Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Airship Legacy - Part 9

Click here for Part 8

This part will probably come across as random. But when I started writing it sounded interesting. I'm actually somewhat fond of this. Was definitely different. If/when I rewrite this timeline, I will probably work these developments into earlier parts of the story instead of having them separate like this. Enjoy.


            In October 1932, when Sir Oswald Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists, nobody would have foreseen that within 30 years, the BUF would be one of the biggest players in British politics. With support coming in from Lord Rothermere and his Daily Mail newspaper, the party was able to gain early traction that would eventually give it the control of Parliament after 1965. Lord Rothermere met with Mosley many times in 1932 and ’33, before giving his official support in at August 1, 1933 editorial section of the Mirror. By 1934, there were offices of the BUF in London, Portsmouth, Oxford, York, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. When the 1935 general elections came around, the BUF won 10 seats in the House of Commons, with Mosley and 9 others becoming known as the Fascist 10 for years.
            By the time the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain called for the 1939 General Election, the BUF claimed nearly 400,000 members nationwide, and had helped sponsor fascist parties in Canada and Australia. The BUF contingent in that year’s election rose to 50 seats.
-Hayes, Dr. Thomas. Rise of Fascism in Britain. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001.
LONDON, JUNE 20- In somewhat of a surprise turn of events, the British Union of Fascists have gained 40 more seats in the House of Commons, now placing them with 50 total seats. BUF Leader Sir Oswald Mosley claimed that these election results were encouraging, and that he looked forward to greater success in the future.
            Many politicians are eyeing Mosley and his Blackshirts very warily, almost fearfully. Mosley, who models his political ideology from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, is against parliamentary government, and dislikes being dependent on foreign imports of any kind, instead wanting the Empire to be self-sufficient.
            Political analysts believe that the move to restore the German monarchy that is currently underway and underlying fears that Germany may soon be a threat once more to the British Empire. While those in Neville Chamberlain’s government are tentatively optimistic about the return of the Hohenzollerns to the German throne, Mosley and other Fascists have decried the soon restoration, along with the New Versailles Treaty, as a threat to British sovereignty and to the dignity of the soldiers who fought during the Great War.
-“BUF Gains in Election,” The Times (London)June 21, 1939.

LONDON, DEC 1- Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists and member of Parliament, led a rally today in protest of the crowning of Kaiser Louis Ferdinand in Germany. With red, white, and blue lighting blot clad BUF flags fluttering in the wind, Mosley and hundreds of supporters marched to the German Embassy, which now flies the old Imperial flag that hasn’t seen the light of day since 1918, where Mosley told those who gathered that “the restoration of the Germany monarchy is a slap in the face to every soldier who fought in the War!” and that “our government should have never supported Hugo Eckener’s plans to rewrite the Versailles Treaty. Now we will pay. You mark my words, we WILL pay!”
-“Mosley Leads Anti-German Rally,” The Daily Mail, December 2, 1939.

            The 1940s were comparatively quite for Mosley and the BUF. They joined the Conservative party in opposition to the ruling Labour Party government, and continued to grow in membership. During the 1945 general elections, the party boasted 700,000 members nationwide, and went up to 72 members in Parliament. Mosley continued to trumpet against Germany’s expanding power and against being reliant on non-empire imports.
            When the London Treaty was signed in 1952, Mosley led nearly 2,000 BUF protestors on a march from Buckingham Palace to parliament, saying that the “end of Empire will be the end of Britain.” All throughout the 1950s, Mosley led protest after protest against the new Commonwealth and the economic restructuring that was occurring under the Labour government. The 1955 election, with the BUF’s “Restoring Empire” campaign slogan, saw considerable gains for the Fascists, making them the third largest party in Parliament, with 22% of membership, behind the Conservatives 26% and the Labour’s 5%.
            In 1960, the Fascists became the kingmakers following the October general elections. The Conservatives had 37% of the membership, the Labour’s had 29%, and the BUF had 33%. In the end, Mosley made a deal with the Conservatives, and for the first time the Fascists were in the government, with Mosley becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.
            However, there was great tension between the Conservatives and the Fascists, especially dealing with the Commonwealth and with relations with Germany, which Mosley still contended was a threat to the United Kingdom. Mosley did get an important tariff passed on all “non-empire” goods in 1963 that was supposed to both strengthen economic ties with other Commonwealth states and break British dependence on American and German goods.
            By the 1965 elections, the Conservatives were ready to not have to work with the Fascists in government. However, the Fascist’s popularity had been on the rise, and the Conservative and Labour Parties both underestimated this when they ran their campaigns. In the end, the Fascists received and landmark 53% of the seats of Parliament, beating both the Conservatives and the Labour parties. On September 1, 1965, the 69-year-old Oswald Mosley became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

LONDON, SEP 1- Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists have taken power in London today, as the Leader of the BUF was officially accepted By Queen Elizabeth II as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Proud Fascists have taken to the streets in spontaneous parades, dressed in their black uniforms and waving BUF lightning bold banners throughout London.
            The new Prime Minister had this to say to reporters on his way to meet with the Queen: “Today marks the first page in a new chapter for the British people and their Empire. Today we leave behind the past that has been riddled with mistakes, and march forward  towards a glorious future for our Kingdom.”
            All throughout London, the BUF flag is fluttering high and proud, and it is believed that there are more lightning banners than Union Jacks currently fluttering in the wind. The people have shown overwhelming support for the Fascist party, and Sir Oswald has told reporters that he believes that the party’s support from the public will only continue to grow.
-“Blackshirts Take the Helm!” The Daily Mail, September 1, 1965.

LONDON, JAN 13- The London Times and the London Daily Mail have reported that the British Parliament has passed the “Journalistic Integrity Act of 1967”, which means to establish the “British Journalistic Integrity Board” that shall “ensure that all British media produce only the highest quality work” for the British public. Many members of the Labour Party, and the Editorial Board of the London Times have cried out against the new act, and there have reportedly been protests in parts of the city in response to the law’s passage.
            The new law will also place new restrictions on all foreign press within the United Kingdom in an effort to “make sure all facts reported internationally are correct and accurate.” The German and American ambassadors have both decried this action saying that Prime Minister Mosley is seeking to turn Britain into a police state. Protestors in Berlin have been rallying outside the British embassy, calling on the German government to put new tariffs on British goods. Some more radical protestors are calling on the Kaiser and Chancellor to recall Germany’s ambassador to Britain, and expel the British ambassador.
-“Fascists Tighten Grip in Britain,” Frankfurter Zeitung, January 14, 1967.

LONDON, APR 19- Her Majesty’s Central Security Police have released a report that several leading Labour Party members have been working with foreign agents, including former Soviet Russians, since the 1940s. These members, including the Party leader Harold Wilson and 7 other senior Labour officials, have been arrested by the CSP.
            Prime Minister Mosley stated in an official press release that, “Thanks to the diligent and brave work of the Central Security Police, our nation is now a safer place. We will no longer have these foreign agents infiltrating our nation’s government. From the report filed by the CSP agents, it appears that many more Labour members have been receiving aid and assistance from foreigners in an attempt to undermine our Kingdom. I have requested that the CSP begin rounding up the more serious offenders, and I am recommending to Parliament first thing tomorrow that the Labour Party be banned.”
-“Labour Treason!” The Daily Mail, April 19, 1968.

LONDON, MAY 1- In a shocking turn of events, the Fascist-controlled British Parliament voted today to ban the Labour Party, which has been in opposition to Fascist rule since 1965. The government in Britain released a report last month that stated that many leading Labour Party members had been receiving “foreign aid” and had been acting to “undermine the British State”, some as long ago as the 1940s.
            So far, the government has stated that there have been 46 Labour members arrested in connection with this scandal, but it is generally believed that there might be twice that number or more languishing in prison.  President Rockefeller has condemned the action as “undemocratic and unbecoming of the British tradition.” The State Department has reported that the number of Americans traveling to the United Kingdom is at about ¼ of the normal amount for this year. There is a general fear in this country that Britain, a former ally and friend, has taken a wrong turn, and is turning into a potential enemy of freedom and democracy.
-“British Fascists Ban Opposition,” The Washington Post, May 1, 1968.

            After Labour was banned, everyone could already predict the outcome of the 1969 general elections. The British Union of Fascists received 71% of the seats in Parliament, the rest going to the Conservatives or to minor independents. The government was now firmly in Fascist hands. In 1970, the “Parliamentary Restructuring Act of 1970” was passed, which brought about a drastic reshaping of parliament that Prime Minister Mosley had been promoting since the 1930s. The House of Lords was abolished, replaced by the Council of Executives, which were elected members that oversaw various industries and services throughout the country. In the House of Commons, the membership was to be reduced to 100 MPs after the next general election.
            The election of December 1974 saw 88 seats of the new House of Commons go to the BUF. In the Council of Executives, all but one member was a Blackshirt. In 1975, the United Kingdom began shipping arms to the Shah of Iran in exchange for Oil imports, to help feed Britain and the Commonwealth’s fuel needs. In 1976, British National Petroleum was given exclusive rights to drill for Oil in Iran, sparking massive protests in that country. Also in that year, the British Space Agency was created with the mission to “plant the lightning bolt on the moon by 1985.”
            In 1977, the Commonwealth Parliament voted to combine several of the colonies (to reduce the number of colonial members in the CP), and to enact a universal tariff on all “non-empire goods”. Of the Five Commonwealth Dominions, Australia and South Africa were controlled by local Fascist parties, Canada had a large Fascist Party that was fighting hard for control against the Conservatives, and India had a quasi-fascist government in control as well. Pakistan remained the only Dominion that had not supported the Fascists, and in general the relationship between the rest of the Commonwealth and the Dominion of Pakistan was quite strained.
--Hayes, Dr. Thomas. Rise of Fascism in Britain. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. 

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