, they were probably Worker. I'm sure a mixture of common sense and mod guidance will help people decide which, should they have a pressing need to find out which faction Michael Foot belonged to!
• 1979: Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime Minister of a majority Conservative Government, as IRL, after the Winter of Discontent.
• 1983: Conservatives win their second election after winning the Falklands War. Monetary and market reforms begin en masse.
• 1987: Conservatives win their third consecutive election. Composition of Parliament as IRL: Government = Con 376, Official Opposition = DLP 115 & Workers 114 (= 229 combined), Smaller parties = SDP-Lib 22, UUP 9, SNP 3, SDLP 3, Plaid 3, DUP 3, Sinn Fein 1, UPU 1.
• August 1987: Parliament passes the controversial Crown Act. This reversed King George III's decision in 1760 to surrender the Crown Estate's revenues to Parliament. From now on, the Royal Family would be able to make huge profits from their property portfolio. Moreover, there was an increase to the Civil List which previously funded the royal family - they would now receive £150m a year for "living expenses and security". Backed by statute, the Queen was now returned the ability to withhold Royal Assent from any Bill. The Chairman of the Crown Estate was delegated powers to use compulsory purchase in order to create "Crown public works schemes", which would boost private sector employment figures while receiving taxpayer investment. The Guardian called this a "devious con trick, which takes from the poor and gives to the rich".
Margaret Thatcher told the House: "this is simply a restoration of the monarchy's right to the fruits of their own land. Unless this country takes its traditions and identity seriously, our foreign investment opportunities will be seriously imperiled. No-one wants to invest in a Britain which is headed up by a fake Royal Family." The Act was unpopular on the left, but polling revealed that 55% of Britons "quite strongly or strongly believed that the Civil List increase was well-earned due to the amount of tourism attracted by the Royal Family". Nonetheless, this was the first time in decades that a serious national debate was held over the legitimacy of the monarchy's role.
• November 1987: The Crown Estate uses its new compulsory purchase powers to acquire over 600 square miles of land, mostly in sparsely-populated areas of The Midlands, North West England, North East Scotland and Northern Ireland. The land is designated for public works schemes, which include nuclear plants, roads, new towns, railways, agriculture and electricity grids, among other constructions.
The previous owners of the land protest angrily with an open letter, calling it an "undemocratic land-grab never promised in the Conservative Party manifesto, for which we have received insufficient compensation and lost our long-term livelihoods". The Treasury warns of a spiraling cost of funding these schemes, adding that "this could undermine the good work of the Conservative Government in turning a deficit into a surplus".
However, it is revealed that the local populations are broadly supportive of the new schemes, citing the 300,000 jobs created and a new sense of purpose to their area. The Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, says: "these are private schemes which aren't at all part of the public sector. We had to invest to get the ball rolling, but ultimately these schemes will pay for themselves and increase the growth of our economy".
• 4th March 1988: The Crown public works schemes are dealt a heavy blow. An anonymous, disgruntled civil servant leaks details of a meeting in July of 1987 between the Chairman of the Conservative Party - Peter Brooke - and the Chairman of the Crown Estate. It is revealed that the Crown Act was only approved in exchange for a large party donation from the royal household, funneled through an untraceable holding company in the Caribbean. This donation would "see the Conservative Party in a financial position to campaign successfully for at least the next half a century," according to the civil servant's report. Many newspapers dub it "Worksgate", and call for "deep reforms to our political system."
• 5th March 1988: Police constables arrive at the constituency home of the Secretary of State for Employment, Norman Fowler, in Sutton Ashfield. Despite them only intending to interview him about a reported speeding offence, he mistakenly believes they are planning to arrest him for complicity in Worksgate. He tells them that there had been a secret funding deal before the Bill was submitted to Parliament, and that he would "name names in exchange for leniency", before refusing to answer any further questions without the presence of a solicitor.
• 6th March 1988: Margaret Thatcher denies the allegations of misconduct and bribery, and calls for an inquiry "to absolve this Government of the baseless smears which have surrounded the passage of the Crown Act". She states that Norman Fowler was merely repeating the allegations rather than confirming them, fearing that he was being "stitched up". Baron Oliver Franks, well-known for his exoneration of the Thatcher Government after the Falklands War, is appointed to head up the investigation. He is labelled a "soft-touch crony" by critics, and unsurprisingly comes to the conclusion that there had been no corruption in the lead-up to the Crown Act. Leader of the Opposition Neil Kinnock slams this as "an inside-job, a blatant whitewash".
• 17th March 1988: 82 Conservative MPs resign the whip in protest at the "biased and farcical" inquiry. Taking the bold decision to call for the repeal of the Crown Act and abolition of the monarchy, they split into three factions. The first is New Democracy, composed of 36 of the MPs - they call for a Republic based on traditional British values and fiscal conservatism. 34 of the MPs form the Council for Freedom, seeking to appeal to centrists with a platform calling for a small state in both social and economic matters. The remaining 12 resigning MPs declare their intention to sit out the rest of the term as independents. This leaves the Conservative Party in a minority Government with 294 MPs, outnumbered by the bolstered Opposition ranks.
• July 1988: The Conservatives are taken by surprise as Leader of the House, John Wakeham, allows the Democratic Labour Party to submit the Parliamentary Powers Bill to Parliament. This compromise would have allowed the Crown to maintain its works schemes and funding without them being allowed to increase in the future. It would have also limited the Royal Assent veto to five Bills a year and limited the scope of Crown Estate compulsory purchase powers. The Bill passed through Parliament with some support from both sides of the House, but was denied Royal Assent by Her Majesty. The electorate were shocked at this use of powers by the monarch, and record numbers were discovered to "no longer value the monarchy as a worthwhile feature of the United Kingdom in its existing form." Wakeham was fired days after by the Government Chief Whip, another move which was deeply unpopular with the voting public.
• November 2nd 1988: The next Royal scandal hits. Alan Anderson is named as the civil servant who leaked Worksgate, having been found shot dead at his home. An expansive police investigation discovers the DNA of a known Danish fugitive and contract killer at the scene of the crime. When Danish authorities detain the perpetrator following a national man-hunt, he agrees to reveal the name of his employer in exchange for a reduced sentence. He states that the man who paid him to assassinate Anderson was Sir John Riddell, the Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales.
• November 11th 1988: Diana, Princess of Wales, gives a stunning interview to the BBC evening news, in which she alleges that her husband, Prince Charles, had plotted Anderson's assassination along with Prince Philip and the Queen, and they had given instructions and funding to Riddell in order to orchestrate the hit. She states that she is filing for a divorce, and is fleeing for France later that evening for her own safety.
• November 13th 1988: Diana dies from injuries sustained during a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris. She had been sitting in the back seat while being driven to a local police station where she had planned to seek refuge, after receiving threatening comments from royalist sympathizers at the Hôtel Ritz where she had been staying for the previous two nights. National newspapers speculate that the chauffeur's reckless driving had caused the crash.
• December 29th 1988: The French police discover that Diana's chauffeur's drink was spiked at the Hôtel Ritz before he departed for his last journey. Reviewing CCTV footage from the hotel, they are able to track down the saboteur, who was none other than the Lieutenant of the Gentleman at Arms, the Queen's most senior bodyguard. Coroners agree that the drugging of the chauffeur was deliberate and responsible for Diana's death, which leads to the issuance of a series of arrest warrants.
• January 2nd 1989: The death of the People's Princess cuts deep. Crowds of demonstrators gather outside Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Whitehall, demanding the overthrow of the monarchy and the creation of a new regime to expel the corruption from Government. The Government is brought to a standstill as politicians and civil servants are barricaded indoors.
The Royal Family escape from Buckingham Palace via rooftop helicopter just seconds before the crowds burst through the locked gates and make for the buildings. The helicopter lands at a small British military base in Germany where loyal collaborators whisk the Royals away onto a connecting private flight which enables them to flee to Canada.
• January 3rd 1989: Margaret Thatcher indicates the Consevative minority Government's intention to remain in power until police investigations have been completed and the baying mobs have been removed from Westminster. The credibility of her continued control is called into question when a brick smashes through the window behind her shortly after making the statement. Police officers outside Parliament, refuse to comply with their superiors' orders, and Opposition MPs are called upon to pacify the demonstrators.
• January 6th 1989: Returning to session, the opposition parties in Parliament pass a motion of no confidence, followed shortly after by the Dissolution Act. This gives the House of Commons the power to dissolve Parliament without the approval of Her Majesty or the House of Lords. Despite the questionable constitutionality of this legislation in the absence of a royal abdication, judicial and police experts support the move in the name of expediency, and a general election is called for February 25th.
In the run-up to the General Election, there are some changes to the political parties:
>>> The Conservative Party is liquidated under pressure from police and public. Its remaining members largely join a new party - National Heritage, which embraces royalism, protectionism and traditionalism. The day after its formation, the Daily Mirror's front-page headline decrees: 'THE TORIES ARE BACK!'
>>>The Liberal Democrats, only a year after their formation from the old SDP-Liberal Alliance, decide to merge into the Democratic Labour Party. Leader Paddy Ashdown declares: "this is a time for unity rather than division among the moderate forces of reform, republicanism and progress in British politics."
>>> Ashdown's decision proves unpopular with a section of liberals, who defect to the Council for Freedom. One of the main figures, Michael Meadowcroft, states that: "the Liberal Party didn't merge with the SDP in order to be dominated by social democrats."
>>> The Scottish National Party, SDLP and Plaid Cymru merge to form the Nationalist Alliance.
>>> The DLP and Workers Party reach a mutual decision to end their non-competition pact, and stand against each other in the coming election.
>>> The Ulster Unionist Party declares itself "unfit in our present form to pose a realistic challenge to the unity of the Nationalist Alliance at this election". Its members pledge to stand for larger parties, but are split between National Heritage and the Council for Freedom.
>>> DUP and UPU members join National Heritage.
• February 26th 1989: The election yields an indecisive result, despite it being described as "free and fair" by international observers. The plurality of voters express their discontent with the monarchy, voting for the DLP. The other nationwide republican parties (Council for Freedom, New Democracy and the Workers Party) also consolidate their positions. Royalists still enjoy a strong presence on the right, however, and thanks to the geographical concentration of the Crown public works projects, National Heritage make gains of 119 seats. Many voters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reject the idea of a union altogether, and believe the best way to put corruption behind them is by working together to achieve independence - on the back of this sentiment, the Nationalist Alliance gain 29 seats. The public re-elect the 12 independents who resigned from the Conservative Party in the wake of Worksgate. The electorate face a new era where the country is no longer ruled by one large left-leaning or right-leaning party.
Parliament is divided as follows:
1. Democratic Labour Party - 236.
2. New Democracy - 119.
3. Council for Freedom - 93.
4. Workers Party - 60
5: Nationalist Alliance - 54
6: National Heritage - 39
7: Tory - 37
9: Independents - 12.
Overall: Democratic Labour Party Minority Interim Government.
• March 8th 1989: A DLP-CfF Grand Coalition is formed in the interest of providing a stable transition period until the new electoral system is decided, a transitional framework imposed, and the next elections held. Neil Kinnock is elected Prime Minister, and pledges to "set aside party politics, and make this new Republic work". Kenneth Clark of the Council for Freedom is appointed his Chancellor, with the DLP taking most Cabinet places. With 329, this Coalition possesses a slim but viable majority of the votes. National Heritage form the Official Opposition.
• March 1989: The Government repeals the Crown Act.
• March 1989: The Government passes the Monachy Referendum Act. Two weeks later, the public vote to officially rename the country as the United Republic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and 68% approve the abolition of the monarchy.
• June 1989: A transitional direction document is written and signed by British judiciary and political figures. It is to be sovereign over Parliament. It outlines the first steps for the new United Republic: Parliament will govern until March 1st 1991, when it will be dissolved, with the General Election to he held on May 1st. In the meantime, the House of Lords is suspended and the Commons must decide the electoral system used in that upcoming election. Prime Minister Kinnock takes on the role of Head of State. After the election, the House of Commons' first order of business will be the creation of a Constitution of the United Republic. This must be approved by 66% of the Commons and then ratified by a majority vote of the electorate.
• July 1989-December 1990: In game, this is classed as the period of stability required to maintain order in the first year of the new Republic. As per the rest of the game history, the laws passed IRL would explain what Parliament is up to during this period.
• December 31st 1990: Speaker of the House calls a debate on the electoral system which will be used in the election of four months' time.
• January 1st 1991: Prime Minister Kinnock and Chancellor Clark jointly resign, stating that it should be "fresh faces" who help to engineer the new electoral system for this new nation. Leadership elections within the Democratic Labour Party and Council for Freedom are thereby initiated.
• January 1st 1991: Round begins.